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Trygaeus
[200] But why have they left you all alone here?

Hermes
I am watching what remains of the furniture, the little pots and pans, the bits of chairs and tables, and odd wine-jars.

Trygaeus
And why have the gods moved away?

Hermes
Because of their wrath against the Greeks. [205] They have located War in the house they occupied themselves and have given him full power to do with you exactly as he pleases; then they went as high up as ever they could, so as to see no more of your fights and to hear no more of your prayers.

Trygaeus
[210] What reason have they for treating us so?

Hermes
Because they have afforded you an opportunity for peace more than once, but you have always preferred war. If the Laconians got the very slightest advantage, they would exclaim, “By the Twin Brethren! the Athenians shall smart for this.” [215] If, on the contrary, the latter triumphed and the Laconians came with peace proposals, you would say, “By Demeter, they want to deceive us. No, by Zeus, we will not hear a word; they will always be coming as long as we hold Pylos.”

Trygaeus
[220] Yes, that is quite the style our folk do talk in.

Hermes
So that I don't know whether you will ever see Peace again.

Trygaeus
Why, where has she gone to then?

Hermes
War has cast her into a deep pit.

Trygaeus
Where?

Hermes
Down there, at the very bottom. And you see [225] what heaps of stones he has piled over the top, so that you should never pull her out again.

Trygaeus
Tell me, what is War preparing against us?

Hermes
All I know is that last evening he brought along a huge mortar.

Trygaeus
[230] And what is he going to do with his mortar?

Hermes
He wants to pound up all the cities of Greece in it.... But I must say good-bye, for I think he is coming out; what an uproar he is making!

He departs in haste.

Trygaeus
Ah! great gods let us seek safety; I think I already hear [235] the noise of this fearful war mortar.

He hides.

War
Enters, carrying a huge mortar.
Oh! mortals, mortals, wretched mortals, how your jaws will snap!

Trygaeus
Oh! divine Apollo! what a prodigious big mortar! Oh, what misery the very sight of War causes me! [240] This then is the foe from whom I fly, who is so cruel, so formidable, so stalwart, so solid on his legs!

War
Oh! Prasiae! thrice wretched, five times, aye, a thousand times wretched! for thou shalt be destroyed this day.

He throws some leeks into the mortar.

Trygaeus
to the audience.
This, gentlemen, does not concern us over much; [245] it's only so much the worse for the Laconians.

War
Oh! Megara! Megara! how utterly are you going to be ground up! what fine mincemeat are you to be made into!

He throws in some garlic.

Trygaeus
Aside.
Alas! alas! what bitter tears there will be among the Megarians!

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.4.2
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