And as the Cynic was proceeding to heap other proofs on these, Pontianus said,—The ancients, my friends, were in the habit also of drinking very cold water. At all events Alexis says, in his Parasite—
I wish to make you taste this icy water,And Hermippus, in his Cercopes, calls water drawn from wells φρεατιαῖον ὕδωρ. Moreover, that men used to drink melted snow too, is shown by Alexis, in his Woman eating Mandragora—
For I am proud of my well, whose limpid spring
Is colder than the Ararus.
Sure is not man a most superfluous plant,And Dexicrates, in the play entitled The Men deceived by Themselves, says—
Constantly using wondrous contradictions.
Strangers we love, and our own kin neglect;
Though having nothing, still we give to strangers.
We bear our share in picnics, though we grudge it,
And show our grudging by our sordidness.
And as to what concerns our daily food,
We wish our barley-cakes should white appear,
And yet we make for them a dark black sauce,
And stain pure colour with a deeper dye.
Then we prepare to drink down melted snow;
Yet if our fish be cold, we storm and rave.
Sour or acid wine we scorn and loathe,
Yet are delighted with sharp caper sauce.
And so, as many wiser men have said,
Not to be born at all is best for man;
The next best thing, to die as soon as possible.
But when I'm drunk I take a draught of snow,[p. 205] And Euthycles, in his Prodigal Men, or The Letter, says—
And Egypt gives me ointment for my head.
He first perceived that snow was worth a price;And that excellent writer Xenophon, in his Memorablia, shows that he was acquainted with the fashion of drinking snow. But Chares of Mitylene, in his History of Alexander, has told us how we are to proceed in order to keep snow when he is relating the siege of the Indian city Petra. For he says that Alexander dug thirty large trenches close to one anther, and filled them with snow, and then he heaped on the snow branches of oak; for that in that way snow would last a long time.
He ought to be the first to eat the honeycombs.