Welcome
   Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Authors
Works by Aristophanes
Pages of The Frogs



Previous | Next
                  

The Frogs   

The scene shows the house of HERACLES in the
background. There enter two travellers: DIONYSUS on foot, in his
customary yellow robe and buskins but also with the club and lion's
skin of Heracles, and his servant XANTHIAS on a donkey, carrying the
luggage on a pole over his shoulder.

XANTHIAS
Shall I crack any of those old jokes, master,
At which the audience never fail to laugh?
DIONYSUS
Aye, what you will, except "I'm getting crushed":
Fight shy of that: I'm sick of that already.
XANTHIAS
Nothing else smart?
DIONYSUS
Aye, save "my shoulder's aching."
XANTHIAS
Come now, that comical joke?
DIONYSUS
With all my heart.
Only be careful not to shift your pole,
And-
XANTHIAS
What?
DIONYSUS
And vow that you've a belly-ache.
XANTHIAS
May I not say I'm overburdened so
That if none ease me, I must ease myself?
DIONYSUS
For mercy's sake, not till I'm going to vomit.
XANTHIAS
What! must I bear these burdens, and not make
One of the jokes Ameipsias and Lycis
And Phrynichus, in every play they write,
Put in the mouths of their burden-bearers?
DIONYSUS
Don't make them; no! I tell you when I see
Their plays, and hear those jokes, I come away
More than a twelvemonth older than I went.
XANTHIAS
O thrice unlucky neck of mine, which now
Is getting crushed, yet must not crack its joke!
DIONYSUS
Now is not this fine pampered insolence
When I myself, Dionysus, son of-Pipkin,
Toil on afoot, and let this fellow ride,
Taking no trouble, and no burden bearing?
XANTHIAS
What, don't I bear?
DIONYSUS
How can you when you're riding?
XANTHIAS
Why, I bear these.
DIONYSUS
How?
XANTHIAS
Most unwillingly.
DIONYSUS
Does not the donkey bear the load you're bearing?
XANTHIAS
Not what I bear myself: by Zeus, not he.
DIONYSUS
How can you bear, when you are borne yourself?
XANTHIAS

Previous | Next
Site Search