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The Thesmophoriazusae   


music so well; they wore head-bands and found pleasure in the
lascivious dances of Ionia. And have you not heard what a dandy
Phrynichus was and how careful in his dress? For this reason his
pieces were also beautiful, for the works of a poet are copied from
himself.
MNESILOCHUS
Ah! so it is for this reason that Philocles, who is so hideous,
writes hideous pieces; Xenocles, who is malicious, malicious ones, and
Theognis, who is cold, such cold ones?
AGATHON
Yes, necessarily and unavoidably; and it is because I knew this
that I have so well cared for my person.
MNESILOCHUS
How, in the gods' name?
EURIPIDES
Come, leave off badgering him; I was just the same at his age,
when I began to write.
MNESILOCHUS
Ah! then, by Zeus! I don't envy you your fine manners.
EURIPIDES (to AGATHON)
But listen to the cause that brings me here.
AGATHON
Say on.
EURIPIDES
Agathon, wise is he who can compress many thoughts into few words.
Struck by a most cruel misfortune, I come to you as a suppliant.
AGATHON
What are you asking?
EURIPIDES
The women purpose killing me to-day during the Thesmophoria,
because I have dared to speak ill of them.
AGATHON
And what can I do for you in the matter?
EURIPIDES
Everything. Mingle secretly with the women by making yourself pass
as one of themselves; then do you plead my cause with your own lips,
and I am saved. You, and you alone, are capable of speaking of me
worthily.
AGATHON
But why not go and defend yourself?
EURIPIDES
Impossible. First of all, I am known; further, I have white hair
and a long beard; whereas you, you are good-looking, charming, and are
close-shaven; you are fair, delicate, and have a woman's voice.
AGATHON
Euripides!
EURIPIDES
Well?
AGATHON
Have you not said in one of your pieces, "You love to see the
light, and don't you believe your father loves it too?"
EURIPIDES
Yes.
AGATHON
Then never you think I am going to expose myself in your stead; it
would be madness. It's up to you to submit to the fate that
overtakes you; one must not try to trick misfortune, but resign
oneself to it with good grace.
MNESILOCHUS
You fairy! That's why your arse is so accessible to lovers.
EURIPIDES
But what prevents your going there?
AGATHON
I should run more risk than you would.

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