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[40] “Bravo!” we all cried, swearing with our hands lifted to the ceiling that Hipparchus and Aratus[p. 65] Were not to be compared with him, until the servants came and spread over the couches coverlets painted with nets, and men lying in wait with hunting spears, and all the instruments of the chase. We were still wondering where to turn our expectations, when a great shout was raised outside the dining-room, and in came some Spartan hounds too, and began running round the table. A tray was brought in after them with a wild boar of the largest size upon it, wearing a cap of freedom, with two little baskets woven of palm-twigs hanging from his tusks, one full of dry dates and the other of fresh. Round it lay suckingpigs made of simnel cake with their mouths to the teats, thereby showing that we had a sow before us. These sucking-pigs were for the guests to take away. Carver, who had mangled the fowls, did not come to divide the boar, but a big bearded man with bands wound round his legs, and a spangled hunting-coat of damasked silk, who drew a hunting-knife and plunged it hard into the boar's side. A number of thrushes flew out at the blow. As they fluttered round the dining-room there were fowlers ready with limed twigs who caught them in a moment. Trimalchio ordered everybody to be given his own portion, and added: “Now you see what fine acorns the woodland boar has been eating.” Then boys came and took the baskets which hung from her jaws and distributed fresh and dry dates to the guests.

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