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Plutus   


CARIO
Meantime I am going forth to meet them.
(Exit)
(Interlude of dancing by the CHORUS.)
PLUTUS
I adore thee, oh! thou divine sun, and thee I greet, thou city,
the beloved of Pallas: be welcome, thou land of Cecrops, which hast
received me. Alas! what manner of men I associated with! I blush to
think of it. While, on the other hand, I shunned those who deserved my
friendship; I knew neither the vices of the ones nor the virtues of
the others. A two-fold mistake, and in both cases equally fatal! Ah!
what a misfortune was mine! But I want to change everything; and in
the future I mean to prove to mankind that, if I gave to the wicked,
it was against my will.
CHREMYLUS (to the wings)
Get you gone! Oh! what a lot of friends spring into being when you
are fortunate! They dig me with their elbows and bruise my shins to
prove their affection. Each one wants to greet me. What a crowd of old
fellows thronged round me on the market-place!
WIFE
Oh! thou, who art dearest of all to me, and thou too, be
welcome! Allow me, Plutus, to shower these gifts of welcome over you
in due accord with custom.
PLUTUS
No. This is the first house I enter after having regained my
sight; I shall take nothing from it, for it is my place rather to
give.
WIFE
Do you refuse these gifts?
PLUTUS
I will accept them at your fireside, as custom requires.
Besides, we shall thus avoid a ridiculous scene; it is not meet that
the poet should throw dried figs and dainties to the spectators; it is
a vulgar trick to make them laugh.
WIFE
You are right. Look! yonder's Dexinicus, who was already getting
to his feet to catch the figs as they flew past him.
(Interlude of dancing by the CHORUS.)
CARIO
How pleasant it is, friends, to live well, especially when it
costs nothing! What a deluge of blessings flood our household, and
that too without our having wronged a single soul! Ah! what a
delightful thing is wealth! The bin is full of white flour and the
wine-jars run over with fragrant liquor; all the chests are crammed
with gold and silver, it is a sight to see; the tank is full of oil,
the phials with perfumes, and the garret with dried figs. Vinegar
flasks, plates, stew-pots and all the platters are of brass; our
rotten old wooden trenchers for the fish have to-day become dishes
of silver; even the thunder-mug is of ivory. We others, the slaves, we
play at odd and even with gold pieces, and carry luxury so far that we
no longer wipe our arses with stones, but use garlic stalks instead.
My master, at this moment, is crowned with flowers and sacrificing a
pig, a goat and ram; it's the smoke that has driven me out, for I
could no longer endure it, it hurt my eyes so.
(A JUST MAN enters, followed by a small slave-lad who
carries a thread-bare cloak and a pair of badly worn sandals.)

JUST MAN
Come, my child, come with me. Let us go and find the god.
CARIO
Who's this?
JUST MAN
A man who was once wretched, but now is happy.
CARIO
A just man then?

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