Instant Monologues
Aristophanes — Lysistrata Instant Monologue

by Aristophanes


The Magistrate addresses a group of assembled men in the ruins of Acropolis.


By Poseidon, justly done! For in part with us

The blame must lie for dissolute behaviour

And for the pampered appetites they learn.

Thus grows the seedling lust to blossoming:

We go into a shop and say, "Here, goldsmith,

You remember the necklace that you wrought my wife;

Well, the other night in fervour of a dance

Her clasp broke open. Now I'm off for Salamis;

If you've the leisure, would you go tonight

And stick a bolt-pin into her opened clasp."

Another goes to a cobbler; a soldierly fellow,

Always standing up erect, and says to him,

"Cobbler, a sandal-strap of my wife's pinches her,

Hurts her little toe in a place where she's sensitive.

Come at noon and see if you can stretch out wider

This thing that troubles her, loosen its tightness."

And so you view the result. Observe my case-

I, a magistrate, come here to draw

Money to buy oar-blades, and whathappens?

The women slam the door full in my face.

But standing still's no use. Bring me a crowbar,

And I'll chastise this their impertinence.

What do you gape at, wretch, with dazzled eyes?

Peering for a tavern, I suppose.

Come, force the gates with crowbars, prise them apart!

I'll prise away myself too.

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