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And while we were eating the salt-fish and getting very anxious to drink, Daphnus said, holding up both his hands,— Heraclides of Tarentum, my friends, in his treatise entitled The Banquet, says, "It is good to take a moderate quantity of food before drinking, and especially to eat such dishes as one is accustomed to; for from the eating of things which have not been eaten for a long time the wine is apt to be turned sour, so as not to sit on the stomach, and many twinges and spasms are often originated. But some people think that these also are bad for the stomach; I mean, all kinds of vegetables and salted fish, since they possess qualities apt to cause pangs; but that glutinous and invigorating food is the most wholesome,—being ignorant that a great many of the things which assist the secretions are, on the contrary, very good for the stomach; among which is the plant called sisarum, (which Epicharmus speaks of, in his Agrostinus, and also in his Earth and Sea; and so does Diocles, in the first book of his treatise on the Wholesomes;) and asparagus and white beet, (for the black beet is apt to check the secretions,) and cockles, and solens, and sea mussels, and chemæ, and periwinkles, and perfect pickles, and salt-fish, which are void of [p. 199] smell, and many kinds of juicy fishes. And it is good that, before the main dinner, there should be served up what is called salad, and beet-root, and salt-fish, in order that by having the edge of our appetite taken off we may go with less eagerness to what is not equally nutritious. But at the beginning of dinner it is best to avoid abundant draughts; for they are bad as generating too great a secretion of humous in the body. “But the Macedonians, according to the statement of Ephippus the Olynthian, in his treatise Concerning the Burial of Alexander and Hephæstion, had no notion of moderation in drinking, but started off at once with enormous draughts before eating, so as to be drunk before the first course was off the table, and to be unable to enjoy the rest of the banquet.”
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