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Aristophanes Index


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THE THESMOPHORIAZUSAE by Aristophanes, Part 08

MNESILOCHUS
Oh no no! not that part of me, my friends. Have we not the right
to speak frankly at this gathering? And because I have uttered what
I thought right in favour of Euripides, do you want to depilate me for
my trouble?
FIRST WOMAN
What! we ought not to punish you, who alone have dared to defend
the man who has done so much harm, whom it pleases to put all the vile
women that ever were upon the stage, who only shows us Melanippes
and Phaedras? But of Penelope he has never said a word, because she
was reputed chaste and good.
MNESILOCHUS
I know the reason. It's because not a single Penelope exists among
the women of to-day, but all without exception are Phaedras.
FIRST WOMAN
Women, you hear how this creature still dares to speak of us all.
MNESILOCHUS
And, Heaven knows, I have not said all that I know. Do you want
any more?
FIRST WOMAN
You cannot tell us any more; you have crapped out all you know.
MNESILOCHUS
Why, I have not told the thousandth part of what we women do. Have
I said how we use the hollow bandles of our brooms to draw up wine
unbeknown to our husbands?
FIRST WOMAN
The cursed jade!
MNESILOCHUS
And how we give meats to our pimps at the feast of the Apaturia
and then accuse the cat....
FIRST WOMAN
You're crazy!
MNESILOCHUS
....Have I mentioned the woman who killed her husband with a
hatchet? Of another, who caused hers to lose his reason with her
potions? And of the Acharnian woman....
FIRST WOMAN
Die, you bitch!
MNESILOCHUS
....who buried her father beneath the bath?
FIRST WOMAN
And yet we listen to such things!
MNESILOCHUS
Have I told how you attributed to yourself the male child your
slave had just borne and gave her your little daughter?
FIRST WOMAN
This insult calls for vengeance. Look out for your hair!
MNESILOCHUS
By Zeus! don't touch me.
FIRST WOMAN (slapping him)
There!
MNESILOCHUS (hitting back)
There! tit for tat!
FIRST WOMAN
Hold my cloak, Philista!
MNESILOCHUS
Come on then, and by Demeter....
FIRST WOMAN
Well! what?
MNESILOCHUS
I'll make you crap forth the sesame-cake you have eaten.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Stop wrangling! I see a woman running here in hot haste. Keep
silent, so that we may hear the better what she has to say.
(Enter CLISTHENES, dressed as a woman.)
CLISTHENES
Friends, whom I copy in all things, my hairless chin
sufficiently evidences how dear you are to me; I am women-mad and make
myself their champion wherever I am. Just now on the market-place I
heard mention of a thing that is of the greatest importance to you;
I come to tell it to you, to let you know it, so that you may watch
carefully and be on your guard against the danger which threatens you.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
What is it, my child? I can well call you child, for you have so
smooth a skin.
CLISTHENES
They say that Euripides has sent an old man here to-day, one of
his relations....
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
With what object? What is his idea?
CLISTHENES
....so that he may hear your speeches and inform him of your
deliberations and intentions.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
But how would a man fail to be recognized amongst women?
CLISTHENES
Euripides singed and depilated him and disguised him as a woman.
MNESILOCHUS
This is pure invention! What man is fool enough to let himself
be depilated? As for myself, I don't believe a word of it.
CLISTHENES
Nonsense! I should not have come here to tell you, if I did not
know it on indisputable authority.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Great gods! what is it you tell us! Come, women, let us not lose a
moment; let us search and rummage everywhere! Where can this man
have hidden himself to escape our notice? Help us to look, Clisthenes;
we shall thus owe you double thanks, dear friend.

 

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