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LYSISTRATA appears.

LYSISTRATA
Hollo there, hasten hither to me
Skip fast along.

WOMAN
What is this? Why the noise?

LYSISTRATA
A man, a man! I spy a frenzied man!
He carries Love upon him like a staff.
O Lady of Cyprus, and Cythera, and Paphos,
I beseech you, keep our minds and hands to the oath.

WOMAN
Where is he, whoever he is?

LYSISTRATA
By the Temple of Chloe.

WOMAN
Yes, now I see him. but who can he be?

LYSISTRATA
Look at him. Does anyone recognise his face?

MYRRHINE
I do. He is my husband, Cinesias.

LYSISTRATA
You know how to work. Play with him, lead him on,
Seduce him to the cozening-point—kiss him, kiss him,
Then slip your mouth aside just as he's sure of it,
Ungirdle every caress his mouth feels at
Save that the oath upon the bowl has locked.

MYRRHINE
You can rely on me.

LYSISTRATA
I'll stay here to help
In working up his ardor to its height
Of vain magnificence.... The rest to their quarters.
Enter CINESIAS.

Who is this that stands within our lines?

CINESIAS
I.

LYSISTRATA
A man?

CINESIAS
Too much a man!

LYSISTRATA
Then be off at once.

CINESIAS
Who are you that thus eject me?

LYSISTRATA
Guard for the day.

CINESIAS
By all the gods, then call Myrrhine hither.

LYSISTRATA
So, call Myrrhine hither! Who are you?

CINESIAS
I am her husband Cinesias, son of Anthros.

LYSISTRATA
Welcome, dear friend! That glorious name of yours
Is quite familiar in our ranks. Your wife
Continually has it in her mouth.
She cannot touch an apple or an egg
But she must say, “This to Cinesias!”

CINESIAS
O is that true?

LYSISTRATA
By Aphrodite, it is.
If the conversation strikes on men, your wife
Cuts in with, “All are boobies by Cinesias.”

CINESIAS
Then call her here.

LYSISTRATA
And what am I to get?

CINESIAS
This, if you want it.... See, what I have here.
But not to take away.

LYSISTRATA
Then I'll call her.

CINESIAS
Be quick, be quick. All grace is wiped from life
Since she went away. O sad, sad am I
When there I enter on that loneliness,
And wine is unvintaged of the sun's flavour.
And food is tasteless. But I've put on weight.

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Paphos (Cyprus) (1)
Cythera (Greece) (1)
Cyprus (Cyprus) (1)

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hide References (1 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 665
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