The Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853)/Ecclesiazusae

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
For other English-language translations of this work, see Ecclesiazusae.






BLEPYRUS (husband of Praxagora).






Of the date of the Ecclesiazusæ we are not informed by any Didascalia. We learn, however, from a note of the Scholiast on vs. 193, that it was brought on the stage two years after the league with the Bœotians; consequently, in the spring of the year 392, B. C.; and, (as may be inferred from the Scholiast on the Frogs, vs. 404,) at the Great Dionysia. The Ecclesiazusæ is, like the Lysistrata, a picture of woman's ascendency, but one much more depraved than the other. In the dress of men the women steal into the public assembly, and by means of the majority of voices which they have thus surreptitiously obtained, they decree a new constitution, in which there is to be a community of goods and of women. This is a satire on the ideal republics of the philosophers, with similar laws. Protagoras had projected such before Plato. This comedy appears to labour under the very same fault as the Peace: the introduction, the secret assembly of the women, their rehearsal of their parts as men, the description of the popular assembly, are all handled in the most masterly manner; but towards the middle the action stands still. Nothing remains but the representation of the perplexities and confusion which arise from the different communities, especially the community of women, and from the prescribed equality of rights in love both for the old and ugly, and for the young and beautiful. These perplexities are pleasant enough, but they turn too much on a repetition of the same joke.






[Scenethe front of a citizen's house, having a lamp suspended over the door. Timea little past midnight.]

Praxagora (coming out of the house dressed in men's clothes). O bright eye of the wheel-formed lamp.[1] suspended most commodiously in a situation commanding a wide view, (for I will declare both your parentage[2] and your fortunes:[3] for, having been driven with the wheel by[4] the force of the potter, you possess in your nozzles[5] the bright honours of the sun,) send forth the signal of flame agreed upon! For to you alone we reveal it:—justly; for you also stand close by us in our bed-chambers when we try the various modes of Aphrodite; and no one excludes your eye from the house, the witness of our bending bodies. And you alone cast light into the secret recesses of our persons, when you singe[6] off the hair which flourishes upon them. And you aid us when secretly opening[7] the storehouses filled with fruits and the Bacchic stream. And although you help to do this, you do not babble of it to the neighbours. Wherefore you shall also be privy to our present designs, as many as were determined on by my friends at the Scira.[8] But none of them is present, who ought to have come. And yet it is close upon day-break; and the Assembly will take place immediately;[9] and we must take possession of different[10] seats from those which Phyromachus formerly ordered, if you still remember, and sit down without being detected. What then can be the matter? Have they their beards not sewed on, which they were ordered to have? or has it been difficult for them to steal and take their husbands' clothes? But I see a lamp there[11] approaching. Come, now let me[12] retire back, lest the person who approaches should chance to be a man. [Retires to one side.]

1st Woman (entering with a lamp). It is time to go; for the herald just now crowed[13] the second time, as we were setting out.

Prax. (coming forward out of her hiding-place). I was lying awake the whole night expecting you. But come, let me summon our neighbour here by tapping at her door: for I must escape the notice of her husband. [Taps at the door.]

2nd Woman (coming out of the house). I heard the tapping[14] of your fingers, as I was putting on my shoes, since I was not asleep: for my husband, my dearest, (for he whom I live with[15] is a Salaminian,) was occupying me the whole night in the bed-clothes, so that it was only just now I could get this garment of his.

1st Wom. Well now I see Clinarete also, and Sostrate here now approaching, and Philænete. [Enter Clinarete, Sostrate, and Philænete.]

Prax. Will you not hasten then? for Glyce swore that that one of our[16] number who came last, should pay three choæ of wine, and a chœnix of chick-peas.

1st Wom. Don't you see Melistice, the wife of Smicythion, hastening in[17] her slippers? and she alone appears to me to have come forth from her husband undisturbed.[18]

2nd Wom. And don't you see Gusistrate, the wife of the innkeeper, with her lamp in her right hand, and the wife of Philodoretus, and the wife of Chæretades?

Prax. I see very many other women also approaching, all that are good for aught in the city.[19]

3rd Wom. (entering, followed by many others). And I, my dearest, escaped and stole away with very great difficulty; for my husband kept coughing the whole night, having been stuffed with anchovies over-night.[20]

Prax. Sit down then, since I see you are assembled, in order that I may ask you about this, if you have done all that was determined on at the Scira.

4th Wom. Yes. In the first place I have my armpits rougher[21] than a thicket, as was agreed upon. In the next place, whenever my husband went to the market, I anointed my whole body, and basked the whole day standing in the sun-shine.[22]

5th Wom. And I. I threw the razor out of the house the first thing, in order that I might be hairy all over, and no longer like a woman at all.

Prax. Have you the beards, which we were all ordered to have, whenever we assembled?

4th Wom. (holding one up). Yea, by Hecate! see! here's a fine one![23]

5th Wom. (holding one up). And I one, not a little finer than that of Epicrates.[24]

Prax. (turning to the others). But what do you say?

4th Wom. They say yes; for they nod assent.

Prax. Well now I perceive that you have done the other things. For you have Laconian shoes, and staffs, and your husbands' garments, as we ordered.

6th Wom. I secretly brought away this club of[25] Lamia's as he was sleeping.

Prax. This is one of those clubs, under whose[26] weight he fizzles.

6th Wom. By Jupiter the Preserver,[27] he would be a fit person, if there ever was one, to cheat[28] the commonwealth, clothed in the leathern garment of Argus.

Prax. But come! so that we may also transact what is next, whilst[29] the stars are still in the heavens; for the assembly, to which we are prepared to go, will take place with the dawn.[30]

1st Wom. Yea, by Jove! wherefore you ought to take your seat under the Bema,[31] over against the Prytanes.

7th Wom. (holding up some wool). By Jove, I brought these here, in order that I might card when the Assembly was[32] full.

Prax. Full, you rogue?[33]

7th Wom. Yes, by Diana! for how should I hear any worse, if I carded? My children are naked.

Prax. "Carded," quoth 'a! you who ought to exhibit no part of your person to the meeting! [Turning to the others.] Therefore we should be finely off, if[34] the Assembly chanced to be full, and then some of us strode over and took up her dress[35] and exhibited her Phormisius.[36] Now if we take our seats first, we shall escape observation when we have wrapped our garments close round us: and when we let our beards hang down, which we will tie on there, who would not think us men on seeing us? At any rate Agyrrhius'[37] has the beard of Pronomus, without being noticed. And yet, before this, he was a woman. But now, you see, be has the chief power in the state. On this account, by the coming day,[38] let us venture on so great an enterprise, if by[39] any means we be able to seize upon the administration of the state, so as to do the state some good. For now we neither sail[40] nor row.

7th Wom. Why, how can[41] an effeminate conclave of women harangue the people?

Prax. Nay, rather, by far the best, I ween. For they say, that as many of the youths also as most resemble women, are the most skilful in speaking. Now we have this by chance.[42]

7th Wom. I know not: the want of experience is a sad thing.[43]

Prax. Therefore we have assembled here on purpose,[44] so that we might practise beforehand what we must say there. You cannot be too quick[45] in tying on your beard; and the others, as many as have practised speaking.

8th Wom. But who of us, my friend, does not know how to speak?

Prax. Come now, do you tie yours on, and quickly become a man: and I myself also, when I have placed the chaplets,[46] will tie on my beard along with you, if it should seem proper to me to make any speech.[47]

2nd Wom. Come hither, dearest Praxagora, see, you rogue, how laughable even the affair seems.

Prax. How laughable?

2nd Wom. Just as if one were to tie a beard on fried cuttle-fish.[48]

Prax. Purifier,[49] you must carry round—the cat.[50] Come forward to the front![51] Ariphrades,[52] cease talking! Come forward and sit down! [Here the women mimic the ceremonies of the lustration.] Who wishes to speak?[53]

8th Wom. I do.

Prax. Now put on the chaplet, and success to you![54]

8th Wom. (putting it on). Very well.

Prax. Speak away!

8th Wom. Then shall I speak before I drink?

Prax. "Drink," quoth'a![55]

8th Wom. Why have I crowned[56] myself then, my friend?

Prax. Get out of the way! You would have done such things to us there also.

8th Wom. How[57] then? don't they also drink in the Assembly?

Prax. "Drink," quoth'a!

8th Wom. Yes, by Diana! and that too unmixed wine. At any rate their decrees, as many as they make, are, to people considering well, mad ones, like drunken people's.[58] And, by Jove, they make libations too; or, on what account would they make so many prayers, if wine was not present? And they rail at one another too, like drunken men; and the policemen carry out him that plays drunken tricks.

Prax. Go you and sit down; for you are a worthless thing.[59]

8th Wom. By Jove, upon my word it were better for me not to have a beard; for, as it seems, I shall be parched with thirst. [Goes and sits down.]

Prax. Is there any other who[60] wishes to speak?

9th Wom. I do.

Prax. Come now, crown yourself! for the business is going on.[61] Come now, see that[62] you speak after the manner of men, and properly, having leaned your body on your staff.

9th Wom. I should have wished some other one of those accustomed to speak were giving the best advice, in order that[63] I might have been sitting quiet. But now,[64] according to my motion, I will not suffer a single hostess to make cisterns of water in the taverns.[65] I don't approve of it, by the two goddesses![66]

Prax. "By the two goddesses!" "Wretch, where have you your senses?

9th Wom. What's the matter? for indeed I did not ask you for drink.

Prax. No, by Jove; but you swore by the two goddesses, being a man. And yet you spoke[67] the rest most cleverly.

9th Wom. (correcting herself). Oh!—by Apollo!

Prax. (snatching the chaplet from her). Have done then! for I would[68] not put forward one foot to hold an assembly, unless[69] this shall be arranged precisely.

9th Wom. Give me the chaplet! I will speak again. For now I think I have gone over it properly in my mind. "To me, O women,[70] who are sitting here"——

Prax. Again you are calling the men "women," you wretch.

