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[35] After we had praised this outburst a dish followed, not at all of the size we expected; but its novelty drew every eye to it There was a round plate with the twelve signs of the Zodiac set in order, and on each one the artist had laid some food fit and proper to the symbol; over the Ram ram's-head pease, a piece of beef on the Bull, kidneys over the Twins, over the Crab a crown, an African fig over the Lion, a barren sow's paunch over Virgo, over Libra a pair of scales with a muffin on one side and a cake on the other, over Scorpio a small sea-fish, over Sagittarius a bull's-eye,1 over Capricornus a lobster, over Aquarius a goose, over Pisces two mullets. In the middle lay a honeycomb on a sod of turf with the green grass on it. An Egyptian boy took bread round in a silver chafing-dish. . . .

Trimalchio himself too ground out a tune from the[p. 55] musical comedy “Assafoetida” in a most hideous voice.

1 The meaning is uncertain. The word is probably derived from oculus, “an eye,” and petere, “to seek.” See Lewis and Short s.v. ocliferius.

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