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DICAEOPOLIS
These are the confines of my market-place. All Peloponnesians, Megarians, Boeotians, have the right to come and trade here, provided they sell their wares to me and not to Lamachus. As market-inspectors I appoint these three whips of Leprean1 leather, chosen by lot. Warned away are all informers and all men of Phasis.2 They are bringing me the pillar on which the treaty is inscribed3 and I shall erect it in the centre of the market, well in sight of all.

A MEGARIAN
Hail! market of Athens, beloved of Megarians. Let Zeus, the patron of friendship, witness, I regretted you as a mother mourns her son. Come, poor little daughters of an unfortunate father, try to find something to eat; listen to me with the full heed of an empty belly. Which would you prefer? To be sold or to cry with hunger?


DAUGHTERS
To be sold, to be sold!

MEGARIAN
That is my opinion too. But who would make so sorry a deal as to buy you? Ah! I recall me a Megarian trick; I am going to disguise you as little porkers, that I am offering for sale. Fit your hands with these hoofs and take care to appear the issue of a sow of good breed, for, if I am forced to take you back to the house, by Hermes! you will suffer cruelly of hunger! Then fix on these snouts and cram yourselves into this sack. Forget not to grunt and to say wee-wee like the little pigs that are sacrificed in the Mysteries. I must summon Dicaeopolis. Where is be? Dicaeopolis, do you want to buy some nice little porkers?

1 The leather market was held in Lepros, outside the city.

2 Mean an informer ([from the Greek] ‘to denounce’).

3 According to the Athenian custom.

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