9th Wom. It's on account of Epigonus[71] yonder. For when I looked thither I thought I was speaking to women.

Prax. Away with you also,[72] and sit down there.[73] Methinks I must take this chaplet myself and speak[74] for you. I pray to the gods that I may bring our plans to a successful issue. "I have an equal share in this country as you; but I am vexed and annoyed at all the transactions of the state. For I see it always employing bad leaders: and if any be good for one day, he is bad for ten. Have[75] you committed it to another; he will do still more mischief. Therefore it is difficult to advise men so hard to please as you, who are afraid of those who wish to love you, but those who are not willing you constantly supplicate. There was a time when we did not make use of Assemblies at all, but considered Agyrrhius[76] a villain. But now, when we do make use of them, he who has received money praises the custom above measure; but he who has not received, says that those who seek to receive pay in the Assembly are worthy of death."

1st Wom. By Venus, you say this well.

Prax. You have mentioned Venus,[77] you wretch. You would have done a pretty thing, if you had said this in the Assembly.

1st Wom. But I would not have said it.

Prax. (to the first woman). Neither accustom yourself now to say it. [Returning to her subject.] "Again, when we deliberated about this alliance,[78] they said the state would perish, if it did not take place: and when now it did take place, they were vexed; and the orator[79] who persuaded you to it, immediately fled away. Is it necessary[80] to launch ships; the poor man approves of it, but the wealthy[81] and the farmers do not approve of it. You were vexed at the Corinthians, and they at you.[82] But now they are good,—and do you now be good to them. Argeus[83] is ignorant, but Hieronymus is clever. A hope of safety peeped out, but it is banished * * * * * * * * * * * * * Thrasybulus[84] himself not being called to our aid."

1st Wom. What a sagacious man!

Prax. (to first woman). Now you praise[85] rightly. [Returning to her subject.] "You, O people, are the cause of this. For you, receiving the public money as pay, watch, each of you, in private, what he shall gain; while the state totters along like Æsimus.[86] If therefore you take my advice, you shall still be saved. I assert that we ought to intrust the state to the women. For in our houses we employ them as[87] stewards and managers."

2nd Wom. Well done! well done! by Jove! well done! say on, say on, O good sir!

Prax. "But that they are superior to us in their habits I will demonstrate. For, in the first place, they wash their wool in warm water, every one of them, after the ancient custom. And you will not see them trying in a different way. But would not the city of the Athenians be saved, if it observed this properly,[88] unless it made itself[89] busy with some other new-fangled scheme? They roast sitting, just as before. They carry burdens on their heads, just as before. They keep the Thesmophoria, just as before. They[90] bake their cheese-cakes, just as before. They torment their husbands,[91] just as before. They have paramours in the house, just as before. They buy dainties for themselves, just as before. They like their wine unmixed,[92] just as before. They delight[93] in being wantonly treated, just as before. Therefore, sirs, let us intrust the city to them, and not chatter exceedingly, nor inquire what in the world they will do; but let us fairly suffer them to govern, having considered this alone,[94] that, in the first place, being mothers, they will be desirous to save the soldiers; and in the next place, who could send provisions quicker than the parent? A woman is most ingenious[95] in providing money; and when governing, could never be deceived; for they themselves are accustomed to deceive. The rest I will omit: but if you take my advice in this, you will spend your lives happily."

1st Wom. Well done, O sweetest Praxagora, and cleverly! Whence, you rogue, did you learn this so prettily?

Prax. During the flight[96] I dwelt with my husband in the Pnyx; and then I learnt by hearing the orators.

1st Wom. No wonder then, my dear, you are[97] clever and wise: and we[98] women elect you as general on the spot, if you will effect these things, which you have in your mind. But if Cephalus[99] should be unlucky enough to meet[100] and insult you, how will you reply to him in the Assembly?

Prax. I will say he is crazed.

1st Wom. But this they all know.

Prax. But also that he is melancholy-mad.

1st Wom. This too they know.

Prax. But also that he tinkers[101] his pots badly, but the state well and prettily.

1st Wom. How then, if Neoclides[102] the blear-eyed insults you?

Prax. Him I bid count the hairs on a dog's tail.[103]

1st Wom. How then, if they knock you?

Prax. I'll knock again; since I am not unused to many knocks.

1st Wom. That thing alone is unconsidered, what in the world you will do, if the Policemen try to drag you away.[104]

Prax. (suiting the action to the word). I'll nudge with the elbow in this way; for I will never be caught[105] by the middle.

1st Wom. And if they lift you up, we will bid them let you alone.

2nd Wom. This has been well considered by us. But that we have not thought of, how we shall remember then to hold up our hands; for we are accustomed to hold up our legs.

Prax. The thing is difficult: but nevertheless we must bold up our hands, having bared one arm up to the shoulder. Come then, gird up your tunics;[106] and put on your Laconian shoes as soon as possible, as you always see your husbands do, when they are about to go to the Assembly or out of doors. And then, when all these matters are well, tie on your beards. And when you shall have arranged them precisely, having them fitted on, put on also your husbands' garments, which[107] you stole; and then go, leaning on your staffs, singing some old man's[108] song, imitating the manner of the country people.

2nd Wom. You say well. But let us [to those next her] go before them; for I fancy other women also[109] will come forthwith[110] from the country to the Pnyx.

Prax. Come, hasten! for it is the custom there for those who are not present at the Pnyx at day-break,[111] to skulk away, having not even a doit.[112] [The women advance into the orchestra, and there form themselves into a chorus.]

Chorus. It is time for us to advance, O men,—for this[113] we ought mindfully to be always repeating, so that it may never escape[114] our memories. For the danger is not trifling, if we be caught entering upon so great an enterprise in secret. Let us go to the Assembly, O men; for the Thesmothetes threatened, that whoever should not come at dawn very early, in haste, looking sharp and sour, content[115] with garlic-pickle, he would not give him the three obols.

Come, O Charitimides,[116] and Smicythus, and Draces, follow in haste, taking heed to yourself that you blunder in none of those things which you ought to effect. But see that, when we have received our ticket,[117] we then sit down[118] near each other, so that we may vote for all measures, as many as it behoves our sisterhood. And yet, what am I saying? for I ought to have called them "brotherhood."[119]

But see that we jostle those who have come from the city; as many as heretofore,[120] when a person had to receive only one obolus on his coming, used to sit and chatter, crowned with chaplets.[121] But now they are a great nuisance. But when the brave Myronides[122] held office, no one used to dare to conduct the affairs of the state for the receipt[123] of money; but each of them used[124] to come with drink in a little wine-skin, and bread at the same time, and two onions besides, and three olives.[125] But now, like people carrying clay, they seek to get three obols, whenever they transact any public business.

Blepyrus. (coming out of his house attired in his wife's petticoat and shoes). What's the matter? Whither in the world is my wife gone? for it is now near[126] morning, and she does not appear. I have been lying this long while wanting to ease myself, seeking to find my shoes and my garment in the dark. And when now,[127] on groping after it, I was not able to find it, but he, Sir-reverence, now continued to knock at the door,[128] I take this kerchief of my wife's, and I trail along her Persian slippers. But where, where could one ease himself in an unfrequented[129] place? or is every place a good place[130] by night? for now no one will see me easing myself. Ah me, miserable! because I married a wife, being an old man.[131] How many stripes I deserve to get! For she never went out to do any good. But nevertheless I must certainly go aside to ease myself.

A neighbour (coming forward). Who is it? Surely it is not Blepyrus[132] my neighbour? Yes, by Jove! 'tis he himself assuredly. [Goes up to him.] Tell me, what means this yellow[133] colour? Cinesias has not, I suppose, befouled you somehow?

Blep. No; but I have come out with my wife's little saffron-coloured robe[134] on, Avhich she is accustomed to put on.

Neigh. But where is your garment?

Blep. I can't tell. For when I looked for it, I did not find it in the bed-clothes.

Neigh. Then did you not even bid[135] your wife tell you?

Blep. No, by Jove! for she does not happen to be within; but has slipped out[136] from the house without my knowledge. For which reason[137] also I fear lest she be doing some mischief.[138]

Neigh. By Neptune, then you've suffered exactly the same as I;[139] for she I live with, is gone with the garment I used to wear. And this is not the only thing[140] which troubles me; but she has also taken my shoes. Therefore I was not able to find them any where.

Blep. By Bacchus, neither could I my Laconian shoes! but as I wanted to ease myself, I put my feet into my wife's buskins and am hastening, in order that I might[141] not do it in the blanket, for it was clean-washed.[142]

Neigh. What then can it be? Has some woman among her friends invited her to breakfast?

Blep. In my[143] opinion it is so. She's certainly not an ill body, as far[144] as I know.

Neigh. Come, you are as long about it as the rope of a draw-well.[145] It is time for me to go to the Assembly, if I find my garment, the only one I had.[146]

Blep. And I too, as soon as I shall have eased myself. But now a wild pear has shut up[147] my hinder end.

Neigh. Is it the wild pear which Thrasybulus[148] spoke of to the Spartans? [Exit.]

Blep. By Bacchus, at any rate it clings very tight to me. But what shall I do? for not even is this the only thing which troubles me; but to know[149] where the dung will go to in future, when I eat. For now this Achradusian,[150] whoever in the world he is, has bolted the door. Who then will go for a doctor for me? and which one? Which of the breech-professors[151] is clever in his art? Does Amynon[152] know it? But perhaps he will deny it. Let some one summon Antisthenes[153] by all means. For this man, so far as groans[154] are concerned, knows what a breech wanting to ease itself means. O mistress Ilithyia,[155] do not suffer me to be burst or[156] shut up! lest I become a comic night-stool.[157] [Enter Chremes.]

CHREMES: Hi! friend, what are you doing there? You're not crapping, are you?

BLEPYRUS finding relief at last: Oh! there! it is over and I can get up again.

CHREMES: What's this? You have your wife's tunic on.

BLEPYRUS: It was the first thing that came to my hand in the darkness. But where are you coming from?

