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ANTIPHANES the comic writer, my friend Timocrates, when he was reading one of his own comedies to Alexander the king, and when it was plain that the king did not think much of it, said to him, “The fact is, O king, that a man who is to appreciate this play, ought to have often supped at picnic feasts, and must have often borne and inflicted blows in [p. 889] the cause of courtesans,” as Lycophron the Chalcidian relates in his treatise on Comedy. And accordingly we, who are now about to set out a discussion on amatory matters, (for there was a good deal of conversation about married women and about courtesans,) saying what we have to say to people who understand the subject, invoking the Muse Erato to be so good as to impress anew on oar memory that amatory catalogue, will make our commencement from this point—
Come now, O Erato, and tell me truly
what it was that was said by the different guests about love and about amatory matters.

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