Timon. Zeus. Hermes. Plutus. Poverty. Gnathonides. Philiades. Demeas. Thrasycles. Blepsias.
Tim. O Zeus, thou arbiter of friendship, protector of the guest, preserver of fellowship, lord of the hearth, launcher of the lightning, avenger of oaths, compeller of clouds, utterer of thunder (and pray add any other epithets; those cracked poets have plenty ready, especially when they are in difficulties with their scansion; then it is that a string of your names saves the situation and fills up the metrical gaps), O Zeus, where is now your resplendent lightning, where your deep-toned thunder, where the glowing, white-hot, direful bolt? we know now 'tis all fudge and poetic moonshine--barring what value may attach to the rattle of the names. That renowned projectile of yours, which ranged so far and was so ready to your hand, has gone dead and cold, it seems; never a spark left in it to scorch iniquity.
If men are meditating perjury, a smouldering lamp-wick is as2 likely to frighten them off it as the omnipotenes levin-bolt; the brand you hold over them is one from which they see neither flame nor smoke can come; a little soot-grime is the worst that need be apprehended from a touch of it. No wonder if Salmoneus challenged you to a thundering-match; he was reasonable enough when he backed his artificial heat against so cool- tempered a Zeus. Of course he was; there are you in your opiate-trance, never hearing the perjurers nor casting a glance at criminals, your glazed eyes dull to all that happens, and your ears as deaf as a dotard's.
When you were young and keen, and your temper had some3 life in it, you used to bestir yourself against crime and violence; there were no armistices in those days; the thunderbolt was