For I will speak freely to them. If you are so fond of [p. 259] contentment, O philosopher, why do you not admire those dis- ciples of Pythagoras, concerning whom Antiphanes says, in his Monuments—
Some miserable Pythagoreans cameAnd in the play which is especially entitled the Wallet, he says—
Gnawing some salt food in a deep ravine,
And picking up such refuse in a wallet.
First, like a pupil of Pythagoras,And Alexis says, in his Tarentines—
He eats no living thing, but peels some husks
Of barley which he's bought for half an obol,
Discolour'd dirty husks, and those he eats.
For, as we hear, the pupils of PythagorasAnd proceeding a little further, he says—
Eat no good meat nor any living thing,
And they alone of men do drink no wine.
But Epicharides will bitches eat;
The only one of all the sect; but then
He kills them first, and says they are not living.
A. Shreds of Pythagoras and subtletiesAnd, in his Female Pythagorean, he says—
And well-fill'd thoughts are their sufficient food.
Their daily meals are these-a simple loaf
To every man, and a pure cup of water.
And this is all.
B. You speak of prison fare.
A. This is the way that all the wise men live.
These are the hardships that they all endure.
B. Where do they live in such a way?
A. Yet they procure
Dainties after their sort for one another;
Know you not Melanippides and Phaon,
Phyromachus and Phanus are companions?
And they together sup on each fifth day
On one full cotyla of wheaten meal.
A. The banquet shall be figs and grapes and cheese,And a few lines afterwards, he says—
For these the victims are which the strict law
Allows Pythagoras' sect to sacrifice.
B. By Jove, as fine a sacrifice as possible.
One must for a short time, my friend, endure
Hunger, and dirt, and cold, and speechlessness,
And sullen frowns, and an unwashen face.