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SOTION was a man of the Peripatetic school, far from unknown. He wrote a book filled with wide and varied information and called it κέρας ᾿αμαλθείας, 1 which is about equivalent to The Horn of Plenty.

In that book is found the following anecdote about the orator Demosthenes and the courtesan Lais: “Lais of Corinth,” he says, “used to gain a great deal of money by the grace and charm of her beauty, and was frequently visited by wealthy men from all over Greece; but no one was received who did not give what she demanded, and her [p. 45] demands were extravagant enough.” He says that this was the origin of the proverb common among the Greeks:

Not every man may fare to Corinth town, 2
for in vain would any man go to Corinth to visit Lais who could not pay her price. “The great Demosthenes approached her secretly and asked for her favours. But Lais demanded ten thousand drachmas” —a sum equivalent in our money to ten thousand denarii. 3 “Amazed and shocked at the woman's great impudence and the vast sum of money demanded, Demosthenes turned away, remarking as he left her: 'I will not buy regret at such a price.'” But the Greek words which he is said to have used are neater; he said: οὐκ ὠνοῦμαι μυρίων δραχμῶν μεταμέλειαν. 4 .

1 The Horn of Amantheia; see Greek Index.

2 Cf. Horace, Epist. i. 17. 36.

3 The drachma and the denarius (about 8d. or 16 cents) was the average wage of a day-labourer.

4 I will not buy regret for ten thousand drachmas.

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