But though it be true, need he say it? But you'll have no great
cause to be proud of your insolence!
Where are you running to? Don't you move; if you strike this man,
I shall be at you.
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!
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
f A figure of Medusa's head, forming the centre of Lamachus' shield.
Oh, Lamachus, great hero! Your plumes and your cohorts terrify me.
This man, Lamachus, incessantly abuses Athens.
You are but a mendicant and you dare to use language of this sort?
Oh, brave Lamachus, forgive a beggar who speaks at hazard.
But what have you said? Let us hear.
I know nothing about it; the sight of weapons makes me dizzy.
Oh! I adjure you, take that fearful Gorgon somewhat farther away.
Now place it face downwards on the ground.
It is done.
Give me a plume out of your helmet.
Here is a feather.
And hold my head while I vomit; the plumes have turned my stomach.
Hah! what are you proposing to do? do you want to make yourself
vomit with this feather?
Is it a feather? what bird's? a braggart's?
Ah! ah! I will rip you open.
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.
A beggar dares thus address a general!
How? Am I a beggar?
What are you then?
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
They elected me...
Yes, three cuckoos did! 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, the laughing-stock of all and sundry.
f Indicates the character of his election, which was arranged, so
Aristophanes implies, by his partisans.
f Town in Sicily. There is a pun on the name Gela and 'ridiculous'Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>