Alciphron, Letters 1. Letters of Fishermen

LCL 383: 40-41

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Alciphron

δὲ αὕτη ἐπιλαβοῦσα ἡμᾶς ἀλκυονίς, ὡς οἶμαι, ἡμέρα (ἔστι γὰρ τοῦτο τῷ καθαρῷ τῆς αἰθρίας τεκμήρασθαι) πλοῦτον ἀθρόον ἀγαθῶν ἔδειξεν. ὡς γὰρ ὤφθη μὲν ὁ ἥλιος, πρώτη δὲ ἀκτὶς εἰς τὸ πέλαγος ἀπέστιλβε, τὸ πρώην νεωλκηθὲν σκαφίδιον σπουδῇ κατεσύραμεν, εἶτ᾿ ἐνθέμενοι τὰ δίκτυα 4ἔργων εἰχόμεθα. μικρὸν δὲ ἄπωθεν1 τῆς ἀκτῆς χαλάσαντες, φεῦ τῆς εὐοψίας, ὅσον ἰχθύων2 ἐξειλκύσαμεν· μικροῦ καὶ τοὺς φελλοὺς ἐδέησε κατασῦραι ὑφάλους τὸ δίκτυον ἐξωγκωμένον.

Εὐθὺς οὖν ὀψῶναι πλησίον, καὶ τὰς ἀσίλλας3 ἐπωμίους ἀνελόμενοι καὶ τὰς ἑκατέρωθεν σπυρίδας ἐξαρτήσαντες καὶ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν καταβαλόντες τἀργύριον,4 5ἄστυδ᾿ ἐκ Φαλήρων ἠπείγοντο. πᾶσι δὲ τούτοις ἠρκέσαμεν ἡμεῖς καὶ πρὸς τούτοις ἀπηνεγκάμεθα γαμεταῖς καὶ παιδίοις ὄγκον οὐκ ὀλίγον ἔχειν τῶν λεπτοτέρων5 ἰχθύων, οὐκ εἰς μίαν, ἀλλ᾿ εἰ χειμὼν ἐπιλάβοιτο καὶ εἰς πλείους ἡμέρας ἐμφορῆσαι.

2 [i. 2]

Γαληναῖος Κύρτωνι

Μάτην ἡμῖν πάντα πονεῖται, ὦ Κύρτων, δι᾿ ἡμέρας μὲν6 ὑπὸ τῆς ἀλέας7 φλεγομένοις νύκτωρ δὲ8

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I. Letters of Fishermen

this, the fourth day, a “halcyon day,”a I think—you can tell by the clear sky. It has disclosed wealth galore at one stroke. For at sight of the sun, while the first beam glittered on the waves, we had made haste to launch the boat (which had been so lately beached); then we put our nets on board, and got to work. A little way off shore we let out our nets—and4 what a sight of good seafood! What quantities of fish we did pull in! The bulging net almost dragged the floats under water.

Well, fish-peddlers were right there waiting for us; they lifted their yokes to their shoulders, fitted into place the two fish baskets which hung one at each end, put down their money in payment, and hurried off from Phalerumb towards the city. We had fish5 enough for them all; and in addition we carried home for wives and children a great lot of the smaller fry—enough to give them their fill, not for one day alone but for several, in case of bad weather.

Letter 2 [i. 2]

Galenaeus to Cyrtonc

In vain are all our toils, my dear Cyrton; in the daytime we are scorched by the fierce heat, at night

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.alciphron-letters_book_i_letters_fishermen.1949