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War
throwing in some cheese.
[250] Oh, Sicily! you too must perish! Your wretched towns shall be grated like this cheese. Now let us pour some Attic honey into the mortar.

He does so.

Trygaeus
Aside.
Oh! I beseech you! use some other honey; this kind is worth four obols; be careful, oh! be careful of our Attic honey.

War
[255] Hi! Tumult, you slave there!

Tumult
What do you want?

War
Out upon you! Standing there with folded arms! Take this cuff on the head for your pains.

Tumult
Oh! how it stings! Master, have you got garlic in your fist, I wonder?

War
Run and fetch me a pestle.

Tumult
But [260] we haven't got one; it was only yesterday we moved.

War
Go and fetch me one from Athens, and hurry, hurry!

Tumult
I'll hurry; if I return without one, I shall have no cause for laughing.

He runs off.

Trygaeus
To the audience.
Ah! what is to become of us, wretched mortals that we are? See the danger that threatens [265] if he returns with the pestle, for War will quietly amuse himself with pounding all the towns of Hellas to pieces. Ah! Bacchus! cause this herald of evil to perish on his road!

War
To the returning Tumult.
Well?

Tumult
Well, what?

War
You have brought back nothing?

Tumult
Alas! the Athenians have lost their pestle — [270] the tanner, who ground Greece to powder.

Trygaeus
Oh! Athena, venerable mistress! it is well for our city he is dead, and before he could serve us with this hash.

War
Then go and seek one at Sparta [275] and have done with it!

Tumult
Aye, aye, master!

He runs off.

War
Shouting after him.
Be back as quick as ever you can.

Trygaeus
to the audience.
What is going to happen, friends? This is the critical hour. Ah! if there is some initiate of Samothrace among you, this is surely the moment to wish this messenger some accident —some sprain or strain.

Tumult
returning.
[280] Alas! alas! thrice again, alas!

War
What is it? Again you come back without it?

Tumult
The Spartans too have lost their pestle.

War
How, varlet?

Tumult
They had lent it to their allies in Thrace, who have lost it for them.

Trygaeus
[285] Long life to you, Thracians! My hopes revive, pluck up courage, mortals!

War
Take all this stuff; I am going in to make a pestle for myself.

He goes in, followed by Tumult.

Trygaeus
Coming out of his hiding-place.
Now is the time to sing as Datis did, [290] as he masturbated at high noon, “Oh pleasure! oh enjoyment! oh delights!” Now, oh Greeks! is the moment when freed of quarrels and fighting, we should rescue sweet Peace and draw her out of this pit, [295] before some other pestle prevents us. Come, laborers, merchants, workmen, artisans, strangers, whether you be domiciled or not, islanders—

Come here, Greeks of all countries, come hurrying here with picks and levers and ropes! [300] This is the moment to drain a cup in honor of the Good Genius.

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