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THE WORKS OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE JOHN HOOKHAM FRERE IN VERSE AND PROSE VOLUME I11 TRANSLATIONS FROM ARISTOPHANES AND THEOGNIS EDITED BY W. E. FRERE - 1874 - CONTENTS. - THE PEACE THEOGN R I E S STITUTUS . Synopsis of Historical Dates . Postscript . Page i T H E A C H A R N I A N S . . THE ACHARNIANS. ICAZOPOLIS, whose name may be interpreted as conveying the idea of honest policy, i s the principal character in the play. He is represented asa hzrmorous shrewd countrynzan h sort of Athenian Sancho, who in consequence ofthe war, and the invasion of Attica by the eloponnesian A imy had been driven from his I ouse and property to take shelter in the City. Here his whole tboughts are occupied with regret for the comforts he has lost, . and with wishes for n speedy peace. The soliloquy in which be appears in the Jirst scene, represents hint seated alone in the place of assembly, having risen early to secure n good place, his constant practice he says, in order to bawl, to abuse and interrupt the speakers, 77 with the exception of those and those only, who are arguing in favour of an immediate peace. But the Magistrates and men of business, not having so much leisure on their hands, as the worthy countryman, are less punctual in their attendance, and he is kept waiting to his great discomfort their seats are empty, and the Citizens in the market-place are talking and idling, or shijitin about to avoid a most notable instrument of democratic coercion, namely n cord coloured with ochre, which the oflcers stretch across the market-place, in order to drive the loiterers to the place of assembly those that are overtaken by the rope, being marked by the ochre, besides the damage to their dress, becoming liable to a nominal Jine. To avoid the sense of weariness, he i s in the habit as he tells us, upon such occasions, of giving a forced direction to his thoughts and he gives a sample of his mode of employing this expedient, in the very first lines he is tasking himself to recollect and sunt up all the things that had occurred of late either to gratvy or to annoy him. At length, however, he is relieved from the pursuit of this unsatisfactory pastime. The Magistrates arrive and take their seats-the place of Assembly is filled, and silence is proclaimed-when a netv personage enters hastily. Here we have an instance of the peculiar character of invention which belongs to the ancient comedy in which a bodily form and action is given to those images, which have no existence except in the forms of animated or fanciful language. I f a deity were to come down among the Athenians and propose to conclude a peace for them, they would not listen to him9-This phrase is here exhibited in action for the personage above mentioned is a demigod descended immediately from Ceres herself as he proves by a very rapid and confident recitation of his genealogy, but his offer of his services as n mediator are very ill received, and he very narrowly escapes being taken into custody. The next persons who present themselves to the Assembly are two Envoys returned from a mission to the Court of Persia, which they have contrived to prolong for several years. They relate all the hardships tzhich they had unctrgone in luxurious entertainments and in tedious journeys with a splendid equipage they ntoreover had been detained by an unforeseen circumstance, on their arrival at the Capital...
The Works of John Hookham Frere, in Verse and Prose V3: Translations from Aristophanes and Theognis (1874)
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