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And to all this Aemilianus makes answer—
My friend, you've made a speech quite long enough
In praising your fav'rite art of cookery;—
as Hegesippus says in his Brethren. Do you then—
Give us now something new to see beyond
Your predecessor's art, or plague us not;
But show me what you've got, and tell its name.
And he rejoins—
You look down on me, since I am a cook.
But perhaps—
What I have made by practising my art—
according to the comic poet Demetrius, who, in his play entitled The Areopagite, has spoken as follows—
What I have made by practising my art
Is more than any actor e'er has gain'd,—
This smoky art of mine is quite a kingdom.
I was a caper-pickler with Seleucus,
And at the court of the Sicilian king,
[p. 640] Agathocles, I was the very first
To introduce the royal dish of lentils.
My chief exploit I have not mention'd yet:
There was a famine, and a man named Lachares
Was giving an entertainment to his friends;
Whom I recovered with some caper-sauce.
Lachares made Minerva naked, who caused him no inconvenience; but I will now strip you who are inconveniencing me, said Aemilianus, unless you show me what you have got with you. And he said at last, rather unwillingly, I call this dish the Dish of Roses. And it is prepared in such a way, that you may not only have the ornament of a garland on your head, but also in yourself, and so feast your whole body with a luxurious banquet. Having pounded a quantity of the most fragrant roses in a mortar, I put in the brains of birds and pigs boiled and thoroughly cleansed of all the sinews, and also the yolks of eggs, and with them oil, and pickle-juice, and pepper, and wine. And having pounded all these things carefully together, I put them into a new dish, applying a gentle and steady fire to them. And while saying this, he uncovered the dish, and diffused such a sweet perfume over the whole party, that one of the guests present said with great truth—
The winds perfumed the balmy gale convey
Through heav'n, through earth, and all the aërial way;
so excessive was the fragrance which was diffused from the roses.

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