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Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3
by Plutarch
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You say right, says Lamprias, but let us think of something else to confirm what you have spoken. I remember my old grandfather was used to say in derision of the Jews, that they abstained from most lawful flesh; but we will say that that is the most lawful meat which comes from the sea. For we can claim no great right over land creatures, which are nourished with the same food, draw the same air, wash in and drink the same water, that we do ourselves; and when they are slaughtered, they make us ashamed of what we are doing, with their hideous cries; and then again, by living amongst us, they arrive at some degree of familiarity and intimacy with us. But sea creatures are altogether strangers to us, and are born and brought up as it were in another world; neither does their voice, look, or any service they have done us plead for their life. For this kind of creatures are of no use at all to us, nor is there any necessity that we should love them. But that place which we inhabit is hell to them, and as soon as ever they enter upon it they die.



QUESTION V. WHETHER THE JEWS ABSTAINED FROM SWINE'S FLESH BECAUSE THEY WORSHIPPED THAT CREATURE, OR BECAUSE THEY HAD AN ANTIPATHY AGAINST IT.

CALLISTRATUS, POLYCRATES, LAMPRIAS.

After these things were spoken, and some in the company were minded to say something in defence of the contrary opinion, Callistratus interrupted their discourse and said: Sirs, what do you think of that which was spoken against the Jews, that they abstain from the most lawful flesh? Very well said, quoth Polycrates, for that is a thing I very much question, whether it was that the Jews abstained from swine's flesh because they conferred divine honor upon that creature, or because they had a natural aversion to it. For whatever we find in their own writings seems to be altogether fabulous, except they have some more solid reasons which they have no mind to discover.

Hence it is, says Callistratus, that I am of an opinion that this nation has that creature in some veneration; and though it be granted that the hog is an ugly and filthy creature, yet it is not quite so vile nor naturally stupid as a beetle, griffin, crocodile, or cat, most of which are worshipped as the most sacred things by some priests amongst the Egyptians. But the reason why the hog is had in so much honor and veneration amongst them is, because as the report goes, that creature breaking up the earth with its snout showed the way to tillage, and taught them how to use the ploughshare, which instrument for that very reason, as some say, was called HYNIS from [Greek omitted], A SWINE. Now the Egyptians inhabiting a country situated low and whose soil is naturally soft, have no need of the plough; but after the river Nile hath retired from the grounds it overflowed, they presently let in all their hogs into the fields, and they with their feet and snout break up the ground, and cover the sown seed. Nor ought this to seem strange to anyone, that there are in the world those that abstain from swine's flesh on such an account as this; when it is evident that in barbarous nations there are other animals had in greater honor and veneration for lesser reasons, if not altogether ridiculous. For the field-mouse only for its blindness was worshipped as a god among the Egyptians, because they were of an opinion that darkness was before light and that the latter had its birth from mice about the fifth generation at the new moon; and moreover that the liver of this creature diminishes in the wane of the moon. But they consecrate the lion to the sun, because the lioness alone, of all clawed four-footed beasts, brings forth her young with their eyesight; for they sleep in a moment, and when they are asleep their eyes sparkle. Besides, they place gaping lions' heads for the spouts of their fountains, because Nilus overflows the Egyptian fields when the sign is Leo: they give it out that their bird ibis, as soon as hatched, weighs two drachms, which are of the same weight with the heart of a newborn infant; and that its legs being spread with the bill an exact equilateral triangle. And yet who can find fault with the Egyptians for these trifles, when it is left upon record that the Pythagoreans worshipped a white cock, and of sea creatures abstained especially from mullet and urtic. The Magi that descended from Zoroaster adored the land hedgehog above other creatures but had a deadly spite against water-rats, and thought that man was dear in the eyes of the gods who destroyed most of them. But I should think that if the Jews had such an antipathy against a hog, they would kill it as the magicians do mice; when, on the contrary, they are by their religion as much prohibited to kill as to eat it. And perhaps there may be some reason given for this; for as the ass is worshipped by them as the first discoverer of fountains, so perhaps the hog may be had in like veneration, which first taught them to sow and plough. Nay, some say that the Jews also abstain from hares, as abominable and unclean creatures.

They have reason for that, said Lamprias, because a hare is so like an ass which they detest; for in its color, ears, and the sparkling of its eyes, it is so like an ass, that I do not know any little creature that represents a great one so much as a hare doth an ass; except in this likewise imitating the Egyptians, they suppose that there is something of divinity in the swiftness of this creature, as also in its quickness of sense; for the eyes of hares are so unwearied that they sleep with them open. Besides, they seem to excel all other creatures in quickness of hearing; whence it was that the Egyptians painted a hare's ear amongst their other hieroglyphics, as an emblem of hearing. But the Jews do hate swine's flesh, because all the barbarians are naturally fearful of a scab and leprosy, which they presume comes by eating such kind of flesh. For we may observe that all pigs under the belly are overspread with a leprosy and scab; which may be supposed to proceed from an ill disposition of body and corruption within, which breaks out through the skin. Besides, swine's feeding is commonly so nasty and filthy, that it must of necessity cause corruptions and vicious humors; for, setting aside those creatures that are bred from and live upon dung, there is no other creature that takes so much delight to wallow in the mire and in other unclean and stinking places. Hogs' eyes are said to be so flattened and fixed upon the ground, that they see nothing above them, nor ever look up to the sky, except when turned upon their back they turn their eyes upwards contrary to nature. Therefore this creature, at other times most clamorous' when laid upon his back, is still, as astonished at the unusual sight of the heavens; while the greatness of the fear he is in (as it is supposed) is the cause of his silence. And if it be lawful to intermix our discourse with fables, it is said that Adonis was slain by a boar. Now Adonis is supposed to be the same with Bacchus; and there are a great many rites in both their sacrifices which confirm this opinion. Others will have Adonis to be Bacchus's paramour; and Phanocles an amorous love-poet writes thus,

Bacchus on hills the fair Adonis saw, And ravished him, and reaped a wondrous joy.



QUESTION VI. WHAT GOD IS WORSHIPPED BY THE JEWS.

SYMMACHUS, LAMPRIAS, MOERAGENES.

Here Symmachus, greatly wondering at what was spoken, says: What, Lamprias, will you permit our tutelar god, called Evius, the inciter of women, famous for the honors he has conferred upon him by madmen, to be inscribed and enrolled in the mysteries of the Jews? Or is there any solid reason that can be given to prove Adonis to be the same with Bacchus? Here Moeragenes interposing, said: Do not be so fierce upon him, for I who am an Athenian answer you, and tell you, in short, that these two are the very same. And no man is able or fit to bring the chief confirmation of this truth, but those amongst us who are initiated and skilled in the triennial [Greek omitted] or chief mysteries of the god. But what no religion forbids to speak of among friends, especially over wine, the gift of Bacchus, I am ready at the command of these gentlemen to disclose.

When all the company requested and earnestly begged it of him; first of all (says he), the time and manner of the greatest and most holy solemnity of the Jews is exactly agreeable to the holy rites of Bacchus; for that which they call the Fast they celebrate in the midst of the vintage, furnishing their tables with all sorts of fruits while they sit under tabernacles made of vines and ivy; and the day which immediately goes before this they call the day of Tabernacles. Within a few days after they celebrate another feast, not darkly but openly, dedicated to Bacchus, for they have a feast amongst them called Kradephoria, from carrying palm-trees, and Thyrsophoria, when they enter into the temple carrying thyrsi. What they do within I know not; but it is very probable that they perform the rites of Bacchus. First they have little trumpets, such as the Grecians used to have at their Bacchanalia to call upon their gods withal. Others go before them playing upon harps, which they call Levites, whether so named from Lusius or Evius,—either word agrees with Bacchus. And I suppose that their Sabbaths have some relation to Bacchus; for even now many call the Bacchi by the name of Sabbi, and they make use of that word at the celebration of Bacchus's orgies. And this may be discovered out of Demosthenes and Menander. Nor would it be out of place, were any one to say that the name Sabbath was given to this feast from the agitation and excitement [Greek omitted] which the priests of Bacchus display. The Jews themselves witness no less; for when they keep the Sabbath, they invite one another to drink till they are drunk; or if they chance to be hindered by some more weighty business, it is the fashion at least to taste the wine. Some perhaps may surmise that these are mere conjectures. But there are other arguments which will clearly evince the truth of what I assert. The first may be drawn from their High-priest, who on holidays enters their temple with his mitre on, arrayed in a skin of a hind embroidered with gold, wearing buskins, and a coat hanging down to his ankles; besides, he has a great many little bells depending from his garment which make a noise as he walks. So in the nocturnal ceremonies of Bacchus (as the fashion is amongst us), they make use of music, and call the god's nurses [Greek omitted]. High up on the wall of their temple is a representation of the thyrsus and timbrels, which surely suits no other god than Bacchus. Mor ancients were wont to make themselves drunk, before the vine was known. And at this day barbarous people who want wine drink metheglin, allaying the sweetness of the honey by bitter roots, much of the taste of our wine. The Greeks offered to their gods these temperate offerings or honey-offerings, as they called them, because that honey was of a nature quite contrary to wine. But this is no inconsiderable argument that Bacchus was worshipped by the Jews, in that, amongst other kinds of punishment, that was most remarkably odious by which malefactors were forbid the use of wine for so long a time as the judge thought fit to prescribe. Those thus punished....

(The remainder of the Fourth Book is wanting.)

QUESTION VII. WHY THE DAYS WHICH HAVE THE NAMES OF THE PLANETS ARE NOT ARRANGED ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF THE PLANETS, BUT THE CONTRARY. THERE IS ADDED A DISCOURSE ON THE POSITION OF THE SUN.

QUESTION VIII. WHY SIGNET-RINGS ARE WORN CHIEFLY ON THE FOURTH FINGER.

QUESTION IX. WHETHER WE OUGHT TO CARRY IN OUR SEAL-RINGS EFFIGIES OF GODS, OR THOSE OF WISE PERSONAGES.

