But though it be true, need he say it? But you'll have no great

cause to be proud of your insolence!

SECOND SEMI-CHORUS

Where are you running to? Don't you move; if you strike this man,

I shall be at you.

FIRST SEMI-CHORUS

Lamachus, whose glance flashes lightning, whose plume

petrifies thy foes, help! Oh! Lamachus, my friend, the hero of my

tribe and all of you, both officers and soldiers, defenders of our

walls, come to my aid; else is it all over with me!

LAMACHUS

Whence comes this cry of battle? where must I bring my aid?

where must I sow dread? who wants me to uncase my dreadful Gorgon's

head?[1]

f[1] A figure of Medusa's head, forming the centre of Lamachus' shield.

DICAEOPOLIS

Oh, Lamachus, great hero! Your plumes and your cohorts terrify me.

CHORUS

This man, Lamachus, incessantly abuses Athens.

LAMACHUS

You are but a mendicant and you dare to use language of this sort?

DICAEOPOLIS

Oh, brave Lamachus, forgive a beggar who speaks at hazard.

LAMACHUS

But what have you said? Let us hear.

DICAEOPOLIS

I know nothing about it; the sight of weapons makes me dizzy.

Oh! I adjure you, take that fearful Gorgon somewhat farther away.

LAMACHUS

There.

DICAEOPOLIS

Now place it face downwards on the ground.

LAMACHUS

It is done.

DICAEOPOLIS

Give me a plume out of your helmet.

LAMACHUS

Here is a feather.

DICAEOPOLIS

And hold my head while I vomit; the plumes have turned my stomach.

LAMACHUS

Hah! what are you proposing to do? do you want to make yourself

vomit with this feather?

DICAEOPOLIS

Is it a feather? what bird's? a braggart's?

LAMACHUS

Ah! ah! I will rip you open.

DICAEOPOLIS

No, no, Lamachus! Violence is out of place here! But as you are so

strong, why did you not circumcise me? You have all the tools you want

for the operation there.

LAMACHUS

A beggar dares thus address a general!

DICAEOPOLIS

How? Am I a beggar?

LAMACHUS

What are you then?

DICAEOPOLIS

Who am I? A good citizen, not ambitious; a soldier, who has fought

well since the outbreak of the war, whereas you are but a vile

mercenary.

LAMACHUS

They elected me...

DICAEOPOLIS

Yes, three cuckoos did![1] If I have concluded peace, 'twas

disgust that drove me; for I see men with hoary heads in the ranks and

young fellows of your age shirking service. Some are in Thrace getting

an allowance of three drachmae, such fellows as Tisamenophoenippus

and Panurgipparchides. The others are with Chares or in Chaonia, men

like Geretotheodorus and Diomialazon; there are some of the same

kidney, too, at Camarina and at Gela,[2] the laughing-stock of all and sundry.

f[1] Indicates the character of his election, which was arranged, so

Aristophanes implies, by his partisans.

f[2] Town in Sicily. There is a pun on the name Gela and 'ridiculous'

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