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Oracle-Monger
Does it say that?

Pisthetaerus
Look at the book [990] and go and hang yourself.

Oracle-Monger
Oh! unfortunate wretch that I am. He departs.

Pisthetaerus
Away with you, and take your prophecies elsewhere.

Enter Meton, with surveying instruments.

Meton
I have come to you . . .

Pisthetaerus
Interrupting.
Yet another pest! What have you come to do? What's your plan? What's the purpose of your journey? Why these splendid buskins?

Meton
[995] I want to survey the plains of the air for you and to parcel them into lots.

Pisthetaerus
In the name of the gods, who are you?

Meton
Who am I? Meton, known throughout Greece and at Colonus.

Pisthetaerus
What are these things?

Meton
Tools for measuring the air. [1000] In truth, the spaces in the air have precisely the form of a furnace. With this bent ruler I draw a line from top to bottom; from one of its points I describe a circle with the compass. Do you understand?

Pisthetaerus
Not in the least.

Meton
With the straight ruler I set to work to inscribe [1005] a square within this circle; in its center will be the market-place, into which all the straight streets will lead, converging to this center like a star, which, although only orbicular, sends forth its rays in a straight line from all sides.

Pisthetaerus
A regular Thales! [1010] Meton . . .

Meton
What d'you want with me?

Pisthetaerus
I want to give you a proof of my friendship. Use your legs.

Meton
Why, what have I to fear?

Pisthetaerus
It's the same here as in Sparta. Strangers are driven away, and blows rain down as thick as hail.

Meton
Is there sedition in your city?

Pisthetaerus
[1015] No, certainly not.

Meton
What's wrong then?

Pisthetaerus
We are agreed to sweep all quacks and impostors far from our borders.

Meton
Then I'll be going.

Pisthetaerus
I'm afraid it's too late. The thunder growls already.

He beats him.

Meton
Oh, woe! oh, woe!

Pisthetaerus
I warned you. [1020] Now, be off, and do your surveying somewhere else.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 911-1085
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ATHEĀ“NAE
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
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