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right at the termination of the measure. It surely cannot be difficult to conceive that this music, with all its simplicity, by its strict unison with poetry might operate more powerfully in public exhibitions than the artificial melody of modern times.
The noblest kind of ode sung at the banquet is indicated by the instruction given by Penelope to the Bard:
Phemius, let acts of gods and heroes old,
Pope's Translation of the Odyssey, book 1. There were three sorts of musical instruments, according to Cassiodorus (Op. č. p. 507), called Percussionalia, Tensibilia, and Inflatila. The percussionalia were silver or brazen disks, which when struck with some force, yielded a sweet ringing. The tensibilia were cords tied with art, which, on being struck with a plectrum, soothed the ear with a delightful sound; as the various kinds of cytharæ. The inflatila were wind instruments, as tubæ, calami, organa, panduria, &c.
A particular Triclinium, or dining-room', was used during the summer season; and there were other rooms equally appropriated to autumn, spring, and winter. The enhancement of
gratification was diligently studied by varying the apartments at each successive period of the year; and the several arrangements belonging to each were so carefully ordained, that every triclinium bad a number of tables of different kinds, and each table its particular dishes, vessels, and attendants'. To order a dinner, was an office which required the exercise of judicious propriety. Horace says,
1 Triclinium is a word derived from the Greek, and literally signifies three beds or couches; but it is also applied to the apartment containing the couches upon which the Romans were accustomed to recline at their meals. Pitiscus, Lexicon Antiq. Rom.
? The Roman tables were circular; and inlaid marble tables, particularly with the beautiful green marble of Tænarus, were highly prized.
3 Vitruvius, lib. vi. cap. 7; and Martial, lib. vii. epig. 48.
If not exact and elegant of taste,
Let none presume to understand a feast?. The entertainment consisted of three courses ; and as apples were always brought up in the last course, so were eggs in the first, whence the common sentence, “Ab ovo usque ad mala,' From the egg to the apple ; or, From the beginning to the end of the feast.
The first course, called Antecona, or Gustatio, consisted of eggs and different kinds of shell-fish :
Eggs, large and white, they bring us every day Warm from the recent nest of twisted hay?. At the Cæna, or second course, were served the choicest dainties, amongst which the peacock, a bird of high culinary consequence, was essential'. The principal dish, or Caput Cænæ, was never suffered to be carried from table untasted.
1. Lib. ii. sat. 4. Francis's Translation.
s Cicero pleasantly says, he had the boldness to invite Hirtius to dine with him, even without a peacock.
The third course, or Mensa Pomorum, was the dessert, a service of apples and the various sorts of fruit in season. Juvenal promises his friend, that
Apples, which with Picenum's might compare,
Shall meet the Signian and the Syrian pear'. Although table-cloths were not used, it appears that every guest was provided with a napkin : the description of the feast of Nasidienus, in the eighth satire of the second book of Horace, notices it;
Varius from laughing scarcely could refrain,
But put the napkin to his mouth in vain. Another instance of manners may be mentioned on the authority of Silius Italicus, a poet in the reign of Vespasian : whenever the Romans lay down to table, the gods were constantly addressed in prayer:
Nor touch'd the meat, nor tasted was the wine,
Till every guest implor'd the pow'rs divine. This at least, says the Earl of Orrery, was the conduct of a Roman entertainment when ma
1 Sat. 11. Badham.
naged with order; and no other is to be found in the writings of Pliny, whose morals were too delicate to admit of intemperance'.
The Carver, Structor, or Scissor, was a servant whose express duty it was to dismember the articles of the repast: another, or perhaps the same, was employed to set it out in order. Juvenal, in his fifth satire, which is particularly descriptive of a Roman dinner, says:
Behold the carver, who with rare grimace
Hare, fowl or pheasant are dissected now?. The art of carving meat was taught on wooden models, a circumstance to which the same author alludes in his eleventh satire, where Trypherus, a celebrated cook and perfect master of his profession, is mentioned,
| Pliny's Epistles, vol. i. page 57. Lord Orrery's Translation.
8 Badham's Translation.