By our Hermes of the market-place, if caught in the act, why, I
perjure myself before those who saw me.
These are my own special tricks. I will denounce you to the
Prytanes as the owner of sacred tripe, that has not paid tithe.
Oh! you scoundrel! you impudent bawler! everything is filled
with your daring, all Attica, the Assembly, the Treasury, the decrees,
the tribunals. As a furious torrent you have overthrown our city; your
outcries have deafened Athens and, posted upon a high rock, you have
lain in wait for the tribute moneys as the fisherman does for the
CLEON (somewhat less loudly)
I know your tricks; it's an old plot resoled.
If you know naught of soling, I understand nothing of sausages;
you, who cut bad leather on the slant to make it look stout and
deceive the country yokels. They had not worn it a day before it had
stretched some two spans.
That's the very trick he played on me; both my neighbours and my
friends laughed heartily at me, and before I reached Pergasae I was
swimming in my shoes.
Have you not always shown that blatant impudence, which is the
sole strength of our orators? You push it so far, that you, the head
of the State, dare to milk the purses of the opulent aliens and, at
sight of you, the son of Hippodamus melts into tears. But here is
another man who gives me pleasure, for he is a much greater rascal
than you; he will overthrow you; 'tis easy to see, that he will beat
you in roguery, in brazenness and in clever turns. Come, you, who have
been brought up among the class which to-day gives us all our great
men, show us that a liberal education is mere tomfoolery.
Just hear what sort of fellow that fine citizen is.
Will you not let me speak?
Assuredly not, for I too am an awful rascal.
If he does not give in at that, tell him your parents were awful
Once more, will you let me speak?
No, by Zeus!
Yes, by Zeus, you shall!
No, by Posidon! We will fight first to see who shall speak first.
I will die sooner.
I will not let you....
Let him, in the name of the gods, let him die.
What makes you so bold as to dare to speak to my face?
Because I know both how to speak and how to cook.
Hah! the fine speaker! Truly, if some business matter fell your
way, you would know thoroughly well how to attack it, to carve it up