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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Aristophanes' LYSISTRATA Complete

A Literal Translation, with Notes.

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CHORUS OF OLD MEN. Oh! those confounded women! how they do cajole us! How true the saying: "'Tis impossible to live with the baggages, impossible to live without 'em"! Come, let us agree for the future not to regard each other any more as enemies; and to clinch the bargain, let us sing a choric song.

CHORUS OF WOMEN. We desire, Athenians, to speak ill of no man; but on the contrary to say much good of everyone, and to do the like. We have had enough of misfortunes and calamities. Is there any, man or woman, wants a bit of money--two or three minas or so;[456] well, our purse is full. If only peace is concluded, the borrower will not have to pay back. Also I'm inviting to supper a few Carystian friends,[457] who are excellently well qualified. I have still a drop of good soup left, and a young porker I'm going to kill, and the flesh will be sweet and tender. I shall expect you at my house to-day; but first away to the baths with you, you and your children; then come all of you, ask no one's leave, but walk straight up, as if you were at home; never fear, the door will be ... shut in your faces![458]

CHORUS OF OLD MEN. Ah! here come the Envoys from Sparta with their long flowing beards; why, you would think they wore a cage[459] between their thighs. (Enter the Lacedaemonian Envoys.) Hail to you, first of all, Laconians; then tell us how you fare.

[456] A mina was a little over £4; 60 minas made a talent.

[457] Carystus was a city of Euboea notorious for the dissoluteness of its inhabitants; hence the inclusion of these Carystian youths in the women's invitation.

[458] A [Greek: para prosdokian]; i.e. exactly the opposite of the word expected is used to conclude the sentence--to move the sudden hilarity of the audience as a finale to the scene.

[459] A wattled cage or pen for pigs.

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