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Dionysus
Right! just as if a man said to his neighbour,
Lend me a dish, and, if you please, a saucer.

Aeschylus
That's not so at all, you blabbermouth,
It's not the same, but uses the best choice of words.

Euripides
How so? Show me what you're talking about.

Aeschylus
To come to a land is for someone who owns a fatherland.
An exile both arrives and does return.

Dionysus
Well done, by Apollo ! What do you say, Euripides?

Euripides
I deny Orestes returned home ,
For he came secretly, without permission of the authorities.

Dionysus
Well done, by Hermes! But I don't know what you mean.

Euripides
Continue now with another.

Dionysus
Yes, do go on,
Aeschylus, hurry up. And you look out for something bad.

Aeschylus
“At this tomb-mound do I my sire entreat
To hear and listen.”

Euripides
This is another thing he repeats.
“To hear and listen” are clearly the same thing.

Dionysus
Because he was speaking to the dead, you idiot,
whom we don't even reach with the triple lament.

Aeschylus
Well, how did you make prologues?

Euripides
I'll tell you.
And if I ever I say the same word twice, or if you see padding
in there irrelevant to the plot, spit on me.

Dionysus
Speak, come on. For I cannot but hear
the correctness of your prologue's diction.

Euripides
“At first was Oedipus a prosperous man.”

Aeschylus
Good Lord, not at all; he was ill-starred by nature.
Before his birth Apollo said that he
would kill his father, even before he was begotten!
How could he at first have been a lucky man?

Euripides
“Then he became in turn the wretchedest of mortals.”

Aeschylus
No, not at all; he never ceased to be.
How's that? Since as soon as he was born,
they exposed him in a broken pot at wintertime,
so he wouldn't grow up to be his father's murderer.
Then he dragged himself to Polybus on swollen feet,
after that he married an old woman, though young himself,
and on top of that she was his own mother.
Then he blinded himself.

Dionysus
So he was happy then,
at least if he had campaigned with Erasinides.

Euripides
You're fooling; I craft my prologues beautifully.

Aeschylus
Oh really? Well, by Zeus, not word by word will I grate
each phrase of yours, but with the Gods' help,
I'll demolish your prologues with a little oil flask.

Euripides
My prologues with an oil flask?

Aeschylus
A single one.
For you compose in such a way that everything fits in,
a little fleece, a little oil flask and little bag,
in your iambics. I'll prove it here and now.

Euripides
Look here! You'll prove it?

Aeschylus
I say so.

Dionysus
Well, then, you've got to speak.

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