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Enter SPARTAN HERALD.

The MAGISTRATE comes forward.

HERALD
What here gabs the Senate an' the Prytanes?
I've fetcht despatches for them.

MAGISTRATE
Are you a man
Or a monstrosity?

HERALD
My scrimp-brained lad,
I'm a herald, as ye see, who hae come frae Sparta
Anent a Peace.

MAGISTRATE
Then why do you hide that lance
That sticks out under your arms?

HERALD.
I've brought no lance.

MAGISTRATE
Then why do you turn aside and hold your cloak
So far out from your body? Is your groin swollen
With stress of travelling?

HERALD
By Castor, I'll swear
The man is wud.

MAGISTRATE
Indeed, your cloak is wide,
My rascal fellow.

HERALD
But I tell ye No!
Enow o' fleering!

MAGISTRATE
Well, what is it then?

HERALD
It's my despatch cane.

MAGISTRATE
Of course—a Spartan cane!
But speak right out. I know all this too well.
Are new privations springing up in Sparta?

HERALD
Och, hard as could be: in lofty lusty columns
Our allies stand united. We maun get Pellene.

MAGISTRATE
Whence has this evil come? Is it from Pan?

HERALD
No. Lampito first ran asklent, then the ithers
Sprinted after her example, and blocked, the hizzies,
Their wames unskaithed against our every fleech.

MAGISTRATE
What did you do?

HERALD
We are broken, and bent double,
Limp like men carrying lanthorns in great winds
About the city. They winna let us even
Wi' lightest neif skim their primsie pretties
Till we've concluded Peace-terms wi' a' Hellas.

MAGISTRATE
So the conspiracy is universal;
This proves it. Then return to Sparta. Bid them
Send envoys with full powers to treat of Peace;
And I will urge the Senate here to choose
Plenipotentiary ambassadors,
As argument adducing this connection.

HERALD
I'm off. Your wisdom nane could contravert.

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