The Acharnians
 

SCENE: The Athenian Ecclesia on the Pnyx; afterwards Dicaeopolis' house in the country.

DICAEOPOLIS (alone)
What cares have not gnawed at my heart and how few have been the pleasures in my life! Four, to be exact, while my troubles have been as countless as the grains of sand on the shore! Let me see! of what value to me have been these few pleasures? Ah! I remember that I was delighted in soul when Cleon had to disgorge those five talents; I was in ecstasy and I love the Knights for this deed; 'it is an honour to Greece.' But the day when I was impatiently awaiting a piece by Aeschylus, what tragic despair it caused me when the herald called, "Theognis, introduce your Chorus!" Just imagine how this blow struck straight at my heart! On the other hand, what joy Dexitheus caused me at the musical competition, when he played a Boeotian melody on the lyre! But this year by contrast! Oh! what deadly torture to hear Chaeris perform the prelude in the Orthian mode! --Never, however, since I began to bathe, has the dust hurt my eyes as it does to-day. Still it is the day of assembly; all should be here at daybreak, and yet the Pnyx is still deserted. They are gossiping in the marketplace, slipping hither and thither to avoid the vermilioned rope. The Prytanes even do not come; they will be late, but when they come they will push and fight each other for a seat in the front row. They will never trouble themselves with the question of peace. Oh! Athens! Athens! As for myself, I do not fail to come here before all the rest, and now, finding myself alone, I groan, yawn, stretch, break wind, and know not what to do; I make sketches in the dust, pull out my loose hairs, muse, think of my fields, long for peace, curse town life and regret my dear country home, which never told me to 'buy fuel, vinegar or oil'; there the word 'buy,' which cuts me in two, was unknown; I harvested everything at will. Therefore I have come to the assembly fully prepared to bawl, interrupt and abuse the speakers, if they talk of anything but peace. But here come the Prytanes, and high time too, for it is midday! As I foretold, hah! is it not so? They are pushing and fighting for the front seats.

HERALD
Move on up, move on, move on, to get within the consecrated area.

AMPHITHEUS
Has anyone spoken yet?

HERALD
Who asks to speak?

AMPHITHEUS
I do.

HERALD
Your name?

AMPHITHEUS
Amphitheus.

HERALD
You are no man.

AMPHITHEUS
No! I am an immortal! Amphitheus was the son of Ceres and Triptolemus; of him was born Celeus. Celeus wedded Phaenerete, my grandmother, whose son was Lucinus, and, being born of him I am an immortal; it is to me alone that the gods have entrusted the duty of treating with the Lacedaemonians. But, citizens, though I am immortal, I am dying of hunger; the Prytanes give me naught.

A PRYTANIS Guards!

AMPHITHEUS
Oh, Triptolemus and Ceres, do ye thus forsake your own blood?

DICAEOPOLIS
Prytanes, in expelling this citizen, you are offering an outrage to the Assembly. He only desired to secure peace for us and to sheathe the sword.

PRYTANIS
Sit down and keep silence!

DICAEOPOLIS
No, by Apollo, I will not, unless you are going to discuss the question of peace.

HERALD
The ambassadors, who are returned from the Court of the King!

DICAEOPOLIS
Of what King? I am sick of all those fine birds, the peacock ambassadors and their swagger.

HERALD
Silence!

DICAEOPOLIS
Oh! oh! by Ecbatana, what a costume!

AN AMBASSADOR
During the archonship of Euthymenes, you sent us to the Great King on a salary of two drachmae per diem.

DICAEOPOLIS
Ah! those poor drachmae!

AMBASSADOR
We suffered horribly on the plains of the Cayster, sleeping under a tent, stretched deliciously on fine chariots, half dead with weariness.

DICAEOPOLIS
And I was very much at ease, lying on the straw along the battlements!

AMBASSADOR
Everywhere we were well received and forced to drink delicious wine out of golden or crystal flagons....

