The witch cackling ""Tell your fortune, my pretty lad,"" the bearded magician who gives Agathon the signet ring from his father and swears him to secrecy, the two barbarians lurking behind every column, Uncle Nicos trying to wheedle himself into Agathon's confidence. . . are all a conspiracy to teach the unwary reader about fifth century Greece. In a confusion of tongues: ""By the gods. . . the procession was great, Mother."" From the Agora to the Acropolis, an unbelievable bore.