QUESTION X. WHY WOMEN DO NOT EAT THE MIDDLE PART OF LETTUCE.



BOOK V.

What is your opinion at present, Sossius Senecio, of the pleasures of mind and body, is not evident to me;

Because us two a thousand things divide, Vast shady hills, and the rough ocean's tide. ("Iliad" i. 156)

But formerly, I am sure, you did not lean to nor like their opinion, who will not allow the soul to have any proper agreeable pleasure, which without respect to the body she desires for herself; but define that she lives as a form assistant to the body, is directed by the passions of it, and, as that is affected, is either pleased or grieved, or, like a looking-glass, only receives the images of those sensible impressions made upon the body. This sordid and debasing opinion is especially confuted as follows; for at a feast, the genteel well-bred men after supper fall upon some topic or another as second course, and cheer one another by their pleasant talk. Now the body hath very little or no share in this; which evidently proves that this is a particular banquet for the soul, and that those pleasures are peculiar to her, and different from those which pass to her through the body and are vitiated thereby. Now, as nurses, when they feed children, taste a little of their pap, and have but little pleasure therefrom, but when the infants are satisfied, leave crying, and go to sleep, then being at their own disposal, they take such meat and drink as is agreeable to their own bodies; thus the soul partakes of the pleasures that arise from eating and drinking, like a nurse, being subservient to the appetites of the body, kindly yielding to its necessities and wants, and calming its desires; but when that is satisfied and at rest, then being free from her business and servile employment, she seeks her own proper pleasures, revels on discourse, problems, stories, curious questions, or subtle resolutions. Nay, what shall a man say, when he sees the dull unlearned fellows after supper minding such pleasures as have not the least relation to the body? They tell tales, propose riddles, or set one another a-guessing at names, comprised and hid under such and such numbers. Thus mimics, drolls, Menander and his actors were admitted into banquets, not because they can free the eye from any pain, or raise any tickling motion in the flesh; but because the soul, being naturally philosophical and a lover of instruction, covets its own proper pleasure and satisfaction, when it is free from the trouble of looking after the body.



QUESTION I. WHY WE TAKE DELIGHT IN HEARING THOSE THAT REPRESENT THE PASSIONS OF MEN ANGRY OR SORROWFUL, AND YET CANNOT WITHOUT CONCERN BEHOLD THOSE WHO ARE REALLY SO AFFECTED?

PLUTARCH, BOETHUS.

Of this we discoursed in your company at Athens, when Strato the comedian (for he was a man of great credit) flourished. For being entertained at supper by Boethus the Epicurean, with a great many more of the sect, as it usually happens when learned and inquisitive men meet together, the remembrance of the comedy led us to this inquiry,—Why we are disturbed at the real voices of men, either angry, pensive, or afraid, and yet are delighted to hear others represent them, and imitate their gestures, speeches, and exclamations. Every one in the company gave almost the same reason. For they said, he that only represents excels him that really feels, inasmuch as he doth not suffer the misfortunes; which we knowing are pleased and delighted on that account.

But I, though it was not properly my talent, said that we, being by nature rational and lovers of ingenuity, are delighted with and admire everything that is artificially and ingeniously contrived. For as a bee, naturally loving sweet things, seeks after and flies to anything that has any mixture of honey in it; so man, naturally loving ingenuity and elegancy, is very much inclined to accept and highly approve every word or action that is seasoned with wit and judgement. Thus, if any one offers a child a piece of bread, and at the same time, a little dog or ox made in paste, we shall see the boy run eagerly to the latter; so likewise if anyone, offers silver in the lump, and another a beast or a cup of the same metal, he will rather choose that in which he sees a mixture of art and reason. Upon the same account it is that a child is much in love with riddles, and such fooleries as are difficult and intricate; for whatever is curious and subtle doth attract and allure mankind, as antecedently to all instruction agreeable and proper to it. And therefore, because he that is really affected with grief or anger presents us with nothing but the common bare passion, but in the imitation some dexterity and persuasiveness appears, we are naturally inclined to be disturbed at the former, whilst the latter delights us. It is unpleasant to see a sick man, or one at his last gasp; yet with content we can look upon the picture of Philoctetes, or the statue of Jocasta, in whose face it is commonly said that the workmen mixed silver, so that the brass might depict the face and color of one ready to faint and expire. And this, said I, the Cyrenaics may use as a strong argument against you Epicureans, that all the sense of pleasure which arises from the working of any object on the ear or eye is not in those organs, but in the intellect itself. Thus the continual cackling of a hen or cawing of a crow is very ungrateful and disturbing; yet he that imitates those noises well pleases the hearers. Thus to behold a consumptive man is no delightful spectacle; yet with pleasure we can view the pictures and statues of such persons, because the very imitating hath something in it very agreeable to the mind, which allures and captivates its faculties. For upon what other account, for God's sake, from what external impression upon our organs, should men be moved to admire Parmeno's sow so much as to pass it into a proverb? Yet it is reported, that Parmeno being very famous for imitating the grunting of a pig, some endeavoured to rival and outdo him. And when the hearers, being prejudiced, cried out, Very well indeed, but nothing comparable to Parmeno's sow; one took a pig under his arm and came upon the stage. And when, though they heard the very pig, they still continued, This is nothing comparable to Parmeno's sow; he threw his pig amongst them, to show that they judged according to opinion and not truth. And hence it is very evident, that like motions of the sense do not always raise like affections in the mind, when there is not an opinion that the thing done was not neatly and ingeniously performed.



QUESTION II. THAT THE PRIZE FOR POETS AT THE GAMES WAS ANCIENT.

At the solemnity of the Pythian names, there was a consult about taking away all such sports as had lately crept in and were not of ancient institution. For after they had taken in the tragedy in addition to the three ancient, which were as old as the solemnity itself, the Pythian piper, the harper, and the singer to the harp, as if a large gate were opened, they could not keep out an infinite crowd of plays and musical entertainments of all sorts that rushed in after him. Which indeed made no unpleasant variety, and increased the company, but yet impaired the gravity and neatness of the solemnity. Besides it must create a great deal of trouble to the umpires, and considerable dissatisfaction to very many, since but few could obtain the prize. It was chiefly agreed upon, that the orators and poets should be removed; and this determination did not proceed from any hatred to learning, but forasmuch as such contenders are the most noted and worthiest men of all, therefore they reverence them, and were troubled that, when they must judge every one very deserving, they could not bestow the prize equally upon all. I, being present at this consult, dissuaded those who were for removing things from their present settled order, and who thought this variety as unsuitable to the solemnity as many strings and many notes to an instrument. And when at supper, Petraeus the president and director of the sports entertaining us, the same subject was discoursed on, I defended music, and maintained that poetry was no upstart intruder, but that it was time out of mind admitted into the sacred games, and crowns were given to the best performer. Some straight imagined that I intended to produce some old musty stories, like the funeral solemnities of Oeolycus the Thessalian or of Amphidamas the Chalcidean, in which they say Homer and Hesiod contended for the prize. But passing by these instances as the common theme of every grammarian, as likewise their criticisms who, in the description of Patroclus's obsequies in Homer, read [Greek omitted] ORATORS, and not [Greek omitted], DARTERS, ("Iliad," xxiii, 886.) as if Achilles had proposed a prize for the best speaker,—omitting all these, I said that Acastus at his father Pelias's funeral set a prize for contending poets, and Sibylla won it. At this, a great many demanding some authority for this unlikely and incredible relation, I happily recollecting myself produced Acesander, who in his description of Africa hath this relation; but I must confess this is no common book. But Polemo the Athenian's "Commentary of the Treasures of the City Delphi" I suppose most of you have diligently perused, he being a very learned man in the Greek Antiquities. In him you shall find that in the Sicyonian treasure there was a golden book dedicated to the god, with this inscription: Aristomache, the poetess of Erythraea, dedicated this after she had got the prize at the Isthmian games. Nor is there any reason, I continued, why we should so admire and reverence the Olympic games, as if, like Fate, they were unalterable, and never admitted any change since the first institution. For the Pythian, it is true, hath had three or four musical prizes added; but all the exercises of the body were for the most part the same from the beginning. But in the Olympian all beside racing are late additions. They instituted some, and abolished them again; such were the races of mules, either rode or in a chariot as likewise the crown appointed for boys that were victor's in the five contests. And, in short, a thousand things in those games are mere novelties. At Pisa they had a single combat, where he that yielded or was overcome was killed upon the place. But pray for the future require no author for my story, lest I may appear ridiculous if amidst my cups I should forget the name.



QUESTION III. WHY WAS THE PINE COUNTED SACRED TO NEPTUNE AND BACCHUS? AND WHY AT FIRST THE CONQUEROR IN THE ISTHMIAN GAMES WAS CROWNED WITH A GARLAND OF PINE, AFTERWARDS WITH PARSLEY, AND NOW AGAIN WITH PINE.

LUCANIUS, PRAXITELES.

