Scene: The river Styx. Charon, a scruffy old man with long white hair and a beard, has just brought a derelict-looking boat in to the shore, where a large number of dead men, under the supervision of Hermes, are queueing up to go on board.
CHARON [after putting out the gangway]: Now listen to me. Here's the situation. You can see for yourselves how small my boat is. It's also a bit rotten and tends to leak a good deal. What's more, if it develops the slightest list, it's liable to capsize and go to the bottom. But there you are, all turning up at the same time, with any amount of luggage ! Well, if you take all that stuff on board, I'm afraid you're going to wish you hadn't - especially those who can't swim!
HERMES: Then what are we supposed to do, if we want to get across?
CHARON: I'll tell you. You'll have to leave all that junk on the shore, take off everything you've got on, and come aboard like that. I'll only just manage to squeeze you in even then. So will you see to it, Hermes? Don't let anyone on to the boat until he's undressed and, as I say, deposited his luggage. You'd better stand at the foot of the gangway and check them over. Make sure they take off everything before they embark.
HERMES: Very well, that's what I'll do. All right, who's first?
MAN AT THE HEAD OF THE QUEUE: My name's Menippus. Well, there goes my stick - and my knapsack. [He throws them into the water.] As for my cloak, I took it off before I came - and how right I was!
HERMES: Good for you, Menippus! On you go. You can