the stage, that unhappy, miserable old man?

f[1] 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.

DICAEOPOLIS

No, I want those of some hero still more unfortunate.

EURIPIDES

Of Phoenix, the blind man?

DICAEOPOLIS

No, not of Phoenix, you have another hero more unfortunate than him.

EURIPIDES

Now, what tatters DOES he want? Do you mean those of the beggar

Philoctetes?

DICAEOPOLIS

No, of another far more the mendicant.

EURIPIDES

Is it the filthy dress of the lame fellow, Bellerophon?

DICAEOPOLIS

No, 'tis not Bellerophon; he, whom I mean, was not only lame and a

beggar, but boastful and a fine speaker.

EURIPIDES

Ah! I know, it is Telephus, the Mysian.

DICAEOPOLIS

Yes, Telephus. Give me his rags, I beg of you.

EURIPIDES

Slave! give him Telephus' tatters; they are on top of the rags

of Thyestes and mixed with those of Ino.

SLAVE

Catch hold! here they are.

DICAEOPOLIS

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";[1] the audience will know well who I am, but

the Chorus will be fools enough not to, and I shall dupe 'em with my

subtle phrases.

f[1]

Line borrowed from Euripides. A great number of verses are similarly

parodied in this scene.

EURIPIDES

I will give you the hat; I love the clever tricks of an ingenious

brain like yours.

DICAEOPOLIS

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.

EURIPIDES

Here you are, and now get you gone from this porch.

DICAEOPOLIS

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.

EURIPIDES

Whatever do you want such a thing as that for?

DICAEOPOLIS

I do not need it, but I want it all the same.

EURIPIDES

You importune me; get you gone!

DICAEOPOLIS

Alas! may the gods grant you a destiny as brilliant as your

mother's.[1]

f[1] Report said that Euripides' mother had sold vegetables on the market.

EURIPIDES

Leave me in peace.

DICAEOPOLIS

Oh, just a little broken cup.

EURIPIDES

Take it and go and hang yourself. What a tiresome fellow!

DICAEOPOLIS

Ah! you do not know all the pain you cause me. Dear, good

Euripides, nothing beyond a small pipkin stoppered with a sponge.

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