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Cleon
No, my brave friends, no, you are running too fast; I have done a sufficiently brilliant deed [845] to shut the mouth of all enemies, so long as one of the bucklers of Pylos remains.

Sausage-Seller
Of the bucklers! Hold! I stop you there and I hold you fast. For if it be true that you love the people, you would not allow these to be hung up with their rings; but it's with an intent you have done this. [850] Demos, take knowledge of his guilty purpose; in this way you no longer can punish him at your pleasure. Note the swarm of young tanners, who really surround him, and close to them the sellers of honey and cheese; all these are at one with him. [855] Very well! you have but to frown, to speak of ostracism and they will rush at night to these bucklers, take them down and seize our granaries.

Demos
Great gods! what! the bucklers retain their rings! Scoundrel! ah! too long have you had me for your dupe, cheated and played with me!

Cleon
[860] But, dear sir, never you believe all he tells you. Oh! never will you find a more devoted friend than me; unaided, I have known how to put down the conspiracies; nothing that is hatching in the city escapes me, and I hasten to proclaim it loudly.

Sausage-Seller
You are like the fishers for eels; [865] in still waters they catch nothing, but if they thoroughly stir up the slime, their fishing is good; in the same way it's only in troublous times that you line your pockets. But come, tell me, you, who sell so many skins, have you ever made him a present of a pair of soles [870] for his slippers? and you pretend to love him!

Demos
No, he has never given me any.

Sausage-Seller
That alone shows up the man; but I, I have bought you this pair of shoes; accept them.

He gives Demos the shoes; Demos puts them on.

Demos
None ever, to my knowledge, has merited so much from the people; you are the most zealous of all men for your country and for my toes.

Cleon
[875] Can a wretched pair of slippers make you forget all that you owe me? Is it not I who curbed the pederasts by erasing Gryttus' name from the lists of citizens?

Sausage-Seller
Ah! noble Inspector of Arses, let me congratulate you. Moreover, if you set yourself against this form of lewdness, this pederasty, [880] it was for sheer jealousy, knowing it to be the school for orators. But you see this poor Demos without a cloak and that at his age too! so little do you care for him, that in mid-winter you have not given him a garment with sleeves. Here, Demos, here is one, take it!

He gives Demos a cloak; Demos puts it on.

Demos
This even Themistocles never thought of; [885] the Piraeus was no doubt a happy idea, but I think this tunic is quite as fine as invention.

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