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Democritus now having gone through this statement distinctly and intelligently, all the guests praised him; but Cynulcus said,—O messmates, I was exceedingly hungry, and Democritus has given me no unpleasant feast; carrying me across rivers of ambrosia and nectar. And I, having my mind watered by them, have now become still more exceedingly hungry, having hitherto swallowed nothing but words; so that now it is time to desist from this interminable discussion, [p. 425] and, as the Pæanian orator says, to take some of these things, “which if they do not put strength into a man, at all events prevent his dying”—
For in an empty stomach there's no room
For love of beauteous objects, since fair Venus
Is always hostile to a hungry man;
as Achæus says in Aethon, a satyric drama. An it was borrowing from him that the wise Euripides wrote—
Venus abides in fulness, and avoids
The hungry stomach.
And Ulpian, who was always fond of contradicting him, said in reply to this,—But still,
The market is of herbs and loaves too full.
But you, you dog, are always hungry, and do not allow us to partake of, or I should rather say devour, good discussion in sufficient plenty: for good and wise conversation is the food of the mind. And then turning to the servant he said, —O Leucus, if you have any remnants of bread, give them to the dogs. And Cynulcus rejoined,—If I had been invited here only to listen to discussions, I should have taken care to come when the forum was full;1 for that is the time which one of the wise men mentioned to me as the hour for declamations, and the common people on that account have called it πληθαγόρα:
But if we are to bathe and sup on words,
Then I my share contribute as a listener;
as Menander says; on which account I give you leave, you glutton, to eat your fill of this kind of food—
But barley dearer is to hungry men
Than gold or Libyan ivory;
as Achæus the Eretrian says in his Cycnus.

1 In the Greek, ἀγορᾶς πληθυούσης, which is a phrase also commonly used in Greek for “the forenoon,” when the market-place was full, and the ordinary business was going on.

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