On hearing this proclamation, most of the people at once threw their shields down in front of them, and with clapping of hands and loud cries urged Demetrius to land, hailing him as their saviour and benefactor. The party of Demetrius the Phalerean also thought they must by all means receive the conqueror, even though he should confirm none of his promises, but nevertheless sent ambassadors to supplicate his mercy. These Demetrius met in a friendly spirit, and sent back with them one of his father's friends, Aristodemus of Miletus.
Now the Phalerean, owing to the change of government, was more afraid of his fellow-citizens than of the enemy. Demetrius, however, was not unmindful of him, but out of regard for the man's good reputation and excellence, sent him and his friends under safe conduct to Thebes, as he desired. As for himself, he declared that, although he desired to see the city, he would not do so before he had completed its liberation by ridding it of its garrison; meanwhile, after running a trench and a palisade round Munychia, he sailed against Megara, where a garrison had been stationed by Cassander.
But on learning that Cratesipolis, who had been the wife of Polyperchon's son Alexander, was tarrying at Patrae, and would be very glad to make him a visit (and she was a famous beauty), he left his forces in the territory of Megara and set forth, taking a few light-armed attendants with him. And turning aside from these also, he pitched his tent apart, that the woman might pay her visit to him unobserved.
Some of his enemies learned of this, and made a sudden descent upon him. Then, in a fright, he donned a shabby cloak and ran for his life and got away, narrowly escaping a most shameful capture in consequence of his rash ardour. His tent, together with his belongings, was carried off by his enemies.
Megara, however, was captured, and the soldiers would have plundered it had not the Athenians made strong intercession for its citizens; Demetrius also expelled its garrison and gave the city its freedom. While he was still engaged in this, he bethought himself of Stilpo the philosopher, who was famous for his election of a life of tranquillity. Accordingly, Demetrius summoned him and asked him whether any one had robbed him of anything.
‘No one,’ said Stilpo,
‘for I saw nobody carrying away knowledge.’
But nearly all the servants in the city were stolen away, and when Demetrius once more tried to deal kindly with the philosopher, and finally, on going away, said:
‘Your city, Stilpo, I leave in freedom,’
‘Thou sayest truly,’ replied Stilpo,
‘for thou hast not left a single one of our slaves.’