This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
IT is said that Demosthenes in his dress and other personal habits was excessively spruce, elegant and studied. It was for that reason that he was taunted by his rivals and opponents with his “exquisite, pretty mantles” and “soft, pretty tunics” ; 1 for that reason, too, that they did not refrain from applying to him foul and shameful epithets, alleging that he was no mall and was even guilty of unnatural vice. In like manner Quintus Hortensius, quite the most renowned orator of his time with the exception of Marcus Tullius, because he dressed with extreme foppishness, arranged the folds of his toga with great care and exactness, and in speaking used his hands to excess in lively gestures, was assailed with gibes and shameful charges; and many taunts were hurled at him, even while he was pleading in court, for appearing like an actor. But when Sulla was on trial, and Lucius Torquatus, a man of somewhat boorish and uncouth nature, with great violence and bitterness did not stop with calling Hortensius an actor in the presence of the assembled jurors, but said that he was a posturer and a Dionysia—which was the name of a notorious dancing-girl—then Hortensius replied in a soft and gentle tone: “I would rather be a Dionysia, Torquatus, yes, a Dionysia, than like you, a stranger to the Muses, to Venus and to Dionysus.” 2
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.