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Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/208

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192
222—243.
THE WASPS.

Sos. Therefore, if need requires, we will pelt them[1] at once with stones.

Bdel. Nay, you wretch, if any one irritate the race of old men, it is like to a wasps' nest; for they have also a very sharp sting in[2] their loins with which they sting; they buz and bounce and strike like sparks. [Exit Bdelycleon.]

Sos. Do not heed it. If I have stones, I will disperse a nest of many dicasts. [Xanthias and Sosias lie down and fall asleep.]

CHORUS.[3]

Cho. Proceed, advance vigorously. Comias, do you tarry? By Jove, you used not, however, to do so formerly; but you were as tough as a piece of dog's skin. But now Charinades is better than you at walking. Strymodorus[4] of Conthyle, best of fellow-dicasts, is Evergides any where here, or Chabes of Phlya? There is present what still remains, papæ! papæax! of that youth, when at Byzantium[5] we were fellow-soldiers keeping guard, both you and I. And then we two, while taking our rounds by night, stole, unobserved, the baker-woman's kneading-trough; and then split it up and cooked some pimpernel.[6] Come, let us hasten, my friends, since it will be now Laches'[7] turn; and they all say that he has a hive of money. Therefore Cleon our guardian ordered us yesterday to be there in good time with bitter anger for three[8] days against him,

  1. This line, and 1491, infra, are the only known passages where this form of the future occurs.
  2. See Krüger's Gr. Gr. § 68, 17, obs. 3.
  3. "Four and twenty persons here come upon the stage, preceded by a boy bearing a lantern. It is the Chorus of the piece. A mask made to resemble a wasp's head and mouth, a waist contracted into the narrowest possible point, and a sheath, from which a sting could be emitted, sheathed, erected, or lowered at will, apprize the spectators what their dramatic character is to be." Mitch.
  4. For Conthyle, vide Cram. Greece, vol. ii. 412; for Phlya, ii. 396.
  5. Vide Thucyd. lib. i. 94.
  6. "The relics of that youth, which in Byzantium
    Erst signalized itself, when thou and I,
    Prowling by night, stole from the baker's wife
    Her mortar, cleft, and cook'd our potherbs with it."
    Wheelwright.
  7. For his military services, see Thuc. iii. 86, 90, 103, 115. He was accused of peculation and bribery. See vs. 895, infra.
  8. In allusion to the proclamation before an expedition. Vide