Alciphron, Letters I-III

Alciphron, Letters (Books 1,3), from Alciphron, Literally and Completely Translated From the Greek, with Introduction and Notes, Athens: Privately Printed for the Athenian Society; 1896; a text in the public domain nobly put on line by Elfinspell. This text has 155 tagged references to 105 ancient places.
CTS URN: urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0640.tlg001; Wikidata ID: Q87780200; Trismegistos: authorwork/6895     [Open Greek text in new tab]

§ 1.1  Eudius to Philoscaphus:
Happily for us, the sea today is smooth and calm again. The storm lasted for three days: the north winds blew violently from the headlands towards the open; the blackening sea grew rough, the waters were white with foam; the billows everywhere broke over each other, some dashing against the rocks, while others swelled and burst. It was utterly impossible to work: we betook ourselves to the huts on the bank, collected a few fragments of wood, the remains of the oaks which had been felled by the ships' carpenters, and lighted a fire to relieve the piercing cold. At last the fourth day came, a truly halcyon day, as we may conclude from the clearness of the air, and brought us wealth and fortune in abundance. For, as soon as the sun rose, and its first beams glittered on the sea, we quickly launched our little bark, which had lately been drawn up on land, and, putting our nets aboard, set to work. We cast them not far from land. Ha! what an enormous haul we made! The heavily-laden net, carried under water, almost dragged down the corks with it. Immediately the fish salesmen gathered round, with their yokes over their shoulders, from which hung baskets on either side; and, having purchased our fish for money down, hastened from Phalerum to the city. We had enough to satisfy them all, and besides, took back to our wives and children a quantity of small fry, enough to keep them not only for one, but for several days, if bad weather should come on.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.2  Galenus to Cyrton:
All our labour is in vain, Cyrton! By day we are scorched by the heat of the sun, by night we explore the deep by the light of torches, and yet, in the words of the proverb, we are pouring the contents of our pitchers into the cask of the Danaides — so idle and useless are our efforts! We have not even sea nettles or Pelorian mussels to fill our belly; but the master collects both the fish and the money. But all that he gets from us is not enough for him: he is continually searching our little bark. Only lately, when we sent the lad Hermon to him from Munychia with the fish, he ordered us to bring him some sponges and sea-wool, which grows in fairly large quantities in the pool of Eurynome. Before he had finished giving these orders, Hermon left his load of fishes, the boat, and ourselves, and went off on a rowing-boat, with some Rhodian dyers whose acquaintance he had made. Thus the master has to mourn the loss of a slave; we, that of a true companion.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.3  Glaucus to Galatea:
Happy is he who lives on land! Husbandry involves no danger. With good reason, then, do the Athenians name it Aneisidora, because it bestows gifts, whereby we live and enjoy health. The sea is cruel, and a sailor's life is full of perils. My judgment is right: I have learnt this by experience and instruction. I remember that, once, when I wanted to sell some fish, I heard one of those fellows who hang about the Painted Stoa, a bare-footed wretch with livid features, reciting verses and declaiming against the folly of sailors. He said that the verses were written by a certain Aratus, an astronomer. I cannot repeat all that he said; but, as far as I remember, one of the verses ran as follows:
A thin partition keeps off destruction.
Why, then, wife, should we not be wise, and, even though it be late, avoid a life that is so near death? We have children; and, although our poverty prevents us from leaving them anything considerable, we shall at least be able to leave them in blessed ignorance of the stormy waves and the dangers of the deep. They will be brought up to an agricultural life, and will enjoy a life of security, untroubled by alarm.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.4  Cymothus to Tritonis:
There is as much difference between us, toilers on the sea, and those who live in cities and villages, as there is between sea and land. They either remain within the gates and occupy themselves with public affairs, or, devoting themselves to agriculture, wait quietly for the crops that are their support; but we, whose life is spent upon the water, find land death to us, even as the fishes, who are unable to breathe the air. Whatever, then, is the matter with you, my dear Tritonis, that you leave the shore and your yarn, and are constantly running into the city, visiting the Oschophoria and Lenaea in the company of wealthy Athenian ladies? This shows a want of prudence and modesty. It was not for this purpose that your father brought you up in Aegina and gave you to me in marriage. If you are so fond of the city, farewell; go; but, if you love the sea, return to your husband; that is the best thing you can do; but forget for ever these delusive city spectacles.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.5  Naubates to Rhodius:
You flatter yourself that you alone are wealthy, because you are able to entice my sailors with the offer of a higher salary. And no wonder; for only recently a lucky cast brought you in a quantity of golden darics, probably a relic of the battle of Salamis. Perhaps a Persian ship went to the bottom there with the crew and all the treasures on board, at the time when Themistocles, son of Neocles, in the days of our forefathers, set up his great trophy in honour of his victory over the Medes. I, for my part, am content if I can procure the necessaries of life, by the daily work of my hands. If you are wealthy, do not forget what is just: let your wealth be to you an assistance in performing, not unjust, but good and generous actions.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.6  Panope to Euthybolus:
When you married me, Euthybolus, you did not marry an outcast or one of the common herd, but the daughter of respectable parents. Sosthenes of Stiria was my father: Damophile, my mother. I was their sole heiress; and they consented to our union, in the hope of our having lawful children. But, notwithstanding, you are ever casting amorous glances upon the women, and are addicted to every kind of wanton pleasure: you neglect me and our children, Galene and Thallassion: you are enamoured of the strange woman from Hermione, who has arrived in Piraeus, to the misfortune of husbands and wives. The young fisherman of the coast hold orgies at her house: each gives her different presents: and she accepts and swallows all, like Charybdis. But you, more lavish than a fisherman can afford to be, are not satisfied with giving her sprats or mullets: although you are getting old, have been married a long time, and are the father of grown-up children, in your desire to oust your rivals, you send her Milesian hair-nets, Sicilian dresses, and even gold. Either give up this insulting conduct, your debauchery, and your madness for women, or I tell you plainly that I will go back to my father, who will know how to protect me and will summon you before the court for your cruel behaviour towards me.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.7  Thalassius to Pontius:
I send you a plaice, a sole, a mullet, and three dozen purple-fish: send me two oars for them, for mine are broken. The presents one friend makes to another are simple exchanges. He who asks for a thing boldly and without ceremony thereby declares that he considers the possessions of friends are common, and that he has a right to share what belongs to his friends.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.8  Eucolymbus to Glauce:
Those who are undecided in their minds wait for some kind friend to advise them. So I, who have often addressed myself to the winds — since I never had the courage to consult you, my dear wife — have now decided to speak out, and beg you to assist me with your advice, if you have anything better to suggest. Listen now to the state of things as to which I want your opinion. My affairs are, as you know, in a very embarrassed condition, and I find it very hard to get a living, for there are hardly any fish in the sea. This rowing-boat which you see, with its numerous crew, is a Corycian bark manned by pirates. They want me to become a partner in their venture, and promise me vast wealth. I confess that my mouth waters for the gold and garments which they hold out to me as an inducement; but I have not the heart to become a murderer and stain with gore these hands of mine, which the sea has kept pure from evil-doing, from my childhood to the present day; and yet, on the other hand, it is hard and unendurable to live in continual poverty. The decision of my choice lies in your hands: to whatever course you are favourably inclined, I will follow you, dear wife; for the advice which friends give us often cuts the knot of indecision.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.9  Aegialeus to Struthion:
Confound it, how unlucky I am! All my affairs go wrong, and, as the proverb says, after the fashion of Mandrabulus. It is a sorry comfort to be always buying and selling the necessaries of life for worthless bits of money! It is time for you to help me, Struthion; you shall share the fruits of my labours on the sea. I want, through your recommendation, to get on familiar terms with one or two of our city millionaires, such as Erasicles of Sphettus or Philostratus of Cholargus, that I may take my baskets of fish to them in person. By this means, in addition to the price of the fish, I hope through your interest to get some trifle at their house on the day of the festival of Dionysia or Apaturia. Besides this, they will save us from the cruel hands of the market-inspectors, who, for their own profit, daily heap insults upon the inoffensive. Not only report, but also experience proves that you parasites have great influence with the young and wealthy.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.10  Cephalus to Pontius:
The surface of the ocean, as you see, is already rough; a thick mist has overspread the heavens; the sky is everywhere covered with clouds. The winds, driven together, threaten every moment to disturb the sea. The dolphins, leaping lightly over the swelling waves, herald the approach of stormy weather: those who are skilled in astronomy say that Taurus is rising in the heavens. Those who take due precautions against dangers for the most part come off uninjured; but there are others who, from despair, abandon themselves to the waves of their own free will, and leave the guidance of the helm to chance. Hence we hear that some are carried along by the current to the promontory of Malea, and others to the Sicilian strait or the Lycian Sea, dashed upon the rocks, and swamped. The promontory of Caphareus is no better for ships in stormy weather. Therefore, let us wait until the sea is calm, and the air has cleared, before we explore the coast near this headland: perhaps we may find a body thrown up, the remnant of a shipwrecked crew, to which we may pay the honours of burial. A good action never misses its reward, even though it does not follow immediately upon the deed. The approval of the conscience, in addition to the hope of reward, supports and cheers the heart exceedingly, especially when we do a kindness to those of our fellows who are no more.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.14  Thynnaeus to Scopelus:
Have you heard the important news, Scopelus? The Athenians are thinking of sending a fleet to foreign parts, to carry on a naval campaign. The Paralus and Salaminia, the swiftest vessels afloat, leading the way, are already unmoored, and have taken on board the commissioners who are to settle the time and starting-point of the expedition. The rest of the ships, which are to transport the troops, require the services of a number of oarsmen, who have had experience in contending with the winds and waves. What are we to do then, my good friend? shall we run away or stay? Everywhere, from Piraeus, Phalerum, and Sunium, as far as the neighbourhood of Geraestus, they are enlisting sailors. How should we be able to remain quiet in the ranks and to obey the orders of men in arms, we who know nothing even about the contests of law courts? We have a choice of two evils: to leave our wives and children and take to flight, or to expose our lives to the perils of the sword and the sea. Since it is useless to remain, flight seems preferable.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.15  Nausibius to Prymnaeus:
