Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/158

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
142
587—622.
THE CLOUDS.

neral. Nevertheless you chose him. For they say that ill counsel is in this city; that the gods, however, turn all these your mismanagements[1] to a prosperous issue. And how this also shall he advantageous, we will easily teach you. If you should convict the cormorant Cleon of bribery and embezzlement, and then make fast his neck in the stocks, the affair will turn out for the state to the ancient form again, if you have mismanaged in any way, and to a prosperous issue.[2]

Hear me[3] again, king Phœbus, Delian Apollo, who inhabitest the high-peaked Cynthian rock! and thou, blest goddess, who inhabitest the all-golden house of Ephesus, in which Lydian damsels greatly reverence thee; and thou, our national goddess, swayer of the ægis, Minerva, guardian of the city! and thou, reveller Bacchus, who, inhabiting the Parnassian rock, sparklest with torches, conspicuous among the Delphic Bacchanals!

When we had got ready to set out hither, the Moon met us, and commanded us first to greet the Athenians and their allies; and then declared that she was angry; for that she had suffered dreadful things, though she benefits you all, not in words, but openly. In the first place, not less than a drachma[4] every month for torches; so that also all, when they went out of an evening, were wont to say, "Boy, don't buy a torch, for the moonlight is beautiful." And she says she confers other benefits on you, but that you do not observe the days at all correctly, but confuse them up and down; so that she says the gods are constantly threatening her, when they are defrauded of their dinner, and depart home not having met with the regular feast according to the number of the days. And then, when you ought to be sacrificing, you are inflicting tortures and litigating. And often, while we gods are observing a fast, when we mourn for Memnon or

  1. So Equit. 803, ἃ πανουργεῖς = your knaveries. Demosth. Cor. P. 321, 4, οἷς εὐτυχήκεσαν ἐν Λεύκτροις = their successes at Leuctra.
  2. "Wird 's nach alter Weise wieder, wo ihr dummgewesen seid
    Euch zum Besten sich verkehren, mehren des Staats Glückseligkeit." Droysen.
  3. "This verse is constructed in imitation of the dithyrambic poets, whose compositions frequently began with these words; on this account, according to a Scholiast, they were called Amphianactes." Felton.
  4. Governed by ὠφελοῦσα.