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Aristophanes Index


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THE FROGS by Aristophanes, Part 16

AESCHYLUS
Lost his bottle of oil.
EURIPIDES
Hang it, what's that? Confound that bottle of oil!
Give him another: let him try again.
EURIPIDES
"Bacchus, who, clad in fawnskins, leaps and bounds
torch and thyrsus in the choral dance along Parnassus"
AESCHYLUS
Lost his bottle of oil.
Dionysus
Ah me, we are stricken-with that bottle again!
Pooh, pooh, that's nothing. I've a prologue
He'll never tack his bottle of oil to this:
"No man is blest in every single thing.
One is of noble birth, but lacking means.
Another, baseborn,"
AESCHYLUS
Lost his bottle of oil.
Dionysus
Euripides!
EURIPIDES
Well?
Dionysus
Lower your sails, my boy;
This bottle of is going to blow a gale.
EURIPIDES
O, by Demeter, I care one bit;
Now from his hands I'll strike that bottle of oil.
Dionysus
Go on then, go: but ware the bottle of oil.
EURIPIDES
"Once Cadmus, quitting the Sidonian town, Agenor's offspring"
AESCHYLUS
Lost his bottle of oil.
Dionysus
O pray, my man, buy off that bottle of oil,
Or else he'll smash our prologues all to bits.
EURIPIDES
I buy of him?
Dionysus
If my advice you'll take.
EURIPIDES
No, no, I've many a prologue yet to say,
To which he can't tack on his bottle of oil.
"Pelops, the son of Tantalus, while driving
His mares to Pisa"
AESCHYLUS
Lost his bottle of oil.
Dionysus
There! he tacked on the bottle of oil again.
O for heaven's sake, pay him its price, dear boy;
You'll get it for an obol, spick and span.
EURIPIDES
Not yet, by Zeus; I've plenty of prologues left.
"Oeneus once reaping"
AESCHYLUS
Lost his bottle of oil.
EURIPIDES
Pray let me finish one entire line first.
"Oeneus once reaping an abundant harvest,
Offering the firstfruits"
AESCHYLUS
Lost his bottle of oil.
Dionysus
What, in the act of offering? Fie! Who stole it?
EURIPIDES
O don't keep bothering! Let him try with
"Zeus, as by Truth's own voice the tale is told,"
Dionysus
No, he'll cut in with "Lost his bottle of oil" bottle
Those bottles of oil on all your prologues seem
To gather and grow, like styes upon the eye.
Turn to his melodies now for goodness' sake.
EURIPIDES
O I can easily show that he's a poor
Melody-maker; makes all alike.
CHORUS
What, O what will be done!
Strange to think that he dare
Blame the bard who has won,
More than all in our days,
Fame and praise for his lays,
Lays so many and fair.
Much I marvel to hear
What the charge he will bring
'Gainst our tragedy king;
Yea for himself do fear.
EURIPIDES
Wonderful lays! O yes, you'll see directly.
I'll cut down all his metrical strains to one.
Dionysus
And I, I'll take some pebbles, and keep count.

A slight pause, during which the music of a flute is heard. The
music continues to THE END of line [EURIPIDES-Hush! the bee...] as
an accompaniment to the recitative.

EURIPIDES
"Lord of Phthia, Achilles, why hearing the
voice of the hero-dividing
Hah! smiting! approachest thou not to the rescue?
We, by the lake who abide, are adoring our ancestor Hermes.
Hah! smiting! approachest thou not to the rescue?"
Dionysus
O Aeschylus, twice art thou smitten I
EURIPIDES
"Hearken to me, great king; yea, hearken
Atreides, thou noblest of the Achaeans.
Hah! smiting! approachest thou not to the rescue?
Dionysus
Thrice, Aeschylus, thrice art thou smitten!
EURIPIDES
"Hush! the bee-wardens are here: they will
quickly the Temple of Artemis open.
Hah! smiting! approachest thou not to the rescue?
I will expound (for I know it) the omen the
chieftains encountered.
Hah! smiting! approachest thou not to the rescue?"
Dionysus
O Zeus and King, the terrible lot of smittings!
I'll to the bath: I'm very sure my kidneys
Are quite inflamed and swoln with all these smitings.
EURIPIDES
Wait till you've heard another batch of lays
Culled from his lyre-accompanied melodies.
Dionysus
Go on then, go: but no more smitings, please.
EURIPIDES
"How the twin-throned powers of Achaea,
the lords of the mighty Hellenes.
O phlattothrattophlattothrat!
Sendeth the Sphinx, the unchancy, the chieftainness bloodhound.
O phlattothrattophlattothratt
launcheth fierce with brand and hand the avengers
the terrible eagle.
O phlattothrattophlattothrat!
So for the swift-winged hounds of the air he provided a booty.
O phlattothrattophlattothrat!
The throng down-bearing on Aias.
O phlattothrattophlattotbrat!"
Dionysus
Whence comes that phlattothrat?
From Marathon, or
Where picked you up these cable-twister's strains?

 

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