I did not know how luxurious and effeminate the sons of the wealthy Athenians were. But, lately, when Pamphilus and some of his friends hired my skiff, that they might go for a sail as the sea was calm and take part in a fishing expedition, I learned what luxuries they provided themselves with both on land and sea. Finding the wooden seats in the boat disagreeable, Pamphilus stretched himself out upon some foreign carpets and rugs, declaring that he could not lie down upon the bare boards, which he no doubt thought harder than stone. He next asked us to make an awning for him, by spreading out the linen sails overhead, because he could not endure the heat of the sun's rays: whereas not only we sailors, but all who are only moderately wealthy, as a rule seek every opportunity of warming ourselves in the sun; for the sea and cold go together. Certainly Pamphilus had not merely brought his male friends, but he was accompanied by a number of very pretty women, all musicians. The name of one was Crumatium, who played on the flute; another, Erato, was a harpist; and Euepes beat the cymbals. Thus my bark was full of music, the sea resounded with song, and mirth and gaiety prevailed. To me alone this afforded no enjoyment. For several of my fellows, especially the spiteful Glaucias, with his jealousy, caused me more uneasiness than a Telchinian. However, the ample payment he gave me cheered me; and now I am so fond of these pleasure-parties on the sea, that I wish I could find another of these generous and wealthy young men.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.16  Auchenius to Armenius:
IF you can help me, tell me frankly, but do not talk of my affairs to anyone else; but, if you cannot, at least be more secret than a member of the Areopagus. Meanwhile, this is the state of affairs. Love has attacked my heart, and will not allow me to be guided by reason. All sense is swamped within me by this passion. How ever has it come to pass that love has violently attacked me, a poor fisherman, who was till lately quite satisfied if he could make enough to live upon? It has taken deep hold of me and will not let me go, and I am as much inflamed as any rich and handsome young man. I, who once laughed at those whose effeminacy made them the slaves of their passion, am now entirely in its power; I want a wife, and I can think of nothing but Hymenaeus, son of Terpsichore. The girl I love is the daughter of one of those foreigners, who, somehow or other, have migrated from Hermione to Piraeus, to our sorrow. I have certainly no dowry to offer; but I hope, if I introduce myself as what I am, a simple fisherman, that I shall be considered an eligible suitor, unless her father is mad.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.17  Encymon to Halictypus:
I lately saw, on the beach at Sunium, an old net torn and full of holes. I asked whose it was, and why it was lying there, as it had evidently not been broken by too heavy a load, but its rents were the result of age. I was told that it had belonged to you four years ago; that it had become entangled in a sunken reef, and its meshes torn in the middle. It appears that, since then, as you did not care either to mend or take it away, it has remained where it is, since none of the neighbours ventured to touch it, as they did not consider it belonged to them. Thus, not only these people, but you, the former owner, have abandoned your rights of possession. I therefore ask you to give me what is spoilt by age, and is really no longer your property. You can, without any loss to yourself, hand over to me that which you have already doomed to destruction.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.18  Halictypus to Encymon:
There is a proverb: A neighbour's eye is spiteful and envious. How do my affairs concern you? By what right do you claim what it has pleased me to neglect? Hold your hands, or rather your insatiable desires; let not a greedy longing for what belongs to others force you to ask unreasonable favours.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.19  Encymon to Halictypus:
I did not ask you for anything that is yours, but for something that is not. Since you will not let anyone else have it, very well; keep what you have not got.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.20  Eusagenus to Limenarchus:
Confound that Lesbian watcher! When he saw the sea in some parts growing black and rough, he shouted out, as if a large shoal of young or old tunnies was approaching. Believing him, we almost completely surrounded the bay with our nets; then we hauled them up, and they felt heaver than is usual after a catch. In a state of expectation, we summoned the neighbours, promising them a share in the spoil if they would assist and aid us in our labours. At length, after great efforts, at nightfall we brought to land — an enormous camel, quite rotten and alive with worms. I have told you of this catch of ours, not to make you laugh, but that you may know how completely and by what means fortune overwhelms by unlucky self.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.21  Euplous to Thalasseros:
You must be suffering from the effects of high feeding, or else you are mad. I hear that you are madly enamoured of a singing-woman, and that, in paying ruinous visits to her, you squander all your daily profits. I have heard this from our excellent neighbour Sosias, who has a great respect for the truth, and would never be betrayed into falsehood: I mean the Sosias who is so skilful at making that excellent savoury broth from the little fish which he snares in his nets. Tell me, then, what has given you the idea of music, of the diatonic, harmonic, and chromatic styles, as he said, when he informed me about it? You are in love both with the girl's beauty and her music, as it seems. Leave off spending your money on such things, else you will suffer shipwreck on land instead of on sea; you will be stripped of your substance, and the abode of this singing-woman will prove as dangerous to you as the gulf of Calydon, the Tyrrhenian sea, or Scylla the songstress, since you will not be able to call upon Crataiis, if she attacks you a second time.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.22  Thalasseros to Euplous:
Your exhortations are useless, Euplous. It is quite impossible for me to give up this girl, now that I follow the god who has initiated me into the mysteries, the god who is armed with torch and bow. Besides, love is quite natural to us toilers on the sea: was not a goddess of the sea the mother of the winged boy? thus Love is related to us on the mother's side. Smitten by him to the heart, I enjoy the company of my girl on the shore, and think that in her I possess a Panope, or Galatea, the most beautiful of the Nereids.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.37  Thermolepyrus to Ocimon:
I have been disgracefully treated! The other guests were served with sow's udder and womb, and liver, which from the delicacy of its fat might have been compared to dew, while we had nothing but pea-soup. They drank wine from Chalybon: we had wine that had gone off, as sour as vinegar. O gods and spirits, who preside over and regulate our destinies, avert from us such injustice of fortune: do not keep some in a state of perpetual happiness, and give others hunger for a constant companion. The course of destiny has reduced humanity to melancholy necessities. But we, whose lot is poor and miserable, are treated by her with the most cruel injustice.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.38  Conoposphrantes to Ischolimus:
My hopes of the young Polycritus have deceived me. I thought that, if his father should die, he would spend his money freely in feasting and all kinds of pleasure with us and in the company of beautiful women, and that he would have got rid of all his fortune, or the greater part of it, in this manner. Quite a mistake! ever since his father Criton died, he only takes one meal a day, and that quite late, just before sunset. He eats no expensive dishes, but common bread from the market, and, when he wants to have a regular feast, he adds some over-ripe figs and half-rotten olives. Having been thus deceived in my wonderful expectations, I do not know what I am to do. For, if the supporter himself needs some one to support him, what is to become of him who needs to be supported? It is a double misfortune for one hungry man to associate with another.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.39  Eubulus to Gemellus:
One of these cheese-cakes called after Gelon of Sicily was set before us. The very sight of it delighted me, and I was all eagerness to devour it; but this moment was put off for some time, for the cakes were surrounded with all kinds of sweets, made of pistachios, dates, and nuts out of the shell. I regarded all this with an unfriendly eye; and waited, with my mouth wide open, until it should be time to attack the cake. But the guests were an unconscionably long time finishing the sweetmeats, and the continual circulation of the wine-cup caused further delay. At last, as if it had been agreed to torture me with suspense, one of them began to clean his teeth with a piece of stick, another stretched himself on his back, as if he were more inclined to sleep than to trouble himself about eating; then they began chattering, and nothing seemed farther from their thoughts than to give me a chance of enjoying the delicious and longed-for cake. At last, I believe, the gods had compassion upon my consuming desire, and, after long delay, procured me a taste of the cake I had so eagerly longed for. I write this, not so much with a feeling of pleasure, as of weariness and exhaustion after my prolonged waiting.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.40  Platylaemus to Erebintholeon:
I have never experienced so severe a winter in Attica. Not only did the winds blowing side by side or rather rushing together in confusion, fall violently upon us, but a steady fall of deep snow covered the ground: it did not stop at the surface, but rose to such a height, that, when you opened the door, you could hardly see the street that led to our house. As you may imagine, I had neither wood nor fuel, and the cold pierced me to the very marrow. I then bethought myself of a plan worthy of Ulysses — to run to the vapour-rooms or furnaces of the public baths. But even there my fellow-labourers, who were already assembled, refused to allow me to enter, for we were all of us tormented by the same goddess — Poverty. As soon as I saw that there was no getting in there, I ran to the private bath of Thrasyllus, and this time I found nobody. Having appeased the bath-keeper with a couple of obols, I succeeded in warming myself. After this, the snow was succeeded by frost, the cold dried up the moisture, and the stones on the roads became ice-bound. At last, the temperature became milder, and the gentle sunbeams permitted me to go out again freely, and to take my usual walks abroad.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.3  Amnion to Philomoschus:
A violent hailstorm has ruined our crops, and I see no remedy against famine, for our poverty prevents us from buying imported corn. I have been told that you still have something left from your abundant harvest of last year. Lend me then twenty bushels, to save the lives of myself, my wife, and my children. If I have a good harvest, I will return it to you; yea, with interest, if I have an abundant crop. Do not desert, in time of need, such good neighbours, who are for the moment in difficulties.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.4  Eustolus to Elation:
Since the land does not sufficiently repay me for my labours, I have resolved to intrust my fortunes to the sea and the waves. Life and death are allotted to us by destiny: it is impossible for a man to escape the payment of this debt, even if he shut himself up in a cell. The day of death is fixed inevitably, and fate is unavoidable. Life, therefore, does not depend upon the profession which we choose: it is subject to the arbitrament of fortune. Besides, many have perished in their youth on land, while others have lived to a great age at sea. Convinced of the truth of this, I will turn my attention to a seafaring life, and will live in the company of the winds and waves. It is better for me to return home from the Bosphorus and Propontis with newly-acquired wealth, than to live, in a remote corner of Attica, a life of misery and poverty.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.5  Agelarchides to Pytholaus:
My good friend, usurers are a great curse in the city. I do not know what was the matter with me. When I might have applied to you or one of my neighbours in the country, when I wanted some money to pay for a field which I had bought at Colonus, I allowed myself to be taken by one of the inhabitants of the city to Byrtius's door. There I found an old man, with shriveled face and frowning brows, holding in his hand some dirty old pieces of paper, half eaten by bugs and moths. At first, he hardly spoke to me, apparently considering talking to be loss of time. When my introducer told him that I wanted money, he asked, "How many talents?" When I expressed my astonishment at the mention of such a sum, he immediately put on an air of contempt and made no secret of his impatience. However, he agreed to lend me the sum I wanted, and required my bond, in which I promised to pay him back the principal with enormous interest, and my property was to be security for a month. I repeat it — such people are a curse, who revel in the occupation of counting and reckoning on the fingers. O ye gods who protect the husbandmen, preserve me from every seeing a wolf or a money-lender again!

