And Alexis, in his Tarentines, when speaking of their banquets, says that the Athenians used to dance at their drinking parties—
A. For this now is a common native practice.And Antiphanes, in his Carians, with reference to the Attic fashion of dancing, turns one of the sophists into ridicule, as dancing at a banquet, in the following verses—
At the divine and all accomplish'd Athens.
They all rise up and dance together when
The first sweet scent of wine doth reach their nostrils.
B. You tell me of a strange and novel custom.
A. So you would say, indeed, if unexpected
You on a sudden dropp'd in at a feast;
And beardless boys are sure to meet with favour;
But when I see that rogue Theodotus,
Or some impure and cheating parasite,
Affecting nice and delicate airs, such loathing
Does seize me, that I'd gladly seize the man,
And nail him to the vilest cross.
Do you not see that eunuch capering,And it will not be foreign to the subject to quote here what is said by Eriphus the comic poet, in his Œolus— [p. 220]
Waving his hands, no signs of shame he shows;
He who was lecturing us on Heraclitus,
The only master of Theodectes' school,
The spouter of Euripides's proverbs.
For 'tis an ancient proverb, and a wise one;And Alexis, in the play entitled Isostasium, says—
That old men seek for wine to make them dance,
Spite of their age, against their will, my father.
They drank in picnic fashion, only seeking
For some excuse to dance. There was the name
Of meat and vegetables; fish, and crabs,
Gudgeon and tench, and similago fine.