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The Knights   


I learnt to take a false oath without a smile, when I had stolen
something.
CLEON (frightened; aside)
Oh! Phoebus Apollo, god of Lycia! I am undone! (To the
SAUSAGE-SELLER)
And when you had become a man, what trade did you
follow?
SAUSAGE-SELLER
I sold sausages and did a bit of fornication.
CLEON (in consternation; aside)
Oh! my god! I am a lost man! Ah! still one slender hope remains.
(to the SAUSAGE-SELLER) Tell me, was it on the market-place or near
the gates that you sold your sausages?
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Near the gates, in the market for salted goods.
CLEON (in tragic despair)
Alas! I see the prophecy of the god is verily come true. Alas!
roll me home. I am a miserable ruined man. Farewell, my chaplet.
'Tis death to me to part with you. So you are to belong to another;
'tis certain he cannot be a greater thief, but perhaps he may be a
luckier one.
(He gives the chaplet to the SAUSAGE-SELLER.)
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Oh! Zeus, protector of Greece! 'tis to you I owe this victory!
DEMOSTHENES
Hail! illustrious conqueror, but forget not, that if you have
become a great man, 'tis thanks to me; I ask but a little thing;
appoint me secretary of the law-court in the room of Phanus.
DEMOS (to the SAUSAGE-SELLER)
But what is your name then? Tell me.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
My name is Agoracritus, because I have always lived on the
marketplace in the midst of lawsuits.
DEMOS
Well then, Agoracritus, I stand by you; as for the Paphlagonian, I
hand him over to your mercy.
AGORACRITUS
Demos, I will care for you to the best of my power, and all
shall admit that no citizen is more devoted than I to this city of
simpletons.
(They all enter the house of DEMOS.)
CHORUS (singing)
What fitter theme for our Muse, at the close as at the beginning
of our work, than this, to sing the hero who drives his swift steeds
down the arena? Why afflict Lysistratus with our satires on his
poverty, and Thumantis, who has not so much as a lodging? He is
dying of hunger and can be seen at Delphi, his face bathed in tears,
clinging to your quiver, oh, Apollo and supplicating you to take him
out of his misery.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
An insult directed at the wicked is not to be censured; on the
contrary, the honest man, if he has sense, can only applaud. Him, whom
I wish to brand with infamy, is little known himself; he's the brother
of Arignotus. I regret to quote this name which is so dear to me,
but whoever can distinguish black from white, or the Orthian mode of
music from others, knows the virtues of Arignotus, whom his brother,
Ariphrades, in no way resembles. He gloats in vice, is not merely a
dissolute man and utterly debauched-but he has actually invented a new
form of vice; for he pollutes his tongue with abominable pleasures
in brothels, befouling all of his body. Whoever is not horrified at
such a monster shall never drink from the same cup with me.
CHORUS (singing)
At times a thought weighs on me at night; I wonder whence comes
this fearful voracity of Cleonymus. 'Tis said that when dining with
a rich host, he springs at the dishes with the gluttony of a wild

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