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Athenaeus of Naucratis / Volume III: Books XII-XV

Book XIII,   pp. 888-978

Page 976

" Against iEschines, the Pupil of Socrates, for Debt," (for I 
wvill recite the passage, even though it be a rather long onee, 
on account of your excessive arrogance, U philosophers,) 
begins in the following manner-," I never should have 
imagined, 0 judges, that IEschines would have dared to come 
into court on a trial which is so discreditable to him.  For 
a more disgracefully false accusation than the one which he 
has brought forward, I do not believe it to be easy to find. 
For he, 0 judges, owing a sum of money with a covenanted 
interest of three drachmre to Sosinomus the banker and Aris- 
togiton, came to me, and besought me not to allow him to be 
wholly stripped of his own property, in consequence of this 
high interest.  'And I,' said he, am at this moment carrying 
on the trade of a perfumer; but I want capital to go on 
with, and I will pay you nine1 obols a month interest."  A 
fine end to the happiness of this philosopher was the trade 
of a perfumer, and admirably harmonizing with the philo- 
sophy of Socrates, a man who utterly rejected the use of all 
perfumes and unguents ! And moreover, Solon the lawgiver 
expressly forbade a man to devote himself to any such busi- 
ness: on which account Pherecrates, in his Oven, or Woman 
sitting up all Night, says- 
Why should he practise a perfumer's trade, 
Sitting beneath a high umbrella there, 
Preparing for himself a seat on which 
To gossip with the youths the whole day long? 
And presently afterwards he says- 
And no one ever saw a female cook 
Or any fishwoman; for every class 
Should practise arts which are best suited to it. 
And after what I have already quoted, the orator proceeds 
to say-" And I was persuaded by this speech of his, 
considering also that this GEschines bad been the pupil of 
Socrates, and was a man who uttered fine sentiments about 
1 This would have been 18 per cent. Three drachmae were about 
436 per cent. The former appears to have been the usual rate of 
interest at Athens in the time of Lysias; for we find in Demosthenes 
that interest erl 5paXqIm7, that is to say, a drachma a month interest for
each mina lent, was considered low. It was exceedingly common, how- 
ever, among the money-lenders, to exact an exorbitant rate of interest, 
going even as high as a drachma every four days.-See Smith's Diet. 
Ant. v. Interest, p. 524. 
[B. XIII. 

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