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The Frogs   


'Tis true.
EURIPIDES
Then in the Chorus came, and rattled off a string
four continuous lyric odes:
the mourner never stirred.
DIONYSUS
I liked it too. I sometimes think
that I those mutes preferred
To all your chatterers now-a-days.
EURIPIDES
Because, if you must know,
You were an ass.
DIONYSUS
An ass, no doubt;
what made him do it though?
EURIPIDES
That was his quackery, don't you see,
to set the audience guessing
When Niobe would speak; meanwhile,
the drama was progressing.
DIONYSUS
The rascal, how he took me in!
'Twas shameful, was it not?
(To AESCHYLUS) What makes you stamp and fidget so?
EURIPIDES
He's catching it so hot.
So when he had humbugged thus awhile,
and now his wretched play
Was halfway through, a dozen words,
great wild-bull words, he'd say,
Fierce Bugaboos, with bristling crests,
and shaggy eyebrows too,
Which not a soul could understand.
AESCHYLUS
O heavens!
DIONYSUS
Be quiet, do.
EURIPIDES
But not one single word was clear.
DIONYSUS
St! don't your teeth be gnashing.
EURIPIDES
'Twas all Scamanders, moated camps,
and griffin-eagles flashing
In burnished copper on the shields,
chivalric-precipice-high
Expressions, hard to comprehend.
DIONYSUS
Aye, by the Powers, and
Full many a sleepless night have spent
in anxious thought, because
I'd find the tawny cock-horse out,
what sort of bird it was!
AESCHYLUS
It was a sign, you stupid dolt,
engraved the ships upon.
DIONYSUS
Eryxis I supposed it was,
Philoxenus's son.
EURIPIDES
Now really should a cock be brought
into a tragic play?
AESCHYLUS
You enemy gods and men,

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