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Heracles
What is it, little brother?

Dionysus
I can't explain.
But still I'll try to tell you in a riddle.
Did you ever feel a sudden urge for soup?

Heracles
Soup! Yowee! Ten thousand times so far.

Dionysus
Have I made it clear, or should I try again?

Heracles
Not about the soup, I fully comprehend.

Dionysus
Well, just so great a wish gnaws at me now—
For my Euripides.

Heracles
And dead, at that!

Dionysus
And now no mortal shall persuade me not to
Go after him.

Heracles
What, down to hell?

Dionysus
That's right, and lower still if possible.

Heracles
With what intent?

Dionysus
I want a clever poet, for the race
is now extinct—all who survive are bad.

Heracles
What! Isn't Iophon alive?

Dionysus
Well, he's the only good thing left, if he's good at all. I don't even know for sure if that's the case.

Heracles
Why don't you bring back Sophocles, Euripides' superior, if you've really got to take one?

Dionysus
Not before I take Iophon aside all by himself,
and test what he does without Sophocles. Besides, Euripides is such a scoundrel,
he might well try to run away with me,
but Sophocles was easy going here, and easy going there as well.

Heracles
And where is Agathon?

Dionysus
Oh, he has left us;
a decent poet, lamented by his friends.

Heracles
Where has he gone?

Dionysus
To the banquet of the Blest.

Heracles
And where's Xenoclees?

Dionysus
Oh, God! May he drop dead!

Heracles
What of Pythangelus?

Xanthias
No word of me,
long suffering with this shoulder ache of mine!

load focus Greek (F.W. Hall and W.M. Geldart, 1907)
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