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Aristophanes Index


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PLUTUS by Aristophanes, Part 13

CHREMYLUS (to the wings)
Get you gone! Oh! what a lot of friends spring into being when you
are fortunate! They dig me with their elbows and bruise my shins to
prove their affection. Each one wants to greet me. What a crowd of old
fellows thronged round me on the market-place!
WIFE
Oh! thou, who art dearest of all to me, and thou too, be
welcome! Allow me, Plutus, to shower these gifts of welcome over you
in due accord with custom.
PLUTUS
No. This is the first house I enter after having regained my
sight; I shall take nothing from it, for it is my place rather to
give.
WIFE
Do you refuse these gifts?
PLUTUS
I will accept them at your fireside, as custom requires.
Besides, we shall thus avoid a ridiculous scene; it is not meet that
the poet should throw dried figs and dainties to the spectators; it is
a vulgar trick to make them laugh.
WIFE
You are right. Look! yonder's Dexinicus, who was already getting
to his feet to catch the figs as they flew past him.
(Interlude of dancing by the CHORUS.)
CARIO
How pleasant it is, friends, to live well, especially when it
costs nothing! What a deluge of blessings flood our household, and
that too without our having wronged a single soul! Ah! what a
delightful thing is wealth! The bin is full of white flour and the
wine-jars run over with fragrant liquor; all the chests are crammed
with gold and silver, it is a sight to see; the tank is full of oil,
the phials with perfumes, and the garret with dried figs. Vinegar
flasks, plates, stew-pots and all the platters are of brass; our
rotten old wooden trenchers for the fish have to-day become dishes
of silver; even the thunder-mug is of ivory. We others, the slaves, we
play at odd and even with gold pieces, and carry luxury so far that we
no longer wipe our arses with stones, but use garlic stalks instead.
My master, at this moment, is crowned with flowers and sacrificing a
pig, a goat and ram; it's the smoke that has driven me out, for I
could no longer endure it, it hurt my eyes so.

(A JUST MAN enters, followed by a small slave-lad who
carries a thread-bare cloak and a pair of badly worn sandals.)

JUST MAN
Come, my child, come with me. Let us go and find the god.
CARIO
Who's this?
JUST MAN
A man who was once wretched, but now is happy.
CARIO
A just man then?
JUST MAN
That's right.
CARIO
Well! what do you want?
JUST MAN
I come to thank the god for all the blessings he has showered on
me. My father had left me a fairly decent fortune, and I helped
those of my friends who were in want; it was, to my thinking, the most
useful thing I could do with my fortune.
CARIO
And you were quickly ruined?
JUST MAN
Quite.
CARIO
And since then you have been living in misery?
JUST MAN
Quite; I thought I could count, in case of need, upon the
friends whose property I had helped, but they turned their backs
upon me and pretended not to see me.
CARIO
They laughed at you, that's obvious.
JUST MAN
Quite. With my empty coffers, I had no more friends. But my lot
has changed, and so I come to the god to make him the acts of
gratitude that are his due.
CARIO
But why are you bringing this old cloak, which your slave is
carrying! Tell me.
JUST MAN
I wish to dedicate it to the god.
CARIO
Were you initiated into the Great Mysteries in that cloak?
JUST MAN
No, but I shivered in it for thirteen years.
CARIO
And this footwear?
JUST MAN
These also are my winter companions.
CARIO
And you wish to dedicate them too?
JUST MAN
Certainly.
CARIO
Fine presents to offer to the god!

(An INFORMER enters, followed by a witness.)

 

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Aristophanes Index

 



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