DICAEOPOLIS

This is a vase good for all purposes; it will be used as a vessel for holding

all foul things, a mortar for pounding together law-suits, a lamp

for spying upon accounts, and as a cup for the mixing up and poisoning

of everything.

CHORUS

None could ever trust a vessel for domestic use that has such a

ring about it.

DICAEOPOLIS

Oh! it is strong, my friend, and will never get broken, if care is

taken to hang it head downwards.

CHORUS

There! it is well packed now!

BOEOTIAN

Marry, I will proceed to carry off my bundle.

CHORUS

Farewell, worthiest of strangers, take this informer, good for

anything, and fling him where you like.

DICAEOPOLIS

Bah! this rogue has given me enough trouble to pack! Here!

Boeotian, pick up your pottery.

BOEOTIAN

Stoop, Ismenias, that I may put it on your shoulder, and be very

careful with it.

DICAEOPOLIS

You carry nothing worth having; however, take it, for you will

profit by your bargain; the Informers will bring you luck.

A SERVANT OF LAMACHUS

Dicaeopolis!

DICAEOPOLIS

What do you want crying this gait?

SERVANT

Lamachus wants to keep the Feast of Cups,[1] and I come by his order

to bid you one drachma for some thrushes and three more for a Copaic eel.

f[1] The second day of the Dionysia or feasts of Bacchus, kept in the month

Anthesterion (February), and called the Anthesteria. They lasted three

days; the second being the Feast of Cups, the third the Feast of Pans.

Vases, filled with grain of all kinds, were borne in procession and

dedicated to Hermes.

DICAEOPOLIS

And who is this Lamachus, who demands an eel?

SERVANT

'Tis the terrible, indefatigable Lamachus, who is always brandishing

his fearful Gorgon's head and the three plumes which o'ershadow

his helmet.

DICAEOPOLIS

No, no, he will get nothing, even though he gave me his buckler.

Let him eat salt fish, while he shakes his plumes, and, if he comes

here making any din, I shall call the inspectors. As for myself,

I shall take away all these goods; I go home on thrushes' wings

and black-birds' pinions.[1]

f[1] A parody on some verses from a lost poet.

CHORUS

You see, citizens, you see the good fortune which this man owes to

his prudence, to his profound wisdom. You see how, since he has

concluded peace, he buys what is useful in the household and good to

eat hot. All good things flow towards him unsought. Never will I welcome

the god of war in my house; never shall he chant the "Harmodius" at

my table;[1] he is a sot, who comes feasting with those who are

overflowing with good things and brings all manner of mischief at his

heels. He overthrows, ruins, rips open; 'tis vain to make him a

thousand offers, "be seated, pray, drink this cup, proffered in all

friendship," he burns our vine-stocks and brutally pours out the wine

from our vineyards

on the ground. This man, on the other hand, covers his table with

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