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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Aristophanes Bilingual Anthology : PUPPET POLITICS

from The Knights, * Lines 178-193, 1111-1150, * Translator anonymous, * Greek Fonts


AUSAGE-SELLER Just tell me how a sausage-seller can become a great man.

DEMOSTHENES That is precisely why you will be great, because you are a sad rascal without shame, no better than a common market rogue.

SAUSAGE-SELLER I do not hold myself worthy of wielding power.

DEMOSTHENES Oh! by the gods! Why do you not hold yourself worthy? Have you then such a good opinion of yourself? Come, are you of honest parentage?

SAUSAGE-SELLER By the gods! No! of very bad indeed.

DEMOSTHENES Spoilt child of fortune, everything fits together to ensure your greatness.  

SAUSAGE-SELLER But I have not had the least education. I can only read, and that very badly.

DEMOSTHENES That is what may stand in your way, almost knowing how to read. A demagogue must be neither an educated nor an honest man; he has to be an ignoramus and a rogue.

Νευροσπάστου πολιτεία

ΑΛΛΑΝΤΟΠΩΛΗΣ. Εἰπέ μοι͵ καὶ πῶς ἐγὼ ἀλλαντοπώλης ὢν ἀνὴρ γενήσομαι;

ΔΗΜΟΣΘΕΝΗΣ. Δι΄ αὐτὸ γάρ τοι τοῦτο καὶ γίγνει μέγας͵ ὁτιὴ πονηρὸς κἀξ ἀγορᾶς εἶ καὶ θρασύς.

ΑΛ. Οὐκ ἀξιῶ ΄γὼ ΄μαυτὸν ἰσχύειν μέγα.

. Οἴμοι͵ τί ποτ΄ ἔσθ΄ ὅτι σαυτὸν οὐ φῂς ἄξιον; Ξυνειδέναι τί μοι δοκεῖς σαυτῷ καλόν. Μῶν ἐκ καλῶν εἶ κἀγαθῶν;

ΑΛ. Μὰ τοὺς θεούς͵ εἰ μὴ ΄κ πονηρῶν γ΄.

Δ. Ὦ μακάριε τῆς τύχης͵ ὅσον πέπονθας ἀγαθὸν εἰς τὰ πράγματα.  

ΑΛ. Ἀλλ΄͵ ὦγάθ΄͵ οὐδὲ μουσικὴν ἐπίσταμαι πλὴν γραμμάτων͵ καὶ ταῦτα μέντοι κακὰ κακῶς.

Δ. Τουτὶ μόνον σ΄ ἔβλαψεν͵ ὅτι καὶ κακὰ κακῶς. Ἡ δημαγωγία γὰρ οὐ πρὸς μουσικοῦ ἔτ΄ ἐστὶν ἀνδρὸς οὐδὲ χρηστοῦ τοὺς τρόπους͵ ἀλλ΄ εἰς ἀμαθῆ καὶ βδελυρόν.

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