CHREMES: From the Assembly.

BLEPYRUS: Is it already over then?

CHREMES: Certainly.

BLEPYRUS: Why, it is scarcely daylight.

CHREMES: I did laugh, ye gods, at the vermillion rope-marks that were to be seen all about the Assembly.

BLEPYRUS: Did you get the triobolus?

CHREMES: Would it had so pleased the gods! but I arrived just too late, and am quite ashamed of it; I bring back nothing but this empty wallet.

BLEPYRUS: But why is that?

CHREMES: There was a crowd, such as has never been seen at the Pnyx, and the folk looked pale and wan, like so many shoemakers, so white were they in hue; both I and many another had to go without the triobolus.

BLEPYRUS: Then if I went now, I should get nothing.

CHREMES: No, certainly not, nor even had you gone to the second cock-crow.

BLEPYRUS: Oh! what a misfortune! "Oh, Antilochus! no triobolus! Even death would be better! I am undone!" But what can have attracted such a crowd at that early hour?

CHREMES: The Prytanes started the discussion of measures closely concerning the safety of the state; immediately, that blear-eyed fellow, the son of Neoclides, was the first to mount the platform. Then the folk shouted with their loudest voice, "What! he dares to speak, and that, too, when the safety of the state is concerned, and he a man who has not known how to save even his own eyebrows!" He, however, shouted louder than all of them, and looking at them asked, "Why, what ought I to have done?"

BLEPYRUS: Pound together garlic and laserpitium juice, add to this mixture some Laconian spurge, and rub it well into the eyelids of the night. That's what I should have answered, had I been there.

CHREMES: After him that clever rascal Evaeon began to speak; he was naked, so far as we all could see, but he declared he had a cloak; he propounded the most popular, the most democratic, doctrines. "You see," he said, "I have the greatest need of sixteen drachmae, the cost of a new cloak, my health demands it: nevertheless I wish first to care for that of my fellow-citizens and of my country. If the fullers were to supply tunics to the indigent at the approach of winter, none would be exposed to pleurisy. Let him who has neither beds nor coverlets go to sleep at the tanners' after taking a bath; and if they shut the door in winter, let them be condemned to give him three goat-skins."

BLEPYRUS: By Dionysus, a fine, a very fine notion! Not a soul will vote against his proposal, especially if he adds that the flour-sellers must supply the poor with three measures of corn, or else suffer the severest penalties of the law; this is the only way Nausicydes can be of any use to us.

CHREMES: Then we saw a handsome young man rush into the tribune, he was all pink and white like young Nicias, and he began to say that the direction of matters should be entrusted to the women; this the crowd of shoemakers began applauding with all their might, while the country-folk assailed him with groans.

BLEPYRUS: And, indeed, they did well.

CHREMES: But they were outnumbered, and the orator shouted louder than they, saying much good of the women and much ill of you.

BLEPYRUS eagerly: And what did he say?

CHREMES: First he said you were a rogue . . .

BLEPYRUS: And you?

CHREMES: Wait a minute! . . and a thief . . .

BLEPYRUS: I alone?

CHREMES: And an informer.

BLEPYRUS: I alone?

CHREMES: Why, no, by the gods! this whole crowd here.

He points to the audience.

BLEPYRUS: And who avers the contrary?

CHREMES: He maintained that women were both clever and thrifty, that they never divulged the Mysteries of Demeter, while you and I go about babbling incessantly about whatever happens at the Senate.

BLEPYRUS: By Hermes, he was not lying!

CHREMES: Then he added that the women lend each other clothes, trinkets of gold and silver, drinking-cups, and not before witnesses too, but all by themselves, and that they return everything with exactitude without ever cheating each other; whereas, according to him, we are ever ready to deny the loans we have effected.

BLEPYRUS: Yes, by Posidon, and in spite of witnesses.

CHREMES: Again, he said that women were not informers, nor did they bring lawsuits, nor hatch conspiracies; in short, he praised the women in every possible manner.

BLEPYRUS: And what was decided?

CHREMES: To confide the direction of affairs to them; it's the one and only innovation that has not yet been tried at Athens.

BLEPYRUS: And it was voted?


BLEPYRUS: And everything that used to be the men's concern has been given over to the women?

CHREMES: You express it exactly.

BLEPYRUS: Thus it will be my wife who will go to the courts now in my stead?

CHREMES: And it will be she who will keep your children in your place.

BLEPYRUS: I shall no longer have to tire myself out with work from daybreak onwards?

CHREMES: No, 'twill be the women's business, and you can stay at home and amuse yourself with farting the whole day through.

BLEPYRUS: Well, what I fear for us fellows now is, that, holding the reins of government, they will forcibly compel us . . .

CHREMES: To do what?

BLEPYRUS: . . . to lay them.

CHREMES: And if we are not able?

BLEPYRUS: They will give us no dinner.

CHREMES: Well then, do your duty; dinner and love-making form a double enjoyment.

BLEPYRUS: Ah! but I hate compulsion.

CHREMES: But if it is for the public good, let us resign ourselves. It's an old saying that our absurdest and maddest decrees always somehow turn out for our good. May it be so in this case, oh gods, oh venerable Pallas! But I must be off; so, good-bye to you!


BLEPYRUS: Good-bye, Chremes.

He goes back into his house.

CHORUS returning from the Assembly, still dressed like men; singing: March along, go forward. Is there some man following us? Turn round, examine everywhere and keep a good look-out; be on your guard against every trick, for they might spy on us from behind. Let us make as much noise as possible as we tramp. It would be a disgrace for all of us if we allowed ourselves to be caught in this deed by the men. Come, wrap yourselves up well, and search both right and left, so that no mischance may happen to us. Let us hasten our steps; here we are close to the meeting-place whence we started for the Assembly, and here is the house of our leader, the author of this bold scheme, which is now decreed by all the citizens. Let us not lose a moment in taking off our false beards, for we might be recognized and denounced. Let us stand under the shadow of this wall; let us glance round sharply with our eye to beware of surprises, while we quickly resume our ordinary dress. Ah! here is our leader, returning from the Assembly. Hasten to relieve your chins of these flowing manes. Look at your comrades yonder; they have already made themselves women again some while ago.

They remove the beards as PRAXAGORA and the other women enter from the right through the Orchestra.

PRAXAGORA: Friends, success has crowned our plans. But off with these cloaks and these boots quick, before any man sees you; unbuckle the Laconian straps and get rid of your staffs;

to the LEADER

and you help them with their toilet. As for myself, I am going to slip quietly into the house and replace my husband's cloak and other gear where I took them from, before he can suspect anything.

LEADER OF THE CHORUS: There! it's done according to your bidding. Now tell us how we can be of service to you, so that we may show you our obedience, for we have never seen a cleverer woman than you.

PRAXAGORA: Wait! I only wish to use the power given me in accordance with your wishes; for, in the market-place, in the midst of the shouts and danger, I appreciated your indomitable courage.

Just as she is about to enter the house BLEPYRUS appears in the doorway.

BLEPYRUS: Eh, Praxagora! where are you coming from?

PRAXAGORA: How does that concern you, dear?

BLEPYRUS: Why, greatly! what a silly question!

PRAXAGORA: You don't think I have come from a lover's?

BLEPYRUS: No, perhaps not from only one.

PRAXAGORA: You can make yourself sure of that.

BLEPYRUS: And how?

PRAXAGORA: You can see whether my hair smells of perfume.

BLEPYRUS: What? cannot a woman possibly be laid without perfume, eh!

PRAXAGORA: The gods forfend, as far as I am concerned.

BLEPYRUS: Why did you go off at early dawn with my cloak?

PRAXAGORA: A companion, a friend who was in labour, had sent to fetch me.

BLEPYRUS: Could you not have told me?

PRAXAGORA: Oh, my dear, would you have me caring nothing for a poor woman in that plight?

BLEPYRUS: A word would have been enough. There's something behind all this.

PRAXAGORA: No, I call the goddesses to witness! I went running off; the poor woman who summoned me begged me to come, whatever might betide.

BLEPYRUS: And why did you not take your mantle? Instead of that, you carry of mine, you throw your dress upon the bed and you leave me as the dead are left, bar the chaplets and perfumes.

PRAXAGORA: It was cold, and I am frail and delicate; I took your cloak for greater warmth, leaving you thoroughly warm yourself beneath your coverlets.

BLEPYRUS: And my shoes and staff, those too went off with you?

PRAXAGORA: I was afraid they might rob me of the cloak, and so, to look like a man, I put on your shoes and walked with a heavy tread and struck the stones with your staff.

BLEPYRUS: D'you know you have made us lose a sextary of wheat, which I should have bought with the triobolus of the Assembly?

PRAXAGORA: Be comforted, for she had a boy.

BLEPYRUS: Who? the Assembly?

PRAXAGORA: No, no, the woman I helped. But has the Assembly taken place then?

BLEPYRUS: Did I not tell you of it yesterday?

PRAXAGORA: True; I remember now.

BLEPYRUS: And don't you know the decrees that have been voted?

PRAXAGORA: No indeed.

BLEPYRUS: Go to! you can live on lobster from now on, for they say the government is handed over to you.

PRAXAGORA: To do what--to spin?

BLEPYRUS: No, that you may rule . . .


BLEPYRUS: . . . over all public business.

PRAXAGORA as she exclaims this CHREMES reappears: Oh! by Aphrodite how happy Athens will be!


PRAXAGORA: For a thousand reasons. None will dare now to do shameless deeds, give false testimony or lay informations.

BLEPYRUS: Stop! in the name of the gods! Do you want me to die of hunger?

CHREMES: Good sir, let your wife speak.

PRAXAGORA: There will be no more thieves, nor envious people, no more rags nor misery, no more abuse and no more prosecutions and law-suits.

CHREMES: By Posidon! that's grand, if it's true!

PRAXAGORA: I shall prove it and you shall be my witness and even he

pointing to BLEPYRUS

will have no objections to raise.

