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The Ecclesiazusae   


Did I not tell you of it yesterday?
PRAXAGORA
True; I remember now.
BLEPYRUS
And don't you know the decrees that have been voted?
PRAXAGORA
No indeed.
BLEPYRUS
Go to! you can live on lobster from now on, for they say the
government is handed over to you.
PRAXAGORA
To do what-to spin?
BLEPYRUS
No, that you may rule...
PRAXAGORA
What?
BLEPYRUS
...over all public business.
PRAXAGORA (as she exclaims this CHREMES reappears)
Oh! by Aphrodite how happy Athens will be!
BLEPYRUS
Why so?
PRAXAGORA
For a thousand reasons. None will dare now to do shameless
deeds, give false testimony or lay informations.
BLEPYRUS
Stop! in the name of the gods! Do you want me to die of hunger?
CHREMES
Good sir, let your wife speak.
PRAXAGORA
There will be no more thieves, nor envious people, no more rags
nor misery, no more abuse and no more prosecutions and law-suits.
CHREMES
By Posidon! that's grand, if it's true!
PRAXAGORA
I shall prove it and you shall be my witness and even he (pointing
to Blepyrus)
will have no objections to raise.
CHORUS (singing)
You have served your friends, but now it behoves you to apply your
ability and your care to the welfare of the people. Devote the
fecundity of your mind to the public weal; adorn the citizens' lives
with a thousand enjoyments and teach them to seize every favourable
opportunity. Devise some ingenious method to secure the much-needed
salvation of Athens; but let neither your acts nor your words recall
anything of the past, for 'tis only innovations that please.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
But do not fail to put your plans into execution immediately; it's
quick action that pleases the audience.
PRAXAGORA
I believe my ideas are good, but what I fear is that the public
will cling to the old customs and refuse to accept my reforms.
CHREMES
Have no fear about that. Love of novelty and disdain for
traditions, these are the dominating principles among us.
PRAXAGORA (to the audience)
Let none contradict nor interrupt me until I have explained my
plan. I want all to have a share of everything and all property to
be in common; there will no longer be either rich or poor; no longer
shall we see one man harvesting vast tracts of land, while another has
not ground enough to be buried in, nor one man surround himself with a
whole army of slaves, while another has not a single attendant; I
intend that there shan only be one and the same condition of life
for all.
BLEPYRUS

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