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.6  Anicetus to Phoebiane:
You avoid me now, Phoebiane; you avoid me, although you have just lately robbed me of all my property. What is there of mine that you have not had? Figs, fresh cheeses in baskets, a pair of fowls, not to mention all the other dainties? Thus, after having, in the words of the proverb, completely ruined me, you have forced me to become your slave. And yet you pay no heed to my burning love? Farewell: leave me. I will endure your treatment with sorrow, but yet with firmness.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.7  Phoebiane to Anicetus:
A neighbour, who was in labour, just now sent for me, and I was on the way to her with the necessary appliances, when you suddenly came upon me, violently held back my neck, and wanted to kiss me. You decrepit and wretched old man, will you never leave off persecuting with your overtures, as if you were a young man, us girls who are in the prime of life? Have you not been obliged to give up your work in the fields, since you are unable to look after your own affairs? Have you not been driven from the kitchen and the hearth as incompetent? What then is the use of these tender glances, these long-drawn sighs? Stop it, you miserable Cecrops, and mind your own business.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.11  Glaucippe to Charope:
O mother, I am quite beside myself! It is impossible for me to wed the young Methymnaean, the pilot's son, to whom my father lately betrothed me, since I have seen the young man from the city, who carried the holy palm branch, when you gave me permission to go to Athens for the festival of the Oschophoria. Ah, mother, how beautiful he is! how charming! His locks are curlier than moss; he laughs more pleasantly than the sea in a calm; his eyes are azure, like the ocean, when the first beams of the rising sun glitter upon it. And his whole countenance? You would say that the Graces, having abandoned Orchomenus, after bathing in the fountain of Gargaphia, had come to folic around his cheeks. On his lips bloom roses, which he seems to have plucked from Cytherea's bosom to adorn them. He must either be mine, or, following the example of the Lesbian Sappho, I will throw myself, not from the Leucadian rocks, but from the crags of Piraeus, into the waves.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.12  Charope to Glaucippe:
Silly child, you are surely mad, without a spark of reason. You really need a dose of hellebore, not the ordinary kind, but that which comes from Anticyra, in Phocis, since you have lost all maiden modesty. Keep quiet, calm yourself, banish such extravagance from your thoughts and return to your right mind. If your father should hear anything of it, he would certainly throw you, without more ado, into the sea, as a dainty morsel for the monsters of the deep.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 1.13  Evagrus to Philotherus:
Recently there was an abundant supply of fish; but, since my nets were quite spoilt, I did not know what to do. An inspiration came to me, which I thought worthy of Sisyphus. I resolved to go to the money-lender Chremes, and to offer my boat to him as security for four pieces of gold, that I might be able to repair my nets. No sooner said than done. Chremes, that skinny old wretch, as a rule knits his brows and looks savagely at everybody. Perhaps it was the hope of getting possession of my boat which caused him to relax his severity. The wrinkles on his brow cleared; he even smiled at me, and assured me that he was ready to render me any service that lay in his power. So prompt an alteration made his friendliness suspicious, and clearly showed that his intentions were anything but good; alas! his kindness was only skinned over, for, when the money became due, he claimed the interest with the capital, and refused to grant me so much as an hour's grace. Then I recognised the real Chremes of Phoela, the common enemy of mankind, who may usually be found before the Diometian Gate, armed with a crooked stick. He was actually making preparations to seize my boat. Then I perceived in what a cruel plight I was. I ran home with all speed, took from my wife's neck the golden necklace which I had given her in my more prosperous days, and sold it to the money-changer Paseon. With the money I got I paid both the capital and the interest, and I took an oath to myself that in future I would rather die of hunger than ever apply again to a city money-lender. It is better to die honourably than to live at the mercy of a low and avaricious old man.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.1  Trechedeipnos to Lopadecthambus:
The sun-dial does not yet mark the sixth hour, and I am in danger of wasting away under the pinch of hunger. Come, it is time to take counsel, Lopadecthambus, or rather, let us get a beam and a rope and hang ourselves. But I have an idea. If we were to throw down the whole column which supports that confounded dial, or turn the index so that it may make the hours seem to have gone faster, it will be a device worthy of Palamedes. I am exhausted and parched with hunger. Theochares never takes his seat at table until the servant runs to let him know that it is the sixth hour. We therefore need some plan to outwit and overreach the regularity of Theochares. For, as he has been brought up under the care of a stern and morose tutor, his ideas are not those of a young man, but he is as austere in his manners as Laches or Apolexias, and he will not allow his belly to satisfy its needs before that hour. Farewell.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.2  Hectodioctes to Mandilocolaptes:
Yesterday, late in the evening, Gorgias, of the family of the Eteobudatae, meeting me by chance, greeted me courteously, and reproached me for not going to see him more frequently. Then, after a few playful words, he said to me, "Go, by Zeus, my good friend, have a bath and come back to me without delay. Do not forget to bring the hetaira Aedonion, with whom I am very intimate, and who, as you know, is always to be found near the Leocorium. I have prepared a noble supper, slices of fish, and jars of wine from Mende, which you would say was the nectar of the gods." With those words, he left me. I ran in all haste to Aedonion; and when I told her by whom she had been invited, I nearly got into trouble. For, as it seems, she had found Gorgias ungrateful and mean in the matter of presents in return for her favours. In her anger, which is ever rankling in her breast, she snatched a full kettle from the stove, and, unless I had avoided the danger by quickly starting back, she would have poured all its contents over the top of my head. Thus, after feeding ourselves on idle hopes, do we gain a greater share of humiliation than of pleasure.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.3  Artepithymus to Cnisozomus:
I want a rope: you will soon see me with my neck in a noose. For I cannot endure slaps in the face, and all the drunken insult of these cursed diners; and yet I cannot control my confounded and gluttonous stomach. It is always asking for more; it is not satisfied with being filled, but clamours for luxuries. But my face cannot stand blows one after the other, and I am in danger of having one of my eyes bunged up by their slaps. Alas, alas! what misery does our greedy and ravenous stomach force us to endure! I have therefore made up my mind to have one more good dinner and to put an end to my life in disgust, since, in my opinion, a voluntary death is preferable to a painful life.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.4  Hetoemocorus to Zomecpneon:
OH, Lord! what a day I had yesterday! What spirit or god interfered, unexpectedly interfered, to save me, just as I was on the point of going to join the majority? For, as I was returning from the banquet, had not Acesilaus the physician, by good luck, seen me, half-dead, or rather a corpse, an inhabitant of the nether world, and ordered his pupils to pick me up and carry me home, and, after administering an emetic to me, bled me till the blood flowed plentifully, nothing could have saved me from dying before I had regained consciousness. How these wealthy people treated me — and serve him right — one making me drink to excess, and another forcing me to eat more than the skin of my belly could hold. One stuffed me with sausages, another rammed a great hunk of bread down my throat, while another made me drink a mixture, not wine, but mustard, fish-sauce, and vinegar, just as if he were pouring it into a cask. What a number of pots, pans, and pails I filled, when I brought all this up! Acesilaus was utterly astonished, and could not make out where and how I had managed to stow away such a mish-mash of food. But now that the protecting and tutelary gods have visibly preserved me from a great danger, I will in future work. I will go down to the Piraeus, and carry luggage for hire from the vessels to the warehouses. For it is better to feed one's stomach with thyme and barley-porridge, and enjoy a certain amount of security, than to feast upon cakes and pheasants, with the uncertain prospect of death before one's eyes ever day.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.5  Oenopnictes to Cotylobrochthisus:
Go, fetch your flute and cymbals; and, towards the first watch of the night, come to the Golden Alley near the chaste-tree, where we shall be able to meet. We can make arrangements to carry off Clymene from the Scyrian quarter and take her to Therippides of the deme of Aexona, who has just come into a fortune. For some time he has been madly in love with her, and has spent considerable sums upon her, but all to no purpose. For she, seeing the ardour of his passion, plays the coquette and shows herself affected and indifferent; and, although he has loaded her with presents, she refuses to let him enjoy her favours unless he adds landed property in the neighbourhood of the silver mines. I think it is time to put an end to this, and to carry her off by force, in case she still offers resistance: two stout fellows like ourselves ought to have no difficulty in getting possession of the charmer. When Therippides learns that this happy result is the fruit of our watching, we shall certainly get some money or clothes for our cleverness: he will give us free entry into his house; we shall henceforth enjoy every pleasure, without any hindrance, by way of reward. Perhaps he will even no longer treat us as parasites, but look upon us as friends; for those who know how to anticipate the wishes of others are not considered to be flatterers, but friends.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.1  [NO ADDRESS.]
