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Well, of myself and what sort of poet I am,
I will tell at the end: but first I'll prove that this man
was an impostor and a cheat, and how he took the spectators and used to fool the dupes reared with Phrynichos.
First, he'd wrap up and sit down someone or other,
An Achilles, or Niobe, not showing the face,
a facade of tragedy, not mumbling so much as this.
That's right, they didn't.
And then the chorus boomed
four strings of lyric in a row nonstop: but they kept quiet.
And l enjoyed their silence; that pleased me
no less than the babblers now.
Because you were stupid,
no doubt about it.
I think so too. Why did the so-and-so do this?
From fraudulence, so the spectator would sit there waiting
for when Niobe would say something. And the play would go on.
Oh what a villain! How I was fooled by him!
Why do you stretch and act uncomfortable?
Because I'm convicting him.
And then after he pulled this cheap trick, and the play
was already half over, he'd speak a dozen bullish words
With eyebrows, crests, some awful witch-faced things,
Unknown to the audience.
Woe is me, alas.
Yet not a thing he said was clear—
Don't saw your teeth.
But Scamanders, or trenches, or shield-adorning
bronze-beaten griffon-eagles and horse-cliffed phrases,
which it was not easy to construe.
Ye gods! As for me,
“one night did I pass sleepless all the while,”
wondering what sort of bird the yellow hipporooster was.
You blockhead, it's a symbol engraved on ships.
I thought it was Eryxis, Philoxenus' son.
Then, did you have to create a rooster in tragedy?
You god-detested wretch! What sort of things did
you used to compose?