(Presumably recorded in the Elysian Fields)
LUCIAN: Well, Mr Hesiod, it's obvious from your works, which are very grand and inspired, that you've a real talent for poetry, and that you got it from the Muses when they made you Poet Laureate. I'm quite sure you did. But there's just one point that puzzles me. You say 1 the Muses gave you the divine gift of song, so that you could celebrate past events and prophesy future ones. Now, you've carried out the first of these assignments very thoroughly, in tracing the genealogy of the gods right back to Chaos, Earth, Sky, and Love. Then there are your biographies of famous women, and your manual of agriculture, which supplies useful information about the Pleiades, and the correct times for sowing, reaping, sailing, and so forth.
But you've never even begun to display your other qualification, though it's a far more valuable one, and far more the sort of thing you'd expect to get from a goddess - I mean your power of prophecy. You seem to have forgotten all about that part of it. Nowhere in your works do you attempt to emulate Calchas, or Telemus, or Polyidus, or Phineus. They weren't given any special powers by the Muses, but they prophesied just the same, and never hesitated to answer questions about the future.
So you've laid yourself open to one of three charges. Either - it's an unpleasant thing to say, but - either you were lying, when you said the Muses had promised you the gift of prophecy. Or else they kept their promise and gave it to you, but you've been too mean to use it, and kept it tucked away up your sleeve and refused to share it with anyone. Or else you've written lots of prophetic books and never published them, but are saving them up for some