Classics
Bulfinch Mythol.
The Odyssey
The Iliad
Argonautica
Hesiod-Theogony

Site Search



greece
athens airport
casino
bet
greek news
tavli sto internet
livescore
news now

Olympians Titans Other Gods Myths Online Books
 
Aristophanes Index


< Previous Next>

THE BIRDS by Aristophanes, Part 21

INFORMER
...a hatcher of lawsuits. Hence I have great need of wings to
prowl round the cities and drag them before justice.
PITHETAERUS
Would you do this better if you had wings?
INFORMER
No, but I should no longer fear the pirates; I should return
with the cranes, loaded with a supply of lawsuits by way of ballast.
PITHETAERUS
So it seems, despite all your youthful vigour, you make it your
trade to denounce strangers?
INFORMER
Well, and why not? I don't know how to dig.
PITHETAERUS
But, by Zeus! there are honest ways of gaining a living at your
age without all this infamous trickery.
INFORMER
My friend, I am asking you for wings, not for words.
PITHETAERUS
It's just my words that gives you wings.
INFORMER
And how can you give a man wings with your words?
PITHETAERUS
They all start this way.
INFORMER
How?
PITHETAERUS
Have you not often heard the father say to young men in the
barbers' shops, "It's astonishing how Diitrephes' advice has made my
son fly to horse-riding."-"Mine," says another, "has flown towards
tragic poetry on the wings of his imagination."
INFORMER
So that words give wings?
PITHETAERUS
Undoubtedly; words give wings to the mind and make a man soar to
heaven. Thus I hope that my wise words will give you wings to fly to
some less degrading trade.
INFORMER
But I do not want to.
PITHETAERUS
What do you reckon on doing then?
INFORMER
I won't belie my breeding; from generation to generation we have
lived by informing. Quick, therefore, give me quickly some light,
swift hawk or kestrel wings, so that I may summon the islanders,
sustain the accusation here, and haste back there again on flying
pinions.
PITHETAERUS
I see. In this way the stranger will be condemned even before he
appears.
INFORMER
That's just it.
PITHETAERUS
And while he is on his way here by sea, you will be flying to
the islands to despoil him of his property.
INFORMER
You've hit it, precisely; I must whirl hither and thither like a
perfect humming-top.
PITHETAERUS
I catch the idea. Wait, I've got some fine Corcyraean wings. How
do you like them?
INFORMER
Oh! woe is me! Why, it's a whip!
PITHETAERUS
No, no; these are the wings, I tell you, that make the top spin.
INFORMER (as PITHETAERUS lashes him)
Oh! oh! oh!
PITHETAERUS
Take your flight, clear off, you miserable cur, or you will soon
see what comes of quibbling and lying. (The INFORMER flees. To his
slaves) Come, let us gather up our wings and withdraw.
(The baskets are taken away.)
CHORUS (singing)
In my ethereal flights I have seen many things new and strange and
wondrous beyond belief. There is a tree called Cleonymus belonging
to an unknown species; it has no heart, is good for nothing and is
as tall as it is cowardly. In springtime it shoots forth calumnies
instead of buds and in autumn it strews the ground with bucklers in
place of leaves.
Far away in the regions of darkness, where no ray of light ever
enters, there is a country, where men sit at the table of the heroes
and dwell with them always-except in the evening. Should any mortal
meet the hero ORESTES at night, he would soon be stripped and
covered with blows from head to foot.
(PROMETHEUS enters, masked to conceal his identity.)
PROMETHEUS
Ah! by the gods! if only Zeus does not espy me! Where is
Pithetaerus?
PITHETAERUS
Ha! what is this? A masked man!
PROMETHEUS
Can you see any god behind me?
PITHETAERUS
No, none. But who are you, pray?
PROMETHEUS
What's the time, please?
PITHETAERUS
The time? Why, it's past noon. Who are you?

 

< Previous Next>

Aristophanes Index

 

[Home] [Olympians] [Titans] [Other Gods] [Myths] [Online Books]

Contact:  
Copyright 2000-2014, GreekMythology.comTM. 

For more general info on Greek Gods, Greek Goddesses, Greek Heroes, Greek Monsters and Greek Mythology Movies visit Greece.com Mythology.

All written text in the site except Online Books is copyrighted by GreekMythology.com and cannot be used elsewhere.