SCENE: The East. Outside a city wall; three beggars seated on the ground.
OOGNO These days are bad for beggary.
THAHN They are bad.
ULF (an older beggar but not grey) Some evil has befallen the rich ones of this city. They take no joy any longer in benevolence, but are become sour and miserly at heart. Alas for them! I sometimes sigh for them when I think of this.
OOGNO Alas for them. A miserly heart must be a sore affliction.
THAHN A sore affliction indeed, and bad for our calling.
OOGNO (reflectively) They have been thus for many months. What thing has befallen them?
THAHN Some evil thing.
ULF There has been a comet come near to the earth of late and the earth has been parched and sultry so that the gods are drowsy and all those things that are divine in man, such as benevolence, drunkenness, extravagance and song, have faded and died and have not been replenished by the gods.
OOGNO It has indeed been sultry.