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The Knights   


NICIAS
And how?
DEMOSTHENES
How? the oracle announces clearly that a dealer in oakum must
first govern the city.
NICIAS
That's one tradesman. And after him, who?
DEMOSTHENES
After him, a sheep-dealer.
NICIAS
Two tradesmen, eh? And what is this one's fate?
DEMOSTHENES
To reign until a filthier scoundrel than he arises; then he
perishes and in his place the leather-seller appears, the Paphlagonian
robber, the bawler, who roars like a torrent.
NICIAS
And the leather-seller must destroy the sheep-seller?
DEMOSTHENES
Yes.
NICIAS
Oh woe is me! Where can another seller be found, is there ever a
one left?
DEMOSTHENES
There is yet one, who plies a first-rate trade.
NICIAS
Tell me, pray, what is that?
DEMOSTHENES
You really want to know?
NICIAS
Yes.
DEMOSTHENES
Well then! it's a sausage-seller who must overthrow him.
NICIAS
A sausage-seller! Ah! by Posidon! what a fine trade! But where can
this man be found?
DEMOSTHENES
Let's seek him. But look! there he is, going towards the
market-place; 'tis the gods, the gods who send him! (Calling out) This
way, this way, oh; lucky sausage-seller, come forward, dear friend,
our saviour, the saviour of our city.
(Enter AGORACRITUS, a seller of sausages, carrying a basket of his
wares.)

SAUSAGE-SELLER
What is it? Why do you call me?
DEMOSTHENES
Come here, come and learn about your good luck, you who are
Fortune's favourite!
NICIAS
Come! Relieve him of his basket-tray and tell him the oracle of
the god; I will go and look after the Paphlagonian.
(He goes into the house.)
DEMOSTHENES
First put down all your gear, then worship the earth and the gods.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Done. What is the matter?
DEMOSTHENES
Happiness, riches, power; to-day you have nothing, to-morrow you
will have all, oh! chief of happy Athens.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Why not leave me to wash my tripe and to sell my sausages
instead of making game of me?
DEMOSTHENES
Oh! the fool! Your tripe! Do you see these tiers of people?
SAUSAGE-SELLER

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