CYCLOPS I hate the wine-skin, but the liquor we have here I love.
ODYSSEUS Stay, then, Cyclops; drink and be merry.
CYCLOPS Must I not give my brethren a share in this liquor?
ODYSSEUS No, keep it thyself and thou wilt appear of more honour.
CYCLOPS Give it my friends and I shall appear of more use.
ODYSSEUS Revelling is apt to end in blows, abuse, and strife.
CYCLOPS I may be drunk, but no man will lay hands on me for all that.
ODYSSEUS Better stay at home, my friend, after a carouse.
CYCLOPS Who loves not revelling then is but a simpleton.
ODYSSEUS But whoso stays at home, when drunk, is wise.
CYCLOPS What shall we do, Silenus? art minded to stay?
SILENUS That I am; for what need have we of others to share our drink,
CYCLOPS Well, truly the turf is soft as down with its fresh flowering
SILENUS (seating himself) Aye, and 'tis pleasant drinking in the
warm sunshine. Come, let me see thee stretch thy carcase on the ground.
CYCLOPS (sitting down) There then Why art thou putting the mixing-bowl
SILENUS That no one passing by may upset it.
CYCLOPS Nay, but thy purpose is to drink upon the sly; set it between
us. (To ODYSSEUS) Now tell me, stranger, by what name to call thee.
(SILENUS is drinking steadily and stealthily.)
ODYSSEUS Noman. What boon shall I receive of thee to earn my thanks?
CYCLOPS I will feast on thee last, after all thy comrades.
ODYSSEUS Fair indeed the honour thou bestowest on thy guest, sir
CYCLOPS (turning suddenly to SILENUS) Ho, sirrah! what art thou
about? taking a stealthy pull at the wine?
SILENUS No, but it kissed me for my good looks.
CYCLOPS Thou shalt smart, if thou kiss the wine when it kisses not
SILENUS Oh! but it did, for it says it is in love with my handsome
CYCLOPS (holding out his cup) Pour in; only give me my cup full.
SILENUS H'm! how is it mixed? just let me make sure. (Takes another
CYCLOPS Perdition! give it me at once.
SILENUS Oh, no! I really cannot, till I see thee with a crown on,
and have another taste myself.
CYCLOPS My cup-bearer is a cheat.
SILENUS No really, but the wine is so luscious. Thou must wipe thy
lips, though, to get a draught.
CYCLOPS There! my lips and beard are clean now.
SILENUS Bend thine elbow gracefully, and then quaff thy cup, as thou
seest me do, and as now thou seest me not. (Burying his face in his
CYCLOPS Aha! what next?
SILENUS I drunk it off at a draught with much pleasure.
CYCLOPS Stranger, take the skin thyself and be my cup-bearer.
ODYSSEUS Well, at any rate the grape is no stranger to my hand.
CYCLOPS Come, pour it in.
ODYSSEUS In it goes! keep silence, that is all.
CYCLOPS A difficult task when a man is deep in his cups.
ODYSSEUS Here, take and drink it off; leave none. Thou must be silent
and only give in when the liquor does.
CYCLOPS God wot! it is a clever stock that bears the grape.
ODYSSEUS Aye, and if thou but swallow plenty of it after a plentiful
meal, moistening thy belly till its thirst is gone, it will throw
thee into slumber; but if thou leave aught behind, the Bacchic god
will parch thee for it.
CYCLOPS Ha! ha! what a trouble it was getting out! This is pleasure
unalloyed; earth and sky seem whirling round together; I see the throne