The Ancient Library
 
This book contains Greek and English on facing pages.

Scanned text contains errors.

THE LOVER OF LIES

" When I was on my way home from Egypt I heard that this shrine in Mallus was very famous and very truthful, and that it responded clearly, answer­ing word for word whatever one wrote in his tablet and turned over to the prophet. So I thought that it would be well to give the oracle a trial in passing and ask the god for some advice about the future—"

While Eucrates was still saying these words, since I could see how the business would turn out and that the cock-and-bull story about oracles upon which he was embarking would not be short, I left him sailing from Egypt to Mallus, not choosing to oppose every­one all alone : I was aware, too, that they were put out at my being there to criticise their lies. " I am going away," I said, " to look up Leontichus, for I want to speak to him about something. As for you, since you do not think that human experiences afford you a sufficient field, go ahead and call in the gods themselves to help you out in your romancing." With that I went out. They were glad to have a free hand, and continued, of course, to feast and to gorge themselves with lies.

There you have it, Philocles ! After hearing all that at the house of Eucrates I am going about like a man who has drunk sweet must, with a swollen belly, craving an emetic. I should be glad if I could anywhere buy at a high price a dose of forget-fulness, so that the memory of what I heard may not stay with me and work me some harm. In fact, I think 1 see apparitions and spirits and Hecates!

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