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Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/202

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186
62—92.
THE WASPS.

come conspicuous on account of his good fortune, will we again make mincemeat of the same person. We have a little tale with a moral in it, than you yourselves not more clever,[1] but wiser than vulgar comedy. For we have a master there asleep above, the mighty one, he in the highest floor. He commanded us two to keep guard over his father, having confined him within, in order that he may not go forth out of doors. For his father is indisposed with a strange disease, which no one could ever hit upon or conjecture, unless he were to hear it from us. For guess! Amynias here, the son of Pronapus, says he is a lover of dice; but he says nothing to the purpose.

Sos. By Jove, he judges of the disease from his own case.

Xan. No; yet "love" is the beginning of the evil. This Sosias here says to Dercylus that he is a lover of wine.

Sos. By no means; for this is a gentleman's disease.[2]

Xan. Nicostratus, of Scambonis, on the other, hand, says that he is fond of sacrificing or fond of hospitality.

Sos. By the Dog,[3] Nicostratus, not fond of hospitality, since Philoxenus is a blackguard.

Xan. You talk nonsense to no purpose, for you will not find it out. If you are truly desirous to know, be silent now; for I will now declare the disease of our master. He is fond of the Heliæa, as never man was; and he loves this acting the dicast, and groans unless he sit upon the first seat.[4] And during the night he sees not even a morsel of sleep. But in fact,[5] if he close his eyes, if it were but a little bit, nevertheless his thoughts

  1. "Not so finely spun, that men of your ability will not be able to comprehend it, and yet cleverer than one of our ordinary vulgar comedies." Mitchell. Cf. Aves, 537, 730.
  2. See Krüger's Gr. Gr. § 61, 7, obs. 2, who has fully explained and vindicated this idiom. He quotes from Plato ἡ ἀρχη αὕτη τοῦ ξύμπαντος κακοῦ ἐγένευο, This was the commencement, &c. Stallbaum has written (ad Plat. Apol. p. 18, A.) on this subject very ignorantly and dogmatically. Cf. Thuc. viii. 59, 90. Eur. Iph. Aul. 734. Ed. Hartung.
  3. Vide Athen. lib. ix. 370. b. Εὔπολις Βάπταις, "Ναὶ μὰ τὴν κράμβην." ἐδόκει δὲ Ἰωνικὸς εἶναι ὁ ὅρκος· καὶ οὐ παράδοξον εἰ κατὰ τῆς κράμβης τινὲς ὤμνυον, ὁπότε καὶ Ζήνων ὁ Κιτιεὺς ὁ τῆς στοᾶς κτίστωρ μιμούμενος τὸν κατὰ τῆς κυνὸς ὅρκον Σωκράτους, καὶ αὐτὸς ὤμνυε τὴν κάππαριν ὡς Ἔμποδός φησιν ἐν Ἀπομνημονεύμασιν.
  4. See Ach. vs. 25.
  5. "οὖν, in der That." Krüger.