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Bdelycleon
Who, who? Let's see. Why it's he! What does this mean? Who are you? Come, speak!

Philocleon
I am Noman.

Bdelycleon
[185] Noman? Of what country?

Philocleon
Of Ithaca, son of Apodrasippides.

Bdelycleon
Ha! Mister Noman, you will not laugh presently. Pull him out quick. Ah! the wretch, where has he crept to? Does he not resemble a she-ass to the life?

Philocleon
[190] If you do not leave me in peace, I shall sue.

Bdelycleon
And what will the suit be about?

Philocleon
The shade of an ass.

Bdelycleon
You are a poor man of very little wit, but thoroughly brazen.

Philocleon
A poor man! Ah! by Zeus! you know not now what I am worth; but you will know when [195] you disembowel the old Heliast's money-bag.

Bdelycleon
Come, get back indoors, both you and your ass.

Philocleon
Oh! my brethren of the tribunal! oh! Cleon! to the rescue!

Bdelycleon
Go and bawl in there under lock and key. And you there, pile plenty of stones against the door, [200] thrust the bolt home into the staple, and to keep this beam in its place roll that great mortar against it. Quick's the word.

Sosias
Oh! my god! whence did this brick fall on me?

Bdelycleon
Perhaps a rat loosened it.

Xanthias
[205] A rat? it's surely our gutter-judge, who has crept beneath the tiles of the roof.

Bdelycleon
Ah! woe to us! there he is, he has turned into a sparrow; he will be flying off. Where is the net? where? Shoo! shoo! get back! Ah! by Zeus! [210] I would rather have to guard Scione than such a father.

Sosias
And now that we have driven him in thoroughly and he can no longer escape without our knowledge, can we not have a few winks of sleep, no matter how few?

Bdelycleon
Why, wretch! [215] the other jurymen will be here almost directly to summon my father!

Sosias
Why, it's scarcely dawn yet!

Bdelycleon
Ah, they must have risen late to-day. Generally it is the middle of the night when they come to fetch him. They arrive here, carrying lanterns in their hands and singing the charming [220] old verses of Phrynichus' Sidonian Women; it's their way of calling him.

Sosias
Well, if need be, we will chase them off with stones.

Bdelycleon
What! you dare to speak so? Why, this class of old men, if irritated, becomes as terrible as a swarm of wasps. [225] They carry below their loins the sharpest of stings, with which to prick their foe; they shout and leap and their stings burn like so many sparks.

Sosias
Have no fear! If I can find stones to throw into this nest of jurymen-wasps, I shall soon have them cleared off.

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    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek, Copula
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