And that Mania was also excellent in witty repartee, Machon tells us in these verses about her,—
There was a victor in the pancratium,[p. 926]
Named Leontiscus, who loved Mania,
And kept her with him as his lawful wife;
But finding afterwards that she did play
The harlot with Antenor, was indignant:
But she replied,—"My darling, never mind;
I only wanted just to feel and prove,
In a single night, how great the strength might be
Of two such athletes, victors at Olympia."
They say again that Mania once was ask'd,
By King Demetrius, for a perfect sight
Of all her beauties; and she, in return,
Demanded that he should grant her a favour.
When he agreed, she turned her back, and said,—
"O son of Agamemnon, now the Gods
Grant you to see what you so long have wish'd for."1
On one occasion, too, a foreigner,
Who a deserter was believed to be,
Had come by chance to Athens; and he sent
For Mania, and gave her all she ask'd.
It happen'd that he had procured for supper
Some of those table-jesters, common buffoons,
Who always raise a laugh to please their feeders;
And wishing to appear a witty man,
Used to politest conversation,
While Mania was sporting gracefully,
As was her wont, and often rising up
To reach a dish of hare, he tried to raise
A joke upon her, and thus spoke,—"My friends,
Tell me, I pray you by the Gods, what animal
You think runs fastest o'er the mountain-tops?"
“Why, my love, a deserter,” answer'd Mania.
Another time, when Mania came to see him,
She laugh'd at the deserter, telling him,
That once in battle he had lost his shield.
But this brave soldier, looking somewhat fierce,
Sent her away. And as she was departing,
She said," My love, don't be so much annoy'd;
For 'twas not you, who, when you ran away,
Did lose that shield, but he who lent it you."
Another time they say a man who was
A thorough profligate, did entertain
Mania at supper; and when he question'd her,
“Do you like being up or down the best”
She laugh'd, and said, "I'd rather be up, my friend,
For I'm afraid, lest, if I lay me down,
You'd bite my plaited hair from off my head."