(They begin to build a fire. The CHORUS OF WOMEN
now enters, carrying pots of water.)
LEADER OF CHORUS OF WOMEN
Oh! my dears, methinks I see fire and smoke; can it be a
conflagration? Let us hurry all we can.
FIRST SEMI-CHORUS OF WOMEN (singing)
Fly, fly, Nicodice, ere Calyce and Critylle perish in the fire, or
are stifled in the smoke raised by these accursed old men and their
pitiless laws. But, great gods, can it be I come too late? Rising at
dawn, I had the utmost trouble to fill this vessel at the fountain.
Oh! what a crowd there was, and what a din! What a rattling of
water-pots! Servants and slave-girls pushed and thronged me!
However, here I have it full at last; and I am running to carry the
water to my fellow-townswomen, whom our foes are plotting to burn
SECOND SEMI-CHORUS OF WOMEN (singing)
News has been brought us that a company of old, doddering
grey-beards, loaded with enormous faggots, as if they wanted to heat a
furnace, have taken the field, vomiting dreadful threats, crying