Lysistrata Reading

LYSISTRATA
What should the oath be, then?

CALONICE
Let’s get a stallion, a white one, and then offer up its guts!

LYSISTRATA
Why a white horse?

CALONICE
``Then how will we make our oath?

LYSISTRATA
I’ll tell you, by god, if you want to hear.
Put a large dark bowl down on the ground,
then sacrifice a jug of Thasian wine,
and swear we’ll never pour in water.

LAMPITO
Now, if you ask me, that’s a super oath!

LYSISTRATA
Someone get the bowl and a jug of wine.

[The Scythian girl goes back in the house and returns with a bowl
and a jug of wine. Calonice takes the bowl]

CALONICE
Look, dear ladies, at this splendid bowl. 220 [200]
Just touching this gives instant pleasure.

LYSISTRATA
Put it down. Now join me and place your hands
on our sacrificial victim.

[The women gather around the bowl and lay their hands on the
wine jug. Lysistrata starts the ritual prayer]

  O you,
  Goddess of Persuasion and the bowl
  which we so love, accept this sacrifice,
  a women’s offering, and be kind to us.

[Lysistrata opens the wine jug and lets the wine pour out into the bowl]

CALONICE
Such healthy blood spurts out so beautifully!

LAMPITO
By Castor, that’s a mighty pleasant smell.

MYRRHINE
Ladies, let me be the first to swear the oath.

CALONICE
No, by Aphrodite, no—not unless 230
your lot is drawn.

LYSISTRATA [holds up a bowl full of wine]
Grab the brim, Lampito,
you and all the others. Someone repeat [210]
for all the rest of you the words I say—
that way you’ll pledge your firm allegiance:
No man, no husband and no lover . . .

CALONICE [taking the oath]
No man, no husband and no lover . . .

LYSISTRATA
. . . will get near me with a stiff prick. . . Come on,
say it!

CALONICE
. . . will get near me with a stiff prick.
O Lysistrata, my knees are getting weak!

LYSISTRATA
At home I’ll live completely without sex . . . 240

CALONICE
At home I’ll live completely without sex . . .

LYSISTRATA
. . . wearing saffron silks, with lots of make up . . .

CALONICE
. . . wearing saffron silks, with lots of make up . . . [220]

LYSISTRATA
. . . to make my man as horny as I can.

CALONICE
. . . to make my man as horny as I can.

LYSISTRATA
If against my will he takes me by force . . .

CALONICE
If against my will he takes me by force . . .

LYSISTRATA
. . . I’ll be a lousy lay, not move a limb.

CALONICE
. . . I’ll be a lousy lay, not move a limb.

LYSISTRATA
I’ll not raise my slippers up towards the roof . . . 250

CALONICE
I’ll not raise my slippers up towards the roof . . . [230]

LYSISTRATA
. . . nor crouch down like a lioness on all fours.

CALONICE
. . . nor crouch down like a lioness on all fours.

LYSISTRATA
If I do all this, then I may drink this wine.

CALONICE
If I do all this, then I may drink this wine.

LYSISTRATA
If I fail, may this glass fill with water.

CALONICE
If I fail, may this glass fill with water.

LYSISTRATA
Do all you women swear this oath?

ALL
We do.

LYSISTRATA
All right. I’ll make the offering.

[Lysistrata drinks some of the wine in the bowl]