previous next

Xanthias
coming out of the house
By Bacchus! [1475] Some Evil Genius has brought this unbearable disorder into our house. The old man, full up with wine and excited by the sound of the flute, is so delighted, so enraptured, that he is spending the night executing the old dances that Thespis first produced on the stage, [1480] and just now he offered to prove to the modern tragedians, by disputing with them for the dancing prize, that they are nothing but a lot of old dotards.

Bdelycleon comes out of the house with his father who is costumed as Polyphemus in Euripides' Cyclops.

Philocleon
"Who loiters at the door of the vestibule?"

Xanthias
Here comes our pest, our plague!

Philocleon
Let down the barriers. The dance [1485] is now to begin.

He begins to dance in a manner grotesquely parodying that of Euripides.

Xanthias
Or rather the madness.

Philocleon
Impetuous movement already twists and racks my sides. How my nostrils wheeze! how my back cracks!

Xanthias
Go and fill yourself with hellebore.

Philocleon
[1490] Phrynichus is as bold as a cock and terrifies his rivals.

Xanthias
He'll be stoned.

Philocleon
His leg kicks out sky-high ...

Xanthias
... and his arse gapes open.

Philocleon
Mind your own business. [1495] Look how easily my leg-joints move. Isn't that good?

Bdedycleon
God, no, it's merely insane!

Philocleon
And now I summon and challenge my rivals. If there be a tragic poet who pretends to be a skilful dancer, let him come and contest the matter with me. Is there one? [1500] Is there not one?

Xanthias
Here comes one, and one only.

A very small dancer, costumed as a crab, enters.

Philocleon
Who is the wretch?

Xanthias
The younger son of Carcinus.

Philocleon
I will crush him to nothing; in point of keeping time, I will knock him out, for he knows nothing of rhythm.

Xanthias
Ah! ah! here comes his brother too, [1505] another tragedian, and another son of Carcinus.

Another dancer, hardly larger than the first, and similarly costumed, enters.

Philocleon
Him I will devour for my dinner.

Xanthias
Oh! ye gods! I see nothing but crabs. Here is yet another son of Carcinus.

A third dancer enters, likewise resembling a crab, but smaller than either of the others.

Philocleon
What's this? A shrimp or a spider?

Xanthias
[1510] It's a crab, —a hermit-crab, the smallest of its kind; it writes tragedies.

Philocleon
Oh! Carcinus, how proud you should be of your brood! What a crowd of kinglets have come swooping down here! But we shall have to measure ourselves against them. [1515] Have marinade prepared for seasoning them, in case I prove the victor.

load focus Greek (F.W. Hall and W.M. Geldart, 1907)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

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

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: