Alciphron, Letters 4. Letters of Courtesans

LCL 383: 254-255

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δὲ ταῖς ἑταιρικαῖς, ὦ φιλτάτη, ζηλοτυπιαις. ἐγὼ δ᾿ οὐ παρὰ μικρὸν ἡγούμην Μενάνδρου διαμαρτεῖν 5ἐραστοῦ. ἄλλως τε κἄν μοι1 κνισμός τις ᾖ2 πρὸς αὐτὸν ἢ3 διαφορὰ γένηται, δεήσει με ἐπὶ τῆς σκηνῆς ὑπὸ Χρέμητός τινος ἢ Φειδύλου4 πικρῶς λοιδορεῖσθαι. ἐὰν δ᾿ ἐπανέλθῃ μοι οἷος ᾤχετο, πολλὴν εἴσομαί σοι χάριν. ἔρρωσο.

3 [i. 30]

Βακχὶς Ὑπερείδῃ5

Πᾶσαί σοι ἴσμεν αἱ ἑταῖραι6 χάριν καὶ ἑκάστη γε ἡμῶν οὐχ ἧττον ἢ Φρύνη.7 ὁ μὲν γὰρ ἀγὼν μόνης Φρύνης, ὃν ὁ παμπόνηρος Εὐθίας ἐπανείλετο, ὁ δὲ κίνδυνος ἁπασῶν. εἰ γὰρ αἰτοῦσαι παρὰ τῶν ἐραστῶν ἀργύριον οὐ τυγχάνομεν8 ἢ τοῖς διδοῦσιν ἐντυγχάνουσαι9 ἀσεβείας κριθησόμεθα, πεπαῦσθαι κρεῖττον ἡμῖν τοῦ βίου τούτου καὶ μηκέτι ἔχειν 2πράγματα μήτε τοῖς ὁμιλοῦσι παρέχειν. νῦν δ᾿


dearest, please pardon my professional jealousy. As for me, I couldn’t feel it a slight matter to lose Menander as a lover. Besides, if there is any friction5 between me and him, or if any quarrel arises, I shall have to endure bitter jibes on the stage from some Chremes or Pheidylus.a But if he comes back to me as fond as he went away, I shall be most grateful to you. Farewell.

Letter 3 [i. 30]

Bacchis to Hypereidesb

We courtesans are all grateful to you, and each one of us is just as grateful as Phrynê.c The suit, to be sure, that was brought by that scoundrel Euthias involved Phrynê alone, but it meant danger to us all: for if we ask our lovers for money and don’t get it, or if we findd paying customers and then face prosecution for impiety, it’s better for us to be done with this way of living and no longer have trouble ourselves or cause trouble fore those who frequent our company.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.alciphron-letters_book_iv_letters_courtesans.1949