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Trygaeus
Speaking.
Alas! how frightened I am! oh! I have no heart for jests. Ah! machinist, take great care of me. [175] There is already a wind whirling round my navel; take great care or, from sheer fright, I shall form food for my beetle—But I think I am no longer far from the gods; aye, that is the dwelling of Zeus, I perceive.The beetle descends and comes to a halt in front of the house of Zeus. Trygaeus dismounts and knocks at the door. Hullo! Hi! where is the doorkeeper? Will no one open?


Hermes
From within.
[180] I think I can sniff a man.Opening the door. Why, what plague is this?

Trygaeus
A horse-beetle.

Hermes
Oh! impudent, shameless rascal! oh! scoundrel! triple scoundrel! the greatest scoundrel in the world! how did you come here? Oh! scoundrel of all scoundrels! [185] your name? Reply.

Trygaeus
Triple scoundrel.

Hermes
Your country?

Trygaeus
Triple scoundrel.

Hermes
Your father?

Trygaeus
My father? Triple scoundrel.

Hermes
By the Earth, you shall die, unless you tell me your name.

Trygaeus
[190] I am Trygaeus of the Athmonian deme, a good vine-dresser, little addicted to quibbling and not at all an informer.

Hermes
Why do you come?

Trygaeus
I come to bring you this meat.

Hermes
Changing his tone.
Ah! my good friend, did you have a good journey?

Trygaeus
Glutton, be off! I no longer seem a triple scoundrel to you. [195] Come, call Zeus.

Hermes
Ah! ah! you are a long way yet from reaching the gods, for they moved yesterday.

Trygaeus
To what part of the earth?

Hermes
Eh! of the earth, did you say?

Trygaeus
In short, where are they then?

Hermes
Very far, very far, right at the furthest end of the dome of heaven.

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