This question was started, why the Isthmian garland was made of pine. We were then at supper in Corinth, in the time of the Isthmian games, with Lucanius the chief priest. Praxiteles the commentator brought this fable for a reason; it is said that the body of Melicertes was found fixed to a pine-tree by the sea; and not far from Megara, there is a place called the Race of a Fair Lady, through which the Megarians say that Ino, with her son Melicertes in her arms, ran to the sea. And when many put forth the common opinion, that the pine-tree garland peculiarly belongs to Neptune, Lucanius added that it is sacred to Bacchus too, but yet, for all that, it might also be appropriated to the honor of Melicertes; this started the question, why the ancients dedicated the pine to Neptune and Bacchus. As for my part, it did not seem incongruous to me, for both the gods seem to preside over the moist and generative principle; and almost all the Greeks sacrifice to Neptune the nourisher of plants, and to Bacchus the preserver of trees. Besides, it may be said that the pine peculiarly agrees to Neptune, not, as Apollodorus thinks, because it grows by the seaside, or because it loves a bleak place (for some give this reason), but because it is used in building ships; for it together with the like trees, as fir and cypress, affords the best and the lightest timber, and likewise pitch and rosin, without which the compacted planks would be altogether unserviceable at sea. To Bacchus they dedicate the pine, because it seasons wine, for among the pines they say the sweetest and most delicious grapes grow. The cause of this Theophrastus thinks to be the heat of the soil; for pines grow most in chalky grounds. Now chalk is hot, and therefore must very much conduce to the concoction of the wine; as a chalky spring affords the lightest and sweetest water; and if chalk is mixed with corn, by its heat it makes the grains swell, and considerably increases the heap. Besides, it is probable that the vine itself is bettered by the pine, for that contains several things which are good to preserve wine. All cover the insides of wine casks with rosin, and many mix rosin with wine, as the Euboeans in Greece, and in Italy those that live about the river Po. From the parts of Gaul about Vienna there is a sort of pitched wine brought, which the Romans value very much; for such things mixed with it do not only give it a good flavor, but make the wine generous, taking away by their gentle heat all the crude, watery, and undigested particles. When I had said thus much, a rhetorician in the company, a man well read in all sorts of polite learning, cried out: Good Gods! was it not but the other day that the Isthmian garland began to be made of pine? And was not the crown anciently of twined parsley? I am sure in a certain comedy a covetous man is brought in speaking thus:—

The Isthmian garland I will sell as cheap As common wreaths of parsley may be sold.

And Timaeus the historian says that, when the Corinthians were marching to fight the Carthaginians in the defence of Sicily, some persons carrying parsley met them, and when several looked upon this as a bad omen,—because parsley is accounted unlucky, and those that are dangerously sick we usually say have need of parsley,—Timoleon encouraged them by putting them in mind of the Isthmian parsley garland with which the Corinthians used to crown the conquerors. And besides, the admiral-ship of Antigonus's navy, having by chance some parsley growing on its poop, was called Isthmia. Besides, a certain obscure epigram upon an earthen vessel stopped with parsley intimates the same thing. It runs thus:—

The Grecian earth, now hardened by the flame, Holds in its hollow belly Bacchus blood; And hath its mouth with Isthmian branches stopped.

Sure, he continued, they never read these authors, who cry up the pine as anciently wreathed in the Isthmian garlands, and would not have it some upstart intruder. The young men yielded presently to him, as being a man of various reading and very learned.

But Lucanius, with a smile looking upon me, cried out: Good God! here's a deal of learning. But others have taken advantage of our ignorance and unacquaintedness with such matters, and, on the contrary, persuaded us that the pine was the first garland, and that afterwards in honor of Hercules the parsley was received from the Nemean games, which in a little time prevailing, thrust out the pine, as if it were its right to be the wreath; but a little while after the pine recovered its ancient honor, and now flourishes in its glory. I was satisfied, and upon consideration found that I had run across a great many authorities for it. Thus Euphorion writes of Melicertes,

They mourned the youth, and him on pine boughs laid Of which the Isthmian victors' crowns are made. Fate had not yet seized beauteous Mene's son By smooth Asopus; since whose fall the crown Of parsley wreathed did grace the victor's brow.

And Callimachus is plainer and more express, when he makes Hercules speak thus of parsley,

This at Isthmian sports To Neptune's glory now shall be the crown; The pine shall be disused, which heretofore In Corinth's fields successful victors wore.

And besides, if I am not mistaken, in Procles's history of the Isthmian games I met with this passage; at first a pine garland crowned the conqueror, but when this game began to be reckoned amongst the sacred, then from the Nemean solemnity the parsley was received. And this Procles was one of Xenocrates's fellow-students at the Academy.



QUESTION IV. CONCERNING THAT EXPRESSION IN HOMER, [GREEK OMITTED] ("Iliad," ix. 203.)

NICERATUS, SOSICLES, ANTIPATER, PLUTARCH.

Some at the table were of opinion that Achilles talked nonsense when he bade Patroclus "mix the wine stronger," adding this reason,

For now I entertain my dearest friends.

But Niceratus a Macedonian, my particular acquaintance, maintained that [Greek omitted] did not signify pure but hot wine; as if it were derived from [Greek omitted] and [Greek omitted] (LIFE-GIVING AND BOILING), and it were requisite at the coming of his friends to temper a fresh bowl, as every one of us in his offering at the altar pours out fresh wine. But Sosicles the poet, remembering a saying of Empedocles, that in the great universal change those things which before were [Greek omitted], UNMIXED, should then be [Greek omitted], affirmed that [Greek omitted] there signified [Greek omitted], WELL-TEMPERED, and that Achilles might with a great deal of reason bid Patroclus provide well-tempered wine for the entertainment of his friends; and it was absurd (he said) to use [Greek omitted] for [Greek omitted] any more than [Greek omitted] for [Greek omitted], or [Greek omitted] for [Greek omitted], for the comparatives are very properly put for the positives. My friend Antipater said that years were anciently called [Greek omitted], and that the particle [Greek omitted] in composition signified greatness; and therefore old wine, that had been kept for many years, was called by Achilles [Greek omitted].

I put them in mind that some imagine that [Greek omitted], hot, is signified by [Greek omitted], and that hotter means really faster, as when we command servants to move themselves more hotly or in hotter haste. But I must confess, your dispute is frivolous, since it is raised upon this supposition that if [Greek omitted], signifies more pure wine, Achilles's command would be absurd, as Zoilus of Amphipolis imagined. For first he did not consider that Achilles saw Phoenix and Ulysses to be old men, who are not pleased with diluted wine, and upon that account forbade any mixture. Besides, he having been Chiron's scholar, and from him having learned the rules of diet, he considered that weaker and more diluted liquors were fittest for those bodies that lay at ease, and were not employed in their customary exercise or labor. Thus with the other provender he gave his horses smallage, and this upon very good reason; for horses that lie still grow sore in their feet, and smallage is the best remedy in the world against that. And you will not find smallage or anything of the same nature given to any other horses in the whole "Iliad." Thus Achilles, being experienced in physic, provided suitable provender for his horses, and used the lightest diet himself, as the fittest whilst he lay at ease. But those that had been wearied all day in fight he did not think convenient to treat like those that had lain at ease, but commanded more pure and stronger wine to be prepared. Besides, Achilles doth not appear to be naturally addicted to drinking, but he was of a haughty, inexorable temper.

No pleasant humor, no, soft mind he bore, But was all fire and rage. ("Iliad," xx. 467.)

And in another place very plainly Homer says, that

Many a sleepless night he knew. ("Iliad," ix. 325.)

Now little sleep cannot content those that drink strong liquors; and in his railing at Agamemnon, the first ill name he gives him is drunkard, proposing his great drinking as the chiefest of his faults. And for these reasons it is likely that, when they came, he thought his usual mixture too weak and not convenient for them.



QUESTION V. CONCERNING THOSE THAT INVITE MANY TO A SUPPER.

PLUTARCH, ONESICRATES, LAMPRIAS THE ELDER.

At my return from Alexandria all my friends by turns treated me, inviting all such too as were any way acquainted, so that our meetings were usually tumultuous and suddenly dissolved; which disorders gave occasion to discourses concerning the inconveniences that attend such crowded entertainments. But when Onesicrates the physician in his turn invited only the most familiar acquaintance, and men of the most agreeable temper, I thought that what Plato says concerning the increase of cities might be applied to entertainments. For there is a certain number which an entertainment may receive, and still be an entertainment; but if it exceeds that, so that by reason of the number there cannot be a mutual conversation amongst all, if they cannot know one another nor partake of the same jollity, it ceaseth to be such. For we should not want messengers there, as in a camp, or boatswains, as in a galley; but we ourselves should immediately converse with one another. As in a dance, so in an entertainment, the last man should be placed within hearing of the first.

As I was speaking, my grandfather Lamprias cried out: Then it seems there is need of temperance not only in our feasts, but also in our invitations. For methinks there is even an excess in kindness, when we pass by none of our friends, but draw them all in, as to see a sight or hear a play. And I think, it is not so great a disgrace for the entertainer not to have bread or wine enough for his, guests, as not to have room enough, with which he ought always to be provided, not only for invited guests, strangers and chance visitants. For suppose he hath not wine and bread enough, it may be imputed either to the carelessness or dishonesty of his servants; but the want of room must be imputed to the imprudence of the inviter. Hesiod is very much admired for beginning thus,

A vast chaos first was made. (Hesiod, "Theogony," 116.)

For it was necessary that there should be first a place and room provided for the beings that were afterward to be produced; and not as was seen yesterday at my son's entertainment, according to Anaxagoras's saying,

All lay jumbled together.

But suppose a man hath room and provision enough, yet a large company itself is to be avoided for its own sake, as hindering all familiarity and conversation; and it is more tolerable to let the company have no wine, than to exclude all converse from a feast. And therefore Theophrastus jocularly called the barbers' shops feasts without wine; because those that sit there usually prattle and discourse. But those that invite a crowd at once deprive all of free communication of discourse, or rather make them divide into cabals, so that two or three privately talk together, and neither know nor look on those that sit, as it were, half a mile distant.

Some took this way to valiant Ajax's tent, And some the other to Achilles' went. ("Iliad," xi. 7.)

