That depends: if anything is owed me, my memory is excellent,
but if I owe, alas! I have none whatever.
Have you a natural gift for speaking?
For speaking, no; for cheating, yes.
How will you be able to learn then?
Very easily, have no fear.
Thus, when I throw forth some philosophical thought anent things
celestial., you will seize it in its very flight?
Then I am to snap up wisdom much as a dog snaps up a morsel?
Oh! the ignoramus! the barbarian! (to STREPSIADES) I greatly fear,
old man, it will be necessary for me to have recourse to blows. Now,
let me hear what you do when you are beaten.
I receive the blow, then wait a moment, take my witnesses and
finally summon my assailant at law.
Come, take off your cloak.
Have I robbed you of anything?
No. but the usual thing is to enter the school without your cloak.
But I have not come here to look for stolen goods.
Off with it, fool!
STREPSIADES (He obeys.)
Tell me, if I prove thoroughly attentive and learn with zeal,
which O; your disciples shall I resemble, do you think?
You will be the image of Chaerephon.
Ah! unhappy me! Shall I then be only half alive?
A truce to this chatter! follow me and no more of it.
First give me a honey-cake, for to descend down there sets me
all a-tremble; it looks like the cave of Trophonius.
But get in with you! What reason have you for thus dallying at the
(They go into the Thoughtery.)
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Good luck! you have courage; may you succeed, you, who, though
already so advanced in years, wish to instruct your mind with new
studies and practise it in wisdom! (The CHORUS turns and faces the
Audience.) Spectators! By Bacchus, whose servant I am, I will
frankly tell you the truth. May I secure both victory and renown as
certainly as I hold you for adept critics and as I regard this
comedy as my best. I wished to give you the first view of a work,
which had cost me much trouble, but which I withdrew, unjustly
beaten by unskilful rivals. It is you, oh, enlightened public, for
whom I have prepared my piece, that I reproach with this. Nevertheless
I shall never willingly cease to seek the approval of the
discerning. I have not forgotten the day, when men, whom one is
happy to have for an audience, received my Virtuous Young Man and my
Paederast with so much favour in this very place. Then as yet