As for behaviour, I will prove to you that modesty dwells with
me and insolence with Plutus.
Oh the sweet modesty of stealing and burglary.
Look at the orators in our republics; as long as they are poor,
both state and people can only praise their uprightness; but once they
are fattened on the public funds, they conceive a hatred for
justice, plan intrigues against the people and attack the democracy.
That is absolutely true, although your tongue is very vile. But it
matters not, so don't put on those triumphant airs; you shall not be
punished any the less for having tried to persuade me that poverty
is worth more than wealth.
Not being able to refute my arguments, you chatter at random and
exert yourself to no purpose.
Then tell me this, why does all mankind flee from you?
Because I make them better. Children do the very same; they flee
from the wise counsels of their fathers. So difficult is it to see
one's true interest.
Will you say that Zeus cannot discern what is best? Well, he takes
Plutus to himself...
...and banishes Poverty to the earth.
Ah me! how purblind you are, you old fellows of the days of
Cronus! Why, Zeus is poor, and I will clearly prove it to you. In
the Olympic games, which he founded, and to which he convokes the
whole of Greece every four years, why does he only crown the
victorious athletes with wild olive? If he were rich he would give
That's the way he shows that he clings to his wealth; he is
sparing with it, won't part with any portion of it, only bestows
baubles on the victors and keeps his money for himself.
But wealth coupled to such sordid greed is yet more shameful
May Zeus destroy you, both you and your chaplet of wild olive!
Thus you dare to maintain that Poverty is not the fount of all
Ask Hecate whether it is better to be rich or starving; she will
tell you that the rich send her a meal every month and that the poor
make it disappear before it is even served. But go and hang yourself
and don't breathe another syllable. I will not be convinced against my
"Oh! citizens of Argos! do you hear what he says?"
Invoke Pauson, your boon companion, rather.
Alas! what is to become of me?
Get you gone, be off quick and a pleasant journey to you.
But where shall I go?