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Demosthenes
[40] I will begin then. We have a very brutal master, a perfect glutton for beans, and most bad-tempered; it's Demos of the Pnyx, an intolerable old man and half deaf. The beginning of last month he bought a slave, a Paphlagonian tanner, [45] an arrant rogue, the incarnation of calumny. This man of leather knows his old master thoroughly; he plays the fawning cur, flatters, cajoles, wheedles, and dupes him at will with little scraps of leavings, which he allows him to get. [50] “Dear Demos,” he will say, “try a single case and you will have done enough; then take your bath, eat, swallow and devour; here are three obols.” Then the Paphlagonian filches from one of us what we have prepared and makes a present of it to our old man. The other day I [55] had just kneaded a Spartan cake at Pylos, the cunning rogue came behind my back, sneaked it and offered the cake, which was my invention, in his own name. He keeps us at a distance and suffers none but himself to wait upon the master; [60] when Demos is dining, he keeps close to his side with a thong in his hand and puts the orators to flight. He keeps singing oracles to him, so that the old man now thinks of nothing but the Sibyl. Then, when he sees him thoroughly obfuscated, he uses all his cunning and piles up lies and calumnies against the household; then [65] we are scourged and the Paphlagonian runs about among the slaves to demand contributions with threats and gathers them in with both hands. He will say, “You see how I have had Hylas beaten! Either content me or die at once!” We are forced to give, for otherwise [70] the old man tramples on us and makes us crap forth all our body contains. To Nicias There must be an end to it, friend. Let us see! what can be done? Who will get us out of this mess?

Nicias
The best thing, friend, is our famous “Let-us-bolt!”

Demosthenes
But none can escape the Paphlagonian, [75] his eye is everywhere. And what a stride! He has one leg on Pylos and the other in the Assembly; his arse gapes exactly over the land of the Chaonians, his hands are with the Aetolians and his mind with the Clopidians.

Nicias
[80] It's best then to die; but let us seek the most heroic death.

Demosthenes
Let me think, what is the most heroic?

Nicias
Let us drink the blood of a bull; that's the death Themistocles chose.

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