DICAEOPOLIS
Oh, city of Cranaus, thy ambassadors are laughing at thee!

AMBASSADOR
For great feeders and heavy drinkers are alone esteemed as men by the barbarians.

DICAEOPOLIS
Just as here in Athens, we only esteem the most drunken debauchees.

AMBASSADOR
At the end of the fourth year we reached the King's Court, but he had left with his whole army to ease himself, and for the space of eight months he was thus easing himself in the midst of the golden mountains.

DICAEOPOLIS
And how long was he replacing his dress?

AMBASSADOR
The whole period of a full moon; after which he returned to his palace; then he entertained us and had us served with oxen roasted whole in an oven.

DICAEOPOLIS
Who ever saw an oxen baked in an oven? What a lie!

AMBASSADOR
On my honour, he also had us served with a bird three times as large as Cleonymus, and called the Boaster.

DICAEOPOLIS
And do we give you two drachmae, that you should treat us to all this humbug?

AMBASSADOR
We are bringing to you Pseudartabas, the King's Eye.

DICAEOPOLIS
I would a crow might pluck out thine with his beak, you cursed ambassador!

HERALD
The King's Eye!

DICAEOPOLIS
Eh! Great Gods! Friend, with thy great eye, round like the hole through which the oarsman passes his sweep, you have the air of a galley doubling a cape to gain port.

AMBASSADOR
Come, Pseudartabas, give forth the message for the Athenians with which you were charged by the Great King.

PSEUDARTABAS
Jartaman exarx 'anapissonia satra.

AMBASSADOR
Do you understand what he says?

DICAEOPOLIS
By Apollo, not I!

AMBASSADOR (TO THE PRYTANES)
He says that the Great King will send you gold. Come, utter the word 'gold' louder and more distinctly.

PSEUDARTABAS
Thou shalt not have gold, thou gaping-arsed Ionian.

DICAEOPOLIS
Ah! may the gods forgive me, but that is clear enough!

AMBASSADOR
What does he say?

DICAEOPOLIS
That the Ionians are debauchees and idiots, if they expect to receive gold from the barbarians.

AMBASSADOR
Not so, he speaks of medimni of gold.

DICAEOPOLIS
What medimni? Thou are but a great braggart; but get your way; I will find out the truth by myself. Come now, answer me clearly, if you do not wish me to dye your skin red. Will the Great King send us gold? (PSEUDARTABAS MAKES A NEGATIVE SIGN.) Then our ambassadors are seeking to deceive us? (PSEUDARTABAS SIGNS AFFIRMATIVELY.) These fellows make signs like any Greek; I am sure that they are nothing but Athenians. Oh! ho! I recognize one of these eunuchs; it is Clisthenes, the son of Sibyrtius. Behold the effrontery of this shaven rump! How! great baboon, with such a beard do you seek to play the eunuch to us? And this other one? Is it not Straton?

HERALD
Silence! Let all be seated. The Senate invites the King's Eye to the Prytaneum.

DICAEOPOLIS
Is this not sufficient to drive one to hang oneself? Here I stand chilled to the bone, whilst the doors of the Prytaneum fly wide open to lodge such rascals. But I will do something great and bold. Where is Amphitheus? Come and speak with me.

AMPHITHEUS
Here I am.

DICAEOPOLIS
Take these eight drachmae and go and conclude a truce with the Lacedaemonians for me, my wife and my children; I leave you free, my dear citizens, to send out embassies and to stand gaping in the air.

HERALD
Bring in Theorus, who has returned from the Court of Sitalces.

THEORUS
I am here.

DICAEOPOLIS
Another humbug!

THEORUS
We should not have remained long in Thrace...

DICAEOPOLIS
Forsooth, no, if you had not been well paid.

