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Just Man
You an honest man! you a good citizen!

Informer
A better one than any.

Just Man
Ah! well then, answer my questions.

Informer
Concerning what?

Just Man
Are you a husbandman?

Informer
D'ye take me for a fool?

Just Man
A merchant?

Informer
I assume the title, when it serves me.

Just Man
[905] Do you ply any trade?

Informer
No, most assuredly not!

Just Man
Then how do you live, if you do nothing?

Informer
I superintend public and private business.

Just Man
You do? And by what right, pray?

Informer
Because it pleases me to do so.

Just Man
Like a thief you sneak yourself in where you have no business. [910] You are hated by all and you claim to be an honest man.

Informer
What, you fool? I have not the right to dedicate myself entirely to my country's service?

Just Man
Is the country served by vile intrigue?

Informer
It is served by watching that the established law is observed — [915] by allowing no one to violate it.

Just Man
That's the duty of the tribunals; they are established to that end.

Informer
And who is the prosecutor before the dicasts?

Just Man
Whoever wishes to be.

Informer
Well then, it is I who choose to be prosecutor; and thus all public affairs fall within my province.

Just Man
[920] I pity Athens for being in such vile clutches. But would you not prefer to live quietly and free from all care and anxiety?

Informer
To do nothing is to live an animal's life.

Just Man
Thus you will not change your mode of life?

Informer
No, though they gave me [925] Plutus himself and the silphium of Battus.

Just Man
To the Informer
Come, quick, off with your cloak.

The Informer does not move.

Cario
Hi! friend! it's you they are speaking to.

Just Man
Off with your shoes.

The Informer still remains motionless.

Cario
I say, all this is addressed to you.

Informer
Defiantly
Very well! let one of you come near me, if he dares.

Cario
I dare.

He strips the Informer of his cloak and shoes. The witness runs away.

Informer
[930] Alas! I am robbed of my clothes in full daylight.

Cario
That's what comes of meddling with other folk's business and living at their expense.

Informer
Over his shoulder to the departing witness
You see what is happening; I call you to witness.

Just Man
Laughing
Look how the witness whom you brought is taking to his heels.

Informer
Great gods! I am all alone and they assault me.

Cario
Shout away!

Informer
[935] Oh! woe, woe is me!

Cario
Give me that old ragged cloak, that I may dress out the informer.

Just Man
No, no; I have dedicated it to Plutus.

Cario
And where would your offering be better bestowed than on the shoulders of a rascal and a thief? [940] To Plutus fine, rich cloaks should be given.

Just Man
And what then shall be done with these shoes? Tell me.

Cario
I will nail them to his brow as gifts are nailed to the trunks of the wild olive.

Informer
I'm off, for you are the strongest, I own. [945] But if I find someone to join me, let him be as weak as he will, I will summon this god, who thinks himself so strong, before the court this very day, and denounce him as manifestly guilty of overturning the democracy by his will alone and without the consent [950] of the Senate or the Assembly.

Just Man
Now that you are rigged out from head to foot with my old clothes, hasten to the bath and stand there in the front row to warm yourself better; that's the place I formerly had.

Cario
[955] Ah! the bath-man would grab you by the balls and fling you through the door; he would only need to see you to appraise you at your true value. ... But let us go in, friend, that you may address your thanksgivings to the god.

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