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By Respiration, and Chaos, and Air, I have not seen any man so boorish, nor so impracticable, nor so stupid, nor so forgetful; who, while learning some little petty quibbles, forgets them before he has learned them. Nevertheless I will certainly call him out here to the light. Where is Strepsiades? Come forth with your couch. Strep.
(from within). The bugs do not permit me to bring it forth. Soc.
Make haste and lay it down; and give me your attention. Enter Strepsiades Strep.
Very well. Soc.
Come now; what do you now wish to learn first of those things in none of which you have ever been instructed? Tell me. About measures, or rhythms, or verses? Strep.
I should prefer to learn about measures; for it is but lately I was cheated out of two choenices by a meal-huckster. Soc.
I do not ask you this, but which you account the most beautiful measure; the trimetre or the tetrameter? Strep.
Make a wager then with me, if the semisextarius be not a tetrameter. Soc.
Go to the devil! How boorish you are and dull of learning. Perhaps you may be able to learn about rhythms. Strep.
But what good will rhythms do me for a living? Soc.
In the first place, to be clever at an entertainment, understanding what rhythm is for the war-dance, and what, again, according to the dactyle. Strep.
According to the dactyle? By Jove, but I know it! Soc.
Tell me, pray. Strep.
What else but this finger? Formerly, indeed, when I was yet a boy, this here! Soc.
You are boorish and stupid. Strep.
For I do not desire, you wretch, to learn any of these things. Soc.
What then? Strep.
That, that, the most unjust cause.
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