And Alexis, in his Caldron, shows plainly that cookery is an art practised by free-born men; for a cook is represented in that play as a citizen of no mean reputation; and those who have written cookery books, such as Heraclides and Glaucus the Locrian, say that the art of cookery is one in which it is not even every free-born man who can become eminent. And the younger Cratinus, in his play called the Giants, extols this art highly, saying—
A. Consider, now, how sweet the earth doth smell,And Antiphanes, in his Slave hard to Sell, praises the Sicilian cooks, and says—
How fragrantly the smoke ascends to heaven:
There lives, I fancy, here within this cave
Some perfume-seller, or Sicilian cook.
B. The scent of both is equally delicious.
And at the feast, delicious cakes,[p. 1058] And Menander, in his Spectre, says—
Well season'd by Sicilian art.
Do ye applaud,But Posidippus, in his Man recovering his Sight, says—
If the meat's dress'd with rich and varied skill.
I, having had one cook, have thoroughly learntAnd Antiphanes, in his Philotis, displaying the cleverness of the cooks, says—
All the bad tricks of cooks, while they compete
With one another in their trade. One said
His rival had no nose to judge of soup
With critical taste; that other had
A vicious palate; while a third could never
(If you'd believe the rest) restrain his appetite,
Without devouring half the meat he dress'd.
This one loved salt too much, and that one vinegar;
One burnt his meat; one gorged; one could not stand
The smoke; a sixth could never bear the fire.
At last they came to blows; and one of them,
Shunning the sword, fell straight into the fire.
A. Is not this, then, an owl? B. Aye, such as IAnd Baton, in his Benefactors, gives a catalogue of celebrated cooks and confectioners, thus—
Say should be dress'd in brine. A. Well; and this pike
B. Why roast him whole. A. This shark? B. Boil him in sauce.
A. This eel? B. Take salt, and marjoram, and water.
A. This conger? B. The same sauce will do for him.
A. This ray? B. Strew him with herbs. A. Here is a slice
Of tunny. B. Roast it. A. And some venison. B. Roast it.
A. Then here's a lot more meat. B. Boil all the rest.
A. Here's a spleen. B. Stuff it. A. And a nestis. B. Bah!
This man will kill me.
A. Well, O Sibynna, we ne'er sleep at nights,
Nor waste our time in laziness: our lamp
Is always burning; in our hands a book;
And long we meditate on what is left us
By—B. Whom? A. By that great Actides of Chios,
Or Tyndaricus, that pride of Sicyon,
Or e'en by Zopyrinus. B. Find you anything?
A. Aye, most important things. B. But what? The dead . . .