And Timocles, in his Dracontius, hits off the parasite very neatly, and describes his character thus—
Shall I then let a man abuse the parasites?
No, surely, for there is no race of men
More useful in such matters. And if company
Be one of the things which makes life pass agreeably,
Surely a parasite does this most constantly.
Are you in love? he, at the shortest notice,
Feels the same passion. Have you any business
His business is at once the same as yours;
And he's at hand to help you as you wish;
Thinking that only fair to him that feeds him.
'Tis marvellous how he doth praise his friends—
[p. 375] He loves a feast where he is ask'd for nothing.
What man, what hero, or what god exists,
Who does not scorn such habits and such principles?
But that I mayn't detain you all the day,
I think that I can give you one clear proof
In what respect men hold a parasite;
For they receive the same rewards as those
Who at Olympia bear the palm of victory—
They both are fed for nothing for their virtues;
And wheresoe'er there is no contribution,
That place we ought to call the Prytaneum.