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THE ACHARNIANS by Aristophanes, Part 11

DICAEOPOLIS
But a sow of the human kind.
MEGARIAN
Without question, by Diocles! of my own breed! Well! What think
you? would you like to hear them squeal?
DICAEOPOLIS
Yes, I would.
MEGARIAN
Cry quickly, wee sowlet; squeak up, hussy, or by Hermes! I take you
back to the house.
DAUGHTERS
Wee-wee, wee-wee!
MEGARIAN
Is that a little sow, or not?
DICAEOPOLIS
Yes, it seems so; but let it grow up, and it will be a fine fat
thing.
MEGARIAN
In five years it will be just like its mother.
DICAEOPOLIS
But it cannot be sacrificed.
MEGARIAN
And why not?
DICAEOPOLIS
It has no tail.
MEGARIAN
Because it is quite young, but in good time it will have a big
one, thick and red. But if you are willing to bring it up you will
have a very fine sow.
DICAEOPOLIS
The two are as like as two peas.
MEGARIAN
They are born of the same father and mother; let them be fattened,
let them grow their bristles, and they will be the finest sows you can
offer to Aphrodite.
DICAEOPOLIS
But sows are not immolated to Aphrodite.
MEGARIAN
Not sows to Aphrodite! Why, she's the only goddess to whom they
are offered! the flesh of my sows will be excellent on your spit.
DICAEOPOLIS
Can they eat alone? They no longer need their mother?
MEGARIAN
Certainly not, nor their father.
DICAEOPOLIS
What do they like most?
MEGARIAN
Whatever is given them; but ask for yourself.
DICAEOPOLIS
Speak! little sow.
DAUGHTERS
Wee-wee, wee-wee!
DICAEOPOLIS
Can you eat chick-pease?
DAUGHTERS
Wee-wee, wee-wee, wee-wee!
DICAEOPOLIS
And Attic figs?
DAUGHTERS
Wee-wee, wee-wee!
DICAEOPOLIS
What sharp squeaks at the name of figs. Come, let some figs be
brought for these little pigs. Will they eat them? Goodness! how
they munch them, what a grinding of teeth, mighty Heracles! I
believe those pigs hail from the land of the Voracians.
MEGARIAN (aside)
But they have not eaten all the figs; I took this one myself.
DICAEOPOLIS
Ah! what curious creatures! For what sum will you sell them?
MEGARIAN
I will give you one for a bunch of garlic, and the other, if you
like, for a quart measure of salt.
DICAEOPOLIS
I'll buy them. Wait for me here.
(He goes into the house.)
MEGARIAN
The deal is done. Hermes, god of good traders, grant I may sell
both my wife and my mother in the same way!
(An INFORMER enters.)
INFORMER
Hi! fellow, what country are you from?
MEGARIAN
I am a pig-merchant from Megara.
INFORMER
I shall denounce both your pigs and yourself as public enemies.
MEGARIAN
Ah! here our troubles begin afresh!
INFORMER
Let go of that sack. I'll teach you to talk Megarian!
MEGARIAN (loudly)
Dicaeopolis, want to denounce me.
DICAEOPOLIS (from within)
Who dares do this thing? (He comes out of his house.)
Inspectors, drive out the informers. Ah! you offer to enlighten us
without a lamp!
INFORMER
What! I may not denounce our enemies?
DICAEOPOLIS (With a threatening gesture)
Watch out for yourself, and go off pretty quick and denounce
elsewhere.
(The INFORMER runs away.)

 

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