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He takes a few steps.

Philocleon
trying to do likewise
[1170] There! ... Look at my get-up and tell me which rich man I most resemble in my walk.

Bdelycleon
Why, you look like a garlic plaster on a boil.

Philocleon
Ah! I am longing to swagger and sway my arse about.

Bdelycleon
Now, will you know how to talk gravely [1175] with well-informed men of good class?

Philocleon
Undoubtedly.

Bdelycleon
What will you say to them?

Philocleon
Oh, lots of things. First of all I shall say, that Lamia, seeing herself caught, let flee a fart; then, that Cardopion and his mother ...

Bdelycleon
Come, no fabulous tales, pray! [1180] talk of realities, of domestic facts, as is usually done.

Philocleon
Ah! I know something that is indeed most domestic. Once upon a time there was a rat and a cat ...

Bdelycleon
"Oh, you ignorant fool," as Theagenes said to the dung-gatherer in a rage. [1185] Are you going to talk of cats and rats among high-class people?

Philocleon
Then what should I talk about?

Bdelycleon
Tell some dignified story. Relate how you were sent on a solemn mission with Androcles and Clisthenes.

Philocleon
On a mission! never in my life, except once to Paros, a job which brought me in two obols a day.

Bdelycleon
[1190] At least say, that you have just seen Ephudion doing well in the pancratium with Ascondas and, that despite his age and his white hair, he is still robust in loin and arm and flank and that his chest is a very breastplate.

Philocleon
Stop! stop! what nonsense! [1195] Who ever contested at the pancratium with a breast-plate on?

Bdelycleon
That is how well-behaved folk like to talk. But another thing. When at wine, it would be fitting to relate some good story of your youthful days. What is your most brilliant feat?

Philocleon
[1200] My best feat? Ah! when I stole Ergasion's vine-props.

Bdelycleon
You and your vine-props! you'll be the death of me! Tell of one of your boar-hunts or of when you coursed the hare. Talk about some torch-race you were in; tell of some deed of daring.

Philocleon
[1205] Ah! my most daring deed was when, quite a young man still, I prosecuted Phayllus, the runner, for defamation, and he was condemned by a majority of two votes.

Bdelycleon
Enough of that! Now recline there, and practise the bearing that is fitting at table in society.

Philocleon
[1210] How must I recline? Tell me quick!

Bdelycleon
In an elegant style.

Philocleon
lying on the ground
Like this?

Bdelycleon
Not at all.

Philocleon
How then?

Bdelycleon
Spread your knees on the tapestries and give your body the most easy curves, like those taught in the gymnasium. Then praise some bronze vase, [1215] survey the ceiling, admire the awning stretched over the court. Water is poured over our hands; the tables are spread; we sup and, after ablution, we now offer libations to the gods.

Philocleon
But, by Zeus! this supper is but a dream, it appears!

Bdelycleon
The flute-player has finished the prelude. [1220] The guests are Theorus, Aeschines, Phanus, Cleon, Acestor; and beside this last, I don't know who else. You are with them and will show how to take up the songs that are started.

Philocleon
Really? None of the Diacrians will show them.

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