There! that's done. What is your next bidding?
Wait. I take this fire-brand first and plunge it into the water.
Now quick, quick, you sprinkle the altar. Give me some barley-seed,
purify yourself and hand me the basin; then scatter the rest of the
barley among the audience.
You have thrown it?
Yes, by Hermes! and all the spectators have had their share.
At least the women got none.
Oh! their husbands will give them some this evening.
Let us pray! Who is here? Are there any good men?
Come, give me the water, so that I may sprinkle these people.
Faith! they are indeed good, brave men.
(He throws the lustral water on hem.)
You believe so?
I am sure, and the proof of it is that we have flooded them with
lustral water and they have not budged an inch.
Let us pray, then, as soon as we can.
Yes, let us pray.
Oh! Peace, mighty queen, venerated goddess, thou, who presidest
over choruses and at nuptials, deign to accept the sacrifices we offer
Receive it, greatly honoured mistress, and behave not like the
courtesans, who half open the door to entice the gallants, draw back
when they are stared at, to return once more if a man passes on. But
do not thou act like this to us.
No, but like an honest woman, show thyself to thy worshippers, who
are worn with regretting thee all these thirteen years. Hush the noise
of battle, be a true Lysimacha to us. Put an end to this
tittle-tattle, to this idle babble, that set us defying one another.
Cause the Greeks once more to taste the pleasant beverage of
friendship and temper all hearts with the gentle feeling of
forgiveness. Make excellent commodities flow to our markets, fine
heads of garlic, early cucumbers, apples, pomegranates and nice little
cloaks for the slaves; make them bring geese, ducks, pigeons and larks
from Boeotia and baskets of eels from Lake Copais; we shall all rush
to buy them, disputing their possession with Morychus, Teleas,
Glaucetes and every other glutton. Melanthius will arrive on the
market last of all; they'll say, "no more eels, all sold!" and then
he'll start groaning and exclaiming as in his monologue of Medea, "I
am dying, I am dying! Alas! I have let those hidden in the beet escape
me!" And won't we laugh? These are the wishes, mighty goddess, which
we pray thee to grant. (To the SERVANT) Take the knife and slaughter
the sheep like a finished cook.
No, the goddess does not wish it.
And why not?