And in the name of Ceres, my companions, if these things went on in this way, I should like to know what need we should have of servants. But the ancients, accustoming us to provide for ourselves, instructed us by their actions while they feasted us in words. But I, in order to show you in what manner succeeding poets (since the most admirable Cratinus brandished the before-cited verses like a torch) imitated and amplified them, have quoted these plays in the order in which they were exhibited. And if I do not annoy you, (for as for the Cynics I do not care the least bit for them,) I will quote to you some sentences from the other poets, taking them also in regular order; one of which is that strictest Atticist of all, namely, Pherecrates; who in his Miners says—
A. But all those things were heap'd in confusion
By o'ergrown wealth, abounding altogether
[p. 423] In every kind of luxury. There were rivers
With tender pulse and blackest soup o'erflowing,
Which ran down brawling through the narrow dishes,
Bearing the crusts and spoons away in the flood.
Then there were dainty closely kneaded cakes;
So that the food, both luscious and abundant,
Descended to the gullets of the dead.
There were black-puddings and large boiling slices
Of well-mix'd sausages, which hiss'd within
The smoking streamlet in the stead of oysters.
There too were cutlets of broil'd fish well season'd
With sauce of every kind, and cook, and country.
There were huge legs of pork, most tender meat,
Loading enormous platters; and boil'd pettitoes
Sending a savoury steam; and paunch of ox;
And well-cured chine oporker, red with salt,
A dainty dish, on fried meat balls upraised.
There too were cakes of groats well steep'd in milk,
In large flat dishes, and rich plates of beestings.
B. Alas, you will destroy me. Why do you
Remain here longer, when you thus may dive
Just as you are beneath deep Tartarus?
A. What will you say then when you hear the rest?
For roasted thrushes nicely brown'd and hot
Flew to the mouths o' the guests, entreating them
To deign to swallow them, besprinkled o'er
With myrtle leaves and flowers of anemone,
And plates of loveliest apples hung around
Above our heads, hanging in air as it seem'd.
And maidens in the most transparent robes,
Just come to womanhood, and crowned with roses,
Did through a strainer pour red mantling cups
Of fragrant wine for all who wish'd to drink.
And whatsoe'er each guest did eat or drink
Straight reappear'd in twofold quantity.