But Euphron, whom I mentioned a little while ago, O judges, (for I do not hesitate to call you judges, while awaiting the decision of your sense,) in his play called the Brothers, having represented a certain cook as a well-educated man of extensive learning, and enumerating all the artists before his time, and what particular excellence each of them had, and what he surpassed the rest in, still never mentioned anything of such a nature as I have frequently prepared for you. Accordingly, he speaks as follows—
I have, ere this, had many pupils, Lycus,
Because I've always had both wit and knowledge;
But you, the youngest of them all, are now
Leaving my house an all-accomplish'd cook
In less than forty weeks. There was the Rhodian
Agis, the best of cooks to roast a fish;
Nereus, the Chian, could a conger boil
Fit for the gods: Charides, of Athens,
Could season forcemeat of the whitest hue:
Black broth was first devised by Lamprias;
Sausages rich we owe to Aphthonetus;
Euthunus taught us to make lentil soup;
Aristion made out whole bills of fare
For those who like a picnic entertainment.
So, like those grave philosophers of old,
These are our seven wisest of all cooks.
But I, for all the other ground I saw
[p. 598] Had been pre-occupied by former artists,
First found out how to steal, in such a way
That no one blamed me, but all sought at once
T' engage my aid. And you, perceiving too
This ground already occupied by me,
Invented something new yourself—'tis this:—
Five days ago the Tenians, grey old men,
After a tedious voyage o'er the sea,
Did hold a sacrifice: a small thin kid:
Lycus could crib no portion of that meat,
Nor could his master. Yon compelled the men
To furnish two more kids. For as they long
And oft survey'd the liver of the victims,
You, letting down one unperceived hand,
Were impudent enough to throw the kidneys
Into the ditch: you raised a mighty tumult:
“The victim has no kidneys,” they exclaim'd,
And all look'd downcast at-th', unsual want.
They slew another and again I saw
You eat the heart from out this second victim.
You surely are a mighty man; you know it-
For you alone have found a way to hinder
A wolf (λύκον) from opening his mouth in vain.
And 1 yesterday you threw some strings of sausages
(Which you had sought all day) into the fire,
And sang to the dichordon. And I witness'd
That play of yours; but this is merely sport.