Letter CLXXXVI(1)

Letter CLXXXVI(1) Letter CLXXXVI(1)

To Antipater, the governor.(2)

Philosophy is an excellent thing, if only for this, that it even heals its disciples at small cost; for, in philosophy, the same thing is both dainty and healthy fare. I am told that you have recovered your failing appetite by pickled cabbage. Formerly I used to dislike it, both on account of the proverb,(3) and because it reminded me of the poverty that went with it. Now, however, I am driven to change my mind. I laugh at the proverb when I see that cabbage is such a "good nursing mother of men,"(4) and has restored our governor to the vigour of youth. For the future I shall think nothing like cabbage, not even Homer's lotus,(5) not even that ambrosia,(6) whatever it was, which fed the Olympians.