CHORUS singing: You have served your friends, but now it behooves you to apply your ability and your care to the welfare of the people. Devote the fecundity of your mind to the public weal; adorn the citizens' lives with a thousand enjoyments and teach them to seize every favorable opportunity. Devise some ingenious method to secure the much-needed salvation of Athens; but let neither your acts nor your words recall anything of the past, for 'tis only innovations that please.

LEADER OF THE CHORUS: But do not fail to put your plans into execution immediately; it's quick action that pleases the audience.

PRAXAGORA: I believe my ideas are good, but what I fear is that the public will cling to old customs and refuse to accept my reforms.

CHREMES: Have no fear about that. Love of novelty and disdain for traditions, these are the dominating principles among us.

PRAXAGORA to the audience: Let none contradict nor interrupt me until I have explained my plan. 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; no longer shall we seen one man harvesting vast tracts of land, while another has not ground enough to be buried in, nor one man surround himself with a whole army of slaves, while another has not a single attendant; I intend that there shall only be one and the same condition of life for all.

BLEPYRUS: But how do you mean for all?

PRAXAGORA impatiently: You'll eat dung before I do!

BLEPYRUS: Won't the dung be common too?

PRAXAGORA: No, no, but you interrupted me too soon. This is what I was going to say; I shall begin by making land, money, everything that is private property, common to all. Then we shall live on this common wealth, which we shall take care to administer with wise thrift.

BLEPYRUS: And how about the man who has no land, but only gold and silver coins, that cannot be seen?

PRAXAGORA: He must bring them to the common stock, and if he fails he will be a perjured man.

BLEPYRUS: That won't worry him much, for has he not gained them by perjury?

PRAXAGORA: But his riches will no longer be of any use to him.


PRAXAGORA: The poor will no longer be obliged to work; each will have all that he needs, bread, salt fish, cakes, tunics, wine, chaplets and chick-pease; of what advantage will it be to him not to contribute his share to the common wealth? What do you think of it?

BLEPYRUS: But is it not the biggest robbers that have all these things?

CHREMES: Yes, formerly, under the old order of things; but now that all goods are in common, what will he gain by not bringing his wealth into the general stock?

BLEPYRUS: If someone saw a pretty wench and wished to lay her, he would take some of his reserve store to make her a present and stay the night with her; this would not prevent him claiming his share of the common property.

PRAXAGORA: But he can sleep with her for nothing; I intend that women shall belong to all men in common, and each shall beget children by any man that wishes to have her.

BLEPYRUS: But all will go to the prettiest woman and try to lay her.

PRAXAGORA: The ugliest and the most flat-nosed will be side by side with the most charming, and to win the latter's favours, a man will first have to get into the former.

BLEPYRUS: But what about us oldsters? If we have to lay the old women first, how can we keep our tools from failing before we get into the Promised Land?

PRAXAGORA: They will make no resistance. Never fear; they will make no resistance.

BLEPYRUS: Resistance to what?

PRAXAGORA: To the pleasure of the thing. This is the way that matters will be ordered for you.

BLEPYRUS: It's very well conceived for you women, for every wench's hold will be filled; but what about the men? The women will run away from the ugly ones and chase the good-looking.

PRAXAGORA: The ugly will follow the handsomest into the public places after supper and see to it that the law, which forbids the women to sleep with the big, handsome men before having satisfied the ugly shrimps, is complied with.

BLEPYRUS: Thus ugly Lysicrates' nose will be as proud as the handsomest face?

PRAXAGORA: Yes, by Apollo! this is a truly popular decree, and what a set-back it will be for one of those elegants with their fingers loaded with rings, when a man with heavy shoes says to him, "Give way to me and wait till I have done; you will pass in before me."

BLEPYRUS: But if we live in this fashion, how will each one know his children?

PRAXAGORA: The youngest will look upon the oldest as their fathers.

BLEPYRUS: Ah! how heartily they will strangle all the old men, since even now, when each one knows his father, they make no bones about strangling him! then, my word! won't they just scorn and crap upon the old folks!

PRAXAGORA: But those around will prevent it. Hitherto, when anyone saw an old man beaten, he would not meddle, because it did not concern him; but now each will fear the sufferer may be his own father and such violence will be stopped.

BLEPYRUS: What you say is not so silly after all; but it would be highly unpleasant were Epicurus and Leucolophas to come up and call me father.

CHREMES: But it would be far worse, were . . .

BLEPYRUS: Were what?

CHREMES: . . . Aristyllus to embrace you and style you his father.

BLEPYRUS: He'll regret it if he does!

CHREMES: For you would smell vilely of mint if he kissed you. But he was born before the decree was carried, so that you have not to fear his kiss.

BLEPYRUS: It would be awful. But who will till the soil?

PRAXAGORA: The slaves. Your only cares will be to scent yourself, and to go and dine, when the shadow of the gnomon is ten feet long on the dial.

BLEPYRUS: But how shall we obtain clothing? Tell me that!

PRAXAGORA: You will first wear out those you have, and then we women will weave you others.

BLEPYRUS: Now another point: if the magistrates condemn a citizen to the payment of a fine, how is he going to do it? Out of the public funds? That would not be right surely.

PRAXAGORA: But there will be no more lawsuits.

BLEPYRUS: This rule will ruin you.

CHREMES: I think so too.

PRAXAGORA: Besides, my dear, why should there be lawsuits?

BLEPYRUS: Oh! for a thousand reasons, on my faith! Firstly, because a debtor denies his obligation.

PRAXAGORA: But where will the lender get the money to lend, if all is in common? unless he steals it out of the treasury? and he could not hide that!

CHREMES: Well thought out, by Demeter!

BLEPYRUS: But tell me this: here are some men who are returning from a feast and are drunk and they strike some passer-by; how are they going to pay the fine? Ah! you are puzzled now!

PRAXAGORA: They will have to take it out of their pittance; and being thus punished through their belly, they will not care to begin again.

BLEPYRUS: There will be no more thieves then, eh?

PRAXAGORA: Why steal, if you have a share of everything?

BLEPYRUS: People will not be robbed any more by night?

CHREMES: Not if you sleep at home.

PRAXAGORA: Even if you sleep outdoors there will be no more danger, for all will have the means of living. Besides, if anyone wanted to steal your cloak, you would give it to him yourself. Why not? You will only have to go to the common store and be given a better one.

BLEPYRUS: There will be no more playing at dice?

PRAXAGORA: What object will there be in playing?

BLEPYRUS: But what kind of life is it you propose to set up?

PRAXAGORA: The life in common. Athens will become nothing more than a single house, in which everything will belong to everyone; so that everybody will be able to go from one house to the other at pleasure.

BLEPYRUS: And where will the meals be served?

PRAXAGORA: The law-courts and the porticoes will be turned into dining-halls.

BLEPYRUS: And what will the speaker's platform be used for?

PRAXAGORA: I shall place the bowls and the ewers there; and young children will sing the glory of the brave from there, also the infamy of cowards, who out of very shame will no longer dare to come to the public meals.

BLEPYRUS: Well thought out, by Apollo! And what will you do with the urns?

PRAXAGORA: I shall have them taken to the market-place, and standing close to the statue of Harmodius, I shall draw a lot for each citizen, which by its letter will show the place where he must go to dine. Thus, those for whom I have drawn an R will go to the royal portico; if it's a T, they will go to the portico of Theseus; if it's an F, to that of the flour-market.

BLEPYRUS: To cram himself there like a capon?

PRAXAGORA: No, to dine there.

BLEPYRUS: And the citizen whom the lot has not give a letter showing where he is to dine will be driven off by everyone?

PRAXAGORA with great solemnity: But that will not occur. Each man will have plenty; he will not leave the feast until he is well-drunk, and then with a chaplet on his head and a torch in his hand; and then the women running to meet you in the crossroads will say, "This way, come to our house, you will find a beautiful young girl there."--"And I," another will call from her balcony, "have one so pretty and white as milk; but before touching her, you must sleep with me." And the ugly men, watching closely after the handsome fellows will say, "Hi! friend, where are you running to? Go in, but you must do nothing; it's the ugly and the flat-nosed to whom the law gives the right to make love first; amuse yourself on the porch while you wait, in handling your fig-leaves and playing with yourself." Well, tell me, does that picture suit you?

BLEPYRUS AND CHREMES: Marvellously well.

PRAXAGORA: I must now go to the market-place to receive the property that is going to be placed in common and to choose a woman with a loud voice as my herald. I have all the cares of the state on my shoulders, since the power has been entrusted to me. I must likewise go to busy myself about establishing the common meals, and you will attend your first banquet to-day.

BLEPYRUS: Are we going to banquet?

PRAXAGORA: Why, undoubtedly! Furthermore, I propose abolishing the whores.

BLEPYRUS: And what for?

PRAXAGORA: It's clear enough why; so that, instead of them, we may have the first-fruits of the young men. It is not meet that tricked-out slaves should rob free-born women of their pleasures. Let the courtesans be free to sleep with the slaves.

BLEPYRUS: I will march at your side, so that I may be seen and that everyone may say, "Look at the Dictator's husband!"

He follows PRAXAGORA into their house.

CHREMES: As for me, I shall arrange my belongings and take inventory of them, in order that I may take them to the market-place.

He departs.

There is an interlude of dancing by the CHORUS, after which CHREMES returns with his belongings and arranges them in a long line.

CHREMES: Come hither, my beautiful sieve, I have nothing more precious than you, come, all clotted with the flour of which I have poured so many sacks through you; you shall act the part of Canephorus in the procession of my chattels. Where is the sunshade carrier? Ah! this stew-pot shall take his place. Great gods, how black it is! it could not be more so if Lysicrates had boiled the drugs in it with which he dyes his hair. Hither, my beautiful mirror. And you, my tripod, bear this urn for me; you shall be the water-bearer; and you, cock, whose morning song has so often roused me in the middle of the night to send me hurrying to the Assembly, you shall be my flute-girl. Scaphephorus, do you take the large basin, place it in the honeycombs and twine the olive-branches over them, bring the tripods and the phial of perfume; as for the humble crowd of little poets, I will just leave them behind.

