Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; drama; comedy] [word count] [Ar. Thesm.].
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153

Mnesilochus aside

Then you make love horse-fashion when you are composing a Phaedra.

Agathon

If the heroes are men, 155everything in him will be manly. What we don't possess by nature, we must acquire by imitation.

Mnesilochus aside

When you are staging Satyrs, call me; I will do my best to help you from behind, if I can get my tool up.

Agathon

Besides, it is bad taste for a poet 160to be coarse and hairy. Look at the famous Ibycus, at Anacreon of Teos, and at Alcaeus, who handled music so well; they wore head-bands and found pleasure in the lascivious and dances of Ionia. And have you not heard 165what 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, 170and 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

175Ah! 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, 180I 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 185with 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; 190further, 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

195Yes.

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

200You 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.

Euripides

Why?

Agathon

Why? I should look as if I were wanting to trespass on secret nightly pleasures of the women 205and to rape their Aphrodite.



Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae (English) (XML Header) [genre: poetry; drama; comedy] [word count] [Ar. Thesm.].
<<Ar. Thesm. 101 Ar. Thesm. 153 (Greek) >>Ar. Thesm. 206

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