Strep. Because you put in one of the thick wicks. [Servant runs out.]—After this, when this son was born to us, to me, forsooth, and to my excellent wife, we squabbled then about the name: for she was for adding ἵππος to the name, Xanthippus, or Charippus, or Callippides; but I was for giving him the name of his grandfather, Phidonides. For a time therefore we disputed; and then at length we agreed, and called him Phidippides. She used to take this son and fondle him, saying, "When you, being grown up, shall drive your chariot to the city, like Megacles, with a xystis." But I used to say, "Nay, rather, when dressed in a leathern jerkin, you shall drive your goats from Phelleus, like your father." He paid no attention to my words, but poured a horse-fever over my property. Now therefore, by meditating the whole night, I have discovered one path for my course extraordinarily excellent; to which if I persuade this youth, I shall be saved. But first I wish to awake him. How then can I awake him in the most agreeable manner?—How? Phidippides, my little Phidippides?
Phid. What, father?
Strep. Kiss me, and give me your right hand!
Phid. There. What's the matter?
Strep. Tell me, do you love me?
Phid. Yes, by this Equestrian Neptune.
Strep. Nay, do not by any means mention this Equestrian to me, for this god is the author of my misfortunes. But, if you really love me from your heart, my son, obey me.
Phid. In what then, pray, shall I obey you?
- "My wife
Would dub her colt Xanthippus or Charippus,
Or it might be Callippides, she cared not,
So 'twere a horse which shared the name." Cumberland.
- Phidippides stands for Alcibiades, and Strepsiades for his uncle Pericles, who had himself been a pupil of Socrates, and involved in similar pecuniary embarrassments, in which he was assisted by the shrewd advice of his nephew, Alcibiades. Alcibiades' mother, Dinomache, was a daughter of Megacles, of the family of the Alcmæonidæ, from whom he inherited his passion for horses. See Süvern, Clouds, p. 46, foll, and 53, foll.
- This was a long state robe for festal occasions.
- ἵππερων, Dindorf, from ἵππος and ἔρως.
- Pointing to a statue of this deity near his bed. See Fritzsche, Thesm. vs. 748, who understands the passage in the same way.