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Cleon
Recovering his wits
Ah! by Demeter! I was not ignorant of this plot and these machinations that were being forged and nailed and put together against me.

Chorus
to the Sausage-Seller
Look out, look out! Come, outfence him with some wheelwright slang.

Sausage-Seller
[465] His tricks at Argos do not escape me. Under pretence of forming an alliance with the Argives, he is hatching a plot with the Lacedaemonians there; and I know why the bellows are blowing and the metal that is on the anvil; it's the question of the prisoners.

Chorus
[470] Well done! Forge on, if he be a wheelwright.

Sausage-Seller
And there are men at Sparta who are hammering the iron with you; but neither gold nor silver nor prayers nor anything else shall impede my denouncing your trickery to the Athenians.

Cleon
[475] As for me, I hasten to the Senate to reveal your plotting, your nightly gatherings in the city, your trafficking with the Medes and with the Great King, and all you are foraging for in Boeotia.

Sausage-Seller
[480] What price then is paid for forage by Boeotians?

Cleon
Oh! by Heracles! I will tan your hide.

He departs.

Chorus
Come, if you have both wit and heart, now is the time to show it, as on the day when you hid the meat in your crotch, as you say. [485] Hasten to the Senate, for he will rush there like a tornado to calumniate us all and give vent to his fearful bellowings.

Sausage-Seller
I am going, but first I must rid myself of my tripe and my knives; I will leave them here.

Demosthenes
[490] Stay! rub your neck with lard; in this way you will slip between the fingers of calumny.

Sausage-Seller
Spoken like a finished wrestling coach.

Demosthenes
Now, bolt down these cloves of garlic.

Sausage-Seller
Pray, what for?

Demosthenes
Well primed with garlic, you will have greater mettle for the fight. [495] But hurry, make haste rapidly!

Sausage-Seller
That's just what I'm doing.

He departs.

Demosthenes
And, above all, bite your foe, rend him to atoms, tear off his comb and do not return until you have devoured his wattles.

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    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.6.1
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