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DION CHRYSOSTOME, Au peuple d'Alexandrie (discours 32; traduction anglaise)

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Texte grec :

[32,80] ἐνταῦθα τοὺς μὲν ἡνιόχους πεποίηκεν ἀγωνιστὰς καὶ φιλοτιμουμένους, τοὺς δὲ θεατὰς καθ´ ἡσυχίαν θεωροῦντας, ὥσπερ καὶ προσῆκε. μόνον δ´ ἐπὶ τῷ τέλει φησὶν Αἴαντα τὸν Λοκρὸν ὁρᾶν ἀπρεπέστερον καὶ λοιδορεῖσθαι Ἰδομενεῖ περὶ τῶν ἵππων τῶν Εὐμήλου. οὗτος μέντοι ἐστὶν ὁ περὶ τὴν Ἀθηνᾶν αὖθις ἀσεβήσας ἁλισκομένης τῆς Τροίας, καὶ αὐτός τε διὰ τοῦτο κεραυνωθεὶς καὶ τοῦ χειμῶνος καὶ τῆς ναυαγίας τοῖς πᾶσιν αἴτιος γενόμενος. ὁ γὰρ ἐν τοιούτοις θρασὺς καὶ προπετὴς οὐδὲ τἄλλα εἶναι δύναται σώφρων, ὥσπερ καὶ εἶπον ἤδη. τοῦτο μὲν οὖν τοιοῦτον παράδειγμα κακίας καὶ ἀνοίας ὅμοιος ἐκ τῶν τοιούτων ἀνθρώπων τοῖς παρ´ ὑμῖν (πλὴν ὅτι μάχεσθαί γε οὐδεὶς ἱκανός ἐστιν οὐδὲ ἀριστεύειν οὐδὲ αἱρεῖν πόλεις, ὡς ἐκεῖνος) ὑμῶν δὲ οὐδεὶς ἐν τῇ θέᾳ καθέστηκεν, ἀλλὰ πολὺ μᾶλλον πέτεσθε τῶν ἵππων καὶ τῶν ἡνιόχων, καὶ γελοίως ἐλαύνετε καὶ ἡνιοχεῖτε καὶ διώκετε καὶ ἡγεῖσθε καὶ πίπτετε. τοιγαροῦν οὐ κακῶς τις παρεποίησε τῶν σαπρῶν τούτων ποιητῶν· ἅρματα δ´ ἄλλοτε μὲν χθονὶ πίλνατο πουλυβοτείρῃ, ἄλλοτε δ´ ἀΐξασκε μετήορα· τοὶ δὲ θεαταὶ θώκοις ἐν σφετέροις οὔθ´ ἕστασαν οὔτε κάθηντο, χλωροὶ ὑπαὶ δείους πεφοβημένοι, οἱ δ´ ὑπὸ νίκης ἀλλήλοισί τε κεκλόμενοι καὶ πᾶσι θεοῖσι χεῖρας ἀνίσχοντες μεγάλ´ εὐχετόωντο ἕκαστοι. ἠΰτε περ κλαγγὴ γεράνων πέλει ἠὲ κολοιῶν, αἵτ´ ἐπεὶ οὖν ζῦθόν τ´ ἔπιον καὶ ἀθέσφατον οἶνον, κλαγγῇ ταί γε πέτονται ἀπὸ σταδίοιο κελεύθου. οἱ δ´ ὥστε ψαρῶν νέφος ἔρχεται ἠὲ κολοιῶν οὖλον κεκλήγοντες, ὅτε προΐδωσιν ἰόντα ἵππον, ὃς ἀνθρώποισι φόνον φέρει ἠλιθίοισιν· ὣς οἱ κεκλήγοντες ἐπ´ ἀλλήλοισιν ἔπιπτον. ὡς δ´ ἄνεμος ἄχνας φορέει ἱερὰς κατ´ ἀλωάς, ὡς δ´ ἀναμαιμάει βαθέ´ ἄγκεα θεσπιδαὲς πῦρ, πάντῃ δ´ εἰλυφόων ἄνεμος φέρει, οἱ δέ τε θάμνοι πρόρριζοι πίπτουσιν ἐπειγόμενοι πυρὸς ὁρμῇ· ὣς οἱ μὲν μάρναντο πυρὸς δέμας· οὐδέ κε φαίης οὔτε ποτ´ ἠέλιον σόον ἔμμεναι οὔτε σελήνην. οἵηπερ φύλλων γενεή, τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν, ἀνδρῶν κουφονόων, φιλαοιδοτάτων, ἀγερώχων. ἠχὴ δ´ ἀμφοτέρων ἵκετ´ αἰθέρα καὶ Διὸς αὐλάς. ὧδε δέ τις εἴπεσκεν ἰδὼν ἐς πλησίον ἄλλον· οἰνοβαρές, κυνὸς ὄμματ´ ἔχων, κραδίην δ´ ἐλάφοιο, τί πτώσσεις; τί δ´ ὀπιπτεύεις κατὰ ἅρμ´ ἐν ἀγῶνι; εἰ δ´ ἄγε νυν πείρησαι, ἵνα κναφθεὶς ἀποτίνῃς. τὸν δ´ αὖθ´ Ἱπποκόων ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέειπε· τέττα, σιωπῇ ἧσο, ἐμῷ δ´ ἐπιπείθεο μύθῳ· ἠπεδανὸς δέ νύ τοι θεράπων, βραδέες δέ τοι ἵπποι.

