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AT my return from Alexandria all my friends by turns treated me, inviting all such too as were any way acquainted, so that our meetings were usually tumultuous and suddenly dissolved; which disorders gave occasion to discourses concerning the inconveniences that attend such crowded [p. 324] entertainments. But when Onesicrates the physician in his turn invited only the most familiar acquaintance, and men of the most agreeable temper, I thought that what Plato says concerning the increase of cities might be applied to entertainments. For there is a certain number which an entertainment may receive, and still be an entertainment; but if it exceeds that, so that by reason of the number there cannot be a mutual conversation amongst all, if they cannot know one another nor partake of the same jollity, it ceaseth to be such. For we should not need messengers there, as in a camp, or boatswains, as in a galley; but we ourselves should immediately converse with one another. As in a dance, so in an entertainment, the last man should be placed within hearing of the first.
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