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51. But Aratus presently began to withdraw from the court and little by little to retire from his intimacy with Philip. When the king was about to cross into Epeirus1 and asked him to join the expedition, he refused and remained at home, fearing that he would be covered with ignominy by tine king's proceedings. [2] Philip lost his fleet most shamefully at the hands of the Romans, and after utter failure in his undertakings, came back into Peloponnesus. Here he tried once more to hoodwink the Messenians, and after being detected in this, wronged them openly and ravaged their territory. Then Aratus was altogether estranged and filled with distrust of the king, being now aware also of the crime committed against his domestic life. At this he was sorely vexed himself, but kept it hidden from his son, [3] who could only know that he had been shamefully abused, seeing that he was not able to avenge himself. For Philip would seem to have undergone a very great and inexplicable change,2 in that from a gentle prince and chaste youth he became a lascivious man and a pernicious tyrant. In fact, however, this was not a change of nature, but a showing forth, in time of security, of a baseness which his fears had long led him to conceal.

1 In 215 B.C. Philip had made an alliance with the Carthaginians against the Romans.

2 Cf. Polybius, vii. 13.

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