him; could never, never tire of the delight of stoning him.
DICAEOPOLIS (from within)
Peace! profane men!
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Silence all! Friends, do you hear the sacred formula? Here is
he, whom we seek! This way, all! Get out of his way, surely he comes
to offer an oblation.
(The CHORUS withdraws to one side.)
DICAEOPOLIS (comes out with a pot in his hand; he is followed by
his wife, his daughter, who carries a basket, and two slaves,
who carry the phallus.)
Peace, profane men! Let the basket-bearer come forward, and thou
Xanthias, hold the phallus well upright. Daughter, set down the basket
and let us begin the sacrifice.
DAUGHTER OF DICAEOPOLIS (putting down the basket and taking
out the sacred cake)
Mother, hand me the ladle, that I may spread the sauce on the
It is well! Oh, mighty Bacchus, it is with joy that, freed from
military duty, I and all mine perform this solemn rite and offer
thee this sacrifice; grant that I may keep the rural Dionysia
without hindrance and that this truce of thirty years may be
propitious for me. Come, my child, carry the basket gracefully and
with a grave, demure face. Happy he who shall be your possessor and
embrace you so firmly at dawn, that you fart like a weasel. Go
forward, and have a care they don't snatch your jewels in the crowd.
Xanthias, walk behind the basket-bearer and hold the phallus well
erect; I will follow, singing the Phallic hymn; thou, wife, look on
from the top of the terrace. Forward!
Oh, Phales, companion of the orgies of Bacchus, night reveller,
god of adultery and of pederasty, these past six years I have not been
able to invoke thee. With what joy I return to my farmstead, thanks to
the truce I have concluded, freed from cares, from fighting and from
Lamachuses! How much sweeter, oh Phales, Phales, is it to surprise
Thratta, the pretty woodmaid, Strymodorus' slave, stealing wood from
Mount Phelleus, to catch her under the arms, to throw her, on the
ground and lay her, Oh, Phales, Phales! If thou wilt drink and
bemuse thyself with me, we shall to-morrow consume some good dish in
honour of the peace, and I will hang up my buckler over the smoking
(The procession reaches the place where the CHORUS is hiding.)
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
That's the man himself. Stone him, stone him, stone him, strike
the wretch. All, all of you, pelt him, pelt him!
DICAEOPOLIS (using his pot for a shield)
What is this? By Heracles, you will smash my pot.
(The daughter and the two slaves retreat.)
CHORUS (singing excitedly)
It is you that we are stoning, you miserable scoundrel.
And for what sin, Acharnian elders, tell me that!
CHORUS (singing, with greater excitement)
You ask that, you impudent rascal, traitor to your country; you
alone amongst us all have concluded a truce, and you dare to look us
in the face!
But you do not know why I have treated for peace. Listen!
CHORUS (singing fiercely)
Listen to you? No, no, you are about to die, we will annihilate
you with our stones.
But first of all, listen. Stop, my friends.