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The Knights   


Yes.
DEMOSTHENES
You shall be master to them all, governor of the market, of the
harbours, of the Pnyx; you shall trample the Senate under foot, be
able to cashier the generals, load them with fetters, throw them
into gaol, and you will fornicate in the Prytaneum.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
What! I?
DEMOSTHENES
You, without a doubt. But you do not yet see all the glory
awaiting you. Stand on your basket and look at all the islands that
surround Athens.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
I see them. What then?
DEMOSTHENES
Look at the storehouses and the shipping.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Yes, I am looking.
DEMOSTHENES
Exists there a mortal more blest than you? Furthermore, turn
your right eye towards Caria and your left toward Carthage!
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Then it's a blessing to be cock-eyed!
DEMOSTHENES
No, but you are the one who is going to trade away all this.
According to the oracle you must become the greatest of men.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Just tell me how a sausage-seller can become a great man.
DEMOSTHENES
That is precisely why you will be great, because you are a sad
rascal without shame, no better than a common market rogue.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
I do not hold myself worthy of wielding power.
DEMOSTHENES
Oh! by the gods! Why do you not hold yourself worthy? Have you
then such a good opinion of yourself? Come, are you of honest
parentage?
SAUSAGE-SELLER
By the gods! No! of very bad indeed.
DEMOSTHENES
Spoilt child of fortune, everything fits together to ensure your
greatness.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
But I have not had the least education. I can only read, and
that very badly.
DEMOSTHENES
That is what may stand in your way, almost knowing how to read.
A demagogue must be neither an educated nor an honest man; he has to
be an ignoramus and a rogue. But do not, do not let go this gift,
which the oracle promises.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
But what does the oracle say?
DEMOSTHENES
Faith, it is put together in very fine enigmatical style, as
elegant as it is dear: "When the eagle-tanner with the hooked claws
shall seize a stupid dragon, a blood-sucker, it will be an end to
the hot Paphlagonian pickled garlic. The god grants great glory to the
sausage-sellers unless they prefeir to sell their wares."
SAUSAGE-SELLER
In what way does this concern me? Please instruct my ignorance.
DEMOSTHENES
The eagle-tanner is the Paphlagonian.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
What do the hooked claws mean?

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