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Aristophanes Index


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THE CLOUDS by Aristophanes, Part 10

STREPSIADES
Will the rhythms supply me with food?
SOCRATES
First they will help you to be pleasant in company, then to know
what is meant by enhoplian rhythm and what by the dactylic.
STREPSIADES
Of the dactyl? I know that quite well.
SOCRATES
What is it then, other than this finger here?
STREPSIADES
Formerly, when a child, I used this one.
SOCRATES
You are as low-minded as you are stupid.
STREPSIADES
But, wretched man, I do not want to learn all this.
SOCRATES
Then what do you want to know?
STREPSIADES
Not that, not that, but the art of false reasoning.
SOCRATES
But you must first learn other things. Come, what are the male
quadrupeds?
STREPSIADES
Oh! I know the males thoroughly. Do you take me for a fool then?
The ram, the buck, the bull, the dog, the pigeon.
SOCRATES
Do you see what you are doing; is not the female pigeon called the
same as the male?
STREPSIADES
How else? Come now!
SOCRATES
How else? With you then it's pigeon and pigeon!
STREPSIADES
That's right, by Posidon! but what names do you want me to give
them?
SOCRATES
Term the female pigeonnette and the male pigeon.
STREPSIADES
Pigeonnette! hah! by the Air! That's splendid! for that lesson
bring out your kneading-trough and I will fill him with flour to the
brim.
SOCRATES
There you are wrong again; you make trough masculine and it should
be feminine.
STREPSIADES
What? if I say, him, do I make the trough masculine?
SOCRATES
Assuredly! would you not say him for Cleonymus?
STREPSIADES
Well?
SOCRATES
Then trough is of the same gender as Cleonymus?
STREPSIADES
My good man! Cleonymus never had a kneading-trough; he used a
round mortar for the purpose. But come, tell me what I should say!
SOCRATES
For trough you should say her as you would for Soctrate.
STREPSIADES
Her?
SOCRATES
In this manner you make it truly female.
STREPSIADES
That's it! Her for trough and her for Cleonymus.
SOCRATE,"
Now I must teach you to distinguish the masculine proper names
from those that are feminine.
STREPSIADES
Ah! I know the female names well.
SOCRATES
Name some then.
STREPSIADES
Lysilla, Philinna, Clitagora, Demetria.
SOCRATES
And what are masculine names?
STREPSIADES
They are are countless-Philoxenus, Melesias, Amynias.
SOCRATES
But, wretched man, the last two are not masculine.
STREPSIADES
You do not count them as masculine?
SOCRATES
Not at all. If you met Amynias, how would you hail him?
STREPSIADES
How? Why, I should shout, "Hi, there, Amynia!
SOCRATES
Do you see? it's a female name that you give him.
STREPSIADES
And is it not rightly done, since he refuses military service? But
what use is there in learning what we all know?
SOCRATES
You know nothing about it. Come, lie down there.
STREPSIADES
What for?
SOCRATES
Ponder awhile over matters that interest you.
STREPSIADES
Oh! I pray you, not there but, if I must lie down and ponder,
let me lie on the ground.
SOCRATES
That's out of the question. Come! on the couch!
STREPSIADES (as he lies down)
What cruel fate! What a torture the bugs will this day put me to!
(Socrates turns aside.)

 

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