Ah! if you do that, then you will only have to throw yourself,
along with Socrates and his reasoning, into the Barathrum. Oh! Clouds!
all our troubles emanate from you, from you, to whom I entrusted
myself, body and soul.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
No, you alone are the cause, because you have pursued the path
Why did you not say so then, instead of egging on a poor
ignorant old man?
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
We always act thus, when we see a man conceive a passion for
what is evil; we strike him with some terrible disgrace, so that he
may learn to fear the gods.
Alas! oh Clouds! that's hard indeed, but it's just! I ought not to
have cheated my creditors....But come, my dear son, come with me to
take vengeance on this wretched Chaerephon and on Socrates, who have
deceived us both.
I shall do nothing against our masters.
Oh show some reverence for ancestral Zeus!
Mark him and his ancestral Zeus! What a fool you are! Does any
such being as Zeus exist?
No, a thousand times no! The ruler of the world is the
Whirlwind, that has unseated Zeus.
He has not dethroned him. I believed it, because of this whirligig
here. Unhappy wretch that I am! I have taken a piece of clay to be a
Very well! Keep your stupid nonsense for your own consumption.
(He goes back into STREPSIADES' house.)
Oh! what madness! I had lost my reason when I threw over the
gods through Socrates' seductive phrases. (Addressing the statue of
Hermes) Oh! good Hermes, do not destroy me in your wrath. Forgive
me; their babbling had driven me crazy. Be my counselor. Shall I
pursue them at law or shall I....? Order and I obey.-You are right, no
law-suit; but up! let us burn down the home of those praters. Here,
Xanthias, here! take a ladder, come forth and arm yourself with an
axe; now mount upon the Thoughtery, demolish the roof, if you love
your master, and may the house fall in upon them. Ho! bring me a
blazing torch! There is more than one of them, arch-impostors as
they are, on whom I am determined to have vengeance.
A DISCIPLE (from within)
Come, torch, do your duty! Burst into full flame!
What are you up to?
What am I up to? Why, I am entering upon a subtle argument with
the beams of the house.
SECOND DISCIPLE (from within)
Hullo! hullo who is burning down our house?
The man whose cloak you have appropriated.