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Aristophanes Index


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THE FROGS by Aristophanes, Part 05

Dionysus
O hang the fellow.
That's all his bluff: he thought to scare me off,
The jealous dog, knowing my plucky ways.
There's no such swaggerer lives as Heracles.
Why, I'd like nothing better than to achieve
Some bold adventure, worthy of our trip.
XANTHIAS
I know you would. Hallo! I hear a noise.
Dionysus
Where? what?
XANTHIAS
Behind us, there.
Dionysus
Get you behind.
XANTHIAS
No, it's in front.
Dionysus
Get you in front directly.
XANTHIAS
And now I see the most ferocious monster.
Dionysus
O, what's it like?
XANTHIAS
Like everything by turns.
Now it's a bull: now it's a mule: and now
The loveliest girl.
Dionysus
O, where? I'll go and meet her.
XANTHIAS
It's ceased to be a girl: it's a dog now.
Dionysus
It is Empusa!
XANTHIAS
Well, its face is all
Ablaze with fire.
Dionysus
Has it a copper leg?
XANTHIAS
A copper leg? yes, one; and one of cow dung.
Dionysus
O, whither shall I flee?
XANTHIAS
O, whither I?
Dionysus
My priest, protect me, and we'll sup together.
XANTHIAS
King Heracles, we're done for.
Dionysus
O, forbear, Good fellow, call me anything but that.
XANTHIAS
Well then, Dionysus.
Dionysus
O, that's worse again,
XANTHIAS (to the SPECTRE)
Aye, go thy way. O master,
here, come here.
Dionysus
O, what's up now?
XANTHIAS
Take courage; all's serene.
And, like Hegelochus, we now may say
"Out of the storm there comes a new wether."
Empusa's gone.
Dionysus
Swear it.
XANTHIAS
By Zeus she is.
Dionysus
Swear it again.
XANTHIAS
By Zeus.
Dionysus
Again.
XANTHIAS
By Zeus.
O dear, O dear, how pale I grew to see her,
But he, from fright has yellowed me all over.
Dionysus
Ah me, whence fall these evils on my head? on
Who is the god to blame for my destruction?
Air, Zeus's chamber, or the Foot of Time?

(A flute is played behind the scenes.)

XANTHIAS
What's the matter?
Dionysus
The breath of flutes.
XANTHIAS
Aye, and a whiff of torches
Breathed o'er me too; a very mystic whiff.
Dionysus
Then crouch we down, and mark what's going on.
CHORUS (in the distance)
O lacchus! O lacchus! O Iacchus!
XANTHIAS
I have it, master: 'tis those blessed Mystics,
Of whom he told us, sporting hereabouts.
They sing the Iacchus which Diagoras made.
Dionysus
I think so too: we had better both keep quiet
And so find out exactly what it is.

Enter CHORUS, who had chanted the songs of the FROGS, as initiates.

CHORUS
O Iacchus! power excelling,
here in stately temples dwelling.
O Iacchus! O lacchus!
Come to tread this verdant level,
Come to dance in mystic revel,
Come whilst round thy forehead hurtles
Many a wreath of fruitful myrtles,
Come with wild and saucy paces
Mingling in our joyous dance,
Pure and holy, which embraces
all the charms of all the Graces,
When the mystic choirs advance.
XANTHIAS
Holy and sacred queen, Demeter's daughter,
O, what a jolly whiff of pork breathed o'er me!
Dionysus
Hist! and perchance you'll get some tripe yourself.

 

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