EUELPIDES (to his jay)
Do you think I should walk straight for yon tree?
PITHETAERUS (to his crow)
Cursed beast, what are you croaking to me?...to retrace my steps?
Why, you wretch, we are wandering at random, we are exerting ourselves only to return to the same spot; we're wasting our time.
To think that I should trust to this crow, which has made me cover more than a thousand furlongs!
And that I, in obedience to this jay, should have worn my toes down to the nails!
If only I knew where we were....
Could you find your country again from here?
No, I feel quite sure I could not, any more than could Execestides find his.
Aye, aye, my friend, it's surely the road of "alases" we are following.
That Philocrates, the bird-seller, played us a scurvy trick, when he pretended these two guides could help us to find Tereus, the Epops, who is a bird, without being born of one. He has indeed sold us this jay, a true son of Tharrhelides, for an obolus, and this crow for three, but what can they do? Why, nothing whatever but bite and scratch! (To his jay) What's the matter with you then, that you keep opening your beak? Do you want us to fling ourselves headlong down these rocks? There is no road that way.
One of Aristophanes' greatest comedies available with notes and introduction by Jeffrey Henderson, one of the most important scholars and translators of Greek comedy. Translation in English with notes, map and introduction. One of Aristophanes greatest comedies. Considered by many to be his masterpiece, it is the story of birds taking control of the government, called in this translation Cloudcuckooland.
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