And if you in reality, O philosopher, do admire contentment and moderation in your feasts, why is it that you have come hither without being invited? Did you come as to a house of intemperance, in order to learn to make a Catalogue of a cook's instruments? or in order to spout some verses of Cepholion the Athenian? For according to the Cedalion of Sophocles, you are
A branded lot, all knaves and parasites.And he says that you philosophers always have your minds set upon banquets; and that you think it constantly necessary to ask for something to eat or to devour some Cynic food. For there is no need for our picking our phrases. And all this is plain from what Alexis relates in this book which is entitled Linus: and in that he supposes Hercules to have been educated by Linus, and to have been ordered by him to select any one out of a number of books that were at hand to read. And he having taken a cookery-book in his hand, retained it with great eagerness. And Linus then speaks to him in the following terms—
Lin. Come here, and take whatever book you please,
And read it carefully, when you have scann'd
The titles, and the subjects well consider'd.
There's Orpheus here, and Hesiod, and plays,
Choerilus, Homer, Epicharmus too,
All sorts of works. For thus your choice will show me
Your nature, and your favourite pursuit.
Her. I will take this.
Lin. First show me what it is.
Her. A cookery book, as says the title-page.
[p. 264] Lin. You're a philosopher, that's very plain,
Who passing over all these useful books,
Choose out the art of Simus.
Her. Who is Simus
Lin. A very clever man; now he has turn'd
To tragic studies; and of all the actors
Is, the most skilful cook, as those who eat
His dishes do declare. And of all cooks
By far the cleverest actor.
Her. He's a man
Of noble appetite; say what you wish;
For be of this assured, that I am hungry.