Miserable man! You are robbing me of an entire tragedy. Here, take it
and be off.
f Aristophanes means, of course, to imply that the whole talent of
Euripides lay in these petty details of stage property.
I am going, but, great gods! I need one thing more; unless I
have it, I am a dead man. Hearken, my little Euripides, only give me
this and I go, never to return. For pity's sake, do give me a few
small herbs for my basket.
You wish to ruin me then. Here, take what you want; but it is
all over with my pieces!
I won't ask another thing; I'm going. I am too importunate and
forget that I rouse against me the hate of kings.--Ah! wretch that I am!
I am lost! I have forgotten one thing, without which all the rest is
as nothing. Euripides, my excellent Euripides, my dear little Euripides,
may I die if I ask you again for the smallest present; only one, the last,
absolutely the last; give me some of the chervil your mother left
you in her will.
Insolent hound! Slave, lock the door!
Oh, my soul! I must go away without the chervil. Art thou
sensible of the dangerous battle we are about to engage upon in
defending the Lacedaemonians? Courage, my soul, we must plunge
into the midst of it. Dost thou hesitate and art thou fully steeped
in Euripides? That's right! do not falter, my poor heart, and let us risk
our head to say what we hold for truth. Courage and boldly to
the front. I wonder I am so brave.
What do you purport doing? what are you going to say? What an
impudent fellow! what a brazen heart! to dare to stake his head and
uphold an opinion contrary to that of us all! And he does not
tremble to face this peril. Come, it is you who desired it, speak!
Spectators, be not angered if, although I am a beggar, I dare in
a Comedy to speak before the people of Athens of the public weal;
Comedy too can sometimes discern what is right. I shall not please,
but I shall say what is true. Besides, Cleon shall not be able to accuse
me of attacking Athens before strangers; we are by ourselves at the
festival of the Lenaea; the period when our allies send us their tribute
and their soldiers is not yet. Here is only the pure wheat
without chaff; as to the resident strangers settled among us, they
and the citizens are one, like the straw and the ear.
I detest the Lacedaemonians with all my heart, and may Posidon,
the god of Taenarus, cause an earthquake and overturn their dwellings!
My vines also have been cut. But come (there are only friends who
hear me), why accuse the Laconians of all our woes? Some men (I do not
say the city, note particularly that I do not say the city), some
wretches, lost in vices, bereft of honour, who were not even
citizens of good stamp, but strangers, have accused the Megarians of
introducing their produce fraudulently, and not a cucumber, a leveret,Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>