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First Servant
SCENE: Behind the Orchestra on the right the farmhouse of Trygaeus, in the center the mouth of a cave closed up with huge boulders, on the left the palace of Zeus. In front of the farmhouse is a stable, the door of which is closed. Two of Trygaeus' slaves are seen in front of the stable, one of them kneading cakes of dung, the other taking the finished cakes and throwing them into the stable.
Quick, quick, bring the dung-beetle his cake.

Second Servant
There it is. Give it to him, and may it kill him! And may he never eat a better.

First Servant
Now give him this other one kneaded up with ass's dung.

Second Servant
[5] There! I've done that too. And where's what you gave him just now? Surely he can't have devoured it yet!

First Servant
Indeed he has; he snatched it, rolled it between his feet and bolted it. Come, hurry up, knead up a lot and knead them stiffly.

Second Servant
Oh, scavengers, help me in the name of the gods, [10] if you do not wish to see me fall down choked.

First Servant
Come, come, another made from the stool of a fairy's favorite. That will be to the beetle's taste; he likes it well ground.

Second Servant
There! I am free at least from suspicion; none will accuse me of tasting what I mix.

First Servant
[15] Faugh! come, now another! keep on mixing with all your might.

Second Servant
By god, no. I can stand this awful cesspool stench no longer.

First Servant
I shall bring you the whole ill-smelling gear.

Second Servant
Pitch it down the sewer sooner, and yourself with it. To the Audience. [20] Maybe, one of you can tell me where I can buy a stopped-up nose, for there is no work more disgusting than to mix food for a dung-beetle and to carry it to him. A pig or a dog will at least pounce upon our excrement [25] without more ado, but this foul wretch affects the disdainful, the spoilt mistress, and won't eat unless I offer him a cake that has been kneaded for an entire day.... But [30] let us open the door a bit ajar without his seeing it. Has he done eating? Come, pluck up courage, cram yourself till you burst! The cursed creature! It wallows in its food! It grips it between its claws like a wrestler clutching his opponent, [35] and with head and feet together rolls up its paste like a rope-maker twisting a hawser. What an indecent, stinking, gluttonous beast! [40] I don't know what angry god let this monster loose upon us, but of a certainty it was neither Aphrodite nor the Graces.

First Servant
Who was it then?

Second Servant
No doubt Zeus, the God of the Thundercrap.

First Servant
But perhaps some spectator, some beardless youth, who thinks himself a sage, will say, “What is this? [45] What does the beetle mean?” And then an Ionian, sitting next him, will add, “I think it's an allusion to Cleon, who so shamelessly feeds on filth all by himself.” —

Second Servant
But now I'm going indoors to fetch the beetle a drink.

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