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LYSISTRATA by Aristophanes, Part 04

LYSISTRATA
Ah! but we have seen to that; this very day the Acropolis will
be in our hands. That is the task assigned to the older women; while
we are here in council, they are going, under pretence of offering
sacrifice, to seize the citadel.
LAMPITO
Well said indeed! everything is going for the best.
LYSISTRATA
Come, quick, Lampito, and let us bind ourselves by an inviolable
oath.
LAMPITO
Recite the terms; we will swear to them.
LYSISTRATA
With pleasure. Where is our Scythian policewoman? Now, what are
you staring at, pray? Lay this shield on the earth before us, its
hollow upwards, and someone bring me the victim's inwards.
CLEONICE
Lysistrata, say, what oath are we to swear?
LYSISTRATA
What oath? Why, in Aeschylus, they sacrifice a sheep, and swear
over a buckler; we will do the same.
CLEONICE
No, Lysistrata, one cannot swear peace over a buckler, surely.
LYSISTRATA
What other oath do you prefer?
CLEONICE
Let's take a white horse, and sacrifice it, and swear on its
entrails.
LYSISTRATA
But where shall we get a white horse?
CLEONICE
Well, what oath shall we take then?
LYSISTRATA
Listen to me. Let's set a great black bowl on the ground; let's
sacrifice a skin of Thasian wine into it, and take oath not to add one
single drop of water.
LAMPITO
Ah! that's an oath pleases me more than I can say.
LYSISTRATA
Let them bring me a bowl and a skin of wine.
CLEONICE
Ah! my dears, what a noble big bowl! what fun it will be to
empty it
LYSISTRATA
Set the bowl down on the ground, and lay your hands on the victim.
...Almighty goddess, Persuasion, and thou, bowl, boon comrade of joy
and merriment, receive this our sacrifice, and be propitious to us
poor women!
CLEONICE (as LYSISTRATA pours the wine into the bowl)
Oh! the fine red blood! how well it flows!
LAMPITO
And what a delicious bouquet, by Castor!
CLEONICE
Now, my dears, let me swear first, if you please.
LYSISTRATA
No, by Aphrodite, unless it's decided by lot. But come, then,
Lampito, and all of you, put your hands to the bowl; and do you,
Cleonice, repeat for all the rest the solemn terms I am going to
recite. Then you must all swear, and pledge yourselves by the same
promises,-I will have naught to do whether with lover or husband...
CLEONICE (faintly)
I will have naught to do whether with lover or husband...
LYSISTRATA
Albeit he come to me with an erection...
CLEONICE (her voice quavering)
Albeit he come to me with an erection... (in despair) Oh!
Lysistrata, I cannot bear it!
LYSISTRATA (ignoring this outburst)
I will live at home unbulled...
CLEONICE
I will live at home unbulled...
LYSISTRATA
Beautifully dressed and wearing a saffron-coloured gown
CLEONICE
Beautifully dressed and wearing a saffron-coloured gown...
LYSISTRATA
To THE END I may inspire my husband with the most ardent longings.
CLEONICE
To THE END I may inspire my husband with the most ardent longings.
LYSISTRATA
Never will I give myself voluntarily...
CLEONICE
Never will I give myself voluntarily...
LYSISTRATA
And if he has me by force...
CLEONICE
And if he has me by force...
LYSISTRATA
I will be cold as ice, and never stir a limb...
CLEONICE
I will be cold as ice, and never stir a limb...
LYSISTRATA
I will neither extend my Persian slippers toward the ceiling...
CLEONICE
I will neither extend my Persian slippers toward the ceiling...
LYSISTRATA
Nor will I crouch like the carven lions on a knife-handle.
CLEONICE
Nor will I crouch like the carven lions on a knife-handle.

 

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