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The Frogs   


DIONYSUS
What's the right way to knock? I wonder how
The natives here are wont to knock at doors.
XANTHIAS
No dawdling: taste the door. You've got, remember,
The lion-hide and pride of Heracles.
DIONYSUS (knocking)
Boy! boy!
The door opens. AEACUS appears.
AEACUS
Who's there?
DIONYSUS
I, Heracles the strong!
AEACUS
O, you most shameless desperate ruffian, you
O, villain, villain, arrant vilest villain!
Who seized our Cerberus by the throat, and fled,
And ran, and rushed, and bolted, haling of
The dog, my charge! But now I've got thee fast.
So close the Styx's inky-hearted rock,
The blood-bedabbled peak of Acheron
Shall hem thee in: the hell-hounds of Cocytus
Prowl round thee; whilst the hundred-headed Asp
Shall rive thy heart-strings: the Tartesian Lamprey
Prey on thy lungs: and those Tithrasian Gorgons
Mangle and tear thy kidneys, mauling them,
Entrails and all, into one bloody mash.
I'll speed a running foot to fetch them hither.
Exit AEACUS.
XANTHIAS
Hallo! what now?
DIONYSUS
I've done it: call the god.
XANTHIAS
Get up, you laughing-stock; get up directly,
Before you're seen.
DIONYSUS
What, I get up? I'm fainting.
Please dab a sponge of water on my heart.
XANTHIAS
Here! Dab it on.
DIONYSUS
Where is it?
XANTHIAS
Ye golden gods,
Lies your heart there?
DIONYSUS
It got so terrified
It fluttered down into my stomach's pit.
XANTHIAS
Cowardliest of gods and men!
DIONYSUS
The cowardliest? I?
What I, who asked you for a sponge, a thing
A coward never would have done!
XANTHIAS
What then?
DIONYSUS
A coward would have lain there wallowing;
But I stood up, and wiped myself withal.
XANTHIAS
Poseidon! quite heroic.
DIONYSUS
'Deed I think so.

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