CITIZEN watching CHREMES from a distance: What folly to carry one's goods to the common store; I have a little more sense than that. No, no, by Posidon, I want first to ponder and calculate over the thing at leisure. I shall not be fool enough to strip myself of the fruits of my toil and thrift, if it is not for a very good reason; let us see first which way things turn.

He walks over to CHREMES

Hi! friend, what means this display of goods? Are you moving or are you going to pawn your stuff?

CHREMES: Neither.

CITIZEN: Why then are you setting all these things out in line? Is it a procession that you are starting off the Hiero, the public crier?

CHREMES: No, but in accordance with the new law that has been decreed, I am going to carry all these things to the market-place to make a gift of them to the state.

CITIZEN: Oh! bah! you don't mean that.

CHREMES: Certainly.

CITIZEN: Oh! Zeus the Deliverer! you unfortunate man!


CITIZEN: Why? It's as clear as noonday.

CHREMES: Must the laws not be obeyed then?

CITIZEN: What laws, you poor fellow?

CHREMES: Those that have been decreed.

CITIZEN: Decreed! Are you mad, I ask you?

CHREMES: Am I mad?

CITIZEN: Oh! this is the height of folly!

CHREMES: Because I obey the law?

CITIZEN: Is that the duty of a smart man?

CHREMES: Absolutely.

CITIZEN: Say rather of a ninny.

CHREMES: Don't you propose taking what belongs to you to the common stock?

CITIZEN: I'll take good care I don't until I see what the majority are doing.

CHREMES: There's but one opinion, namely, to contribute every single thing one has.

CITIZEN: I am waiting to see it, before I believe that.

CHREMES: At least, so they say in every street.

CITIZEN sardonically: And they will go on saying so.

CHREMES: Everyone talks of contributing all he has.

CITIZEN in the same tone: And will go on talking of it.

CHREMES: You weary me with your doubts and dubitations.

CITIZEN in the same tone: Everybody else will doubt it.

CHREMES: The pest seize you!

CITIZEN in the same tone: It will take you.

Then seriously

What? give up your goods! Is there a man of sense who will do such a thing? Giving is not one of our customs. Receiving is another matter; it's the way of the gods themselves. Look at the position of their hands on their statues; when we ask a favour, they present their hands turned palm up so as not to give, but to receive.

CHREMES: Wretch, let me do what is right. Come, I'll make a bundle of all these things. Where is my strap?

CITIZEN: Are you really going to carry them in?

CHREMES: Undoubtedly, and there are my two tripods strung together already.

CITIZEN: What folly! Not to wait to see what the others do, and then . . .

CHREMES: Well, and then what?

CITIZEN: . . . wait and put it off again.

CHREMES: What for?

CITIZEN: That an earthquake may come or an ill-omened flash of lightning, that a black cat may run across the street and no one carry in anything more, you fool!

CHREMES: It would be a fine thing if I were to find no room left for placing all this.

CITIZEN: You are much more likely to lose your stuff. As for placing it, you can be at ease, for there will be room enough as long as a month hence.


CITIZEN: I know these people; a decree is readily passed, but it is not so easily attended to.

CHREMES: All will contribute their property, my friend.

CITIZEN: But what if they don't?

CHREMES: But there is no doubt that they will.

CITIZEN insistently: But anyhow, what if they don't?

CHREMES: Do not worry; they will.

CITIZEN: And what if they oppose it?

CHREMES: We shall compel them to do so.

CITIZEN: And what if they prove the stronger?

CHREMES: I shall leave my goods and go off.

CITIZEN: And what if they sell them for you?

CHREMES: The plague take you!

CITIZEN: And if it does?

CHREMES: It will be a good riddance.

CITIZEN in an incredulous tone: You are really bent on contributing, then?

CHREMES: 'Pon my soul, yes! Look, there are all my neighbours carrying in all they have.

CITIZEN sarcastically: Oh yes, it's Antisthenes; he's the type that would contribute! He would just as soon spend the next month sitting on the can.

CHREMES: The pest seize you!

CITIZEN: Will Callimachus, the chorus-master, contribute anything?

CHREMES: Why, more than Callias!

CITIZEN: The man must want to spend all his money!

CHREMES: How you weary me!

CITIZEN: Ah! I weary you? But, wretch, see what comes of decrees of this kind. Don't you remember the one reducing the price of salt?

CHREMES: Why, certainly I do.

CITIZEN: And do you remember that about the copper coinage?

CHREMES: Ah! that cursed money did me enough harm. I had sold my grapes and had my mouth stuffed with pieces of copper; indeed I was going to the market to buy flour, and was in the act of holding out my bag wide open, when the herald started shouting, "Let none in the future accept pieces of copper; those of silver are alone current."

CITIZEN: And quite lately, were we not all swearing that the impost of one-fortieth, which Euripides had conceived, would bring five hundred talents to the state, and everyone was vaunting Euripides to the skies? But when the thing was looked at closely, it was seen that this fine decree was mere moonshine and would produce nothing, and you would have willingly burnt this very same Euripides alive.

CHREMES: The cases are quite different, my good fellow. We were the rulers then, but now it's the women.

CITIZEN: Whom, by Posidon, I will never allow to piss on my nose.

CHREMES: I don't know what the devil you're chattering about. Slave, pick up that bundle.

HERALD a woman: Let all citizens come, let them hasten at our leader's bidding! It is the new law. The lot will teach each citizen where he is to dine; the tables are already laid and loaded with the most exquisite dishes; the couches are covered with the softest cushions; the wine and water are already being mixed in the ewers; the slaves are standing in a row and waiting to pour scent over the guests; the fish is being grilled, the hares are on the spit and the cakes are being kneaded, chaplets are being plaited and the fritters are frying; the youngest women are watching the pea-soup in the saucepans, and in the midst of them all stands Smoeus, dressed as a knight, washing the crockery. And Geron has come, dressed in a grand tunic and finely shod; he is joking with another young fellow and has already divested himself of his heavy shoes and his cloak. The pantry man is waiting, so come and use your jaws.


CITIZEN: All right, I'll go. Why should I delay, since the state commands me?

CHREMES: And where are you going to, since you have not deposited your belongings?

CITIZEN: To the feast.

CITIZEN: But I am going to deposit them.


CITIZEN: I am not the man to make delays.

CHREMES: How do you mean?

CITIZEN: There will be many less eager than I.

CHREMES: In the meantime you are going to dine.

CITIZEN: What else should I do? Every sensible man must give his help to the state.

CHREMES: But if admission is forbidden you?

CITIZEN: I shall duck my head and slip in.

CHREMES: And if the women have you beaten?

CITIZEN: I shall summon them.

CHREMES: And if they laugh in your face?

CITIZEN: I shall stand near the door . . .

CHREMES: And then?

CITIZEN: . . . and seize upon the dishes as they passes.

CHREMES: Then go there, but after me. Sicon and Parmeno, pick up all this baggage.

CITIZEN: Come, I will help you carry it.

CHREMES pushing him away: No, no, I should be afraid of your pretending to the leader that what I am depositing belonged to you.

Exit with his belongings.

CITIZEN: Let me see! let me think of some good trick by which I can keep my goods and yet take my share of the common feast.

He reflects for a moment.

Ha! that's a fine idea! Quick! I'll go and dine, ha! ha!

Exit laughing.

Interlude of dancing by the CHORUS.

The scene shifts to a different section of Athens and the two houses are now to be thought of as those of two prostitutes.

FIRST OLD WOMAN leaning out of the window of one house: How is this? no men are coming? And yet it must be fully time! Then it is for naught that I have painted myself with white lead, dressed myself in my beautiful yellow robe, and that I am here, frolicking and humming between my teeth to attract some passer-by! Oh, Muses, alight upon my lips, inspire me with some soft Ionian love-song!

YOUNG GIRL in the window of the other house: You putrid old thing, you have placed yourself at the window before me. You were expecting to strip my vines during my absence and to trap some man in your snares with your songs. If you sing, I shall follow suit; all this singing will weary the spectators, but is nevertheless very pleasant and very diverting.

FIRST OLD WOMAN thumbing her nose at the YOUNG GIRL: Ha! here is an old man; take him and lead him away.

To the flute-player

As for you, you young flute-player, let us hear some airs that are worthy of you and me.

She sings

Let him who wishes to taste pleasure come to my side. These young things know nothing about it; it's only the women of ripe age who understand the art of love, and no one could know how to fondle the lover who possessed me so well as myself; the young girls are all flightiness.

YOUNG GIRL singing in her turn: Don't be jealous of the young girls; voluptuousness resides in the pure outline of their beautiful limbs and blossoms on their rounded breasts; but you, old woman, you who are tricked out and perfumed as if for your own funeral, are an object of love only for grim Death himself.

FIRST OLD WOMAN singing again: May your tongue be stopped; may you be unable to find your couch when you want to be loved. And on your couch, when your lips seek a lover, may you embrace only a viper!

YOUNG GIRL singing again: Alas! alas! what is to become of me? There is no lover! I am left here alone; my mother has gone out.

Interrupting her song

There's no need to mention the rest.

Then singing again

Oh! my dear nurse, I adjure you to call Orthagoras, and may heaven bless you. Ah! poor child, desire is consuming you like an Ionian woman;

interrupting again

and yet you are no stranger to the wanton arts of the Lesbian women.

Resuming her song

But you shall not rob me of my pleasures; you will not be able to reduce or filch the time that first belongs to me.

FIRST OLD WOMAN: Sing as much as you please, peep out like a cat lying in wait, but none shall pass through your door without first having been to see me.

YOUNG GIRL: If anyone enter your house, it will be to carry out your corpse. And that will be something new for you, you rotten old thing!

FIRST OLD WOMAN: Can anything be new to an old woman? My old age will not harm you.

YOUNG GIRL: Ah! shame on your painted cheeks!

FIRST OLD WOMAN: Why do you speak to me at all?

