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The Wasps   


Then beware of acquitting the most selfish of canine gluttons, who
has devoured the whole cheese, rind and all, prowling round the
platter.
PHILOCLEON
There is not even enough left for me to fill up the chinks in my
pitcher.
DOG
Besides, you must punish him, because the same house cannot keep
two thieves. Let me not have barked in vain, else I shall never bark
again.
PHILOCLEON
Oh! the black deeds he has just denounced! What a shameless thief!
Say, cock, is not that your opinion too? Ha, ha! He thinks as I do.
Here, Thesmothetes! where are you? Hand me the thunder-mug.
BDELYCLEON
Get it yourself. I go to call the witnesses; these are a plate,
a pestle, a cheese knife, a brazier, a stew-pot and other half-burnt
utensils. (To PHILOCLEON) But you have not finished? you are
piddling away still! Have done and be seated.
PHILOCLEON
Ha, ha! I reckon I know somebody who will crap for fright to-day.
BDELYCLEON
Will you never cease showing yourself hard and intractable, and
especially to the accused? You tear them to pieces tooth and nail. (To
LABES)
Come forward and defend yourself. What means this silence?
Answer.
PHILOCLEON
No doubt he has nothing to say.
BDELYCLEON
Not at all, I think he has got what happened once to Thucydides in
court; his jaws suddenly set fast. Get away! I will undertake your
defence.-Gentlemen of the jury, it is a difficult thing to speak for a
dog who has been calumniated, but nevertheless I will try. He is a
good dog, and he chases wolves finely.
PHILOCLEON
He is a thief and a conspirator.
BDELYCLEON
No, he is the best of all our dogs; he is capable of guarding a
whole flock.
PHILOCLEON
And what good is that, if he eats the cheese?
BDELYCLEON
What? he fights for you, he guards your door; he is an excellent
dog in every respect. Forgive him his larceny! he is wretchedly
ignorant, he cannot play the lyre.
PHILOCLEON
I wish he did not know how to write either; then the rascal
would not have drawn up his pleadings.
BDELYCLEON
Witnesses, I pray you, listen. Come forward, grating-knife, and
speak up; answer me clearly. You were paymaster at the time. Did you
grate out to the soldiers what was given you?-He says he did so.
PHILOCLEON
But, by Zeus! he lies.
BDELYCLEON
Oh! have patience. Take pity on the unfortunate. Labes feeds
only on fish-bones and fishes' heads and has not an instant of
peace. The other is good only to guard the house; he never moves
from here, but demands his share of all that is brought in and bites
those who refuse.
PHILOCLEON (aside)
Oh! Heaven! have I fallen ill? I feel my anger cooling! Woe to me!
I am softening!
BDELYCLEON

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