Ps.-Xenophon, Constitution of the Athenians 2.18

How to quote this translation

κωμωιδεῖν δ’ αὖ καὶ κακῶς λέγειν τὸν μὲν δῆμον οὐκ ἐῶσιν, ἵνα μὴ αὐτοὶ ἀκούωσι κακῶς· ἰδίαι δὲ κελεύουσιν, εἴ τίς τινα βούλεται, εὖ εἰδότες ὅτι οὐχὶ τοῦ δήμου ἐστὶν οὐδὲ τοῦ πλήθους ὁ κωμωιδούμενος ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολύ, ἀλλ’ ἢ πλούσιος ἢ γενναῖος ἢ δυνάμενος, ὀλίγοι δέ τινες τῶν πενήτων καὶ τῶν δημοτικῶν κωμωιδοῦνται καὶ οὐδ’ οὗτοι ἐὰν μὴ διὰ πολυπραγμοσύνην καὶ διὰ τὸ ζητεῖν πλέον τι ἔχειν τοῦ δήμου, ὥστε οὐδὲ τοὺς τοιούτους ἄχθονται κωμωιδουμένους.

Again, they do not allow comic poets to mock or speak ill of the people, so that they themselves are not spoken of badly. But if anyone wishes to mock a private individual, they encourage it, knowing well that the person mocked is not, for the most part, a man of the people or the masses but rather a wealthy or noble or powerful man, and that only a few of the poor and common men are mocked and only because they are busybodies and are trying to get one up on the demos somehow, so that they are not aggrieved to see these people mocked either.

Relevant guides Aristophanes