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Works by Aristophanes
Pages of Peace

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Now tell the husbandmen to be off.
Listen, good folk! Let the husbandmen take their farming tools and
return to their fields as quickly as possible, but without either
sword, spear or javelin. All is as quiet as if Peace had been reigning
for a century. Come, let everyone go and till the earth, singing the
Oh, thou, whom men of standing desired and who art good to
husbandmen, I have gazed upon thee with delight; and now I go to greet
my vines, to caress after so long an absence the fig trees I planted
in my youth.
Friends, let us first adore the goddess, who has delivered us from
crests and Gorgons; then let us hurry to our farms, having first
bought a nice little piece of salt fish to eat in the fields.
By Posidon! what a fine crew they make and dense as the crust of a
cake; they are as nimble as guests on their way to a feast.
See, how their iron spades glitter and how beautifully their
three-pronged mattocks glisten in the sun! How regularly they align
the plants! I also burn to go into the country and to turn over the
earth I have so long neglected.-Friends, do you remember the happy
life that Peace afforded us formerly; can you recall the splendid
baskets of figs, both fresh and dried, the myrtles, the sweet wine,
the violets blooming near the spring, and the olives, for which we
have wept so much? Worship, adore the goddess for restoring you so
many blessings.
CHORUS (singing)
Hail! hail! thou beloved divinity! thy return overwhelms us with
joy. When far from thee, my ardent wish to see my fields again made me
pine with regret. From thee came all blessings. Oh! much desired
Peace! thou art the sole support of those who spend their lives
tilling the earth. Under thy rule we had a thousand delicious
enjoyments at our beck; thou wert the husbandman's wheaten cake and
his safeguard. So that our vineyards, our young fig-tree woods and all
our plantations hail thee with delight and smile at thy coming.
But where was she then, I wonder, all the long time she spent away
from us? Hermes, thou benevolent god, tell us!
Wise husbandmen, hearken to my words, if you want to know why
she was lost to you. The start of our misfortunes was the exile of
Phidias; Pericles feared he might share his in-luck, he mistrusted
your peevish nature and, to prevent all danger to himself, he threw
out that little spark, the Megarian decree, set the city aflame, and
blew up the conflagration with a hurricane of war, so that the smoke
drew tears from all Greeks both here and over there. At the very
outset of this fire our vines were a-crackle, our casks knocked
together; it was beyond the power of any man to stop the disaster, and
Peace disappeared.
That, by Apollo is what no one ever told me; I could not think
what connection there could be between Phidias and Peace.
Nor I, until now. This accounts for her beauty, if she is
related to him. There are so many things that escape us.
Then, when the towns subject to you saw that you were angered
one against the other and were showing each other your teeth like
dogs, they hatched a thousand plots to pay you no more dues and gained
over the chief citizens of Sparta at the price of gold. They, being as
shamelessly greedy as they were faithless in diplomacy, chased off

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