THEORUS
...if the country had not been covered with snow; the rivers were ice-bound at the time that Theognis brought out his tragedy here; during the whole of that time I was holding my own with Sitalces, cup in hand; and, in truth, he adored you to such a degree, that he wrote on the walls, "How beautiful are the Athenians!" His son, to whom we gave the freedom of the city, burned with desire to come here and eat chitterlings at the feast of the Apaturia; he prayed his father to come to the aid of his new country and Sitalces swore on his goblet that he would succour us with such a host that the Athenians would exclaim, "What a cloud of grasshoppers!"

DICAEOPOLIS
May I die if I believe a word of what you tell us! Excepting the grasshoppers, there is not a grain of truth in it all!

THEORUS
And he has sent you the most warlike soldiers of all Thrace.

DICAEOPOLIS
Now we shall begin to see clearly.

HERALD
Come hither, Thracians, whom Theorus brought.

DICAEOPOLIS
What plague have we here?

THEORUS
'Tis the host of the Odomanti.

DICAEOPOLIS
Of the Odomanti? Tell me what it means. Who has mutilated them like this?

THEORUS
If they are given a wage of two drachmae, they will put all Boeotia to fire and sword.

DICAEOPOLIS
Two drachmae to those circumcised hounds! Groan aloud, ye people of rowers, bulwark of Athens! Ah! great gods! I am undone; these Odomanti are robbing me of my garlic! Will you give me back my garlic?

THEORUS
Oh! wretched man! do not go near them; they have eaten garlic.

DICAEOPOLIS
Prytanes, will you let me be treated in this manner, in my own country and by barbarians? But I oppose the discussion of paying a wage to the Thracians; I announce an omen; I have just felt a drop of rain.

HERALD
Let the Thracians withdraw and return the day after tomorrow; the Prytanes declare the sitting at an end.

DICAEOPOLIS
Ye gods, what garlic I have lost! But here comes Amphitheus returned from Lacedaemon. Welcome, Amphitheus.

AMPHITHEUS
No, there is no welcome for me and I fly as fast as I can, for I am pursued by the Acharnians.

DICAEOPOLIS
Why, what has happened?

AMPHITHEUS
I was hurrying to bring your treaty of truce, but some old dotards from Acharnae got scent of the thing; they are veterans of Marathon, tough as oak or maple, of which they are made for sure--rough and ruthless. They all started a-crying: "Wretch! you are the bearer of a treaty, and the enemy has only just cut our vines!" Meanwhile they were gathering stones in their cloaks, so I fled and they ran after me shouting.

DICAEOPOLIS
Let 'em shout as much as they please! But HAVE you brought me a treaty?

AMPHITHEUS
Most certainly, here are three samples to select from, this one is five years old; take it and taste.

DICAEOPOLIS
Faugh!

AMPHITHEUS
Well?

DICAEOPOLIS
It does not please me; it smells of pitch and of the ships they are fitting out.

AMPHITHEUS
Here is another, ten years old; taste it.

DICAEOPOLIS
It smells strongly of the delegates, who go around the towns to chide the allies for their slowness.

AMPHITHEUS
This last is a truce of thirty years, both on sea and land.

DICAEOPOLIS
Oh! by Bacchus! what a bouquet! It has the aroma of nectar and ambrosia; this does not say to us, "Provision yourselves for three days." But it lisps the gentle numbers, "Go whither you will." I accept it, ratify it, drink it at one draught and consign the Acharnians to limbo. Freed from the war and its ills, I shall keep the Dionysia in the country.

AMPHITHEUS
And I shall run away, for I'm mortally afraid of the Acharnians.

CHORUS
This way all! Let us follow our man; we will demand him of everyone we meet; the public weal makes his seizure imperative. Ho, there! tell me which way the bearer of the truce has gone; he has escaped us, he has disappeared. Curse old age! When I was young, in the days when I followed Phayllus, running with a sack of coals on my back, this wretch would not have eluded my pursuit, let him be as swift as he will; but now my limbs are stiff; old Lacratides feels his legs are weighty and the traitor escapes me. No, no, let us follow him; old Acharnians like ourselves shall not be set at naught by a scoundrel, who has dared, great gods! to conclude a truce, when I wanted the war continued with double fury in order to avenge my ruined lands. No mercy for our foes until I have pierced their hearts like sharp reed, so that they dare never again ravage my vineyards. Come, let us seek the rascal; let us look everywhere, carrying our stones in our hands; let us hunt him from place to place until we trap him; I could never, never tire of the delight of stoning him.

