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p. 147



Nireus. Thersites. Menippus

Ni. Here we are; Menippus shall award the palm of beauty. Menippus, am I not better-looking than he?

Me. Well, who are you? I must know that first, mustn't I?

Ni. Nireus and Thersites.

Me. Which is which? I cannot tell that yet.

Ther. One to me; I am like you; you have no such superiority as Homer (blind, by the way) gave you when he called you the handsomest of men; he might peak my head and thin my hair, our judge finds me none the worse. Now, Menippus, make up your mind which is handsomer.

Ni. I, of course, I, the son of Aglaia and Charopus,

Comeliest of all that came ’neath Trojan walls.

Me. But not comeliest of all that come ’neath the earth, as far as I know. Your bones are much like other people's; and the only difference between your two skulls is that yours would not take much to stove it in. It is a tender article, something short of masculine.

Ni. Ask Homer what I was, when I sailed with the Achaeans.

Me. Dreams, dreams. I am looking at what you are; what you were is ancient history.

Ni. Am I not handsomer here, Menippus?

Me. You are not handsome at all, nor any one else either. Hades is a democracy; one man is as good as another here.

Ther. And a very tolerable arrangement too, if you ask me.


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