a suck[l]ing pig, a clove of garlic, a lump of salt was seen without its

being said, "Halloa! these come from Megara," and their being

instantly confiscated. Thus far the evil was not serious and we were

the only sufferers. But now some young drunkards go to Megara and

carry off the courtesan Simaetha; the Megarians, hurt to the quick, run

off in turn with two harlots of the house of Aspasia; and so for three

gay women Greece is set ablaze. Then Pericles, aflame with ire on his

Olympian height, let loose the lightning, caused the thunder to

roll, upset Greece and passed an edict, which ran like the song, "That

the Megarians be banished both from our land and from our markets

and from the sea and from the continent."[3] Meanwhile the Megarians,

who were beginning to die of hunger, begged the Lacedaemonians to bring

about the abolition of the decree, of which those harlots were the

cause; several times we refused their demand; and from that time there

was horrible clatter of arms everywhere. You will say that Sparta

was wrong, but what should she have done? Answer that. Suppose that

a Lacedaemonian had seized a little Seriphian[4] dog on any pretext and

had sold it, would you have endured it quietly? Far from it, you would

at once have sent three hundred vessels to sea, and what an uproar

there would have been through all the city! there 'tis a band of

noisy soldiery, here a brawl about the election of a Trierarch;

elsewhere pay is being distributed, the Pallas figure-heads are

being regilded, crowds are surging under the market porticos,

encumbered with wheat that is being measured, wine-skins,

oar-leathers, garlic, olives, onions in nets; everywhere are chaplets,

sprats, flute-girls, black eyes; in the arsenal bolts are being

noisily driven home, sweeps are being made and fitted with leathers;

we hear nothing but the sound of whistles, of flutes and fifes to

encourage the work-folk. That is what you assuredly would have done,

and would not Telephus have done the same? So I come to my general

conclusion; we have no common sense.

f[1] 'The Babylonians' had been produced at a time of year when Athens

was crowded with strangers; 'The Acharnians,' on the contrary, was played

in December.

f[2] Sparta had been menaced with an earthquake in 427 B.C. Posidon

was 'The Earthshaker,' god of earthquakes, as well as of the sea.

f[3] A song by Timocreon the Rhodian, the words of which were practically

identical with Pericles' decree.

f[4] A small and insignificant island, one of the Cyclades, allied with

the Athenians, like months of these islands previous to and during

the first part of the Peloponnesian War.

FIRST SEMI-CHORUS

Oh! wretch! oh! infamous man! You are naught but a beggar and

yet you dare to talk to us like this! you insult their worships

the informers!

SECOND SEMI-CHORUS

By Posidon! he speaks the truth; he has not lied in a single detail.

FIRST SEMI-CHORUS

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