DICAEOPOLIS
Peace! profane men!

CHORUS
Silence all! Friends, do you hear the sacred formula? Here is he, whom we seek! This way, all! Get out of his way, surely he comes to offer an oblation.

DICAEOPOLIS
Peace, profane men! Let the basket-bearer come forward, and thou Xanthias, hold the phallus well upright.

WIFE OF DICAEOPOLIS
Daughter, set down the basket and let us begin the sacrifice.

DAUGHTER OF DICAEOPOLIS
Mother, hand me the ladle, that I may spread the sauce on the cake.

DICAEOPOLIS
It is well! Oh, mighty Bacchus, it is with joy that, freed from military duty, I and all mine perform this solemn rite and offer thee this sacrifice; grant that I may keep the rural Dionysia without hindrance and that this truce of thirty years may be propitious for me.

WIFE OF DICAEOPOLIS
Come, my child, carry the basket gracefully and with a grave, demure face. Happy he, who shall be your possessor and embrace you so firmly at dawn, that you belch wind like a weasel. Go forward, and have a care they don't snatch your jewels in the crowd.

DICAEOPOLIS
Xanthias, walk behind the basket-bearer and hold the phallus well erect; I will follow, singing the Phallic hymn; thou, wife, look on from the top of the terrace. Forward! Oh, Phales, companion of the orgies of Bacchus, night reveller, god of adultery, friend of young men, these past six years I have not been able to invoke thee. With what joy I return to my farmstead, thanks to the truce I have concluded, freed from cares, from fighting and from Lamachuses! How much sweeter, oh Phales, oh, Phales, is it to surprise Thratta, the pretty woodmaid, Strymodorus' slave, stealing wood from Mount Phelleus, to catch her under the arms, to throw her on the ground and possess her, Oh, Phales, Phales! If thou wilt drink and bemuse thyself with me, we shall to-morrow consume some good dish in honour of the peace, and I will hang up my buckler over the smoking hearth.

CHORUS
It is he, he himself. Stone him, stone him, stone him, strike the wretch. All, all of you, pelt him, pelt him!

DICAEOPOLIS
What is this? By Heracles, you will smash my pot.

CHORUS
It is you that we are stoning, you miserable scoundrel.

DICAEOPOLIS
And for what sin, Acharnian Elders, tell me that!

CHORUS
You ask that, you impudent rascal, traitor to your country; you alone amongst us all have concluded a truce, and you dare to look us in the face!

DICAEOPOLIS
But you do not know WHY I have treated for peace. Listen!

CHORUS
Listen to you? No, no, you are about to die, we will annihilate you with our stones.

DICAEOPOLIS
But first of all, listen. Stop, my friends.

CHORUS
I will hear nothing; do not address me; I hate you more than I do Cleon, whom one day I shall flay to make sandals for the Knights. Listen to your long speeches, after you have treated with the Laconians? No, I will punish you.

DICAEOPOLIS
Friends, leave the Laconians out of debate and consider only whether I have not done well to conclude my truce.

CHORUS
Done well! when you have treated with a people who know neither gods, nor truth, nor faith.

DICAEOPOLIS
We attribute too much to the Laconians; as for myself, I know that they are not the cause of all our troubles.

CHORUS
Oh, indeed, rascal! You dare to use such language to me and then expect me to spare you!

DICAEOPOLIS
No, no, they are not the cause of all our troubles, and I who address you claim to be able to prove that they have much to complain of in us.

CHORUS
This passes endurance; my heart bounds with fury. Thus you dare to defend our enemies.

