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a mendicant priest instead of a torch-bearer, Callias replied that Iphicrates himself could not be initiated, otherwise he would not have called him mendicant priest but torch-bearer4; both titles indeed have to do with a divinity, but the one is honorable, the other dishonorable. And some call actors flatterers of Dionysus, whereas they call themselves “artists.” Both these names are metaphors, but the one is a term of abuse, the other the contrary. Similarly, pirates now call themselves purveyors5; and so it is allowable to say that the man who has committed a crime has “made a mistake,” that the man who has “made a mistake” is “guilty of crime”, and that one who has committed a theft has either “taken” or “ravaged.” The saying in the Telephus of Euripides, “ Ruling over the oar and having landed in Mysia,
” is inappropriate, because the word ruling exceeds the dignity of the subject, and so the artifice can be seen.
1 Begging （as a beggar does） and praying （as a priest might） are both forms of asking, and by substituting one for the other, you can amplify or depreciate.
2 See 1.7.32.
3 Head of a distinguished Athenian family which held the office of torch-bearer at the Eleusinian mysteries. A man of notoriously dissipated character, he took some part in politics.
4 The δᾳδοῦχος or hereditary torch-bearer ranked next to the hierophant or chief priest. In addition to holding the torch during the sacrifices, he took part in the recitation of the ritual and certain purificatory ceremonies. The μητραγύρται or mendicant priests collected alms on behalf of various deities, especially the great Mother Cybele （whence their name）. They included both men and women of profligate character, addicted to every kind of lewdness.
5 Cf. “‘convey’ the wise it call” （Merry Wives, I. iii.）. Either the euphemistic or unfavorable application of the term may be adopted.
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