previous next

And when some one mentioned that Menander, in his Hero, said—
Here is a measure of well-temper'd wine;
Take it, and drink it up;—
Democritus said—Hesiod, my friends, recommends men
To pour three parts of water in the cup,
And let the fourth part be the vinous juice.
And, perhaps, it was on account of Hesiod that Anaxilas said, in his Nereus,—
And this is much more pleasant; for I'd never
Have drunk one part of wine to three of water.
And Alexis, in his Nurse, recommends even a more moderate mixture than this—
See, here is wine. Shall I, then, give to Criton
Equal proportions? This is better far,
One part of wine to four of limpid water:
Perhaps you'll call that weak; but still, when you
Have drunk your fill of this, you'll find your head
Clear for discussion,—and the drink lasts longer.
And Diocles, in his Bees, says—
A. In what proportions should the wine be mix'd?
B. Four parts of water to two parts of wine.
And this mixture, as it is not that in ordinary use, put the questioner in mind of the well-known proverb,—
Drink waters three or five; but never four.
That they mean is, You had better take two parts wine with five of water, or one of wine to three of water. But, concerning this mixture, Ion the poet, in his book on Chios, says that Palamedes the soothsayer discovered and prophesied to the Greeks, that they would have a favourable voyage if they drank one portion of wine to three of water. But they, applying themselves to their drink very vigorously, took two pints of wine to five of water;—accordingly Nicochares in his Amymone, playing on the name, says—
Here, you Œnornaus,—here. you two and five,—
Let you and I now have a drink together.
And he said nearly the same in his Lemnian Women: and Ameipsias, in his Men Playing the Cottabus, says— [p. 673]
But I (it is Bacchus who is represented as speaking) am five and two to all of you.
And Eupolis says, in his Goats,—
Hail, my friend Bacchus, are you two to five?
And Hermippus says, in his Gods,—
A. Then, when we drink, or when we thirsty are,
We pray our wine may be in due proportion.
B. I do not bring it from a roguish wine-vault,
Meaning to mock you: this which I do bring
Is, as before, the proper two and five.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Kaibel)
load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: