Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/170

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
154
877—893.
THE CLOUDS.

Strep. Never mind; teach him. He is clever by nature. Indeed, from his earliest years, when he was a little fellow only so big, he was wont to form houses and carve ships within-doors, and make little waggons of leather, and make frogs out of pomegranate-rinds, you can't think how cleverly.[1] But see that he learns those two causes; the better, whatever it may be; and the worse, which, by maintaining what is unjust, overturns the better. If not both, at any rate the unjust one by all means.[2]

Soc. He shall learn it himself from the two causes in person.[3] [Exit Socrates.]

Strep. I will take my departure. Remember this now, that he is to be able to reply to all just arguments. [Exit Strepsiades, and enter Just Cause and Unjust Cause.]

Just.[4] Come hither! show yourself to the spectators, although being audacious.[5]

Unjust. Go whither you please; for I shall far rather do for you, if I speak before a crowd.[6]

Just. You destroy me? Who are you?[7]

Unj. A cause.

Just. Aye, the worse.

  1. Comp. Ran. 54.
  2. "Wo beide nicht, so die ungerechte doch platterdings." Droysen.
  3. "The causes twain shall teach your son in person." Walsh.
  4. "The interlude which now ensues between these allegorical personages, contending for the possession of their pupil Phidippides, after the manner of the Choice of Hercules, forms a very curious passage in this celebrated comedy. It is in some parts very highly elevated; in others, very pointedly severe. The object of the poet is, to bring before his audience the question between past and present education, into full and fair discussion; comparing the principles of the schools then existing with the pure and moral discipline of former times." Cumb. These allegorical characters appeared in the dresses of Æschylus and Euripides respectively. According to Wieland and Droysen, they are represented by two game cocks in wicker cages. Süvern ("Clouds," p. 16) rejects this idea, and thinks the Unjust Cause may have worn the mask of some of the notorious wranglers of the day. From the epithets bestowed on him (890, 915) he thinks he may have been Thrasymachus, and the Just Cause in the mask of Aristophanes himself.
  5. See Krüger's Gr. Gr. § 56, 13, obs. 2.
  6. Taken from the Telephus of Euripides. For the sentiment, see Hippol. vs. 986.
  7. Comp. vs. 895, 900. Ran. 1062, 1064, 1297. Soph. Phil. 1264. Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 56, 8, obs. 7.