Now why this lamentation?
PHILOCLEON (in tragic style)
A truce to your promises! What I love is down there, down there
I want to be, there, where the herald cries, "Who has not yet voted?
Let him rise!" I want to be the last of all to leave the urn. Oh, my
soul, my soul! where art thou? come! oh! dark shadows, make way for
me! By Heracles, may I reach the court in time to convict Cleon of
Come, father, in the name of the gods, believe me!
Believe you! Ask me anything, anything, except one.
What is it? Let us hear.
Not to judge any more! Before I consent, I shall have appeared
Very well then, since you find so much pleasure in it, go down
there no more, but stay here and deal out justice to your slaves.
But what is there to judge? Are you mad?
Everything as in a tribunal. If a servant opens a door secretly,
you inflict upon him a simple fine; that's what you have repeatedly
done down there. Everything can be arranged to suit you. If it is warm
in the morning, you can judge in the sunlight; if it is snowing,
then seated at your fire; if it rains, you go indoors; and if you
don't rise till noon, there will be no Thesmothetes to exclude you
from the precincts.
The notion pleases me.
Moreover, if a pleader is long-winded, you will not be hungering
and chafing and seeking vengeance on the accused.
But could I judge as well with my mouth full?
Much better. Is it not said, that the dicasts, when deceived by
lying witnesses, have need to ruminate well in order to arrive at
Well said, but you have not told me yet who will pay my salary.
So much the better; in this way I shall be paid by myself. Because
that damned jester, Lysistratus, played me an infamous trick the other
day. He received a drachma for the two of us and went on the
fish-market to get it changed and then brought me back three mullet
scales. I took them for obols and crammed them into my mouth; but
the smell choked me and I quickly spat them out. So I dragged him
before the court.
And what did he say to that?
Well, he pretended I had the stomach of a cock. "You have soon
digested the money," he said with a laugh.
You see, that is yet another advantage.