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Aristophanes Index


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PLUTUS by Aristophanes, Part 06

LEADER OF THE CHORUS
(singing, to the same tune and with similar mimicry)
As for us, threttanelo! we will seek you, dear Cyclops,
bleating, and if we find you with your wallet full of fresh herbs, all
disgusting in your filth, sodden with wine and sleeping in the midst
of your sheep, we will seize a great flaming stake and burn out your
eye.
CARIO
I will copy that Circe of Corinth, whose potent philtres compelled
the companions of Philonides like swine to swallow balls of dung,
which she herself had kneaded with her hands; and do you too grunt
with joy and follow your mother, my little pigs.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Oh! Circe with the potent philtress, who besmear your companions
so filthily, what pleasure I shall have in imitating the son of
Laertes! I will hang you up by your balls, I will rub your nose with
dung like a goat, and like Aristyllus you shall say through your
half-opened lips, "Follow your mother, my little pigs."
CARIO
Enough of tomfoolery, assume a grave demeanour; unknown to my
master I am going to take bread and meat; and when I have fed well,
I shall resume my work.
(Interlude of dancing by the CHORUS.)
CHREMYLUS (coming out of his house)
To say, "Hail! my dear neighbours!" is an old form of greeting and
well worn with use; so therefore I embrace you, because you have not
crept like tortoises, but have come rushing here in all haste. Now
help me to watch carefully and closely over the god.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Be at ease. You shall see with what martial zeal I will guard him.
What! we jostle each other at the Assembly for three obols, and am I
going to let Plutus in person be stolen from me?
CHREMYLUS
But I see Blepsidemus; by his bearing and his haste I can
readily see he knows or suspects something.
BLEPSIDEMUS
What has happened then? Whence, how has Chremylus suddenly grown
rich? I don't believe a word of it. Nevertheless, nothing but his
sudden fortune was being talked about in the barber-shops. But I am
above all surprised that his good fortune has not made him forget
his friends; that is not the usual way!
CHREMYLUS
By the gods, Blepsidemus, I will hide nothing from you. To-day
things are better than yesterday; let us share, for are you not my
friend?
BLEPSIDEMUS
Have you really grown rich as they say?
CHREMYLUS
I shall be soon, if the god agrees to it. But there is still
some risk to run.
BLEPSIDEMUS
What risk?
CHREMYLUS
Well...
BLEPSIDEMUS
Tell me, quick!
CHREMYLUS
If we succeed, we are happy for ever, but if we fail, it is all
over with us.
BLEPSIDEMUS
It's a bad business, and one that doesn't please me! To grow
rich all at once and yet to be fearful! ah! I suspect something that's
little good.
CHREMYLUS
What do you mean?
BLEPSIDEMUS
No doubt you have just stolen some gold and silver from some
temple and are repenting.
CHREMYLUS
Nay! heaven preserve me from that!
BLEPSIDEMUS
A truce to idle phrases! the thing is only too apparent, my
friend.
CHREMYLUS
Don't suspect such a thing of me.
BLEPSIDEMUS
Alas! then there is no honest man! not one, that can resist the
attraction of gold!
CHREMYLUS
By Demeter, you have no common sense.
BLEPSIDEMUS (aside)
How he has changed!
CHREMYLUS
But, good gods, you are mad, my dear fellow!
BLEPSIDEMUS (aside)
His very look is distraught; he has done some crime!
CHREMYLUS
Ah! I know the tune you are playing now; you think I have
stolen, and want your share.
BLEPSIDEMUS
My share of what, pray?
CHREMYLUS
You are beside the mark; the thing is quite otherwise.
BLEPSIDEMUS
Perhaps it's not a theft, but some piece of knavery!
CHREMYLUS
You are insane!
BLEPSIDEMUS
What? You have done no man an injury?
CHREMYLUS
No! assuredly not I
BLEPSIDEMUS
But, great gods, what am I to think? You won't tell me the truth.

 

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