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Pisthetaerus and Euelpides return; they now have wings.

Pisthetaerus
Halloa! What's this? By Zeus! I never saw anything so funny in all my life.

Euelpides
What makes you laugh?

Pisthetaerus
Your little wings. D'you know what you look like? [805] Like a goose painted by some dauber.

Euelpides
And you look like a close-shaven blackbird.

Pisthetaerus
We ourselves asked for this transformation, and, as Aeschylus has it, “These are no borrowed feathers, but truly our own.”

Epops
Come now, what must be done?

Pisthetaerus
First give our city [810] a great and famous name, then sacrifice to the gods.

Euelpides
I think so too.

Leader of the Chorus
Let's see. What shall our city be called?

Pisthetaerus
Will you have a high-sounding Laconian name? Shall we call it Sparta?

Euelpides
[815] What! call my town Sparta? Why, I would not use esparto for my bed, even though I had nothing but bands of rushes.

Pisthetaerus
Well then, what name can you suggest?

Euelpides
Some name borrowed from the clouds, from these lofty regions in which we dwell —in short, some well-known name.

Pisthetaerus
Do you like Nephelococcygia?

Leader of the Chorus
Oh! capital! [820] truly that's a brilliant thought!

Euelpides
Is it in Nephelococcygia that all the wealth of Theogenes and most of Aeschines' is?

Pisthetaerus
No, it's rather the plain of Phlegra, where the gods [825] withered the pride of the sons of the Earth with their shafts.

Leader of the Chorus
Oh! what a splendid city! But what god shall be its patron? for whom shall we weave the peplus?

Euelpides
Why not choose Athena Polias?

Pisthetaerus
Oh! what a well-ordered town it would be [830] to have a female deity armed from head to foot, while Clisthenes was spinning!

Leader of the Chorus
Who then shall guard the Pelargicon?

Pisthetaerus
A bird

Leader of the Chorus
One of us? What kind of bird?

Pisthetaerus
A bird of Persian strain, who is everywhere proclaimed to be the bravest of all, [835] a true chick of Ares.

Euelpides
Oh! noble chick!

Pisthetaerus
Because he is a god well suited to live on the rocks. Come! into the air with you to help the workers who are building the wall; carry up rubble, strip yourself to mix the mortar, [840] take up the hod, tumble down the ladder, if you like, post sentinels, keep the fire smouldering beneath the ashes, go round the walls, bell in hand, and go to sleep up there yourself; then despatch two heralds, one to the gods above, the other to mankind on earth [845] and come back here.

Euelpides
As for yourself, remain here, and may the plague take you for a troublesome fellow!He departs.

Pisthetaerus
Go, friend, go where I send you, for without you my orders cannot be obeyed. For myself, I want to sacrifice to the new god, and I am going to summon the priest who must preside at the ceremony. [850] Slaves! slaves! bring forward the basket and the lustral water.

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