How much better, then, is it, my good friend Timocrates, to be poor and thinner than even those men whom Hermippus mentions in his Cercopes, than to be enormously rich, and like that whale of Tanagra, as the before mentioned [p. 882] men were! But Hermippus uses the following language, addressing Bacchus on the present occasion—
For poor men now to sacrifice to youAnd Aristophanes, in his Gerytades, gives a list of the following people as very thin, who, he says, were sent as ambassadors by the poets on earth down to hell to the poets there, and his words are—
But maim'd and crippled oxen; thinner far
Than e'en Thoumantis or Leotrophides.
A. And who is this who dares to pierce the gatesAnd presently afterwards he says—
Of lurid darkness, and the realms o' the dead?
B. We're by unanimous agreement chosen,
(Making the choice in solemn convocation,)
One man from each department of our art,
Who were well known to be frequenters of the Shades,
As often voluntarily going thither.
A. Are there among you any men who thus
Frequent the realms of Pluto?
B. Aye, by Jove,
And plenty; just as there are men who go
To Thrace and then come back again. You know
The whole case now.
A. And what may be their names?
First, there's Sannyrion, the comic poet;
Then, of the tragic chori, Melitus;
And of the Cyclic bards, Cinesias.
On what slight hopes did you then all rely!And Strattis also mentions Sannyrion, in his Men fond of Cold, saying—
For if a fit of diarrhea came
Upon these men, they'd all be carried off.
The leathern aid of wise Sannyrion.And Sannyrion himself speaks of Melitus, in his play called Laughter, speaking as follows—
Melitus, that carcase from Leanæum rising.