And when Plutarch had burst into a violent fit of laughter at this, the Cynic, who could not endure to have his extensive learning on the subject of lentils disregarded, said— "But all you fine gentlemen from Alexandria, O Plutarch, are fed from your childhood on lentils; and your whole city is full of things made of lentils: which are mentioned by Sopater the lentil parodist, in his drama entitled Bacchis, where he speaks as follows:—
I could not bear to eat a common loaf,For, what is there of which mortals have need, (according to your own idol, Euripides, O you most learned of men,) except two things only,
Seeing a large high brazen pile of lentils.
The corn of Ceres and a draught of water?And in another place that dramatic philosopher says—
And they are here, and able to support us.
But we are not with plenty such as this
Contented, but are slaves to luxury
And such contrivances of other food.
The moderate fare shall me content[p. 256] And Socrates said that he differed from other men in this, that they lived that they might eat, but he ate that he might live. And Diogenes said to those who accused him of scratching himself,—I wish I could scratch my stomach, so as to rub all poverty and want out of it. And Euripides, in his Suppliant Women, says of Capaneus—
Of a plain modest table;
And I will never seek nor e'en admit
Whatever is out of season and superfluous.
This man is Capancus, a man who had
Abundant riches, but no pride therefrom
Lodged in his, more than in a poor man's bosom.
But those who boasted of their luxury
He blamed, and praised the contented spirit.
For virtue did not, as he said, consist
In eating richly, but in moderation.