And what if they sell them for you?
The plague take you!
And if it does?
It will be a good riddance.
CITIZEN (in an incredulous tone)
You are really bent on contributing, then?
'Pon my soul, yes! Look, there are all my neighbours carrying in
all they have.
Oh yes, it's Antisthenes; he's the type that would contribute!
He would just as soon spend the next month sitting on the can.
The pest seize you!
Will Callimachus, the chorus-master, contribute anything?
Why, more than Callias!
The man must want to spend all his money!
How you weary me!
Ah! I weary you? But, wretch, see what comes of decrees of this
kind. Don't you remember the one reducing the price of salt?
Why, certainly I do.
And do you remember that about the copper coinage?
Ah! that cursed money did me enough harm. I had sold my grapes and
had my mouth stuffed with pieces of copper; indeed I was going to
the market to buy flour, and was in the act of holding out my bag wide
open, when the herald started shouting, "Let none in future accept
pieces of copper; those of silver are alone current."
And quite lately, were we not all swearing that the impost of
one-fortieth, which Euripides had conceived, would bring five
hundred talents to the state, and everyone was vaunting Euripides to
the skies? But when the thing was looked at closely, it was seen
that this fine decree was mere moonshine and would produce nothing,
and you would have willingly burnt this very same Euripides alive.
The cases are quite different, my good fellow. We were the
rulers then, but now it's the women.
Whom, by Posidon, I will never allow to piss on my nose.
I don't know what the devil you're chattering about. Slave, pick
up that bundle.
HERALD (a woman)
Let all citizens come, let them hasten at our leader's bidding! It
is the new law. The lot will teach each citizen where he is to dine;
the tables are already laid and loaded with the most exquisite dishes;
the couches are covered with the softest of cushions; the wine and
water are already being mixed in the ewers; the slaves are standing in
a row and waiting to pour scent over the guests; the fish is being
grilled, the hares are on the spit and the cakes are being kneaded,
chaplets are being plaited and the fritters are frying; the youngest
women are watching the pea-soup in the saucepans, and in the midst