Ephippus, in his Ephebi, enumerating the different dishes in fashion for dessert, says,—
Then there were brought some groats, some rich perfumesAnd in his Cydon he says,—
From Egypt, and a cask of rich palm wine
Was broach'd. Then cakes and other kinds of sweetmeats,
Cheesecakes of every sort and every name;
And a whole hecatomb of eggs. These things
We ate, and clear'd the table vigorously,
For we did e'en devour some parasites.
And after supper they served up some kernels,Alexis too, in his Philiscus, says,—
Vetches, and beans, and groats, and cheese, and honey,
Sweetmeats of various kinds, and cakes of sesame,
And pyramidical rolls of wheat, and apples,
Nuts, milk, hempseed too, and shell-fish,
Syrup, the brains of Jove.
Now is the time to clear the table, andAnd as Philoxenus of Cythera, in his Banquet, where he mentions the second course, has spoken by name of many of the dishes which are served up to us, we may as well cite his words:— “And the beautiful vessels which come in first, were brought in again full of every kind of delicacy, which mortals [p. 1028] call τράπεζαι, but the Gods call them the Horn of Amalthea. And in the middle was placed that great delight of mortals, white marrow dressed sweet; covering its face with a thin membrane, like a spider's web, out of modesty, that one might not see . . . . . in the dry nets of Aristæus . . . . And its name was amyllus . . . . . . . . . . which they call Jupiter's sweetmeats . . . . Then he distributed plates of . . . . very delicious . . . . . . and a cheesecake compounded of cheese, and milk, and honey . . . almonds with soft rind . . . . and nuts, which boys are very fond of; and everything else which could be expected in plentiful and costly entertainment. And drinking went on, and playing at the cottabus, and conversation . . . . . . . It was pronounced a very magnificent entertainment, and every one admired and praised it.” This, then, is the description given by Philoxenus of Cythera, whom Antiphanes praises in his Third-rate Performer, where he says—
To bring each guest some water for his hands,
And garlands, perfumes, and libations,
Frankincense, and a chafing-dish. Now give
Some sweetmeats, and let all some cheesecakes have.
Philoxenus now does surpass by far
All other poets. First of all he everywhere
Uses new words peculiar to himself;
And then how cleverly doth he mix his melodies
With every kind of change and modification!
Surely he is a god among weak men,
And a most thorough judge of music too,
But poets of the present day patch up
Phrases of ivy and fountains into verse,
And borrow old expressions, talking of
Melodies flying on the wings of flowers,
And interweave them with their own poor stuff.