THE ACHARNIANS by Aristophanes, Part 16
LAMACHUS (to his slave)
Bring me the case for my triple plume.
DICAEOPOLIS (to his slave)
Pass me over that dish of hare.
Alas! the moths have eaten the hair of my crest.
Shall I eat my hare before dinner?
My friend, will you kindly not speak to me?
I'm not speaking to you; I'm scolding my slave. (To the slave)
Shall we wager and submit the matter to Lamachus, which of the two
is the best to eat, a locust or a thrush?
He much prefers the locusts.
Slave, unhook my spear and bring it to me.
Slave, slave, take the sausage from the fire and bring it to me.
Come, let me draw my spear from its sheath. Hold it, slave, hold
And you, slave, grip well hold of the skewer.
Slave, the bracings for my shield.
Pull the loaves out of the oven and bring me these bracings of
My round buckler with the Gorgon's head.
My round cheese-cake.
What clumsy wit!
What delicious cheese-cake!
Pour oil on the buckler. Hah! hah I can see reflected there an old
man who will be accused of cowardice.
Pour honey on the cake. Hah! hah! hah! I can see an old man who
makes Lamachus of the Gorgon's head weep with rage.
Slave, full war armour.
Slave, my beaker; that is my armour.
With this I hold my ground with any foe.
And I with this in any drinking bout.
Fasten the strappings to the buckler.
Pack the dinner well into the basket.
Personally I shall carry the knapsack.
Personally I shall carry the cloak.
Slave, take up the buckler and let's be off. It is snowing! God
help us! A wintry business!
Take up the basket, mine's a festive business.
(They depart in opposite directions.)
LEADER OF THE 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 lie with a young beauty till he gets his tool
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 , mad with drink, who will crack him over the
head; that wishing to seize a stone, he, in the dark, may pick up a
fresh turd, hurl, miss him and hit Cratinus.
(The slave of LAMACHUS enters.)
SLAVE OF LAMACHUS (knocking on the door of LAMACHUS' house, in
Captives present within the house 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. But here he comes, himself. Get the door open.
(In this final scene all the lines are sung.)