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The Thesmophoriazusae   


the iron, and many others have cast away their bucklers on the
battlefield.
There are many reproaches we have the right to bring against
men. The most serious is this, that the woman, who has given birth
to a useful citizen, whether taxiarch or strategus should receive some
distinction; a place of honour should be reserved for her at the
Stenia, the Scirophoria, and the other festivals that we keep. On
the other hand, she of whom a coward was born or a worthless man, a
bad trierarch or an unskilful pilot, should sit with shaven head,
behind her sister who had borne a brave man. Oh! citizens! is it
just that the mother of Hyperbolus should sit dressed in white and
with loosened tresses beside that of Lamachus and lend out money on
usury? He, who may have made a deal of this nature with her, so far
from paying her interest, should not even repay the capital, saying,
"What, pay you interest? after you have given us this delightful son?"
MNESILOCHUS
I have contracted quite a squint by looking round for him, and yet
Euripides does not come. Who is keeping him? No doubt he is ashamed of
his cold Palamedes. What will attract him? Let us see! By which of his
pieces does he set most store? Ah! I'll imitate his Helen, his
last-born. I just happen to have a complete woman's outfit.
SECOND WOMAN
What are you ruminating about now? Why are you rolling up your
eyes? You'll have no reason to be proud of your Helen, if you don't
keep quiet until one of the Magistrates arrives.
MNESILOCHUS (as Helen)
"These shores are those of the Nile with the beautiful nymphs,
these waters take the place of heaven's rain and fertilize the white
earth, that produces the black syrmea."
SECOND WOMAN
By bright Hecate, you're a cunning varlet.
MNESILOCHUS
"Glorious Sparta is my country and Tyndareus is my father."
SECOND WOMAN
He your father, you rascal! Why, it's Phrynondas.
MNESILOCHUS
"I was given the name of Helen."
SECOND WOMAN
What! you are again becoming a woman, before we have punished
you for having pretended it the first time?
MNESILOCHUS
"A thousand warriors have died on my account on the banks of the
Scamander."
SECOND WOMAN
Would that you had done the same!
MNESILOCHUS
"And here I am upon these shores; Menelaus, my unhappy husband,
does not yet come. Ah! Why do I still live?"
SECOND WOMAN
Because of the criminal negligence of the crows!
MNESILOCHUS
"But what sweet hope is this that sets my heart a-throb? Oh, Zeus!
grant it may not prove a lying one!"
(EURIPIDES enters.)
EURIPIDES (as Menelaus)
"To what master does this splendid palace belong? Will he
welcome strangers who have been tried on the billows of the sea by
storm and shipwreck?"
MNESILOCHUS
"This is the palace of Proteus."
SECOND WOMAN
Of what Proteus? you thrice cursed rascal! how he lies! By the
goddesses, it's ten years since Proteas died.
EURIPIDES

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