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

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Texte grec :

[32,1] Ἆρά γε βούλοισθ´ ἄν, ὦ ἄνδρες, σπουδάσαι χρόνον σμικρὸν καὶ προσέχειν; ἐπειδὴ παίζοντες ἀεὶ διατελεῖτε καὶ οὐ προσέχοντες καὶ παιδιᾶς μὲν καὶ ἡδονῆς καὶ γέλωτος, ὡς εἰπεῖν, οὐδέποτε ἀπορεῖτε· καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ γελοῖοί ἐστε καὶ ἡδεῖς καὶ διακόνους πολλοὺς τούτων ἔχετε· σπουδῆς δὲ ὑμῖν τὴν πᾶσαν ἔνδειαν ὁρῶ οὖσαν. καίτοι τινὲς ἐπαινοῦσιν ὑμᾶς ὡς σοφούς τε καὶ δεινούς, ὅτι τοσαῦται μυριάδες ἀνθρώπων ἅμα καὶ τὰ δέοντα ἐννοεῖτε καὶ ταχὺ φθέγγεσθε ὅ,τι ἂν ἐννοήσητε· ἐγὼ δὲ μᾶλλον ἂν ὑμᾶς ἐπῄνουν βραδὺ μὲν φθεγγομένους, ἐγκρατῶς δὲ σιγῶντας, ὀρθῶς δὲ διανοουμένους, ὃ καὶ νῦν ποιήσατε, ἵνα κτήσησθε πρὸς ἐκείνῳ τῷ ἐπαίνῳ καινὸν ἕτερον μείζω τε καὶ σεμνότερον, ὅτι τοσοῦτοι ὄντες λόγων χρησίμων γενομένων ἅπαντες ἐσιωπήσατε, καὶ πρὸς τούτῳ ἐδείξατε ὅτι οὐ μόνον ἐστὲ ἱκανοὶ νοήσαντες εἰπεῖν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀκούσαντες νοῆσαι. χοροῦ μὲν γὰρ ἔπαινος τὸ ἅμα εἰπεῖν, μᾶλλον δὲ οὐδὲ τούτου· τί γάρ, ἂν κοινῇ πάντες ἀποτυγχάνωσι τοῦ μέλους; δήμου δὲ τὸ καλῶς ἀκοῦσαι. νῦν μὲν γὰρ ἁμαρτάνετε τὸ Ἀθηναίων ποτὲ ἁμάρτημα. τοῦ γὰρ Ἀπόλλωνος εἰπόντος, εἰ θέλουσιν ἄνδρας ἀγαθοὺς ἐν τῇ πόλει γενέσθαι, τὸ κάλλιστον ἐμβάλλειν τοῖς ὠσὶ τῶν παίδων, οἱ δὲ τρήσαντες τὸ ἕτερον χρυσίον ἐνέβαλον, οὐ συνέντες τοῦ θεοῦ. τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ κόραις μᾶλλον ἔπρεπε καὶ παισὶ Λυδῶν ἢ Φρυγῶν· Ἑλλήνων δὲ παισί, καὶ ταῦτα θεοῦ προστάξαντος, οὐκ ἄλλο ἥρμοζεν ἢ παιδεία καὶ λόγος, ὧν οἱ τυχόντες εἰκότως {ἄν} ἄνδρες ἀγαθοὶ γίγνονται καὶ σωτῆρες τῶν πόλεων. ἐκεῖνοι μὲν οὖν κακῶς ἐχρήσαντο τοῖς ὠσὶ τῶν παίδων, ὑμεῖς δὲ τοῖς αὑτῶν κάκιον. δήμου γάρ ἐστιν ἀκοὴ τὸ θέατρον· εἰς τοῦτο δὲ καλὸν μὲν ἢ τίμιον οὐδὲν ὑμῖν ἢ σπανίως ποτὲ εἰσέρχεται· κρουμάτων δὲ ἀεὶ μεστόν ἐστι καὶ θορύβου καὶ βωμολοχίας καὶ σκωμμάτων οὐδὲν ἐοικότων χρυσῷ. διὰ τοῦτο οὖν ὀρθῶς ἔφην ἀπορεῖν ὑμᾶς σπουδῆς. οὔτε γὰρ αὐτοὶ σπουδαῖοί ἐστε οὔτε οἱ ὑμέτεροι συνήθεις καὶ πολλάκις εἰς ὑμᾶς εἰσιόντες, μῖμοί τ´ ὀρχησταί τε χοροιτυπίῃσιν ἄριστοι, ἵππων τ´ ὠκυπόδων ἐπιβήτορες, οἵ τε τάχιστα ἤγειραν μέγα νεῖκος ἀπαιδεύτοισι θεαταῖς, νηπιάχοις, ξυνὸν δὲ κακὸν πολέεσσι φέρουσιν.

Traduction française :

[32,1] My friends, would you kindly be serious for a brief while and give heed to my words ? For you are forever being frivolous and heedless, and you are practically never at a loss for fun-making and enjoyment and laughter—indeed you yourselves are naturally inclined to laughter and jollity, and you have many who minister to such tendencies—but I find in you a complete lack of seriousness. And yet there are those who praise you for your wisdom and cleverness, asserting that, although you assemble here in thousands, you not only can conceive what is fitting but at the same time are quick to put your conceptions into words. But I for my part should prefer to praise you as being slow to speak, indeed, and self-restrained enough to keep silent, and yet correct of judgement. Pray display these qualities now, in order that you may acquire, in addition to that other praise, new praise of a different nature, both greater and more honourable—for having all become silent in this great throng when useful counsel was being given and, furthermore, for having shown that you can not merely think before you speak but also listen before you formulate your thought. For while it is praising a chorus to say that they all speak the words together in unison—or rather not even a chorus, for what if all in common miss the tune ?—the highest praise you can accord a mass-meeting is to say that it listens well. For nowadays, you know, you make the mistake which the Athenians once made. I mean, when Apollo said that, if they wished to have good men as citizens, they should put that which was best into the ears of their boys, they pierced one of the ears of each and inserted a bit of gold, not understanding what the god intended. In fact such an ornament was suitable rather for girls and for sons of Lydians and Phrygians, whereas for sons of Greeks, especially since a god had given the command, nothing else was suitable but education and reason, for it is natural that those who get these blessings should prove to be good men and saviours of the state. The Athenians, as we see, made a bad use of the ears of their sons, but you are making a worse use of your own. For the organ of hearing of a people is the theatre, and into your theatre there enters nothing beautiful or honourable, or very rarely ; but it is always full of the strumming of the lyre and of uproar, buffoonery, and scurrility, things that bear no resemblance to gold. For that reason, therefore, I was right in saying that you lack seriousness ; for neither are you yourselves serious, nor are they serious with whom you are familiar, and who often come before you in the guise of "Both mimes and dancers plying nimble feet, And men astride swift steeds, most apt to stir Dire strife amid spectators crude—the fools !— And bring a general ruin to multitudes".





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Dernière mise à jour : 25/10/2007