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The Ecclesiazusae   


Oh! my dear, I have had such trouble in getting away! My husband
ate such a surfeit of sprats last evening that he was coughing and
choking the whole night long.
PRAXAGORA
Take your seats, and, since you are all gathered here at last, let
us see if what we decided on at the feast of the Scirophoria has
been duly done.
FIRST WOMAN
Yes. Firstly, as agreed, I have let the hair under my armpits grow
thicker than a bush; furthermore, whilst my husband was at the
Assembly, I rubbed myself from head to foot with oil and then stood
the whole day long in the sun.
SECOND WOMAN
So did I. I began by throwing away my razor, so that I might get
quite hairy, and no longer resemble a woman.
PRAXAGORA
Have you the beards that we had all to get ourselves for the
Assembly?
FIRST WOMAN
Yea, by Hecate! Is this not a fine one?
SECOND WOMAN
Aye, much finer even than the one Epicrates has.
PRAXAGORA (to the other women)
And you?
FIRST WOMAN
Yes, yes; look, they all nod assent.
PRAXAGORA
I see that you have got all the rest too, Spartan shoes, staffs
and men's cloaks, as it was arranged.
FIRST WOMAN
I have brought Lamias' club, which I stole from him while he
slept.
PRAXAGORA
What, the club that makes him fart with its weight?
SECOND WOMAN
By Zeus the Deliverer, if he had the skin of Argus, he would
know better than any other how to shepherd the popular herd.
PRAXAGORA
But come, let us finish what has yet to be done, while the stars
are still shining; the Assembly, at which we mean to be present,
will open at dawn.
FIRST WOMAN
Good; you must take up your place at the foot of the platform
and facing the Prytanes.
SECOND WOMAN
I have brought this with me to card during the Assembly.
(She shows some wool.)
PRAXAGORA
During the Assembly, wretched woman?
SECOND WOMAN
Surely, by Artemis! shall I hear any less well if I am doing a bit
of carding? My little ones are all but naked.
PRAXAGORA
Think of her wanting to card! whereas we must not let anyone see
the smallest part of our bodies. 'Twould be a fine thing if one of us,
in the midst of the discussion, rushed on to the speaker's platform
and, flinging her cloak aside, showed her Phormisius. If, on the other
hand, we are the first to take our seats closely muffled in our
cloaks, none will know us. Let us fix these beards on our chins, so
that they spread all over our bosoms. How can we fail then to be
mistaken for men? Agyrrhius has deceived everyone, thanks to the beard
of Pronomus; yet he was no better than a woman, and you see how he now
holds the first position in the city. Thus, I adjure you by this day
that is about to dawn, let us dare to copy him and let us be clever

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