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Aristophanes Index


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THE CLOUDS by Aristophanes, Part 19

STREPSIADES
Very well! It will be so much more loss to add to the twelve
minae. But truly it makes me sad, for I do pity a poor simpleton who
says him for a kneading-trough
(Another creditor arrives.)
AMYNIAS
Woe! ah woe is me!
STREPSIADES
Wait! who is this whining fellow? Can it be one of the gods of
Carcinus?
AMYNIAS
Do you want to know who I am? I am a man of misfortune!
STREPSIADES
Get on your way then.
AMYNIAS (in tragic style)
Oh! cruel god! Oh Fate, who hast broken the wheels of my
chariot! Oh, Pallas, thou hast undone me!
STREPSIADES
What ill has Tlepolemus done you?
AMYNIAS
Instead of jeering me, friend, make your son return me the money
he has had of me; I am already unfortunate enough.
STREPSIADES
What money?
AMYNIAS
The money he borrowed of me.
STREPSIADES
You have indeed had misfortune, it seems to me.
AMYNIAS
Yes, by the gods! I have been thrown from a chariot.
STREPSIADES
Why then drivel as if you had fallen off an ass?
AMYNIAS
Am I drivelling because I demand my money?
STREPSIADES
No, no, you cannot be in your right senses.
AMYNIAS
Why?
STREPSIADES
No doubt your poor wits have had a shake.
AMYNIAS
But by Hermes! I will sue you at law, if you do not pay me.
STREPSIADES
Just tell me; do you think it is always fresh water that Zeus lets
fall every time it rains, or is ill always the same water that the sun
pumps over the earth?
AMYNIAS
I neither know, nor care.
STREPSIADES
And actually you would claim the right to demand your money,
when you know not an iota of these celestial phenomena?
AMYNIAS
If you are short, pay me the interest anyway.
STREPSIADES
What kind of animal is interest?
AMYNIAS
What? Does not the sum borrowed go on growing, growing every
month, each day as the time slips by?
STREPSIADES
Well put. But do you believe there is more water in the sea now
than there was formerly?
AMYNIAS
No, it's just the same quantity. It cannot increase.
STREPSIADES
Thus, poor fool, the sea, that receives the rivers, never grows,
and yet you would have your money grow? Get you gone, away with you,
quick! Slave! bring me the ox-goad!
AMYNIAS
I have witnesses to this.
STREPSIADES
Come, what are you waiting for? Will you not budge, old nag!
AMYNIAS
What an insult!
STREPSIADES
Unless you start trotting, I shall catch you and stick this in
your arse, you sorry packhorse! (AMYNIAS runs off.) Ah! you start,
do you? I was about to drive you pretty fast, I tell you-you and
your wheels and your chariot!
(He enters his house.)
CHORUS (singing)
Whither does the passion of evil lead! here is a perverse old man,
who wants to cheat his creditors; but some mishap, which will speedily
punish this rogue for his shameful schemings, cannot fail to
overtake him from to-day. For a long time he has been burning to
have his son know how to fight against all justice and right and to
gain even the most iniquitous causes against his adversaries every
one. I think this wish is going to be fulfilled. But mayhap, mayhap,
will he soon wish his son were dumb rather!
STREPSIADES (rushing out With PHIDIPPIDES after him)
Oh! oh! neighbours, kinsmen, fellow-citizens, help! help! to the
rescue, I am being beaten! Oh! my head! oh! my jaw! Scoundrel! Do
you beat your own father?
PHIDIPPIDES (calmly)
Yes, father, I do.
STREPSIADES
See! he admits he is beating me.
PHIDIPPIDES
Of course I do.

 

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