Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/151

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396—421.
135
THE CLOUDS.

burns us to ashes when it smites us, and singes those who survive. For indeed Jupiter evidently hurls this at the perjured.

Soc. Why, how then, you foolish person, and savouring of the dark ages and antediluvian, if his manner is to smite the perjured, does he not blast Simon, and Cleonymus, and Theorus? And yet they are very perjured. But he smites bis own temple, and Sunium, the promontory of Athens,[1] and the tall oaks. Wherefore? for indeed an oak does not commit perjury.

Strep. I do not know; but you seem to speak well. For what, pray, is the thunderbolt?

Soc. When a dry wind, having been raised aloft, is enclosed in these Clouds, it inflates them within, like a bladder; and then, of necessity, having burst them, it rushes out with vehemence by reason of its density, setting fire to itself through its rushing and impetuosity.

Strep. By Jupiter, of a truth I once experienced this exactly at the Diasian festival! I was roasting a haggis for my kinsfolk, and then through neglect I did not cut it open; but it became inflated, and then suddenly bursting, befouled my very eyes with dung, and burnt my face.[2]

Cho. O mortal, who hast desired great wisdom from us! How happy will you become amongst the Athenians and amongst the Greeks, if you be possessed of a good memory, and be a deep thinker, and endurance of labour be implanted in your soul, and you be not wearied either by standing or walking, nor be exceedingly vexed at shivering with cold, nor long to break your fast, and you refrain from wine, and gymnastics, and the other follies, and consider this the highest excellence, as is proper a clever man should, to conquer by action and counsel, and by battling with your tongue.

Strep. As far as regards a sturdy spirit,[3] and care that makes one's bed uneasy, and a frugal and hard-living and savory-eating belly, be of good courage and don't trouble

  1. "Alluding to Homer, Od. Γ. 278, Ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε Σούνιον ἵρὸν ἀφικόμεθ᾽, ἄκρον Ἀθηνῶν." Kust.
  2. "The Greek haggis was roasted instead of being boiled; but in other respects it appears to have resembled its Caledonian successor very closely. There was the same necessity in both for "nicking" or "pricking," in order to let out the expanding air, as may be seen from the eloquent receipt in Meg Dod's Cookery Book." Walsh.
  3. See Krüger's Gr. Gr. § 68, 19, obs. 2. Cf. Ach. 386, 958.