And therefore some rich men are foolishly profuse, who build rooms big enough for thirty tables or more at once; for such a preparation certainly is for unsociable and unfriendly entertainments, and such as are fit for a panegyriarch rather than a symposiarch to preside over. But this may be pardoned in those; for wealth would not he wealth, it would be really blind and imprisoned, unless it had witnesses, as tragedies would be devoid of spectators. Let us entertain few and often, and make that a remedy against having a crowd at once. For those that invite but seldom are forced to have all their friends, and all that upon any account they are acquainted with together; but those that invite frequently, and but three or four, render their entertainments like little barks, light and nimble. Besides, the very reason why we ask friends teaches us to select some out of the number. For as when we are in want we do not call all together, but only those that can best afford, help in that particular case,—when we would be advised, the wiser part; and when we are to have a trial, the best pleaders; and when we are to go a journey, those that can live pleasantly and are at leisure,—thus to our entertainments we should only call those that are at the present agreeable. Agreeable, for instance, to a prince's entertainment will be the magistrates, if they are his friends, or chiefest of the city; to marriage or birthday feasts, all their kindred, and such as are under the protection of the same Jupiter the guardian of consanguinity; and to such feasts and merry-makings as this those are to be invited whose tempers are most suitable to the occasion. When we offer sacrifice to one god, we do not worship all the others that belong to the same temple and altar at the same time; but suppose we have three bowls, out of the first we pour oblations to some, out of the second to others and out of the third to the rest, and none of the gods take distaste. And in this a company of friends may be likened to the company of gods; none takes distaste at the order of the invitation, if it be prudently managed and every one allowed a turn.



QUESTION VI. WHAT IS THE REASON THAT THE SAME ROOM WHICH AT THE BEGINNING OF A SUPPER SEEMS TOO NARROW APPEARS WIDE ENOUGH AFTERWARDS.

After this it was presently asked, why the room which at the beginning of supper seems too narrow for the guest is afterwards wide enough; when the contrary is most likely, after they are filled with the supper. Some said the posture of our sitting was the cause; for they sit when they eat, with their full breadth to the table, that they may command it with their right hand; but after they have supped, they sit more sideways, and make an acute figure with their bodies, and do not touch the place according to the superficies, if I may so say, but the line. Now as cockal bones do not take up as much room when they fall upon one end as when they fall flat, so every one of us at the beginning sitting broadwise, and with a full face to the table, afterwards changes the figure, and turns his depth, not his breadth, to the board. Some attribute it to the beds whereon we sat, for those when pressed stretch; as strait shoes after a little wearing have their pores widened, and grow fit for—sometimes too big for—the foot. An old man in the company merrily said, that the same feast had two very different presidents and directors; in the beginning, Hunger, that is not in the least skilled in ordering and disposing, but afterward Bacchus, whom all acknowledge to be the best orderer of an army in the world. As therefore Epaminondas, when the unskilful captains had led their forces into narrow disadvantageous straits, relieved the phalanx that was fallen foul on itself and all in disorder, and brought it into good rank and file again; thus we in the beginning, being like greedy hounds confused and disordered by hunger, the god (hence named the looser and the dancesetter) settles us in a friendly and agreeable order.



QUESTION VII. CONCERNING THOSE THAT ARE SAID TO BEWITCH.

METRIUS FLORUS, PLUTARCH, SOCLARUS, PATROCLES, CAIUS.

A discourse happening at supper concerning those that are said to bewitch or have a bewitching eye, most of the company looked upon it as a whim, and laughed at it. But Metrius Florus, who then gave us a supper, said that the strange events wonderfully confirmed the report; and because we cannot give a reason for the thing, therefore to disbelieve the relation was absurd, since there are a thousand things which evidently are, the reasons of which we cannot readily assign. And, in short, he that requires everything should be probable destroys all wonder and admiration; and where the cause is not obvious, there we begin to doubt, that is, to philosophize. So that they who disbelieve all wonderful relations do in some measure take away all philosophy. The cause why anything is so, reason must find out; but that a thing is so, testimony is a sufficient evidence; and we have a thousand instances of this sort attested. We know that some men by looking upon young children hurt them very much, their weak and soft temperature being wrought upon and perverted, whilst those that are strong and firm are not so liable to be wrought upon. And Phylarchus tells us that the Thibians, the old inhabitants about Pontus, were destructive not only to little children, but to some also of riper years; for those upon whom they looked or breathed, or to whom they spake, would languish and grow sick. And this, likely, those of other countries perceived who bought slaves there. But perhaps this is not so much to be wondered at, for in touching and handling there is some apparent principle and cause of the effect. And as when you mix other birds' wings with the eagles', the plumes waste and suddenly consume; so there is no reason to the contrary, but that one man's touch may be good and advantageous, and another's hurtful and destructive. But that some, by being barely looked upon, are extremely prejudiced is certain; though the stories are disbelieved, because the reason is hard to be given.

True, said I, but methinks there is some small track to the cause of this effect, if you come to the effluvia of bodies. For smell, voice, breath, and the like, are effluvia from animal bodies, and material parts that move the senses, which are wrought upon by their impulse. Now it is very likely that such effluvia must continually part from animals, by reason of their heat and motion; for by that the spirits are agitated, and the body, being struck by those, must continually send forth effluvia. And it is probable that these pass chiefly through the eye. For the sight, being very vigorous and active, together with the spirit upon which it depends, sends forth a strange fiery power; so that by it men act and suffer very much, and are always proportionably pleased or displeased, according as the visible objects are agreeable or not. Love, that greatest and most violent passion of the soul, takes its beginning from the eye; so that a lover, when he looks upon the fair, flows out as it were, and seems to mix with her. And therefore why should any one, that believes men can be affected and prejudiced by the sight, imagine that they cannot act and hurt is well? For the mutual looks of mature beauties, and that which comes from the eye, whether light or a stream of spirits, melt and dissolve the lovers with a pleasing pain, which they call the bittersweet of love. For neither by touching or hearing the voice of their beloved are they so much wounded and wrought upon, as by looking and being looked upon again. There is such a communication, such a flame raised by one glance, that those must be altogether unacquainted with love that wonder at the Median naphtha, that takes fire at a distance from the flame. For the glances of a fair one, though at a great distance, quickly kindle a fire in the lover's breast. Besides every body knows the remedy for the jaundice; if they look upon the bird called charadrios they are cured. For that animal seems to be of that temperature and nature as to receive and draw away the disease, that like a stream flows out through the eyes; so that the charadrios will not look on one that hath the jaundice; he cannot endure it, but turns away his head and shuts his eyes, not envying (as some imagine) the cure he performs, but being really hurt by the effluvia of the patient. And of all diseases, soreness of the eyes is the most infectious; so strong and vigorous is the sight, and so easily does it cause infirmities in another.

Very right, said Patrocles, and you reason well as to changes wrought upon the body; but as to the soul, which in some measure exercises the power of witchcraft, how can this cause any disturbance by the eye? Sir, I replied, do not you consider that the soul, when affected, works upon the body? Ideas of love excite lust, and rage often blinds dogs as they fight with wild beasts. Sorrow, covetousness, or jealousy makes us change color, and destroys the habit of the body; and envy more than any passion, when fixed in the soul, fills the body full of ill humors, and makes it pale and ugly; which deformities good painters in their pictures of envy endeavor to represent. Now, when men thus perverted by envy fix their eyes upon another, and these, being nearest to the soul, easily draw the venom from it, and send out as it were poisoned darts, it is no wonder, in my mind, if he that is looked upon is hurt. Thus the biting of a dog when mad is most dangerous; and then the seed of a man is most prolific, when he embraces one that he loves; and in general the affections of the mind strengthen and invigorate the powers of the body. And therefore people imagine that those amulets that are preservative against witchcraft are likewise good and efficacious against envy; the sight by the strangeness of the spectacle being diverted, so that it cannot make so strong an impression upon the patient. This, Florus, is what I can say; and pray sir, accept it as my club for this entertainment.

Well, said Soclarus, but let us try whether the money be all good or no; for, in my mind some of it seems brass. But if we admit the general report about these matters to be true, you know very well that it is commonly supposed that some have friends, acquaintance, and even fathers, that have such evil eyes; so that the mothers will not show their children to them, nor for a long time suffer them to be looked upon by such; and how can the effects wrought by these proceed from envy? But what, for God's sake, wilt thou say to those that are reported to bewitch themselves?—for I am sure you have heard of such, or at least read these lines:—

Curls once on Eutel's head in order stood; But when he viewed his figure in a flood, He overlooked himself, and now they fall...

For they say that this Eutelidas, appearing very delicate and beauteous to himself, was affected with that sight and grew sick upon it, and lost his beauty and his health. Now, pray sir, what reason can you find for these wonderful effects?

At any other time, I replied, I question not but I shall give you full satisfaction. But now, sir, after such a large pot as you have seen me take, I boldly affirm, that all passions which have been fixed in the soul a long time raise ill humors in the body, which by continuance growing strong enough to be, as it were, a new nature, being excited by any intervening accident, force men, though unwilling, to their accustomed passions. Consider the timorous, they are afraid even of those things that preserve them. Consider the pettish, they are angry with their best and dearest friends. Consider the amorous and lascivious, in the height of their fury they dare violate a Vestal. For custom is very powerful to draw the temper of the body to anything that is suitable to it; and he that is apt to fall will stumble at everything that lies in his way. So it is no wonder that those that have raised in themselves an envious and bewitching habit, if according to the peculiarity of their passion they are carried on to suitable effects; for when they are once moved, they do that which the nature of the thing, not which their will, leads them to. For as a sphere must necessarily move spherically, and a cylinder cylindrically, according to the difference of their figures; thus his disposition makes an envious man move enviously to all things; and it is likely they should chiefly hurt their most familiar acquaintance and best beloved. And that fine fellow Eutelidas you mentioned, and the rest that are said to overlook themselves, may be easily and upon good rational grounds accounted for; for, according to Hippocrates, a good habit of body, when at height, is easily perverted, and bodies come to their full maturity do not stand at a stay there, but fall and waste down to the contrary extreme. And therefore when they are in very good plight, and see themselves look much better than they expected, they gaze and wonder; but then their body being nigh to change, and their habit declining into a worse condition, they overlook themselves. And this is done when the effluvia are stopped and reflected by the water rather than by any other reflecting body; for this exhales upon them whilst they look upon it, so that the very same particles which would hurt others must hurt themselves. And this perchance often happens to young children, and the cause of their diseases is falsely attributed to those that look upon them.

