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Praxagora
Pretending to be the herald.
Priest, bring in the cat. Step forward, please! Silence, Ariphrades! [130] Go and take your seat. Now, who wishes to speak?

First Woman
I do.

Praxagora
Then put on this chaplet and success be with you.

First Woman
There!

Praxagora
Well then! begin.

First Woman
Before drinking?

Praxagora
Hah! she wants to drink!

First Woman
Why, what else is the meaning of this chaplet?

Praxagora
Get you hence! you would probably have played us this trick also [135] before the people.

First Woman
Well! don't the men drink then in the Assembly?

Praxagora
Now she's telling us the men drink!

First Woman
Yes, by Artemis, and neat wine too. That's why their decrees breathe of drunkenness and madness. [140] And why libations, why so many ceremonies, if wine plays no part in them? Besides, they abuse each other like drunken men, and you can see the archers dragging more than one uproarious drunkard out of the market-place.

Praxagora
Go back to your seat, you are wandering.

First Woman
Returning to her seat.
[145] Ah! I should have done better not to have muffled myself in this beard; my throat's afire and I feel I shall die of thirst.

Praxagora
Who else wishes to speak?

Second Woman
Rising.
I do.

Praxagora
Quick then, take the chaplet; the time's running short. Try to speak worthily, let your language be truly manly, [150] and lean on your staff with dignity.

Second Woman
I had rather have seen one of your regular orators giving you wise advice; but, as that is not to be, it behoves me to break silence; I cannot, for my part indeed, allow the tavern-keepers to fill up their wine-pits [155] with water. No, by the two goddesses—

Praxagora
What? By the two goddesses! Wretched woman, where are your senses?

Second Woman
Eh! what? ... I have not asked you for a drink.

Praxagora
No, but you want to pass for a man, and you swear by the two goddesses. Otherwise you did very well.

Second Woman
[160] Well then. By Apollo—

Praxagora
Stop! All these details of language must be adjusted; else it is quite useless to go to the Assembly.

Second Woman
Give me back the chaplet; I wish to speak again, for I think I have got hold of something good. [165] You women who are listening to me —

Praxagora
Women again; why, you wretched creature, it's men that you are addressing.

Second Woman
That's the fault of Epigonus; I caught sight of him way over there, and I thought I was speaking to women.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), ECCLE´SIA
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