the stage, that unhappy, miserable old man?
f Euripides delighted, or was supposed by his critic Aristophanes to
delight, in the representation of misery and wretchedness on the stage.
'Aeneus,' 'Phoenix,' 'Philoctetes,' 'Bellerophon,' 'Telephus,' Ino' are titles
of six tragedies of his in this genre of which fragments are extant.
No, I want those of some hero still more unfortunate.
Of Phoenix, the blind man?
No, not of Phoenix, you have another hero more unfortunate than him.
Now, what tatters DOES he want? Do you mean those of the beggar
No, of another far more the mendicant.
Is it the filthy dress of the lame fellow, Bellerophon?
No, 'tis not Bellerophon; he, whom I mean, was not only lame and a
beggar, but boastful and a fine speaker.
Ah! I know, it is Telephus, the Mysian.
Yes, Telephus. Give me his rags, I beg of you.
Slave! give him Telephus' tatters; they are on top of the rags
of Thyestes and mixed with those of Ino.
Catch hold! here they are.
Oh! Zeus, whose eye pierces everywhere and embraces all, permit me
to assume the most wretched dress on earth. Euripides, cap your
kindness by giving me the little Mysian hat, that goes so well with
these tatters. I must to-day have the look of a beggar; "be what I am,
but not appear to be"; the audience will know well who I am, but
the Chorus will be fools enough not to, and I shall dupe 'em with my
Line borrowed from Euripides. A great number of verses are similarly
parodied in this scene.
I will give you the hat; I love the clever tricks of an ingenious
brain like yours.
Rest happy, and may it befall Telephus as I wish. Ah! I already
feel myself filled with quibbles. But I must have a beggar's staff.
Here you are, and now get you gone from this porch.
Oh, my soul! You see how you are driven from this house, when I
still need so many accessories. But let us be pressing, obstinate,
importunate. Euripides, give me a little basket with a lamp alight inside.
Whatever do you want such a thing as that for?
I do not need it, but I want it all the same.
You importune me; get you gone!
Alas! may the gods grant you a destiny as brilliant as your
f Report said that Euripides' mother had sold vegetables on the market.
Leave me in peace.
Oh, just a little broken cup.
Take it and go and hang yourself. What a tiresome fellow!
Ah! you do not know all the pain you cause me. Dear, good
Euripides, nothing beyond a small pipkin stoppered with a sponge.Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>