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Aristophanes Index


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PLUTUS by Aristophanes, Part 03

CHREMYLUS
And yet all men are not wicked.
PLUTUS
All. There's no exception.
CARIO
You shall pay for that opinion.
CHREMYLUS
Listen to what happiness there is in store for you, if you but
stay with us. I have hope; aye, I have good hope with the god's help
to deliver you from that blindness, in fact to restore your sight.
PLUTUS
Oh! do nothing of the kind, for I don't wish to recover it.
CHREMYLUS
What's that you say?
CARIO
This fellow hugs his own misery.
PLUTUS
If you were mad enough to cure me, and Zeus heard of it, he
would overwhelm me with his anger.
CHREMYLUS
And is he not doing this now by leaving you to grope your
wandering way?
PLUTUS
I don't know; but I'm horribly afraid of him.
CHREMYLUS
Indeed? Ah! you are the biggest poltroon of all the gods! Why,
Zeus with his throne and his lightnings would not be worth an obolus
if you recovered your sight, were it but for a few moments.
PLUTUS
Impious man, don't talk like that.
CHREMYLUS
Fear nothing! I will prove to you that you are far more powerful
and mightier than he.
PLUTUS
I mightier than he?
CHREMYLUS
Aye, by heaven! (To CARIO) For instance, what is the basis of
the power that Zeus wields over the other gods?
CARIO
Money; he has so much of it.
CHREMYLUS
And who gives it to him?
CARIO (pointing to Plutus)
This fellow.
CHREMYLUS
If sacrifices are offered to him, is not Plutus their cause?
CARIO
Undoubtedly, for it's wealth that all demand and clamour most
loudly for.
CHREMYLUS
Thus it's Plutus who is the fount of all the honours rendered to
Zeus, whose worship he can wither up at the root, if it so pleases
him.
PLUTUS
And how so?
CHREMYLUS
Not an ox, nor a cake, nor indeed anything at all could be
offered, if you did not wish it.
PLUTUS
Why?
CHREMYLUS
Why? but what means are there to buy anything if you are not there
to give the money? Hence if Zeus should cause you any trouble, you
will destroy his power without other help.
PLUTUS
So it's because of me that sacrifices are offered to him?
CHREMYLUS
Most assuredly. Whatever is dazzling, beautiful or charming in the
eyes of mankind, comes from you. Does not everything depend on wealth?
CARIO
I myself was bought for a few coins; if I'm a slave, it's only
because I was not rich.
CHREMYLUS
And what of the Corinthian whores? If a poor man offers them
proposals, they do not listen; but if it be a rich one, instantly they
turn their arses to him.
CARIO
It's the same with the lads; they care not for love, to them money
means everything.
CHREMYLUS
You speak of male whores; yet some of them are honest, and it's
not money they ask of their patrons.
CARIO
What then?
CHREMYLUS
A fine horse, a pack of hounds.
CARIO
Yes, they would blush to ask for money and cleverly disguise their
shame.
CHREMYLUS
It is in you that every art, all human inventions, have had
their origin; it is through you that one man sits cutting leather in
his shop.
CARIO
That another fashions iron or wood.
CHREMYLUS
That yet another chases the gold he has received from you.
CARIO
That one is a fuller.

 

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