Plutarch and Shakespeare Compared

The Life of Marcus Antonius Antony and Cleopatra
Philotas, a physician of Amphissa, who was at that time a student of medicine in Alexandria, used to tell my grandfather Lamprias that, having some acquaintance with one of the royal cooks, he was invited by him, being a young man, to come and see the sumptuous preparations for supper. So he was taken into the kitchen, where he admired the prodigious variety of all things; but particularly, seeing eight wild boars roasting whole, says he, "Surely you have a great number of guests." The cook laughed at his simplicity, and told him there were not above twelve to sup, but that every dish was to be served up just roasted to a turn, and if anything was but one minute ill-timed, it was spoiled. MECAENAS
We have cause to be glad that matters are
so well digested. You stayed well by 't in Egypt.
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance,
and made the night light with drinking.
MECAENAS Eight wild-boars roasted whole at a
breakfast, and but twelve persons there; is this true?
DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS
This was but as a fly by an eagle: we
had much more monstrous matter of feast, which
worthily deserved noting.

II.ii.177-185



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