When Demetrius thus lost his power and fled for refuge to Cassandreia, his wife Phila was full of grief and could not endure to see her husband, that most afflicted of kings, once more in private station and in exile; she gave up all hope, and in hatred of his fortune, which was more secure in adversity than in prosperity, she drank poison and died. But Demetrius, determined to cling still to what was left of his wrecked fortunes, went off to Greece, and tried to assemble his friends and generals who were there.
The Menelaüs of Sophocles1
applies this simile to his own fortunes:—
But my fate on the swiftly turning wheel of God
Goes whirling round forever and ever changes shape,
Just as the moon's appearance for two kindly nights
Could never be identical and show no change,
But out of darkness first she comes forth young and new,
With face that ever grows more beautiful and full,
And when she reaches largest and most generous phase,
Again she vanisheth away and comes to naught.
This simile might be better used of the fortunes of Demetrius, now waxing and now waning, now full-orbed and now diminished, since even at this time, when his power seemed to fail altogether and suffer extinction, it shot forth new rays of light, and sundry accessions of strength little by little filled out the measure of his hopes. At first he went about visiting the cities in the garb of a private man and without the insignia of a king, and one who saw him thus at Thebes applied to him, not inaptly, the verses of Euripides2
Exchanging now the form of god for that of man,
He visits Dirce's rivulets and Ismenus' flood.