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By Heracles! my shoulder is quite black and blue. Ismenias, put the penny-royal down there very gently, and all of you, musicians from Thebes, pipe with your bone flutes into a dog's rump.1 DICAEOPOLIS
Enough, enough, get you gone. Rascally hornets, away with you! Whence has sprung this accursed swarm of Charis2 fellows which comes assailing my door? BOEOTIAN
Ah! by Iolas!3 Drive them off, my dear host, you will please me immensely; all the way from Thebes, they were there piping behind me and have completely stripped my penny-royal of its blossom. But will you buy anything of me, some chickens or some locusts? DICAEOPOLIS
Ah! good day, Boeotian, eater of good round loaves.4 What do you bring? BOEOTIAN
All that is good in Boeotia, marjoram, penny-royal, rush-mats, lamp-wicks, ducks, jays, woodcocks, water-fowl, wrens, divers. DICAEOPOLIS
'Tis a very hail of birds that beats down on my market. BOEOTIAN
I also bring geese, hares, foxes, moles, hedgehogs, cats, lyres, martins, otters and eels from the Copaic lake.5 DICAEOPOLIS
Ah! my friend, you, who bring me the most delicious of fish, let me salute your eels. BOEOTIAN
Come, thou, the eldest of my fifty Copaic virgins, come and complete the joy of our host. DICAEOPOLIS
Oh! my well-beloved, thou object of my long regrets, thou art here at last then, thou, after whom the comic poets sigh, thou, who art dear to Morychus.6 Slaves, hither with the stove and the bellows. Look at this charming eel, that returns to us after six long years of absence.7 Salute it, my children; as for myself, I will supply coal to do honour to the stranger. Take it into my house; death itself could not separate me from her, if cooked with beet leaves. f8 He was the Lucullus of Athens. f9 This again fixes the date of the presentation of ‘The Acharnians’ to 436 B.C., the sixth year of the War, since the beginning of which Boeotia had been closed to the Athenians.
1 This kind of flute had a bellows, made of dog-skin, much like the bagpipes of to-day.
2 A flute-player, mentioned above.
8 A comic poet of vile habits.
9 A painter.