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Zeus. Asclepius. Heracles

Zeus. Now, Asclepius and Heracles, stop that quarrelling; you might as well be men; such behaviour is very improper and out of place at the table of the Gods.

Her. Is this druggist fellow to have a place above me, Zeus?

Asc. Of course I am; I am your better.

Her. Why, you numskull? because it was Zeus's bolt that

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cracked your skull, for your unholy doings, and now you have been allowed your immortality again out of sheer pity?

Asc. You twit me with my fiery end; you seem to have forgotten that you too were burnt to death, on Oeta.

Her. Was there no difference between your life and mine, then? I am Zeus's son, and it is well known how I toiled, cleansing the earth, conquering monsters, and chastising men of violence. Whereas you are a root-grubber and a quack; I dare say you have your use for doctoring sick men, but you never did a bold deed in your life.

Asc. That comes well from you, whose burns I healed, when you came up all singed not so long ago; between the tunic and the flames, your body was half consumed. Anyhow, it would be enough to mention that I was never a slave like you, never combed wool in Lydia, masquerading in a purple shawl and being slippered by an Omphale, never killed my wife and children in a fit of the spleen. Her. If you don't stop being rude, I shall soon show you that immortality is not much good. I will take you up and pitch you head over heels out of Heaven, and Apollo himself shall never mend your broken crown. Zeus. Cease, I say, and let us hear ourselves speak, or I will send you both away from table. Heracles, Asclepius died before you, and has the right to a better place.


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