When I had done, Caius, Florus's son-in-law, said: Then it seems you make no more reckoning or account of Democritus's images, than of those of Aegium or Megara; for he delivers that the envious send out images which are not altogether void of sense or force, but full of the disturbing and poisonous qualities of those from whom they come. Now these being mixed with such qualities, and remaining with and abiding in those persons that injure them both in mind and body; for this, I think, is the meaning of that philosopher, a man in his opinion and expressions admirable and divine. Very true, said I, and I wonder that you did not observe that I took nothing from those effluvia and images but life and will; lest you should imagine that, now it is almost midnight, I brought in spectres and wise and understanding images to terrify and fright you; but in the morning, if you please, we will talk of those things.



QUESTION VIII. WHY HOMER CALLS THE APPLE-TREE [GREEK OMITTED], AND EMPEDOCLES CALLS APPLES [GREEK OMITTED].

PLUTARCH, TRYPHO, CERTAIN GRAMMARIANS, LAMPRIAS THE ELDER.

As we were at supper in Chaeronea, and had all sorts of fruit at the table, one of the company chanced to speak these verses,

The fig-trees sweet, the apple-trees that bear Fair fruit, and olives green through all the year. ("Odyssey," vii. 115.)

Upon this there arose a question, why the poet calls apple-trees particularly [Greek omitted], BEARING FAIR FRUIT. Trypho the physician said that this epithet was given comparatively in respect of the tree, because, it being small and no goodly tree to look upon, bears fair and large fruit. Somebody else said, that the particular excellencies scattered amongst all other fruits are united in this alone. As to the touch, it is smooth and polished, so that it makes the hand that toucheth it odorous without defiling it; it is sweet to the taste, and to the smell and sight very pleasing; and therefore there is reason that it should be duly praised, as being that which congregates and allures all the senses together.

This discourse pleased us indifferently well. But whereas Empedocles has thus written,

Why pomegranates so late do thrive, And apples give a lovely show [Greek omitted];

I guess the epithet to be given to pomegranates, because that at the end of autumn, and when the heats begin to decrease, they ripen the fruit; for the sun will not suffer the weak and thin moisture to thicken into a consistence until the air begins to wax colder; therefore, says Theophrastus, this only tree ripens its fruit best and soonest in the shade. But in what sense the philosopher gives the epithet [Greek omitted], to apples, I much question, since it is not his custom to try to adorn his verses with varieties of epithets, as with gay and florid colors. But in every verse he gives some description of the substance and virtue of the subject which he treats; as when he calls the body encircling the soul the mortal-surrounding earth; as also when he calls the air cloud-gathering, and the liver much blooded.

When now I had said these things myself, certain grammarians affirmed, that those apples were called [Greek omitted] by reason of their vigor and florid manner of growing; for to blossom and flourish after an extraordinary manner is by the poets expressed by the word [Greek omitted]. In this sense, Antimachus calls the city of Cadmeans flourishing with fruit; and Aratus, speaking of the dog-star Sirius, says that he

To some gave strength, but others did ruin, Their bloom;

calling the greenness of the trees and the blossoming of the fruit by the name of [Greek omitted]. Nay, there are some of the Greeks also who sacrifice to Bacchus surnamed [Greek omitted]. And therefore, seeing the verdure and floridness chiefly recommend this fruit, philosophers call it [Greek omitted]. But Lamprias our grandfather used to say that the word [Greek omitted] did not only denote excess and vehemency, but external and supernal; thus we call the upper frame of a door [Greek omitted], and the upper portion of the house [Greek omitted]; and the poet calls the outward parts of the victim the upper-flesh, as he calls the entrails the inner-flesh. Let us see therefore, says he, whether Empedocles did not make use of this epithet in this sense, seeing that other fruits are encompassed with an outward rind and with certain coatings and membranes, but the only cortex rind that the apple has is a glutinous and smooth tunic (or core) containing the seed, so that the part which can be eaten, and lies without, was properly called [Greek omitted], that IS OVER or OUTSIDE OF THE HUSK.



QUESTION IX. WHAT IS THE REASON THAT THE FIG-TREE, BEING ITSELF OF A VERY SHARP AND BITTER TASTE, BEARS SO SWEET FRUIT?

LAMPRIAS THE ELDER, AND OTHERS.

This discourse ended, the next question was about fig-trees, how so luscious and sweet fruit should come from so bitter a tree. For the leaf from its roughness is called [Greek omitted]. The wood of it is full of sap, and as it burns sends forth a very biting smoke; and the ashes of it thoroughly burnt are so acrimonious, that they make a lye extremely detersive. And, which is very strange, all other trees that bud and bear fruit put forth blossoms too; but the fig-tree never blossoms. And if (as some say) it is never thunderstruck, that likewise may be attributed to the sharp juices and bad temper of the stock; for such things are as secure from thunder as the skin of a sea calf or hyena. Then said the old man: It is no wonder that when all the sweetness is separated and employed in making the fruit, that which is left should be bitter and unsavory. For as the liver, all the gall being gathered in its proper place, is itself very sweet; so the fig-tree having parted with its oil and sweet particles to the fruit, reserves no portion for itself. For that this tree hath some good juice, I gather from what they say of rue, which growing under a fig-tree is sweeter than usual, and hath a sweeter and more palatable juice, as if it drew some sweet particles from the tree which mollified its offensive and corroding qualities; unless perhaps, on the contrary, the fig-tree robbing it of its nourishment draws likewise some of its sharpness and bitterness away.



QUESTION X. WHAT ARE THOSE THAT ARE SAID TO BE [GREEK OMITTED], AND WHY HOMER CALLS SALT DIVINE?

FLORUS, APOLLOPHANES, PLUTARCH, PHILINUS.

Florus, when we were entertained at his house, put this question, What are those in the proverb who are said to be about the salt and cummin? Apollophanes the grammarian presently satisfied him, saying, by that proverb were meant intimate acquaintance, who could sup together on salt and cummin. Thence we proceeded to inquire how salt should come to be so much honored as it is; for Homer plainly says,

And after that he strewed his salt divine ("Iliad," ix. 214.)

and Plato delivers that by man's laws salt is to be accounted most sacred. And this difficulty was increased by the customs of the Egyptian priests, who professing chastity eat no salt, no, not so much as in their bread. For if it be divine and holy, why should they avoid it?

Florus bade us not mind the Egyptians, but speak according to the Grecian custom on the present subject. But I replied: The Egyptians are not contrary to the Greeks in this matter; for the profession of purity and chastity forbids getting children, laughter, wine, and many other very commendable and lawful things; and perhaps these priests avoid salt, as being, according to some men's opinions, by its heat provocative and apt to raise lust. Or they refuse it as the most pleasant of all sauces, for indeed salt may be called the sauce of all sauces; and therefore some call salt [Greek omitted]; because it makes food, which is necessary for life, to be relishing and pleasant.

What then, said Florus, shall we say that salt is termed divine for that reason? Indeed that is very considerable, for men for the most part deify those common things that are exceeding useful to their necessities and wants, as water, light, the seasons of the year; and the earth they do not only think to be divine, but a very god. Now salt is as useful as either of these, protecting in a way the food as it comes into the body, and making it palatable and agreeable to the appetite. But consider farther, whether its power of preserving dead bodies from rotting a long time be not a divine property, and opposite to death; since it preserves part, and will not suffer that which is mortal wholly to be destroyed. But as the soul, which is our diviner part, connects the limbs of animals, and keeps the composure from dissolution; thus salt applied to dead bodies, and imitating the work of the soul, stops those parts that were falling to corruption, binds and confines them, and so makes them keep their union and agreement with one another. And therefore some of the Stoics say, that swine's flesh then deserves the name of a body, when the soul like salt spreads through it and keeps the parts from dissolution. Besides, you know that we account lightning to be sacred and divine, because the bodies that are thunderstruck do not rot for a long time; what wonder is it then, that the ancients called salt as well as lightning divine, since it hath the same property and power?

I making no reply, Philinus subjoined: Do you not think that that which is generative is to be esteemed divine, seeing God is the principle of all things? And I assenting, he continued: Salt, in the opinion of some men, for instance the Egyptians you mentioned, is very operative that way; and those that breed dogs, when they find their bitches not apt to be hot, give them salt and seasoned flesh, to excite and arouse their sleeping lechery and vigor. Besides, the ships that carry salt breed abundance of mice; the females, as some imagine, conceiving without the help of the males, only by licking the salt. But it is most probable that the salt raiseth an itching in animals, and so makes them salacious and eager to couple. And perhaps for the same reason they call a surprising and bewitching beauty, such as is apt to move and entice, [Greek omitted], SALTISH. And I think the poets had a respect to this generative power of salt in their fable of Venus springing from the sea. And it may be farther observed, that they make all the sea gods very fruitful, and give them large families. And besides, there are no land animals so fruitful as the sea ones; agreeable to which observation is that verse of Empedocles,

Leading the foolish race of fruitful fish.



BOOK VI.

Timotheus the son of Conon, Sossius Senecio, after a full enjoyment of luxurious campaign diet, being entertained by Plato in his Academy, at a neat, homely, and (as Ion says) no surfeiting feast (such an one as is constantly attended by sound sleep, and by reason of the calm and pleasant state the body enjoys, rarely interrupted with dreams and apparitions), the next day, being sensible of the difference, said that those that supped with Plato were well treated, even the day after the feast. For such a temper of a body not overcharged, but expedite and fitted for the ready execution of all its enterprises, is without all doubt a great help for the more comfortable passing away of the day. But there is another benefit not inferior to the former, which does usually accrue to those that sup with Plato, namely, the recollection of those points that were debated at the table. For the remembrance of those pleasures which arise from meat and drink is ungenteel, and short-lived withal, and nothing but the remains of yesterday's smell. But the subjects of philosophical queries and discourses, being always fresh after they are imparted, are equally relished by all, as well by those that were absent as by those that were present at them; insomuch that learned men even now are as much partakers of Socrates's feasts as those who really supped with him. But if things pertaining to the body had af discourse, but of the great variety of dishes, sauces, and other costly compositions that were prepared in the houses of Callias and Agatho. Yet there is not the least mention made of any such things, though questionless they were as sumptuous as possible; but whatever things were treated of and learnedly discussed by their guests were left upon record and transmitted to posterity as precedents, not only for discoursing at table, but also for remembering the things that were handled at such meetings.



