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THE ACHARNIANS by Aristophanes, Part 08

LEADER OF FIRST SEMI-CHORUS
Oh! wretch! oh! infamous man! You are naught but a beggar and
yet you dare to talk to us like this! you insult their worships the
informers!
LEADER OF SECOND SEMI-CHORUS
By Posidon! he speaks the truth; he has not lied in a single
detail.
LEADER OF FIRST SEMI-CHORUS
But though it be true, need he say it? But you'll have no great
cause to be proud of your insolence!
LEADER OF SECOND SEMI-CHORUS
Where are you running to? Don't you move; if you strike this
man, I shall be at you.
FIRST SEMI-CHORUS (bursting into song)
Oh! Lamachus, whose glance flashes lightning, whose plume
petrifies thy foes, help! Oh! Lamachus, my friend, the hero of my
tribe and all of you, both officers and soldiers, defenders of our
walls, come to my aid; else is it all over with me!
(LAMACHUS comes out of his house armed from head to foot.)
LAMACHUS
Whence comes this cry of battle? where must I bring my aid?
where must I sow dread? who wants me to uncase my dreadful Gorgon's
head?
DICAEOPOLIS
Oh, Lamachus, great hero! Your plumes and your cohorts terrify me.
CHORUS-LEADER
This man, Lamachus, incessantly abuses Athens.
LAMACHUS
You are but a mendicant and you dare to use language of this sort?
DICAEOPOLIS
Oh, brave Lamachus, forgive a beggar who speaks at hazard.
LAMACHUS
But what have you said? Let us hear.
DICAEOPOLIS
I know nothing about it; the sight of weapons makes me dizzy.
Oh! I adjure you, take that fearful Gorgon somewhat farther away.
LAMACHUS
There.
DICAEOPOLIS
Now place it face downwards on the ground.
LAMACHUS
It is done.
DICAEOPOLIS
Give me a plume out of your helmet.
LAMACHUS
Here is a feather.
DICAEOPOLIS
And hold my head while I vomit; the plumes have turned my stomach.
LAMACHUS
Hah! what are you proposing to do? do you want to make yourself
vomit with this feather?
DICAEOPOLIS
Is it a feather? what bird's? a braggart's?
LAMACHUS
Hah! I will rip you open.
DICAEOPOLIS
No, no, Lamachus! Violence is out of place here! But as you are so
strong, why did you not circumcise me? You have all the tools you need
for the operation there.
LAMACHUS
A beggar dares thus address a general!
DICAEOPOLIS
How? Am I a beggar?
LAMACHUS
What are you then?
DICAEOPOLIS
Who am I? A good citizen, not ambitious; a soldier, who has fought
well since the outbreak of the war, whereas you are but a vile
mercenary.
LAMACHUS
They elected me....
DICAEOPOLIS
Yes, three cuckoos did! If I have concluded peace, it was
disgust that drove me; for I see men with hoary heads in the ranks and
young fellows of your age shirking service. Some are in Thrace getting
an allowance of three drachmae, such fellows as Tisamenophaenippus and
Panurgipparchides. The others are with Chares or in Chaonia, men
like Geretotheodorus and Diomialazon; there are some of the same
kidney, too, at Camarina, at Gela, and at Catagela.

 

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