CHARON SEES LIFE

Scene: A crowded street somewhere on earth. Enter Hermes, invisible. He is in such a hurry that he almost bumps into another invisible figure, which is standing there, roaring with laughter. It is Charon.

HERMES: Hullo, Charon, what's the joke? And what are you doing in our part of the world, miles away from your boat? You don't usually take much interest in things up here.

CHARON: Oh, I just wanted to see what goes on, Hermes - what people do when they're alive, and what they're so sorry to lose when they come down to us - for I've never had a passenger yet that didn't cry. So I did the same as that young chap from Thessaly, 1 applied to Aeacus for twenty‐ four hours' shore-leave, and came up into the daylight. But what a bit of luck meeting you! You know all about these things, and I'm sure you won't mind taking me round and showing me the sights.

HERMES: Sorry, skipper, I can't spare the time. I've got orders from up top to transact a little business down here for Zeus, and I'm just off to see about it. If I don't get a move on, he's liable to lose his temper and put me permanently at your disposal by consigning me to nether darkness - or, you know what he did to Hephaestus? Grabbed him by the ankle and just slung him out of the front door of heaven! He's developed such a limp as a result that when he went round filling up our glasses the other day, everyone burst out laughing. 2 Well, that might happen to me too.

CHARON: You surely don't mean to let me go wandering about the earth completely at random? Is that the way to treat an old friend and shipmate who's also a professional colleague? And I do think you might bear in mind that I've

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Satirical Sketches
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Lucian - Satirical Sketches *
  • Contents *
  • Introduction *
  • Talks *
  • The Dream or a Chapter of My Life 23
  • Zeuxis or Centaurs and Elephants *
  • Sketches *
  • Conversations in Low Society *
  • Mother Knows Best or a Young Girl's Guide to Success *
  • The Language of True Love 41
  • The Results of Shooting a Line 43
  • Conversations in High Society *
  • The New Sleeping Partner *
  • Zeus is Indisposed 51
  • The Reluctant Parent 53
  • A Beauty Competition 55
  • Conversations in the Underworld *
  • No Baggage Allowance *
  • Menippus Gets Away with It 72
  • A Slight Change of Sex 74
  • How to Enjoy Life after Seventy 75
  • Charon Sees Life *
  • Menippus Goes to Hell *
  • Icaromenippus or Up in the Clouds *
  • An Interview with Hesiod *
  • Some Awkward Questions for Zeus *
  • Philosophies Going Cheap *
  • Fishing for Phonies or the Philosophers' Day out *
  • The Pathological Liar or the Unbeliever *
  • Stories *
  • Alexander or the Bogus Oracle *
  • The True History *
  • Notes and Glossary *
  • Notes *
  • Glossary *
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