help us! A wintry business!
Take up the basket, mine's a festive business.
(They depart in opposite directions.)
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
We wish you both joy on your journeys, which differ so much. One
goes to mount guard and freeze, while the other will drink, crowned
with flowers, and then lie with a young beauty till he gets his tool
I say it freely; may Zeus confound Antimachus, the poet-historian,
the son of Psacas! When Choregus at the Lenaea, alas! alas! he
dismissed me dinnerless. May I see him devouring with his eyes a
cuttle-fish, just served, well cooked, hot and properly salted; and
the moment that he stretches his hand to help himself, may a dog seize
it and run off with it. Such is my first wish. I also hope for him a
misfortune at night. That returning all-fevered from horse practice,
he may meet an Orestes, mad with drink, who will crack him over the
head; that wishing to seize a stone, he, in the dark, may pick up a
fresh turd, hurl, miss him and hit Cratinus.
(The slave of LAMACHUS enters.)
SLAVE OF LAMACHUS (knocking on the door of LAMACHUS' house, in
Captives present within the house of Lamachus, water, water in a
little pot! Make it warm, get ready cloths, cerate, greasy wool and
bandages for his ankle. In leaping a ditch, the master has hurt
himself against a stake; he has dislocated and twisted his ankle,
broken his head by falling on a stone, while his Gorgon shot far
away from his buckler. His mighty braggadocio plume rolled on the
ground; at this sight he uttered these doleful words, "Radiant star, I
gaze on thee for the last time; my eyes close to all light, I die."
Having said this, he falls into the water, gets out again, meets
some runaways and pursues the robbers with his spear at their
backsides. But here he comes, himself. Get the door open.
(In this final scene all the lines are sung.)
LAMACHUS (limping in with the help of two soldiers and singing a
song of woe)
Oh! heavens! oh! heavens! What cruel pain! I faint, I tremble!
Alas! I die! the foe's lance has struck me! But what would hurt me
most would be for Dicaeopolis to see me wounded thus and laugh at my
DICAEOPOLIS (enters with two courtesans, singing gaily)
Oh! my gods! what breasts! Swelling like quinces! Come, my
treasures, give me voluptuous kisses Glue your lips to mine. Haha! I
was the first to empty my cup.
Oh! cruel fate! how I suffer! accursed wounds!
Hah! hah! Hail! Lamachippus!
Woe is me!
DICAEOPOLIS (to the one girl)
Why do you kiss me?
Ah, wretched me!
DICAEOPOLIS (to the other girl)
And why do you bite me?
'Twas a cruel score I was paying back!
Scores are not evened at the Feast of Cups!
Oh Oh! Paean, Paean!