Socrates! my little Socrates!
Mortal, what do you want with me?
First, what are you doing up there? Tell me, I beseech you.
I am traversing the air and contemplating the sun.
Thus it's not on the solid ground, but from the height of this basket, that you slight the gods, if indeed....
I have to suspend my brain and mingle the subtle essence of my mind with this air, which is of the like nature, in order clearly to penetrate the things of heaven. I should have discovered nothing, had I remained on the ground to consider from below the things that are above; for the earth by its force attracts the sap of the mind to itself. It's just the same with the watercress...
And what is it I am to gain?
You will become a thorough rattle-pate, a hardened old stager, the fine flour of the talkers....But come, keep quiet.
By Zeus! That's no lie! Soon I shall be nothing but wheat-flour, if you powder me in that fashion.
Silence, old man, give heed to the prayers.
In an hierophantic tone
Oh! most mighty king, the boundless air, that keepest the earth suspended in space, thou bright Aether and ye venerable goddesses, the Clouds, who carry in your loins the thunder and the lightning, arise, ye sovereign powers and manifest yourselves in the celestial spheres to the eyes of your sage.
Not yet! Wait a bit, till I fold my mantle double, so as not to get wet. And to think that I did not even bring my travelling cap! What a misfortune!
Socrates *ignoring this*
Come, oh! Clouds, whom I adore, come and show yourselves to this man, whether you be resting on the sacred summits of Olympus, crowned with hoar-frost, or tarrying in the gardens of Ocean, your father, forming sacred choruses with the Nymphs; whether you be gathering the waves of the Nile in golden vases or dwelling in the Maeotic marsh or on the snowy rocks of Mimas, hearken to my prayer and accept my offering. May these sacrifices be pleasing to you.
The Clouds By Aristophanes
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