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Young Man
But if you kill me at the outset, [1080] how shall I afterwards go to find this beautiful girl of mine?

Third Old Woman
That's your problem. But begin by obeying.

Young Man
Of which one must I rid myself first?

Third Old Woman
Don't you know? Come here.

Young Man
Then let the other one release me.

Second Old Woman
Come to my house.

Young Man
If this dame will let me go.

Third Old Woman
[1085] No, by all the gods, I'll not let you go.

Second Old Woman
Nor will I.

Young Man
You would make very bad boatwomen.

Second Old Woman
Why?

Young Man
Because you would tear your passengers to pieces in dragging them on board.

Third Old Woman
Then come along, do, and hold your tongue.

Second Old Woman
No, by Zeus, come with me.

Young Man
It's clearly a case for the [1090] decree of Cannonus; I must cut myself in two in order to lay you both. But how am I to work two oars at once?

Third Old Woman
Easily enough; you have only to eat a full pot of onions.

Young Man
Oh! great gods! here I am close to the door and being dragged in!

Second Old Woman
To Third Old Woman.
[1095] You will gain nothing by this, for I shall rush into your house with you.

Young Man
Oh, no! no! better to suffer a single misfortune than two.

Third Old Woman
Ah! by Hecate, whether you wish it or not ...

Young Man
What a fate is mine, that I must make love to such a stinking harridan the whole night through and all day; [1100] then, when I am rid of her, I have still to tackle a brick-coloured hag! Am I not truly unfortunate? Ah! by Zeus the Deliverer; under what fatal star must I have been born, that I must sail in company with such monsters! [1105] But if my bark sinks in the sewer of these strumpets, may I be buried at the very threshold of the door; let this hag be stood upright on my grave, let her be coated alive with pitch and her legs [1110] covered with molten lead up to the ankles, and let her be set alight as a funeral lamp.The Young Man is dragged off by the two Old Women, one on each arm.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 61
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