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HOMER makes Menelaus come uninvited to his brother Agamemnon's treat, when he feasted the commanders;
For well he knew great cares his brother vexed.1

He did not take notice of the plain and evident omission of his brother, or show his resentments by not coming, as some surly testy persons usually do upon such oversights of their best friends; although they had rather be overlooked than particularly invited, that they may have some color for their pettish anger. But about the introduced guests (which we call shadows) who are not invited by the entertainer, but by some others of the guests, a question was started, from whom that custom began. Some thought from Socrates, who persuaded Aristodemus, who was not invited, to go along with him to Agatho's, where there happened a pretty jest. For Socrates by accident staying somewhat behind, Aristodemus went in first; and this seemed very fitting, for, the sun shining on their backs, the shadow ought to go before the body. Afterwards it was thought necessary at all entertainments, especially of great men, when the inviter did not know their favorites and acquaintance, to desire the invited to bring his company, appointing such a set number, lest they should be put to the same shifts which he was put to who invited King Philip to his country-house. The king came with a numerous attendance, but the provision was not equal to the company. Therefore, seeing his entertainer much cast down, he sent some about to tell his friends privately, that [p. 382] they should keep one corner of their bellies for a great cake that was to come. And they, expecting this, fed sparingly on the meat that was set before them, so that the provision seemed sufficient for them all.

1 Il. II. 409.

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