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The Knights   

name by reaping another's harvest; and now he has tied up the ears
he gathered over there, he lets them dry and seeks to sell them.
I do not fear you as long as there is a Senate and a people
which stands like a fool, gaping in the air.
CHORUS (singing)
What unparalleled impudence! 'Tis ever the same brazen front. If I
don't hate you, why, I'm ready to take the place of the one blanket
Cratinus wets; I'll offer to play a tragedy by Morsimus. Oh! you
cheat! who turn all into money, who flutter from one extortion to
another; may you disgorge as quickly as you have crammed yourself!
Then only would I sing, "Let us drink, let us drink to this happy
event!" Then even the son of Ulius, the old wheat-fairy, would empty
his cup with transports of joy, crying, "Io, Paean! Io, Bacchus!"
By Posidon! You! would you beat me in impudence! If you succeed,
may I no longer have my share of the victims offered to Zeus on the
city altar.
And I, I swear by the blows that have so oft rained upon my
shoulders since infancy, and by the knives that have cut me, that I
will show more effrontery than you; as sure as I have rounded this
fine stomach by feeding on the pieces of bread that had cleansed other
folk's greasy fingers.
On pieces of bread, like a dog! Ah! wretch! you have the nature of
a dog and you dare to fight a dog-headed ape?
I have many another trick in my sack, memories of my childhood's
days. I used to linger around the cooks and say to them, "Look,
friends, don't you see a swallow? It's the herald of springtime."
And while they stood, their noses in the air, I made off with a
piece of meat.
Oh! most clever man! How well thought out! You did as the eaters
of artichokes, you gathered them before the return of the swallows."
They could make nothing of it; or, if they suspected a trick, I
hid the meat in my crotch and denied the thing by all the gods-so that
an orator, seeing me at the game, cried, "This child will get on; he
has the mettle that makes a statesman."
He argued rightly; to steal, perjure yourself and make your arse
receptive are three essentials for climbing high.
I will stop your insolence, or rather the insolence of both of
you. I will throw myself upon you like a terrible hurricane ravaging
both land and sea at the will of its fury.
Then I will gather up my sausages and entrust myself to the kindly
waves of fortune so as to make you all the more enraged.
And I will watch in the bilges in case the boat should make water.
No, by Demeter! I swear, it will not be with impunity that you
have thieved so many talents from the Athenians.
Oh! oh! reef your sail a bit! Here is a Northeaster blowing
I know that you got ten talents out of Potidaea.
Wait! I will give you one; but keep it dark!

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