MENIPPUS GOES TO HELLScene: A street in Athens. Enter a man wearing a skull-cap and a
lion-skin, and carrying a lyre. He stops in front of a house and
strikes an attitude, which makes a passer-by called Philonides turn
.THE MAN [hamming
|'Hail, hearth and home, and blessed light of day!|
How gladly I behold you once again!'
PHILONIDES [to himself
]: Why, isn't that Menippus the Cynic?
Or am I seeing things? No, it couldn't be anyone else. It's
Menippus, large as life ! But why that extraordinary costume, I wonder? I must have a word with him. [Aloud
Hullo, Menippus? Where have you been? I haven't seen
you in town for ages.MENIPPUS [as before
|'In darkness have I been, among the dead,|
Pacing the god-forsaken plains of hell.'
PHILONIDES: Good Lord! Do you mean to say you've gone
and died, without letting any of us know? And now you've
come back to life?MENIPPUS: 'I visited the dead, but did not die.'
PHILONIDES: What on earth made you choose such an extraordinary place for a holiday?MENIPPUS: 'Rash you thin spired the plan, more bold than wise.'
PHILONIDES: Oh, come off it, my dear chap. Do stop
talking in blank verse, and tell me plainly why you're
dressed like that. And why did you really go down there?
It can't have been very pleasant.MENIPPUS:
|'I travelled thither, dearest friend, to hear|
What said Tiresias, the Theban seer.'