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The Frogs   


A man?
DIONYSUS
Ah! ah!
HERACLES
Was it for Cleisthenes?
DIONYSUS
Don't mock me, brother: on my life I am
In a bad way: such fierce desire consumes me.
HERACLES
Aye, little brother? how?
DIONYSUS
I can't describe it.
But yet I'll tell you in a riddling way.
Have you e'er felt a sudden lust for soup?
HERACLES
Soup! Zeus-a-mercy, yes, ten thousand times.
DIONYSUS
Is the thing clear, or must I speak again?
HERACLES
Not of the soup: I'm clear about the soup.
DIONYSUS
Well, just that sort of pang devours my heart
For lost Euripides.
HERACLES
A dead man too.
DIONYSUS
And no one shall persuade me not to go
After the man.
HERACLES
Do you mean below, to Hades?
DIONYSUS
And lower still, if there's a lower still.
HERACLES
What on earth for?
DIONYSUS
I want a genuine poet,
"For some are not, and those that are, are bad."
HERACLES
What! does not Iophon live?
DIONYSUS
Well, he's the sole
Good thing remaining, if even he is good.
For even of that I'm not exactly certain.
HERACLES
If go you must, there's Sophocles-he comes
Before Euripides-why not take him?
DIONYSUS
Not till I've tried if Iophon's coin rings true
When he's alone, apart from Sophocles.
Besides, Euripides, the crafty rogue,
Will find a thousand shifts to get away,
But he was easy here, is easy there.
HERACLES
But Agathon, where is he?
DIONYSUS
He has gone and left us.
A genial poet, by his friends much missed.
HERACLES
Gone where?
DIONYSUS
To join the blessed in their banquets.
HERACLES
But what of Xenocles?
DIONYSUS

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