Alciphron, Letters 2. Letters of Farmers

LCL 383: 86-87

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2 [iii. 10]

Ἰοφῶν Ἐράστωνι

Ἐπιτριβείη καὶ κακὸς κακῶς ἀπόλοιτο ὁ κάκιστος ἀλεκτρυὼν καὶ μιαρώτατος,1 ὅς με ἡδὺν ὄνειρον θεώμενον ἀναβοήσας ἐξήγειρεν. ἐδόκουν γάρ, ὦ φίλτατε γειτόνων, λαμπρός τις εἶναι καὶ βαθύπλουτος, εἶτα οἰκετῶν ἐφέπεσθαί μοι στῖφος, οὓς 2οἰκονόμους καὶ διοικητὰς ἐνόμιζον ἔχειν. ἐῴκειν δὲ καὶ τὼ χεῖρε δακτυλίων πεπληρῶσθαι καὶ πολυταλάντους λίθους περιφέρειν· καὶ ἦσαν οἱ δάκτυλοί μου μαλακοὶ καὶ ἥκιστα τῆς δικέλλης ἐμέμνηντο. ἐφαίνοντο δὲ καὶ οἱ κόλακες ἐγγύθεν· Γρυλλίωνα 3εἴπαις2 ἂν καὶ Παταικίωνα παρεστάναι. ἐν τούτῳ3 καὶ ὁ δῆμος Ἀθηναίων εἰς τὸ θέατρον παρελθόντες4 ἐβόων προχειρίσασθαι με στρατηγόν. μεσούσης δὲ τῆς χειροτονίας ὁ παμπόνηρος ἀλεκτρυὼν ἀνεβόησε καὶ τὸ φάσμα ἠφανίσθη. ὅμως ἀνεγρόμενος5 περιχαρὴς ἦν ἐγώ· ἐνθύμιον δὲ ποιησάμενος τοὺς φυλλοχόους ἑστάναι6 μῆνας ἔγνων εἶναι τὰ ἐνύπνια ψευδέστατα.7


II. Letters of farmer

Letter 2 [iii. 10]

Iophon to Erastona

To hell and the very devil with that vile, cursèd cock!b With his crowing he waked me from a pleasant dream I was having. For I imagined, my dear neighbour, that I was somebody magnificent and very rich; then that I was attended by a big retinue of servants—my stewards and overseers, as it seemed to me. I thought that my hands were2 loaded with rings and that I was wearing the most costly jewels; and my fingers were soft and had quite forgotten the mattock. And flatterers too appeared to stand close at hand; you might say that I was attended by Gryllionc and Pataecion.d Meanwhile the citizens of Athens had entered the3 theatre and were shouting, “Elect him general!” But in the midst of the voting the rascally cock crowed and the vision vanished. Still, when I awoke, I was very happy; but then it came over me that it was the season when trees shed their leaves,e and I saw that my dreams were absolutely false.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.alciphron-letters_book_ii_letters_farmers.1949