One day, Diogenes ate a dish of lentils while sitting on the threshold of a random house. Throughout Greece, there was no cheaper food than a soup with lentils. In other words, if someone ate lentils for a meal, it meant that he was in a state of utter destitution. An emissary from the prince's entourage was passing by, saw him, stopped and said: "Ah! Diogenes, if only you tried not to be so contumacious towards our lord, but more of a flatterer, you would not be forced to eat lentils all the time". Diogenes stopped eating, looked up and looking into the eyes of his rich interlocutor, he responded: "Oh, my poor brother! If only you learnt to eat a few lentils, you would not be forced to obey and flatter the lord all the time."