QUESTION I. WHAT IS THE REASON THAT THOSE THAT ARE FASTING ARE MORE THIRSTY THAN HUNGRY?

PLUTARCH AND OTHERS.

I present you with this Sixth Book of Table Discourses, wherein the first thing that cometh to be discussed is an inquiry into the reason why those that are fasting are more inclinable to drink than to eat. For the assertion carries in it a repugnancy to the standing rules of reason; forasmuch as the decayed stock of dry nourishment seems more naturally to call for its proper supplies. Whereupon I told the company, that of those things whereof our bodies are composed, heat only—or, however, above all the rest—stands in continual need of such accessions; for the truth of which this may be urged as a convincing argument: neither air, water, nor earth requires any matter to feed upon, or devours whatsoever lies next it; but fire alone doth. Hence it comes to pass that young men, by reason of their greater share of natural heat, have commonly greater stomachs than old men; whereas on the contrary, old men can endure fasting much better, for this only reason, because their natural heat is grown weaker and decayed. Just so we see it fares with bloodless animals, which by reason of the want of heat require very little nourishment. Besides, every one of us finds by experience, that bodily exercises, clamors, and whatever other actions by violent motion occasion heat, commonly sharpen our stomachs and get us a better appetite. Now, as I take it, the most natural and principal nourishment of heat is moisture, as it evidently appears from flames, which increase by the pouring in of oil, and from ashes, which are of the driest things in nature; for after the humidity is consumed by the fire, the terrene and grosser parts remain without any moisture at all. Add to these, that fire separates and dissolves bodies by extracting that moisture which should keep them close and compact. Therefore, when we are fasting, the heat first of all forces the moisture out of the relics of the nourishment that remain in the body, and then, pursuing the other humid parts, preys upon the natural moisture of the flesh itself. Hence the body like clay becoming dry, wants drink more than meat; till the heat, receiving strength and vigor by our drinking, excites an appetite for more substantial food.



QUESTION II. WHETHER WANT OF NOURISHMENT CAUSETH HUNGER AND THIRST OR THE CHANGE IN THE FIGURES OF THE PORES.

PHILO, PLUTARCH.

After these things were spoke, Philo the physician started the first question, asserting that thirst did not arise from the want of nourishment, but from the different transfiguration of certain passages. For, says he, this may be made evident, partly from what we see happens to those that thirst in the night, who, if sleep chance to steal upon them, though they did not drink before, are yet rid of their thirst; partly from persons in a fever, who, as soon as the disease abates or is removed, thirst no more. Nay, a great many men, after they have bathed or vomited, perceive presently that their thirst is gone; yet none of these add anything to their former moisture, but only the transfiguration of the pores causeth a new order and disposition. And this is more evident in hunger; for many sick persons, at the same time when they have the greatest need of meat, have no stomach. Others, after they have filled their bellies, have the same stomachs, and their appetites are rather increased than abated. There are a great many besides who loathe all sorts of diet, yet by taking of a pickled olive or caper recover and confirm their lost appetites. This doth clearly evince, that hunger proceeds from some change in the pores, and not from any want of sustenance, forasmuch as such kind of food lessens the defect by adding food, but increases the hunger; and the pleasing relish and poignancy of such pickles, by binding and straitening the mouth of the ventricle, and again by opening and loosening of it, beget in it a convenient disposition to receive meat, which we call by the name of appetite.

I must confess this discourse seemed to carry in it some shadow of reason and probability; but in the main it is directly repugnant to the chief end of nature, to which appetite directs every animal. For that makes it desire a supply of what they stand in need of, and avoid a defect of their proper food. For to deny what especially makes a living creature differ from an inanimate object as given to us for our preservation and conservation (being as it were the receiver of what supplements and agrees with the nature of our body) is the argument of one who takes no account of natural law, especially when he would add that the characteristic proceeds from the great or small size of the pores. Besides, it is absurd to think that a body through the want of natural heat should be chilled, and should not in like manner hunger and thirst through the want of natural moisture and nourishment. And yet this is more absurd, that Nature when overcharged should desire to disburden herself, and yet should not require to be supplied on account of emptiness, but on account of some condition or other, I know not what. Moreover, these needs and supplies in relation to animals have some resemblance to those we see in husbandry. There are a great many like qualities and like provisions on both sides. For in a drought we water our grounds, and in case of excessive heat, we frequently make use of moderate coolers; and when our fruits are too cold, we endeavor to preserve and cherish them, by covering and making fences about them. And for such things as are out of the reach of human power, we implore the assistance of the gods, that is, to send us softening dews, and sunshines qualified with moderate winds; that so Nature, being always desirous of a due mixture, may have her wants supplied. And for this reason I presume it was that nourishment is called [Greek omitted] (from [Greek omitted]), because it observes and preserves Nature. Now Nature is preserved in plants, which are destitute of sense, by the favorable influence of the circumambient air (as Empedocles says), moistening them in such a measure as is most agreeable to their nature. But as for us men, our appetites prompt us on to the chase and pursuance of whatsoever is wanting to our natural temperament.

But now let us pass to the examination of the truth of the arguments that seem to favor the contrary opinion. And for the first, I suppose that those meats that are palatable and of a quick and sharp taste do not beget in us an appetite, but rather bite and fret those parts that receive the nourishment, as we find that scratching the skin causes itching. And supposing we should grant that this affection or disposition is the very thing which we call the appetite, it is probable that, by the operation of such kind of food as this, the nourishment may be made small, and so much of it as is convenient for Nature severed from the rest, so that the indigency proceeds not from the transmutation, but from the evacuation and purgation of the passages. For sharp, tart, and salt things grate the inward matter, and by dispersing of it cause digestion, so that by the concoctions of the old there may arise an appetite for new. Nor does the cessation of thirst after bathing spring from the different position of the passages, but from a new supply of moisture received into the flesh, and conveyed from thence to them also. And vomiting, by throwing off whatever is disagreeable to Nature, puts her in a capacity of enjoying what is most suitable for her. For thirst does not call for a superfluity of moisture, but only for so much as sufficeth Nature; and therefore, though a man had plenty of disagreeable and unnatural moisture, yet he wants still, for that stops the course of the natural, which Nature is desirous of, and hinders a due mixture and temperament, till it be cast out and the pores receive what is most proper and convenient for them. Moreover, a fever forces all the moisture downward; and the middle parts being in combustion, it all retires thither, and there is shut up and forcibly detained. And therefore it is usual with a great many to vomit, by reason of the density of the inward parts squeezing out the moisture, and likewise to thirst, by reason of the poor and dry state the rest of the body is in. But after the violence of the distemper is once abated, and the raging heat hath left the middle parts, the moisture begins to disperse itself again; and according to its natural motion, by a speedy conveyance into all the parts, it refreshes the entrails, softens and makes tender the dry and parched flesh. Very often also it causes sweat, and then the defect which occasioned thirst ceases; for the moisture leaving that part of the body wherein it was forcibly detained, and out of which it hardly made an escape, retires to the place where it is wanted. For as it fares with a garden wherein there is a large well,—if nobody draw thereof and water it, the herbs must needs wither and die,—so it fares with a body; if all the moisture be contracted into one part, it is no wonder if the rest be in want and dry, till it is diffused again over the other limbs. Just so it happens to persons in a fever, after the heat of the disease is over, and likewise to those who go to sleep thirsty. For in these, sleep draws the moisture to the middle parts, and equally distributes it amongst the rest, satisfying them all. But, I pray, what kind of transfiguration of the passages is this which causes hunger and thirst? For my part, I know no other distinction of the pores but in respect of their number or that some of them are shut, others open. As for those that are shut, they can neither receive meat nor drink; and as for those that are open, they make an empty space, which is nothing but a want of that which Nature requires. Thus, sir, when men dye cloth, the liquor in which they dip it hath very sharp and abstersive particles; which, consuming and scouring off all the matter that filled the pores, make the cloth more apt to receive the dye, because its pores are empty and want something to fill them up.



QUESTION III. WHAT IS THE REASON THAT HUNGER IS ALLAYED BY DRINKING, BUT THIRST INCREASED BY EATING?

THE HOST, PLUTARCH, AND OTHERS.

After we had gone thus far, the master of the feast told the company that the former points were reasonably well discussed; and waiving at present the discourse concerning the evacuation and repletion of the pores, he requested us to fall upon another question, that is, how it comes to pass that hunger is stayed by drinking, when, on the contrary, thirst is more violent after eating. Those who assign the reason to be in the pores seem with a great deal of ease and probability, though not with so much truth, to explain the thing. For seeing the pores in all bodies are of different sorts and sizes, the more capacious receive both dry and humid nourishment, the lesser take in drink, not meat; but the vacuity of the former causes hunger, of the latter thirst. Hence it is that men that thirst are never better after they have eaten, the pores by reason of their straitness denying admittance to grosser nourishment, and the want of suitable supply still remaining. But after hungry men have drunk, the moisture enters the greater pores, fills the empty spaces, and in part assuages the violence of the hunger.

