Alas! what is to be done? Father has lost his wits. Must I have
him certificated for lunacy, or must I order his coffin?
STREPSIADES (returning with a bird in each hand)
Come! what kind of bird is this? Tell me.
Good! And this female?
The same for both? You make me laugh! In the future you must
call this one a pigeonnette and the other a pigeon.
A pigeonnette! These then are the fine things you have just learnt
at the school of these sons of Earth!
And many others; but what I learnt I forgot at once, because I
am to old.
So this is why you have lost your cloak?
I have not lost it, I have consecrated it to Philosophy.
And what have you done with your sandals, you poor fool?
If I have lost them, it is for what was necessary, just as
Pericles did. But come, move yourself, let us go in; if necessary,
do wrong to obey your father. When you were six years old and still
lisped, I was the one who obeyed you. I remember at the feasts of Zeus
you had a consuming wish for a little chariot and I bought it for
you with the first obolus which I received as a juryman in the courts.
You will soon repent of what you ask me to do.
Oh! now I am happy! He obeys. (loudly) Come, Socrates, come!
Come out quick! Here I am bringing you my son; he refused, but I
have persuaded him.
Why, he is but a child yet. He is not used to these baskets, in
which we suspend our minds.
To make you better used to them, I would you were hung.
A curse upon you! you insult your master!
"I would you were hung!" What a stupid speech! and so emphatically
spoken! How can one ever get out of an accusation with such a tone,
summon witnesses or touch or convince? And yet when we think,
Hyperbolus learnt all this for one talent!
Rest undisturbed and teach him. He has a most intelligent
nature. Even when quite little he amused himself at home with making
houses, carving boats, constructing little chariots of leather, and
understood wonderfully how to make frogs out of pomegranate rinds.
Teach him both methods of reasoning, the strong and also the weak,
which by false arguments triumphs over the strong; if not the two,
at least the false, and that in every possible way.
The Just and Unjust Discourse themselves shall instruct him. I
shall leave you.
But forget it not, he must always, always be able to confound