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Aristophanes Index


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PEACE by Aristophanes, Part 06

TRYGAEUS
How shall we set about removing these stones?
Hermes (who has just returned)
Rash reprobate, what do you propose doing?
TRYGAEUS
Nothing bad, as Cillicon said.
Hermes
You are undone, you wretch.
TRYGAEUS
Yes, if the lot had to decide my life, for Hermes would know how
to turn the chance.
Hermes
You are lost, you are dead.
TRYGAEUS
On what day?
Hermes
This instant.
TRYGAEUS
But I have not provided myself with flour and cheese yet to
start for death.
Hermes
You are kneaded and ground already, I tell you.
TRYGAEUS
Hah! I have not yet tasted that gentle pleasure.
Hermes
Don't you know that Zeus has decreed death for him who is caught
exhuming Peace?
TRYGAEUS
What! must I really and truly die?
Hermes
You must.
TRYGAEUS
Well then, lend me three drachmae to buy a young pig; I wish to
have myself initiated before I die.
Hermes
Oh! Zeus, the Thunderer!
TRYGAEUS
I adjure you in the name of the gods, master, don't report us!
Hermes
I may not, I cannot keep silent.
TRYGAEUS
In the name of the meats which I brought you so good-naturedly.
Hermes
Why, wretched man, Zeus will annihilate me, if I do not shout
out at the top of my voice, to inform him what you are plotting.
TRYGAEUS
Oh, no! don't shout, I beg you, dear little Hermes.... And what
are you doing, comrades? You stand there as though you were stocks and
stones. Wretched men, speak, entreat him at once; otherwise he will be
shouting.
CHORUS (singing)
Oh! mighty Hermes! do not do it; no, do not do it! If ever you
have eaten some young pig, sacrificed by us on your altars, with
pleasure, may this offering not be without value in your sight to-day.
TRYGAEUS (singing)
Do you not hear them wheedling you, mighty god?
CHORUS (singing)
Be not pitiless toward our prayers; permit us to deliver the
goddess. Oh! the most human, the most generous of the gods, be
favourable toward us, if it be true that you detest the haughty crests
and proud brows of Pisander; we shall never cease, oh master, offering
you sacred victims and solemn prayers.
TRYGAEUS
Have mercy, mercy, yourself be touched by their words; never was
your worship so dear to them as to-day. (Aside) Really they are the
greatest thieves that ever were. (To Hermes) And I shall reveal to you
a great and terrible plot that is being hatched against the gods.
Hermes
Hah! speak and perchance I shall let myself be softened.
TRYGAEUS
Know then, that the Moon and that infamous Sun are plotting
against you, and want to deliver Greece into the hands of the
barbarians.
Hermes
What for?
TRYGAEUS
Because it is to you that we sacrifice, whereas the barbarians
worship them; hence they would like to see you destroyed, that they
alone might receive the offerings.
Hermes
Is it then for this reason that these untrustworthy charioteers
have for so long been defrauding us, one of them robbing us of
daylight and the other nibbling away at the other's disk?
TRYGAES
Yes, certainly. So therefore, Hermes, my friend, help us with your
whole heart to find and deliver the captive and we will celebrate
the great PanATHENAea in your honour as well as all the festivals of
the other gods; for Hermes shall be the Mysteries. the Dipolia, the
Adonia; everywhere the towns, freed from their miseries, will
sacrifice to Hermes the Liberator; you will be loaded with benefits of
every kind, and to start with, I offer you this cup for libations as
your first present.
Hermes
Ah! how golden cups do influence me! Come, friends. get to work.
To the pit quickly, pick in hand, and drag away the stones.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
We go, but you, cleverest of all the gods, supervise our
labours; tell us, good workman as you are, what we must do; we shall
obey your orders with alacrity.
(They begin to lift the stones.)

 

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Aristophanes Index

 



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