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Chorus
The Chorus turns and faces the audience.
Undoubtedly the comic poet who [735] mounted the stage to praise himself in the parabasis would deserve to be handed over to the sticks of the beadles. Nevertheless, oh Muse, if it be right to esteem the most honest and illustrious of our comic writers at his proper value, permit our poet to say that he thinks he has deserved a glorious renown. First of all, he is the one who has compelled his rivals no longer [740] to scoff at rags or to war with lice; and as for those Heracleses, always chewing and ever hungry, he was the first to cover them with ridicule and to chase them from the stage; he has also dismissed that slave, whom one never failed to set weeping before you, [745] so that his comrade might have the chance of jeering at his stripes and might ask, “Wretch, what has happened to your hide? Has the lash rained an army of its thongs on you and laid your back waste?” After having delivered us from all these wearisome ineptitudes and these low buffooneries, he has built up for us a great art, like a palace with high towers, [750] constructed of fine phrases, great thoughts and of jokes not common on the streets. Moreover it's not obscure private persons or women that he stages in his comedies; but, bold as Heracles, it's the very greatest whom he attacks, undeterred by the fetid stink of leather or the threats of hearts of mud. He has the right to say, “I am the first ever dared to go straight for that beast with the sharp teeth [755] and the terrible eyes that flashed lambent fire like those of Cynna, surrounded by a hundred lewd flatterers, who spittle-licked him to his heart's content; it had a voice like a roaring torrent, the stench of a seal, the unwashed balls of a Lamia and the arse of a camel. I did not recoil in horror at the sight of such a monster, but fought him relentlessly to win your deliverance [760] and that of the islanders.” Such are the services which should be graven in your recollection and entitle me to your thanks. Yet I have not been seen frequenting the wrestling school intoxicated with success and trying to seduce young boys; but I took all my theatrical gear and returned straight home. I pained folk but little and caused them much amusement; my conscience rebuked me for nothing.

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Lamia (Greece) (1)

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