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Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/177

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1060—1080.
161
THE CLOUDS.

they ought to be modest: two very great evils. For tell me to whom you have ever seen any good accrue through modesty; and confute me by your words.

Just. To many. Peleus,[1] at any rate, received his sword on account of it.

Unj. A sword? Marry, he got a pretty piece of luck, the poor wretch! while Hyperbolus,[2] he of the lamps, got more than many talents by his villany, but, by Jupiter, no sword!

Just. And Peleus married Thetis, too, through his modesty.

Unj. And then she went off, and left him; for he was not lustful, nor an agreeable bed-fellow to spend the night with. Now a woman delights in being wantonly treated. But you are an old dotard. For (to Phidippides) consider, O youth, all that attaches to modesty, and of how many pleasures you are about to be deprived—of women, of games at cottabus, of dainties, of drinking-bouts, of giggling. And yet, what is life worth to you, if you be deprived of these enjoyments? Well, I will pass from thence to the necessities of our nature. You have gone astray, you have fallen in love, you have been guilty of some adultery, and then have been caught. You are undone, for you are unable to speak. But if you associate with me, indulge your inclination, dance, laugh, and think nothing disgraceful. For if you should happen to be detected as an adulterer, you will make this reply to him, "that you have done him no injury:" and then refer him to Jupiter,[3] how

  1. "Peleus, having withstood the solicitations of Atalante, wife of Acastus, was rewarded for his continence, by the gods, with a sword of celestial temper, the workmanship of Vulcan. But Atalante, having accused him to her husband, and stimulated Acastus to revenge a supposed attempt upon her honour, Peleus found himself driven to declare war against him: and to this Adicus alludes, in his retort upon Dicæus." Cumb.
  2. He was a lamp-seller, and was accused of adulterating the bronze of his lamps with lead, and thus obtaining a greater price for them than they were worth. He became a noted demagogue after the death of Cleon. Comp. Aves, 13.

    "Hyperbolos dagegen hat, der Lampner, Tonnen Goldes
    Erworben durch Unredlichkeit, doch allerdings ein Schwertnicht." Droysen.

  3. "For Jove shall take the blame from off your shoulders,
    Being himself a cuckold-making god,
    And you a poor, frail mortal. How should you
    Be wiser, stronger, purer than a god?" Cumberland.