Page:The battle of the books - Guthkelch - 1908.djvu/186
with Stesichorus teach him the very names ? But to forgive him, or rather the sophist, such an egregious piece of dulness : why, forsooth, so much ado, why such a vast way about, to obtain a few verses ? Could not they have writ directly to Stesichorus, and at the price of some present have met with easy success ? Do not we know, that all of that string, Bacchylides, Simonides, Pindar, got their livelihood by the Muses ? So that to use Phalaris's intercession, besides the delay and an unnecessary trouble to both, was to defraud the poet of his fee.
Nay certainly, they might have employed any hand rather than Phalaris's. For, begging pardon of the Epistles, I suspect all to be a cheat about Stesichorus's friendship with him. For the poet, out of common gratitude, must needs have celebrated it in some of his works. But that he did not, the letters themselves are, in this point, a sufficient witness. For, in the seventy-ninth, Phalaris is feigned to entreat him, not once to mention his name in his books. This was a sly fetch of our sophist, to prevent so shrewd an objection from Stesichorus's silence as to any friend- ship at all with him. But that cunning shall not serve