Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/147

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324—339.
131
THE CLOUDS.

Strep. Pray, where? Show me.

Soc. See! there they come in very great numbers[1] through the hollows and thickets; there, obliquely.

Strep. What's the matter? for I can't see them.

Soc. By the entrance. [Enter Chorus.]

Strep. Now at length with difficulty I just see them.

Soc. Now at length you assuredly see them, unless you have your eyes running pumpkins.[2]

Strep. Yes, by Jupiter! O highly honoured Clouds, for now they cover all things.

Soc. Did you not, however, know, nor yet consider, these to be goddesses?

Strep. No, by Jupiter! but I thought them to be mist, and dew, and smoke.

Soc. For you do not know, by Jupiter, that these feed very many sophists, Thurian soothsayers, practisers of medicine, lazy-longhaired-onyx-ring-wearers,[3] and song-twisters for the cyclic dances, and meteorological quacks. They feed idle people who do nothing, because such men celebrate them in verse.

Strep. For this reason, then, they introduced[4] into their verses "the dreadful impetuosity of the moist whirling-bright clouds;"[5] and "the curls of hundred-headed Typho;" and "the hard-blowing tempests;" and then, "aërial, moist;" "crooked-clawed birds, floating in air;" and "the showers of rain from dewy Clouds." And then, in return for these, they swallow "slices of great, fine mullets,[6] and bird's-flesh of thrushes."

  1. "For the second αὖται, see Soph. Gr. Gr. § 163, n. 2." Felton. Cf. also Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 50, 11, 22, and § 51, 7, obs. 9.
  2. "λημᾷς κολοκύνταις, to have rheum-drops in the eyes, as thick as gourds." Mitch. Cf. Liddell's Lex. voc. λημάω.
  3. Voss has coined a similar German equivalent, Ringfingerigschlendergelockvolk.
  4. The passages which follow are either quotations from the Dithyrambic poets, or parodies and imitations of their extraordinary phraseology. Cumberland remarks: "The satire is fair; but perhaps the old clown is not strictly the person who should be the vehicle of it."
  5. Bentley and Herman render, "darting zigzag lightning." Felton, "Lightning-whirling." Others, "Light-averting."
  6. The pike, or the conger, according to Liddell's Lex.