Sophocles, creator; Mahoney, Anne (Anne Elizabeth), translator.
---if what you say is true.
---I speak truth. --- stolen --- the cattle --- it fits --- cut [*](Two or three lines are lost here.)
---I understand finally --- laughing at my foolishness --- nothing, delight for the child. You can be reassured about me from now on, and laugh at me if you get some joy or profit from it. But do not mock the son of Zeus, making childish remarks about the child.
For he did not inherit a thief’s nature from his father, nor does thievery hold sway in his mother’s family. If there is any theft here, look for a poor man as your thief; but this boy’s house is hardly poor. Consider his family, and fit bad deeds to bad men; it’s hardly appropriate to him. But you are always a child, even though you’re a young man and your beard grows on your face like a goat’s. Stop stretching up your smooth bald head for caresses. I tell you this: if you think the gods are foolish or laughable,
you will soon be crying.
Turn and twist the words however you want, to find a clever story. You won’t convince me that the sewn-together hides are any others than the ones from the stolen cows of Loxias[*](A title for Apollo). Don’t try to turn me aside.