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A Description of the FEAST of RUF U S


HORACE How did you fare at wealthy Rufus

' Feaft? When yesterday I fought you for my Guest I heard you din'd with him.


A better Day I never pass’d.


Indeed! What Dainties, pray, Allay'd your Hunger, and regald your Taste ?

FUNDANIU S. First, a Lucanian Boar the Table grac’d: Diffolv'd in Lees of Wine, Anchovies crown'd The Dish with Sauce; with Carrots, many a

Pound, And Radishes and Lettuce garnish'd round: And it was caught, if Rufus' Words were true, When 2 SouthernGales with genial Softness blew.

This Course remov'd, a Boy, in trim Array, With purple Napkin swept the Crumbs away ;


Another took up all the Scraps that fell,
That nothing might offend our Sight or Smell.
Then, like th’ Athenian Maid, with folemn Pace
Stalking at Ceres' Feast, his tawny Face
Hydaspes rear’d, and brought Cacubian Wines,
Alcon 3 the Chian, press'd from Latian Vines.
. If you, Mecenas, rather chuse the Growth
• Of Alba or Falernus, I have both,'
The Master cries.


4. wretched Hoard ! but say, Who shar'd, beside, the Dainties of the Day?

FUNDANIUS. 5 The upper Bed was with Mecenas grac'd; Next were Servilius and Vibidius plac'd; I on the Right-hand Bed, Vifcus near Me, 6 Varius below, if true my Memory; The Left to 7 Nomentanus was affign'd And Porcius; Rufus in the Midst reclin'd. Porcius, than whom there lives no greater Droll, At one large Gulp the Custards swallow'd whole, While Nomentanus due Encomiums pass’d, And pointed out each Dish of higher Taste. For Wild-fowl, Lobsters, Sea-fish were our Fare, But so disguis'd we knew not what they were. With Plaise delicious he my Plate supply'd, (Such I ne'er eat) and with a Flounder fryd : Then said, 8 « These Honey-apples should remain • Ungather'd, till the Moon is on the Wane;

« For

· For then, believe me, ruddier they appear.' Where lies the Difference you from him

from him may hear. • Oh! (cries Vibidius) we shall surely die. • Without Revenge, unless we drink him dry: • Bring larger Glasses. Paleness now o'erspread Poor Rufus' Face; for nothing did he dread Like a hard Drinker, who with Jokes misplac'd Attacks his Friends; or else he fear'd the Feast, By these strongLiquors pall’d, would lose its Tafte. Briskly the Glass goes round; we drink

away, And soon the Flaggons drain ; for all obey, Save Rufus and the Sycophants; he fips But little ; they, like him, just wet their Lips.

Now came a Lamprey, in a Length of Dish, Shrimps Aoating round. When thus our Hoft:

This Fish, • You see, is full of Spawn ; the Flesh is bad, · That Season over. Thus the Soup is made :

Soon as we see the steaming Liquor boil, · Caviare we mix, and best Venafran Oil, • And, well matur’d by Age, Italian Wine; • But, after it is boild, we Chian join : - Still farther to improve it some delight,

By Lesbian Vinegar and Pepper white. . Before


Time the Romans never knew • The Rocket green, and Elecampane to stew; • But to Curtillus I the Palm resign • Of stewing Cray-fish in the Cockle Brine.'


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The Canopy, high-towering o'er his Head,
While thus he spoke, fell down, and instant spread
Such Clouds of Dust, as ne'er are seen to rise
When o'er Campania's Plains the Whirlwind flies.

This Danger o’er, though greater Ills we fear'd,
And stood aghast, our drooping Hearts were chear’d.
But from his Eyes th'o'erflowing Tears distill’d
In copious Streams, as if his Son were kill'd:
And had not Nomentanus thus reliev'd
His agonising Friend, he still had griev'd :

0. wayward Fortune, cruel Deity!
· Whate'er our Wisdom plans is spoild by thee.
From Peals of Laughter Vorius could but just
Refrain, though in his Mouth the Cloth he thrust.
Servilius, gravely sneering, then began :
• So frail, so transient are the Hopes of Man!
- Who, in Return for all his anxious Pains,
• A Glory equal to his Labour gains ?
• Alas ! that you should laviíh all your Care
• To treat your Friends with such delicious Fare;
• To see your Boys in neat and gay Attire,
• Your Soup well boil'd, your Loaves unscorch'd

by Fire, • Since, spite of all this Toil, (as now the Case)

A Canopy may fall, or some choice Vase
• Be crack'd by stumbling Slaves - As in the Field

So at a Fcaft, that Worth which lies conceal'd
In prosperous Days, in adverse is reveald."


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Rufus to this,'Thanks, kind and gen’rousFriend!

O may the Gods to all your Prayers attend !' Then for his 9 Sandals call'd. From Man to Man On every Bed the whizzing Whisper ran. No comic Scene could give more Laughter Birth.

HORA CE. Did nothing more, I pray, provoke your Mirth ?

FUNDANIU S. Vibidius calls aloud, Is every Flask • Of Liquor broken, that I ftill must ask • In vain for Wine ? Servilius, pleas’d by Art So to have dup'd our Hoft, performs his Part, As second in the Farce. With sparkling Eyes See! he returns. When strait Servilius cries, 'I doubt not now, but large Amends you've made • For the fly Trick that slippery Fortune play'd.' With Flour and Salt well-powder’d, lo! a Crane Cut up and grillid, borne by a servile Train. Livers of milk-white Geefe, which fat had grown By eating Figs; of Hares the Wings alone, As much the sweetest; Blackbirds over-broil'd, And many a Ring-Dove of its Rump despoil'd. All curious Things, no doubt, had not our Friend Explain’d their various Ufes without End.

But in Revenge we nothing more would taste, And all abruptly hurry'd from the Feaft, As if Canidia's Breath, than Snakes more foul, Had tainted every Dish, and poison'd every Bowl.


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