Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists/The Life of Æsop/Chapter VII
An Entertainment of Neates Tongues.
SOME few dayes after the Ratification of This Peace, Xanthus Invited several Philosophers of his Acquaintance to Supper with him; and Charges Æsop to make the Best Provision he could think of, for their Entertainment. Æsop had a Wit waggish Enough, and This General Commission furnished him with Matter to work upon. So soon as ever the Guests were set down at the Table, Xanthus calls for Supper, and Expected no less then a very Splendid Treat. The First Service was Neates Tongues sliced , which the Philosophers took Occasion to Discourse and Quibble upon in a Grave Formall way, as The Tongue (for the purpose) is the Oracle of Wifdom, and the like. Xanthus, upon This, calls for a Second Course, and after That for a Third, and so for a Fourth, which were All Tongues, over and over again still, only severall wayes Dressed: Some Boyl'd, Others Fry'd, and some again serv'd up in Soupe, which put Xanthus into a Furious Passion. Thou Villain, says he, Is this according to my order, to have Nothing but Tongues upon Tongues? Sr says Æsop, without any hesitation, Since it is my Ill fortune to fall under this Acculation, I do Appeale to All These Learned Persons, whether I have done Well, or Ill, and pay'd that Respect to your Order which I ought to do.
Your order was, That I shouid make the Best Provision that I could think of for the Entertainment of These Excellent Persons, and if the Tongue be the Key that Leads Us into all Knowledge, what could be more proper and suitable than a Feast of Tongues for a Philosophicall Banquet?
When Xanthus found the Sence of the Table to be on Æsop's side; Well my Friends says he; Pray will You Eate with me to Morrow, And I'le try If I can mend your Chear; and Mr Major Domo, says he to Æsop, let it be the Care of your Gravity and Wisdome to Provide us a Supper to Morrow, of the very worst Things You can Think of.