One fond of wine must be an honest man;
For Bacchus, for his double mother famed,
Loves not bad men, nor uninstructed clowns,
says Alexis. He adds, moreover, that wine makes all men
who drink much of it fond of talking. And the author of
the Epigram on Cratinus says—
If with water you fill up your glasses,
You'll never write anything wise
But wine is the horse of Parnassus,
That carries a bard to the skies.
And this was Cratinus's thought,
Who was ne'er with one bottle content,
But stuck to his cups as he ought,
And to Bacchus his heart and voice lent.
His house all with garlands did shine,
And with ivy he circled his brow,
To show he nought worshipp'd but wine,
As, if he still lived, he'd do now.
Polemo says that in Munychia a hero is honoured of the
name of Acratopotes:1
and that among the Spartans statues
of the heroes Matton and Ceraon were erected by some cooks
in the hall of the Phiditia.2
And in Achaia a hero is honoured
called Deipneus, having his name from δεῖπνον,
a supper. But
from a dry meal there arise no jokes, nor extempore poems,
though, on the other hand, such an one does not cause any
boasting or insolence of mind; so that it is well said—
Where are the empty boasts which Lemnos heard
When season'd dishes press'd the ample board,
When the rich goblets overflow'd with wine?
though Aristarchus the grammarian put a mark against the
line which represents the Greeks as getting insolent through
much eating. For he said that it was not every sort of cheerfulness and satiety which engendered boasting and jesting
and ridiculous actions; but that these things proceeded only
from such revelling as made men beside themselves, and inclined them to falsehood,—from drunkenness, in fact.