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 . 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.

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