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PEACE by Aristophanes, Part 10

TRYGAEUS
Yes, we did wrong, but forgive us, for our mind was then
entirely absorbed in leather.
Hermes
Listen again to what she has just asked me. Who was her greatest
foe here? and furthermore, had she a friend who exerted himself to put
an end to the fighting?
TRYGAEUS
Her most devoted friend was Cleonymus; it is undisputed.
Hermes
How then did Cleonymus behave in fights?
TRYGAEUS
Oh! the bravest of warriors! Only he was not born of the father he
claims; he showed it quick enough in the army by throwing away his
weapons.
Hermes
There is yet another question she has just put to me. Who rules
now in the rostrum?
TRYGAEUS
It's Hyperbolus who now holds empire on the Pnyx. (To PEACE)
What now? you turn away your head!
Hermes
She is vexed, that the people should give themselves a wretch of
that kind for their chief.
TRYGAEUS
Oh! we shall not employ him again; but the people, seeing
themselves without a LEADER, took him haphazard, just as a man, who is
naked, springs upon the first cloak he sees.
Hermes
She asks, what will be the result of such a choice by the city?
TRYGAEUS
We shall be more far-seeing in consequence.
Hermes
And why?
TRYGAEUS
Because he is a lamp-maker. Formerly we only directed our
busines by groping in the dark; now we shall only deliberate by
lamplight.
Hermes
Oh! oh! what questions she does order me to put to you!
TRYGAEUS
What are they?
Hermes
She wants to have news of a whole heap of old-fashioned things she
left here. First of all, how is Sophocles?
TRYGAEUS
Very well, but something very strange has happened to him.
Hermes
What then?
TRYGAEUS
He has turned from Sophocles into Simonides.
Hermes
Into Simonides? How so?
TRYGAEUS
Because, though old and broken-down as he is, he would put to
sea on a hurdle to gain an obolus.
Hermes
And wise Cratinus, is he still alive?
TRYGAEUS
He died about the time of the Laconian invasion.
Hermes
How?
TRYGAEUS
Of a swoon. He could not bear the shock of seeing one of his casks
full of wine broken. Ah! what a number of other misfortunes our city
has suffered! So, dearest mistress, nothing can now separate us from
thee.
Hermes
If that be so, receive Opora here for a wife; take her to the
country, live with her, and grow fine grapes together.
TRYGAEUS (to OPORA)
Come, my dear one, come and accept my kisses. (To Hermes) Tell me,
Hermes, my master, do you think it would hurt me to love her a little,
after so long an abstinence?
Hermes
No, not if you swallow a potion of penny-royal afterwards. But
hasten to lead Theoria to the Senate; that was where she lodged
before.
TRYGAEUS
Oh! fortunate Senate! Thanks to Theoria, what soups you will
swallow for the space of three days! how you will devour meats and
cooked tripe! Come, farewell, friend Hermes!
Hermes
And to you also, my dear sir, may you have much happiness, and
don't forget me.
TRYGAEUS (looking around for his dung-beetle)
Come, beetle, home, home, and let us fly on a swift wing.
Hermes
Oh! he is no longer here.
TRYGAEUS
Where has he gone to then?
Hermes
He is 'harnessed to the chariot of Zeus and bears the
thunderbolts.'
TRYGAEUS
But where will the poor wretch get his food?
Hermes
He will eat Ganymede's ambrosia.
TRYGAEUS
Very well then, but how am I going to descend?

 

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