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Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/164

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148
743—768.
THE CLOUDS.

Soc. Keep quiet; and if you be puzzled in any one of your conceptions, leave it and go; and then set your mind in motion again, and lock it up.[1]

Strep. (in great glee). O dearest little Socrates!

Soc. What, old man?

Strep. I have got a device for cheating them of the interest.

Soc. Exhibit it.

Strep. Now tell me this, pray; if I were to purchase a Thessalian witch, and draw down the moon by night, and then shut it up, as if it were a mirror, in a round crest-case, and then carefully keep it—

Soc. What good, pray, would this do you?

Strep. What? If the moon were to rise no longer any where, I should not pay the interest.

Soc. Why so, pray?

Strep. Because the money is lent out by the month.

Soc. Capital! But I will again propose to you another clever question. If a suit of five talents should be entered against you, tell me how you would obliterate it.

Strep. How? how? I do not know; but I must seek.

Soc. Do not then always revolve your thoughts about yourself; but slack away your mind into the air, like a cock-chafer tied with a thread by the foot.

Strep. I have found a very clever method of getting rid of my suit, so that you yourself[2] would acknowledge it.

Soc. Of what description?[3]

Strep. Have you ever seen this stone in the chemists' shops, the beautiful and transparent one, from which they kindle fire?

Soc. Do you mean the burning-glass?[4]

  1. See Liddell's Lex. in voc. ζυγωϑρίζω.

    "Nur still! und kannst du mit der Idee nicht weiter fort,
    So lass sie fallen, geh hinweg; dann wieder lass
    Den Verstand auf selbe jagden und halt die Beute fest." Droysen.

    Comp. Süvern, Clouds, p. 6.

  2. Comp. Vesp. 6. Pax, 1215. Ran. 1047. Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 51, 2, obs. 8.
  3. Comp. Ran. 60, 289. Vesp. 530, 1186. Thesm. 76. Eccles. 349. Equit. 1324, 1339. Pax, 674. The sense of τὶς in this construction may be expressed by our about. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 51, 16, obs. 3.
  4. "The ancients sometimes used the crystal, or lapis specularis, for burning-glasses, which would be a correct enough translation in this passage. Glass itself may be alluded to here, for its use was