next

Mnesilochus
SCENE: Behind the orchestra are two buildings, one the house of the poet Agathon, the other the Thesmophorion. Euripides enters from the right, at a rapid pace, with an air of searching for something; his father-in-law Mnesilochus, who is extremely aged, follows him as best he can, with an obviously painful expenditure of effort.
Great Zeus! will the swallow never appear to end the winter of my discontent? Why the fellow has kept me on the run ever since early this morning; he wants to kill me, that's certain. Before I lose my spleen entirely, Euripides, can you at least tell me where you are leading me?

Euripides
[5] What need for you to hear what you are going to see?

Mnesilochus
How is that? Repeat it. No need for me to hear ...

Euripides
What you are going to see.

Mnesilochus
Nor consequently to see ...

Euripides
What you have to hear.

Mnesilochus
What is this wiseacre stuff you are telling me? [10] I must neither see nor hear?

Euripides
Ah! but you have two things there that are essentially distinct.

Mnesilochus
Seeing and hearing?

Euripides
Undoubtedly.

Mnesilochus
In what way distinct?

Euripides
In this way. Formerly, when Aether separated the elements [15] and bore the animals that were moving in her bosom, she wished to endow them with sight, and so made the eye round like the sun's disc and bored ears in the form of a funnel.

Mnesilochus
And because of this funnel I neither see nor hear. [20] Ah! great gods! I am delighted to know it. What a fine thing it is to talk with wise men!

Euripides
I will teach you many another thing of the sort.

Mnesilochus
That's well to know; but first of all I should like to find out how to grow lame, so that I need not have to follow you all about.

Euripides
[25] Come, hear and give heed!

Mnesilochus
I'm here and waiting.

Euripides
Do you see that little door?

Mnesilochus
Yes, certainly.

Euripides
Silence!

Mnesilochus
Silence about what? About the door?

Euripides
Pay attention!

Mnesilochus
Pay attention and be silent about the door? Very well.

Euripides
That is where Agathon, the celebrated [30] tragic poet, dwells.

Mnesilochus
Who is this Agathon?

Euripides
He's a certain Agathon ...

Mnesilochus
Swarthy, robust of build?

Euripides
No, another.

Mnesilochus
I have never seen him. He has a big beard?

Euripides
Have you never seen him?

Mnesilochus
Never, so far as I know.

Euripides
[35] And yet you have made love to him. Well, it must have been without knowing who he was.The door of Agathon's house opens. Ah! let us step aside; here is one of his slaves bringing a brazier and some myrtle branches; no doubt he is going to offer a sacrifice and pray for a happy poetical inspiration for Agathon.


Servant of Agathon
Standing on the threshold; solemnly
Silence! oh, people! [40] keep your mouths sedately shut! The chorus of the Muses is moulding songs at my master's hearth. Let the winds hold their breath in the silent Aether! Let the azure waves cease murmuring on the shore!

Mnesilochus
[45] Bombax.

Euripides
Be still! I want to hear what he is saying.

Servant
Take your rest, ye winged races, and you, ye savage inhabitants of the woods, cease from your erratic wandering.

Mnesilochus
More loudly
Bombalombax!

Servant
For Agathon, [50] our master, the sweet-voiced poet, is going—

Mnesilochus
—to be made love to?

Servant
Whose voice is that?

Mnesilochus
It's the silent Aether.

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 References (4 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: