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The Knights   


beast and never leaves the bread-bin until his host seizes him round
the knees, exclaiming, "Go, go, good gentleman, in mercy go, and spare
my poor table!"
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
It is said that the triremes assembled in council and that the
oldest spoke in these terms, "Are you ignorant, my sisters, of what is
plotting in Athens? They say that a certain Hyperbolus, a bad
citizen and an infamous scoundrel, asks for a hundred of us to take
them to sea against Carthage." All were indignant, and one of them, as
yet a virgin, cried, "May god forbid that I should ever obey him! I
would prefer to grow old in the harbour and be gnawed by worms. No! by
the gods I swear it, Nauphante, daughter of Nauson, shall never bend
to his law; that's as true as I am made of wood and pitch. If the
Athenians vote for the proposal of Hyperbolus, let them! we will hoist
full sail and seek refuge by the temple of Theseus or the shrine of
the Eumenides. No! he shall not command us! No! he shall not play with
the city to this extent! Let him sail by himself for Tartarus, if such
please him, launching the boats in which he used to sell his lamps."
(The SAUSAGE-SELLER comes out of the house of DEMOS, splendidly
robed.)

AGORACRITUS (solemnly)
Maintain a holy silence! Keep your mouths from utterance! call
no more witnesses; close these tribunals, which are the delight of
this city, and gather at the theatre to chant the Paean of
thanksgiving to the gods for a fresh favour.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Oh! torch of sacred Athens, saviour of the Islands, what good
tidings are we to celebrate by letting the blood of the victims flow
in our marketplaces?
AGORACRITUS
I have freshened Demos up somewhat on the stove and have turned
his ugliness into beauty.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
I admire your invertive genius; but, where is he?
AGORACRITUS
He is living in ancient Athens, the city of the garlands of
violets.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
How I should like to see him! What is his dress like, what his
manner?
AGORACRITUS
He has once more become as he was in the days when he lived with
Aristides and Miltiades. But you will judge for yourselves, for I hear
the vestibule doors opening. Hail with your shouts of gladness the
Athens of old, which now doth reappear to your gaze, admirable, worthy
of the songs of the poets and the home of the illustrious Demos.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Oh! noble, brilliant Athens, whose brow is wreathed with
violets, show us the sovereign master of this land and of all Greece.
(DEMOS comes from his house, rejuvenated and joyous.)
AGORACRITUS
Lo! here he is coming with his hair held in place with a golden
band and in all the glory of his old-world dress; perfumed with myrrh,
he spreads around him not the odour of lawsuits, but that of peace.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Hail! King of Greece, we congratulate you upon the happiness you
enjoy; it is worthy of this city, worthy of the glory of Marathon.
DEMOS
Come, Agoracritus, come, my best friend; see the service you
have done me by freshening me up on your stove.
AGORACRITUS
Ah! if you but remembered what you were formerly and what you did,
you would for a certainty believe me to be a god.
DEMOS

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