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The Ecclesiazusae   


CITIZEN
And what if they sell them for you?
CHREMES
The plague take you!
CITIZEN
And if it does?
CHREMES
It will be a good riddance.
CITIZEN (in an incredulous tone)
You are really bent on contributing, then?
CHREMES
'Pon my soul, yes! Look, there are all my neighbours carrying in
all they have.
CITIZEN (sarcastically)
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.
CHREMES
The pest seize you!
CITIZEN
Will Callimachus, the chorus-master, contribute anything?
CHREMES
Why, more than Callias!
CITIZEN
The man must want to spend all his money!
CHREMES
How you weary me!
CITIZEN
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?
CHREMES
Why, certainly I do.
CITIZEN
And do you remember that about the copper coinage?
CHREMES
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."
CITIZEN
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.
CHREMES
The cases are quite different, my good fellow. We were the
rulers then, but now it's the women.
CITIZEN
Whom, by Posidon, I will never allow to piss on my nose.
CHREMES
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

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