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[70] “As I hope to grow in gains and not in girth, my cook[p. 135] made the whole thing out of a pig. There could not be a more valuable fellow. If you want it, he will make you a fish out of a sow's belly, a woodpigeon out of bacon, a turtledove out of a ham, and a chicken out of a knuckle of pork. That gave me the idea of putting a very pretty name on him; he is called Daedalus.1 And because he is so intelligent, I brought him back from Rome some knives, made of steel of Noricum, as a present.” He had these knives brought in at once, and contemplated them with admiration. He even allowed us to try the edge on our cheeks.

Suddenly two slaves came in who had apparently been fighting at a water-tank; at least they still had waterpots on their necks. Trimalchio sat in judgment on the dispute, but neither of them accepted his decision, and they smashed each other's waterpots With sticks. We were amazed at their drunken folly, and stared at them fighting, and then we saw oysters and cockles fall out of the pots, and a boy picked them up and brought them round on a dish. The clever cook was a match for this exhibition; he offered us snails on a silver gridiron, and sang in an extremely ugly quavering voice.

I am ashamed to tell you what followed: in defiance of all convention, some long-haired boys brought ointment in a silver basin, and anointed our feet as we lay, after winding little garlands round our feet and ankles. A quantity of the same ointment was then poured into the mixing-bowl and the lamp.

Fortunata had now grown anxious to dance; Scintilla clapped her hands more often than she spoke, when Trimalchio said, “Philargyrus, you and Cario,[p. 137] though you are a damned wearer of the green,2 may sit down and tell your good woman, Menophila, to do the same.” I need hardly say that we were nearly pushed off the sofas with the slaves crowding into every seat. Anyhow, I noticed that the cook, who had made a goose out of the pig, sat stinking of pickle and sauces just above me. Not satisfied with having a seat, he at once began to imitate the tragedian Ephesus, and then invited his own master to make a bet on the green being first in the next games.

1 A common nickname for a Jack of all trades.

2 These persons were two of Trimalchio's slaves. Trimalchio addresses one of them, Philargyrus, as a supporter of the green colours in competitions in the circus. Competitors wore four colours, blue, green, white, and red.

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