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PEACE by Aristophanes, Part 13

SERVANT
God, what a beautiful one! It's black with smoke because the
Senate used to do its cooking there before the war.
TRYGAEUS
Now that you have found Theoria again, you can start the most
charming games from to-morrow, wrestling with her on the ground, on
all fours, or you can lay her on her side, or stand before her with
bent knees, or, well rubbed with oil, you can boldly enter the
lists, as in the Pancratium, belabouring your foe with blows from your
fist or something else. The next day you will celebrate equestrian
games, in which the riders will ride side by side, or else the chariot
teams, thrown one on top of another, panting and whinnying, will
roll and knock against each other on the ground, while other rivals,
thrown out of their seats, will fall before reaching the goal, utterly
exhausted by their efforts.-Come, Prytanes, take Theoria. Oh! look-how
graciously yonder fellow has received her; you would not have been
in such a hurry to introduce her to the Senate, if nothing were coming
to you through it; you would not have failed to plead some holiday
as an excuse.
CHORUS (singing)
Such a man as you assures the happiness of all his
fellow-citizens.
TRYGAEUS (singing)
When you are gathering your vintages you will prize me even
better.
CHORUS (singing)
E'en from to-day we hail you as the deliverer of mankind.
TRYGAEUS (singing)
Wait until you have drunk a beaker of new wine, before you
appraise my true merits.
CHORUS (singing)
Excepting the gods, there is none greater than yourself, and
that will ever be our opinion.
TRYGAEUS (singing)
Yea, Trygaeus of Athmonia has deserved well of you, he has freed
both husbandman and craftsman from the most cruel ills; he has
vanquished Hyberbolus.
SERVANT
Well then, what must be done now?
TRYGAEUS
You must offer pots of green-stuff to the goddess to consecrate
her altars.
SERVANT
Pots of green-stuff as we do to poor Hermes-and even he thinks the
fare pretty mean?
TRYGAEUS
What will you offer them? A fatted bull?
SERVANT
Oh no! I don't want to start bellowing the battle-cry.
TRYGAEUS
A great fat swine then?
SERVANT
No, no.
TRYGAEUS
Why not?
SERVANT
We don't want any of the swinishness of Theagenes.
TRYGAEUS
What other victim do you prefer then?
SERVANT
A sheep.
TRYGAEUS
A sheep?
SERVANT
Yes.
TRYGAEUS
But that's the Ionic form of the word.
SERVANT
Purposely. So that if anyone in the assembly says, "We must go
to war," all may start bleating in alarm, "Oi, oi."
TRYGAEUS
A brilliant idea.
SERVANT
And we shall all be lambs one toward the other, yes, and milder
still toward the allies.
TRYGAEUS
Then go for the sheep and haste to bring it back with you; I
will prepare the altar for the sacrifice.
(They both leave.)
CHORUS (singing)
How everything succeeds to our wish, when the gods are willing and
Fortune favours us! how opportunely everything falls out.
TRYGAEUS (returning)
Nothing could be truer, for look! here stands the altar all
ready at my door.
(He enters his house.)
CHORUS (singing)
Hurry, hurry, for the winds are fickle; make haste, while the
divine will is set on stopping this cruel war and is showering on us
the most striking benefits.
TRYCAEUS (returning)
Here is the basket of barley-seed mingled with salt, the chaplet
and the sacred knife; and there is the fire; so we are only waiting
for the sheep.
CHORUS (singing)
Hasten, hasten, for, if Chaeris sees you, he will come without
bidding, he and his flute; and when you see him puffing and panting
and out of breath, you will have to give him something.

 

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