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But as for Lais of Hyccara—(and Hyccara is a city in Sicily, from which place she came to Corinth, having been made a prisoner of war, as Polemo relates in the sixth book of his History, addressed to Timæus: and Aristippus was one of her lovers, and so was Demosthenes the orator, and Diogenes the Cynic: and it was also said that the Venus, which is at Corinth, and is called Melænis, appeared to her in a dream, intimating to her by such an appearance that she would be courted by many lovers of great wealth;)—Lais, I say, is mentioned by Hyperides, in the second of his speeches against Aristagoras. And Apelles the painter, having seen [p. 939] Lais while she was still a maiden, drawing water at the fountain Pirene, and marvelling at her beauty, took her with him on one occasion to a banquet of his friends. And when his companions laughed at him because he had brought a maiden with him to the party, instead of a courtesan he said —“Do not wonder, for I will show you that she is quite beautiful enough for future enjoyment within three years.” And a prediction of this sort was made by Socrates also, respecting Theodote the Athenian, as Xenophon tells us in his Memorabilia, for he used to say—“That she was very beautiful, and had a bosom finely shaped beyond all description. And let us,” said he, “go and see the woman; for people cannot judge of beauty by hearsay.” But Lais was so beautiful, that painters used to come to her to copy her bosom and her breasts. And Lais was a rival of Phryne, and had an immense number of lovers, never caring whether they were rich or poor, and never treating them with any insolence.
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