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Soc.
Consider, therefore, how you have trumpeted from a little belly so small; and how is it not probable that this air, being boundless, should thunder so loudly?

Strep.
For this reason, therefore, the two names also Trump and Thunder, are similar to each other. But teach me this, whence comes the thunderbolt blazing with fire, and burns us to ashes when it smites us, and singes those who survive. For indeed Jupiter evidently hurls this at the perjured.

Soc.
Why, how then, you foolish person, and savouring of the dark ages and antediluvian, if his manner is to smite the perjured, does he not blast Simon, and Cleonymus, and Theorus? And yet they are very perjured. But he smites his own temple, and Sunium the promontory of Athens, and the tall oaks. Wherefore, for indeed an oak does not commit perjury.

Strep.
I do not know; but you seem to speak well. For what, pray, is the thunderbolt?

Soc.
When a dry wind, having been raised aloft, is inclosed in these Clouds, it inflates them within, like a bladder; and then, of necessity, having burst them, it rushes out with vehemence by reason of its density, setting fire to itself through its rushing and impetuosity.

Strep.
By Jupiter, of a truth I once experienced this exactly at the Diasian festival! I was roasting a haggis for my kinsfolk, and through neglect I did not cut it open; but it became inflated and then suddenly bursting, befouled my eyes and burned my face.

Cho.
O mortal, who hast desired great wisdom from us! How happy will you become among the Athenians and among the Greeks, if you be possessed of a good memory, and be a deep thinker, and endurance of labour be implanted in your soul, and you be not wearied either by standing or walking, nor be exceedingly vexed at shivering with cold, nor long to break your fast, and you refrain from wine, and gymnastics, and the other follies, and consider this the highest excellence, as is proper a clever man should, to conquer by action and counsel, and by battling with your tongue.

Strep.
As far as regards a sturdy spirit, and care that makes one's bed uneasy, and a frugal spirit and hard-living and savory-eating belly, be of good courage and don't trouble yourself; I would offer myself to hammer on, for that matter.

Soc.
Will you not, pray, now believe in no god, except what we believe in--this Chaos, and the Clouds, and the Tongue--these three?

Strep.
Absolutely I would not even converse with the others, not even if I met them; nor would I sacrifice to them, nor make libations, nor offer frankincense.

Cho.
Tell us then boldly, what we must do for you? For you shall not fail in getting it, if you honour and admire us, and seek to become clever.

Strep.
O mistresses, I request of you then this very small favour, that I be the best of the Greeks in speaking by a hundred stadia.

Cho.
Well, you shall have this from us, so that hence-forward from this time no one shall get more opinions passed in the public assemblies than you.

Strep.
Grant me not to deliver important opinions; for I do not desire these, but only to pervert the right for my own advantage, and to evade my creditors.

Cho.
Then you shall obtain what you desire; for you do not covet great things. But commit yourself without fear to our ministers.

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