Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/141

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basket.] O Hercules, from what country are these wild beasts?

Dis. What do you wonder at? To what do they seem to you to be like?

Strep. To the Spartans, who were taken at Pylos.[1] But why in the world do these look upon the ground?

Dis. They are in search of the things below the earth.

Strep. Then they are searching for roots. Do not, then, trouble yourselves about this; for I know where there are large and fine ones. Why, what are these doing,[2] who are bent down so much?

Dis. These are groping about in darkness[3] under Tartarus.

Strep. Why then does their rump look towards heaven?

Dis. It is getting taught astronomy alone by itself. [Turning to the pupils.] But go in, lest he meet with us.

Strep. Not yet, not yet: but let them remain, that I may communicate to them a little matter of my own.

Dis. It is not permitted to them to remain without in the open air for a very long time. [The pupils retire.]

Strep, (discovering a variety of mathematical instruments). Why, what is this, in the name of heaven?[4] Tell me.

Dis. This is Astronomy.

Strep. But what is this?

Dis. Geometry.

  1. "Proprie non in Pylo capti sunt isti Lacedæmonii, sed in Sphacteriâ; in quâ insulâ, jacente prope Pylum, in continenti sitam et ab Athenn. munitam, plusquam quadringentos Lacedæmoniorum Athenienses obsidione cinxerant tandemque expugnaverant, et ex iis fere trecentos captivos abduxerant. His autem Lacedæmoniis similes dicit esse philosophos illos, quos apertis foribus intus conspicabatur, nempe squalidos et macie confectos; tales autem reddiderat Lacedæmonios in insulâ illâ desertâ fames diuturna. Rem omnem accurate narrat Thucydides, lib. iv." Berg. See Thuc. iv. 27—40.
  2. Τί δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ οἵδε, Brunck; which is Homeric, and unknown to the Attic writers. See Herm. Vig. not. 292, 343. In vs. 410, Dindorf (from an oversight, it would seem) reads ἡ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽.
  3. "Sie verfolgen die Urgrundslehre bis unter den Tartaros." Droysen.

    "Marry, because
    Their studies lead that way: they are now diving
    To the dark realms of Tartarus and night." Cumberland.

  4. See Krüger's Gr. Gr. § 68, 37, obs. 2.