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First Woman
Bring faggots, Mania!To Mnesilochus You will be nothing but charcoal soon.

Mnesilochus
[730] Grill away, roast me, but you, my child, take off this Cretan robe and blame no one but your mother for your death. But what does this mean? The little girl is nothing but a skin filled with wine and shod with Persian slippers. [735] Oh! you wanton, you tippling women, who think of nothing but wine; you are a fortune to the drinking-shops and are our ruin; for the sake of drink, you neglect both your household and your shuttle!

First Woman
Faggots, Mania, plenty of them.

Mnesilochus
[740] Bring as many as you like. But answer me; are you the mother of this brat?

First Woman
I carried it ten months.

Mnesilochus
You carried it?

First Woman
I swear it by Artemis.

Mnesilochus
How much does it hold? Three cotylae? Tell me.

First Woman
Oh! what have you done? You shall have stripped the poor child quite naked, [745] and it is so small, so small.

Mnesilochus
So small?

First Woman
Yes, quite small, to be sure.

Mnesilochus
How old is it? Has it seen the feast of cups thrice or four times?

First Woman
It was born about the time of the last Dionysia. But give it back to me.

Mnesilochus
No, may Apollo bear me witness.

First Woman
Well, then we are going to burn you.

Mnesilochus
Burn me, [750] but then I shall rip this open instantly.

First Woman
No, no, I adjure you, don't; do anything you like to me rather than that.

Mnesilochus
What a tender mother you are; but nevertheless I shall rip it open.

He tears open the wine-skin.

First Woman
Oh, my beloved daughter! Mania, hand me the sacred cup, [755] that I may at least catch the blood of my child.

Mnesilochus
Hold it below; that's the only favour I grant you.

He pours the wine into the cup.

First Woman
Out upon you, you pitiless monster!

Mnesilochus
This robe belongs to the priestess.

Second Woman
What belongs to the priestess?

Mnesilochus
Here, take it.

He throws her the Cretan robe.

Third Woman
[760] Ah! unfortunate Mica! Who has robbed you of your daughter, your beloved child?

First Woman
That wretch. But as you are here, watch him well, while I go with Cleisthenes to the Magistrates and denounce him for his crimes.

Mnesilochus
[765] Ah! how can I secure safety? what device can I hit on? what can I think of? He whose fault it is, he who hurried me into this trouble, will not come to my rescue. Let me see, whom could I best send to him? Ha! I know a means [770] taken from Palamedes; like him, I will write my misfortune on some oars, which I will cast into the sea. Where might I find some oars? Hah! what if I took these statues instead of oars, wrote upon them and then threw them towards this side and that. That's the best thing to do. [775] Besides, like oars they are of wood.

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