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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
From a Mercenary Girl—Petala to Simalion
By Alciphron (Second Century)
From the ‘Epistolæ,’ i. 36.

WELL, if a girl could live on tears, what a wealthy girl I should be; for you are generous enough with them, anyhow! Unfortunately, however, that isn’t quite enough for me. I need money; I must have jewels, clothes, servants, and all that sort of thing. Nobody has left me a fortune, I should like you to know, or any mining stock; and so I am obliged to depend on the little presents that gentlemen happen to make me. Now that I’ve known you a year, how much better off am I for it, I should like to ask? My head looks like a fright because I haven’t had anything to rig it out with, all that time; and as to clothes,—why, the only dress I’ve got in the world is in rags that make me ashamed to be seen with my friends: and yet you imagine that I can go on in this way without having any other means of living! Oh, yes, of course, you cry; but you’ll stop presently. I’m really surprised at the number of your tears; but really, unless somebody gives me something pretty soon I shall die of starvation. Of course, you pretend you’re just crazy for me, and that you can’t live without me. Well, then, isn’t there any family silver in your house? Hasn’t your mother any jewelry that you can get hold of? Hasn’t your father any valuables? Other girls are luckier than I am; for I have a mourner rather than a lover. He sends me crowns, and he sends me garlands and roses, as if I were dead and buried before my time, and he says that he cries all night. Now, if you can manage to scrape up something for me, you can come here without having to cry your eyes out; but if you can’t, why, keep your tears to yourself, and don’t bother me!  1

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