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And Crato cried out: By Bacchus, he was right in forswearing talk, if he designed to make such long-winded discourses as would have spoiled all mirth and conversation; but I do not think there is the same reason to forbid philosophy as to take away rhetoric from our feasts. For philosophy is quite of another nature; it is an art of living, [p. 199] and therefore must be admitted into every part of our conversation, into all our gay humors and our pleasures, to regulate and adjust them, to proportion the time, and keep them from excess; unless, perchance, upon the same scoffing pretence of gravity, they would banish temperance, justice, and moderation. It is true, were we to feast in a court-room, as those that entertained Orestes, and were silence enjoined by law, that might prove a not unlucky cloak of our ignorance; but if Bacchus is really λύσιος (a looser of every thing), and chiefly takes off all restraints and bridles from the tongue, and gives the voice the greatest freedom, I think it is foolish and absurd to deprive that time in which we are usually most talkative of the most useful and profitable discourse; and in our schools to dispute of the offices of company, in what consists the excellence of a guest, how mirth, feasting, and wine are to be used, and yet deny philosophy a place in these feasts, as if not able to confirm by practice what by precepts it instructs.
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