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The machine brings in Trygaeus astride an enormous figure of a dung beetle with wings spread.

Trygaeus
intoning.
Gently, gently, go easy, beetle; don't start off so proudly, or trust at first too greatly to your powers; [85] wait till you have sweated, till the beating of your wings shall make your limb joints supple. Above all things, don't let off some foul smell. I adjure you; else I would rather have you stay right in the stable.

First Servant
intoning.
[90] Poor master! Is he crazy?

Trygaeus
intoning.
Silence! silence!

First Servant
intoning.
But why start up into the air on chance?

Trygaeus
intoning.
'Tis for the weal of all the Greeks; I am attempting a daring and novel feat.

First Servant
intoning.
[95] But what is your purpose? What useless folly!

Trygaeus
intoning.
No words of ill omen! Give vent to joy and command all men to keep silence, [100] to close down their drains and privies with new tiles and to cork up their own arses.


First Servant
Speaking.
No, I shall not be silent, unless you tell me where you are going.

Trygaeus
Why, where am I likely to be going across the sky, if it be not to visit Zeus?

First Servant
For what purpose?

Trygaeus
[105] I want to ask him what he reckons to do for all the Greeks.

First Servant
And if he doesn't tell you?

Trygaeus
I shall pursue him at law as a traitor who sells Greece to the Medes.

First Servant
Death seize me, if I let you go.

Trygaeus
[110] It is absolutely necessary.

First Servant
loudly.
Alas! alas! dear little girls, your father is deserting you secretly to go to heaven. Ah! poor orphans, entreat him, beseech him.

The little daughters of Trygaeus come out.

Little Daughter
Singing.
Father! father! what is this [115] I hear? Is it true? What! you would leave me, you would vanish into the sky, you would go to the crows? Impossible!

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 635
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