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The Frogs   


O he be hanged!
HERACLES
Pythangelus?
XANTHIAS
But never a word of me,
Not though my shoulder's chafed so terribly.
HERACLES But have you not a shoal of little songsters,
Tragedians by the myriad, who can chatter
A furlong faster than Euripides?
DIONYSUS
Those be mere vintage-leavings, jabberers, choirs
Of swallow-broods, degraders of their art,
Who get one chorus, and are seen no more,
The Muses' love once gained. But O, my friend,
Search where you will, you'll never find a true
Creative genius, uttering startling things.
HERACLES
Creative? how do you mean?
Who'll dare some novel venturesome conceit,
"Air, Zeus's chamber," or "Time's foot," or this,
"'Twas not my mind that swore: my tongue committed
A little perjury on its own account."
HERACLES
You like that style?
DIONYSUS
Like it? I dote upon it.
HERACLES
I vow its ribald nonsense, and you know it.
DIONYSUS
"Rule not my mind": you've got a house to mind.
HERACLES
Really and truly though 'tis paltry stuff.
DIONYSUS
Teach me to dine!
XANTHIAS
But never a word of me.
DIONYSUS
But tell me truly-'twas for this I came
Dressed up to mimic you-what friends received
And entertained you when you went below
To bring back Cerberus, in case I need them.
And tell me too the havens, fountains, shops,
Roads, resting-places, stews, refreshment-rooms,
Towns, lodgings, hostesses, with whom were found
The fewest bugs.
XANTHIAS
But never a word of me.
HERACLES
You are really game to go?
DIONYSUS
O drop that, can't you?
And tell me this: of all the roads you know
Which is the quickest way to get to Hades?
I want one not too warm, nor yet too cold.
HERACLES
Which shall I tell you first? which shall it be?
There's one by rope and bench: you launch away
And-hang yourself.
DIONYSUS
No thank you: that's too stifling.
HERACLES
Then there's a track, a short and beaten cut,
By pestle and mortar.
DIONYSUS

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