No, no, I will.
(He runs off.)
Demos, you are our all-powerful sovereign lord; all tremble before
you, yet you are led by the nose. You love to be flattered and fooled;
you listen to the orators with gaping mouth and your mind is led
It's rather you who have no brains, if you think me so foolish
as all that; it is with a purpose that I play this idiot's role, for I
love to drink the livelong day, and so it pleases me to keep a thief
for my minister. When he has thoroughly gorged himself, then I
overthrow and crush him.
What profound wisdom! If it be really so, why! all is for the
best. Your ministers, then, are your victims, whom you nourish and
feed up expressly in the Pnyx, so that, the day your dinner is
ready, you may immolate the fattest and eat him.
Look, see how I play with them, while all the time they think
themselves such adepts at cheating me. I have my eye on them when they
thieve, but I do not appear to be seeing them; then I thrust a
judgment down their throat as it were a feather, and force them to
vomit up all they have robbed from me.
(Cleon comes out of the house with a bench and a large basket; at
the same moment the SAUSAGE-SELLER arrives with another basket;
the two are placed beside one another.)
Get out of here!
Get out yourself!
Demos, all is ready these three hours; I await your orders and I
burn with desire to load you with benefits.
And I ten, twelve, a thousand hours, a long, long while, an
infinitely long, long, long while.
As for me, it's thirty thousand hours that I have been
impatient; very, long, infinitely long, long, long that I have
Do you know what you had best do?
I will, if you tell me.
Declare the lists open and we will contend abreast to
determine-who shall treat you the best.
Splended! Draw back in line!
I am ready.
Off you go!
SAUSAGE-SELLER (to CLEON)
I shall not let you get to the tape.
What fervent lovers! If I am not to-day the happiest of men, it
will be because I am the most disgusted.
CLEON (putting down the bench for DEMOS)
Look! I am the first to bring you a seat.
And I a table.
(He places his sausage-tray in front of DEMOS.)