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The Knights   


But what did I do? and how was I then?
AGORACRITUS
Firstly, so soon as ever an orator declared in the Assembly,
"Demos, I love you ardently; it is I alone who dream of you and
watch over your interests"; at such an exordium you would look like
a cock flapping his wings or a bull tossing his horns.
DEMOS
What, I?
AGORACRITUS
Then, after he had fooled you to the hilt, he would go.
DEMOS
What! they would treat me so, and I never saw it?
AGORACRITUS
You knew only how to open and close your ears like a sunshade.
DEMOS
Was I then so stupid and such a dotard?
AGORACRITUS
Worse than that; if one of two orators proposed to equip a fleet
for war and the other suggested the use of the same sum for paying out
to the citizens, it was the latter who always carried the day. Well!
you droop your head! Why do you turn away your face?
DEMOS
I am blushing at my past errors.
AGORACRITUS
Think no more of them; it's not you who are to blame, but those
who cheated you in this sorry fashion. But, come, if some impudent
lawyer dared to say, "Dicasts, you shall have no wheat unless you
convict this accused man!" what would you do? Tell me.
DEMOS
I would have him removed from the bar, I would bind Hyperbolus
about his neck like a stone and would fling him into the Barathrum.
AGORACRITUS
Well spoken! but what other measures do you wish to take?
DEMOS
First, as soon as ever a fleet returns to the harbour, I shall pay
up the rowers in full.
AGORACRITUS
That will soothe many a worn and chafed bottom.
DEMOS
Further, the hoplite enrolled for military service shall not get
transferred to another service through favour, but shall stick to that
given him at the outset.
AGORACRITUS
This will strike the buckler of Cleonymus full in the centre.
DEMOS
None shall ascend the rostrum, unless his chin is bearded.
AGORACRITUS
What then will become of Clisthenes and of Strato?
DEMOS
I wish only to refer to those youths who loll about the perfume
shops, babbling at random, "What a clever fellow is Phaeax! How
cleverly he escaped death! how concise and convincing is his style!
what phrases! how clear and to the point! how well he knows how to
quell an interruption!
AGORACRITUS
I thought you were the lover of those fairies.
DEMOS
The gods forefend it! and I will force all such fellows to go
hunting instead of proposing decrees.
AGORACRITUS
In that case, accept this folding-stool, and, to carry it, this
well-grown, big-balled slave lad. Besides, you may put him to any
other purpose you please.
DEMOS

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