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Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/143

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221—244.
127
THE CLOUDS.

Dis. Nay, rather, call him yourself; for I have no leisure.[1] [Exit disciple.]

Strep. Socrates! my little Socrates!

Soc. Why callest thou me, thou creature of a day?

Strep. First tell me, I beseech you, what you are doing.

Soc. I am walking in the air,[2] and speculating about the sun.

Strep. And so you look down upon[3] the gods from your basket, and not from the earth? if, indeed, it is so.

Soc. For I should never have rightly discovered things celestial, if I had not suspended the intellect, and mixed the thought in a subtle form with its kindred air. But if, being on the ground, I speculated from below on things above, I should never have discovered them. For[4] the earth forcibly attracts to itself the meditative moisture. Water-cresses also suffer[5] the very same thing.

Strep, What do you say?—Does meditation attract the moisture to the water-cresses? Come then, my little Socrates, descend to me, that you may teach me those things, for the sake of which I have come. [Socrates lowers himself and gets out of the basket.]

Soc. And for what did you come?

Strep. Wishing to learn to speak; for, by reason of usury, and most ill-natured creditors, I am pillaged and plundered, and have my goods seized for debt.

Soc. How did you get in debt without observing it?

Strep. A horse-disease consumed me,—terrible at eating. But teach me the other one of your two causes,[6] that which

  1. "Quoniam nunc magister adest, discipulus, cui antea multum erat otii ad nugandum, se occupatum fingit" Wiel.
  2. See Süvern's Clouds, p. 6.
  3. "So, so! von der Flak' aus denkst du über die Götter weg,
    Und nicht von ebner Erde; nicht?" Droysen.

    "Ah, then I see you're basketed so high
    That you look down upon the gods—good hope
    You'll lower a peg on earth." Cumberland.

  4. οὐ γὰρ ἀλλὰ = simpl. καὶ γάρ. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 67, 14, obs. 2. Viger, p. 462. Cf. Eq. 1205; Ran. 58, 192, 489. Eur. Suppl. 580; Bacch. 784; Iph. T. 1005.
  5. "Aristophanes alludit ad consuetudinem Socratis decreta sua exemplis vitæ communis illustrandi." Wiel.
  6. "Drum lehre von deinen Redenschaften die zweite mich, Die nichts bezahlende." Droysen.