But the ancients were not in the habit of getting drunk. But Pittacus recommended Periander of Priene not to get drunk, nor to become too much addicted to feasting, “so that,” says he, “it may not be discovered what sort of a [p. 675] person you really are, and that you are not what you pretend to be.” —
For brass may be a mirror for the face,—On which account they were wise men who invited the proverb, “Wine has no rudder.” Accordingly, Xenophon the son of Gryllus, (when once at the table of Dionysius the tyrant of Sicily, the cupbearer was compelling the guests to drink,) addressed the tyrant himself by name, and said, “Why, O Dionysius, does not also the confectioner, who is a skilful man in his way, and one who understands a great many different recipes for dressing things, compel us also, when we are at a banquet, to eat even when we do not wish to; but why, on the contrary, does he spread the table for us in an orderly manner, in silence?” And Sophocles, in one of his Satyric dramas, says—
Wine for the mind.
To be compell'd to drink is quite as hardFrom which also is derived the saying—
As to be forced to bear with thirst.
Wine makes an old man dance against his will.And Sthenelus the poet said very well—
Wine can bring e'en the wise to acts of folly.And Phocylides says—
It should be a rule for all wine-bibbing peopleand to this day this custom prevails among some of the Greeks. But since they have begun to be luxurious and have got effeminate they have given up their chairs and taken to couches; and having taken indolence and laziness for their allies, they have indulged in drinking in an immoderate and disorderly manner; the very way in which the tables were laid contributing, as I imagine, to luxury.
Not to let the jug limp round the board like a cripple,
But gaily to chat while enjoying their tipple: