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The Thesmophoriazusae   


CHORUS (singing)
May the gods deign to accept our vows and our prayers! Oh!
almighty Zeus, and thou, god with the golden lyre, who reignest on
sacred Delos, and thou, oh, invincible virgin, Pallas, with the eyes
of azure and the spear of gold, who protectest our illustrious city,
and thou, the daughter of the beautiful Leto, queen of the forests,
who art adored under many names, hasten hither at my call. Come,
thou mighty Posidon, king of the Ocean, leave thy stormy whirlpools of
Nereus; come, goddesses of the seas, come, ye nymphs, who wander on
the mountains. Let us unite our voices to the sounds of the golden
lyre, and may wisdom preside at the gathering of the noble matrons
of Athens.
WOMAN HERALD
Address your prayers to the gods and goddesses of Olympus, of
Delphi, Delos and all other places; if there be a man who is
plotting against the womenfolk or who, to injure them, is proposing
peace to Euripides and the Medes, or who aspires to usurping the
tyranny, plots the return of a tyrant, or unmasks a supposititious
child; or if there be a slave who, a confidential party to a wife's
intrigues, reveals them secretly to her husband, or who, entrusted
with a message, does not deliver the same faithfully; if there be a
lover who fulfils naught of what he has promised a woman, whom he
has abused on the strength of his lies; if there be an old woman who
seduces the lover of a maiden by dint of her presents and
treacherously receives him in her house; if there be a host or hostess
who sells false measure, pray the gods that they will overwhelm them
with their wrath, both them and their families, and that they may
reserve all their favours for you.
CHORUS (singing)
Let us ask the fulfilment of these wishes both for the city and
for the people, and may the wisest of us cause her opinion to be
accepted. But woe to those women who break their oaths, who
speculate on the public misfortune, who seek to alter the laws and the
decrees, who reveal our secrets to the foe and admit the Medes into
our territory so that they may devastate it! I declare them both
impious and criminal. Oh! almighty Zeus! see to it that the gods
protect us, albeit we are but women!
WOMAN HERALD
Hearken, all of you! this is the decree passed by the Senate of
the Women under the presidency of Timoclea and at the suggestion of
Sostrate; it is signed by Lysilla, the secretary: "There will be a
gathering of the people on the morning of the third day of the
Thesmophoria, which is a day of rest for us; the principal business
there shall be the punishment that it is meet to inflict upon
Euripides for the insults with which he has loaded us." Now who asks
to speak?
FIRST WOMAN
I do.
WOMAN HERALD
First put on this garland, and then speak.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Silence! let all be quiet! Pay attention! for here she is spitting
as orators generally do before they begin; no doubt she has much to
say.
FIRST WOMAN
If I have asked to speak, may the goddesses bear me witness, it
was not for sake of ostentation. But I have long been pained to see us
women insulted by this Euripides, this son of the green-stuff woman,
who loads us with every kind of indignity. Has he not hit us enough,
calumniated us sufficiently, wherever there are spectators,
tragedians, and a chorus? Does; he not style us adulterous, lecherous,
bibulous, treacherous, and garrulous? Does he not repeat that we are
all vice, that we are the curse of our husbands? So that, directly
they come back from the theatre, they look at us doubtfully and go

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