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The Ecclesiazusae   


PRAXAGORA
No, to dine there.
BLEPYRUS
And the citizen whom the lot has not given a letter showing
where he is to dine will be driven off by everyone?
PRAXAGORA (with great solemnity)
But that will not occur. Each man will have plenty; he will not
leave the feast until he is well drunk, and then with a chaplet on his
head and a torch in his hand; and then the women running to meet you
in the crossroads will say, "This way, come to our house, you will
find a beautiful young girl there."-"And I," another will call from
her balcony, "have one so pretty and as white as milk; but before
touching her, you must sleep with me." And the ugly men, watching
closely after the handsome fellows, will say, "Hi! friend, where are
you running to? Go in, but you must do nothing; it's the ugly and
the flat-nosed to whom the law gives the right to make love first;
amuse yourself on the porch while you wait, in handling your
fig-leaves and playing with yourself." Well, tell me, does that
picture suit you?
BLEPYRUS AND CHREMES
Marvellously well.
PRAXAGORA
I must now go to the market-place to receive the property that
is going to be placed in common and to choose a woman with a loud
voice as my herald. I have all the cares of state on my shoulders,
since the power has been entrusted to me. I must likewise go to busy
myself about establishing the common meals, and you will attend your
first banquet to-day.
BLEPYRUS
Are we going to banquet?
PRAXAGORA
Why, undoubtedly! Furthermore, I propose abolishing the whores.
BLEPYRUS
And what for?
PRAXAGORA
It's clear enough why; so that, instead of them, we may have the
first-fruits of the young men. It is not meet that tricked-out
slaves should rob free-born women of their pleasures. Let the
courtesans be free to sleep with the slaves.
BLEPYRUS
I will march at your side, so that I may be seen and that everyone
may say, "Look at the Dictator's husband!"
(He follows PRAXAGORA into their house.)
CHREMES
As for me, I shall arrange my belongings and take inventory of
them, in order that I may take them to the market-place.
(He departs.)
(There is an interlude of dancing by the CHORUS, after which
CHREMES returns with his belongings and arranges them in a long
line.)

CHREMES
Come hither, my beautiful sieve, I have nothing more precious than
you, come, all clotted with the flour of which I have poured so many
sacks through you; you shall act the part of Canephorus in the
procession of my chattels. Where is the sunshade carrier? Ah! this
stew-pot shall take his place. Great gods, how black it is! it could
not be more so if Lysicrates had boiled the drugs in it with which
be dyes his hair. Hither, my beautiful mirror. And you, my tripod,
bear this urn for me; you shall be the water-bearer; and you, cock,
whose morning song has so often roused me in the middle of the night
to send me hurrying to the Assembly, you shall be my flute-girl.
Scaphephorus, do you take the large basin, place in it the
honeycombs and twine the olive-branches over them, bring the tripods
and the phial of perfume; as for the humble crowd of little pots, I

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