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Aristophanes Index


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PLUTUS by Aristophanes, Part 19

Hermes
Which afterwards you ate up all by yourself.
CARIO
But then you did not share the blows when I was caught.
Hermes
Forget past injuries, now you have taken Phyle. Ah! how I should
like to live with you! Take pity and receive me.
CARIO
You would leave the gods to stop here?
Hermes
One is much better off among you.
CARIO
What! you would desert Do you think that is honest?
Hermes
"Where I live well, there is my country."
CARIO
But how could we employ you here?
Hermes
Place me near the door; I am the watchman god and would shift of
the robbers.
CARIO
Shift off! Ah! but we have no love for shifts.
Hermes
Entrust me with business dealings.
CARIO
But we are rich; why should we keep a baggling Hermes?
Hermes
Let me intrigue for you.
CARIO
No, no, intrigues are forbidden; we believe in good faith.
Hermes
I will work for you as a guide.
CARIO
But the god sees clearly now, so we no longer want a guide.
Hermes
Well then, I will preside over the games. Ah! what can you
object to In that? Nothing is fitter for Plutus than to give scenic
and gymnastic games.
CARIO
How useful it is to have so many names Here you have found the
means of earning your bread. I don't wonder the jurymen so eagerly try
to get entered for many tribunals.
Hermes
So then, you admit me on these terms?
CARIO
Go and wash the entrails of the victims at the well, so that you
may show yourself serviceable at once.

(They both enter the house. A PRIEST of Zeus comes hurrying in.)

PRIEST
Can anyone tell me where Chremylus is?
CHREMYLUS (emerging from the house)
What would you with him, friend?
PRIEST
Much ill. Since Plutus has recovered his sight, I am perishing
of starvation; I, the priest of Zeus the Deliverer, have nothing to
eat!
CHREMYLUS
And what is the cause of that, pray?
PRIEST
No one dreams of offering sacrifices.
CHREMYLUS
Why not?
PRIEST
Because all men are rich. Ah! when they had nothing, the
merchant who escaped from shipwreck, the accused who was acquitted,
all immolated victims; another would sacrifice for the success of some
wish and the priest joined in at the feast; but now there is not the
smallest victim, not one of the faithful in the temple, but
thousands who come there to take a crap.
CHREMYLUS
Why don't you take your share of those offerings?
PRIEST (ignoring this)
Hence I think I too am going to say good-bye to Zeus the Deliverer
and stop here myself.
CHREMYLUS
Be at ease, all will go well, if it so please the god. Zeus the
Deliverer is here; he came of his own accord.
PRIEST
Ha! that's good news.
(He moves toward the door.)
CHREMYLUS
Wait a little; we are going to install Plutus presently in the
place he formerly occupied behind the Temple of Athene; there he
will watch over our treasures for ever. (Calling out) Let lighted
torches be brought to the priest. Take these and walk in solemn
procession in front of the god.
PRIEST
That's magnificent!
CHREMYLUS
Let Plutus be summoned.

(PLUTUS comes out of the house, followed by the OLD WOMAN.)

OLD WOMAN
And I, what am I to do?
CHREMYLUS
Take the pots of vegetables which we are going to offer to the god
in honour of his installation and carry them on your head; you just
happen luckily to be wearing, a beautiful embroidered robe.
OLD WOMAN
And what about the object of my coming?
CHREMYLUS
Everything shall be according to your wish. The young man will
be with you this evening.
OLD WOMAN
Oh! if you promise me his visit, I will right willingly carry
the pots.

(She puts them on her head.)

CHREMYLUS
Those are strange pots indeed! Generally the scum rises to the,
top of the pots, but here the pots are raised to the top of the old
woman.

(PLUTUS begins to march solemnly off the stage;
the OLD WOMAN follows him.)


LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Let us withdraw without more tarrying, and follow the others,
singing as we go
(They do so.)


THE END

 

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