Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/149

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352—371.
133
THE CLOUDS.

Soc. They suddenly become wolves, showing up his disposition.

Strep. For this reason, then, for this reason, when they yesterday saw Cleonymus the recreant, on this account they became stags, because they saw this most cowardly fellow.

Soc. And now too, because they saw Clisthenes, you observe, on this account they became women.

Strep. Hail therefore, O mistresses! And now, if ever ye did to any other, to me also utter a voice reaching to heaven, O all-powerful queens.

Cho. Hail, O ancient veteran, hunter after learned speeches! And thou, O priest of most subtle trifles! tell us what you require? For we would not hearken to any other of the present meteorological sophists, except to Prodicus;[1] to him, on account of his wisdom and intelligence; and to you, because you walk proudly in the streets, and cast your eyes askance, and endure many hardships with bare feet, and in reliance upon us lookest supercilious.[2]

Strep. O earth, what a voice! how holy, and dignified, and wondrous!

Soc. For, in fact, these alone are goddesses; and all the rest is nonsense.

Strep. But come, by the Earth, is not Jupiter,[3] the Olympian, a god?

Soc. What[4] Jupiter? Do not trifle. There is no Jupiter.

Strep. What do you say? Who rains, then? For first of all explain this to me.

Soc. These, to be sure. I will teach you it by powerful evidence. Come, where have you ever seen him raining at any time without Clouds? And yet he ought to rain in fine weather, and these to be absent.

  1. A famous sophist, native of Ceos, and a disciple of Protagoras, founder of the title, whose writings were condemned to the flames by decree of the Athenians: the fate of Prodicus was more severe, inasmuch as he was put to death by poison, as a teacher of doctrines which corrupted the youth of Athens. There was something prophetic in thus grouping him with Socrates." Cumberland.
  2. "Sensus est: Et nobis fretus supercilium tollis; vel, gravitatem quondam et fastum vultu præ te fers." Kust.
  3. Comp. vss. 817, 1187, 1465. Aves, 514, 1355. Thesm. 558. Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 50, 7, obs. 9, and obs. 10.
  4. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 51, 17, obs. 12.