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Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/152

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136
422—442.
THE CLOUDS.

yourself; I would offer myself to hammer on,[1] for that matter.

Soc. Will you not,[2] pray, now believe in no god, except wllat we believe in—this Chaos, and the Clouds, and the Tongue—these three?

Strep. Absolutely I would not even converse with the others, not even if I met them; nor would I sacrifice to them, nor make libations, nor offer frankincense.

Cho. Tell us then boldly, what we must do for you? for you shall not fail in getting it, if you honour[3] and admire us, and seek to become clever.

Strep. O mistresses, I request of you then this very small favour, that I be the best of the Greeks in speaking by[4] a hundred stadia.

Cho. Well, you shall have this from us, so that henceforward from this time no one shall get more opinions passed in the public assemblies than you.

Strep. Grant me not to deliver important opinions; for I do not desire these, but only[5] to pervert the right for my own advantage, and to evade my creditors.

Cho. Then you shall obtain what you desire; for you do not covet great things. But commit yourself without fear to our ministers.

Strep. I will do so in reliance upon you, for necessity oppresses me, on account of the blood-horses, and the marriage which ruined me. Now, therefore, let them use me as they please. I give up this my body to them to be beaten, to be hungered, to be troubled with thirst, to be squalid, to shiver with cold, to flay into a leathern bottle,[6] if I shall escape clear

  1. "ἐπιχαλκεύειν is a proverbial expression, as Wolf says, like the German, for a man who submits to any thing, 'Er lässt auf sich schmieden.'" Felton. "Ut ferrum in me cudant." Brunck. "I can stand, like an anvil, the hammer." Walsh. "To forge to your purpose." Liddel's Lex. in voc.
  2. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 62, 3, obs. 8.
  3. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 56, 11, obs.
  4. Cf. Ran. vs. 91.
  5. "ὅσα is Attic for ὅσον, that is, μόνον, solum, tantum." Brunck.
  6. Cf. Eq. vs. 370. "For the construction, see Soph. Gr. Gr. § 185." Felton. Cf. also Krüger's Gr. Gr. § 55, 3, obs. 7.

    "Now let them work their wicked will upon me;
    They're welcome to my carcase; let 'em claw it,
    Starve it with thirst and hunger, fry it, freeze it,