XXVI. (166) The greater portion of these men ere Egyptians, wicked, worthless men, who had imprinted the venom and evil disposition of their native asps and crocodiles on their own souls, and gave a faithful representation of them there. And the leader of the whole Egyptian troops, like the coryphaeus of a chorus, was a man of the name of Helicon, an accursed and infamous slave, who had been introduced into the imperial household to its ruin; for he had acquired a slight smattering of the encyclical sciences, by imitation of and rivalry with his former master, who gave him to Tiberius Caesar. (167) And at that time he had no especial privilege, since Tiberius had a perfect hatred of all youthful sallies of wit for the mere purposes of amusement, as he, from almost his earliest youth, was of a solemn and austere disposition. (168) But when Tiberius was dead, and Gaius succeeded to the empire, he then, following a new master, who invited him to every description of relaxation and luxury, such as could delight every one of his outward senses, said to himself: “Rise up, O Helicon! now is your opportunity. You have now an auditor, and a spectator, who is of all men in the world the best calculated to receive the exhibition of your talents favourably. You are a man of very attractive natural talents. You are able to joke graceful, and to say witty, things beyond any one else. You are skilful in all kinds of amusements, and trifling, and fashionable sports. And you are equally accomplished in those branches of the encyclical education which are not so ordinarily met with. Moreover, you have a readiness of speech and repartee which is far from unpleasing. (169) If therefore you mingle with your jestings any little stimulus which is in the least unwelcome or painful, so as to excite not only laughter but any feelings of bitterness, on the part of one who is always ready to suspect evil, you will be deliberately alienating from yourself a master who is the very well inclined by nature to listen to any accusations which are brought before him in a joking manner; for his ears, as you well know, are always open, and are constantly on the watch to listen to all those who are in the habit of interweaving accusations of others with their sycophancy. (170) And do not seek for any more abundant causes; for you have a sufficient foundation with respect to the customs of the Jews and the national laws of that people, in which you yourself were bred up, and in which you have been instructed from your very earliest childhood, not by one man only, but by that most chattering and vexatious portion of the city of Alexandria. So now, make an exhibition of your learning.”