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Aristophanes' PLUTUS Complete

A Literal Translation, with Notes.

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CARIO. What an unhappy fate, great gods, to be the slave of a fool! A servant may give the best of advice, but if his master does not follow it, the poor slave must inevitably have his share in the disaster; for fortune does not allow him to dispose of his own body, it belongs to his master who has bought it. Alas! 'tis the way of the world. But the god, Apollo, whose oracles the Pythian priestess on her golden tripod makes known to us, deserves my censure, for 'tis assured he is a physician and a cunning diviner; and yet my master is leaving his temple infected with mere madness and insists on following a blind man. Is this not opposed to all good sense? 'Tis for us, who see clearly, to guide those who don't; whereas he clings to the trail of a blind fellow and compels me to do the same without answering my questions with ever a word. (To Chremylus.) Aye, master, unless you tell me why we are following this unknown fellow, I will not be silent, but I will worry and torment you, for you cannot beat me because of my sacred chaplet of laurel.

CHREMYLUS. No, but if you worry me I will take off your chaplet, and then you will only get a sounder thrashing.

CARIO. That's an old song! I am going to leave you no peace till you have told me who this man is; and if I ask it, 'tis entirely because of my interest in you.

CHREMYLUS. Well, be it so. I will reveal it to you as being the most faithful and the most rascally of all my servants.[736] I honoured the gods and did what was right, and yet I was none the less poor and unfortunate.

[736] The poet jestingly makes Chremylus attribute two utterly opposed characteristics to his servant.

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