Two Amusing Rejoinders

Macrobius, Saturnalia 2.2.10-11

Evangelus then related this story: Servilius Geminus happened to be dining with Lucius Mallius, who was then considered to be Rome’s best painter. When Geminus saw that Mallius’ children were misshapen and ugly, he said, ‘Mallius, you don’t procreate like you paint.’ Mallius responded, ‘That’s because I do my painting in the light, and my procreating in the dark.’

Eusebius then added this story: Demosthenes once approached Lais after being roused by her reputation (all of Greece then marveled at her beauty), with the aim of availing himself of her famous love. When he heard that the price of one night was half a talent of silver, he left saying ‘I don’t like to pay so much for regret.’

Hic Evangelus: apud L. Mallium, qui optimus pictor Romae habetur, Servilius Geminus forte cenabat cumque filios eius deformes vidisset, ‘non similiter,’ inquit, ‘Malli, fingis et pingis,’ et Mallius, ‘in tenebris enim fingo,’ inquit ‘luce pingo.’

Eusebius deinde: ‘Demosthenes’, inquit, ‘excitatus ad Laidis famam, cuius formam tunc Graecia mirabatur, accessit, ut et ipse famoso amore potiretur. Qui ubi dimidium talentum unius pretium noctis audivit, discessit hoc dicto: Οὐκ ἀγοράζω τοσούτου μετανοῆσαι.’

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