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MAGISTRATE
Women there! Tell what I ask you, directly....
Come, without rambling, I wish you to state
What's your rebellious intention in barring up thus on our noses
our own temple-gate.

LYSISTRATA
To take first the treasury out of your management, and so stop the war
through the absence of gold.

MAGISTRATE
Is gold then the cause of the war?

LYSISTRATA
Yes, gold caused it and miseries more, too many to be told.
'Twas for money, and money alone, that Pisander with all of the army of
mob-agitators.
Raised up revolutions. But, as for the future, it won't be worth while
to set up to be traitors.
Not an obol they'll get as their loot, not an obol! while we have the
treasure-chest in our command.

MAGISTRATE
What then is that you propose?

LYSISTRATA
Just this—merely to take the exchequer henceforth in hand.

MAGISTRATE
The exchequer!

LYSISTRATA
Yes, why not? Of our capabilities you have had various clear evidences.
Firstly remember we have always administered soundly the budget of all
home-expenses.

MAGISTRATE
But this matter's different.

LYSISTRATA
How is it different?

MAGISTRATE
Why, it deals chiefly with war-time supplies.

LYSISTRATA
But we abolish war straight by our policy.

MAGISTRATE
What will you do if emergencies arise?

LYSISTRATA
Face them our own way.

MAGISTRATE
What you will?

LYSISTRATA
Yes we will!

MAGISTRATE
Then there's no help for it; we're all destoryed.

LYSISTRATA
No, willy-nilly you must be safeguarded.

MAGISTRATE
What madness is this?

LYSISTRATA
Why, it seems you're annoyed.
It must be done, that's all.

MAGISTRATE
Such awful oppression never,
O never in the past yet I bore.

LYSISTRATA
You must be saved, sirrah—that's all there is to it.

MAGISTRATE
If we don't want to be saved?

LYSISTRATA
All the more.

MAGISTRATE
Why do you women come prying and meddling in matters of state touching
war-time and peace?

LYSISTRATA
That I will tell you.

MAGISTRATE
O tell me or quickly I'll—

LYSISTRATA
Hearken awhile and from threatening cease.

MAGISTRATE
I cannot, I cannot; it's growing too insolent.

WOMEN
Come on; you've far more than we have to dread.

MAGISTRATE
Stop from your croaking, old carrion-crow there....
Continue

LYSISTRATA
Be calm then and I'll go ahead.
All the long years when the hopeless war dragged along we, unassuming,
forgotten in quiet,
Endured without question, endured in our loneliness all your incessant
child's antics and riot.
Our lips we kept tied, though aching with silence, though well all the
while in our silence we knew
How wretchedly everything still was progressing by listening dumbly the
day long to you.
For always at home you continued discussing the war and its politics
loudly, and we
Sometimes would ask you, our hearts deep with sorrowing though we spoke
lightly, though happy to see,
“What's to be inscribed on the side of the Treaty-stone
What, dear, was said in the Assembly today?”
“Mind your own business,” he'd answer me growlingly
“hold your tongue, woman, or else go away.”
And so I would hold it.

WOMEN
I'd not be silent for any man living on earth, no, not I!

MAGISTRATE
Not for a staff?

LYSISTRATA
Well, so I did nothing but sit in the house, feeling dreary, and sigh,
While ever arrived some fresh tale of decisions more foolish by far and
presaging disaster.
Then I would say to him, “O my dear husband, why still do they rush on
destructlon the faster?”
At which he would look at me sideways, exclaiming, “Keep for your web
and your shuttle your care,
Or for some hours hence your cheeks will be sore and hot; leave this
alone, war is Man's sole affair!”

MAGISTRATE
By Zeus, but a man of fine sense, he.

LYSISTRATA
How sensible?
You dotard, because he at no time had lent
His intractible ears to absorb from our counsel one temperate word of
advice, kindly meant?
But when at the last in the streets we heard shouted (everywhere ringing
the ominous cry)
“Is there no one to help us, no saviour in Athens?” and, “No, there is
no one,” come back in reply.
At once a convention of all wives through Hellas here for a serious
purpose was held,
To determine how husbands might yet back to wisdom despite their
reluctance in time be compelled.
Why then delay any longer? It's settled. For the future you'll take
up our old occupation.
Now in turn you're to hold tongue, as we did, and listen while we show
the way to recover the nation.

MAGISTRATE
You talk to us! Why, you're mad. I'll not stand it.

LYSISTRATA
Cease babbling, you fool; till I end, hold your tongue.

MAGISTRATE
If I should take orders from one who wears veils, may my
neck straightaway be deservedly wrung.

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