YOUNG GIRL: And why do you place yourself at the window?

FIRST OLD WOMAN: I am singing to myself about my lover, Epigenes.

YOUNG GIRL: Can you have any other lover than that old fop Geres?

FIRST OLD WOMAN: Epigenes will show you that himself, for he is coming to see me. See, here he is.

YOUNG GIRL: He's not thinking of you in the least.

FIRST OLD WOMAN: Aye, but he is.

YOUNG GIRL: Old starveling! Let's see what he will do. I will leave my window.

FIRST OLD WOMAN: And I likewise. You will see I am much wiser than you.

A YOUNG MAN sings: Ah! could I but sleep with the young girl without first making love to the old flat-nose! It is intolerable for a free-born man.

FIRST OLD WOMAN singing to the same tune: Willy nilly, you must first gratify my desire. There shall be no nonsense about that, for my authority is the law and the law must be obeyed in a democracy.


But come, let me hide, to see what he's going to do.

She retires.

    Theb. 81. Prom. V. 860. Bernhardy, W. S. p. 312. Mus. Crit. i. p. 488. Kön, Greg. Cor. p. 239.

  1. This apostrophe to the lamp she has just hung up is a parody on the pompous addresses to inanimate objects so frequent in the prologues and monodies of Euripides. For the construction, see Krüger, Gr. Gr. §45, 3, obs. 5. Hermann, Vig. n. 260, d. Matthiä, p. 481. Jelf, §479, 3.
  2. Ran. 946, ἀλλ᾽ οὑξιὼν πρώτιστα μέν μοι τὸ γένος εἶπ᾽ ἂν εὐθὺς
    τοῦ δράματος.
  3. Comp. Æsch. Prom. 288. Pind. Pyth. viii. 103.
  4. For this construction, see Bernhardy, W. S. p. 225.
  5. The lamp would appear to have been one of those which were furnished with double lights. Cf. Ran. 1361. ἐλαθεὶς is referred to λύχνος, not to λαμπρὸν ὄμμα.
  6. Cf. Thesm. 216, 590. Lys. 825.
  7. Cf. Thesm. 424.
  8. "The Σκίρα or Σκιῤῥοφορία was an anniversary solemnity at Athens, in honour of Athena Σκιράς. The name is derived from Sciras, a borough between Athens and Eleusis, where there was a temple dedicated to that goddess." Smith. The principal ceremony consisted in the carrying of a white parasol from the Acropolis to Sciras. Cf. Thesm. 834. It was a woman's festival.
  9. Cf. Plut. 432, 942, 1191. Pax, 237. Equit. 284. Thesm. 750. Lys. 739, 744. Demosth. 354, 16; 398, 16; 569, 10; 586, 9. Æschin. 10, 32.
  10. "Während statt der Plätze, die
    Phyromachos für uns beantragt—wisst ihr noch?—
    Wir uns der andern versichern müssten unversehns." Droysen.
    "The allusion is to some decree proposed by Phyromachus." Brunck.
  11. "Doch 'ne Lampe seh' Ich da herkommen." Droysen.
    See note on Aves, 992.
  12. See note on Lys. 864.
  13. "Es ist Zeit zu gehen; hat der Herold eben doch,
    Da aus dem Haus wir traten, zum zweiten Mai gekräht." Droysen.
    The allusion is to the crowing of the cock. See Liddell's Lex. in voc. κῆρυξ. Cf. Ran. 1380.
  14. Cf. Thesm. 481.
  15. Dessen Frau Ich bin." Droysen.
  16. "The ordo is: τὴν ὑστάτην ἡμῶν ἥκουσαν ἀποτίσειν τρεῖς χόας οἴνου." Brunck.
  17. Wie flink in den Männerschuhn sie heranklappt." Droysen.
  18. "She alone of all
    Seems to have passed the night without disturbance."Smith.
    "κατὰ σχολὴν is otiose, in the same sense that Terence in the Andrian says, aliam otiosus quæret, ἑτέραν κατὰ σχολὴν ζητήσει, a son aise." Brunck.
  19. "Die in der Stadt was Rechtes sind." Droysen. Xenoph. Hellen. v. 3, 6, ὅ τι ὄφελος στρατεύματος. Thuc. viii. 1, τοῖς πάνυ τῶν στρατιώτων. Cf. Theocr. vii. vs. 4. Epigr. xvi. 4. Apoll. R. iii, 347.
  20. "He supped on sprats, and got an indigestion;
    So through the night 'twas nought but cough, cough, cough!"Smith.
  21. Juvenal, Sat. ii. 11,
    "Hispida membra quidem et duræ per brachia setæ
    Promittunt atrocem animum."——
  22. "It was the custom of the men to anoint the whole body with oil, and dry it in before the sun; and of the women, to shave themselves all over." Gray. For the preposition, see Bernhardy, W. S. p. 264.
  23. See note on Aves, 992.
  24. A brachylogy for τοῦ τοῦ Ἐπικράτους καλλίονα. When the subject of comparison and the object of comparison are the same word, instead of the latter being expressed in the genitive, along with the genitive governed by it, it is often omitted, and the possessive genitive alone expressed. Hom. Il. Φ. 191, κρείσσων Διὸς γενεὴ ποταμοῖο τέτυκται, i. e. γενεῆς ποταμοῖο. Herod, ii. 134, πυραμίδα καὶ οὗτος ἀπελίπετο πολλὸν ἐλάσσω τοῦ πατρός, i. e. τῆς πυραμίδος τοῦ πατρός. Cf. Hermann, Vig. n. 55. Schäfer ad Schol. Apoll. R. p. 164. Richter on Anacoluthon, part i. p. 32, and note on vs. 701, infra, and on Plut. 368. Epicrates was remarkable for a bushy beard; hence Plato, the comic poet, nicknamed him σακεσφόρος. "Epicrates 'of the beard' had been a popular character since his participation in the expedition of Thrasybulus, for the liberation of the city. He understood how to make a right good use of this position. His and Phormisius' embassy to the court of Susa, gave occasion to a special comedy of Plato, the comic poet." Droysen.
  25. "Pherecrates, the comic poet, said of the hobgoblin Lamia, that it puffs with heaving its club. This is comically transferred to the sixth woman's husband." Voss. Cf. Vesp. 1177.
  26. "Wohl eine von denen, unter deren Last man—pupt." Droysen.
  27. To the examples cited on Nub. 366, add Eccles. 761, 1045, 1103. Plut. 877, 1186, 1189. Thesm. 858. Ran. 738, 1433. Aves, 15, 514.
  28. There is an allusion to the Inachus of Sophocles, in which Argus was introduced keeping watch over Io; but the whole passage is very obscure.
  29. See Equit. 111. Demosth. p. 15, 5. Blomf. gloss. Pers. 434. Harper, Powers of the Greek Tenses, p. 135. Hermann, Vig. n. 363, Append, p. 748, and for the preposition, see Bernhardy, W. S. p. 240.
  30. "Hebt mit frühem Morgen an." Droysen.
  31. Cf. Ach. 683. Pax, 680.
  32. "Wenn das Volk versammelt ist." Droysen.
  33. Cf. vs. 124, 742. Lys. 910, 914.
  34. See note on Thesm. 789.
  35. "Wenn das Volk
    Bei einander wär', und eine zum Uebersteigen sich
    Aufnähme den Rock und zeigte ihren Phormisios." Droysen.
  36. "Phormisius, who was joined in the embassy with Epicrates (vs. 71), was remarkable for his hairy person." Droysen.
  37. "Agyrrhius, the upstart, had been an influential man in the state for more than twelve years past, and, as we may infer from Demosthenes' speech against Timocrates, a respectable character. He had been the author of the diminution of the comic honorarium (Ran. 367), and, later, of the increase of the Heliastic fee (Plut. 176, and vs. 184, infra). How Agyrrhius, who did not resemble women merely in beardlessness, comes by the great beard of the flute-player Pronomus, I know not." Droysen. Plato, the comic poet, says of him,
    λαβοῦ, λαβοῦ τῆς χειρὸς ὡς τάχιστά μου·
    μέλλω στρατηγὸν χειροτονεῖν Ἀγύῤῥιον.
  38. See note on Thesm. 870.
  39. See note on Ran. 1460.
  40. "A Greek proverb runs, 'Money makes the rudder act and the wind blow.'" Droysen.
  41. "Wie kann der Frauen 'Schaamverhüllte Weiblichkeit'
    Zum Volke reden." Droysen. Cf. Krüger, Gr. Gr. §53, 7, 3.
  42. "Und eben das ist uns der Schickung nach Beruf." Droysen.
  43. See note on Aves, 451.
  44. "And for this very reason are we met,
    To rehearse before we speak in downright earnest." Smith.
  45. "The formula οὐκ ἃν φθάνοις is peculiar, e. gr. περαίνων, Plato (Phæd. 100), λέγων (Symp. 185), "Say forthwith." Perhaps originally a question, 'Will you not sooner say?' (than do something else); but afterwards so much obliterated by usage, that, unmindful of its origin, they said after the external analogy of this formula also οὐκ ἃν φθάνοιμι, οὐκ ἃν φθάνοι, in the sense, 'I will, he will certainly,' &c., therefore synonymous with φθάνοιμι ἃν, φθάνοι ἃν." Krüger. Cf Plut. 485, 874, 1133. Eur. Heracl. 721. Iph. T. 244.
  46. "When speaking in the Assembly, it was customary to wear a chaplet. See Thesm. 380." Smith.
  47. "Hier leg' Ich auch die Kränze her; Ich will mich selbst
    Nun auch bebarten, falls Ich etwa sprechen muss." Droysen.
  48. "We find as curious a simile in Shakspeare, Merry Wives of Windsor, act i. sc. 4:
    Quickly. Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover's paring-knife?
    Simple. No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a little yellow beard; a cane-coloured beard." Smith.
