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Aristophanes Index


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PEACE by Aristophanes, Part 12

SERVANT
What were they doing up there?
TRYGAEUS
They were seeking to catch some lyric exordia as they flew by
immersed in the billows of the air.
SERVANT
Is it true, what they tell us, that men are turned into stars
after death?
TRYGAEUS
Quite true.
SERVANT
Then what star has Ion of Chios turned into?
TRYGAEUS
The Morning Star, the one he wrote a poem about; as soon as he got
up there, everyone called him the Morning Star.
SERVANT
And those stars like sparks, that plough up the air as they dart
across the sky.
TRYGAEUS
They are the rich leaving the feast with a lantern and a light
inside it.-But hurry up, show this young girl into my house, (pointing
to OPORA) clean out the bath, heat some water and prepare the
nuptial couch for herself and me. When that's done, come back here;
meanwhile I am off to present this other one to the Senate.
SERVANT
But where then did you get these girls?
TRYGAEUS
Where? why in heaven.
SERVANT
I would not give more than an obolus for gods who have got to
keeping brothels like us mere mortals.
TRYGAEUS
They are not all like that, but there are some up there too who
live by this trade.
SERVANT
Come, that's rich! But tell me, shall I give her something to eat?
TRYGAEUS
No, for she would touch neither bread nor cake; she is used to
licking ambrosia at the table of the gods.
SERVANT
Well, we can give her something to lick down here too.
(He takes OPORA into the house.)
CHORUS (singing)
Here is a truly happy old man, as far as I can judge.
TRYGAEUS (singing)
Ah! but what shall I be, when you see me presently dressed for the
wedding?
CHORUS (singing)
Made young again by love and scented with perfumes, your lot
will be one we all shall envy.
TRYGAEUS (singing)
And when I lie beside her and fondle her breasts?
CHORUS (singing)
Oh! then you will be happier than those spinning-tops who call
Carcinus their father.
TRYGAEUS (singing)
And I well deserve it; have I not bestridden a beetle to save
the Greeks, who now, thanks to me, can make love at their ease and
sleep peacefully on their farms?
SERVANT (returning from the house)
The girl has quitted the bath; she is charming from head to
foot, belly and buttocks too; the cake is baked and they are
kneading the sesame-biscuit; nothing is lacking but the bridegroom's
tool.
TRYGAEUS
Let us first hasten to lodge Theoria in the hands of the Senate.
SERVANT
Tell me, who is this woman?
TRYGAEUS
Why, it's Theoria, with whom we used formerly to go to Brauron, to
get tipsy and frolic-I had the greatest trouble to get hold of her.
SERVANT
Ah! you charmer! what pleasure your pretty bottom will afford me
every four years!
TRYGAEUS (to the audience)
Let's see, which one of you is steady enough to be trusted by
the Senate with the care of this charming wench? (to the SERVANT)
Hi! you, friend! what are you drawing there?
SERVANT (who has been making signs in the air)
It's er.... well, at the Isthmian Games I shall have a tent for my
tool.
TRYGAEUS (to the audience)
Come, who wishes to take the charge of her? No one? Come, Theoria,
I am going to lead you into the midst of the spectators and confide
you to their care.
SERVANT
Ah! there is one who makes a sign to you.
TRYGAEUS
Who is it?
SERVANT
It's Ariphrades. He wishes to take her home at once.
TRYGAEUS
No, he must not. He would soon have her done for, absorbing all
her life-force. Come, Theoria, take off all these clothes. (THEORIA
undresses. As soon as she is nude, TRYGAEUS conducts her to the
front row of seats, where the SENATORS sit.) Senate, Prytanes, gaze
upon Theoria and see what precious blessings I place in your hands.
Hasten to raise its limbs and to immolate the victim. And look at this
chimney.

 

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