While I was trying my young dogs, to see if they were fit for coursing, I suddenly started a hare which was concealed in the brushwood. My sons unleashed the dogs; they rushed on and were on the point of catching the hare, when, in its efforts to escape, it ran up a hill and took refuge in a warren. The most eager of the pack, which was already snapping at it with open mouth and though to seize it with its teeth, followed it into the hole, and, in the attempt to pull it out, broke one of its fore-legs. All I could do was to pull out a lame dog and a half-eaten hare. I was only trying to gain a trifling success, but, instead, I experienced a severe loss.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.2  Iophon to Eraston:
Cursed be the detestable cock, which woke me up with its crowing, when I was enjoying a most delightful dream. I thought, my dear neighbour, that I was a person of wealth and distinction. I was attended by a number of slaves, stewards, and treasurers. My hands were loaded with rings and precious stones of great value; my fingers were soft and delicate, free from hardness, and showed no traces of the use of the mattock. I was surrounded by flatterers, such as Gryllion and Pataecion. At the same time, the people of Athens, assembled in the theatre, cried out for my appointment as general. But, while they were busily engaged in voting, the confounded cock crowed, and the vision disappeared. However, on my first awaking, I was still full of joy. But, when I reflected that we were in the month of the fall of the leaves, I remembered that then dreams are always most false, and I said good-bye to my illusions.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.8  Dryantidas to Chronium:
You have forgotten our marriage bed, our children, our country life. The city has taken complete hold of you. Pan and the Nymphs, whom you used to invoke under the name of Dryads, Epimelides, and Naiads, are now hated by you, and, in addition to the numerous deities already in existence, you are introducing fresh ones. Where shall I be able to find room in the country for the Coliades or Genetyllides? I think I also heard some other divinities mentioned, but, owing to their number, the names of most of these have slipped by memory. Foolish woman that you are, you must have lost your reason! You wish to try and rival those women of Athens who, plunged in luxury, have made-up faces, and whose morals are of the worst. They paint their cheeks with dyes, ceruse, and vermilion, more skilfully than the cleverest artist. But you, if you are sensible, will not imitate them. Remain as you are; pure water and soap are enough for a respectable woman.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.9  Pratinas to Epigonus:
When the noonday heat was at its height, I selected a pine-tree, which was swept by the wind and exposed to the breeze, and threw myself beneath its shade to escape from the sweltering heat. While I was cooling myself very comfortably, the idea came into my head to try a little music. I took up my pipe; I gently moved my tongue up and down its reeds, and played a sweet pastoral melody. Meanwhile, all my goats collected round me from all directions, enchanted, I know not why, by the sweet strains. They forgot to browse upon the arbutus and asphodel, and gave no thought to anything but the music. At that time I was like the son of Calliope in the midst of the Edonians. My only object in communicating to you this pleasant story is to let a friend know that I have a flock of goats which is exceedingly fond of music and knows how to appreciate it.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.10  Callicrates to Argon:
When the season for planting came, I was on the point of setting some young olive-trees, and watering them with water from the spring, which was brought to me from the neighbouring valley. I had already marked out the holes and dug trenches. Unfortunately, a storm of rain came on, which, for three days and as many nights, drove down from the summit of the mountains regular rivers, which, in their impetuous course, have filled the trenches with mud. All my fields have the same level; there is no trace of cultivation; all my labour is lost. The whole place has assumed a uniform and strange appearance. Who in future will work any more and flatter himself in vain with idle hopes in return for all his labour? I must try another trade. It is said that Fortune changed when we change our occupation.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.11  Sitalces to Oenopion:
My son, if you wish to imitate your father and follow his advice, do not listen to those charlatans whom you see wandering, barefooted and with pale faces, in the neighbourhood of the Academy. They can neither do nor teach anything useful on this earth; they only pore over heavenly things, which they profess to understand. Leave these people, work, cultivate your land; this will fill your meal-sack with corn, your jars with wine, and your house with wealth.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.12  Cotinus to Trygodorus:
The vintage is close at hand; I want some baskets; lend me some, if you have any to spare; I will return them to you soon. I have several little casks; if you want any, take them without ceremony. The rule, that friends should share what they have in common, holds good in the country more than anywhere else.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.13  Phyllis to Thrasonides:
If you will be sensible, Thrasonides, listen to your father, and devote yourself to agriculture. You would present to the gods, ivy, laurels, myrtles, and flowers in season; to us, your parents, you would bring the wheat you have reaped, the wine you have pressed, and the pail full of milk from your goats. But, as it is, you despise the country and agriculture, and all your affection is devoted to a helmet surmounted with triple crest or a shield, just as if you were a Melian or Acarnanian mercenary. Give up such ideas, my boy; come back to us and lead a peaceful life; the fields offer greater security. There one is out of reach of danger, without having to fear cohorts, phalanxes, or ambuscades. Be the stay of our approaching old age: a life free from danger is better than a career full of perils.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.14  Chaerestratus to Lerium:
May ill-luck attend you, Lerium! may you come to a bad end, for having intoxicated me with wine and music, so that I was late in getting back to the people who had sent me from the country! The first thing in the morning they expected me with the wine jars which I had come to fetch for them; but I, like a nice fellow that I was, amused myself with you all night, and, charmed by the sound of your flute, slept until daybreak. Away with you, worthless woman! tempt city young men with your fascinations; if you molest me any more, you shall pay dearly for it.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.15  Eustachys to Pithacion:
As I am keeping my son's birthday, I invite you to the feast. Bring your wife, your children, your servant, and even the dog, if you life. He is a trusty protector, and his loud barking will scare away those who have evil designs upon our flocks: I am sure he will not disdain to make one of the party. We will spend the day in joviality; we will drink till we are drunk; and, when we have had enough, we will take to singing. If there is any one of us who knows how to dance the Cordax, he can step out into the middle, and delight the company. Answer me at once, for, on festive occasions, one must begin to make all preparations in the morning.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.16  Pithacion to Eustachys:
My best wishes to you and your wife and children, my dear Eustachys, for being so ready to share your pleasure with your friends. I have caught the thief, who caused me such annoyance by stealing a plough-handle and two sickles. I have got him safe under lock and key, and am waiting for the neighbours to come and help me. For, being alone and infirm, I have not ventured to lay hands upon him myself. He has a savage look and arches his brows, his shoulders are stalwart, his legs are stout and strong; whereas I am exhausted by labour and handling the mattock, my hands are horny, my skin is as thin as the slough of a serpent. My wife and children will come to do honour to your feast. My servant is ill, so I cannot leave the house: I must stay at home with the dog and mount guard over the prisoner.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.17  Napaeus to Creniades:
You remember the day when I had loaded my ass with green and dried figs? After I taken him to the stable, and sold the figs to one of my friends, someone took me to the theatre, where he put me into a good place, and gave me a treat of all kinds of spectacles. Although I forgot what else I saw — since I am not at all clever at understanding or giving an account of such things — I remember one thing, which struck me dumb with astonishment. A man came forward with a three-legged table. On this he placed three little cups, under which he hid some little round white pebbles, such as we find on the bank of a torrent. At one time he put them separately, one under each cup; at another time he showed them, all together, under one cup; then he made them disappear from the cups, I don't know how, and showed them, the next moment, in his mouth. After this he swallowed them, called some of the spectators on to the platform, and pulled out of their nose, head, and ears the pebbles which he ended by juggling away altogether. What a clever thief the man must be, far sharper than Eurybates of Oechalia, of whom we have often heard. I am sure I don't want to see him in the country; since nobody would be able to catch him in the act, he would plunder the house without being noticed. What then would become of the fruit of my labours?

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.18  Eunape to Glauce:
My husband has been away in town for three days, and Parmeno, our servant, does nothing but damage; he is so careless, and spends all his time in sleeping. We have in our neighbourhood a wolf, whose savage appearance indicates his ferocious instincts. He has carried off Chione, the finest of our goats, from the stony field. Now he is making a meal of the poor creature, which gave us milk in such abundance, and I am left to lament for her loss. My husband knows nothing about it as yet. When he hears of it, he will hang up the hireling on the nearest pine-tree, and will not be satisfied until he has done everything in his power to wreak vengeance upon the wolf.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.19  Polyalsus to Eustaphylus:
I set a trap for those confounded foxes, and hung some pieces of meat on the trap. They ravaged my vines, and, not content with picking a few grapes, carried off whole bunches and pulled up the plants. The news came that our master would soon be here; he has the reputation of being harsh and bitter, a man who, at Athens, is always worrying the assembly with all sorts of proposals, not to mention that his spitefulness and violent speeches have brought many to the Eleven. With such a man, how could I help being afraid of the same lot? That is the reason why I was so anxious to hand over to him the thief who stole his grapes. Alas! no fox appeared; but Plangon, the little Maltese dog, which is kept for our mistress's amusement, smelt the bait and flung himself upon it, for he is a terrible glutton. For three days he has been stretched on is back, lifeless, almost in a state of putrefaction. Without thinking, I have brought one misfortune upon another. How can I hope for pardon from a man of such cruel disposition as our master? No, I will run away as fast as my legs can carry me. Good-bye to country life and all that I possess. It is high time to save myself, and not to wait for misfortune, but to look after myself before it comes.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.20  Thallus to Pityistus:
I love to cull the fruits of the earth, of whatever kind they are; for the gathering-in of the harvest is a fitting reward of our labours; but what I am particularly fond of is to rob the hives of their honey. I have just paid a visit to some hives which I found amongst the rocks. They have provided me with some honeycombs, quite fresh. I offered the first-fruits of them to the gods; you, my friends, must now have a share of what is left. They are white in colour, and distil drops of Attic honey, such as is found in the hollows of Brilessus. For the moment, I send you this as a present; next year you shall have something bigger and more agreeable.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.21  Philopoemen to Moschion:
It seems to me that I am keeping a wolf in my house. My confounded slave falls upon my goats and does not spare a single one; he has sold some, and sacrificed others. His belly is swollen with gorging, and he spends what he has left on his gluttony. He amuses himself with pipe and flute-players, and delights in the perfumers' shops. In the meantime the stalls are deserted, and the flocks of goats which I once had have disappeared. However, I keep quite quiet, that he may not get suspicious and take to flight. If I catch hold of him, he shall have his hands bound, and he shall be made to drag heavy chains along with him. Then, the rake, the pick, and the hoe shall help him to forget his luxurious habits; he shall learn to his sorrow what it means to choose the temperate life of a countryman.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.22  Hyle to Nomius:
You are too fond of visiting the city, Nomius, and do not condescend to look at the country for a moment. Our deserted fields no longer produce any crops, for want of someone to attend to them. I am obliged to remain at home with Syra, and do the best I can to support the children. And you, an old man with grey hairs, play the young Athenian dandy. I am told that you spend the greater part of your time in Scirus and the Ceramicus, which is said to be the meeting-place of worthless persons, who go there to spend their time in idleness and sloth.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.23  Lenaeus to Corydon:
Just now, after I had cleaned the threshing-floor, and was laying down the winnowing-fan, the master came up, looked on, and praised my industry. But that rascal Strombichus, like a cunning and malicious sprite, seeing that I was following my master, took my goatskin which I had taken off during my work, and carried it away under his arm. I was obliged to put up with the loss, and, in addition, the laughter of my comrades.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.24  Gemellus to Salmonis:
Unhappy Salmonis! what means this haughty behaviour towards your master? You seem to forget that I rescued you from the lame butcher's shop, without letting my mother know anything about it. Did I not after that instal you in my house as my lawful wife, who will inherit all my property? And yet, you worthless hussy, you put on these airs, laugh in my face, and always treat me with contempt. Wretch, leave off this insolent behaviour, or I will show you that your lover is your master. I will send you to roast barley in the country, and then you will understand, to your cost, to what unhappiness you have brought yourself.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.25  Salmonis to Gemellus:
I am ready to suffer anything, master, rather than sleep with you. Last night I did not run away, or hide myself in the bushes, as you imagined; I was lying under the kneading-trough, with which I covered myself. And now, since I have made up my mind to hang myself, I am not afraid to speak frankly to you, Gemellus, for my resolution to die removes all my fear. Hear then what I have to say. I hate you; I loath your unwieldy person; your manners, like those of a wild beast, frighten me; the smell from your mouth is like poison. Wretch that you are, may you perish wretchedly! Meanwhile, go and look for some blear-eyed old woman, who has only one tooth left, and is anointed with rancid oil.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.26  Orius to Anthophorion:
Until now I always believed that you were a quiet, simple fellow, who had become a regular countryman, smelling of pressed olives and reeking with dust; but I did not know that you were a clever speaker, superior even to those who plead in foreign commercial cases in the Heliaia. It seems that you have taken to pleading causes before the village magistrates, and that, since then, you have always gained the day. Good luck to you! with your tongue you will become a greater chatterer than a turtle-dove. As the proverb says, I shall make use of you as a windfall. I am daily exposed to the greed of certain persons who have designs upon my property; you shall defend me. I love peace and quietness, but I know that my carelessness and inactivity often cause me trouble and annoyance.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.27  Ampelion to Everous:
The winter is very severe this year, and no one is able to go out. The snow has not only covered the earth, it has also whitened the hills and valleys. One must give up all idea of work, although it is disgraceful to remain idle. To amuse myself, I tried to look out. No sooner was my door opened than I saw, together with the falling snow, a regular flock of blackbirds and thrushes. I had some birdlime all ready prepared in a jar, and quickly smeared it over some wild pear-tree branches. The birds flung themselves upon it in swarms, and then found themselves caught by the branches. It was a treat to see them — some hanging by their wings, others by the head or claws. I picked out a couple of dozen of the fattest and plumpest amongst them, and I send them to you. Honest people ought to share one another's luck; let my ill-disposed neighbours be jealous if they please!

