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Aristophanes' BIRDS Complete

A Literal Translation, with Notes.

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EUELPIDES (to his jay).[175] Do you think I should walk straight for yon tree?

PISTHETAERUS (to his crow). Cursed beast, what are you croaking to me?... to retrace my steps?

EUELPIDES. Why, you wretch, we are wandering at random, we are exerting ourselves only to return to the same spot; 'tis labour lost.

PISTHETAERUS. To think that I should trust to this crow, which has made me cover more than a thousand furlongs!

EUELPIDES. And I to this jay, who has torn every nail from my fingers!

PISTHETAERUS. If only I knew where we were. . . .

EUELPIDES. Could you find your country again from here?

PISTHETAERUS. No, I feel quite sure I could not, any more than could Execestides[176] find his.

[175] Euelpides is holding a jay and Pisthetaerus a crow; they are the guides who are to lead them to the kingdom of the birds.

[176] A stranger, who wanted to pass as an Athenian, although coming originally from a far-away barbarian country.

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