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Euripides
Well, of myself and what sort of poet I am,
I will tell at the end: but first I'll prove that this man
was an impostor and a cheat, and how he took the spectators and used to fool the dupes reared with Phrynichos.
First, he'd wrap up and sit down someone or other,
An Achilles, or Niobe, not showing the face,
a facade of tragedy, not mumbling so much as this.

Dionysus
That's right, they didn't.

Euripides
And then the chorus boomed
four strings of lyric in a row nonstop: but they kept quiet.

Dionysus
And l enjoyed their silence; that pleased me
no less than the babblers now.

Euripides
Because you were stupid,
no doubt about it.

Dionysus
I think so too. Why did the so-and-so do this?

Euripides
From fraudulence, so the spectator would sit there waiting
for when Niobe would say something. And the play would go on.

Dionysus
Oh what a villain! How I was fooled by him!
Why do you stretch and act uncomfortable?

Euripides
Because I'm convicting him.
And then after he pulled this cheap trick, and the play
was already half over, he'd speak a dozen bullish words
With eyebrows, crests, some awful witch-faced things,
Unknown to the audience.

Aeschylus
Woe is me, alas.

Dionysus
Quiet.

Euripides
Yet not a thing he said was clear—

Dionysus
Don't saw your teeth.

Euripides
But Scamanders, or trenches, or shield-adorning
bronze-beaten griffon-eagles and horse-cliffed phrases,
which it was not easy to construe.

Dionysus
Ye gods! As for me,
“one night did I pass sleepless all the while,”
wondering what sort of bird the yellow hipporooster was.

Aeschylus
You blockhead, it's a symbol engraved on ships.

Dionysus
I thought it was Eryxis, Philoxenus' son.

Euripides
Then, did you have to create a rooster in tragedy?

Aeschylus
You god-detested wretch! What sort of things did
you used to compose?

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