Of this effect, said I, I do not in the least doubt, but I do not approve of the reason they give for it. For if any one should admit these pores (which some are so unreasonably fond of) to be in the flesh, he must needs make it a very soft, loose, flabby substance; and that the same parts do not receive the meat and drink, but that they run through different canals and strainers in them, seems to me to be a very strange and unaccountable opinion. For the moisture mixes with the dry food, and by the assistance of the natural heat and spirits cuts the nourishment far smaller than any cleaver or chopping-knife, to the end that every part of it may be exactly fitted to each part of the body, not applied, as they would have it, to little vessels and pores, but united and incorporated with the whole substance. And unless the thing were explained after this manner, the hardest knot in the question would still remain unsolved. For a man that has a thirst upon him, supposing he eats and doth not drink, is so far from quenching, that he does highly increase it. This point is yet undiscussed. But mark, said I, whether the positions on my side be clear and evident or not. In the first place, we take it for granted that moisture is wasted and destroyed by heat, that the drier parts of the nourishment qualified and softened by moisture, are diffused and fly away in vapors. Secondly, we must by no means suppose that all hunger is a total privation of dry, and thirst of humid nutriment, but only a moderate one, and such as is sufficient to cause the one or the other; for whoever are wholly deprived of either of these, they neither hunger nor thirst, but die instantly. These things being laid down as a foundation, it will be no hard matter to find out the cause. For thirst is increased by eating for this reason, because that meat by its natural siccity contracts and destroys all that small quantity of moisture which remained scattered here and there through the body; just as happens in things obvious to our senses; we see the earth, dust, and the like presently suck in the moisture that is mixed with them. Now, on the contrary, drink must of necessity assuage hunger; for the moisture watering and diffusing itself through the dry and parched relics of the meat we ate last, by turning them into thin juices, conveys them through the whole body, and succors the indigent parts. And therefore with very good reason Erasistratus called moisture the vehicle of the meat; for as soon as this is mixed with things which by reason of their dryness, or some other quality, are slow and heavy, it raises them up and carries them aloft. Moreover, several men, when they have drunk nothing at all, but only washed themselves, all on a sudden are freed from a very violent hunger, because the extrinsic moisture entering the pores makes the meat within more succulent and of a more nourishing nature, so that the heat and fury of the hunger declines and abates; and therefore a great many of those who have a mind to starve themselves to death live a long time only by drinking water; that is, as long as the siccity does not quite consume whatever may be united to and nourish the body.



QUESTION IV. WHAT IS THE REASON THAT A BUCKET OF WATER DRAWN OUT OF A WELL, IF IT STANDS ALL NIGHT IN THE AIR THAT IS IN THE WELL, IS, MORE COLD IN THE MORNING THAN THE REST OF THE WATER?

A GUEST, PLUTARCH, AND OTHERS.

One of the strangers at the the table, who took wonderful great delight in drinking of cold water, had some brought to him by the servants, cooled after this manner; they had hung in the well a bucket full of the same water, so that it could not touch the sides of the well, and there let it remain, all night: the next day, when it was brought to table, it was colder than the water that was newdrawn. Now this gentleman was an indifferent good scholar, and therefore told the company that he had learned this from Aristotle, who gives the reason of it. The reason which he assigned was this. All water, when it hath been once hot, is afterwards more cold; as that which is prepared for kings, when it hath boiled a good while upon the fire, is afterwards put into a vessel set round with snow, and so made colder; just as we find our bodies more cool after we have bathed, because the body, after a short relaxation from heat, is rarefied and more porous, and therefore so much the more fitted to receive a larger quantity of air, which causes the alteration. Therefore the water, when it is drawn out of the well, being first warmed in the air, grows presently cold.

Whereupon we began to commend the man very highly for his happy memory; but we called in question the pretended reason. For if the air wherein the vessel hangs be cold, how, I pray, does it heat the water? If hot, how does it afterwards make it cold? For it is absurd to say, that the same thing is affected by the same thing with contrary qualities, no difference at all intervening. While the gentleman held his peace, as not knowing what to say; there is no cause, said I, that we should raise any scruple concerning the nature of the air, forasmuch as we are ascertained by sense that it is cold, especially in the bottom of a well; and therefore we can never imagine that it should make the water hot. But I should rather judge this to be the reason: the cold air, though it cannot cool the great quantity of water which is in the well, yet can easily cool each part of it, separate from the whole.



QUESTION V. WHAT IS THE REASON THAT PEBBLE STONES AND LEADEN BULLETS THROWN INTO THE WATER MAKE IT MORE COLD?

A GUEST, PLUTARCH, AND OTHERS.

I suppose you may remember that what Aristotle says in his problems, of little stones and pieces of iron, how it hath been observed by some that being thrown into the water they temper and cool it. This is no more than barely asserted by him; but we will go farther and inquire into the reason of it, the discovery of which will be a matter of difficulty. Yes, says I, it will so, and it is much if we hit upon it; for do but consider, first of all, do not you suppose that the air which comes in from without cools the water? But now air has a great deal more power and force, when it beats against stones and pieces of iron. For they do not, like brazen and earthen vessels, suffer it to pass through; but, by reason of their solid bulk, beat it back and reflect it into the water, so that upon all parts the cold works very strongly. And hence it comes to pass that rivers in the winter are colder than the sea, because the cold air has a power over them, which by reason of its depth it has not over the sea, where it is scattered without any reflection. But it is probable that for another reason thinner waters may be made colder by the air than thicker, because they are not so strong to resist its force. Now whetstones and pebbles make the water thinner by drawing to them all the mud and other grosser substances that be mixed with it, that so by taking the strength from it may the more easily be wrought upon by the cold. But besides, lead is naturally cold, as that which, being dissolved in vinegar, makes the coldest of all poisons, called white-lead; and stones, by reason of their density, raise cold in the bottom of the water. For every stone is nothing else but a congealed lump of frozen earth, though some more or less than others; and therefore it is no absurdity to say that stones and lead, by reflecting the air, increase the coldness of the water.



QUESTION VI

WHAT IS THE REASON THAT MEN PRESERVE SNOW BY COVERING IT WITH CHAFF AND CLOTHS?

A GUEST, PLUTARCH.

Then the stranger, after he had made a little pause, said: Men in love are ambitious to be in company with their sweethearts; when that is denied them, they desire at least to talk of them. This is my case in relation to snow; and, because I cannot have it at present, I am desirous to learn the reason why it is commonly preserved by the hottest things. For, when covered with chaff and cloth that has never been at the fuller's, it is preserved a long time. Now it is strange that the coldest things should be preserved by the hottest.

Yes, said I, it is a very strange thing, if true. But it is not so; and we cozen ourselves by presently concluding a thing to be hot if it have a faculty of causing heat, when as yet we see that the same garment causes heat in winter, and cold in summer. Thus the nurse in the tragedy,

In garments thin doth Niobe's children fold, And sometimes heats and sometimes cools the babes.

The Germans indeed make use of clothes only against the cold, the Ethiopians only against the heat; but they are useful to us upon both accounts. Why therefore should we rather say the clothes are hot, because they cause heat, than cold, because they cause cold? Nay, if we must be tried by sense, it will be found that they are more cold than hot. For at the first putting on of a coat it is cold, and so is our bed when we lie down; but afterwards they grow hot with the heat of our bodies, because they both keep in the heat and keep out the cold. Indeed, feverish persons and others that have a violent heat upon them often change their clothes, because they perceive that fresh ones at the first putting on are much colder; but within a very little time their bodies make them as hot as the others. In like manner, as a garment heated makes us hot, so a covering cooled keeps snow cold. Now that which causes this cold is the continual emanations of a subtile spirit the snow has in it, which spirit, as long as it remains in the snow, keeps it compact and close; but, after once it is gone, the snow melts and dissolves into water, and instantly loses its whiteness, occasioned by a mixture of this spirit with a frothy moisture. Therefore at the same time, by the help of these clothes, the cold is kept in, and the external air is shut out, lest it should thaw the concrete body of the snow. The reason why they make use of cloth that has not yet been at the fuller's is this, because that in such cloth the hair and coarse flocks keep it off from pressing too hard upon the snow, and bruising it. So chaff lying lightly upon it does not dissolve the body of the snow, besides the chaff lies close and shuts out the warm air, and keeps in the natural cold of the snow. Now that snow melts by the evaporating of this spirit, we are ascertained by sense; for when snow melts it raises a vapor.



QUESTION VII. WHETHER WINE OUGHT TO BE STRAINED OR NOT.

NIGER, ARISTIO.

Niger, a citizen of ours, was lately come from school, after he had spent some time under the discipline of a celebrated philosopher, but had absorbed nothing but those faults by which his master was odious to others, especially his custom of reproving and of carping at whatever upon any occasion chanced to be discussed in company. And therefore, when we were at supper one time at Aristio's, not content to assume to himself a liberty to rail at all the rest of the preparations as too profuse and extravagant, he had a pique at the wine too, and said that it ought not to be brought to table strained, but that, observing Hesiod's rule, we ought to drink it new out of the vessel. Moreover, he added that this way of purging wine takes the strength from it, and robs it of its natural heat, which, when wine is poured out of one vessel into another, evaporates and dies. Besides he would needs persuade us that it showed too much of a vain curiosity, effeminacy, and luxury, to convert what is wholesome into that which is palatable. For as the riotous, not the temperate, use to cut cocks and geld pigs, to make their flesh tender and delicious, even against Nature; just so (if we may use a metaphor, says he) those that strain wine geld and emasculate it, whilst their squeamish stomachs will neither suffer them to drink pure wine, nor their intemperance to drink moderately. Therefore they make use of this expedient, to the end that it may render the desire they have of drinking plentifully more excusable. So they take all the strength from the wine, leaving the palatableness still: as we use to deal with those with whose constitution cold water does not agree, to boil it for them. For they certainly take off all the strength from the wine, by straining of it. And this is a great argument, that the wine deads, grows flat, and loses its virtue, when it is separated from the lees, as from its root and stock; for the ancients for very good reason called wine lees, as we use to signify a man by his head or soul, as the principal part of him. So in Greek, grape-gatherers are said [Greek omitted], the word being derived from [Greek omitted], which signifies lees; and Homer in one place calls the fruit of the wine [Greek omitted], and the wine itself high-colored and red,—not pale and yellow, such as Aristio gives us to supper, after all the goodness is purged out of it.

