DICAEOPOLIS

Pack the dinner well into the basket; personally I shall carry the cloak.

LAMACHUS

Slave, take up the buckler and let's be off. It is snowing! Ah!

'tis a question of facing the winter.

DICAEOPOLIS

Take up the basket, 'tis a question of getting to the feast.

CHORUS

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

him readily.

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,[1] 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.[2]

f[1] 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[2] 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

said this,

he falls into the water, gets out again, meets some runaways and pursues

the robbers with his spear at their backsides.[1] But here he comes,

himself. Get the door open.

f[1] Unexpected wind-up of the story. Aristophanes intends to deride

the boasting of Lamachus, who was always ascribing to himself most

unlikely exploits.

LAMACHUS

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.

LAMACHUS

Oh! cruel fate! how I suffer! accursed wounds!

DICAEOPOLIS

Hah! hah! hail! Knight Lamachus! (EMBRACES LAMACHUS.)

LAMACHUS

By the hostile gods! (BITES DICAEOPOLIS.)

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