[Scene—the interior of a sleeping apartment: Strepsiades, Phidippides, and two servants are seen in their beds: a small house is seen at a distance. Time—midnight.]
Strepsiades (sitting up in his bed).
Ah me! ah me! O king Jupiter, of what a terrible length the nights are! Will it never be day? And yet long since I heard the cock. My domestics are snoring; but they would not have done so heretofore! May you perish then, O war! for many reasons; because I may not even punish my domestics. Neither does this excellent youth awake through the night; but takes his ease, wrapped up in five blankets. Well, if it is the fashion, let us snore wrapped up.
[Lies down, and then almost immediately starts up again.]
- "Hoc dicit: τὸ χρῆμα τῶν νυκτῶν τόσον ἐστὶν, ὅσον ἀπέραντον. Mirabundus, nescio hercle, inquit, qui fiat, ut noctes plane sint immensæ." Herm. See Liddell's Lexicon in voc. χρῆμα.
"O König Zeus, was ist doch eine Nacht so lang,
Ohn' ende lang! ob 's Tag denn gar nicht werden will?" Droysen.
- See Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 69, 89, obs. 1.
- ὅτ᾽ must not be mistaken for ὅτι, which is never elided in the comic writers. ὅτε is often found in old Attic in the place and force of ὅτι. See Krüger's Gr. Gr. § 54, 16, obs. 2 and obs. 3.
"But my people lie and snore,
Snore in defiance, for the rascals know
It is their privilege in time of war,
Which with its other plagues brings this upon us,
That we mayn't rouse these vermin with a cudgel," Cumberland.
Who adds in a note, "The Athenians had granted them certain exemptions for their services on board the fleet." Voss observes, "they were in the habit of going over to the enemy, when too harshly treated." Cf. Pax, 451.