The drama takes its title from the Chorus, composed of old

men of Acharnae.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

DICAEOPOLIS

HERALD

AMPHITHEUS

AMBASSADORS

PSEUDARTABAS

THEORUS

WIFE OF DICAEOPOLIS

DAUGHTER OF DICAEOPOLIS

EURIPIDES

CEPHISOPHON, servant of Euripides

LAMACHUS

ATTENDANT OF LAMACHUS

A MEGARIAN

MAIDENS, daughters of the Megarian

A BOEOTIAN

NICARCHUS

A HUSBANDMAN

A BRIDESMAID

AN INFORMER

MESSENGERS

CHORUS OF ACHARNIAN ELDERS

SCENE: The Athenian Ecclesia on the Pnyx; afterwards Dicaeopolis' house in

the country.

DICAEOPOLIS[1] (alone)

What cares have not gnawed at my heart and how few have been the

pleasures in my life! Four, to be exact, while my troubles have been

as countless as the grains of sand on the shore! Let me see! of what

value to me have been these few pleasures? Ah! I remember that I was

delighted in soul when Cleon had to disgorge those five talents;[2] I was

in ecstasy and I love the Knights for this deed; 'it is an honour to

Greece.'[3] But the day when I was impatiently awaiting a piece by

Aeschylus,[4] what tragic despair it caused me when the herald called,

"Theognis,[5] introduce your Chorus!" Just imagine how this blow struck

straight at my heart! On the other hand, what joy Dexitheus caused

me at the musical competition, when he played a Boeotian melody

on the lyre! But this year by contrast! Oh! what deadly torture

to hear Chaeris[6] perform the prelude in the Orthian mode![7]

--Never, however, since I began to bathe, has the dust hurt my

eyes as it does to-day. Still it is the day of assembly; all should be

here at daybreak, and yet the Pnyx[8] is still deserted. They are

gossiping in the marketplace, slipping hither and thither to avoid

the vermilioned rope.[9] The Prytanes[10] even do not come; they will be

late, but when they come they will push and fight each other for a

seat in the front row. They will never trouble themselves with the

question of peace. Oh! Athens! Athens! As for myself, I do not fail to

come here before all the rest, and now, finding myself alone, I groan,

yawn, stretch, break wind, and know not what to do; I make sketches in

the dust, pull out my loose hairs, muse, think of my fields, long for

peace, curse town life and regret my dear country home,[11] which never

told me to 'buy fuel, vinegar or oil'; there the word 'buy,' which

cuts me in two, was unknown; I harvested everything at will. Therefore

I have come to the assembly fully prepared to bawl, interrupt and

abuse the speakers, if they talk of anything but peace. But here come the

Prytanes, and high time too, for it is midday! As I foretold, hah! is it

not so? They are pushing and fighting for the front seats.

f[1] A name invented by Aristophanes and signifying 'a just citizen.'

f[2] Clean had received five talents from the islanders subject to Athens,

on condition that he should get the tribute payable by them reduced; when

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