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Aeacus
Not him, by Zeus, but he kissed Aeschylus
When he arrived, and shook his hand,
And yielded the chair to him.
Now he intends, so says Cleidemides,
to sit out in reserve. And if Aeschylus wins,
he'll stay put; if not, he said he'd fight
against Euripides for the sake of his art.

Xanthias
So this thing will really happen?

Aeacus
Yes, just a little later,
and here there'll be an awful commotion.
For poetry will be measured out on scales!

Xanthias
What? They're going to weigh tragedy by the ounce?

Aeacus
And they'll bring out rulers and verbal yardsticks,
and flexible frames,

Xanthias
Then they'll be making bricks?

Aeacus
And bevels and wedges. Because Euripides
says he'll test the plays word by word.

Xanthias
I guess Aeschylus is taking it pretty hard.

Aeacus
Well, he lowered his head and cast a bullish glance.

Xanthias
And who's to be the judge?

Aeacus
That was difficult.
You'll find a shortage of sophisticated men.
Aeschylus didn't get along with the Athenians—

Xanthias
Maybe he thought most of them were crooks.

Aeacus
And he considered the rest trash for judging
the essence of poets: so to your master
they turned, since he has experience in the art.
But let's go in; for when masters
are in a hurry, it means trouble for us.

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