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But concerning these griphi, Antiphanes says, in his Cnœthis, or the Pot-bellied Man—
A. I thought before that those who while at meals
Bade me solve griphi, were the silliest triflers,
Talking mere nonsense. And when any one
Was bade to say what a man bore and bore not,
I laugh'd and thought it utter childishness;
And did not think that truth did lie beneath,
But reckon'd them as traps for the unwary.
But now, indeed, I see there is some truth in them;
For we, ten men, contribute now for supper,
But no one of them all bears what he brings,
So here's a case where he who bears bears not,
And this is just the meaning of a griphus.
So surely this may fairly be excused;
But others play tricks with the things themselves,
Paying no money, as, for instance, Philip.
B. A wise and fortunate man, by Jove, is he.
And in his Aphrodisian he says—
A. Suppose I want to say now “dish” to you,
Shall I say “dish,” or shall I rather say,
[p. 709] A hollow-bodied vessel, made of earth,
Form'd by the potter's wheel in rapid swing,
Baked in another mansion of its mother,
Which holds within its net the tender milk-fed
Offspring of new-born flocks untimely choked?
B. By Hercules, you'll kill me straight if you
Do not in plain words say a “dish of meat.”
A. 'Tis well. And shall I speak to you of drops
Flowing from bleating goats, and well compounded
With streams proceeding from the yellow bee,
Sitting on a broad receptacle provided
By the chaste virgin born of holy Ceres,
And now luxuriating beneath a host
Of countless finely-wrought integuments;
Or shall I say “a cheesecake?”
B. Prithee say
A cheesecake.
A. Shall I speak of rosy sweat
From Bacchic spring?
B. I'd rather you'd say wine.
A. Or shall I speak of dusky dewy drops?
B. No such long paraphrase,—say plainly, water.
A. Or shall I praise the cassia-breathing fragrance
That scents the air
B. No, call it myrrh,—forbear
Those sad long-winded sentences, those long
And roundabout periphrases; it seems
To me by far too great a labour thus
To dwell on matters which are small themselves,
And only great in such immense descriptions.

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