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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Aristophanes' ECCLESIAZUSAE (Women In Council) Complete

A Literal Translation, with Notes.

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THIRD OLD WOMAN (to Second Old Woman). You will gain nothing by this, for I shall rush into your house with you.

YOUNG MAN. Oh, no! no! 'twould be better to suffer a single misfortune than two.

THIRD OLD WOMAN. Ah! by Hecate, 'twill be all the same whether you wish it or not.

YOUNG MAN. What a fate is mine, that I must gratify such a stinking harridan the whole night through and all day; then, when I am rid of her, I have still to tackle a hag of brick-colour hue! Am I not truly unfortunate? Ah! by Zeus the Deliverer! under what fatal star must I have been born, that I must sail in company with such monsters! But if my bark sinks in the sewer of these strumpets, may I be buried at the very threshold of the door; let this hag be stood upright on my grave, let her be coated alive with pitch and her legs covered with molten lead up to the ankles, and let her be set alight as a funeral lamp.

A SERVANT-MAID TO PRAXAGORA (she comes from the banquet). What happiness is the people's! what joy is mine, and above all that of my mistress! Happy are ye, who form choruses before our house! Happy all ye, both neighbours and fellow-citizens! Happy am I myself! I am but a servant, and yet I have poured on my hair the most exquisite essences. Let thanks be rendered to thee, oh, Zeus! But a still more delicious aroma is that of the wine of Thasos; its sweet bouquet delights the drinker for a long enough, whereas the others lose their bloom and vanish quickly. Therefore, long life to the wine-jars of Thasos! Pour yourselves out unmixed wine, it will cheer you the whole night through, if you choose the liquor that possesses most fragrance. But tell me, friends, where is my mistress's husband?

CHORUS. Wait for him here; he will no doubt pass this way.

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