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The Knights   


Hah! that will please him mightily; (to the SAUSAGE-SELLER) now
you can travel under full sail. The wind has lost its violence.
CLEON
I will bring four suits against you, each of one hundred talents.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
And I twenty against you for shirking duty and more than a
thousand for robbery.
CLEON
I maintain that your parents were guilty of sacrilege against
the goddess.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
And I, that one of your grandfathers was a satellite....
CLEON
To whom? Explain!
SAUSAGE-SELLER
To Byrsina, the mother of Hippias.
CLEON
You are an impostor.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
And you are a rogue.
(He strikes CLEON with a sausage.)
DEMOSTHENES
Hit him hard.
CLEON
Alas! The conspirators are murdering me!
DEMOSTHENES (to the SAUSAGE-SELLER)
Hit him! Hit him with all your might! Bruise his belly and lash
him with your guts and your tripe! Punish him with both hands!
(CLEON sinks beneath the blows.)
CHORUS-LEADER
Oh! vigorous assailant and intrepid heart! See how you have
totally routed him in this duel of abuse, so that to us and to the
citizens you seem the saviour of the city. How shall I give tongue
to my joy and praise you sufficiently?
CLEON (recovering his wits)
Ah! by Demeter! I was not ignorant of this plot and these
machinations that were being forged and nailed and put together
against me.
DEMOSTHENES (to the SAUSAGE-SELLER)
Look out, look out! Come outfence him with some wheelwright slang.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
His tricks at Argos do not escape me. Under pretence of forming an
alliance with the Argives, he is hatching a plot with the
Lacedaemonians there; and I know why the bellows are blowing and the
metal that is on the anvil; it's the question of the prisoners.
DEMOSTHENES
Well done! Forge on, if he be a wheelwright.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
And there are men at Sparta who are hammering the iron with you;
but neither gold nor silver nor prayers nor anything else shall impede
my denouncing your trickery to the Athenians.
CLEON
As for me, I hasten to the Senate to reveal your plotting, your
nightly gatherings in the city, your trafficking with the Medes and
with the Great King, and all you are foraging for in Boeotia.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
What price then is paid for forage by Boeotians?
CLEON
Oh! by Heracles! I will tan your hide.
(He departs.)
DEMOSTHENES
Come, if you have both wit and heart, now is the time to show
it, as on the day when you hid the meat in your crotch, as you say.
Hasten to the Senate, for he will rush there like a tornado to

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