You shall be master to them all, governor of the market, of the
harbours, of the Pnyx; you shall trample the Senate under foot, be
able to cashier the generals, load them with fetters, throw them
into gaol, and you will fornicate in the Prytaneum.
You, without a doubt. But you do not yet see all the glory
awaiting you. Stand on your basket and look at all the islands that
I see them. What then?
Look at the storehouses and the shipping.
Yes, I am looking.
Exists there a mortal more blest than you? Furthermore, turn
your right eye towards Caria and your left toward Carthage!
Then it's a blessing to be cock-eyed!
No, but you are the one who is going to trade away all this.
According to the oracle you must become the greatest of men.
Just tell me how a sausage-seller can become a great man.
That is precisely why you will be great, because you are a sad
rascal without shame, no better than a common market rogue.
I do not hold myself worthy of wielding power.
Oh! by the gods! Why do you not hold yourself worthy? Have you
then such a good opinion of yourself? Come, are you of honest
By the gods! No! of very bad indeed.
Spoilt child of fortune, everything fits together to ensure your
But I have not had the least education. I can only read, and
that very badly.
That is what may stand in your way, almost knowing how to read.
A demagogue must be neither an educated nor an honest man; he has to
be an ignoramus and a rogue. But do not, do not let go this gift,
which the oracle promises.
But what does the oracle say?
Faith, it is put together in very fine enigmatical style, as
elegant as it is dear: "When the eagle-tanner with the hooked claws
shall seize a stupid dragon, a blood-sucker, it will be an end to
the hot Paphlagonian pickled garlic. The god grants great glory to the
sausage-sellers unless they prefeir to sell their wares."
In what way does this concern me? Please instruct my ignorance.
The eagle-tanner is the Paphlagonian.
What do the hooked claws mean?