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.28  Philocomus to Thestyllus:
Since I have never yet been in Athens, and do not know what kind of a thing that is which is called a city, I am curious to see that fresh sight — people confined within the same inclosure — and to learn the difference between the inhabitants of town and country. If, therefore, you have any occasion to go to the city, come and fetch me; we will go together. I think I ought to try and increase my knowledge, now that my beard is beginning to sprout. And who could initiate me into the mysteries of the city better than yourself? You have entered its gates often enough.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.30  Scopiades to Scotion:
Confound it! what a curse is drunkenness, my friend! I found it out, when I recently fell in with a company of dissipated fellows: they were all heavy drinkers, and not one of them knew how to take a glass in moderation. The cup went round continually, and I was obliged to drink, for there was a penalty attached to those who refused: they were obliged to give a banquet at their own expense the following day. Being obliged to do as the rest, I must have swallowed more than a whole skin. This is the third day I have had a fearful headache, and I am still very bilious.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.31  Anthylla to Coriscus:
It seems as if rivers could flow upwards to their source, to see you, in spite of your years and the grandchildren that we have, madly in love with a flute-player; it grieves me enough to wear away my heart. You are disgracing me, who have now been your wife for thirty years; and you bestow all your affection upon a girl, a well-known street-walker, who has already eaten up your money and land. The young fellows laugh at you, but you don't seem to mind it. Poor old man, the plaything of a prostitute!

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.32  Gnatho to Callicomides:
You know Timon, the son of Echecratides, of the deme of Colyttus? He was once rich; today he is in a state of abject poverty, to which he has brought himself by wasting his fortune on prostitutes and parasites, like ourselves. His misfortunes have altered his opinion of mankind, and he has become as great a misanthrope as Apemantus. He has retired to a field a long way off, where he throws clods of earth at the passers-by, or hides himself, to avoid meeting anyone, so great is his abhorrence of his fellow-men. On the other hand, the other Athenians, who have lately come into money, are meaner than Phidon or Gniphon. How is one to live? I think I shall leave the city and try and earn my living by hard work. Take me as a hired labourer on your farm. I will put up with anything, if only I can satisfy my insatiable maw.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.33  Thallicus to Petraeus:
A very great drought prevails just now; there is not a cloud in the sky. We want rain; the soil is so dry that our land is parched. In vain have we offered sacrifice to [Zeus] Hyetios God of Rain. All we inhabitants of the village have done our best to appease him with our gifts, according to our means. One contributed a ram, another a goat; those who were not so well off gave a sacrificial cake; those whose means were even less, a few mouldy grains of incense. It is true that no one sacrificed a bull; but we have no large cattle, since we live on the poor soil of Attica. All our expenses have been useless; it seems as if Zeus devoted his care to other nations, to the neglect of ours.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.34  Pratinus to Megaloteles:
AH! what trouble the soldier brought upon us! After his arrival in the evening, when, in an ill-starred moment, he took up his quarters with us, he never ceased to din into our ears stories about decuries, phalanxes, pikes, shields, and cross-bows. Then he told us how he had routed the Thracians and run their captain through with his lance; and, after that, how he pierced an Armenian through and through. Finally, he produced his prisoners, and exhibited the women, whom, he declares, he received from different generals as the reward of his gallantry. I poured out a large cup of wine, hoping to cure his chattering; he swallowed it, and several larger ones after it, but it did not stop him; he still went on chattering.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.35  Epiphyllis to Amaricine:
Having woven a garland of flowers, I was going to lay it on the cairn of Phaidrias of Alopece. Suddenly a party of insolent young men came in sight, ready to attack me, led by Moschion, who, as soon as I lost my dear husband, incessantly worried me to marry him, but I refused, partly out of pity for my little ones, and partly because I could not forget the deceased Phaedrias. But I unwittingly kept myself for a disgraceful amour, and found a nuptial chamber in a grove. He took me into a shady part of the forest, where the trees grew thickly together, and there, on the top of the flowers and leaves, he compelled me to endure — I am ashamed to say what, my dear. I have gained a husband by the insult I have suffered — not of my own free will, but still it is true. It is a good thing not to experience what is disagreeable; but when this is impossible, we much at least conceal our misfortune.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.36  Eudicus to Pasion:
I have a good-for-nothing slave, a Phrygian, who has turned out so in the country. Since I picked him out of a number of others and bought him on the last day of the month, I immediately determined to call him Numenius. As he seemed to be strong and looked sharp. I was glad to take him away to help me on my farm in the country. But he has turned out a sheer loss to me; he eats as much food as four diggers, and he sleeps, as I heard a crazy sophist say, like Epimenides the Cretan, or for three successive nights, as when Hercules was born. Whatever am I go do, my friend and fellow-labourer, now that I have thrown away my money on the purchase of such a monster?

