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The Thesmophoriazusae   


That is where Agathon, the celebrated tragic poet, dwells.
MNESILOCHUS
Who is this Agathon?
EURIPIDES
He's a certain Agathon....
MNESILOCHUS
Swarthy, robust of build?
EURIPIDES
No, another.
MNESILOCHUS
I have never seen him. He has a big beard?
EURIPIDES
Have you never seen him?
MNESILOCHUS
Never, so far as I know.
EURIPIDES
And yet you have made love to him. Well, it must have been without
knowing who he was. (The door of AGATHON'S house opens.) Ah! let us
step aside; here is one of his slaves bringing a brazier and some
myrtle branches; no doubt he is going to offer a sacrifice and pray
for a happy poetical inspiration for Agathon.
SERVANT OF AGATHON (standing on the threshold; solemnly)
Silence! oh, people! keep your mouths sedately shut! The chorus of
the Muses is moulding songs at my master's hearth. Let the winds
hold their breath in the silent Aether! Let the azure waves cease
murmuring on the shore!....
MNESILOCHUS
Bombax.
EURIPIDES
Be still! I want to hear what he is saying.
SERVANT
....Take your rest, ye winged races, and you, ye savage
inhabitants of the woods, cease from your erratic wandering....
MNESILOCHUS (more loudly)
Bombalobombax.
SERVANT
....for Agathon, our master, the sweet-voiced poet, is going....
MNESILOCHUS
....to be made love to?
SERVANT
Whose voice is that?
MNESILOCHUS
It's the silent Aether.
SERVANT
....is going to construct the framework of a drama. He is rounding
fresh poetical forms, he is polishing them in the lathe and is welding
them; he is hammering out sentences and metaphors; he is working up
his subect like soft wax. First he models it and then he casts it in
bronze....
MNESILOCHUS
....and sways his buttocks amorously.
SERVANT
Who is the rustic that approaches this sacred enclosure?
MNESILOCHUS
Take care of yourself and of your sweet-voiced poet! I have a
strong tool here both well rounded and well polished, which will
pierce your enclosure and penetrate you.
SERVANT
Old man, you must have been a very insolent fellow in your youth!
EURIPIDES (to the SERVANT)
Let him be, friend, and, quick, go and call Agathon to me.
SERVANT
It's not worth the trouble, for he will soon be here himself. He
has started to compose, and in winter it is never possible to round

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