And when we are sacrificing to the gods, we spend as little as possible upon our sacrifices, and give them the most ordinary presents; as the admirable Menander tells us, in his Drunkenness:—
We don't do other things as we perform[p. 575]
Our duties to the gods. We sacrifice
One sheep scarce worth ten or a dozen drachmæ;
But for our flute-women, our perfumes rich,
Our harpers, Thasian and Mendæan wine,
Eels, cheese, and honey to regale ourselves,
We do not a whole talent think too much.
'Tis very well to spend a dozen drachmæ
When we are sacrificing to the gods,
But if you much curtail that slight expense,
Are you not thus dishonouring the gods?
I, if I were a god, would ne'er allow
A scanty loin of beef to load my altars,
Unless an eel were also sacrificed,
So that Callimedon might die of rage.