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The Frogs   


Why, how could you (the vain and foolish thought I)
A slave, a mortal, act Alemena's son?
XANTHIAS
All right then, take them; maybe, if God will,
You'll soon require my services again.
CHORUS
This is the part of a dexterous clever
Man with his wits about him ever,
One who has travelled the world to see;
Always to shift, and to keep through all
Close to the sunny side of the wall;
Not like a pictured block to be,
Standing always in one position;
Nay but to veer, with expedition,
And ever to catch the favouring breeze,
This is the part of a shrewd tactician,
This is to be a-Theramenes!
DIONYSUS
Truly an exquisite joke 'twould be,
Him with a dancing-girl to see,
Lolling at ease on Milesian rugs;
Me, like a slave, beside him standing,
Aught that he wants to his lordship handing;
Then as the damsel fair he hugs,
Seeing me all on fire to embrace her,
He would perchance (for there's no man baser),
Turning him round like a lazy lout,
Straight on my mouth deliver a facer,
Knocking my ivory choirmen out.
Enter HOSTESS and PLATHANE.
Hostess. O Plathane! Plathane! that naughty man,
That's he who got into our tavern once,
And ate up sixteen loaves.
PLATHANE
O, so he is! The very man.
XANTHIAS
Bad luck for somebody!
HOSTESS
O and, besides, those twenty bits of stew,
Half-obol pieces.
XANTHIAS
Somebody's going to catch it!
HOSTESS
That garlic too.
DIONYSUS
Woman, you're talking nonsense.
You don't know what you're saying.
HOSTESS
O, you thought
I shouldn't know you with your buskins on!
Ah, and I've not yet mentioned all that fish,
No, nor the new-made cheese: he gulped it down,
Baskets and all, unlucky that we were.
And when I just alluded to the price,
He looked so fierce, and bellowed like a bull.
XANTHIAS
Yes, that's his way: that's what he always does.
HOSTESS
O, and he drew his sword, and seemed quite mad.
PLATHANE
O, that he did.
HOSTESS
And terrified us so
We sprang up to the cockloft, she and I.

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