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But a slave who had been flogged hired Callistium, who was nicknamed Poor Helen; and as it was summer, and he was lying down naked, she, seeing the marks of the whip, said, “Where did you get this, you unhappy man?” and he said, “Some broth was spilt over me when I was a boy.” And she said, “It must have been made of neats'-leather.” And once, when Menander the poet had failed with one of his plays, and came to her house, Glycera brought him some milk, and recommended him to drink it. But he said he would rather not, for there was some γραῦς1 on it. But she replied, “Blow it away, and take what there is beneath.”

Thais said once to a boastful lover of hers, who had borrowed some goblets from a great many people, and said that he meant to break them up, and make others of them “You will destroy what belongs to each private person.” Leontium was once sitting at table with a lover of hers, when Glycera [p. 934] came in to supper; and as the man began to pay more atten- tion to Glycera, Leontium was much annoyed: and presently, when her friend turned round, and asked her what she was vexed at, she said, “῾η ὑστέρα2 pains me.”

A lover of hers once sent his seal to Lais the Corinthian, and desired her to come to him; but she said, “I cannot come; it is only clay.” Thais was one day going to a lover of hers, who smelt like a goat; and when some one asked her whither she was going, she said—

To dwell with Aegeus,3 great Pandion's son.
Phryne, too, was once supping with a man of the same description, and, lifting up the hide of a pig, she said, “Take it, and eat4 it.” And once, when one of her friends sent her some wine, which was very good, but the quantity was small; and when he told her that it was ten years old; “It is very little of its age,” said she. And once, when the question was asked at a certain banquet, why it is that crowns are hung up about banqueting-rooms, she said, “Because they delight the mind.” 5 And once, when a slave, who had been flogged, was giving himself airs as a young man towards her, and saying that he had been often entangled, she pretended to look vexed; and when he asked her the reason, “I am jealous of you,” said she, “because you have been so often smitten.” 6 Once a very covetous lover of hers was coaxing her, and saying to her, “You are the Venus of Praxiteles;” “And you,” said she, “are the Cupid of Phidias.” 7

1 γραῦς means both an old woman, and the scum on boiled milk.

2 γ̔στέρα means both “the womb,” and “the new comer.”

3 Punning on the similarity of the name αἰγεὺς to αἲξ, a goat.

4 Punning on the similarity of κατατράγω, to eat, and τράγος, a goat.

5 The Greek word is ψυχαγωγοῦσι, which might perhaps also mean to bring coolness, from ψῦχος, coolness.

6 The young man says πολλαῖς συμπέπλεχθαι (γύναιξι scil.), but Prhyne chooses to suppose that he meant to say πολλαῖς πληγαῖς, blows.

7 This is a pun on the name φειδίας, as if from φείδω, to be stingy.

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