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Aristophanes Index


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PLUTUS by Aristophanes, Part 17

OLD WOMAN
I have grown so thin, I could slip through a ring.
CHREMYLUS
Yes, if it were as large as the hoop of a sieve.

(A young man enters,

wearing a garland on his head

and carrying a torch in his hand.)


OLD WOMAN
But here is the youth, the cause of my complaint; he looks as
though he were going to a, festival.
CHREMYLUS
Yes, if his chaplet and his torch are any guides.
YOUTH (to the OLD WOMAN, With cool politeness)
Greeting to you.
OLD WOMAN (in a puzzled tone)
What was that he said?
YOUTH
My ancient old dear, you have grown white very quickly, by heaven!
OLD WOMAN
Oh! what an insult!
CHREMYLUS
It is a long time, then, since he saw you?
OLD WOMAN
A long time? My god! he was with me yesterday.
CHREMYLUS
It must be, then, that, unlike other people, he sees more
clearly when he's drunk.
OLD WOMAN
No, but I have always known him for an insolent fellow.
YOUTH
Oh! divine Posidon! Oh, ye gods of old age! what wrinkles she
has on her face! (He holds his torch close to her, in order to
inspect her more closely.)
OLD WOMAN
Oh! oh! keep your distance with that torch.
CHREMYLUS (aside)
It's just as well; if a single spark were to reach her, she
would catch fire like an old olive branch.
YOUTH
I propose to have a game with you.
OLD WOMAN (eagerly)
Where, naughty boy?
YOUTH
Here. Take some nuts in your hand.
OLD WOMAN
What game is this?
YOUTH
Let's play at guessing how many ... teeth you have.
CHREMYLUS
Ah! I'll tell you; she's got three, or perhaps four.
YOUTH
Pay up; you've lost! she has only one single grinder.
OLD WOMAN
You wretch! you're not in your right senses. Do you insult me thus
before this crowd?
YOUTH
I am washing you thoroughly; that's doing you a service.
CHREMYLUS
No, no! as she is there, she can still deceive; but if this
white-lead is washed off, her wrinkles will come out plainly.
OLD WOMAN
You are only an old fool!
YOUTH
Ah! he is playing the gallant, he is playing with your tits, and
thinks I do not see it.
OLD WOMAN (to CHREMYLUS)
Oh! no, by Aphrodite, don't do that, you naughty jealous fellow.
CHREMYLUS
Oh! most certainly not, by Hecate! Verily and indeed I would
need to be mad! But, young man, I cannot forgive you, if you cast
off this beautiful child.
YOUTH
Why, I adore her.
CHREMYLUS
But nevertheless she accuses you...
YOUTH
Accuses me of what?
CHREMYLUS
...of having told her insolently, "Once upon a time the
Milesians were brave."
YOUTH
Oh! I shall not dispute with you about her.
CHREMYLUS
Why not?
YOUTH
Out of respect for your age; with anyone but you I should not be
so easy; come, take the girl and be happy.
CHREMYLUS
see, I see; you don't want her any more.
OLD WOMAN
Nay this is a thing that cannot be allowed.
YOUTH
I cannot argue with a woman who has been laid by every one of
these thirteen thousand men.
(He points to the audience.)

 

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