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The Wasps   


PHILOCLEON
Oh! you rascal, how can I kill you? How? Give me a sword, quick,
or a conviction tablet.
BDELYCLEON
Our friend is planning some great crime.
PHILOCLEON
No, by Zeus! but I want to go and sell my ass and its panniers,
for it's the first of the month.
BDELYCLEON
Could I not sell it just as well?
PHILOCLEON
Not as well as I could.
BDELYCLEON
No, but better.
PHILOCLEON
Bring out the ass anyway.
XANTHIAS
What a clever excuse he has found now! What cunning to get you
to let him go out!
BDELYCLEON
Yes, but I have not swallowed the hook; I scented the trick. I
will go in and fetch the ass, so that the old man may not point his
weapons that way again. (He goes in, returning immediately with the
ass.)
Stupid old ass, are you weeping because you are going to be
sold? Come, go a bit quicker. Why, what are you moaning and groaning
for? You might be carrying another Odysseus.
XANTHIAS
Why, certainly, so he is! someone has crept beneath his belly.
BDELYCLEON
Who, who? Let's see. Why it's he! What does this mean? Who are
you? Come, speak!
PHILOCLEON
I am Noman.
BDELYCLEON
Noman? Of what country?
PHILOCLEON
Of Ithaca, son of Apodrasippides.
BDELYCLEON
Ha! Mister Noman, you will not laugh presently. Pull him out
quick. Ah! the wretch, where has he crept to? Does he not resemble a
she-ass to the life?
PHILOCLEON
If you do not leave me in peace, I shall sue.
BDELYCLEON
And what will the suit be about?
PHILOCLEON
The shade of an ass.
BDELYCLEON
You are a poor man of very little wit, but thoroughly brazen.
PHILOCLEON
A poor man! Ah! by Zeus! you know not now what I am worth; but you
will know when you disembowel the old Heliast's money-bag.
BDELYCLEON
Come, get back indoors, both you and your ass.
PHILOCLEON
Oh! my brethren of the tribunal! oh! Cleon! to the rescue!
BDELYCLEON
Go and bawl in there under lock and key. And you there, pile
plenty of stones against the door, thrust the bolt home into the
staple, and to keep this beam in its place roll that great mortar
against it. Quick's the word.
XANTHIAS
Oh! my god! whence did this brick fall on me?
BDELYCLEON

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