Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/176

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160
1025—1059.
THE CLOUDS.

ing wisdom! how sweetly does a modest grace attend your words! Happy, therefore, were they who lived in those days, in the times of former men! In reply, then, to these, O thou that hast a dainty-seeming muse, it behoveth thee to say something new; since the man has gained renown. And it appears you have need of powerful arguments against him, if you are to conquer the man, and not incur laughter.

Unj. And yet I was choking in my heart, and was longing to confound all these with contrary maxims. For I have been called among the deep thinkers the "worse cause," on this very account, that I first contrived how to speak against both law and justice: and this art is worth more than ten thousand staters,[1] that one should choose the worse cause, and nevertheless be victorious. But mark how I will confute the system of education on which he relies, who says, in the first place, that he will not permit you to be washed with warm water. And yet, on what principle do you blame the warm baths?

Just. Because it is most vile, and makes a man cowardly.

Unj. Stop! For immediately I seize and hold you by the waist without escape. Come, tell me, which of the sons of Jupiter do you deem to have been the bravest in soul, and to have undergone[2] most labours?

Just. I consider no man superior to Hercules.

Unj. Where, pray, did you ever see cold Heraclean baths? And yet, who was more valiant than he?

Just. These are the very things which make the bath full of youths always chattering all day long, but the palæstras empty.

Unj. You next find fault with their living in the market-place; but I commend it. For if it had been bad, Homer would never have been for representing Nestor as an orator; nor all the other wise men. I will return, then, from thence to the tongue, which this fellow says our youths ought not to exercise, while I maintain they should. And, again, he says

  1. Cf. vs. 1065. Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 49, 2, obs. 3. Matthiä, § 450, obs. 2. Jelf. § 780, obs. 2. Hermann, Vig. n. 247, on Soph. Antig. 1266. Bremi, Dem. Cor. § 178. Toup on Longin. XVIII. i. Schäfer, Greg. Cor. p. 89.
  2. The Greeks in general use the short form, (πονέσω, &c.,) exclusively of physical suffering. Yet we have πεπόνηκα τὼ σκέλη in Arist. Pax, 820.