Apelles was a renowned painter and a good man. When he heard that another great painter, Protogenes, was living in poverty on the island of Rhodes, he sailed to visit him and inquire about what he could do to help him. He did it without warning him in advance, lest he would be embarrassed.
When Apelles came to Protogenes' studio, he found him absent momentarily. An old lady who covered for him, asked for the name of the visitor. Instead of telling her, Apelles took a brush and, with one spontaneous stroke, traced a line so elegant that, when Protogenes returned and saw it, he exclaimed: "Only Apelles could draw such a line."
Then, more to learn from Apelles than to rival him, Protogenes drew a finer line next to his and told the woman to show it to the stranger if he were to return again in his absence. It did happen and, after admiring the skill of Protogenes, Apelles drew between the two lines a third line so fine and graceful that, when Protogenes saw it, he rushed to the harbor seeking his visitor before he could sail away. The two painters spent some good time together and developed a friendship that benefited the unknown Protogenes more than the renowned Apelles. (See p. 46-47)