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The Wasps   


and said, "Every man to his trade." Well then, go you to Pittalus to
get mended.
BDELYCLEON
You are incorrigible.
ACCUSER (to his witness)
At all events, make a note of his reply. (They start to leave.)
PHILOCLEON
Listen, instead of going off so abruptly. A woman at Sybaris broke
a box.
ACCUSER (to his witness)
I again ask you to witness this.
PHILOCLEON
The box therefore had the fact attested, but the woman said,
"Never worry about witnessing the matter, but hurry off to buy a
cord to tie it together with; that will be the more sensible course."
ACCUSER
Oh! go on with your ribaldry until the Archon calls the case.
(He and his witness depart.)
BDELYCLEON (to PHILOCLEON)
By Demeter! you'll stay here no longer! I am going to take you and
carry you off.
PHILOCLEON
And what for?
BDELYCLEON
What for? I am going to carry you into the house, so that the
accusers will not run out of witnesses.
PHILOCLEON
One day at Delphi, Aesop....
BDELYCLEON
I don't care a fig for that.
PHILOCLEON
....was accused of having stolen a sacred vase. But he replied,
that the horn-beetle....
BDELYCLEON
Oh, dear, dear! You'll drive me crazy with your horn-beetle.
(PHILOCLEON goes on with his fable while BDELYCLEON is carrying him
off the scene by main force.)

CHORUS (singing)
I envy you your happiness, old man. What a contrast to his
former frugal habits and his very hard life! Taught now in quite
another school, he will know nothing but the pleasures of ease.
Perhaps he will jibe at it, for indeed it is difficult to renounce
what has become one's second nature. However, many have done it, and
adopting the ideas of others, have changed their use and wont. As
for Philocleon's son, I, like all wise and judicious men, cannot
sufficiently praise his filial tenderness and his tact. Never have I
met a more amiable nature, and I have conceived the greatest
fondness for him. How he triumphed on every point in his discussion
with his father, when he wanted to bring him back to more worthy and
honourable tastes!
XANTHIAS (coming out of the house)
By Bacchus! Some Evil Genius has brought this unbearable
disorder into our house. The old man, full up with wine and excited by
the sound of the flute, is so delighted, so enraptured, that he is
spending the night executing the old dances that Thespis first
produced on the stage, and just now he offered to prove to the
modern tragedians, by disputing with them for the dancing prize,
that they are nothing but a lot of old dotards.
(BDELYCLEON comes out of the house with his father who is costumed
as POLYPHEMUS in Euripides' Cyclops.)

PHILOCLEON
"Who loiters at the door of the vestibule?"
XANTHIAS
Here comes our pest, our plague!

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