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Aristophanes Index


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PLUTUS by Aristophanes, Part 05

CHREMYLUS
We shall have many other helpers as well-all the worthy folk who
are wanting for bread.
PLUTUS
Ah! they'll prove sorry helpers.
CHREMYLUS
No, not so, once they've grown rich. But you, Cario, run quick...
CARIO
Where?
CHREMYLUS
...to call my comrades, the other husbandmen (you'll probably
find the poor fellows toiling away in the fields), that each of
them may come here to take his share of the gifts of Plutus.
CARIO
I'm off. But let someone come from the house to take this morsel
of meat.
CHREMYLUS
I'll see to that; you run your hardest. As for you, Plutus, the
most excellent of all the gods, come in here with me; this is the
house you must fill with riches to-day, by fair means or foul.
PLUTUS
I don't at all like going into other folks' houses in this manner;
I have never got any good from it. If I got inside a miser's house,
straightway he would bury me deep underground; if some honest fellow
among his friends came to ask him for the smallest coin, he would deny
ever having seen me. Then if I went to a fool's house, he would
sacrifice in dicing and wenching, and very soon I should be completely
stripped and pitched out of doors.
CHREMYLUS
That's because you have never met a man who knew how to avoid
the two extremes; moderation is the strong point in my character. I
love saving as much as anybody, and I know how to spend, when it's
needed. But let us go in; I want to make you known to my wife and to
my only son, whom I love most of all after yourself.
PLUTUS
I'm quite sure of that.
CHREMYLUS
Why should I hide the truth from you?
(They enter CHREMYLUS' house.)
CARIO (to the CHORUS, which has followed him in)
Come, you active workers, who, like my master, eat nothing but
garlic and the poorest food, you who are his friends and his
neighbours, hasten your steps, hurry yourselves; there's not a
moment to lose; this is the critical hour, when your presence and your
support are needed by him.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Why, don't you see we are speeding as fast as men can, who are
already enfeebled by age? But do you deem it fitting to make us run
like this before ever telling us why your master has called us?
CARIO
I've grown hoarse with the telling, but you won't listen. My
master is going to drag you all out of the stupid, sapless life you
are leading and ensure you, one full of all delights.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
And how is he going to manage that?
CARIO
My poor friends, he has brought with him a disgusting old
fellow, all bent and wrinkled, with a most pitiful appearance, bald
and toothless; upon my word, I even believe he is circumcised like
some vile barbarian.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
This news is worth its weight in gold! What are you saying? Repeat
it to me; no doubt it means he is bringing back a heap of wealth.
CARIO
No, but a heap of all the infirmities ATTENDANT on old age.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
If you are tricking us, you shall pay us for it. Beware of our
sticks!
CARIO
Do you deem me so brazen as all that, and my words mere lies?
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
What serious airs the rascal puts on! Look! his legs are already
shrieking, "oh! oh!" They are asking for the shackles and wedges.
CARIO
It's in the tomb that it's your lot to judge. Why don't you go
there? Charon has given you your ticket.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Plague take you! you cursed rascal, who rail at us and have not
even the heart to tell us why your master has made us come. We were
pressed for time and tired out, yet we came with all haste, and in our
hurry we have passed by lots of wild onions without even gathering
them.
CARIO
I will no longer conceal the truth from you. Friends, it's
Plutus whom my master brings, Plutus, who will give you riches.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
What! we shall really all become rich?
CARIO
Aye, certainly; you will then be Midases, provided you grow
ass's ears.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
What joy, what happiness! If what you tell me is true, I long to
dance with delight.
CARIO (singing, with appropriate gestures)
And I too, threttanelo! want to imitate the Cyclops and lead
your troop by stamping like this. Do you, my dear little ones, cry,
aye, cry again and bleat forth the plaintive song of the sheep and
of the stinking goats; follow me like lascivious goats with their
tools out.

 

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