Alexis, that most witty poet, sets an entire course of πρόπομα before those who can understand him—
I came without perceiving it on a place
Which was exceedingly convenient.
Water was given me; and then a servant
Entered, and bore a table for my use;
On which was laid, not cheese, or tawny olives,
Or any dainty side-dishes and nonsense,
Which fill the room with scent, but have no substance;
But there was set before me a huge dish
Redolent of the Seasons and the joyful Hours—
A sort of hemisphere of the whole globe.
Everything there was beautiful and good:
Fish, goats' flesh, and a scorpion between them;
Then there were eggs in half, looking like stars.
On them we quickly laid our hands, and then
Speaking to me, and giving me a nod,
The host began to follow our example;
So we'd a race, and never did I stop
Till the whole dish was empty as a sieve.