And now for the first time Apelles, Megaleas, and sundry other courtiers made false charges against Aratus to which the king listened, and joining in the canvass made by those of the opposite faction, he favoured the election of Eperatus as general of the Achaeans.
But Eperatus was altogether despised by the Achaeans,1
and as long as Aratus gave little heed to public matters nothing went well. Philip therefore perceived that he had been entirely wrong. So he reversed his course, went back to Aratus, and was wholly his; and since the progress of events now brought him increased power and reputation, he depended altogether upon Aratus, convinced that his repute and strength were due to him.
And all the world thought that Aratus was a good guardian and tutor for a kingdom no less than for a democracy; for his principles and character were manifest, like colour in a fabric, in the actions of the king. For instance, the moderation of the young prince in dealing with the offending Lacedaemonians, his engaging behaviour towards the Cretans, by means of which he won the whole island to obedience in a few days, and the astonishingly vigorous conduct of his campaign against the Aetolians, all added to the reputation of Philip for taking good advice, and to that of Aratus for giving it.
For this reason, too, the royal courtiers were all the more envious of him, and since they could accomplish nothing by their secret calumnies, they took to abusing and insulting him openly at their banquets, with great wantonness and scurrility; and once they actually pursued and threw stones at him as he was going to his tent after supper. At this Philip was enraged, and for the nonce fined them twenty talents; afterwards, however, regarding them as a noxious and confusing element in his affairs, he put them to death.2