oracles as others gnaw at doorposts. Here is exactly what Apollo
says of the dog.
Let us hear, but I must first pick up a stone; an oracle which
speaks of a dog might bite my tool.
"Son of Erechtheus, beware of this Cerberus that enslaves free
men; he fawns upon you with his tail when you are dining, but he is
lying in wait to devour your dishes should you turn your head an
instant; at night he sneaks into the kitchen and, true dog that he is,
licks up with one lap of his tongue both your dishes and.... the
By god, Glanis, you speak better than your brother.
Condescend again to hear me and then judge: "A woman in sacred
Athens will be delivered of a lion, who shall fight for the people
against clouds of gnats with the same ferocity as if he were defending
his whelps; care ye for him, erect wooden walls around him and
towers of brass." Do you understand that?
Not the least bit in the world.
The god tells you here to look after me, for I am your lion.
How! You have become a lion and I never knew a thing about it?
There is only one thing which he purposely keeps from you; he does
not say what this wall of wood and brass is in which Apollo warns
you to keep and guard him.
What does the god mean, then?
He advises you to fit him into a five-holed wooden collar.
Hah! I think that oracle is about to be fulfilled.
Do not believe it; these are but jealous crows, that caw against
me; but never cease to cherish your good hawk; never forget that he
brought you those Lacedaemonian fish, loaded with chains.
Ah! if the Paphlagonian ran any risk that day, it was because he
was drunk. Oh, too credulous son of Cecrops, do you accept that as a
glorious exploit? A woman would carry a heavy burden if only a man had
put it on her shoulders. But to fight! Go to! he would empty his
bowels before he would ever fight.
Note this Pylos in front of Pylos, of which the oracle speaks,
"Pylos is before Pylos."
How "in front of Pylos"? What does he mean by that?
He says he will seize upon your bath-tubs.
Then I shall not bathe to-day.
No, as he has stolen our baths. But here is an oracle about the
fleet, to which I beg your best attention.
Read on! I am listening; let us first see how we are to pay our
"Son of Aegeus, beware of the tricks of the dog-fox, he bites from
the rear and rushes off at full speed; he is nothing but cunning and