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Philocleon
He is a thief and a conspirator.

Bdelycleon
No, he is the best of all our dogs; [955] he is capable of guarding a whole flock.

Philocleon
And what good is that, if he eats the cheese?

Bdelycleon
What? he fights for you, he guards your door; he is an excellent dog in every respect. Forgive him his larceny! he is wretchedly ignorant, he cannot play the lyre.

Philocleon
[960] I wish he did not know how to write either; then the rascal would not have drawn up his pleadings.

Bdelycleon
Witnesses, I pray you, listen. [965] Come forward, grating-knife, and speak up; answer me clearly. You were paymaster at the time. Did you grate out to the soldiers what was given you? —He says he did so.

Philocleon
But, by Zeus! he lies.

Bdelycleon
Oh! have patience. Take pity on the unfortunate. Labes feeds only on fish-bones and fishes' heads and has not an instant of peace. [970] The other is good only to guard the house; he never moves from here, but demands his share of all that is brought in and bites those who refuse.

Philocleon
aside
Oh! Heaven! have I fallen ill? I feel my anger cooling! Woe to me! I am softening!

Bdelycleon
[975] Have pity, father, pity, I adjure you; you would not have him dead. Where are his puppies? A group of children costumed as puppies comes out. Come, poor little beasties, yap, up on your haunches, beg and whine!

Philocleon
Descend, descend, descend, descend!

Bdelycleon
I will descend, [980] although that word, "descend," has too often raised false hope. None the less, I will descend.

Philocleon
Plague seize it! Have I then done wrong to eat! What! I, crying! Ah! I certainly should not be weeping, if I were not stuffed with lentils.

Bdelycleon
[985] Then he is acquitted?

Philocleon
It is difficult to tell.

Bdelycleon
Ah! my dear father, be good! be humane! Take this voting pebble and rush with your eyes closed to that second urn and, father, acquit him.

Philocleon
No, I know no more how to acquit than to play the lyre.

Bdelycleon
[990] Come quickly, I will show you the way.

He takes his father by the hand and leads him to the second urn.

Philocleon
Is this the first urn?

Bdelycleon
Yes.

Philocleon
dropping in his vote
Then I have voted.

Bdelycleon
aside
I have fooled him and he has acquitted in spite of himself.

To Philocleon
Come, I will turn out the urns.

Philocleon
What is the result?

Bdelycleon
We shall see. He examines both urns. Labes, you stand acquitted. Philocleon faints [995] Eh! father, what's the matter, what is it? To slaves Water! water! To Philocleon Pull yourself together, sir!

Philocleon
weakly
Tell me! Is he really acquitted?

Bdelycleon
Yes, certainly.

Philocleon
falling back
Then it's all over with me!

Bdelycleon
Courage, dear father, don't let this afflict you so terribly.

Philocleon
dolefully
And so I have charged my conscience [1000] with the acquittal of an accused being! What will become of me? Sacred gods! forgive me. I did it despite myself; it is not in my character.

Bdelycleon
Do not vex yourself, father; I will feed you well, will take you everywhere to eat and drink with me; [1005] you shall go to every feast; henceforth your life shall be nothing but pleasure, and Hyperbolus shall no longer have you for a tool. But come, let us go in.

Philocleon
resignedly
So be it; if you will, let us go in.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 480
    • T. G. Tucker, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 8, 8.73
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, The Attic Orators from Antiphon to Isaeos, Andokides: Works
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