Astronomer, The. "The Birds"

" THE Birds . "

Meton . I'm come, you see, to join you.
Peisthetairos . (Another plague!)
For what? What's your design? Your plan, your notion?
Your scheme — your apparatus — your equipment —
Your outfit? What's the meaning of it all?
Meton . I mean to take a geometrical plan
Of your atmosphere — to allot it, and survey it
In a scientific form.
Peisthetairos . In the name of heaven!
Who are ye and what? What name? What manner of man?
Meton . Who am I and what! Meton's my name, well known
In Greece, and in the village of Colonos.
Peisthetairos . But tell me, pray; these implements, these articles,
What are they meant for?
Meton . These are — Instruments!
An atmospherical geometrical scale.
First, you must understand, that the atmosphere
Is formed — in a manner — altogether — partly,
In the fashion of a furnace, or a funnel;
I take this circular are, with the movable arm,
And so, by shifting it round, till it coincides
At the angle; — you understand me?
Peisthetairos . Not in the least.
Meton . I obtain a true division, with the quadrature
Of the equilateral circle. Here, I trace
Your market-place, in the centre, with the streets —
Converging inwards — ! and the roads, diverging — !
From the circular wall, without — ! like solar rays
From the circular circumference of the sun.
Peisthetairos . Another Thales! absolutely, a Thales! —
Meton!
Meton . Why, what's the matter?
Peisthetairos . You're aware,
That I've a regard for you. Take my advice;
Don't be seen here — withdraw yourself — abscond!
Meton . Is there any alarm or risk?
Peisthetairos . Why, much the same,
As it might be in Lacedaemon. There's a bustle
Of expelling aliens; people are dragged out
From the inns and lodgings, with a deal of uproar,
And blows and abuse in plenty, to be met with
In the public street.
Meton . A popular tumult — heh?
Peisthetairos . Oh, fie! no, nothing of that kind.
Meton . How do you mean then?
Peisthetairos . We're carrying into effect a resolution
Adopted lately; to discard and cudgel
Coxcombs and mountebanks ... of every kind.
Meton . Perhaps ... I had best withdraw.
Peisthetairos . Why, yes, perhaps ...
But yet, I would not answer for it, neither;
Perhaps , you may be too late; the blows I mentioned
Are coming — close upon you — there they come!
Meton . Oh, bless me!
Peisthetairos . Did not I tell you, and give you warning?
Get out, you coxcomb, find out by your geometry,
The road you came, and measure it back: you'd best.
Author of original: 
Aristophanes
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