Wydawca: Passerino Kategoria: Obyczajowe i romanse Język: angielski Rok wydania: 2017

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Liczba stron: 47

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Opis ebooka The Knights - Aristophanes

"The Knights" is a satire on the social and political life of classical Athens during the Peloponnesian War.Aristophanes was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. 

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Fragment ebooka The Knights - Aristophanes

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ISBN: 9788893454551
This ebook was created with StreetLib Writehttp://write.streetlib.com

Table of contents

The Knights

The Knights

Dramatis Personae

DEMOSTHENES
NICIAS
AGORACRITUS, a Sausage-Seller
CLEON
DEMOS
CHORUS OF KNIGHTS
Scene
The Orchestra represents the Pnyx at Athens; in the back- ground is the house of DEMOS.
DEMOSTHENES
Oh! alas! alas! alas! Oh! woe! oh! woe! Miserable Paphlagonian! may the gods destroy both him and his cursed advice! Since that evil day when this new slave entered the house he has never ceased belabouring us with blows.
NICIAS
May the plague seize him, the arch-fiend-him and his lying tales!
DEMOSTHENES
Hah! my poor fellow, what is your condition?
NICIAS
Very wretched, just like your own.
DEMOSTHENES
Then come, let us sing a duet of groans in the style of Olympus.
DEMOSTHENES AND NICIAS
Boo, hoo! boo, hoo! boo, hoo! boo, hoo! boo, hoo! boo, hoo!!
DEMOSTHENES
Bah! it's lost labour to weep! Enough of groaning! Let us consider now to save our pelts.
NICIAS
But how to do it! Can you suggest anything?
DEMOSTHENES
No, you begin. I cede you the honour.
NICIAS
By Apollo! no, not I. Come, have courage! Speak, and then I will say what I think.
DEMOSTHENES in tragic style
"Ah! would you but tell me what I should tell you!
NICIAS
I dare not. How could I express my thoughts with the pomp of Euripides?
DEMOSTHENES
Oh! please spare me! Do not pelt me with those vegetables, but find some way of leaving our master.
NICIAS
Well, then! Say "Let-us-bolt," like this, in one breath.
DEMOSTHENES
I follow you-'Let-us-bolt."
NICIAS
Now after "Let-us-bolt" say "at-top-speed
DEMOSTHENES
"At-top-speed!
NICIAS
Splendid! just as if you were masturbating; first slowly, "Let-us-bolt"; then quick and firmly, "at-top-speed!"
DEMOSTHENES
Let-us-bolt, let-us-bolt-at-top-speed!
NICIAS
Hah! does that not please you?
DEMOSTHENES
Yes, indeed, yet I fear your omen bodes no good to my hide.
NICIAS
How so?
DEMOSTHENES
Because masturbation chafes the skin.
NICIAS
The best thing we can do for the moment is to throw ourselves at the feet of the statue of some god.
DEMOSTHENES
Of which statue? Any statue? Do you then believe there are gods?
NICIAS
Certainly.
DEMOSTHENES
What proof have you?
NICIAS
The proof that they have taken a grudge against me. Is that not enough?
DEMOSTHENES
I'm convinced it is. But to pass on. Do you consent to my telling the spectators of our troubles?
NICIAS
There's nothing wrong with that, and we might ask them to show us by their manner, whether our facts and actions are to their liking.
DEMOSTHENES
I will begin then. We have a very brutal master, a perfect glutton for beans, and most bad-tempered; it's Demos of the Pnyx, an intolerable old man and half deaf. The beginning of last month he bought a slave, a Paphlagonian tanner, an arrant rogue, the incarnation of calumny. This man of leather knows his old master thoroughly; he plays the fawning cur, flatters, cajoles, wheedles, and dupes him at will with little scraps of leavings, which he allows him to get. "Dear Demos," he will say, "try a single case and you will have done enough; then take your bath, eat, swallow and devour; here are three obols." Then the Paphlagonian filches from one of us what we have prepared and makes a present of it to our old man. The other day I had just kneaded a Spartan cake at Pylos, the cunning rogue came behind my back, sneaked it and offered the cake, which was my invention, in his own name. He keeps us at a distance and suffers none but himself to wait upon the master; when Demos is dining, he keeps close to his side with a thong in his hand and puts the orators to flight. He keeps singing oracles to him, so that the old man now thinks of nothing but the Sibyl. Then, when he sees him thoroughly obfuscated, he uses all his cunning and piles up lies and calumnies against the household; then we are scourged and the Paphlagonian runs about among the slaves to demand contributions with threats and gathers them in with both hands. He will say, "You see how I have had Hylas beaten! Either content me or die at once!" We are forced to give, for otherwise the old man tramples on us and makes us crap forth all our body contains.
To NICIAS
There must be an end to it, friend Let us see! what can be done? Who will get us out of this mess?
NICIAS
The best thing, friend, is our famous "Let-us-bolt!"
DEMOSTHENES
But none can escape the Paphlagonian, his eye is everywhere. And what a stride! He has one leg on Pylos and the other in the Assembly; his arse gapes exactly over the land of the Chaonians, his hands are with the Aetolians and his mind with the Clopidians.
NICIAS
It's best then to die; but let us seek the most heroic death.
DEMOSTHENES
Let me think, what is the most heroic?
NICIAS
Let us drink the blood of a bull; that's the death Themistocles chose.
DEMOSTHENES
No, not that, but a bumper of good unmixed wine in honour of the Good Genius; perchance we may stumble on a happy thought.
NICIAS
Look at him! "Unmixed wine!" Your mind is on drink intent? Can a man strike out a brilliant thought when drunk?
DEMOSTHENES
Without question. Go, ninny, blow yourself out with water; do you dare to accuse wine of clouding the reason? Quote me more marvellous effects than those of wine. Look! when a man drinks, he is rich, everything he touches succeeds, he gains lawsuits, is happy and helps his friends. Come, bring hither quick a flagon of wine, that I may soak my brain and get an ingenious idea.
NICIAS
My God! What can your drinking do to help us?
DEMOSTHENES
Much. But bring it to me, while I take my seat. Once drunk, I shall strew little ideas, little phrases, little reasonings everywhere.
NICIAS enters the house and returns almost immediately with a bottle.
NICIAS
It is lucky I was not caught in the house stealing the wine.
DEMOSTHENES
Tell me, what is the Paphlagonian doing now?
NICIAS