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The Knights   


And I'll run too; nothing could suit me better!
(He departs in haste.)
CHORUS (singing)
Oh! happy day for us and for our children if Cleon perish. Yet
just now I heard some old cross-grained pleaders on the marketplace
who hold not this opinion discoursing together. Said they, "If Cleon
had not had the power, we should have lacked two most useful tools,
the pestle and the soup-ladle." You also know what a pig's education
he has had; his school-fellows can recall that he only liked the
Dorian style and would study no other; his music-master in displeasure
sent him away, saying; "This youth, in matters of harmony, will only
learn the Dorian style because it is akin to bribery."
CLEON (coming out of the house with a large package)
There, look at this heap; and yet I'm not bringing them all.
SAUSAGE-SELLER (entering witk an even larger package)
Ugh! The weight of them is squeezing the crap right out of me, and
still I'm not bringing them all!
DEMOS
What are these?
CLEON
Oracles.
DEMOS
All these?
CLEON
Does that astonish you? Why, I have another whole boxful of them.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
And I the whole of my attic and two rooms besides.
DEMOS
Come, let us see, whose are these oracles?
CLEON
Mine are those of Bacis.
DEMOS (to the SAUSAGE-SELLER)
And whose are yours?
SAUSAGE-SELLER (without hesitating)
Glanis's, the elder brother of Bacis.
DEMOS
And of what do they speak?
CLEON
Of Athens and Pylos and you and me and everything.
DEMOS
And yours?
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Of Athens and lentils and Lacedaemonians and fresh mackerel and
scoundrelly flour-sellers and you and me. Ah ha! now watch him gnaw
his own tool with chagrin!
DEMOS
Come, read them out to me and especially that one I like so
much, which says that I shall become an eagle and soar among the
clouds.
CLEON
Then listen and be attentive! "Son of Erechtheus, understand the
meaning of the words, which the sacred tripods set resounding in the
sanctuary of Apollo. Preserve the sacred dog with the jagged teeth,
that barks and howls in your defence; he will ensure you a salary and,
if he fails, will perish as the victim of the swarms of jays that hunt
him down with their screams."
DEMOS
By Demeter! I do not understand a word of it. What connection is
there between Erechtheus, the jays and the dog?
CLEON
I am the dog, since I bark in your defence. Well! Phoebus commands
you to keep and cherish your dog.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
That is not what the god says; this dog seems to me to gnaw at the

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