previous next

And Lynceus has recorded many repartees of Gnathæna. There was a parasite who used to live upon an old woman, and kept himself in very good condition; and Gnathæna, seeing him, said, “My young friend, you appear to be in very good case.” “What then do you think,” said he, “that I should be if I slept by myself?”“Why, I think you would starve,” said she. Once, when Pausanius, who was nicknamed Laccus,1 was dancing, he fell into a cask. “The cellar,” says Gnathæna, “has fallen into the cask.” On one occasion, some one put a very little wine into a wine-cooler, and said that it was sixteen years old. “It is very Little of its age,” said she, “to be as old as that.” Once at a dinking party, some young men were fighting about her, and seating one another, and she said to the one who was worsted, “Be of [p. 932] good cheer, my boy; for it is not a contest to be decided by crowns, but by guineas.” There was a man who once gave her daughter a mina, and never brought her anything more, though he came to see her very often. “Do you think, my boy,” said she, “that now you have once paid your mina, you are to come here for ever, as if you were going to Hippomachus the trainer?” On one occasion, when Phryne said to her, with some bitterness, “What would become of you if you had the stone?”“I would give it to you,” said she, “to sharpen your wit upon.” For it was said that Gnathæna was liable to the stone, while the other certainly wanted it as Gnathæna hinted. On one occasion, some men were drinking in her house, and were eating some lentils dressed with onions (βολβοφάκη); as the maidservant was clearing the table, and putting some of the lentils in her bosom (κόλπον), Gnathæna said, “She is thinking of making some κολποφάκη.

Once, when Andronicus the tragedian had been acting his part in the representation of the Epigoni with great applause, and was coming to a drinking party at her house, and sent a boy forward to bid her make preparation to receive him, she said—

“O cursed boy, what word is this you've spoken?”
And once, when a chattering fellow was relating that he was just come from the Hellespont, “Why, then,” said she, “did you not go to the first city in that country?” and when he asked what city, “To Sigeum,” 2 said she. Once, when a man came to see her, and saw some eggs on a dish, and said, “Are these raw, Gnathæna, or boiled?” “They are made of brass, my boy,” said she. On one occasion, when Chærephon came to sup with her without an invitation, Gnathæna pledged him in a cup of wine. “Take it,” said she, “you proud fellow.” And he said, “I proud?”“Who can be more so,” said she, “when you come without even being invited?” And Nico, who was nicknamed the Goat (as Lynceus tells us), once when she met a parasite, who was very thin in consequence of a long sickness, said to him, “How lean you are.” “No wonder,” says he; “for what do you think is all that I have had to eat these three days?” “Why, a leather bottle,” says she, “or perhaps your shoes.”

1 λάκκος, a cistern; a cellar.

2 This is a pun on the similarity of the name σίγειον to σιγὴ, silence.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
load focus Greek (Kaibel)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: