Chamæleon of Pontus, in the sixth book of his treatise concerning ancient Comedy, says—"Hegemon of Thasos, the man who wrote the Parodies, was nicknamed The Lentil, and in one of his parodies he wrote—
While I revolved these counsels in my mind,And once he came into the theatre, exhibiting a comedy, having his robe full of stones; and he, throwing the stones into the orchestra, caused the spectators to wonder what he meant. And presently afterwards he said—
Pallas Minerva, with her golden sceptre,
Stood by my head, and touched me, and thus spake—
O thou ill-treated Lentil, wretched man,
Go to the contest: and I then took courage.
These now are stones, and let who chooses throw them;But the man has an exceedingly high reputation for his parodies, and was exceedingly celebrated for reciting his verses with great skill and dramatic power; and on this account he was greatly admired by the Athenians. And in his Battle of the Giants, he so greatly delighted the Athenians, that they laughed to excess on that day; and though on that very day the news of all the disasters which had befallen them in Sicily had just arrived, still no on left the theatre, although nearly every one had lost relations by that calamity; and so they hid their faces and wept, but no one rose to depart, in order to avoid being seen by the spectators from other cities to be grieved at the disaster. But they remained listening to the performance, and that too, though [p. 642] Hegemon himself, when he heard of it, had resolved to cease his recitation. But when the Athenians, being masters of the sea, brought all the actions at law concerning the islands or the islanders into the city, some one instituted a prosecution against Hegemon, and summoned him to Athens to answer it. And he came in court, and brought with him all the workmen of the theatre, and with them he appeared, entreating Alcibiades to assist him. And Alcibiades bade him be of good cheer, and ordered all the workmen to follow him; and so he came to the temple of Cybele, where the trials of prosecutions were held; and then wetting his finger with his mouth, he wiped out the indictment against Hegemon. And though the clerk of the court and the magistrate were indignant at this, they kept quiet for fear of Alcibiades, for which reason also the man who had instituted the prosecution ran away."
But Lentil's good alike at every season.