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Before Pluto: Croesus, Midas, and Sardanapalus v. Menippus

Cr. Pluto, we can stand this snarling Cynic no longer in our neighbourhood; either you must transfer him to other quarters, or we are going to migrate.

Pl. Why, what harm does he do to your ghostly community?

Cr. Midas here, and Sardanapalus and I, can never get in a good cry over the old days of gold and luxury and treasure, but he must be laughing at us, and calling us rude names; 'slaves' and 'garbage,' he says we are. And then he sings; and that throws us out.--In short, he is a nuisance.

Pl. Menippus, what's this I hear?

Me. All perfectly true, Pluto. I detest these abject rascals! Not content with having lived the abominable lives they did, they keep on talking about it now they are dead, and harping on the good old days. I take a positive pleasure in annoying them.

Pl. Yes, but you mustn't. They have had terrible losses; they feel it deeply.

Me. Pluto! you are not going to lend your countenance to these whimpering fools?

Pl. It isn't that: but I won't have you quarrelling.

Me. Well, you scum of your respective nations, let there be no misunderstanding; I am going on just the same. Wherever

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you are, there shall I be also; worrying, jeering, singing you down.

Cr. Presumption!

Me. Not a bit of it. Yours was the presumption, when you expected men to fall down before you, when you trampled on men's liberty, and forgot there was such a thing as death. Now comes the weeping and gnashing of teeth: for all is lost!

Cr. Lost! Ah God! My treasure-heaps------

Mid. My gold------

Sar. My little comforts------

Me. That's right: stick to it! You do the whining, and I'll chime in with a string of GNOTHI-SAUTONS, best of accompaniments.


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