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Agathon now sings a selection from one of his tragedies, taking first the part of the leader of the chorus and then that of the whole chorus.


Agathon
Damsels, with the sacred torch in hand, unite your dance to shouts of joy in honor of the nether goddesses; celebrate the freedom of your country.

Agathon's Chorus
To what divinity is your homage addressed? [105] I wish to mingle mine with it.

Agathon
Oh! Muse! glorify Phoebus with his golden bow, who erected [110] the walls of the city of the Simois.

Agathon's Chorus
To thee, oh Phoebus, I dedicate my most beauteous songs; to thee, the sacred victor in the poetical contests.

Agathon
[115] And praise Artemis too, the maiden huntress, who wanders on the mountains and through the woods—

Agathon's Chorus
I, in my turn, celebrate the everlasting happiness of the chaste Artemis, the mighty daughter of Leto!

Agathon
[120] —and Leto and the tones of the Asiatic lyre, which wed so well with the dances of the Phrygian Graces.

Agathon's Chorus
I do honor to the divine Leto and to the lyre, the mother of songs [125] of male and noble strains. The eyes of the goddess sparkle while listening to our enthusiastic chants. Honor to the powerful Phoebus! Hail! blessed son of Leto.


Mnesilochus
[130] Oh! ye venerable Genetyllides, what tender and voluptuous songs! They surpass the most lascivious kisses in sweetness; I feel a thrill of delight pass up me as I listen to them.To Euripides Young man, if you are one, [135] answer my questions, which I am borrowing from Aeschylus' “Lycurgeia.” Whence comes this androgyne? What is his country? his dress? What contradictions his life shows! A lyre and a hair-net! A wrestling school oil flask and a girdle! What could be more contradictory? [140] What relation has a mirror to a sword?To Agathon And you yourself, who are you? Do you pretend to be a man? Where is your tool, pray? Where is the cloak, the footgear that belong to that sex? Are you a woman? Then where are your breasts? Answer me. But you keep silent. Oh! [145] just as you choose; your songs display your character quite sufficiently.

Agathon
Old man, old man, I hear the shafts of jealousy whistling by my ears, but they do not hit me. My dress is in harmony with my thoughts. [150] A poet must adopt the nature of his characters. Thus, if he is placing women on the stage, he must contract all their habits in his own person.

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