No, that is not the meaning of the oracle; there must be another
that is nobler. If this blind man would tell us who he is and why
and with what object he has led us here, we should no doubt understand
what our oracle really does mean.
CARIO (to PLUTUS)
Come, tell us at once who you are, or I shall give effect to my
threat. (He menaces him.) And quick too, be quick, I say.
I'll thrash you.
CARIO (to CHREMYLUS)
Do you understand who he says he is?
It's to you and not to me that he replies thus: your mode of
questioning him was ill-advised. (To PLUTUS) Come, friend, if you
care to oblige an honest man, answer me.
I'll knock you down.
Ah! what a pleasant fellow and what a delightful prophecy the
god has given you!
CHREMYLUS (to PLUTUS)
By Demeter, you'll have no reason to laugh presently.
If you don't speak, you wretch, I will surely do you an ill turn.
Friends, take yourselves off and leave me.
That we very certainly shan't.
This, master, is the best thing to do. I'll undertake to secure
him the most frightful death; I will lead him to the verge of a
precipice and then leave him there, so that he'll break his neck
when he pitches over.
Well then, seize him right away.
(CARIO does so.)
Oh, no! Have mercy!
Will thou speak then?
But if you learn who I am, I know well that you will ill-use me
and will let me go again.
I call the gods to witness that you have naught to fear if you
will only speak.
Well then, first unhand me.
There! we set you free.
Listen then, since I must reveal what I had intended to keep a
secret. I am Plutus.
Oh! you wretched rascal! You Plutus all the while, and you never
You, Plutus, and in this piteous guise! Oh, Phoebus Apollo! oh, ye
gods of heaven and hell! Oh, Zeus! is it really and truly as you say?
Plutus' very own self?