Pack the dinner well into the basket; personally I shall carry the cloak.
Slave, take up the buckler and let's be off. It is snowing! Ah!
'tis a question of facing the winter.
Take up the basket, 'tis a question of getting to the feast.
We wish you both joy on your journeys, which differ so much. One goes
to mount guard and freeze, while the other will drink, crowned
with flowers, and then sleep with a young beauty, who will excite
I say it freely; may Zeus confound Antimachus, the poet-historian,
the son of Psacas! When Choregus at the Lenaea, alas! alas! he
dismissed me dinnerless. May I see him devouring with his eyes a
cuttle-fish, just served, well cooked, hot and properly salted; and
the moment that he stretches his hand to help himself, may a dog seize
it and run off with it. Such is my first wish. I also hope for him a
misfortune at night. That returning all-fevered from horse practice,
he may meet an Orestes, mad with drink, who breaks open his head;
that wishing to seize a stone, he, in the dark, may pick up a fresh stool,
hurl his missile, miss aim and hit Cratinus.
f An allusion to the paroxysms of rage, as represented in many tragedies
familiar to an Athenian audience, of Orestes, the son of Agamemnon,
after he had killed his mother.
f No doubt the comic poet, rival of Aristophanes.
SLAVE OF LAMACHUS
Slaves of Lamachus! Water, water in a little pot! Make it warm, get ready
cloths, cerate greasy wool and bandages for his ankle. In leaping a ditch,
the master has hurt himself against a stake; he has dislocated and twisted
his ankle, broken his head by falling on a stone, while his Gorgon shot far
away from his buckler. His mighty braggadocio plume rolled on the
ground; at this sight he uttered these doleful words, "Radiant star, I gaze
on thee for the last time; my eyes close to all light, I die." Having
he falls into the water, gets out again, meets some runaways and pursues
the robbers with his spear at their backsides. But here he comes,
himself. Get the door open.
f Unexpected wind-up of the story. Aristophanes intends to deride
the boasting of Lamachus, who was always ascribing to himself most
Oh! heavens! oh! heavens! What cruel pain! I faint, I tremble! Alas!
I die! the foe's lance has struck me! But what would hurt me most
would be for Dicaeopolis to see me wounded thus and laugh
at my ill-fortune.
DICAEOPOLIS (ENTERS WITH TWO COURTESANS)
Oh! my gods! what bosoms! Hard as a quince! Come, my treasures, give
me voluptuous kisses! Glue your lips to mine. Haha! I was the first to
empty my cup.
Oh! cruel fate! how I suffer! accursed wounds!
Hah! hah! hail! Knight Lamachus! (EMBRACES LAMACHUS.)
By the hostile gods! (BITES DICAEOPOLIS.)Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>