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.37  Euthydicus to Epiphanium:
By the Gods and Deities, mother, leave the rocks and country for a little while, and come and see the beauties of the city before you die. You don't know what you are missing: the Haloa, the Apaturia, and the Dionysia, and the most holy festival of the Thesmophoria, which we are now celebrating. The Ascent took place on the first day, today the fast is being solemnly kept, and the sacrifice to Calligeneia takes place to-morrow. If you make haste, and start early before the morning star rises, you will be able to join in the sacrifice with the Athenian women. Come, then, don't waste time, I beseech you, as I wish well to my brothers and myself; for to end your days without having had a taste of the city would be abominable, beastly, and ill-mannered. You must excuse my freedom, mother, it is for you benefit. It is right that all should speak frankly; but above all it is necessary to be sincere with one's own relations.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.38  Philometor to Philisus:
I sent my son to the city to sell wood and barley, and gave him strict orders to come back the same day with the money; but the wrath of some Deity or other overtook him altogether. For, having seen one of those lunatics, who are nicknamed "Dogs" from their mad behaviour, he outdid his master in imitating his extravagances. He is a fearful and disgusting sight: he shakes his unkempt hair, he looks wild, goes about half-naked in a threadbare cloak, with a little wallet slung over his shoulders, and a staff of wild pear-tree wood in his hands. He is unshod and filthy, and no one can do anything with him; he declares he does not know his parents or the farm either: he says that everything is produced by nature, and that the mixture of the elements, not our parents, is the cause of generation. It is evident that he despises money, and hates agriculture; he is lost to all sense of shame, and all trace of modesty is banished from his countenance. O Agriculture! what utter ruin this thinking-shop of impostors has brought upon you! I blame Draco and Solon; for, while they thought fit to punish with death those who stole grapes, they allowed those who made slaves of young men's understandings to go scot-free.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 2.39  Dryades to Melion:
I have sent you the fleeces of some sheep shorn at Decelea. I only picked out those that were healthy; those that were full of the scab I gave to my shepherd Pyrrhias, to do what he liked with them, before they were entirely destroyed by the disease. Since you have abundance of wool, make me some clothes suitable for the different seasons; let those for summer wear be finely woven; those for winter should have plenty of nap, and be thicker; the former should rather shade than heat the body by their thinness, while the latter should keep the cold from it, and screen it from the wind by their thickness. Let our maiden daughter, who is now of an age to marry, assist the handmaids in weaving, so that, when she leaves us for a husband, she may not disgrace her parents. Besides, you must know that those who are fond of spinning wool, and are the handmaids of the goddess of labour, devote themselves to an orderly and chaste life.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.6  Rhagestrangisus to Staphylodaemon:
I am utterly ruined. I, who but yesterday was clad in fine garments, am now obliged to cover my nakedness with filthy rags made of hair. That accursed villain Pataecion has stripped me bare; with his lucky throws of the dice he has cleaned me out of my money, with which as you know I was well supplied, even to the last drachma and obol. And when it was in my power, by ignoring the loss I had sustained, to escape a still greater one, in my anger and quarrelsomeness, I went on to the bitter end; I staked each of my articles of clothing as I was challenged, and, at last, was stripped naked. Where am I to go? for the north wind, blowing with cruel violence, goes through my sides like a knife. Perhaps to Cynosarges; either one of the young men there will out of pity give me some clothes to cover me, or I shall be able to get near the stoves and warm my wretched self by the fire; for to the naked, fire and warmth take the place of both outer and inner garments.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.7  Psichoclaustes to Bucion:
The day before yesterday, the parasites Struthion and Cynaedus and myself shaved our heads, took a bath at Serangium, and, about the fifth hour, hurried as fast as we could to the suburb of Ancyle, where young Charicles has an estate. He made us very welcome, being generous and fond of merriment; and, on our part, we afforded amusement to him and his guests, slapping one another in turns to the accompaniment of sonorous anapaests, full of genuine town witticisms and Attic grace and liveliness. In the meantime, while cheerfulness and merriment prevailed, that cross-grained, sulky Smicrines came on the scene from somewhere, followed by a crowd of servants, who rushed upon us from all directions. Smicrines first smote Charicles on the back with a crooked stick, and then, hitting him on the face, carried him off like the meanest slave; at a nod from the old man, our hands were tied behind our backs, after which we were flogged severely with a whip of hog's bristles: the blows inflicted upon us were more than we could count: and, at last, the cruel old man ordered us to be dragged off to prison; and, had not that good fellow Eudemus, one of the chief members of the council of Areopagus, an old acquaintance of ours, who had spent many a pleasant hour with us, opened the prison door for us, we should most likely have been handed over to the executioner, so furious against us was that harsh and cruel old man; and he did everything he could to get us led away to death, as if we had been murderers and temple robbers.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.8  Gnathon to Leichopinax:
We are thought no more of than Megareans or Aegians; at the present time Gryllion alone is in good repute, and holds sway over the city: every house is open to him, as if he were Crates the Cynic from Thebes. It seems to me that he has got hold of some Thessalian or Acarnanian sorceress, with whose assistance he bewitches the unhappy youths of our city. What a fund of talk he possesses! how delightful is his conversation! But perhaps the Graces have looked upon him with favourable eyes, so that, while others have the inside of the loaf, we must be content if anyone throws us the leavings, like dogs, after he has wiped his hands upon it.a But perhaps he is no magician, but only very fortunate; for it is fortune that prevails beyond everything in human affairs. Prudence counts for nothing, fortune is everything; the man who is fortunate is pleasant, and has the reputation of being so.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.9  Trapezoleichon to Psichodialectes:
I was much grieved, my dear Psichion, when I heard of the accident to your dace. If it happened as Leirione — I mean the servant of Phyllis the harpist — told us on her return from the banquet, you have indeed been in the wars and exposed to destruction, without any engines of war being brought against you. I hear that the disgusting and effeminate wretch broke a goblet over your head with such violence that the pieces injured your nose and your right cheek, and streams of blood spirted up from the wound, like the drippings from the rocks of Gerania. Who will be able to endure such wretches much longer? They ask so high a price for filling our bellies that we have to pay for it with the peril of our lives; and, in our fear of being starved to death, we welcome the chance of getting a good meal, even if we have to pay dearly for it.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.10  Stemphylochaeron to Trapezocharon:
What a stroke of luck I have had! Perhaps you will ask me how. Well, I will tell you, and you will have no need to inquire. The city, as you know, was celebrating the Cureotis, and I, having been invited to the feast to amuse the guests, was dancing the cordax. The banqueters vied with one another in drinking, and the contest went on without stopping, until drunkenness overcame them all, and at length they became drowsy and fell asleep, even the servants. I looked round to see if I could filch some of the plate; but since this had been put away out of sight, in a place of safety, while they were still sober, I took a napkin under my arm and ran away in such a hurry that, during my flight, I lost one of my slippers. Look what expensive material it is made of — Egyptian linen and purple from Hermione: the texture is exceedingly fine and very valuable. If I can safely dispose of it, I will treat you to a good feed at Pinacion's inn. For, since we have often had to put up with many drunken insults together, it is only fair that you, who have been the partner of my misfortunes, should share my good luck.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.11  Horologius to Lachanothaumasus:
O Hermes, god of gain, and Hercules, averter of evil! I am saved. May I never be in such straits again. I had filched a silver pitcher from the wealthy Phanius, and had taken to flight; it was the dead of night, and I made all haste to get safely away. Suddenly the house-dogs, of Molossian and Cnosian breed, rushed upon me from all sides, and, barking loudly and fiercely, attacked me. I barely escaped being torn to pieces by them, as if I had offended Artemis, so that not even my extremities would have remained for burial the next day, if any kind people had wanted to show their pity and sympathy. Finding, by good luck, an open watercourse of no great depth, I jumped into it and concealed myself. It makes me shake and tremble even now to tell you. As soon as it was daybreak, I heard their barking no more, for they had all been tied up in the house. I immediately hurried down to the Piraeus, and, finding a Sicilian vessel just about to set sail, I sold my pitcher to the skipper, so that I now have my pockets full of money. I have returned, newly enriched, and I am in such a flutter of expectation that I am eager to support some flatterers, and to keep parasites of my own, instead of being one myself. When I have spent the money I have just gained, I shall return to my old profession. A dog who has once become accustomed to gnaw leather will never forget the habit.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.12  Phloioglyptes to Mappaphasius:
Cursed be Licymnius the tragedian! may he be struck dumb! He had gained the victory over his competitors, Critias of Cleonae and Hippasus of Ambracia in the recital of the Propompi of Aeschylus; and, although he owed his success only to the shrill and penetrating tone of his voice, he went mad over it, crowned his head with ivy, and gave a banquet. To my misfortune, I was invited: what insults did I not have to put up with! Some amused themselves with smearing my head with pitch, or dabbing fish-sauce in my eyes; others rammed down my throat stones moistened with honey, while they were eating cakes of milk and Indian corn. But the most mischievous of all was the little courtesan who has just taken up her quarters in the Ceramicus, Hyacinthis from Phenea; she filled a bladder with blood, and amused herself by beating me over the head with it; besides the noise this made, I was bathed in blood; and all the guests burst out into the most immoderate shouts of laughter. And what adequate recompense did I receive for all I suffered? The only compensation for my insults was — that I got a bellyful, and that was all. May that enemy of the gods never live to see the new year! His voice is so disagreeable that I have determined that he shall be called by us and his fellow-actors — the prince of squallers.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.13  Capnosphrantes to Aristomachus:
O fatal presiding genius of my destiny, how cruel thou art! how long wilt thou torture me, condemning me to all the horrors of poverty? For, if no one invites me to a meal, I shall be obliged to eat chervil and leeks, to pick herbs, and to quench my thirst with the water of Enneacrunus. As long as my frame was able to endure ill-treatment and was full of youthful vigour, I managed to put up with it; but now that my hair is beginning to turn grey, and all of life that is left to me is advancing towards old age, what remedy is there for my woes? Nothing is left for me but a rope from Haliartus, that I may go and hang myself in front of the Dipylum, unless it please Fortune to improve my lot. And, even if things remain as they are, at least, I won't throttle myself until I have had a regular good meal. In a short time, after the new moon of the month Pyanepsion, the famous and much-talked of wedding of Charito and Leocrates will take place; I shall be invited for the first, or, at any rate, for the second day. Marriage feasts need the presence of parasites to amuse the company: without us there is not the same air of enjoyment: the guests are more like pigs than an assembly of human beings.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.14  Bucopnictes to Antopictes:
