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The Clouds   


And you don't make him obey you?
STREPSIADES
You see, he is big and strong; moreover, through his mother he
is a descendant of those fine birds, the race of Coesyra.
Nevertheless, I will go and find him, and if he refuses, I will turn
him out of the house. Go in, Socrates, and wait for me awhile.
(SOCRATES goes into the Thoughtery, STREPSIADES into his own house.)
CHORUS (singing)
Do you understand, Socrates, that thanks to us you will be
loaded with benefits? Here is a man, ready to obey you in all
things. You see how he is carried away with admiration and enthusiasm.
Profit by it to clip him as short as possible; fine chances are all
too quickly gone.
STREPSIADES (coming out of his house and pushing his son in front of
him)
No, by the Clouds! you stay here no longer; go and devour the
ruins of your uncle Megacles' fortune.
PHIDIPPIDES
Oh! my poor father! what has happened to you? By the Olympian
Zeus! You are no longer in your senses!
STREPSIADES
Look! "the Olympian Zeus." Oh! you fool! to believe in Zeus at
your age!
PHIDIPPIDES
What is there in that to make you laugh?
STREPSIADES
You are then a tiny little child, if you credit such antiquated
rubbish! But come here, that I may teach you; I will tell you
something very necessary to know to be a man; but do not repeat it
to anybody.
PHIDIPPIDES
Tell me, what is it?
STREPSIADES
Just now you swore by Zeus.
PHIDIPPIDES
Sure I did.
STREPSIADES
Do you see how good it is to learn? Phidippides, there is no Zeus.
PHIDIPPIDES
What is there then?
STREPSIADES
The Whirlwind has driven out Zeus and is King now.
PHIDIPPIDES
What drivel!
STREPSIADES
You must realize that it is true.
PHIDIPPIDES
And who says so?
STREPSIADES
Socrates, the Melian, and Chaerephon, who knows how to measure the
jump of a flea.
PHIDIPPIDES
Have you reached such a pitch of madness that you believe those
bilious fellows?
STREPSIADES
Use better language, and do not insult men who are clever and full
of wisdom, who, to economize, never shave, shun the gymnasia and never
go to the baths, while you, you only await my death to eat up my
wealth. But come, come as quickly as you can to learn in my stead.
PHIDIPPIDES
And what good can be learnt of them?
STREPSIADES
What good indeed? Why, all human knowledge. Firstly, you will know
yourself grossly ignorant. But await me here awhile.
(He goes back into his house.)

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