  49. For this use of the article, see note on Ran. 40. "The person who made the lustration in the Assembly was called περιστίαρχος. Pollux viii. 104, περὶ περιστιάρχων. ἐκάθαιρον χοιριδίοις μικροῖς οὗτοι τὴν ἐκκλησίαν καὶ τὸ ϑέατρον. καθάρσιον δὲ ἐκαλεῖτο τοῦτο τὸ χοιρίδιον." Brunck.
  50. "A comic licence for τὸ χοιρίδιον." Brunck."The place of assembly was properly purified by a young pig! In default of the pig, the women take a cat for that purpose. The three lines spoken by Praxagora contain in short the essential forms observed on opening an Assembly. Cf. Acharn. 44." Droysen.
  51. "Come all within the circle." Smith. Cf. Ach. 43.
  52. "The character of Ariphrades, whom the poet ridicules by supposing him seated among the women, and out-talking even them, may be seen in Equit. 1281, and Vesp. 1280." Smith."Aristophanes therefore had been rebuking the same man thirty years ago." Droysen.
  53. "The usual question put by the κῆρυξ in the Assembly." Smith. Cf. Thesm. 379.
  54. See note on Thesm. 283.
  55. For this use of ἰδοὺ, cf. vss. 93, 136, of this play. Equit. 87, 344, 703. Thesm. 206. Lys. 441. Nub. 818, 872, 1469. Pax, 198.
  56. "The ancients, as is well known, wore chaplets when carousing. See Hor. Odes, Book I. xxxviii." Smith.
  57. See Matthiä, Gr. Gr. §488, 9; Jelf, §872, g.
  58. Cf. vss. 142, 310, and note on Lys. 556.
  59. Cf. Vesp. 997, 1504. Plut. 408. Equit. 1243. Aves, 577. Pax, 1222. Soph. Aj. 1231, 1275. Trach. 1107. Eur. Ion, 606. Rhes. 821. Heracl. 168. Troad. 415. Orest. 717. Phœn. 417. Andr. 1080. Plato, Apol. p. 41, E. Rep. p. 341, C. 556, D. 562, D. Epigr. iii. Krüger, Gr. Gr. §61, 8, obs. 3. Bernhardy, W. S. p. 336. Elmsley, Heracl. 168. Monk, Hippol. 634. Dorville, Char. p. 218. Lobeck, Aj. 1218. Elmsl. Her. 168.
  60. Xenoph. Mem. i. 4, 6, ἔστιν οὕστινας ανθρώπων τεθαύμακας ἐπὶ σοφίᾳ; Cf. Nub. 1290. Plato, Apol. p. 27, B. Krüger, Gr. Gr. §51, 5, obs. 2.
  61. "Unser Plan ist jetzt im gang." Droysen.
  62. See note on Lys. 316.
  63. See note on vs. 426, infra.
  64. "So kann Ich's, falls ihr was auf meine Meinung gebt,
    Nicht leiden, dass sich die Frau in der Schenke Keller gräbt
    Zu Wasser; dagegen stimm' Ich bei den Göttinnen!" Droysen.
    For κατὰ γε τὴν ἐμὴν, see Bernhardy, W. S. p. 186.
  65. "She means, perhaps, there shall be no water at all in the taverns." Droysen.
  66. "She swears by 'the two goddesses,' i. e. by Demeter and Persephone, an oath which only women use." Droysen.
  67. "The participle is made clear by καὶ, also, even, (negative, οὐδὲ, μηδὲ,) and καίπερ, which in Attic writers scarcely ever occurs otherwise than with a participle or a participial construction, whilst καίτοι is found only with an independent clause (with a finite verb). The later writers have been the first to use these vice versâ. Yet also in Plato, Symp. 219; Rep. 511; Lysias, 31, 34, if the text be not corrupt." Krüger. In the present instance the departure from the statutable construction is very remarkable.
  68. "Um keinen Preis
    Auch einen Schritt nur möcht' Ich zur Ekklesie thun,
    Bevor wir nicht mit diesen Dingen im Reinen sind." Droysen.
  69. "εἰ is rightly construed with a future indicative, although there be an optative with ἂν in the other member of the sentence. Eur. Hippol. 484,
    ἧ τἄρ᾽ ἂν ὀψέ γ᾽ ἄνδρες ἐξεύροιεν ἂν,
    εἰ μὴ γυναῖκες μηχανὰς εὑρήσομεν." Brunck.
    Cf. Ran. 10. Æsch. Theb. 196. Eur. Hippol. 484. Tro. 736.
  70. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. §45, 2, obs. 7. Cf. Pax, 466. Ach. 491.
  71. "Epigonus is otherwise unknown." Droysen.
  72. "Et tu quoque, ut prior illa, facesse hinc." Brunck.
  73. "Hinweg mit dir auch! geh' und setz' dich dort bei Seit'." Droysen.
    In Brunck's version, et posthac sede.
  74. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. §53, 7, 3.
  75. For this construction, see note on Thesm. 405.
  76. Cf. note on vs. 102, supra. "He had been lying a considerable time in prison for embezzling the public money." Voss.
  77. "Venus! thou silly wench! a pretty joke,
    I' faith, had this escaped thee in th' Assembly." Smith.
  78. "The alliance here meant is that concluded with the Thebans, Argives, and Corinthians, (Ol. 96, 2, in the Archonship of Diophantus,) through the mediation of Persia, which was followed by the Corinthian war (B. C. 394). Bloody factions arose in Corinth, which impeded the undertakings of the allies: on this account Athens was angry at Corinth. Their murdering those who were favourable to Sparta, and their eager opposition to the Spartans who approached them, proved their fidelity to the common cause." Droysen.
  79. "The Scholiast thinks Conon is meant. The bloody scenes at Corinth took place about the time that he was hastening the rebuilding of the walls at Athens (summer of 393); and the subsequent ill-humour of the Athenians and their disinclination to a continuance of the war may be considered as the cause of Conon's departure." Droysen."I do not think this alludes to Conon. The whole passage is obscure on account of the want of historical records." Brunck.
  80. See note on Thesm. 405.
  81. See note on Plut. 89.
  82. This is the most violent synchysis I have ever met with. See, however, Pax, 558, 559. Plut. 280, 281. Krüger, Gr. Gr. §61, 2, obs. 1, and obs. 2.
  83. I have followed Droysen in considering Ἀργεῖος a proper name. Smith (after Brunck's note) translates it,
    "What though the Argives in the mass are dull,
    Hieronymus has skill, and he's an Argive."
    In Dindorf's edition of Brunck's version it stands, "Argeus rudis est, Hieronymus autem sapiens. Salus leviter caput exseruit, at illam respuitis: * * * * nec ipse Thrasybulus advocatus.""Of Argeus we know nothing. Hieronymus, according to Diodorus (xiv. 81), was one of Conon's associates. He was left in command of the fleet, while Conon himself set out for the king of Persia, to obtain permission to make war upon the Spartans, with the assistance of the Persian navy. Hieronymus' participation in the glorious sea-fight at Cnidus may have obtained some importance for an otherwise insignificant person." Droysen.
  84. Dindorf's text exhibits marks of a lacuna between vs. 203 and vs. 204. "This very difficult passage appears to refer to this, that Thrasybulus, the well-known deliverer of the city from the domination of the Thirty, had set out in this year with forty ships to the aid of the Rhodians without waiting for their invitation, in order that they might free themselves from the domination of the Spartans. The poet means, that the good prospects obtained by the victory at Cnidus and the other events of the war would be lost through such like undertakings as Thrasybulus recommended." Droysen. Few persons, I am persuaded, will approve of this view.
    "Him why not call then to the helm of the state?" Smith.
  85. See Harper's Powers of the Greek Tenses, p. 41 foll., and Bernhardy, W. S. p. 382. Krüger, Gr. Gr. §53, 6, obs. 3.
  86. "Indess der Staat gleich Aisimos so weiterhinkt." Droysen.
    The state, like Æsimus, gets lamely on." Smith.
    "Æsimus, who is also mentioned by Lysias in his speech against Agoratus, was, according to the Scholiast, a lame, stupid man." Droysen.
  87. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. §57, 3, obs. 1, and note on Plut. 314.
  88. "χρηστῶς· ἀντὶ τοῦ φυλακτικῶς· Ἀριστοφάνης. ἀντὶ τοῦ ἐφυλάττετο τὸν ἀρχαῖον νόμον, καὶ μὴ ἐπολυπραγμόνει, καὶ τὰς καινὰς εἰσέφερε πολιτείας." Suidas. Liddell (in voc. χρηστὸς) joins χρηστῶς εἶχε, so as to = recte se haberet.
  89. See note on Thesm. 789.
  90. This verse does not appear in Brunck's edition.
  91. Brunck compares Plaut. Menæchm. iv. 1.
  92. See note on Ran. 1388.
  93. Cf. Nub. 1070.
  94. "Voll Vertraun, wenn ihr nur bedenkt." Droysen.
  95. "Then for the ways and means, say who 're more skilled
    Than women? They too are such arch deceivers,
    That, when in power, they ne'er will be deceived." Smith.
    See note on Aves, 451.
  96. The long lapse of time will hardly allow us to refer this to the flight of the country people into the city in accordance with the policy of Pericles. "This difficult passage probably refers to the times of the Thirty Tyrants, when no assemblies were held in the Pnyx, and the orators were not allowed to speak." Droysen.
  97. See note on Vesp. 451.
  98. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. §50, 8, obs. 3.
  99. One of the demagogues of the day. His father was a potter.
