PLUTUS by Aristophanes, Part 18
Yet, since you liked the wine, you should now consume the lees.
But these lees are quite rancid and fusty.
Pass them through a straining-cloth; they'll clarify.
But I want to go in with you to offer these chaplets to the god.
And I too have something to tell him.
Then I won't enter.
Come, have no fear; she won't harm you.
That's true; I've been managing the old bark so long.
Go in; Ill follow after you.
(They enter the house.)
Good gods! that old hag has fastened herself to her youth like a
limpet to its rock.
(He follows them in.)
(Interlude of dancing by the CHORUS.)
(HERMES enters and begins knocking on the door.)
CARIO (opening the door)
Who is knocking at the door? Halloa! I see no one; it was then
by chance it gave forth that plaintive tone.
Hermes (to CARIO, who is about to close the door)
Eh! friend, was it you who knocked so loudly? Tell me.
No, I was going to knock and you forestalled me by opening.
Come, call your master quick, then his wife and his children, then his
slave and his dog, then yourself and his pig.
And what's it all about?
It's about this, rascal! Zeus wants to serve you all with the same
sauce and hurl the lot of you into the Barathrum.
Have a care for your tongue, you bearer of ill tidings! (To
Hermes) But why does he want to treat us in that scurvy fashion?
Because you have committed the most dreadful crime. Since Plutus
has recovered his sight, there is nothing for us other gods, neither
incense, nor laurels, nor cakes, nor victims, nor anything in the
And you will never be offered anything more; you governed us too
I care nothing at all about the other gods, but it's myself. I
tell you I am dying of hunger.
That's reasoning like a wise fellow.
Formerly, from earliest dawn, I was offered all sorts of good
things in the wine-shops,-wine-cakes, honey, dried figs, in short,
dishes worthy of Hermes. Now, I lie the livelong day on my back,
with my legs in the air, famishing.
And quite right too, for you often had them punished who treated
you so well.
Ah! the lovely cake they used to knead for me on the fourth of the
You recall it vainly; your regrets are useless!
Ah! the ham I was wont to devour!
Well then! make use of your legs and hop on one leg upon the
wine-skin, to while away the time.
Oh! the grilled entrails I used to swallow down!
Your own have got the colic, I think
Oh! the delicious tipple, half-wine, half-water!
Here, take this and be off. (He farts.)
Hermes (in tragic style)
Would you render service to the friend that loves you?
Willingly, if I can.
Give me some well-baked bread and a big hunk of the victims they
are sacrificing in your house.
That would be stealing.
Do you forget, then, how I used to take care he knew nothing about
it when you were stealing something from your master?
Because I used to share it with you, you rogue; some cake or other
always came your way,