Euripides. The Tragedies of Euripides. Vol. I. Buckley, Theodore Alois, translator. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1850.
Dearest friend, for inside the house I heard and recognized your wise voice, the voice of a wise man;
I have come prepared with this equipment of the god. For we must extol him, the child of my daughter, Dionysus, who has appeared as a god to men as much as is in our power. Where must I dance, where set my feet
and shake my grey head? Show me the way, Teiresias, one old man leading another; for you are wise. And so I shall never tire night or day striking the ground with the thyrsos. Gladly I have forgotten that I am old.
Then you and I have the same feelings,
for I too feel young and will try to dance.
Then will we go to the mountain in a chariot?
But then the god would not have equal honor.
I, an old man, will lead you, an old man, like a pupil.
The god will lead us there without trouble.
Are we the only ones in the city who will dance in Bacchus’ honor?
Yes, for we alone think rightly, the rest wrongly.
The delay is long; come, take hold of my hand.
Here, take hold, and join your hand with mine.
Having been born mortal I do not scorn the gods.
We mortals have no cleverness in the eyes of the the gods.[*](Dodds admits that the text, as it appears in Murray, should be translated this way, but feels that the line should mean nor do we use cleverness on the gods or something similar. He argues for another reading that would allow this.) Our ancestral traditions, and those which we have held throughout our lives, no argument will overturn, not even if some craftiness should be discovered by the depths of our wits. [*](This translation, though literal, fudges on the meaning: ἀκραὶ φρένες must mean something like best or most subtle minds.) Will anyone say that I do not respect old age,
being about to dance with my head covered in ivy? No, for the god has made no distinction as to whether it is right for men young or old to dance, but wishes to have common honors from all and to be extolled, setting no one apart.
Since you do not see this light, Teiresias, I will be your interpreter. Pentheus, child of Echion, to whom I gave control of this land, is coming here to the house now in haste. How fluttered he is! What new matter will he tell us?
I happened to be at a distance from this land, when I heard of strange evils throughout this city, that the women have left our homes in contrived Bacchic rites, and rush about in the shadowy mountains, honoring with dances
this new deity Dionysus, whoever he is. I hear that mixing-bowls stand full in the midst of their assemblies, and that they each creep off different ways into secrecy to serve the beds of men, on the pretext that they are Maenads worshipping;
but they consider Aphrodite before Bacchus. As many of them as I have caught, servants keep in the public strongholds with their hands bound, and as many as are absent I will hunt from the mountains, I mean Ino and Agave, who bore me to Echion, and