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A Defcription of the FEAST of RUFUS



How did you fare at wealthy Rufus' Feaft? When yesterday I fought you for my Guest

I heard you din'd with him.


I never pafs'd.

A better Day


Indeed! What Dainties, pray,

Allay'd your Hunger, and regal'd your Tafte?

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


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

This Courfe remov'd, a Boy, in trim Array, With purple Napkin fwept 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' Feaft, his tawny Face
Hydafpes rear'd, and brought Cæcubian Wines,
Alcon 3 the Chian, prefs'd from Latian Vines.
If you, Macenas, rather chufe the Growth
• Of Alba or Falernus, I have both,'

The Master cries.


4. O wretched Hoard! but fay, Who fhar'd, befide, 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, Viscus near Me,
6 Varius below, if true my Memory ;
The Left to 7 Nomentanus was affign'd
And Porcius; Rufus in the Midft reclin'd.
Porcius, than whom there lives no greater Droll,
At one large Gulp the Custards swallow'd whole.
While Nomentanus due Encomiums pafs'd,
And pointed out each Difh of higher Tafte.
For Wild-fowl, Lobfters, Sea-fifh were our Fare,
But fo difguis'd we knew not what they were.
With Plaise delicious he my Plate fupply'd,
(Such I ne'er eat) and with a Flounder fry'd :
Then faid, 8 Thefe Honey-apples fhould 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 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 elfe he fear'd the Feast, By these strongLiquors pall'd,would lofe its Tafte. Brifkly the Glafs goes round; we drink away, And foon the Flaggons drain; for all obey, Save Rufus and the Sycophants; he fips But little; they, like him, juft wet their Lips. Now came a Lamprey, in a Length of Dish, Shrimps floating round. When thus our Hoft: • This Fish,

You fee, is full of Spawn; the Flesh is bad, • That Seafon over. Thus the Soup is made: 'Soon as we see the fteaming Liquor boil, • Caviare we mix, and beft Venafran Oil, And, well matur'd by Age, Italian Wine; But, after it is boil'd, we Chian join: Still farther to improve it fome delight, By Lesbian Vinegar and Pepper white. • Before my Time the Romans never knew

The Rocket green, and Elecampane to ftew;

• But to Curtillus I the Palm refign

Of ftewing Cray-fish in the Cockle Brine.'


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

This Danger o'er, though greater Ills we fear'd, And stood aghaft, our droopingHearts were chear'd. But from his Eyes th' o'erflowing Tears diftill'd In copious Streams, as if his Son were kill'd: And had not Nomentanus thus reliev'd His agonifing Friend, he ftill had griev'd: O. wayward Fortune, cruel Deity!

• Whate'er our Wifdom plans is fpoil'd by thee." From Peals of Laughter Varius could but just Refrain, though in his Mouth the Cloth he thruft. Servilius, gravely fneering, then began :

So frail, fo tranfient are the Hopes of Man! Who, in Return for all his anxious Pains, A Glory equal to his Labour gains? Alas! that you should lavish all your Care To treat your Friends with fuch delicious Fare; To fee your Boys in neat and gay Attire, "Your Soup well boil'd, your Loaves unfcorch'd by Fire,

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Since, spite of all this Toil, (as now the Case)
A Canopy may fall, or fome choice Vase
Be crack'd by ftumbling Slaves-As in the Field'
So at a Fcaft, thatWorth which lies conceal'd

In profperous Days, in adverfe is reveal'd."


Rufus to this, Thanks, kind and gen'rous Friend! '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.


Did nothing more, I pray, provoke your Mirth?
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 fecond in the Farce. With sparkling Eyes
See! he returns. When ftrait Servilius cries,
'I doubt not now, but large Amends you've made
For the fly Trick that flippery Fortune play'd.'
With Flour and Salt well-powder'd, lo! a Crane
Cut up and grill'd, borne by a fervile Train.
Livers of milk-white Geefe, which fat had grown
By eating Figs; of Hares the Wings alone,
As much the fweeteft; Blackbirds over-broil'd,
And many a Ring-Dove of its Rump defpoil'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 Feast,
As if Canidia's Breath, than Snakes more foul,
Had tainted every Difh, and poifon'd every Bowl.


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