Of what King? I am sick of all those fine birds, the peacock
ambassadors and their swagger.
Oh! oh! by Ecbatana, what a costume!
f The summer residence of the Great King.
During the archonship of Euthymenes, you sent us to the Great King
on a salary of two drachmae per diem.
Ah! those poor drachmae!
We suffered horribly on the plains of the Cayster, sleeping under a tent,
stretched deliciously on fine chariots, half dead with weariness.
And I was very much at ease, lying on the straw along the
f Referring to the hardships he had endured garrisoning the walls of
Athens during the Lacedaemonian invasions early in the War.
Everywhere we were well received and forced to drink delicious
wine out of golden or crystal flagons....
Oh, city of Cranaus, thy ambassadors are laughing at thee!
f Cranaus, the second king of Athens, the successor of Cecrops.
For great feeders and heavy drinkers are alone esteemed as men
by the barbarians.
Just as here in Athens, we only esteem the most drunken debauchees.
At the end of the fourth year we reached the King's Court, but
he had left with his whole army to ease himself, and for the space of
eight months he was thus easing himself in the midst of the golden
f Lucian, in his 'Hermotimus,' speaks of these golden mountains as an
apocryphal land of wonders and prodigies.
And how long was he replacing his dress?
The whole period of a full moon; after which he returned to his palace;
then he entertained us and had us served with oxen roasted whole
in an oven.
Who ever saw an oxen baked in an oven? What a lie!
On my honour, he also had us served with a bird three
times as large as Cleonymus, and called the Boaster.
f Cleonymus was an Athenian general of exceptionally tall stature;
Aristophanes incessantly rallies him for his cowardice; he had cast away
his buckler in a fight.
And do we give you two drachmae, that you should treat us to all
We are bringing to you Pseudartabas, the King's Eye.
f A name borne by certain officials of the King of Persia. The actor of
this part wore a mask, fitted with a single eye of great size.
I would a crow might pluck out thine with his beak, you cursed
The King's Eye!
Eh! Great Gods! Friend, with thy great eye, round like the hole through
which the oarsman passes his sweep, you have the air of a galley
doubling a cape to gain port.
Come, Pseudartabas, give forth the message for the Athenians
with which you were charged by the Great King.Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>