Alciphron, Letters 4. Letters of Courtesans

LCL 383: 252-253

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ἵνα ἐν τῷ τεμένει μετ᾿ ἀλλήλων κατακλινῶμεν.1 οὐ μιανοῦμεν γὰρ τοὺς θεοὺς οὓς αὐτοὶ πεποιήκαμεν. ἔρρωσο.

2 [i. 29]

Γλυκέρα Βακχίδι

Ὁ Μένανδρος ἡμῶν ἐπὶ τὴν τῶν Ἰσθμίων θέαν εἰς τὴν Κόρινθον ἐλθεῖν βεβούληται· ἐμοὶ μὲν οὐ κατὰ νοῦν· οἶδας γὰρ οἷόν ἐστιν ἐραστοῦ τοιούτου καὶ βραχὺν ὑστερῆσαι2 χρόνον· ἀποτρέπειν δ᾿ οὐκ ἐνῆν 2μὴ πολλάκις ἀποδημεῖν εἰωθότος3· οὐδ᾿ ὅπως αὐτὸν παρεγγυήσω μέλλοντα ἐπιδημήσειν ἔχω, οὐδ᾿ ὅπως μή, βουλόμενον αὐτὸν σπουδασθῆναι ὑπὸ σοῦ, κἀμοι τινα φέρειν φιλοτιμίαν τοῦτο λογίζομαι· οἶδα γὰρ 3τὴν οὖσαν ἡμῖν ἑταιρίαν πρὸς ἀλλήλας· δέδοικα δέ, ὦ φιλτάτη, οὐ σὲ4 τοσοῦτον (χρηστοτέρῳ γὰρ ἤθει κέχρησαι τοῦ βίου) ὅσον αὐτὸν ἐκεῖνον. ἐρωτικὸς γάρ ἐστι δαιμονίως, καὶ Βακχίδος οὐδ᾿ ἂν τῶν 4σκυθρωποτάτων τις ἀπόσχοιτο. τὸ μὲν γὰρ δοκεῖν αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔλαττον τοῦ σοὶ ἐντυχεῖν ἢ τῶν Ἰσθμίων ἕνεκεν τὴν ἀποδήμησιν πεποιῆσθαι, οὐ πάνυ πείθομαι. ἴσως αἰτιάσῃ με τῆς ὑποψίας.5 συγγίνωσκε

  • 1κατακλίνωμεν Vat.2 Flor.
  • 2ἐστερῆσθαι Dobree.
  • 3εἰωθότος Meineke: εἰωθότας Φ Vat.2 Flor., εἰωθότα Π Δ.
  • 4σε added in Ald.
  • 5ὑπεροψίας Vat.2 Flor.
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together in the precinct. Surely we shall bring no defilement on the gods that we ourselves have created. Farewell.

Letter 2 [i. 29]

Glycera to Bacchisa

My Menanderb is resolved to go to Corinth to see the spectacle of the Isthmian games. As for me, I do not approve, for you know what it’s like to lack such a lover even for a short time; but I couldn’t try to dissuade him, for he isn’t in the habit of leaving home often; nor can I see my way to entrust him to2 your care now that he is about to sojourn in your part of the world, nor yet not to do so—since he himself wants you to show him attentions; and I consider that that sort of thing redounds in a way to my honour, for I bear in mind the friendship that exists between us; but I am afraid, my dearest, not so3 much of you—for your character is better than your profession—as of the man himself. He is amazingly amorous, and not even the glummest moralist could resist Bacchis. As for his being thought to have4 made the journey as much to meet you as for the Isthmian games, that I don’t altogether credit. Perhaps you’ll blame me for being suspicious. But, my

  • aThe difficulties in the way of the believing in an historical Glycera Menandri have been overstated by A. Körte (“Gly- kera und Menander,” H 54 [1919], 87–93; article “Menandros,” RE xv. 712) but have not been dispelled by W. Schmid’s reply (“Menandros-Glykera” WKPh 36 [1919], 166–167) or by the reply of Schepers (“De Glycera Menandri amoribus,” Mnemosyne 54 [1926], 258–262). In Athenaeus xiii. 594 d Glycera is mentioned just after a Bacchis of Samos.
  • bProbably the greatest writer of the New Comedy, fourth to third centuries b.c.
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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.alciphron-letters_book_iv_letters_courtesans.1949