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Euripidis Index


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THE CYCLOPS by Euripides, Part 07

CYCLOPS
And who is Bacchus? some reputed god?
ODYSSEUS
The greatest god men know to cheer their life.
CYCLOPS
I like his after-taste at any rate.
ODYSSEUS
This is the kind of god he is; he harmeth no man.
CYCLOPS
But how does a god like being housed in a wine-skin?
ODYSSEUS
Put him where one may, he is content there.
CYCLOPS
It is not right that gods should be clad in leather.
ODYSSEUS
What of that, provided he please thee? does the leather hurt thee?
CYCLOPS
I hate the wine-skin, but the liquor we have here I love.
ODYSSEUS
Stay, then, Cyclops; drink and be merry.
CYCLOPS
Must I not give my brethren a share in this liquor?
ODYSSEUS
No, keep it thyself and thou wilt appear of more honour.
CYCLOPS
Give it my friends and I shall appear of more use.
ODYSSEUS
Revelling is apt to end in blows, abuse, and strife.
CYCLOPS
I may be drunk, but no man will lay hands on me for all that.
ODYSSEUS
Better stay at home, my friend, after a carouse.
CYCLOPS
Who loves not revelling then is but a simpleton.
ODYSSEUS
But whoso stays at home, when drunk, is wise.
CYCLOPS
What shall we do, Silenus? art minded to stay?
SILENUS
That I am; for what need have we of others to share our drink,
Cyclops?
CYCLOPS
Well, truly the turf is soft as down with its fresh flowering
plants.
SILENUS (seating himself)
Aye, and 'tis pleasant drinking in the warm sunshine. Come, let me
see thee stretch thy carcase on the ground.
CYCLOPS (sitting down)
There then Why art thou putting the mixing-bowl behind me?
SILENUS
That no one passing by may upset it.
CYCLOPS
Nay, but thy purpose is to drink upon the sly; set it between
us. (To ODYSSEUS) Now tell me, stranger, by what name to call thee.
(SILENUS is drinking steadily and stealthily.)
ODYSSEUS
Noman. What boon shall I receive of thee to earn my thanks?
CYCLOPS
I will feast on thee last, after all thy comrades.
ODYSSEUS
Fair indeed the honour thou bestowest on thy guest, sir Cyclops!
CYCLOPS (turning suddenly to SILENUS)
Ho, sirrah! what art thou about? taking a stealthy pull at the
wine?
SILENUS
No, but it kissed me for my good looks.
CYCLOPS
Thou shalt smart, if thou kiss the wine when it kisses not thee.
SILENUS
Oh! but it did, for it says it is in love with my handsome face.
CYCLOPS (holding out his cup)
Pour in; only give me my cup full.
SILENUS
H'm! how is it mixed? just let me make sure.
(Takes another pull.)
CYCLOPS
Perdition! give it me at once.
SILENUS
Oh, no! I really cannot, till I see thee with a crown on, and have
another taste myself.
CYCLOPS
My cup-bearer is a cheat.
SILENUS
No really, but the wine is so luscious. Thou must wipe thy lips,
though, to get a draught.
CYCLOPS
There! my lips and beard are clean now.
SILENUS
Bend thine elbow gracefully, and then quaff thy cup, as thou seest
me do, and as now thou seest me not. (Burying his face in his cup)

 

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