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His humour.

A quality which the last almost implies is humour; and this Lysias certainly had. The description of an incorrigible borrower, in the fragment of the lost speech against the Sokratic Aeschines, shows this humour tending to broad farce1, and illustrates what Demetrius means by the ‘somewhat comic graces’2 of Lysias. But, as a rule, it is seen only in sudden touches, which amuse chiefly because they surprise; as in the speech for Mantitheos, and most of all in that for the Invalid3.

1 Fragment 1 in Sauppe, O. A. II. p. 172. The passage especially meant here begins at ἀλλὰ γάρ, ἄνδρες δικασταί, οὐκ εἰς ἐμὲ μόνον τοιοῦτός ἐστιν, and goes down to τούτῳ συμβάλλειν:—‘But indeed, judges, I am not the only person to whom he behaves in this way; he is the same to every one else who has had to do with him. Have not the neighbouring shopkeepers, from whom he gets on credit goods for which he never pays, shut up their shops and gone to law with him? Are not his neighbours so cruelly used by him that they have left their houses and are trying to take others at a distance? Whenever he has collected club-subscriptions, he fails to hand over the payments of the other members, and they are wrecked on this little tradesman like chariots at the turning-post of the course. Such a crowd goes at daybreak to his house to demand the sums due to them, that passers-by fancy the people have come to attend a funeral. As for the inhabitants of the Peiraeus they are in such a mind that they think it much safer to sail to the Adriatic than to encounter this man.’

2 Demetr. περὶ ἑρμηνείας § 128 (Walz, Rhet. Gr. IX. 58): τῶν δὲ χαρίτων αἱ μέν εἰσι μείζονες καὶ σεμνότεραι, αἱ δὲ εὐτελεῖς μᾶλλον καὶ κωμικώτεραι, οἷον αἱ Ἀριστοτέλους χάριτες καὶ Σώφρονος καὶ Αυσίου.

3 e. g. In Mantith. (Or. XVI.) § 15: Pro Inval. (Or. XXIV.) § 9. Cf. De sacra Olea (Or. VII.) § 1, 14.

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