I cannot endure to see Zeuxippe, the most infamous of all our courtesans, treat that young man so cruelly. He has not only spent all his money upon her, but, at the rate he is going, he will soon have parted with his houses and land. In order to keep his passion alive, she pretends to be in love with a young Euboean; by her artifices she will succeed in ruining them both; after which she will turn her attention to a fresh lover. But my heart is torn with grief, when I see the splendid inheritance which Lysias and Phanostrata, of blessed memory, have left to their heir, being squandered so rapidly. What they painfully amassed obol by obol will be swallowed up in one moment at the caprice of the commonest and most disgusting woman in Athens. I feel compassion for the youth, for, as soon as he became his own master, he showed great kindness to us; it will be a great misfortune for us, if he is ruined. If this excellent young man's entire fortune makes its way into this woman's hands, good Heavens! what a charming feast we shall have! Philebus, as you know, is a simple fellow; he has always been gentle and kind to us parasites; he takes more pleasure in our witticisms and songs than in insulting us.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.15  Psicleolobe to Laemocyclus:
I have travelled over the countries watered by the Eurotas and Lerna's marsh; I have seen the streams of Pirene; now I eagerly leave Corinth for Athens, and return with renewed affection to the fountain of Callirhoe. The luxury and festivities of those places have no charms for me; I abandon them without regret, and hasten back to you. The inhabitants of Peloponnesus appeared to me ill-mannered and by no means pleasant table-companions; at their drinking parties, one finds more insults than pleasure. For this reason, I prefer to content myself with the figs and raisins of Attica, rather than run the risk of growing thin for the gold of Corinth. They are always inventing new tortures; they make us drink while dancing on one leg; they pour down our throats hot, fiery wine without water; then they throw us the bones and feet from the joints as if we were dogs, break their canes over our backs, and, by way of amusing themselves, flog us with whips and thongs. O Minerva, guardian and defender of the city, may it be my lot to live and die in Athens! It is better to be stretched out lifeless in front of the Diomeian or Hippades gates, to be trampled under the feet of the passers-by, with the bare earth around me for a grave, than to put up with the pleasures of the Peloponnesus.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.16  Copadion to Evenissus:
I will have nothing to do with it! Let Gronthon and Sardanapalus do what they please. They are regular mad-caps, and they shall never persuade me to take part in so disgraceful a deed. I will do nothing of the sort, even though the oracle of Dodona were to recommend it as an honourable act. It is a rare thing to find in slaves either prudence, faithfulness, or honour. The whole affair is by all means to be avoided. You must know they are trying to seduce the mistress of the head of a household, and have already succeeded in the attempt; and, not satisfied with having got all they wanted, they are carrying off the furniture, one article after the other. Perhaps their thefts will escape notice for a while; but, sooner or later, the neighbours will talk, the servants will whisper, and the whole affair will be found out; and the end of it all will be, that the criminals will be condemned to drink hemlock, or thrown into the pit after they have suffered torture, imprisonment, and other punishments. Those who aid and abet such a crime without any shame will certainly suffer punishment in proportion to their misdeeds.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.17  Acratolymas to Choneicratus:
Yesterday, while Charion was busy at the well, I slipped into the kitchen. There I saw a large dish filled with exquisite dainties, a roast fowl, and a pot containing anchovies and sardines from Megara. I seized hold of it, and, hastily retiring, looked about for a convenient spot whither I might betake myself to have a comfortable meal. As I could not find any place handy, I ran to the Painted Stoa, and, as it just happened to be the time when it was not infested by any chattering philosophers, I began to enjoy the fruit of my labours. But, looking up from my dish, I saw approaching one of those young men from the gaming-table, and, seized with alarm, I threw what I was eating behind me, and flung myself on the ground, intending to conceal my theft. I prayed to the averting gods that the storm might pass by, promising them some grains of incense, which I had picked up at the sacrifices and keep at home, although they are quite mouldy. My prayers were heard; for the gods made him turn in another direction. Having hurriedly gulped down all that was in the dishes, I gave the plate, the pot, and the fragments of what I had stolen to a friendly tavern-keeper, and departed, having thus gained a reputation for liberality and generosity.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.18  Chytroleictes to Patellocharon:
Perhaps you will ask me why I am weeping, how I got my skull broken, and why I am wearing this fine coat torn to rags. I won some money — would to Heaven I never had! What right had I, weak as I was, to pit myself against stalwart young men? When I had swept in all the stakes, and they were entirely cleaned out, they all fell upon me; some beat me with their fists, others pelted me with stones, and others tore my clothes. But I kept tight hold of my money, resolved to die rather than surrender any of my winnings to them. For I time I resisted bravely, enduring the blows they dealt me, and the wrenching of my fingers; I was like a Spartan who is being flogged at the altar of Artemis. But it was not at Lacedaemon that I endured this treatment, but at Athens, and at the hands of the most rascally gamblers in the city. At last, I gave up the struggle and left myself at the mercy of the vile wretches, who turned out my pockets and went off with what they found in them. I thought it better to live without money than to die with it in my possession.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.19  Autocletus to Hetoemaristus:
Those solemn personages, who are always singing the praises of the good and of virtue, differ little or nothing from ordinary individuals; I mean those fellows who go after our young men for money. What a banquet you missed, when Scamonides gave a feast in honour of his daughter's birthday. Having recently invited a number of the wealthiest and noblest in Athens, he thought it his duty also to grace the festivities with the presence of philosophers. Amongst those was Euthycles the Stoic, an old man with a long beard, dirty, filthy-headed, decrepit, with more wrinkles in his forehead than a leather pouch. There were also present Themistagoras the Peripatetic, not an unpleasant person to look at, with a fine curly beard; Zenocrates the Epicurean, with carefully trimmed locks, and a long and venerable beard; the "famous" Archibius the Pythagorean, as he is called, with a very pale face, waving hair that reached down to his chest, a long and pointed chin, a turned-up nose, lips drawn in and tightly compressed, an indication of his reserve. Suddenly Pancrates the Cynic, violently thrusting the other aside, forced his way in, leaning on a staff of holm-oak, which, in place of thick knots, was studded with brass nails, and carrying an empty wallet, conveniently slung for carrying away the remains of the feast. All the other guests, from beginning to end, maintained a uniform and orderly behaviour; but the philosophers, as the entertainment went on, and the wine-cup went round, began to behave in a most extraordinary fashion. Euthycles the Stoic, overcome by his years and having eaten and drunk too much, lay stretched out at full length, snoring loudly. The Pythagorean, breaking through his silence, began to trill the "Golden Verses" to a kind of musical air. The excellent Themistagoras, who, according to the doctrine of the Peripatetics, places happiness not in bodily or mental advantages alone, but also in external enjoyment, asked for more pastry, and plenty of different dainties; Zenocrates the Epicurean took the girl who played the harp in his arms, looking at her wantonly and lasciviously with half-shut eyes, declaring that this quieted the desires of the flesh, and was the perfection of enjoyment. The Cynic, with the indifference of his sect, let down his cloak and publicly made water, and then proceeded to copulate with Doris the singing-girl, so that everyone could see him, declaring that nature was the principle of generation. No one took any notice of us parasites; none of those who were invited had a chance of showing what they could do to amuse the company, although Phoebiades, the lute-player, was there, and the comic mimes Sannyrion and Philistiades were not absent. But it was all in vain; these were not thought worth looking at; the nonsense of the sophists was the only thing that met with approval.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.20  Thymbrophagus to Cypellistes:
You are puffed up with pride for no reason at all, and swagger about full of insolence, like Pythocles in the proverb, and yet you carry off your share of breakfast. Give up filling your basket every day with fragments, like Harpades the Grammarian, who quoted a verse from Homer, which was singularly applicable to his own fondness for carrying off food: "To eat and drink, and then carry something away." Wretch, have done with your insolence, or, in a twinkling, we shall be obliged to kick you naked out of doors.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.21  Oenolalus to Poteriophlyarus:
Having taken too much wine, I ridiculed Zopyrus, the young master's tutor. From that time, perhaps from listening to accusations against us, he has been less liberal, and treats us rather stingily. On feast days he used to send me a coat, or a cloak, or an upper garment; but lately, just before the Saturnalia, he sent me a pair of new shoes by Dromio. The latter gave himself airs about it, and asked me to pay him for his trouble; but I feel terribly vexed, and bite my hasty tongue, and see that I was wrong, now that it is too late; for, when words flow without reason to guide them, the tongue is bound to make mistakes. Farewell.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.22  Alocyminus to Philogarelaeus:
I don't mind you in the least, although you threaten to whisper about me, and patch up disgraceful accusations against me. For the Malian soldier, who keeps me in food, is a simple and honourable man. Far from being jealous in the matter of women, only lately, when his tongue began to wag freely at table, he heaped abuse upon those who allow themselves to be jealous. He said that the duty of married women was to look after their household affairs and to lead a chaste life; but that courtesans ought to be looked upon as common property for all who wanted them. Just as we use the baths and their appliances in common, even though they are supposed to belong to one person, so is it with women who have registered themselves courtesans. Therefore, since I know that your accusations will be fruitless, I do not tremble and bite my lip, like those who pass by the silent hero, for fear that some harm may come to me; for this man is not one of those puffed-up Athenian youths, but a gallant soldier, on whom flattery and slander are lost — and he who does not open his ears to slander is bound to be hated by the slanderers.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.23  Limenterus to Amasetus:
I intend to go to one of those people who hang out placards at the Iakcheion, and profess to interpret dreams. I will pay him the two drachmas which you know I have in hand, and give him an account of the vision which appeared to me in my sleep, to see if he can explain it. But it will not be out of place to communicate to you also, as a friend, my strange and incredible vision. I thought I was a handsome young man, no ordinary person, but Ganymede, the son of Tros, the beloved and beautiful boy of Ilium. I had a shepherd's crook and a pipe; my head was encircled with a Phrygian tiara, and I was tending a flock of sheep on Mount Ida. Suddenly, a large eagle, with crooked talons and bent beak, and a savage look, flew towards me, lifted me up in his claws from the rock on which I was sitting, and flew away with me into the air up to heaven: when I was close to the gates, guarded by the Horae, I fell, smitten by a thunderbolt; and methought the bird was no longer the mighty eagle, swooping down from the clouds, but a vulture, stinking foully, and I was the same Limenterus as I am now, without any clothes on, as if I had been getting ready for the bath or the wrestling-ground. Greatly shaken, as was natural, by such a fall, I awoke. I am still troubled by the strange vision, and I want to find out from those who are experienced in such things what is the meaning of my dream, if anyone really knows for certain, and is willing to tell me the truth.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.24  Chascobuces to Hypnotrapezus:
I have not been to Corinth again; for I soon discovered, the disgusting manners of its rich men, and the misery of its poor. After most of them had been to the bath, when it was midday, I saw some talkative and comely young men, who were sauntering, not round the houses, but in the neighbourhood of the Craneium, where the bakers' and fruiterers' shops are. With their eyes bent upon the ground, one picked up bean-pods, another carefully examined nut-shells, to see if any of the kernel had been left in them accidentally, while another peeled off with his nails pomegranate-skins (which we Athenians call Sidia), to see if he could lay hands on any of the seeds; while others picked up pieces of bread, which had fallen on the ground and been trodden underfoot, and greedily gulped them down. Such is the entrance to Peloponnesus. The city lying between the two seas is certainly agreeable to look at and abundantly furnished with luxuries, but its inhabitants are disagreeable and unamiable; and yet they say that Aphrodite, when she rose from the sea near Cythera, saluted the citadel of Corinth. Perhaps Aphrodite is the protecting goddess of the women only, and Famine is the tutelary god of the men.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.25  Hydrosphrantes to Meridas:
