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There was a courtesan named Metanira; and when [p. 933] Democles the parasite, who was nicknamed Lagynion fell down in a lot of whitewash, she said, “Yes, for you have devoted yourself to a place where there are pebbles.” And when he sprung upon a couch which was near him, “Take care,” said she, “lest you get upset.” These sayings are recorded by Hegesander. And Aristodemus, in the second book of his Laughable Records, says that Gnathæna was hired by two men, a soldier and a branded slave; and so when the soldier, in his rude manner, called her a cistern, “How can I be so?” said she; “is it because two rivers, Lycus and Eleutherus, fall into me?” On one occasion, when some poor lovers of the daughter of Gnathæna came to feast at her house, and threatened to throw it down, saying that they had brought spades and mattocks on purpose; “But,” said Gnathæna, “if you had those implements, you should have pawned them, and brought some money with you.” And Gnathæna was always very neat and witty in all she said; and she even compiled a code of laws for banquets, according to which lovers were to be admitted to her and to her daughters, in imitation of the philosophers, who had drawn up similar documents. And Callimachus has recorded this code of hers in the third Catalogue of Laws which he has given; and he has quoted the first words of it as follows:—“This law has been compiled, being fair and equitable; and it is written in three hundred and twenty-three verses.”
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