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The Wasps   


CHORUS (singing)
Who is it detains you and shuts you in? Speak, for you are talking
to friends.
PHILOCLEON (singing)
My son. But no bawling, he is there in front asleep; lower your
voice.
CHORUS (singing)
But, poor fellow, what is his aim? what is his object?
PHILOCLEON (singing)
My friends, he will not have me judge nor do anyone any ill, but
he wants me to stay at home and enjoy myself, and I will not. And does
this wretch, this Demologocleon dare to say such odious things, just
because you tell the truth about our navy? He would not have dared,
had he not been a conspirator.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
But meanwhile, you must devise some new dodge, so that you can
come down here without his knowledge.
PHILOCLEON
But what? Try to find some way. For myself, I am ready for
anything, so much do I burn to run along the tiers of the tribunal
with my voting-pebble in my hand.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
There is surely some hole through which you could manage to
squeeze from within, and escape dressed in rags, like the crafty
Odysseus.
PHILOCLEON
Everything is sealed fast; not so much as a gnat could get
through. Think of some other plan; there is no possible hole of
escape.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Do you recall how, when you were with the army at the taking of
Naxos, you descended so readily from the top of the wall by means of
the spits you had stolen?
PHILOCLEON
I remember that well enough, but what connection is there with
present circumstances? I was young, clever at thieving, I had all my
strength, none watched over me, and I could run off without fear.
But to-day men-at-arms are placed at every outlet to watch me, and two
of them are lying in wait for me at this very door armed with spits,
just as folks lie in wait for a cat that has stolen a piece of meat.
CHORUS (singing)
Come, discover some way as quick as possible. Here is the dawn
come, my dear little friend.
PHILOCLEON (singing)
The best way is to gnaw through the net. Oh! goddess who
watchest over the nets, forgive me for making a hole in this one.
CHORUS (singing)
It's acting like a man eager for his safety. Get your jaws to
work.
PHILOCLEON (singing)
There! it's gnawed through! But no shouting! let Bdelycleon notice
nothing!
CHORUS (singing)
Have no fear, have no fear! if he breathes a syllable, it will
be to bruise his own knuckles; he will have to fight to defend his own
head. We shall teach him not to insult the mysteries of the goddesses.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
But fasten a rope to the window, tie it around your body and let
yourself down to the ground, with your heart bursting with the fury of
Diopithes.
PHILOCLEON
But if these notice it and want to fish me up and drag me back
into the house, what will you do? Tell me that.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS

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