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First Woman
How beautiful this is, my dearest Praxagora, how clever! But where, pray, did you learn all these pretty things?

Praxagora
When the countryfolk were seeking refuge in the city, I lived on the Pnyx with my husband, and there I learnt to speak through listening to the orators.

First Woman
[245] Then, dear, it's not astonishing that you are so eloquent and clever; henceforward you shall be our leader, so put your great ideas into execution. But if Cephalus belches forth insults against you, what answer will you give him in the Assembly?

Praxagora
[250] I shall say that he is drivelling.

First Woman
But all the world knows that.

Praxagora
I shall furthermore say that he is a raving madman.

First Woman
There's nobody who does not know that.

Praxagora
That he, as excellent a statesman as he is, is a clumsy potter.

First Woman
And if the blear-eyed Neoclides comes to insult you?

Praxagora
[255] To him I shall say, “Go and look at a dog's arse.”

First Woman
And if they fly at you?

Praxagora
Oh! I shall shake them off as best I can; never fear, I know how to use this tool.

First Woman
But there is one thing we don't think of. If the Scythians drag you away, what will you do?

Praxagora
With my arms akimbo [260] like this, I will never, never let myself be taken round the middle.

Second Woman
If they seize you, we will bid them let you go.

First Woman
That's the best way. But how are we going to remember to lift our arms in the Assembly [265] when it's our legs we are used to lifting?

Praxagora
It's difficult; yet it must be done, and the arm shown naked to the shoulder in order to vote. Quick now, put on these tunics and these Laconian shoes, [270] as you see the men do each time they go to the Assembly or for a walk. When this is done, fix on your beards, and when they are arranged in the best way possible, [275] dress yourselves in the cloaks you have stolen from your husbands; finally start off, leaning on your staffs and singing some old man's song as the villagers do.

Second Woman
Well spoken; and let us [280] hurry to get to the Pnyx before the women from the country, for they will no doubt not fail to come there.

Praxagora
Quick, quick, for it's the custom that those who are not at the Pnyx early in the morning return home empty-handed.

Praxagora and the First and Second Women depart; those who are left behind form the Chorus.

Leader of the Chorus
[285] Move forward, citizens, move forward; let us not forget to give ourselves this name and may that of woman never slip out of our mouths; woe to us, if it were discovered that we had laid such a plot in the darkness of night.

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