Look at this charming eel, that returns to us after six long years
of absence. Salute it, my children; as for myself, I will supply
coal to do honour to the stranger. Take it into my house; death itself
could not separate me from her, if cooked with beet leaves.
f He was the Lucullus of Athens.
f This again fixes the date of the presentation of 'The
Acharnians' to 436 B.C., the sixth year of the War, since the
beginning of which Boeotia had been closed to the Athenians.
And what will you give me in return?
It will pay for your market dues. And as to the rest, what do
you wish to sell me?
On what terms? For ready-money or in wares from these parts?
I would take some Athenian produce, that we have not got
Phaleric anchovies, pottery?
Anchovies, pottery? But these we have. I want produce that is
wanting with us and that is plentiful here.
Ah! I have the very thing; take away an Informer, packed up
carefully as crockery-ware.
By the twin gods! I should earn big money, if I took one; I
would exhibit him as an ape full of spite.
Hah! here we have Nicarchus, who comes to denounce you.
f An informer.
How small he is!
But in his case the whole is one mass of ill-nature.
Whose are these goods?
Mine; they come from Boeotia, I call Zeus to witness.
I denounce them as coming from an enemy's country.
What! you declare war against birds?
And I am going to denounce you too.
What harm have I done you?
I will say it for the benefit of those that listen; you introduce lamp-wicks
from an enemy's country.
Then you go as far as denouncing a wick.
It needs but one to set an arsenal afire.
A wick set an arsenal ablaze! But how, great gods?
Should a Boeotian attach it to an insect's wing, and, taking
advantage of a violent north wind, throw it by means of a tube into
the arsenal and the fire once get hold of the vessels, everything
would soon be devoured by the flames.
Ah! wretch! an insect and a wick devour everything!
(HE STRIKES HIM.)
NICARCHUS (TO THE CHORUS)
You will bear witness, that he mishandles me.
Shut his mouth. Give me some hay; I am going to pack him up like
a vase, that he may not get broken on the road.
Pack up your goods carefully, friend; that the stranger may not
break it when taking it away.
I shall take great care with it, for one would say he is cracked already;
he rings with a false note, which the gods abhor.
But what will be done with him?Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>