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That we shall see. Suppose me to be Cleon. [1225] I am the first to begin the song of Harmodius, and you take it up: "There never yet was seen in Athens ...

... such a rogue or such a thief."

Why, you wretched man, it will be the end of you if you sing that. He will vow your ruin, your destruction, [1230] to chase you out of the country.

Well! then I shall answer his threats with another song:

"With your madness for supreme power, [1235] you will end by overthrowing the city, which even now totters towards ruin."

And when Theorus, prone at Cleon's feet, takes his hand and sings,

"Like Admetus, love those who are brave," [1240] what reply will you make him?

I shall sing,

"I know not how to play the fox, nor call myself the friend of both parties."

Then comes the turn of Aeschines, the son of Sellus, and a well-trained and clever musician, who will sing,

[1245] "Good things and riches for Clitagora and me and eke for the Thessalians!"

"The two of us have squandered a great deal between us."

At this game you seem at home. [1250] But come, we will go and dine with Philoctemon. —Slave! slave! place our dinner in a basket; we are going out for a good long drinking bout.

By no means, it is too dangerous; for after drinking, one breaks in doors, one comes to blows, one batters everything. [1255] Anon, when the wine is slept off, one is forced to pay.

Not if you are with decent people. Either they undertake to appease the offended person or, better still, you say something witty, you tell some comic story, [1260] perhaps one of those you have yourself heard at table, either in Aesop's style or in that of Sybaris; everyone laughs and the trouble is ended.

Faith! it's worth while learning many stories then, if you are thus not punished for the ill you do.

But come, no more delay!

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