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Aristophanes Index


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THE KNIGHTS by Aristophanes, Part 13

CLEON
No, on my honour, you will not! Here, Demos, feast on this dish;
it is your salary as a dicast, which you gain through me for doing
naught.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Wait! here is a little box of ointment to rub into the sores on
your legs.
CLEON
I will pluck out your white hairs and make you young again.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Take this hare's tail to wipe the rheum from your eyes.
CLEON
When you wipe your nose, clean your fingers on my head.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
No, on mine.
CLEON
On mine. (To the SAUSAGE-SELLER) I will have you made a
trierarch and you will get ruined through it; I will arrange that
you are given an old vessel with rotten sails, which you will have
to repair constantly and at great cost.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Our man is on the boil; enough, enough, enough, he is boiling
over; remove some of the embers from under him and skim off his
threats.
CLEON
I will punish your self-importance; I will crush you with imposts;
I will have you inscribed on the list of the rich.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
For me no threat-only one simple wish. That you may be having some
cuttle-fish fried on the stove just as you are going to set forth to
plead the cause of the Milesians, which, if you gain it, means a
talent in your, pocket; that you hurry over devouring the fish to rush
off to the Assembly; suddenly you are called and run off with your
mouth full so as not to lose the talent and choke yourself. There!
that is my wish.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Splendid! by Zeus, Apollo and Demeter!
DEMOS
Faith! here is an excellent citizen indeed, such as has not been
seen for a long time. He's truly a man of the lowest scum! As for you,
Paphlagonian, who pretend to love me, you only feed me on garlic.
Return me my ring, for you cease to be my steward.
CLEON
Here it is, but be assured, that if you bereave me of my power, my
successor will be worse than I am.
DEMOS
This cannot be my ring; I see another device, unless I am going
purblind.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
What was your device?
DEMOS
A fig-leaf, stuffed with bullock's fat.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
No, that is not it.
DEMOS
What is it then?
SAUSAGE-SELLER
It's a gull with beak wide open, haranguing the people from the
top of a stone.
DEMOS
Ah! great gods!
SAUSAGE-SELLER
What is the matter?
DEMOS
Away! away out of my sight! It's not my ring he had, it was that
of Cleonymus. (To the SAUSAGE-SELLER) Wait, I'll give you this one;
you shall be my steward.
CLEON
Master, I adjure you, decide nothing till you have heard my
oracles.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
And mine.
CLEON
If you believe him, you will have to prostitute yourself for him.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
If you listen to him, you'll have to let him peel you to the
very stump.
CLEON
My oracles say that you are to reign over the whole earth, crowned
with chaplets.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
And mine say that, clothed in an embroidered purple robe, you
shall pursue Smicythe and her spouse, standing in a chariot of gold
and with a crown on your head.
DEMOS
Go, fetch me your oracles, that the Paphlagonian may hear them.
SAUSAGE-SELLER
Willingly.
DEMOS
And you yours.
CLEON
I'll run.
(He rushes into the house of DEMOS.)
SAUSAGE-SELLER
And I'll run too; nothing could suit me better!
(He departs in haste.)

 

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Aristophanes Index

 

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