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Herald
A woman.
Let all citizens [835] come, let them hasten at our leader's bidding! It is the new law. The lot will teach each citizen where he is to dine; the tables are already laid and loaded with the most exquisite dishes; [840] the couches are covered with the softest of cushions; the wine and water are already being mixed in the ewers; the slaves are standing in a row and waiting to pour scent over the guests; the fish is being grilled, the hares are on the spit and the cakes are being kneaded, chaplets are being plaited and the fritters are frying; [845] the youngest women are watching the pea-soup in the saucepans, and in the midst of them all stands Smoeus, dressed as a knight, washing the crockery. And Geron has come, dressed in a grand tunic and finely shod; he is joking with another young fellow [850] and has already divested himself of his heavy shoes and his cloak. The pantry man is waiting, so come and use your jaws.

Exit.

Second Man
All right, I'll go. Why should I delay, since the state commands me?

First Man
[855] And where are you going to, since you have not deposited your belongings?

Second Man
To the feast.

First Man
If the women have any wits, they will first insist on your depositing your goods.

Second Man
But I am going to deposit them.

First Man
When?

Second Man
I am not the man to make delays.

First Man
How do you mean?

Second Man
There will be many less eager than I.

First Man
[860] In the meantime you are going to dine.

Second Man
What else should I do? Every sensible man must give his help to the state.

First Man
But if admission is forbidden you?

Second Man
I shall duck my head and slip in.

First Man
And if the women have you beaten?

Second Man
I shall summon them.

First Man
And if they laugh in your face?

Second Man
[865] I shall stand near the door —

First Man
And then?

Second Man
... and seize upon the dishes as they pass.

First Man
Then go there, but after me. Sicon and Parmeno, pick up all this baggage.

Second Man
Come, I will help you carry it.

First Man
Pushing him away.
No, no, [870] I should be afraid of your pretending to the leader that what I am depositing belonged to you.

Exit with his belongings.

Second Man
Let me see! let me think of some good trick by which I can keep my goods and yet take my share of the common feast. He reflects for a moment. [875] Ha! that's a fine idea! Quick! I'll go and dine, ha! ha!

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 198
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, PRONOUNS
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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