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Plutus   


WIFE
No, no, nothing ... to annoy me.
CARIO
Having arrived near to the temple with our patient, then so
unfortunate, but now at the apex of happiness, of blessedness, we
first led him down to the sea to purify him.
WIFE
Ah! what a singular pleasure for an old man to bathe in the cold
seawater!
CARIO (in the manner of the tragic messenger)
Then we repaired to the temple of the god. Once the wafers and the
various offerings had been consecrated upon the altar, and the cake of
wheaten-meal had been banded over to the devouring Hephaestus, we made
Plutus lie on a couch according to the rite, and each of us prepared
himself a bed of leaves.
WIFE
Had any other folk come to beseech the deity?
CARIO
Yes. Firstly, Neoclides, who is blind, but steals much better than
those who see clearly; then many others attacked by complaints of
all kinds. The lights were put out and the priest enjoined us to
sleep, especially recommending us to keep silent should we hear any
noise. There we were all lying down quite quietly. I could not
sleep; I was thinking of a certain stew-pan full of pap placed close
to an old woman and just behind her head. I had a furious longing to
slip towards that side. But just as I was lifting my head, I noticed
the priest, who was sweeping off both the cakes and the figs on the
sacred table; then he made the round of the altars and sanctified
the cakes that remained, by stowing them away in a bag. I therefore
resolved to follow such a pious example and made straight for the pap.
WIFE
You rogue! and had you no fear of the god?
CARIO
Aye, indeed! I feared that the god with his crown on his head
might have been near the stew-pan before me. I said to myself, "Like
priest, like god." On hearing the noise I made the old woman put out
her hand, but I hissed and bit it, just as a sacred serpent might have
done. Quick she drew back her hand, slipped down into the bed with her
head beneath the coverlets and never moved again; only she let flee
a fart in her fear which stank worse than a weasel. As for myself, I
swallowed a goodly portion of the pap and, having made a good feed,
went back to bed.
WIFE
And did not the god come?
CARIO
He did not tarry; and when he was near us, oh! dear! such a good
joke happened. My belly was quite blown up, and I let a thunderous
fart!
WIFE
Doubtless the god pulled a wry face?
CARIO
No, but Iaso blushed a little and Panacea turned her head away,
holding her nose; my farts are not perfume.
WIFE
And what did the god do?
CARIO
He paid not the slightest heed.
WIFE
He must then be a pretty coarse kind of god?
CARIO
I don't say that, but he's used to tasting stools.
WIFE
Impudent knave, go on with you!
CARIO

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