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IN Eleusis, after the solemn celebration of the sacred mysteries, Glaucias the orator entertained us at a feast; [p. 241] where, after the rest had done, Xenocles of Delphi, as his humor is, began to be smart upon my brother Lamprias for his good Boeotian stomach. I in his defence opposing Xenocles, who was an Epicurean, said, Pray, sir, do not all place the very essence of pleasure in privation of pain and suffering? But Lamprias, who prefers the Lyceum before the Garden, ought by his practice to confirm Aristotle's doctrine; for he affirms that every man hath a better stomach in the autumn than in other seasons of the year, and gives the reason, which I cannot remember at present. So much the better (says Glaucias), for when supper is done, we will endeavor to discover it ourselves. That being over, Glaucias and Xenocles drew various reasons from the autumnal fruit. One said, that it scoured the body, and by this evacuation continually raised new appetites. Xenocles affirmed, that ripe fruit had usually a pleasing vellicating sapor, and thereby provoked the appetite better than sauces or sweetmeats; for sick men of a vitiated stomach usually recover it by eating fruit. But Lamprias said, that our natural heat, the principal instrument of nutrition, in the midst of summer is scattered and becomes rare and weak, but in autumn it unites again and gathers strength, being shut in by the ambient cold and contraction of the pores. I for my part said: In summer we are more thirsty and use more moisture than in other seasons; and therefore Nature, observing the same method in all her operations, at this change of seasons employs the contrary and makes us hungry; and to maintain an equal temper in the body, she gives us dry food to countervail the moisture taken in the summer. Yet none can deny but that the food itself is a partial cause; for not only new fruit, bread, or corn, but flesh of the same year, is better tasted than that of the former, more forcibly provokes the guests, and enticeth them to eat on. [p. 242]
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