But the most monstrous thing that came into the head of Stratocles (he it was who invented these elegant and clever bits of obsequiousness) was his motion that envoys sent by public decree and at public expense to Antigonus or Demetrius should be called sacred deputies, instead of ambassadors, like those who conducted to Delphi and Olympia the ancient sacrifices in behalf of the cities at the great Hellenic festivals.
In all other ways also Stratocles was an audacious fellow; he lived an abandoned life, and was thought to imitate the scurrility and buffoonery of the ancient Cleon in his familiarities with the people. He had taken up with a mistress named Phylacion; and one day when she had bought in the market-place for his supper some brains and neck-bones,
‘Aha!’ he cried,
‘thou hast bought just such delicacies for me as we statesmen used to play ball with.’
Again, when the Athenians suffered their naval defeat near Amorgus,1
before the tidings of the disaster could reach the city he put a garland on his head and drove through the Cerameicus, and after announcing that the Athenians were victorious, moved a sacrifice of glad tidings and made a generous distribution of meat to the people by tribes. Then, a little later, when the wrecks were brought home from the battle and the people in their wrath called him out, he faced the tumult recklessly and said:
‘What harm have I done you, pray, if for two days ye have been happy?’ Such was the effrontery of Stratocles.