But some of the other poets have spoken of the habits of expense and indolence of their own time as existing also at the time of the Trojan war; and so Aeschylus very improperly introduces the Greeks as so drunk as to break their vessels about one another's heads; and he says—
This is the man who threw so wellAnd Sophocles says in his banquet of the Greeks,
The vessel with an evil smell,
And miss'd me not, but dash'd to shivers
The pot too full of steaming rivers
Against my head, which now, alas! sir,
Gives other smells besides macassar.
He in his anger threw too wellBut Eupolis attacks the man who first mentioned such a thing, saying—
The vessel with an evil smell
Against my head, and fill'd the room
With something not much like perfume;
So that I swear I nearly fainted
With the foul steam the vessel vented.
I hate the ways of Sparta's line,But in Homer the chiefs banquet in Agamemnon's tent in a very orderly manner; and if in the Odyssey Achilles and Ulysses dispute and Agamemnon exults, still their rivalry with one another is advantageous, since what they are discussing is whether Troy is to be taken by stratagem, or by open-hand fighting. And he does not represent even the [p. 29] suitors as drunk, nor has he ever made his heroes guilty of such disorderly conduct as Aeschylus and Sophocles have, though he does speak of the foot of an ox being thrown at Ulysses.
And would rather fry my dinner;
He who first invented wine
Made poor man a greater sinner,
And through him the greater need is
Of the arts of Palamedes.1