[Scene—the front of a citizen's house, having a lamp suspended over the door. Time—a little past midnight.]
Praxagora (coming out of the house dressed in men's clothes). O bright eye of the wheel-formed lamp. suspended most commodiously in a situation commanding a wide view, (for I will declare both your parentage and your fortunes: for, having been driven with the wheel by the force of the potter, you possess in your nozzles the bright honours of the sun,) send forth the signal of flame agreed upon! For to you alone we reveal it:—justly; for you also stand close by us in our bed-chambers when we try the various modes of Aphrodite; and no one excludes your eye from the house, the witness of our bending bodies. And you alone cast light into the secret recesses of our persons, when you singe off the hair which flourishes upon them. And you aid us when secretly opening the storehouses filled with fruits and the Bacchic stream. And although you help to do this, you do not babble of it to the neighbours. Wherefore you shall also be privy to our present designs, as many as were determined
- This apostrophe to the lamp she has just hung up is a parody on the pompous addresses to inanimate objects so frequent in the prologues and monodies of Euripides. For the construction, see Krüger, Gr. Gr. §45, 3, obs. 5. Hermann, Vig. n. 260, d. Matthiä, p. 481. Jelf, §479, 3.
- Ran. 946, ἀλλ᾽ οὑξιὼν πρώτιστα μέν μοι τὸ γένος εἶπ᾽ ἂν εὐθὺς
- Comp. Æsch. Prom. 288. Pind. Pyth. viii. 103.
- For this construction, see Bernhardy, W. S. p. 225.
- The lamp would appear to have been one of those which were furnished with double lights. Cf. Ran. 1361. ἐλαθεὶς is referred to λύχνος, not to λαμπρὸν ὄμμα.
- Cf. Thesm. 216, 590. Lys. 825.
- Cf. Thesm. 424.