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Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/213

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346—370.
197
THE WASPS.

time for you to seek some new device, which will cause you to come down hither, without the knowledge of this man here.

Phil. What then can it be? Do ye seek it, since I would make every exertion; so much do I long to make a circuit of the tablets[1] with the shell.

Cho. Is there, pray, a crevice which you might be able to dig through from within, and then to escape, disguised in rags,[2] like the very prudent Ulysses?

Phil. All parts have been secured, and there is not a bit of a crevice,[3] not even for a pismire to creep through. You must seek something else; but a cheese[4] it is not possible to become.

Cho. Do you remember, pray, once upon a time, when you, being on service, stole the spits and let yourself down by the wall, when Naxos[5] was taken.

Phil. I know, but what of this?[6] for this is in no wise similar to that: for I was young, and was able to steal, and was master[7] of my own actions, and no one kept watch over me, but I was permitted to fly without fear. But now hoplites with arms, drawn up in the passages, are on the lookout, while two of them[8] at the doors with spits in their hands, watch me like a weasel that has stolen some meat.

Cho. But even now devise a plan as quick as possible, for it is morning, my little bee.

Phil. Therefore it is best for me to gnaw through the net But may Dictynna pardon me for the net.[9]

Cho. These acts are in character with* a man, who is hastening to safety. Come, lay your jaw to it.

  1. See Liddell's Lex. voc. σανίς.
  2. In derision of Eur. Hec. 240.
  3. Cf. Pax, 180, 1244.
  4. The pun is none of the brightest. It turns upon the similarity between ὀπίας, cheese made from milk curdled with ὀπὸς, fig-juice, (cf. συκοφάντης,) and ὀπὴ, a crevice.
  5. See Cramer's Greece, vol. iii. p. 408. "The inhabitants of Naxos were the first of the confederates whom the Athenians deprived of their independence. (Thucyd. i. 98, 137.) It appears from Herodotus that they had already been subject to that people in the time of Pisistratus (lib. i. 64)."
  6. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 62, 8, obs. 11.
  7. "ἴσχυον αὐτος ἐμαυτοῦ, i. e. ἰσχυρότερος ἦν." Liddell.
  8. For the article, see Krüger's Gr. Gr. § 50, 2, obs. 8.
  9. For this sense of πρὸς with a genitive, see Krüger's Gr. Gr. § 68, 37, obs. 1.