PHILOMETOR TO PHILISUS.
I SENT my son to the city to sell wood and barley, and gave him strict orders to come back the same day with the money; but the wrath of some Deity or other overtook him altogether. For, having seen one of those lunatics, who are nicknamed “Dogs” from their mad behaviour, he outdid his master in imitating his extravagances. He is a fearful and disgusting sight: he shakes his unkempt hair, he looks wild, goes about half-naked in a threadbare cloak, with a little wallet slung over his shoulders, and a staff of wild pear-tree wood in his hands. He is unshod and filthy, and no one can do anything with him; he declares he does not know his parents or the farm either: he says that everything is produced by nature, and that the mixture of the elements, not our parents, is the cause of generation. It is evident that he despises money, and hates agriculture; he is lost to all sense of shame, and all trace of modesty is banished from his countenance. O Agriculture! what utter ruin this thinking-shop of impostors has brought upon you! I blame Draco and Solon; for, while they thought fit to punish with death those who stole grapes, they allowed those who made slaves of young men’s understandings to go scot-free.