to the Assembly. He only desired to secure peace for us and to sheathe
(The Scythians release Amphitheus.)
Sit down! Silence!
No, by Apollo, I will not, unless you are going to discuss the
question of peace.
HERALD (ignoring this; loudly)
The ambassadors, who are returned from the Court of the King!
Of what King? I am sick of all those fine birds, the peacock
ambassadors and their swagger.
DICAEOPOLIS (as he perceives the entering ambassadors dressed in the
Oh! oh! By Ecbatana, what a costume!
During the archonship of Euthymenes, you sent us to the Great King
on a salary of two drachmae per diem.
Ah! those poor drachmae!
We suffered horribly on the plains of the Cayster, sleeping
under tent, stretched deliciously on fine chariots, half dead with
And I was very much at ease, lying on the straw along the
Everywhere we were well received and forced to drink delicious
wine out of golden or crystal flagons.....
Oh, city of Cranaus, thy ambassadors are laughing at thee!
For great feeders and heavy drinkers are alone esteemed as men
by the barbarians.
Just as here in Athens, we only esteem the wenchers and pederasts.
At the end of the fourth year we reached the King's Court, but
he had left with his whole army to take a crap, and for the space of
eight months he was thus sitting on the can in the midst of the golden
And how long did it take him to close his arse? A month?
After this he returned to his palace; then he entertained us and
had us served with oxen roasted whole in an oven.
Who ever saw an ox roasted in an oven? What a lie!
And one day, by Zeus, he also had us served with a bird three
times as large as Cleonymus, and called the Hoax.
And do we give you two drachmae, that you should hoax us thus?
We are bringing to you Pseudartabas, the King's Eye.
I would a crow might pluck out yours with his beak, you cursed
The King's Eye!