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SCENE: In the background is the house of Philocleon, surrounded by a huge net. Two slaves are on guard, one of them asleep. On the roof is Bdelycleon.

Sosias
waking Xanthias up
Why, Xanthias! what are you doing, wretched man?

Xanthias
I am teaching myself how to rest; I have been awake and on watch the whole night.

Sosias
So you want to earn trouble for your ribs, eh? Don't you know what sort of animal we are guarding here?

Xanthias
[5] Aye indeed! but I want to put my cares to sleep for a while.

He falls asleep again.

Sosias
Beware what you do. I too feel soft sleep spreading over my eyes.

Xanthias
Are you crazy, like a Corybant?

Sosias
No! It's Bacchus who lulls me off.

Xanthias
[10] Then you serve the same god as myself. Just now a heavy slumber settled on my eyelids like a hostile Mede; I nodded and, faith! I had a wondrous dream.

Sosias
Indeed! and so had I. A dream such as I never had before. [15] But first tell me yours.

Xanthias
I saw an eagle, a gigantic bird, descend upon the market-place; it seized a brazen buckler with its talons and bore it away into the highest heavens; then I saw it was Cleonymus had thrown it away.

Sosias
[20] This Cleonymus is a riddle worth propounding among guests. How can one and the same animal have cast away his buckler both on land, in the sky and at sea?

Xanthias
Alas! what ill does such a [25] dream portend for me?

Sosias
Rest undisturbed! Please the gods, no evil will befall you.

Xanthias
Nevertheless, it's a fatal omen when a man throws away his weapons. But what was your dream? Let me hear.

Sosias
Oh! it is a dream of high import. It has reference to the hull of the State; to nothing less.

Xanthias
[30] Tell it to me quickly; show me its very keel.

Sosias
In my first slumber I thought I saw sheep, wearing cloaks and carrying staves, met in assembly on the Pnyx; [35] a rapacious whale was haranguing them and screaming like a pig that is being grilled.

Xanthias
Faugh! faugh!

Sosias
What's the matter?

Xanthias
Enough, enough, spare me. Your dream stinks vilely of old leather.

Sosias
[40] Then this scoundrelly whale seized a balance and set to weighing ox-fat.

Xanthias
Alas! it's our poor Athenian people, whom this accursed beast wishes to cut up and despoil of their fat.

Sosias
Seated on the ground close to it, I saw Theorus, who had the head of a crow. Then Alcibiades said to me in his lisping way, [45] "Do you thee? Theoruth hath a crow'th head."

Xanthias
Ah! that's very wll lisped indeed!

Sosias
Isn't this mighty strange? Theorus turning into a crow!

Xanthias
No, it is glorious.

Sosias
Why?

Xanthias
Why? He was a man and now he has suddenly become a crow; [50] does it not foretoken that he will take his flight from here and go to the crows?

Sosias
Interpreting dreams so aptly certainly is worth two obols.

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