DICAEOPOLIS
Were my head on the block I would uphold what I say and rely on the approval of the people.

CHORUS
Comrades, let us hurl our stones and dye this fellow purple.

DICAEOPOLIS
What black fire-brand has inflamed your heart! You will not hear me? You really will not, Acharnians?

CHORUS
No, a thousand times, no.

DICAEOPOLIS
This is a hateful injustice.

CHORUS
May I die, if I listen.

DICAEOPOLIS
Nay, nay! have mercy, have mercy, Acharnians.

CHORUS
You shall die.

DICAEOPOLIS
Well, blood for blood! I will kill your dearest friend. I have here the hostages of Acharnae; I shall disembowel them.

CHORUS
Acharnians, what means this threat? Has he got one of our children in his house? What gives him such audacity?

DICAEOPOLIS
Stone me, if it please you; I shall avenge myself on this. (SHOWS A BASKET.) Let us see whether you have any love for your coals.

CHORUS
Great Gods! this basket is our fellow-citizen. Stop, stop, in heaven's name!

DICAEOPOLIS
I shall dismember it despite your cries; I will listen to nothing.

CHORUS
How! will you kill this coal-basket, my beloved comrade?

DICAEOPOLIS
Just now, you would not listen to me.

CHORUS
Well, speak now, if you will; tell us, tell us you have a weakness for the Lacedaemonians. I consent to anything; never will I forsake this dear little basket.

DICAEOPOLIS
First, throw down your stones.

CHORUS
There! 'tis done. And you, do put away your sword.

DICAEOPOLIS
Let me see that no stones remain concealed in your cloaks.

CHORUS
They are all on the ground; see how we shake our garments. Come, no haggling, lay down your sword; we threw away everything while crossing from one side of the stage to the other.

DICAEOPOLIS
What cries of anguish you would have uttered had these coals of Parnes been dismembered, and yet it came very near it; had they perished, their death would have been due to the folly of their fellow-citizens. The poor basket was so frightened, look, it has shed a thick black dust over me, the same as a cuttle-fish does. What an irritable temper! You shout and throw stones, you will not hear my arguments--not even when I propose to speak in favour of the Lacedaemonians with my head on the block; and yet I cling to life.

CHORUS
Well then, bring out a block before your door, scoundrel, and let us hear the good grounds you can give us; I am curious to know them. Now mind, as you proposed yourself, place your head on the block and speak.

DICAEOPOLIS
Here is the block; and, though I am but a very sorry speaker, I wish nevertheless to talk freely of the Lacedaemonians and without the protection of my buckler. Yet I have many reasons for fear. I know our rustics; they are delighted if some braggart comes, and rightly or wrongly, loads both them and their city with praise and flattery; they do not see that such toad-eaters are traitors, who sell them for gain. As for the old men, I know their weakness; they only seek to overwhelm the accused with their votes. Nor have I forgotten how Cleon treated me because of my comedy last year; he dragged me before the Senate and there he uttered endless slanders against me; 'twas a tempest of abuse, a deluge of lies. Through what a slough of mud he dragged me! I almost perished. Permit me, therefore, before I speak, to dress in the manner most likely to draw pity.

CHORUS
What evasions, subterfuges and delays! Hold! here is the sombre helmet of Pluto with its thick bristling plume; Hieronymus lends it to you; then open Sisyphus' bag of wiles; but hurry, hurry, pray, for discussion does not admit of delay.

DICAEOPOLIS
The time has come for me to manifest my courage, so I will go and seek Euripides. Ho! slave, slave!

SLAVE
Who's there?

DICAEOPOLIS
Is Euripides at home?

SLAVE
He is and he isn't; understand that, if you have wit for't.

DICAEOPOLIS
How? He is and he isn't!

SLAVE
Certainly, old man; busy gathering subtle fancies here and there, his mind is not in the house, but he himself is; perched aloft, he is composing a tragedy.

DICAEOPOLIS
Oh, Euripides, you are indeed happy to have a slave so quick at repartee! Now, fellow, call your master.

