Ἦν Στέφανος πτωχὸς κηπεύς θ᾿ ἅμα· νῦν δὲ προκόψας πλουτεῖ, καὶ γεγένητ᾿ εὐθὺ Φιλοστέφανος, τέσσαρα τῷ πρώτῳ Στεφάνῳ καλὰ γράμματα προσθείς· ἔσται δ᾿ εἰς ὥρας Ἱπποκρατιππιάδης, 5ἢ διὰ τὴν σπατάλην Διονυσιοπηγανόδωρος· ἐν δ᾿ ἀγορανομίῳ παντὶ μένει Στέφανος.
Οὐκ ἐν γαστρὶ λαβοῦσα Φιλαίνιον Ἡλιοδώρῳ θήλειαν τίκτει παῖδ᾿ ἀπὸ ταὐτομάτου. τοῦ δ᾿ ἐπὶ θηλείῃ λυπουμένου, ἓξ διαλείπει ἤματα, καὶ τίκτειν ἄρσενα παῖδ᾿ ἔφατο. 5οὕτως Βούβαστις καταλύεται· εἰ γὰρ ἑκάστη τέξεται ὡς αὐτή, τίς θεοῦ ἐστι λόγος;
Καὶ πίε νῦν καὶ ἔρα, Δαμόκρατες· οὐ γὰρ ἐς αἰεὶ πιόμεθ᾿, οὐδ᾿ αἰεὶ παισὶ συνεσσόμεθα. καὶ στεφάνοις κεφαλὰς πυκασώμεθα, καὶ μυρίσωμεν αὑτούς, πρὶν τύμβοις ταῦτα φέρειν ἑτέρους. 5νῦν ἐν ἐμοὶ πιέτω μέθυ τὸ πλέον ὀστέα τἀμά· νεκρὰ δὲ Δευκαλίων αὐτὰ κατακλυσάτω.
Stephanus was poor and a gardener, but now having got on well and become rich, he has suddenly turned into Philostephanus. adding four fine letters to the original Stephanus, and in due time he will be Hippocratippiades or, owing to his extravagance, Dionysiopeganodorus.1 But in all the market he is still Stephanus.
18.—By the Same
Philaenis without conceiving bore a girl child to Heliodorus spontaneously, and when he was vexed at its being a girl she let six days pass and said she had borne a boy. So it is all over with Bubastis;2 for if every woman is brought to bed like Philaenis, who will pay any attention to the goddess?
Drink and love now, Damocrates, for we shall not drink for ever or be for ever with the lads. Let us bind our heads with garlands and scent ourselves before others bear flowers and scent to our tombs. Now may my bones inside me drink mostly wine, and when they are dead let Deucalion’s flood3 cover them.
- 1Hippocratippiades is a comic name invented by the author as indicative of great wealth and position owing to its very horsey sound. Dionysiodorus is another name of very aristocratic sound, spoilt however by the malicious introduction of “pegano” (rue, a common pot-herb) in allusion to Stephanus’ former profession.
- 2The Egyptian representative of Diana presiding over childbirth.
- 3We should say “Noah’s flood.”