Then Aristio smiling presently replied: Sir, the wine I bring to table does not look so pale and lifeless as you would have it: but it appears only in the cup to be mild and well qualified. But for your part, you would glut yourself with night wine, which raises melancholy vapors; and upon this account you cry out against purgation, which, by carrying off whatever might cause melancholy or load men's stomachs, and make them drunk or sick, makes it mild and pleasant to those that drink it, such as heroes (as Homer tells us) were formerly wont to drink. And it was not dark wine which he called [Greek omitted], but clear and transparent; for otherwise he would never have named brass [Greek omitted], after characterizing it as man-exalting and resplendent. Therefore as the wise Anacharsis, discommending some things that the Grecians enjoined, commended their coals, because they leave the smoke without doors, and bring the fire into the house; so you judicious men might blame me for some other reason than this. But what hurt, I pray, have I done to the wine, by taking from it a turbulent and noisome quality, and giving it a better taste, though a paler color? Nor have I brought you wine to the table which, like a sword, hath lost its edge and vigorous relish, but such as is only purged of its dregs and filth. But you will say that wine not strained hath a great deal more strength. Why so, my friend? One that is frantic and distracted has more strength than a man in his wits; but when, by the help of hellebore or some other fit diet, he is come to himself, that rage and frenzy leave him and quite vanish, and the true use of his reason and health of body presently comes into its place. In like manner, purging of wine takes from it all the strength that inflames and enrages the mind, and gives it instead thereof a mild and wholesome temper; and I think there is a great deal of difference between gaudiness and cleanliness. For women, while they paint, perfume, and adorn themselves with jewels and purple robes, are accounted gaudy and profuse; yet nobody will find fault with them for washing their faces, anointing themselves, or platting their hair. Homer very neatly expresses the difference of these two habits, where he brings in Juno dressing herself:—

With sweet ambrosia first she washed her skin, And after did anoint herself with oil. ("Iliad," xiv. 170.)

So much was allowable, being no more than a careful cleanliness. But when she comes to call for her golden buttons, her curiously wrought earrings, and last of all puts on her bewitching girdle, this appears to be an extravagant and idle curiosity, and betrays too much of wantonness, which by no means becomes a married woman. Just so they that sophisticate wine by mixing it with aloes, cinnamon, or saffron bring it to the table like a gorgeous-apparelled woman, and there prostitute it. But those that only take from it what is nasty and no way profitable do only purge it and improve it by their labor. Otherwise you may find fault with all things whatsoever as vain and extravagant, beginning at the house you live in. As first, you may say, why is it plastered? Why does it open especially on that side where it may have the best convenience for receiving the purest air, and the benefit of the evening sun? What is the reason that our cups are washed and made so clean that they shine and look bright? Now if a cup ought to have nothing that is nasty or loathsome in it, ought that which is drunk out of the cup to be full of dregs and filth? What need is there for mentioning anything else? The making corn into bread is a continual cleansing; and yet what a great ado there is before it is effected! There is not only threshing, winnowing, sifting, and separating the bran, but there must be kneading the dough to soften all parts alike, and a continual cleansing and working of the mass till all the parts become edible alike. What absurdity is it then by straining to separate the lees, as it were the filth of the wine, especially since the cleansing is no chargeable or painful operation?



QUESTION VIII. WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF BULIMY OR THE GREEDY DISEASE?

PLUTARCH, SOCLARUS, CLEOMENES, AND OTHERS.

There is a certain sacrifice of very ancient institution, which the chief magistrate or archon performs always in the common-hall, and every private person in his own house. 'Tis called the driving out of bulimy; for they whip out of doors some one of their servants with a bunch of willow rods, repeating these words, Get out of doors, bulimy; and enter riches and health. Therefore in my year there was a great concourse of people present at the sacrifice; and, after all the rites and ceremonies of the sacrifice were over, when we had seated ourselves again at the table, there was an inquiry made first of all into the signification of the word bulimy, then into the meaning of the words which are repeated when the servant is turned out of doors. But the principal dispute was concerning the nature of it, and all its circumstances. First, as for the word bulimy, it was agreed upon by all to denote a great and public famine, especially among us who use the Aeolic dialect, putting [Greek omitted] for [Greek omitted]. For it was not called by the ancients [Greek omitted] but [Greek omitted], that is, [Greek omitted], much hunger. We concluded that it was not the same with the disease called Bubrostis, by an argument fetched out of Metrodorus's Ionics. For the said Metrodorus informs us that the Smyrnaeans, who were once Aeolians, sacrificed to Bubrostis a black bull cut into pieces with the skin on, and so burnt it. Now, forasmuch as every species of hunger resembles a disease, but more particularly Bulimy, which is occasioned by an unnatural disposition of the body, these two differ as riches and poverty, health and sickness. But as the word NAUSEATE [Greek omitted] first took its name from men who were sea-sick in a ship, and afterwards custom prevailed so far that the word was applied to all persons that were any way in like sort affected; so the word BULIMY, rising at first from hence, was at last extended to a more large and comprehensive signification. What has been hitherto said was a general club of the opinions of all those who were at table.

But after we began to inquire after the cause of this disease, the first thing that puzzled us was to find out the reason why bulimy seizes upon those that travel in the snow. As Brutus, one time marching from Dyrrachium to Apollonia in a deep snow, was endangered of his life by bulimy, whilst none of those that carried the provisions for the army followed him; just when the man was ready to faint and die, some of his soldiers were forced to run to the walls of the enemies' city, and beg a piece of bread of the sentinels, by the eating of which he was presently refreshed; for which cause, after Brutus had made himself master of the city, he treated all the inhabitants very mercifully. Asses and horses are frequently troubled with bulimy, especially when they are laden with dry figs and apples; and, which is yet more strange, of all things that are eaten, bread chiefly refreshes not only men but beasts; so that, by taking a little quantity of bread, they regain their strength and go forward on their journey.

After all were silent, I (who had observed that dull fellows and those of a less piercing judgment were satisfied with and did acquiesce in the reasons the ancients gave for bulimy, but to men of ingenuity and industry they only pointed out the way to a more clear discovery of the truth of the business) mentioned Aristotle's opinion, who says, that extreme cold without causes extreme heat and consumption within; which, if it fall into the legs, makes them lazy and heavy, but if it come to the fountain of motion and respiration, occasions faintings and weakness. When I had said that, some of the company opposed it, others held with me.

At length says Soclarus: I like the beginning of this reason very well, for the bodies of travellers in a great snow must of necessity be surrounded and condensed with cold; but that from the heat within there should arise such a consumption as invades the principle of respiration, I can no way imagine. I rather think, says he, that abundance of heat penned up in the body consumes the nourishment, and that failing, the fire as it were goes out. Here it comes to pass, that men troubled with this bulimy, when they are ready to starve with hunger, if they eat never so little meat, are presently refreshed. The reason is, because meat digested is like fuel for the heat to feed upon.

But Cleomenes the physician would have the word [Greek omitted] (which signifies hunger) to be added to the making up of the word [Greek omitted] without sufficient reason; as [Greek omitted], to drink, is added to [Greek omitted], to swallow; and [Greek omitted] to incline, into [Greek omitted] to raise the head. Nor is bulimy, as it seems, a kind of hunger, but an affection in the stomach causing a faintness on account of the concourse of heat. Therefore as things that have a good smell recall the spirits of those that are faint, so bread affects those that are almost overcome with a bulimy; not that they have any need of food (for the least piece of it restores them their strength), but the bread calls back their vigor and languishing spirits. Now that bulimy is not hunger but a faintness, is manifest from all laboring beasts, which are seized with it very often through the smell of dry figs and apples; for a smell does not cause any want of food, but rather a pain and agitation in the stomach.

These things seemed to be reasonably well urged; and yet it seemed that much might be said for the contrary opinion, and that it was possible enough to maintain that bulimy ariseth not from condensation but rarefication of the stomach. For the spirit which flows from the snow is nothing but the aether and finest fragment of the frozen substance, endued with a virtue of cutting and dividing not only the flesh, but also silver and brazen vessels; for we see that these are not able to keep in the snow, for it dissolves and evaporates, and glazes over the outmost superficies of the vessels with a thin dew, not unlike to ice, which this spirit leaves as it secretly passes through the pores. Therefore this piercing spirit, like a flame, seizing upon those that travel in the snow, seems to burn their outsides, and like fire to enter and penetrate the flesh. Hence it is that the flesh is more rarefied, and the heat is extinguished by the cold spirit that lies upon the superficies of the body; therefore the body evaporates a dewy thin sweat, which melts away and decays the strength. Now if a man should sit still at such a time, there would not much heat fly out of his body. But when the motion of the body doth quickly heat the nourishment, and that heat bursts through the thin skin, there must necessarily be a great loss of strength. Now we know by experience, that cold hath a virtue not only to condense but also to loosen bodies; for in extreme cold winters pieces of lead are found to sweat. And when we see that a bulimy happens where there is no hunger, we may conclude that at that time the body is rather in a fluid than condensed state. The reason that bodies are rarefied in winter is because of the subtility of the spirit; especially when the moving and tiring of the body stir the heat, which, as soon as it is subtilized and agitated, flies apace, and spreads itself through the whole body. Lastly, it is very possible that apples and dry figs exhale some such thing as this, which rarefies and attenuates the heat of the beasts; for some things have a natural tendency as well to weaken as to refresh different creatures.



QUESTION IX. WHY DOES HOMER APPROPRIATE A CERTAIN PECULIAR EPITHET TO EACH PARTICULAR LIQUID, AND CALL OIL ONLY LIQUID?

PLUTARCH, AND OTHERS.

It was the subject once of a discourse, why, when there are several sorts of liquids, the poet should give every one of them a peculiar epithet, calling milk white, honey yellow, wine red, and yet for all this bestow no other upon oil but what it hath in common with all other liquids. To this it was answered that, as that is said to be most sweet which is perfectly sweet, and to be most white which is perfectly white (I mean here by perfectly that which hath nothing of a contrary quality mixed with it), so that ought to be called perfectly humid whereof never a part is dry; and this is proper to oil.

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