SLAVE
Impossible!

DICAEOPOLIS
So much the worse. But I will not go. Come, let us knock at the door. Euripides, my little Euripides, my darling Euripides, listen; never had man greater right to your pity. It is Dicaeopolis of the Chollidan Deme who calls you. Do you hear?

EURIPIDES
I have no time to waste.

DICAEOPOLIS
Very well, have yourself wheeled out here.

EURIPIDES
Impossible.

DICAEOPOLIS
Nevertheless...

EURIPIDES
Well, let them roll me out; as to coming down, I have not the time.

DICAEOPOLIS
Euripides....

EURIPIDES
What words strike my ear?

DICAEOPOLIS
You perch aloft to compose tragedies, when you might just as well do them on the ground. I am not astonished at your introducing cripples on the stage. And why dress in these miserable tragic rags? I do not wonder that your heroes are beggars. But, Euripides, on my knees I beseech you, give me the tatters of some old piece; for I have to treat the Chorus to a long speech, and if I do it ill it is all over with me.

EURIPIDES
What rags do you prefer? Those in which I rigged out Aeneus on the stage, that unhappy, miserable old man?

DICAEOPOLIS
No, I want those of some hero still more unfortunate.

EURIPIDES
Of Phoenix, the blind man?

DICAEOPOLIS
No, not of Phoenix, you have another hero more unfortunate than him.

EURIPIDES
Now, what tatters DOES he want? Do you mean those of the beggar Philoctetes?

DICAEOPOLIS
No, of another far more the mendicant.

EURIPIDES
Is it the filthy dress of the lame fellow, Bellerophon?

DICAEOPOLIS
No, 'tis not Bellerophon; he, whom I mean, was not only lame and a beggar, but boastful and a fine speaker.

EURIPIDES
Ah! I know, it is Telephus, the Mysian.

DICAEOPOLIS
Yes, Telephus. Give me his rags, I beg of you.

EURIPIDES
Slave! give him Telephus' tatters; they are on top of the rags of Thyestes and mixed with those of Ino.

SLAVE
Catch hold! here they are.

DICAEOPOLIS
Oh! Zeus, whose eye pierces everywhere and embraces all, permit me to assume the most wretched dress on earth. Euripides, cap your kindness by giving me the little Mysian hat, that goes so well with these tatters. I must to-day have the look of a beggar; "be what I am, but not appear to be"; the audience will know well who I am, but the Chorus will be fools enough not to, and I shall dupe 'em with my subtle phrases.

EURIPIDES
I will give you the hat; I love the clever tricks of an ingenious brain like yours.

DICAEOPOLIS
Rest happy, and may it befall Telephus as I wish. Ah! I already feel myself filled with quibbles. But I must have a beggar's staff.

EURIPIDES
Here you are, and now get you gone from this porch.

DICAEOPOLIS
Oh, my soul! You see how you are driven from this house, when I still need so many accessories. But let us be pressing, obstinate, importunate. Euripides, give me a little basket with a lamp alight inside.

EURIPIDES
Whatever do you want such a thing as that for?

DICAEOPOLIS
I do not need it, but I want it all the same.

EURIPIDES
You importune me; get you gone!

DICAEOPOLIS
Alas! may the gods grant you a destiny as brilliant as your mother's.

EURIPIDES
Leave me in peace.

DICAEOPOLIS
Oh, just a little broken cup.

EURIPIDES
Take it and go and hang yourself. What a tiresome fellow!

DICAEOPOLIS
Ah! you do not know all the pain you cause me. Dear, good Euripides, nothing beyond a small pipkin stoppered with a sponge.

EURIPIDES
Miserable man! You are robbing me of an entire tragedy. Here, take it and be off.

DICAEOPOLIS
I am going, but, great gods! I need one thing more; unless I have it, I am a dead man. Hearken, my little Euripides, only give me this and I go, never to return. For pity's sake, do give me a few small herbs for my basket.

