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THE ACHARNIANS by Aristophanes, Part 03

Is this not sufficient to drive a man to hang himself? Here I
stand chilled to the bone, whilst the doors of the Prytaneum fly
wide open to lodge such rascals. But I will do something great and
bold. Where is Amphitheus? Come and speak with me.
Here I am.
Take these eight drachmae and go and conclude a truce with the
Lace daemonians for me, my wife and my children; I leave you free,
my dear Prytanes, to send out embassies and to stand gaping in the
(AMPHITHEUS rushes out.)
Bring in Theorus, who has returned from the Court of Sitalces.
THEORUS (rising; he wears a Thracian costume.)
I am here.
Another humbug!
We should not have remained long in Thrace.....
....if you had not been well paid.
....if the country had not been covered with snow; the rivers were
That was when Theognis produced his tragedy.
....during the whole of that time I was holding my own with
Sitalces cup in hand; and, in truth, he adored you to such a degree
that he wrote on the walls, "How beautiful are the Athenians!" His
son, to whom we gave the freedom of the city, burned with desire to
come here and eat sausages at the feast of the Apaturia; he prayed his
father to come to the aid of his new country and Sitalces swore on his
goblet that he would succour us with such a host that the Athenians
would exclaim, "What a cloud of grasshoppers!
Damned if I believe a word of what you tell us! Excepting the
grasshoppers, there is not a grain of truth in it all!
And he has sent you the most warlike soldiers of all Thrace.
Now we shall begin to see clearly.
Come hither, Thracians, whom Theorus brought.
(A few Thracians are ushered in; they have a most unwarlike
appearance; the most striking feature of their costume is the
circumcised phallus.)
What plague have we here?
The host of the Odomanti.
Of the Odomanti? Tell me what it means. Who sliced their tools
like that?
If they are given a wage of two drachmae, they will put all
Boeotia to fire and sword.
Two drachmae to those circumcised hounds! Groan aloud, ye people
of rowers, bulwark of Athens! (The Odomanti steal his sack) Ah!
great gods! I am undone; these Odomanti are robbing me of my garlic!
Give me back my garlic.
Oh! wretched man! do not go near them; they have eaten garlic.
Prytanes, will you let me be treated in this manner, in my own
country and by barbarians? But I oppose the discussion of paying a
wage to the Thracians; I announce an omen; I have just felt a drop
of rain.
Let the Thracians withdraw and return the day after tomorrow;
the Prytanes declare the sitting at an end.
(All leave except DICAEOPOLIS.)
Ye gods, what garlic I have lost! But here comes Amphitheus
returned from Lacedaemon. Welcome, Amphitheus.
(AMPHITHEUS enters, very much out of breath.)
No, there is no welcome for me and I fly as fast as I can, for I
am pursued by the Acharnians.
Why, what has happened?
I was hurrying to bring your treaty of truce, but some old dotards
from Acharnae got scent of the thing; they are veterans of Marathon,
tough as oak or maple, of which they are made for sure-rough and
ruthless. They all started shouting: "Wretch! you are the bearer of
a treaty, and the enemy has only just cut our vines!" Meanwhile they
were gathering stones in their cloaks, so I fled and they ran after me
Let 'em shout as much as they please! But have you brought me
Most certainly, here are three samples to select from, this one is
five years old; taste it.
(He hands DICAEOPOLIS a bottle.)


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