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Second Man
Watching First Man from a distance.
What folly to carry one's goods to the common store; I have a little more sense than that. No, no, by Poseidon, I want first to ponder and calculate over the thing at leisure. [750] I shall not be fool enough to strip myself of the fruits of my toil and thrift, if it is not for a very good reason; let us see first which way things turn. He walks over to Chremes. Hi! friend, what means this display of goods? [755] Are you moving or are you going to pawn you stuff?

First Man
Neither.

Second Man
Why then are you setting all these things out in line? Is it a procession that you are starting off to Hiero, the public crier?

First Man
No, but in accordance with the new law that has been decreed, I am going to carry all these things to the market-place to make a gift of them to the state.

Second Man
[760] Oh! bah! you don't mean that.

First Man
Certainly.

Second Man
Oh! Zeus the Deliverer! you unfortunate man!

First Man
Why?

Second Man
Why? It's as clear as noonday.

First Man
Must the laws not be obeyed then?

Second Man
What laws, your poor fellow?

First Man
Those that have been decreed.

Second Man
Decreed! Are you mad, I ask you?

First Man
[765] Am I mad?

Second Man
Oh! this is the height of folly!

First Man
Because I obey the law?

Second Man
Is that the duty of a smart man?

First Man
Absolutely.

Second Man
Say rather of a ninny.

First Man
Don't you propose taking what belongs to you to the common stock?

Second Man
I'll take good care I don't [770] until I see what the majority are doing.

First Man
There's but one opinion, namely, to contribute every single thing one has.

Second Man
I am waiting to see it, before I believe that.

First Man
At least, so they say in every street.

Second Man
Sardonically.
And they will go on saying so.

First Man
Everyone talks of contributing all he has.

Second Man
In the same tone.
And will go on talking of it.

First Man
[775] You weary me with your doubts and dubitations.

Second Man
In the same tone.
Everybody else will doubt it.

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