Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.
Fictional attribution in the movie The Emperor's Club (2002), given by Kevin Kline (as William Hundert); also attributed to Diogenes, without sources; no published occurrences of this statement prior to the movie have been located in any of the Aristophanes Plays or Fragments.
Chorus: [We] must look beneath every stone, lest it conceal some orator ready to sting us. (tr. O'Neill 1938, Perseus ) Chorus: Under every stone lurks a politician. (tr. in Bartlett 1968, p. 91 or Archive.org)AristophanesThesmophoriazusae, line 529-530A play on the Greek proverb "Under every stone lurks a scorpion.". In context, "orator" was a synonym for "politician".
Unjust Cause: This art is worth more than ten thousand staters, that one should choose the worse cause, and nevertheless be victorious. (tr. Hickie 1853, vol. 1, Perseus ) Unjust Discourse: To invoke solely the weaker arguments and yet triumph is a talent worth more than a hundred thousand drachmae. (tr. Athen. 1912, vol. 1, p. 361)AristophanesClouds, line 1041-1042
Praxagora: I want all to have a share of everything and all property to be in common; there will no longer be either rich or poor; [...] I shall begin by making land, money, everything that is private property, common to all. [...] Blepyrus: But who will till the soil? Praxagora: The slaves. (tr. O'Neill 1938, Perseus )AristophanesEcclesiazusae, line 590-591 & 597-598 & 651
Sausage-Seller: You [demagogues] are like the fishers for eels; in still waters they catch nothing, but if they thoroughly stir up the slime, their fishing is good; in the same way it's only in troublous times that you line your pockets. (tr. O'Neill 1938, Perseus )AristophanesKnights, line 864-867Dialog aimed at the politician Cleon, symbolizing demagogues for the author.
[Choir of] Men: There is no beast, no rush of fire, like woman so untamed. She calmly goes her way where even panthers would be shamed. [Choir of] Women: And yet you are fool enough, it seems, to dare to war with me, when for your faithful ally you might win me easily. (tr. Lindsay 1925, Perseus )AristophanesLysistrata, line 1014-1017
Philokleon: Let each man exercise the art he knows. (tr. Rogers 1909, p. 110 )AristophanesAnonymous ancient proverb, quoted by Aristophanes in Wasps, line 1431Also later found in Plato (Republic 4.423d, 4.433a-d) and Cicero (Tusc. I.18.41)
Strepsiades: Vortex reigns, having expelled Zeus. (tr. Hickie 1853, vol. 1, Perseus ) Strepsiades: ‘Tis the Whirlwind, that has driven out Zeus and is King now. (tr. Athen. 1912, vol. 1, p. 350) Strepsiades: Whirl is King, having driven out Zeus. (tr. in Lippmann 1929, p. 1 and 4 )AristophanesClouds, line 828
Just Cause: [Learn] not to contradict your father in anything; nor by calling him Iapetus, to reproach him with the ills of age, by which you were reared in your infancy. (tr. Hickie 1853, vol. 1, Perseus ) Just Discourse: Do not bandy words with your father, nor treat him as a dotard, nor reproach the old man, who has cherished you, with his age. (tr. Athen. 1912, vol. 1, p. 359)AristophanesClouds, line 998-999
Demosthenes: A demagogue must be neither an educated nor an honest man; he has to be an ignoramus and a rogue.AristophanesKnights, line 191-193 (tr. O'Neill 1938, Perseus)
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