O Hercules, what a job I have had to wash off the sticky soup, which was thrown over me yesterday, with soap and Chalastraean nitre! It was not so much the insult itself that annoyed me as that it was undignified. I am the son of Anthemion, one of the richest men in Athens; my mother Axiothea is descended from Megacles; while the father of the man who treated me like this is some low fellow, and his mother a barbarian, a Scythian or Colchian slave, bought at the monthly fair: at least, some of my acquaintances have told me so. And now I, having lost all the fortune that my father left me, in humble guise am content if I can procure enough to satisfy the cravings of my belly. In the meantime, O ye gods! Dosiades harangues the people from the Pnyx, is one of the judges of the Heliaia, and guides the people who imprisoned Miltiades, in whose honour the trophy at Marathon was set up, and ostracised Aristides the Just. But what most grieves me is the loss of my name: my parents called me Polybius; but Fortune has changed it, and forced me to take the name of Hydrosphrantes amongst those of my profession.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.26  Chidrolepisus to Capyrosphrantes:
You know the reason why the women jeered at me. An old slave lately abused me, telling me to go to the devil for a troublesome chatterbox. There is a secret amongst them which they keep more carefully than the Eleusinian mysteries, and they try to conceal it from us, who know all about it, or else think that, although we have heard of it, we do not believe it. But I know what is going on, and I intend presently to tell my master; for I do not want to show myself less grateful than the dogs, which bark in defence of those who feed and take care of them. An adulterer is laying siege to the household — a young man from Elis, one of the Olympian fascinators; he sends neatly-folded notes every day to our master's wife, together with faded bouquets and half-eaten apples. These accursed servants are in the plot, as well as the old woman, with one foot in the grave, whom the rest call Empusa, because she is ready to do and suffer anything. I can hold my tongue no longer; I want to show myself a friend, not a parasite; besides, I thirst to have my revenge upon them. For I am certain, if this affair be brought to light, the servants will be put in the stocks, and the adulterer will be put to death, with a radish stuffed up his backside. And the abandoned wife shall pay the just penalty of her wantonness, unless Lysicles is more stupid in such matters than the hunchback Polyagrus, who, after exacting compensation in money from his wife's lovers, let them go without further punishment.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.27  Philomageirus to Pinacospongus:
What tricks these accursed harlots are always devising! They are in league with my mistress, and Phaedrias knows nothing of what is going on. Five month after marriage, the woman had a child ̵ a boy; they wrapped him in his swaddling-clothes, fastened a necklace and some tokens, by which he might be afterwards recognised, round his neck, and gave him to Asphalion, one of the labourers, to carry to the summit of Mount Parnes, and leave him there. In the meanwhile, we were obliged to keep the cruel deed a secret, and I would keep silence now, but silence is the food of anger. If they annoy me ever so little, reproaching me for a flatterer and parasite, and heaping the usual insults upon me, Phaedrias shall be informed of what has taken place.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.28  Turdosynagus to Ephallocythras:
Crito has been so foolish and such a dotard as to allow his son to go to a philosopher's school; he has sent him to that austere and gloomy old Stoic, whom he thinks the fittest instructor for the youth, that he may learn from him the art of splitting straws, and turn out disputatious and double-tongued. The lad has copied his instructor most faithfully; he has paid more attention to imitating his life and manners than to learning his doctrines. Seeing that his master, during the day, was solemn and severe and always lecturing the young men, while at night he covered his head with his cloak and haunted the brothels, he has admirably copied his model; and for the last four days he has been madly in love with Acalanthis of the Ceramicus. She is a friend of mine, and professes to love me; she knows that the youth is mad with desire, but refuses to yield to him, and declares that he shall not enjoy her favours until I give my consent to it, for she has left the decision to me. O Aphrodite, goddess of sensual love, bestow every blessing upon this excellent woman; she has behaved more like a friend than a prostitute! Since that time I have been loaded with handsome presents; if they pour in upon me even more abundantly, as time goes on, nothing shall prevent me from ransoming her from her master and making her my lawful wife. For she to whom I owe my support has every right to share my comforts.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.29  Misogniphus to Rhigomachus:
The vessel from Istria, which is anchored off the pier, has brought great good luck. One of its passengers is the wonderful merchant, whose lavish open-handedness makes the wealthiest and most generous of our citizens seem mean and niggardly by comparison. He has invited not one parasite only from the city, but all of us, as well as the most expensive courtesans, the most beautiful singing-girls, in fact, all who perform in public. He is not squandering his patrimony, but all the money he spends has been honestly earned by himself. He is fond of music, makes his stay in the city very agreeable to all, and is never rude to anybody. He is very pleasant to look at; you would say that his face was the dancing-ground of the Horae, and that Persuasion was seated on his lips. His wit is refined, his conversation agreeable. "The Muse has poured sweet nectar over his lips," in the words of the poet; for it does not seem inappropriate for a native of Athens to use the language of those who have received a liberal education — which is the case with all of us.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.30  Gamochaeron to Phagodaetes:
You saw how that accursed barber who lives by the roadside treated me; I mean that chattering gossip, who offers his mirrors for sale at Brentesium, who tames jackdaws, and plays a kind of tune with his razors. When I went to him to get shaved, he received me most politely, made me sit down in a high chair, and put a clean cloth around my neck; then he gently drew the razor over my cheeks, and took off my thick hairs. But, in doing this, he was cunning and mischievous, for he only half shaved me, and left one part of my face rough, while the other was smooth. I, knowing nothing of the trick he had played me, went as usual to Pasion's house, without waiting to be invited. When the guests saw me, they nearly killed themselves with laughing. I could not make out what had excited their mirth, until one of them came forward into the middle of the room and caught hold of and pulled at the hairs which had been left. I took a knife, and, feeling greatly annoyed, uprooted them somehow; and now I intend to look for a big stick and go and break the rascal's skull. What those who keep us do, in order to amuse themselves, this fellow had the audacity to do, although he has never contributed anything to my support.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.31  Dipsophapausilypus to Placyntomion:
When I first saw Neuris, the maiden who carried the basket, with her beautiful arms and fingers, her eyes flashing glances like lightning, her charming figure and complexion, and her glistening cheeks, I was so inflamed with passion that, forgetting who I was, I ran up and attempted to kiss her; then, when I came to my senses, I was ready to follow her and kiss the marks of her footsteps. Alas, alas, for my insolent folly! to think that I could not be content with lupins, beans, and pulse, but, grown wanton with high feeding, must needs long for what was beyond my reach. Assemble, all of you, and stone me to death, before I am consumed by my desires, and let me have, as a lover's tomb, a mound of pebbles.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.32  Hedydeipnus to Aristocorax:
O blessed gods, be kind and propitious! What a danger did I escape, when those thrice-accursed clubmen tried to throw a kettle of boiling water over me! I saw what they were ready to do when I was a long way off, and jumped out of the way. They poured at random, and the boiling contents, falling over Bathylus, the lad who was handing the wine, completely flayed him; the skin has peeled off his head, and his back is covered with blisters. Who then of the gods was it that protected me? Was it the Saviour princes, who preserved me from the streams of fire, as in time past Simonides the son of Leoprepes at the banquet of Cranon?

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.33  Trichinosarax to Glossotrapezus:
I have informed Mnesilochus of Paeania of his wife's wantonness; and he, when he ought to have thoroughly sifted and investigated the matter in various ways, like the precious fool that he is, left it to his wife's oath. The woman led him to the well of Callichorum at Eleusis, swore she was innocent, and cleared herself. He was somehow or other convinced, and has abandoned all suspicion; and I am ready to let anyone who pleases cut out my chattering tongue with a potsherd from Tenedos.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.34  Limustes to Thrasocydoemus:
I was fairly intimate with Corydon the farmer, who often used to laugh heartily at me, since he understood city wit better than country people usually do. When I first saw him, I thought it would be a regular piece of luck for me, if I could give up a city life and retire to the country, and live with a friend who passed his life quietly working on his farm; then I need no longer think about making money by questionable practices in the courts, but could wait patiently to enjoy the fruits of the earth. Having determined to do this, I made friends with Corydon, dressed myself like a countryman, clad myself in a sheepskin, took up a mattock, and got myself up as a regular ditcher. As long as I did this for amusement, it was endurable, and I thought I had made a very good bargain, since I was free from blows and insults, and the unequal footing on which I stood with my wealthy patrons; but when he made a daily practice of ordering me to work, and I had either to plough, clear the stony ground, dig holes, or plant in the ditches, then this kind of life became unbearable; I repented of my foolish act, and longed for the city again. When I returned after my long absence, I did not meet with the same reception as before; instead of being looked upon as a wit, I was considered rough and uncultivated, in fact, a regular boor. All the houses of the wealthy were from that time forth shut against me, and hunger knocked at the doors of my belly. Hard pressed for the bare necessaries of life, I joined a band of Megarian brigands, who lie in wait for travellers near the Scironian rocks; and since then I have gained a dishonest livelihood without working. I do not know whether I shall escape detection; but I am alarmed about my new profession, for such a change of life generally ends in destruction rather than safety.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.35  Philoporus to Psichomachus:
Lexiphanes, the comic poet, seeing me treated with drunken insults, took me aside. He first advised me not to continue my present manner of life, which only ended in insult; and then, having tested my abilities, got me into the comedians' company, which he said would enable me to earn my living. He ordered me to get up the part of a slave for the next Dionysia, at which I was to make my first appearance. As it was rather late in life for me to change my nature and habits, I seemed peevish and hard to teach; but, as I had no other alternative, I learned my part, and, now that I have studied and practised it, I am ready to perform with the rest of the company. You and your friends must be ready to start the applause, so that, if I should happen to make any mistakes, the city young men may have no opportunity of hooting or hissing me. Let the clapping of hands in applause drown the noise of the scoffers.

Event Date: -350 GR

§ 3.36  Oenochaeron to Raphanocortasus:
Those who have mutilated the Hermae, or betrayed the secrets of the Eleusinian goddess, have never endured such agony as I did, when I fell into the clutches of that accursed woman Phanomache. When she found out that her husband was devoted to that Ionian wench, who is clever at tossing up balls and swinging lamps round, she immediately suspected that I was the go-between in the connexion, ordered her servants to seize me, and clapped me into the stocks. The next day, she took me before her father, the sulky Cleaenetus, who is now President of the Council, and held in great respect by the members of the Areopagus. But when it is the will of the gods that anyone should escape, they can draw him up even from the bottom of the pit, just as they saved me from the clutches of the three-headed dog, who, they say, keeps guard before the entrance to the nether world. For, before the terrible old man could bring my case before the Council, he was attacked by the hot ague, and died in the morning. He now lies stretched out in death, and his household are making preparations for the funeral; meanwhile, I ran off as fast as my feet could carry me. I owe my safety and freedom, not so much to the escort of the son of Maia, the daughter of Atlas, as to the swiftness of my feet and my own boldness.

Event Date: -350 GR
END
Event Date: -350

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