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Dionysus
[810] Ah! Do you wish to see them sitting together in the mountains?

Pentheus
Certainly. I'd give an enormous amount of gold for that.

Dionysus
Why do you desire this so badly?

Pentheus
I would be sorry to see them in their drunkenness.

Dionysus
[815] But would you see gladly what is grievous to you?

Pentheus
To be sure, sitting quietly under the pines.

Dionysus
But they will track you down, even if you go in secret.

Pentheus
You are right: I will go openly.

Dionysus
Shall I guide you? Will you attempt the journey?

Pentheus
[820] Lead me as quickly as possible. I grudge you the time.

Dionysus
Put linen clothes on your body then.

Pentheus
What is this? Shall I then, instead of a man, be reckoned among the women?

Dionysus
Lest they kill you if you are seen there as a man.

Pentheus
Again you speak correctly: how wise you have been all along!

Dionysus
[825] Dionysus taught me these things fully.

Pentheus
How can your advice to me be well carried out?

Dionysus
I will go inside and dress you.

Pentheus
In what clothing? Female? But shame holds me back.

Dionysus
Are you no longer eager to view the maenads?

Pentheus
[830] What clothing do you bid me to put on my body?

Dionysus
I will spread out hair at length on your head.

Pentheus
What is the second part of my outfit?

Dionysus
A robe down to your feet. And you will wear a headband.

Pentheus
And what else will you add to this for me?

Dionysus
[835] A thyrsos in your hand, and a dappled fawn-skin.

Pentheus
I could not put on a woman's dress.

Dionysus
But you will shed blood if you join battle with the Bacchae.

Pentheus
True. We must go first and spy.

Dionysus
This is at any rate wiser than hunting trouble with trouble.

Pentheus
[840] And how will I go through the city without being seen by the Thebans?

Dionysus
We will go on deserted roads. I will lead you.

Pentheus
Anything is better than to be mocked by the Bacchae. We two will go into the house . . . and I will consider what seems best.

Dionysus
It will be so; in any case I am ready.

Pentheus
[845] I will go in. For either I will go bearing arms, or I will obey your counsels.

Dionysus
Women, the man is caught in our net. He will go to the Bacchae, where he will pay the penalty with his death. Dionysus, now it is your job; for you are not far off. [850] Let us punish him. First drive him out of his wits, send upon him a dizzying madness, since if he is of sound mind he will not consent to wear women's clothing, but driven out of his senses he will put it on. I want him to be a source of laughter to the Thebans, led through the city in [855] women's guise after making such terrible threats in the past. But now I will go to fit on Pentheus the dress he will wear to the house of Hades, slaughtered by his mother's hands. He will recognize the son of Zeus, [860] Dionysus, who is in fact a god, the most terrible and yet most mild to men.

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