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Aristophanes Index


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THE WASPS by Aristophanes, Part 11

PHILOCLEON
That's admirably arranged. In this way, even when feverish, I
shall nevertheless receive my pay; and besides, I could eat my lentils
without quitting my seat. But why this cock?
BDELYCLEON
So that, should you doze during some pleading, he may awaken you
by crowing up there.
PHILOCLEON
I want only for one thing more; all the rest is as good as can be.
BDELYCLEON
What is that?
PHILOCLEON
If only they could bring me an image of the hero Lycus.
BDELYCLEON
Here it is! Why, you might think it was the god himself!
PHILOCLEON
Oh! hero, my master I how repulsive you are to look at I
BDELYCLEON
He looks just like Cleonymus.
PHILOCLEON
That is why, hero though he be, he has no weapon.
BDELYCLEON
The sooner you take your seat, the sooner I shall call a case.
PHILOCLEON
Call it, for I have been seated ever so long.
BDELYCLEON
Let us see. What case shall we bring up first? Is there a slave
who has done something wrong? Ah! you Thracian there, you burnt the
stew-pot the other day.
PHILOCLEON
Wait, wait! This is a fine state of affairs! You almost made me
judge without a bar, and that is the most sacred thing of all for us.
BDELYCLEON
There isn't any, by Zeus.
PHILOCLEON
I'll run indoors and get one myself. (Exit)
BDELYCLEON
What does it matter? Terrible thing, the force of habit.
XANTHIAS (coming out of the house)
Damn that animal! How can anyone keep such a dog?
BDELYCLEON
Hullo! what's the matter?
XANTHIAS
Oh, it's Labes, who has just rushed into the kitchen and seized
a whole Sicilian cheese and gobbled it up.
BDELYCLEON
Good! this will be the first offence I shall make my father try.
(To XANTHIAS) Come along and lay your accusation. XANTHIAS No, not
I; the other dog vows he will be accuser, if the matter is brought
up for trial.
BDELYCLEON
Well then, bring them both along.
XANTHIAS
That's what we'll have to do.
(He goes hack into the house. A moment later PHILOCLEON comes
out.)
BDELYCLEON
What is this?
PHILOCLEON
The pig-trough of the swine dedicated to Hestia.
BDELYCLEON
Did you steal it from a shrine?
PHILOCLEON
No, no, by addressing Hestia first, I might, thanks to her,
crush an adversary. But put an end to delay by calling up the case. My
verdict is already settled.
BDELYCLEON
Wait! I still have to bring out the tablets and the scrolls.
(He goes into the house.)
PHILOCLEON
Oh! I am boiling, I am dying with impatience at your delays. I
could have traced the sentence in the dust.
BDELYCLEON (coming out with tablets and scrolls)
There you are.
PHILOCLEON
Then call the case.
BDELYCLEON
Right. Who is first on the docket?
PHILOCLEON
My god! This is unbearable! I have forgotten the urns.
BDELYCLEON
Now where are you going?
PHILOCLEON
To look for the urns.
BDELYCLEON
Don't bother, I have these pots.
PHILOCLEON
Very well, then we have all we need, except the clepsydra.
BDELYCLEON (pointing to the thunder-mug)
What is this if it is not a clepsydra?
PHILOCLEON
You know how to supply everything.
BDELYCLEON
Let fire be brought quickly from the house with myrtle boughs
and incense, and let us invoke the gods before opening the sitting.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Offer them libations and your vows and we will thank them that a
noble agreement has put an end to your bickerings and strife. And
first let there be a sacred silence.
CHORUS (singing)
Oh! god of Delphi! oh! Phoebus Apollo! convert into the greatest
blessing for us all what is now happening before this house, and
cure us of our error, oh, Paean, our helper!

 

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