Traduction française :

[32,80] In this passage it is the charioteers who are represented as contestants and rivals, while the spectators look on in silence, as indeed was fitting. And only at the end does the poet say that Ajax the Locrian behaved in rather unseemly fashion as a spectator by abusing Idomeneus with reference to the horses of Eumelus. It was Ajax, moreover, who also was guilty of impiety toward Athena at the capture of Troy and on that accourt was himself smitten with a thunderbolt and thereby caused the Storm and shipwreck that befell them all. For the man who in such matters as those is brazen and forward cannot act sanely in other matters, as I have said before. Here, then, you have an instance of wickedness and folly alike, and from men also such as are at Alexandria, except that in fighting, in deeds of valour, and in capturing cities no man here is the equal of Ajax. But among you not a man keeps his seat at the games ; on the contrary you fly faster than the horses and their drivers, and it is comical to see the way you drive and play the charioteer, urging the horses on and taking the lead and—getting spilled. And so it is no bad parody that has been composed by one of your feeble versifiers : "At times the cars clung close to bounteous earth, At times they bounded high ; but in their seats The gaping crowd did neither stand nor sit, Pallid with fear and fright, and in their zeal To win they shouted each to each, and, hands Upraised, they vowed great offerings to all the gods. Just as the scream of cranes or cry of daws Doth rise, when they have drunk of beer and vine O'ermuch, and clamourous they fly to reach The course ; as daws or starlings in a cloud With baleful screaming swoop, when they behold A horse onrushing, bearing death to fools; So these with yells upon each other fell. Just as the wind o'er sacred floor doth bear The chaff, as flaming fire doth sweep deep glens, Whirled by the wind now here now there, and 'neath Its onslaught thickets shrivel, root and branch ; So these did strive like fire ; nor couldst thou say That either sun or moon was safe from them. Just like the growth of leaves, so that of men, Shallow of mind, devoted to song, and proud, And from both sides the noise pierced heaven's vault, The courts of Zeus. And thus one turned and spake Unto his neighbour: " Heavy with wine art thou; Thou hast the eyes of a dog, the heart of a hind. Why dost thou quake and stare at a car in the race ? Just try me, then, if thou wouldst mangled lie." Hippocoôn to him made this reply : " Kind sir, in silence sit and heed my word : A weak thing is thy driver, slow thy team."





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Dernière mise à jour : 25/10/2007