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Enter Aeacus.

Aeacus
Quick, bind this dogthief,
so he'll pay the penalty. Hurry up!

Dionysus
Trouble's here for somebody.

Xanthias
Go to blazes! Don't come near me!

Aeacus
Oho, you put up a fight? Ditylas, Skeblias, and Pardocas, come here and fight this guy.

Dionysus
Isn't it awful that this fellow puts up a fight
swiping other people's goods besides?

Aeacus
Just monstrous.

Dionysus
Downright mean and awful.

Xanthias
I swear by God
I'm willing to die, if ever I came here before,
or stole anything of yours that's worth a hair.
And I'll do the noble thing by you.
Here, take this slave of mine, and torture him,
And if you find that I've done wrong, take me out and kill me.

Aeacus
How may I torture him?

Xanthias
Every way; tie him to a ladder,
hang him, flog him with spikes, flay him,
twist him, pour vinegar up his nose,
pile up loads of bricks, everything else except
Don't beat him with a leek or tender onion.

Aeacus
A fair offer! And if I should cripple your
boy in the beating, you'll get compensation.

Xanthias
No, not for me. Just take him away and torture him.

Aeacus
No, I will do it here; so he'll confess before your eyes
Quick, you, put down your pack, and make sure
you tell no lies.

Dionysus
I forbid anyone
from torturing me, an immortal. Or else
you'll have yourself to blame.

Aeacus
What'd you say?

Dionysus
I say that I am Dionysus, son of Zeus,
And this man is my slave.

Aeacus
You hear that?

Xanthias
I do.
So much more reason he should be whipped.
Because, if he is a god, he won't feel it.

Dionysus
Well, then, since you too claim to be a god:
Why not get hit as many blows as me?

Xanthias
A fair offer! whichever of us two
You first see cry or noticing at all
being beaten, be sure he's not the God.

Aeacus
It's for certain you are an honest fellow,
You go for justice. Now strip, you both.

Xanthias
How will you fairly judge?

Aeacus
Easily;
Blow for blow each one.

Xanthias
Good idea.

Aeacus
There!

Xanthias
Watch if you see me flinch.

Aeacus
I already hit you!

Xanthias
You did not.

Aeacus
I guess I didn't.
So now I'll go and whack this guy.

Dionysus
Well, when?

Aeacus
Why, I hit you!

Dionysus
Then why didn't I even sneeze?

Aeacus
I don't know. I'll try this one again.

Xanthias
Well, hurry up—wahoo!

Aeacus
What's this wahoo?
That didn't hurt, did it?

Xanthias
O no, I just thought
Of the Herculean feast at Diomeia.

Aeacus
A holy man—and now I've got to go back here.

Dionysus
O, Whoa!

Aeacus
What is it?

Dionysus
I see some horsemen.

Aeacus
So why are you crying?

Dionysus
Because I smell onions.

Aeacus
Then you don't notice anything?

Dionysus
Don't mind at all.

Aeacus
Well, in that case, I must go back to this one.

Xanthias
Yow!

Aeacus
What is it?

Xanthias
Pull out this thorn.

Aeacus
What's going on? Got to go back here.

Dionysus
Apollo, who hast Delos and Pytho...

Xanthias
He got hurt; didn't you hear?

Dionysus
Not me, it's just that
I was recalling a verse of Hipponax.

Xanthias
You're getting nowhere— hit him in the side.

Aeacus
You're right. Now, stick out that belly!

Dionysus
Poseidon—

Xanthias
Someone got hurt.

Dionysus
—who rules the Aegean headlands and in the gray sea's depths—

Aeacus
I swear by Demeter that I can't discover
Which of you is the God: but come on in.
My master himself will soon find out,
and Persephone, since they are gods themselves.

Dionysus
Now you're making sense. I only wish that you had
done that before I took those whacks.

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