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LYSISTRATA by Aristophanes, Part 02

CLEONICE
How so, pray?
LYSISTRATA
There is not a man will wield a lance against another...
CLEONICE
Quick, I will get me a yellow tunic from the dyer's.
LYSISTRATA
...or want a shield.
CLEONICE
I'll run and put on a flowing gown.
LYSISTRATA
...or draw a sword.
CLEONICE
I'll haste and buy a pair of slippers this instant.
LYSISTRATA
Now tell me, would not the women have done best to come?
CLEONICE
Why, they should have flown here!
LYSISTRATA
Ah! my dear, you'll see that like true Athenians, they will do
everything too late.... Why, there's not a woman come from the
shore, not one from Salamis.
CLEONICE
But I know for certain they embarked at daybreak.
LYSISTRATA
And the dames from Acharnae! why, I thought they would have been
the very first to arrive.
CLEONICE
Theagenes' wife at any rate is sure to come; she has actually been
to consult Hecate.... But look! here are some arrivals-and there are
more behind. Ah! ha! now what countrywomen may they be?
LYSISTRATA
They are from Anagyra.
CLEONICE
Yes! upon my word, 'tis a levy en masse of all the female
population of Anagyra!
(MYRRHINE enters, followed by other women.)
MYRRHINE
Are we late, Lysistrata? Tell us, pray; what, not a word?
LYSISTRATA
I cannot say much for you, Myrrhine! you have not bestirred
yourself overmuch for an affair of such urgency.
MYRRHINE
I could not find my girdle in the dark. However, if the matter
is so pressing, here we are; so speak.
CLEONICE
No, let's wait a moment more, till the women of Boeotia arrive and
those from the Peloponnese.
LYSISTRATA
Yes, that is best.... Ah! here comes Lampito. (LAMPITO, a husky
Spartan damsel, enters with three others, two from Boeotia and one
from Corinth.) Good day, Lampito, dear friend from Lacedaemon. How
well and handsome you look! what a rosy complexion! and how strong you
seem; why, you could strangle a bull surely!
LAMPITO
Yes, indeed, I really think I could. It's because I do
gymnastics and practise the bottom-kicking dance.
CLEONICE (opening LAMPITO'S robe and baring her bosom)
And what superb breasts!
LAMPITO
La! you are feeling me as if I were a beast for sacrifice.
LYSISTRATA
And this young woman, where is she from?
LAMPITO
She is a noble lady from Boeotia.
LYSISTRATA
Ah! my pretty Boeotian friend, you are as blooming as a garden.
CLEONICE (making another inspection)
Yes, on my word! and her "garden" is so thoroughly weeded too!
LYSISTRATA (pointing to the Corinthian)
And who is this?
LAMPITO
'Tis an honest woman, by my faith! she comes from Corinth.
CLEONICE
Oh! honest, no doubt then-as honesty goes at Corinth.
LAMPITO
But who has called together this council of women, pray?
LYSISTRATA
I have.
LAMPITO
Well then, tell us what you want of us.
CLEONICE
Yes, please tell us! What is this very important business you wish
to inform us about?
LYSISTRATA
I will tell you. But first answer me one question.
CLEONICE
Anything you wish.
LYSISTRATA
Don't you feel sad and sorry because the fathers of your
children are far away from you with the army? For I'll wager there
is not one of you whose husband is not abroad at this moment.
CLEONICE
Mine has been the last five months in Thrace-looking after
Eucrates.
MYRRHINE
It's seven long months since mine left for Pylos.
LAMPITO
As for mine, if he ever does return from service, he's no sooner
home than he takes down his shield again and flies back to the wars.

 

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