Demetrius and Menander

The Fables of Phædrus
Demetrius, who was called Phalereus, unjustly took possession of the sovereignty of Athens. The mob, according to their usual practice, rush from all quarters vying with each other, and cheer him, and wish him joy. Even the chief men kiss the hand by which they are oppressed, while they silently lament the sad vicissitudes of fortune. Moreover, those who live in retirement, and take their ease, come creeping in last of all, that their absence may not injure them. Among these Menander, famous for his Comedies (which Demetrius, who did not know him, had read, and had admired the genius of the man), perfumed with unguents, and clad in a flowing robe, came with a mincing and languid step. As soon as the Tyrant caught sight of him at the end of the train: “What effeminate wretch,” said he, “is this, who presumes to come into my presence?” Those near him made answer: “This is Menander the Poet.” Changed in an instant, he exclaimed: “A more agreeable looking man could not possibly exist.”

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