But Diphilus, in his Female Deserter, introduces a cook, and represents him as saying—
A. What is the number of the guests invitedAnd Menander says, in his Trophonius—
To this fine marriage feast? And are they all
Athenian citizens, or are there some
Foreigners and merchants?
B. What is that to you,
Since you are but the cook to dress the dinner?
A. It is the first part of my art, O father,
To know the taste of those who are to eat.
For instance, if you ask a Rhodian,
Set a fine shad or lebias before him,
Well boil'd and hot, the moment that he enters.
That's what he likes; he'll like it better so
Than if you add a cup of myrine wine.
A. Well, that idea of shads is not a bad one.
B. Then, if a Byzantine should be your guest,
Steep all you offer such a man in wormwood.
And let your dishes taste of salt and garlic.
For fish are all so plenty in their country,
That the men all are full of rheum and phlegm
A. This feast is for a guest's reception.
B. What guest? whence comes he? for those points, believ me,
Do make a mighty difference to the cook.
For instance, if some guests from the islands come
Who always feed on fish of every sort
Fresh from the sea, such men like not salt dishes,
But think them make-shifts. Give such men their fool
Well-season'd, forced, and stuff'd with choicest spices.
But if you ask a guest from Arcady
[p. 218] He is a stranger to the sea, and loves
Limpets and shell-fish;-but the rich Ionian
Will look at nought but Lydian luxuries,
Rich, stimulating, amatory meats.