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Pluto
Then will you accomplish nothing of what you came for?

Dionysus
But if I choose the other one?

Pluto
Take whichever one you choose,
And go; so that you won't have come in vain.

Dionysus
Bless you! Come, listen to this.
I came down here for a poet. For what purpose?
So that the city might be saved to stage its choruses.
So whichever of you will give the state some useful
advice, that's the one I think I'll take.
Now first, concerning Alcibiades, what opinion
does each of you have? For the city is in heavy labor.

Euripides
What opinion does she have concerning him?

Dionysus
What opinion?
She longs for him, but hates him, and yet she wants him back.
But tell me what you two think about him.

Euripides
I hate that citizen, who, to help his fatherland,
seems slow, but swift to do great harm,
of profit to himself, but useless to the state.

Dionysus
Well said, by Poseidon! What's your opinion?

Aeschylus
You should not rear a lion cub in the city,
[best not to rear a lion in the city,]
but if one is brought up, accommodate its ways.

Dionysus
By Zeus the Savior, I can't decide.
For one has spoken cleverly, and the other one clearly.
Now each of you once more tell me your opinion
about the state, what plan you have to save her.

Euripides
If you feathered Cleocritus with Cinesias,
the breezes would lift them over the ocean's plane.

Dionysus
That would be funny, but what does it mean?

Euripides
If there were a sea battle, and then they had bottles of vinegar,
they could squirt them in the enemies' eyes.
I do know and wish to tell.

Dionysus
Speak.

Euripides
When we what faithless is do faithful hold
And what is faithful faithless...

Dionysus
How's that? I don't understand.
Speak with less erudition and more clarity.

Euripides
If we distrusted those citizens in whom
We now place confidence, and employed
those we don't use now, we would be saved.
If we now are suffering under the present circumstances,
why wouldn't we be saved by doing the opposite?

Dionysus
Well done, Palamedes, you cleverest creature!
Did you discover this yourself, or did Cephisophon?

Euripides
Just me; but Cephison added the vinegar bottles.
And what about you? What do you say?

Aeschylus
As to the state, now tell me,
first, what people does she employ? The good ones, perhaps?

Dionysus
Where'd you get that idea?
She hates them worst of all—

Aeschylus
But loves the scoundrels?

Dionysus
No, she really doesn't. She uses them perforce.

Aeschylus
How could anyone save such a city,
that likes neither finespun wool nor scratchy goatskin?

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