But those of the present day who give entertainments, especially the inhabitants of the beautiful Alexandria, cry out, [p. 663] and make a noise, and curse the cup-bearer, the steward, and cook; and the slaves are all crying, being beaten with fists and driven about in every direction. And not only do the guests who are invited sup with great discomfort and annoyance, but even if there is any sacrifice going on, the god himself would veil his face and go away, leaving not only the house, but even the entire city, in which such things take place. For it is absurd for a man, proclaiming that people should all confine themselves to words of good omen, to curse his wife and his children; and such a man as that would say to the guests—
And now then let us hasten to the feast,for such a man's house—
That we may plan the movements of the war;—
Is redolent of frankincense,Now, when all this had been said, one of the guests who were present said,—We ought, then, when we consider these things, to guard against indulging our appetites too much;
And pæans too, and groans at the same time.
For a frugal supper breeds no drunkenness,as Amphis says, in his Pan: nor does it produce insolence or insulting conduct; as Alexis testifies in his Ulysses Weaving, where he says—
For many a banquet which endures too long,
And many and daily feasts, are wont t' engender
Insult and mockery; and those kind of jests
Give far more pain than they do raise amusement.
For such are the first ground of evil-speaking;
And if you once begin t' attack your neighbour,
You quickly do receive back all you bring,
And then abuse and quarrels surely follow;
Then blows and drunken riot. For this is
The natural course of things, and needs no prophet.