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Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol2.djvu/253

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229—253.
625
THE ECCLESIAZUSÆ.

to them, and not chatter exceedingly, nor inquire what in the world they will do; but let us fairly suffer them to govern, having considered this alone,[1] that, in the first place, being mothers, they will be desirous to save the soldiers; and in the next place, who could send provisions quicker than the parent? A woman is most ingenious[2] in providing money; and when governing, could never be deceived; for they themselves are accustomed to deceive. The rest I will omit: but if you take my advice in this, you will spend your lives happily."

1st Wom. Well done, O sweetest Praxagora, and cleverly! Whence, you rogue, did you learn this so prettily?

Prax. During the flight[3] I dwelt with my husband in the Pnyx; and then I learnt by hearing the orators.

1st Wom. No wonder then, my dear, you are[4] clever and wise: and we[5] women elect you as general on the spot, if you will effect these things, which you have in your mind. But if Cephalus[6] should be unlucky enough to meet[7] and insult you, how will you reply to him in the Assembly?

Prax. I will say he is crazed.

1st Wom. But this they all know.

Prax. But also that he is melancholy-mad.

1st Wom. This too they know.

Prax. But also that he tinkers[8] his pots badly, but the state well and prettily.

  1. "Voll Vertraun, wenn ihr nur bedenkt." Droysen.
  2. "Then for the ways and means, say who 're more skilled
    Than women? They too are such arch deceivers,
    That, when in power, they ne'er will be deceived." Smith.
    See note on Aves, 451.
  3. The long lapse of time will hardly allow us to refer this to the flight of the country people into the city in accordance with the policy of Pericles. "This difficult passage probably refers to the times of the Thirty Tyrants, when no assemblies were held in the Pnyx, and the orators were not allowed to speak." Droysen.
  4. See note on Vesp. 451.
  5. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. §50, 8, obs. 3.
  6. One of the demagogues of the day. His father was a potter.
  7. "προσφθαρεὶς, accedens. Φθείρεσθαι in Attic writers = ire, venire, but always in a bad sense, in reference to those who go or wander to their own or other people's injury or loss. Cf. Aves, 916. Pax, 72. Demosth. Mid. p. 660. Misc. Obs. vol. iv. p. 451." Brunck. Compare Liddell's Lex. in voc.
  8. A happy coincidence in the German language has enabled Droysen to translate this verbal play with singular felicity: