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Demetrius Plans His Escape

When the shipmaster had everything ready, and nothing
Preparations for the flight.
remained except for Demetrius to do his part, he sent Diodorus to Syria to gather information, and to watch the disposition of the people there. His foster-brother Apollonius took part in this expedition; and Demetrius also confided his secret to the two brothers of Apollonius, Meleager and Menestheus, but to no one else of all his suite, though that was numerous. These three brothers were the sons of the Apollonius who occupied so important a position at the court of Seleucus, but who had removed to Miletus at the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes. As the day agreed upon with the sailors approached, it was arranged that one of his friends should give an entertainment to serve as an excuse for Demetrius going out. For it was impossible that he should sup at home; as it was his constant habit, when he did so, to invite all his suite.
Polybius sends a warning to Demetrius.
Those who were in the secret were to leave the house after supper and go to the ship, taking one slave each with them; the rest they had sent on to Anagnia, saying that they would follow next day. It happened that at this time Polybius was ill and confined to his bed; but he was kept acquainted with all that was going on by constant communications from Menyllus. He was therefore exceedingly anxious, knowing Demetrius to be fond of conviviality and full of youthful wilfulness, lest, by the entertainment being unduly prolonged, some difficulty should arise from over-indulgence in wine to prevent his getting away. He therefore wrote and sealed a small tablet; and just as it was getting dusk sent a servant of his own, with orders to ask for Demetrius's cupbearer and give him the tablet, without saying who he was or from whom he came, and to bid the cupbearer to give it to Demetrius to read at once. His orders were carried out, and Demetrius read the tablet, which contained the following apophthegms1:— “"The ready hand bears off the sluggard's prize."
” “"Night favours all, but more the daring heart."
” “"Be bold: front danger: strike! then lose or win,
Care not, so you be true unto yourself."
” “"Cool head and wise distrust are wisdom's sinews."

1 The first line is of unknown authorship. The second is from Euripides, Phoeniss. 633. The third apophthegm is again unknown. The last is from Epicharmus, see 18, 40.

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    • Euripides, Phoenician Women, 633
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