Now from all this we may understand, my friends, of how many evils flattery is the cause in human life. For Theopompus, in the nineteenth book of his history of the Transactions of Philip, says, “Agathocles was a slave, and one of the Penestee in Thessaly, and as he had great influence with Philip by reason of his flattery of him, and because he was constantly at his entertainments dancing and making him laugh, Philip sent him to destroy the Perrhæbi, and to govern all that part of the country. And the Macedonian constantly [p. 408] had this kind of people about him, with whom he associated the greater part of his time, because of their fondness for drinking and buffoonery, and in their company he used to deliberate on the most important affairs.” And Hegesander the Delphian gives a similar account of him, and relates how he sent a large sum of money to the men who are assembled at Athens at the temple of Hercules in Diomea, and who say laughable things; and he ordered some men to write down all that was said by them, and to send it to him. And Theopompus, in the twenty-sixth book of his History, says “that Philip knowing that the Thessalians were an intemperate race, and very profligate in their way of living, prepared some entertainments for them, and endeavoured in every possible manner to make himself agreeable to them. For he danced and revelled, and practised every kind of intemperance and debauchery. And he was by nature a buffoon, and got drunk every day, and he delighted in those occupations which are consistent with such practices, and with those who are called witty men, who say and do things to provoke laughter. And he attached numbers of the Thessalians who were intimate with him to himself, still more by his entertainments than by his presents.” And Dionysius the Sicilian used to do very nearly the same thing, as Eubulus the comic poet tells us in his play entitled Dionysius;—
But he is harsh and rigorous to the solemn,
But most good-humour'd to all flatterers,
And all who jest with freedom. For he thinks
Those men alone are free, though slaves they be.