plant wild thyme therein and pour perfumes on it? If I were to fall
from up here and misfortune happened to me, the town of Chios would
owe a fine of five talents for my death, all because of your damned
Alas! how frightened I am! oh! I have no heart for jests. Ah!
machinist, take great care of me. There is already a wind whirling
round my navel; take great care or, from sheer fright, I shall form
food for my beetle.... But I think I am no longer far from the gods;
aye, that is the dwelling of Zeus, I perceive. (The beetle descends
and comes to a halt in front of the house of ZEUS. TRYGAEUS
dismounts and knocks at the door.) Hullo! Hi! where is the doorkeeper?
Will no one open?
HERMES (from within)
I think I can sniff a man. (Opening the door) Why, what plague
Oh! impudent, shameless rascal! oh! scoundrel! triple scoundrel!
the greatest scoundrel in the world! how did you come here? Oh!
scoundrel of all scoundrels! your name? Reply.
My father? Triple scoundrel.
By the Earth, you shall die, unless you tell me your name.
I am Trygaeus of the Athmonian deme, a good vine-dresser, little
addicted to quibbling and not at all an informer.
Why do you come?
I come to bring you this meat.
HERMES (changing his tone)
Ah! my good friend, did you have a good journey?
Glutton, be off! I no longer seem a triple scoundrel to you. Come,
Ah! ah! you are a long way yet from reaching the gods, for they
To what part of the earth?
Eh! of the earth, did you say?
In short, where are they then?
Very far, very far, right at the furthest end of the dome of
But why have they left you all alone here?
I am watching what remains of the furniture, the little pots and
pans, the bits of chairs and tables, and odd wine-jars.