EURIPIDES
You wish to ruin me then. Here, take what you want; but it is all over with my pieces!

DICAEOPOLIS
I won't ask another thing; I'm going. I am too importunate and forget that I rouse against me the hate of kings.--Ah! wretch that I am! I am lost! I have forgotten one thing, without which all the rest is as nothing. Euripides, my excellent Euripides, my dear little Euripides, may I die if I ask you again for the smallest present; only one, the last, absolutely the last; give me some of the chervil your mother left you in her will.

EURIPIDES
Insolent hound! Slave, lock the door!

DICAEOPOLIS
Oh, my soul! I must go away without the chervil. Art thou sensible of the dangerous battle we are about to engage upon in defending the Lacedaemonians? Courage, my soul, we must plunge into the midst of it. Dost thou hesitate and art thou fully steeped in Euripides? That's right! do not falter, my poor heart, and let us risk our head to say what we hold for truth. Courage and boldly to the front. I wonder I am so brave.

CHORUS
What do you purport doing? what are you going to say? What an impudent fellow! what a brazen heart! to dare to stake his head and uphold an opinion contrary to that of us all! And he does not tremble to face this peril. Come, it is you who desired it, speak!

DICAEOPOLIS
Spectators, be not angered if, although I am a beggar, I dare in a Comedy to speak before the people of Athens of the public weal; Comedy too can sometimes discern what is right. I shall not please, but I shall say what is true. Besides, Cleon shall not be able to accuse me of attacking Athens before strangers; we are by ourselves at the festival of the Lenaea; the period when our allies send us their tribute and their soldiers is not yet. Here is only the pure wheat without chaff; as to the resident strangers settled among us, they and the citizens are one, like the straw and the ear.

I detest the Lacedaemonians with all my heart, and may Posidon, the god of Taenarus, cause an earthquake and overturn their dwellings! My vines also have been cut. But come (there are only friends who hear me), why accuse the Laconians of all our woes? Some men (I do not say the city, note particularly that I do not say the city), some wretches, lost in vices, bereft of honour, who were not even citizens of good stamp, but strangers, have accused the Megarians of introducing their produce fraudulently, and not a cucumber, a leveret, a sucking pig, a clove of garlic, a lump of salt was seen without its being said, "Halloa! these come from Megara," and their being instantly confiscated. Thus far the evil was not serious and we were the only sufferers. But now some young drunkards go to Megara and carry off the courtesan Simaetha; the Megarians, hurt to the quick, run off in turn with two harlots of the house of Aspasia; and so for three gay women Greece is set ablaze. Then Pericles, aflame with ire on his Olympian height, let loose the lightning, caused the thunder to roll, upset Greece and passed an edict, which ran like the song, "That the Megarians be banished both from our land and from our markets and from the sea and from the continent." Meanwhile the Megarians, who were beginning to die of hunger, begged the Lacedaemonians to bring about the abolition of the decree, of which those harlots were the cause; several times we refused their demand; and from that time there was horrible clatter of arms everywhere. You will say that Sparta was wrong, but what should she have done? Answer that. Suppose that a Lacedaemonian had seized a little Seriphian dog on any pretext and had sold it, would you have endured it quietly? Far from it, you would at once have sent three hundred vessels to sea, and what an uproar there would have been through all the city! there 'tis a band of noisy soldiery, here a brawl about the election of a Trierarch; elsewhere pay is being distributed, the Pallas figure-heads are being regilded, crowds are surging under the market porticos, encumbered with wheat that is being measured, wine-skins, oar-leathers, garlic, olives, onions in nets; everywhere are chaplets, sprats, flute-girls, black eyes; in the arsenal bolts are being noisily driven home, sweeps are being made and fitted with leathers; we hear nothing but the sound of whistles, of flutes and fifes to encourage the work-folk. That is what you assuredly would have done, and would not Telephus have done the same? So I come to my general conclusion; we have no common sense.