When I had talked thus waggishly to the company, Florus had a mind to talk gravely concerning these shadows, and have it discussed whether it was fit for those that were so invited to go, or no. His son-in-law Caesernius was positively against it. We should, says he, following Hesiod's advice,
Invite a friend to feast,1or at least we should have our acquaintance and familiars to participate of our entertainments, mirth, and discourse over a glass of wine; but now, as ferry-men permit their passengers to bring in what fardel they please, so we permit others to fill our entertainments with any persons, let them be good companions or not. And I should wonder that any man of breeding being so (that is, not at all) invited, should go; since, for the most part, he must be unacquainted with the entertainer, or if he was acquainted, was not thought worthy to be bidden. Nay, he should be more ashamed to go to such a one, if he considers that it will look like an upbraiding of his unkindness, and yet a rude intruding into his company against his will. Besides, to go before or after the guest that invites him must look unhandsomely, nor is it creditable to go and stand in need of witnesses to assure the guests that he doth not come as a principally invited person, but such a one's shadow. Beside, to attend others bathing or anointing, to observe his hour, whether he goes early or late, is servile and gnathonical (for there never was such an excellent fellow as Gnatho to feed at another man's table). Besides, if there is no more proper time and place to say, [p. 383]
Speak, tongue, if thou wilt utter jovial things,than at a feast, and freedom and raillery is mixed with every thing that is either done or said over a glass of wine, how should he behave himself, who is not a true principally invited guest, but as it were a bastard and supposititious intruder? For whether he is free or not, he lies open to the exception of the company. Besides, the very meanness and vileness of the name is no small evil to those who do not resent but can quietly endure to be called and answer to the name of shadows. For, by enduring such base names, men are insensibly customed and drawn on to base actions. Therefore, when I make an invitation, since it is hard to break the custom of a place, I give my guests leave to bring shadows; but when I myself am invited as a shadow, I assure you I refuse to go.