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Translated by Wilmer Cave Wright
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After this fashion, then, even when I [Note 1] was among the Celts, like the ill-tempered man in Menander, "I myself kept heaping troubles on my own head." But whereas the boorish Celts used easily to put up with these ways of mine, they are naturally resented by a prosperous and gay and crowded city in which there are numerous dancers and flute-players and more mimes than ordinary citizens, and no respect at all for those who govern. For the blush of modesty befits the unmanly, but manly fellows like you it befits to begin your revels at dawn, to spend your nights in pleasure, and to show not only by your words but by your deeds also that you despise the laws. For indeed it is only by means of those in authority that the laws inspire fear in men; so that he who insults one who is in authority, over and above this tramples on the laws. And that you take pleasure in this sort of behaviour you show clearly on many occasions, but especially in the market-places and theatres; the mass of the people by their clapping and shouting, while those in office show it by the fact that, on account of the sums they have spent on such entertainments, they are more widely known and more talked about by all men than Solon the Athenian ever was on account of his interview with Croesus the king of the Lydians. And all of you are handsome and tall and smooth-skinned and beardless; for young and old alike you are emulous of the happiness of the Phaeacians, and rather than righteousness you prefer "changes of raiment and warm baths and beds." |
Note 1: I = Julian
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Flute-players:The guild of flute-players was from very early times a large and wealthy one, as they attended most of the sacrificial functions and games, and as a rule supplied the music at funerals. They were not only well paid but treated with great respect. Their annual festival when they perambulated the City was on June 13.