  100. "προσφθαρεὶς, accedens. Φθείρεσθαι in Attic writers = ire, venire, but always in a bad sense, in reference to those who go or wander to their own or other people's injury or loss. Cf. Aves, 916. Pax, 72. Demosth. Mid. p. 660. Misc. Obs. vol. iv. p. 451." Brunck. Compare Liddell's Lex. in voc.
  101. A happy coincidence in the German language has enabled Droysen to translate this verbal play with singular felicity:
    "Dass er mache schlechte Kannen zwar,
    Auf 's Kannegiessern aber vevsteh' er trefflich sich."
  102. See vs. 398, infra, and Plut. 665.
  103. "Huic ego dicam, ut in canis culum inspiciat." Brunck.
    See Harper, Powers of the Greek Tenses, p. 41 foll., and Bernhardy, W. S. p. 382. Krüger, Gr. Gr. §53, 6, obs. 3.
  104. "ἕλκωσιν, trahere velint." Brunck. Cf. Harper's Powers of the Greek Tenses, p. 50. Porson and Schäfer on Eur. Phœn. 79, 1231. Monk, Hippol. 592. Dorville, Char. p. 214. Hermann, Vig. n. 161. This usage is more especially frequent in διδόναι and πείθειν. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. §53, 1, obs. 7.
  105. Cf. Acharn. 570. Equit. 387. Ran. 469.
  106. "τὰ χιτώνια is badly translated vestes. It ought to have been translated tunicas succingite." Brunck. For the construction, see Schäfer, Melet. Crit. p. 88.
  107. "Aristophanes never uses the article for οὗτος or αὐτός. This I have remarked on Plut. 44." Brunck. He should have added, unless followed by δέ. See Aves, 492, 530. Thesm. 505, 846. Eccles. 312, 316. Pax, 1182. Plut. 559, 691. Equit. 717. Blomfield on
  108. "Ein Lied aus alten Zeiten." Droysen. Cf. Vesp. 269.
  109. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. §69, 32, obs. 21.
  110. "Grades Wegs." Droysen. "Ex advorsum." Brunck. But Brunck's version would require ἀντικρύ, The adverbs in -υς generally refer to time, and their corresponding forms in to place. Compare εὐϑὺς and εὐθύ.
  111. See Porson, Hec. 979. Opusc. p. xciii.
  112. "By all means make good speed, remembering that
    Who gets not to the Pnyx at earliest dawn,
    Must home again return without a doit." Smith.
    "It appears to have been a proverbial expression, or an allusion to the proverb παττάλου γυμνότερος, which occurs ap. Aristænet. Ep. xviii. lib. ii." Bergler.
  113. τοῦτο refers to the word ἄνδρες. They are to remember always to call themselves men. See note on Lys. 134.
  114. Elmsley (Mus. Crit. i. p. 483) alters this to καὶ μήποτ᾽ ἐξολίσθῃ, i. e. ἐξολισθέτω as Aristophanes does not join ὡς = ita ut with a conjunctive without ἄν. The usage in prose writers is just the reverse. See Harper, Powers of the Greek Tenses, p. 125. "The pronoun ἡμᾶς does not depend on ἐξολίσθῃ. The ordo is: τοῦτο γὰρ χρὴ μεμνημένας ἡμᾶς ἀεὶ λέγειν, ὡς μή ποτ᾽ ἐξολίσθῃ." Brunck.
    "Time now 'tis, my merry men, time now for us to start,
    That we are men repeating oft, lest we belie our part.
    Not slight would be the peril, if any prying eyes,
    In secret while we plot should pierce through our disguise.
    Then on, my merry men, for the council let us start." Smith.
  115. See Bernhardy, W. S. p. 104.
  116. The chorus addresses the leaders amongst the women by the names of men. Charitimides was commander of the Athenian navy. For Draces, see Lys. 254.
  117. See Liddell's Lex. in voc. σύμβολον, 3.
  118. The exhortative use of ὅπως is not confined to the second person. See vs. 300. Vesp. 1250. Nub. 882, 888. Ran. 8. Lys. 290. Pax, 562. Hermann, Vig. n. 255, and other examples ap. Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 54, 8, obs. 7.
  119. Φίλαςφίλους.
  120. They contrast the present eagerness to attend the Assemblies, now that the pay is three obols, with the unconcernedness of former times, when they only received one obol. Then they used to prefer to sit at home chattering, rather than attend the Assemblies.
    "Die sonst, wo der Lohn gering,
    Wo, wer zur Ekklesie ging,
    Nur einen Obol empfing,
    Heim sassen und schwatzten
    Gekränzet in Zierlichkeit." Droysen.
  121. Strattis ap. Athen. xv. p. 685, B.,
    λουσάμενοι δὲ πρὸ λαμπρᾶς
    ἡμέρας ἐν τοῖς στεφανώμασιν.
    See Bernhardy, W. S. p. 209.
  122. A general in the times of Pericles,—not Archon, as Brunck makes him. See Thuc. i. 105, 108; iv. 95.
  123. "Staatesdienst zu brauchen als Geldverdienst." Droysen.
  124. See note on Plut. 982.
  125. See note on Pax, 647.
  126. Cf. vs. 20.
  127. Cf. vs. 195, supra. Lys. 523. Vesp. 121. Porson, Append. Toup. iv. p. 481. For ψηλαφῶν, compare Pax, 691.
  128. A Greek euphemism for πρωκτός.
  129. "ἐν καθαρῷ, in a place free from people. Hor. Epist. ii. 271, 'Puræ sunt plateæ, nihil ut meditantibus obstet.' Cf. Apoll. R. iii. 1201." Brunck.
  130. Cf. Thesm. 292. "It is the same as if he had said καλόν ἐστι." Kuster.
  131. Cf. Thesm. 412, 413.
  132. Terence, Andrian, iv. 5, 6, "Quem video? estne hic Crito sobrinus Chrysidis? is est." Eun. iii. 4, 7, "Sed quisnam a Thaide exit? is est, annon est? ipsus est."
  133. "There is an allusion to the πυῤῥίχη of Cinesias; for which see Ran. 153, and because the same person κατατετίληκε τῶν Ἑκαταίων, (Ran. 366)." Bergler.
  134. Plaut. Epid. ii. 2, 47, "caltulam aut crocotulam." Cf. Virg. Æn. ix. 614.
  135. See note on Equit. 1017.
  136. Hesychius: ἐκτρυπῆσαι· ἐχελθεῖν λεληθότως.
  137. = δι᾽ ὅ. See Person and Pflugk on Hec. 13.
  138. Eurip. Med. 37, δέδοικα δ᾽ αὐτὴν, μή τι βουλεύσῃ νέον. "νέον is often used in the same sense as κάκον. So Eur. Bacch. 360." Brunck. See Monk, Hipp. 860.
  139. Eur. Cycl. 634, ταὐτὸν πεπόνθατε ἄρ᾽ ἐμοί. Bacch. 189, ταὐτά μοι πάσχεις ἄρα. Ion, 330, πέπονθέ σῇ μητρὶ ταὐτ᾽ ἄλλη γυνή. Epicrates (ap. Athen. p. 570, B.), πεπονθέναι δὲ ταὐτά μοι δοκεῖ τοῖς ἀετοῖς. Add Plato, Polit. v. p. 468, D.
  140. "I wish that were all." Droysen. Cf. Eur. Hippol. 804. "μόνον is understood, of which there is a frequent ellipse. In vs. 358, we have the full form." Brunck. See Monk, Hippol. 359. Lobeck, Ajax, 747.
  141. For similar examples of what Brunck thinks is a solecism, see note on Ran. 24. In the present case, no other construction would be correct. To change ἐγχέσαιμι into a subjunctive, would make the danger still future to him; whereas that particular danger was over as soon as he left his bed. As he is still hastening, ἵεμαι, the reading of almost all the MSS. and editions has been very properly retained by Dindorf.
  142. Cf. Acharn. 845.
  143. Cf. Pax, 232. Bekk. Anecd. i. p. 32, 25. Bernhardy, W. S. p. 131.
  144. See notes on Thesm. 34. Nub. 1252.
  145. "At tu funem cacas." Brunck.
  146. Comp. Plut. 35.
  147. Soph. Antig. 180, γλώσσαν ἐγκλείσας ἔχει. Cf. Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 56, 3, obs. 6. "ἐπέχει δὲ τὴν γαστέρα ἡ ἀχράς." Scholiast.
  148. "Was it of that same sort which gave the quinzy
    To Thrasybulus once?" Smith.
    He had undertaken to speak against the Spartans, who had come with proposals for peace, (B. C. 393,) but afterwards excused himself, pretending to be labouring under a quinzy, brought on by eating wild pears. The Athenians suspected him of having been bribed by the Spartans. For a similar anecdote of Demosthenes, see Aul. Gell. xi. 9.
  149. For similar examples, see note on Nub. 1392.
  150. Of the deme of Achras (ἀχρὰς, vs. 355). For these comic demi, see note on Vesp. 151. "The ordo is: νῦν μὲν γὰρ οὖτος ὁ Ἀχ., ὅστις ποτ᾽ ἔστ᾽ ἄνθρ., βεβ. τ. ϑύραν." Brunck. For ϑύραν, see note on vs. 316.
  151. "Read τῶν κατὰ πρωκτὸν, like Plato's διδάσκαλος τῶν κατὰ μουσικήν." Bentley.
  152. "Amynon, of course, is no physician, but an orator, who possessed a sufficient knowledge of the profession alluded to to qualify him, according to vs. 112, for state-affairs." Droysen. Cf. Nub. 1094.
  153. Thesm. 65, Ἀγάθωνά μοι δεῦρ᾽ ἐκκάλεσον πάσῃ τέχνῃ. "Antisthenes, a miser, suffered from costiveness." Voss. See Quart. Rev. No. xiv. p. 453.
  154. "In στεναγμάτων, there is a comic allusion to τὸ στενὸν τοῦ πρωκτοῦ." Toup. See Bernhardy, W. S. p. 233.
  155. Terence, Andr. iii. 1, 15, "Juno Lucina fer opem, obsecro." "Aristophanes burlesques the language of tragedy, as Reisig has rightly observed." Dindorf. Cf Pax, 10.
  156. "μηδὲ does not belong to βεβ., but to περιΐδης, and, as the grammarians say, ἀπὸ κοινοῦ." Faber. Had it referred to βεβαλανωμένον, we should have had μήτε.
  157. "Dass Ich nicht ein Nachtstuhl werde für die Komödie." Droys.
Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.