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Iris
I am immortal.

Pisthetaerus
You would have died nevertheless. — [1225] Oh! that would be truly intolerable! What! should the universe obey us and the gods alone continue their insolence and not understand that they must submit to the law of the strongest in their due turn? But tell me, where are you flying to?

Iris
[1230] I? The messenger of Zeus to mankind, I am going to tell them to sacrifice sheep and oxen on the altars and to fill their streets with the rich smoke of burning fat.

Pisthetaerus
Of which gods are you speaking?

Iris
Of which? Why, of ourselves, the gods of heaven.

Pisthetaerus
[1235] You, gods?

Iris
Are there others then?

Pisthetaerus
Men now adore the birds as gods, and it's to them, by Zeus, that they must offer sacrifices, and not to Zeus at all!

Iris
In tragic style.
Oh! fool! fool! Rouse not [1240] the wrath of the gods, for it is terrible indeed. Armed with the brand of Zeus, Justice would annihilate your race; the lightning would strike you as it did Licymnius and consume both your body and the porticos of your palace.

Pisthetaerus
Here! that's enough tall talk. Just you listen and keep quiet! Do you take me for a Lydian or a Phrygian [1245] and think to frighten me with your big words? Know, that if Zeus worries me again, I shall go at the head of my eagles, who are armed with lightning, and reduce his dwelling and that of Amphion to cinders. I shall send more than six hundred porphyrions [1250] clothed in leopards' skins up to heaven against him; and formerly a single Porphyrion gave him enough to do. As for you, his messenger, if you annoy me, I shall begin by getting between your thighs, [1255] and even though you are Iris, you will be surprised at the erection the old man can produce; it's three times as good as the ram on a ship's prow!

Iris
May you perish, you wretch, you and your infamous words!

Pisthetaerus
Won't you get out of here quickly? Come, stretch your wings or look out for squalls!

Iris
If my father does not punish you for your insults ...

The Machine takes Iris away.

Pisthetaerus
[1260] Ha! ... but just you be off elsewhere to roast younger folk than us with your lightning.

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    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek, The Article
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