But you, my philosophical friends, practise none of these things. But what is far worse than any of them, you talk [p. 260] about what you do not in the least understand; and, as if you were eating in an orderly manner, you take in mouthfuls like the man in that sweet poet Antiphanes; for he says, in his Runaway Slave-catcher— Taking a moderate mouthful, small outside, But large within his hand, as women do. And in the same way you eat a great deal and eat very fast; when it is in your power, according to the words of the same poet which he uses in the Thombycius, “to buy for a single drachma food well suited to you, such as garlic, cheese, onions, and capers; for all these only cost a drachma.” And Aristophanes says, in his Pythagoreans—
What? do we think, I ask you in God's name,And it is not foreign to the present discussion to mention an epigram which was made with reference to you, which Hegesander the Delphian has quoted, in the sixth book of his Commentaries—
That these philosophers of olden time,
The pupils of Pythagoras, went thus
In dirt and rags all of their own accord?
I don't believe one word of such a thing.
No; they were forced to do so, as they had not
A single farthing to buy clothes or soap.
And then they made a merit of economy,
And laid down rules, most splendid rules for beggars.
But only put before them fish or meat;
And if they do not their own fingers bite
For very eagerness, I will be bound
To let you hang me ten times over.
Men drawing up your eyebrows, and depressing
Your scornful nostrils till they reach the chin,
Wearing your beards in sacks, strippers of dishes,
Wearing your cloak outside, with unshod feet
Looking like oil, and eating stealthily
Like hungry vagrants 'neath night's friendly cover,
Cheaters of youth, spouters of syllables,
Pretenders to vain wisdom, but pretending
To make your only object Virtue's self.