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Bdelycleon
from the roof
Xanthias! Sosias! Are you asleep?

Xanthias
Alas!

Sosias
What is the matter?

Xanthias
Why, Bdelycleon is getting up.

Bdelycleon
Will neither of you come here? My father has got into the stove-chamber [140] and is ferreting about like a rat in his hole. Take care he does not escape through the bath drain. You there, put all your weight against the door.

Sosias
Yes, master.

Bdelycleon
Lord Poseidon! what is that noise in the chimney? Hullo! who are you?

Philocleon
poking his head out of the chimney
I am the smoke going up.

Bdelycleon
[145] Smoke? smoke of what wood?

Philocleon
Of fig-wood.

Bdelycleon
Ah! that's the most acrid of all. But you shall not get out. Where is the chimney cover? Come down again. Now, up with another cross-bar. Now look out for some fresh dodge. [150] But am I not the most unfortunate of men? Henceforward I shall only be called the son of Capnius.

Sosias
He is pushing the door.

Bdelycleon
Throw your weight upon it, come, put heart into the work. I will come and help you. Watch both lock and bolt. [155] Take care he does not gnaw through the peg.

Philocleon
from within
What are you doing, you wretches? Let me go out; it is imperative that I go and judge, or Dracontides will be acquitted.

Bdelycleon
Would you mind that?

Philocleon
Once at Delphi, the god, whom I was consulting, foretold, [160] that if an accused man escaped me, I should die of consumption.

Bdelycleon
Apollo the Saviour, what a prophecy!

Philocleon
Ah! I beseech you, if you do not want my death, let me go.

Bdelycleon
No, Philocleon, no never, by Poseidon!

Philocleon
Well then, I shall gnaw through the net with my teeth.

Bdelycleon
[165] But you have no teeth.

Philocleon
Oh! you rascal, how can I kill you? How? Give me a sword, quick, or a conviction tablet.

Bdelycleon
Our friend is planning some great crime.

Philocleon
No, by Zeus! but I want to go and sell [170] my ass and its panniers, for it's the first of the month.

Bdelycleon
Could I not sell it just as well?

Philocleon
Not as well as I could.

Bdelycleon
No, but better.

Philocleon
Bring out the ass anyway.

Sosias
What a clever excuse he has found now! [175] What cunning to get you to let him go out!

Bdelycleon
Yes, but I have not swallowed the hook; I scented the trick. I will go in and fetch the ass, so that the old man may not point his weapons that way again. He goes in, returning immediately with the ass. Stupid old ass, are you weeping because you are going to be sold? [180] Come, go a bit quicker. Why, what are you moaning and groaning for? You might be carrying another Odysseus.

Sosias
Why, certainly, so he is! someone has crept beneath his belly.

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