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Aristophanes Index


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PLUTUS by Aristophanes, Part 02

PLUTUS
I'll thrash you.
CARIO (to CHREMYLUS)
Do you understand who he says he is?
CHREMYLUS
It's to you and not to me that he replies thus: your mode of
questioning him was ill-advised. (To PLUTUS) Come, friend, if you
care to oblige an honest man, answer me.
PLUTUS
I'll knock you down.
CARIO (sarcastically)
Ah! what a pleasant fellow and what a delightful prophecy the
god has given you!
CHREMYLUS (to PLUTUS)
By Demeter, you'll have no reason to laugh presently.
CARIO
If you don't speak, you wretch, I will surely do you an ill turn.
PLUTUS
Friends, take yourselves off and leave me.
CHREMYLUS
That we very certainly shan't.
CARIO
This, master, is the best thing to do. I'll undertake to secure
him the most frightful death; I will lead him to the verge of a
precipice and then leave him there, so that he'll break his neck
when he pitches over.
CHREMYLUS
Well then, seize him right away.
(CARIO does so.)
PLUTUS
Oh, no! Have mercy!
CHREMYLUS
Will thou speak then?
PLUTUS
But if you learn who I am, I know well that you will ill-use me
and will let me go again.
CHREMYLUS
I call the gods to witness that you have naught to fear if you
will only speak.
PLUTUS
Well then, first unhand me.
CHREMYLUS
There! we set you free.
PLUTUS
Listen then, since I must reveal what I had intended to keep a
secret. I am Plutus.
CARIO
Oh! you wretched rascal! You Plutus all the while, and you never
said so!
CHREMYLUS
You, Plutus, and in this piteous guise! Oh, Phoebus Apollo! oh, ye
gods of heaven and hell! Oh, Zeus! is it really and truly as you say?
PLUTUS
Yes.
CHREMYLUS
Plutus' very own self?
PLUTUS
His own very self and none other.
CHREMYLUS
But tell me, how come you're so squalid?
PLUTUS
I have just left Patrocles' house, who has not had a bath since
his birth.
CHREMYLUS
But your infirmity; how did that happen? Tell me.
PLUTUS
Zeus inflicted it on me, because of his jealousy of-mankind.
When I was young, I threatened him that I would only go to the just,
the wise, the men of ordered life; to prevent my distinguishing these,
he struck me with blindness' so much does he envy the good!
CHREMYLUS
And yet, it's only the upright and just who honour him.
PLUTUS
Quite true.
CHREMYLUS
Therefore, if ever you recovered your sight, you would shun the
wicked?
PLUTUS
Undoubtedly.
CHREMYLUS
You would visit the good?
PLUTUS
Assuredly. It is a very long time since I saw them.
CARIO (to the audience)
That's not astonishing. I, who see clearly, don't see a single
one.
PLUTUS
Now let me leave you, for I have told you everything.
CHREMYLUS
No, certainly not! we shall fasten ourselves on to you faster than
ever.
PLUTUS
Did I not tell you, you were going to plague me?
CHREMYLUS
Oh! I adjure you, believe what I say and don't leave me; for you
will seek in vain for a more honest man than myself.
CARIO
There is only one man more worthy; and that is I.
PLUTUS
All talk like this, but as soon as they secure my favours and grow
rich, their wickedness knows no bounds.

 

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