previous next

Poseidon enters, accompanied by Heracles and Triballus.

Poseidon
[1565] This is the city of Nephelococcygia, to which we come as ambassadors.

To Triballus.
Hi! what are you up to? you are throwing your cloak over the left shoulder. Come, fling it quick over the right! And why, pray, does it draggle in this fashion? Have you ulcers to hide like Lespodias? [1570] Oh! democracy! whither, oh! whither are you leading us? Is it possible that the gods have chosen such an envoy? You are undisturbed? Ugh! you cursed savage! you are by far the most barbarous of all the gods. —Tell me, Heracles, what are we going to do?

Heracles
[1575] I have already told you that I want to strangle the fellow who dared to wall us out.

Poseidon
But, my friend, we are envoys of peace.

Heracles
All the more reason why I wish to strangle him.

Pisthetaerus comes out of the thicket, followed by slaves, who are carrying various kitchen utensils; one of them sets up a table on which he places poultry dressed for roasting.

Pisthetaerus
Hand me the cheese-grater; bring me the silphium for sauce; [1580] pass me the cheese and watch the coals.

Heracles
Mortal! we who greet you are three gods.

Pisthetaerus
Wait a bit till I have prepared my silphium pickle.

Heracles
What are these meats?

Pisthetaerus
These are birds that have been punished with death [1585] for attacking the people's friends.

Heracles
And you are going to season them before answering us?

Pisthetaerus
Looking up from his work for the first time.
Ah! Heracles! welcome, welcome! What's the matter?

Poseidon
The gods have sent us here as ambassadors to treat for peace.

Pisthetaerus
Ignoring this.
There's no more oil in the flask.

Heracles
[1590] And yet the birds must be thoroughly basted with it.

Poseidon
We have no interest to serve in fighting you; as for you, be friends and we promise that you shall always have rain-water in your pools and the warmest of warm weather. [1595] So far as these points go we are plenipotentiaries.

Pisthetaerus
We have never been the aggressors, and even now we are as well disposed for peace as yourselves, provided you agree to one equitable condition, namely, [1600] that Zeus yield his scepter to the birds. If only this is agreed to, I invite the ambassadors to dinner.

Heracles
That's good enough for me. I vote for peace.

Poseidon
You wretch! you are nothing but a fool and a glutton. [1605] Do you want to dethrone your own father?

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), PY´THIA
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: