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THE THESMOPHORIAZUSAE by Aristophanes, Part 04

AGATHON
What are you asking?
EURIPIDES
The women purpose killing me to-day during the Thesmophoria,
because I have dared to speak ill of them.
AGATHON
And what can I do for you in the matter?
EURIPIDES
Everything. Mingle secretly with the women by making yourself pass
as one of themselves; then do you plead my cause with your own lips,
and I am saved. You, and you alone, are capable of speaking of me
worthily.
AGATHON
But why not go and defend yourself?
EURIPIDES
Impossible. First of all, I am known; further, I have white hair
and a long beard; whereas you, you are good-looking, charming, and are
close-shaven; you are fair, delicate, and have a woman's voice.
AGATHON
Euripides!
EURIPIDES
Well?
AGATHON
Have you not said in one of your pieces, "You love to see the
light, and don't you believe your father loves it too?"
EURIPIDES
Yes.
AGATHON
Then never you think I am going to expose myself in your stead; it
would be madness. It's up to you to submit to the fate that
overtakes you; one must not try to trick misfortune, but resign
oneself to it with good grace.
MNESILOCHUS
You fairy! That's why your arse is so accessible to lovers.
EURIPIDES
But what prevents your going there?
AGATHON
I should run more risk than you would.
EURIPIDES
Why?
AGATHON
Why? I should look as if I were wanting to trespass on secret
nightly pleasures of the women and to rape their Aphrodite.
MNESILOCHUS (aside)
Wanting to rape indeed! you mean wanting to be raped. Ah! great
gods! a fine excuse truly!
EURIPIDES
Well then, do you agree?
AGATHON
Don't count upon it.
EURIPIDES
Oh! I am unfortunate indeed! I am undone!
MNESILOCHUS
Euripides, my friend, my son-in-law, never despair.
EURIPIDES
What can be done?
MNESILOCHUS
Send him to the devil and do with me as you like.
EURIPIDES
Very well then, since you devote yourself to my safety, take off
your cloak first.
MNESILOCHUS
There, it lies on the ground. But what do you want to do with me?
EURIPIDES
To shave off this beard of yours, and to remove all your other
hair as well.
MNESILOCHUS
Do what you think fit; I yield myself entirely to you.
EURIPIDES
Agathon, you always have razors about you; lend me one.
AGATHON
Take it yourself, there, out of that case.
EURIPIDES
Thanks. (To MNESILOCHUS) Now sit down and puff out your right
cheek.
MNESILOCHUS (as he is being shaved)
Ow! Ow! Ow!
EURIPIDES
What are you houting for? I'll cram a spit down your gullet, if
you're not quiet.
MNESILOCHUS
Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! (He jumps up and starts running away.)
EURIPIDES
Where are you running to now?
MNESILOCHUS
To the temple of the Eumenides. No, by Demeter! I won't let myself
be gashed like that.
EURIPIDES
But you will get laughed at, with your face half-shaven like that.
MNESILOCHUS
Little care I.
EURIPIDES
In the gods' names, don't leave me in the lurch. Come here.
MNESILOCHUS
Oh! by the gods! (He turns reluctantly and resumes his seat.)
EURIPIDES
Keep still and hold up your head. Why do you want to fidget
about like this?
MNESILOCHUS
Mm, mm.

 

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