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Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/137

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88—109.
121
THE CLOUDS.

Strep. Reform your habits as quickly as possible; and go and learn what I advise.

Phid. Tell me now, what do you prescribe?

Strep. And will you obey me at all?

Phid. By Bacchus, I will obey you.

Strep. Look this way then! Do you see this little door and little house?

Phid. I see it. What then, pray, is this, father?

Strep. This is a thinking-shop[1] of wise spirits. There dwell men who in speaking of the heavens persuade people that it is an oven, and that it encompasses us, and that we are the embers. These men teach, if one give them money,[2] to conquer in speaking, right or wrong.

Phid. Who are they?

Strep. I do not know the name accurately. They are minute-philosophers,[3] noble and excellent.

Phid. Bah! they are rogues; I know them. You mean the quacks, the pale-faced wretches, the bare-footed fellows, of whose number are the miserable Socrates and Chærephon.[4]

Strep. Hold! hold! be silent! Do not say any thing foolish. But, if you have any concern for your father's patrimony, become one of them, having given up your horsemanship.[5]

Phid. I would not, by Bacchus, if even you were to give me the pheasants[6] which Leogoras rears!

  1. Or, as it is given by the translator of Süvern's Essay on The Clouds, the subtlety-shop.

    "Das ist 'ne Denkanstalt von weisen Geistern, Sohn.
    Es wohnen drinnen Männer, die überzeugen dich,
    Dass der Himmel eigentlich so 'ne Art Backhofen ist,
    Der uns umwölkt rings, und wir Menschen die Kohlen drin." Droysen.

  2. "De Socrate vere hoc dici non potuit, qui nunquam ab audi- toribus suis mercedem accepit. Sed hoc faciebant plerique alii sophistæ." Brunck.
  3. "Ideengrübeldenker." Droysen.
  4. "This Chærephon was a hanger-on of the philosopher, and appears to have been laughed at even by his fellow-scholars for the mad extremes to which he carried his reverential attachment. He was nicknamed 'Bat,' on account of his being a little, dark, dirty fellow." Walsh. Comp. Av. 1564.
  5. Cf. vss. 409, 740. Mr. Walsh (quite as accurately) translates it by the slang word cut.
  6. There is also an allusion to συκοφάντης (φαίνω); see note on Acharn. 726. Cf. Av. 68. "For these pheasants, (not horses in this passage,) see Av. 68." Droysen.