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Blepyrus
[635] But if we live in this fashion, how will each one know his children?

Praxagora
The youngest will look upon the oldest as their fathers.

Blepyrus
Ah! how heartily they will strangle all the old men, since even now, when each one knows his father, they make no bones about [640] strangling him! then, my word! won't they just scorn and crap upon the old folks!

Praxagora
But those around will prevent it. Hitherto, when anyone saw an old man beaten, he would not meddle, because it did not concern him; but now each will fear the sufferer may be his own father and such violence will be stopped.

Blepyrus
What you say is not so silly after all; but it would be highly unpleasant were Epicurus [645] and Leucolophas to come up and call me father.

Chremes
But it would be far worse, were ...

Blepyrus
Were what?

Chremes
... Aristyllus to embrace you and style you his father.

Blepyrus
He'll regret it if he does!

Chremes
For you would smell vilely of mint if he kissed you. But he was born before the decree was carried, so that you have not [650] to fear his kiss.

Blepyrus
It would be awful. But who will till the soil?

Praxagora
The slaves. Your only cares will be to scent yourself, and to go and dine, when the shadow of the gnomon is ten feet long on the dial.

Blepyrus
But how shall we obtain clothing? Tell me that!

Praxagora
You will first wear out those you have, and then we women will weave you others.

Blepyrus
[655] Now another point: if the magistrates condemn a citizen to the payment of a fine, how is he going to do it? Out of the public funds? That would not be right surely.

Praxagora
But there will be no more lawsuits.

Blepyrus
This rule will ruin you.

Praxagora
I think so too. Besides, my dear, why should there be lawsuits?

Blepyrus
Oh! for a thousand reasons, by Apollo! Firstly, [660] because a debtor denies his obligation.

Praxagora
But where will the lender get the money to lend, if all is in common? unless he steals it out of the treasury? and he could not hide that!

Blepyrus
Well thought out, by Demeter! But tell me this: here are some men who are returning from a feast and are drunk and they strike some passer-by; how are they going to pay the fine? Ah! you are puzzled now!

Praxagora
[665] They will have to take it out of their pittance; and being thus punished through their belly, they will not care to begin again.

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