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The Wasps   


PHILOCLEON
Alas! alas!
BDELYCLEON
Now why this lamentation?
PHILOCLEON (in tragic style)
A truce to your promises! What I love is down there, down there
I want to be, there, where the herald cries, "Who has not yet voted?
Let him rise!" I want to be the last of all to leave the urn. Oh, my
soul, my soul! where art thou? come! oh! dark shadows, make way for
me! By Heracles, may I reach the court in time to convict Cleon of
theft.
BDELYCLEON
Come, father, in the name of the gods, believe me!
PHILOCLEON
Believe you! Ask me anything, anything, except one.
BDELYCLEON
What is it? Let us hear.
PHILOCLEON
Not to judge any more! Before I consent, I shall have appeared
before Pluto.
BDELYCLEON
Very well then, since you find so much pleasure in it, go down
there no more, but stay here and deal out justice to your slaves.
PHILOCLEON
But what is there to judge? Are you mad?
BDELYCLEON
Everything as in a tribunal. If a servant opens a door secretly,
you inflict upon him a simple fine; that's what you have repeatedly
done down there. Everything can be arranged to suit you. If it is warm
in the morning, you can judge in the sunlight; if it is snowing,
then seated at your fire; if it rains, you go indoors; and if you
don't rise till noon, there will be no Thesmothetes to exclude you
from the precincts.
PHILOCLEON
The notion pleases me.
BDELYCLEON
Moreover, if a pleader is long-winded, you will not be hungering
and chafing and seeking vengeance on the accused.
PHILOCLEON
But could I judge as well with my mouth full?
BDELYCLEON
Much better. Is it not said, that the dicasts, when deceived by
lying witnesses, have need to ruminate well in order to arrive at
the truth?
PHILOCLEON
Well said, but you have not told me yet who will pay my salary.
BDELYCLEON
I will.
PHILOCLEON
So much the better; in this way I shall be paid by myself. Because
that damned jester, Lysistratus, played me an infamous trick the other
day. He received a drachma for the two of us and went on the
fish-market to get it changed and then brought me back three mullet
scales. I took them for obols and crammed them into my mouth; but
the smell choked me and I quickly spat them out. So I dragged him
before the court.
BDELYCLEON
And what did he say to that?
PHILOCLEON
Well, he pretended I had the stomach of a cock. "You have soon
digested the money," he said with a laugh.
BDELYCLEON
You see, that is yet another advantage.
PHILOCLEON

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