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1 B. ix. c. 79.
2 Ajasson remarks that these statements are consistent with fact.
3 "Deep-sea" oysters.
4 In Asia Minor. See B. v. c. 32, where it is called "Grynia."
5 In Lemnos. See B. iv. c. 23, and B. v. c. 32.
6 This is an error: the statement is made, not in B. ix., but in B. ii. c. 109.
7 See B. ix. c. 74. It is at the spawning season that this milky liquid
is found in the oyster; a period at which the meat of the fish is considered
unwholesome as food. We have a saying that the oyster should never be
eaten in the months without an r; that the same, too, was the opinion in
the middle ages is proved by the Leonine line:
"Mensibus erratis vos ostrea manducatis."
"In the r'd months you may your oysters eat."
8 See B. iii. c. 9. Horace speaks of the oysters of Circeii, B. ii. Sat. 4. l. 33.
9 There has been considerable discussion among the commentators as to the meaning of the word "spondylus" here. We are inclined to adopt the opinion of Venette, and to think that it means the so-called "meat" of the oyster. It must be short, and consequently plump and comparatively destitute of beard, and it must not be fleshy, as that would imply a degree of toughness not desirable in an oyster. The words "nec fibris laciniata ac tota in alvo," only seem to be an amplification of the preceding ones, "spondylo brevi et non carnoso."
10 Literally, "Having beautiful eyebrows."
11 See B. ix. c. 79.
12 See B. v. c. 40.
13 See B. iii. c. 9.
15 Those of Rutupæ, the present Richborough in Kent, were highly esteemed by the Romans. See Juvenal, Sat. 4. l. 141.
17 The district in the vicinity of Bordeaux, now called Medoc. The oysters of Medulæ are mentioned in terms of praise by Ausonius, Epist. vii. and Epist. cxliii.
19 See B. iii. c. 4.
20 See B. v. c. 32.
21 See B. iii. c. 23.
22 See B. iii. c. 9.
23 They probably gave the name of "oyster" to some other shell-fish of large size. In Cook's Voyages we read of cockles in the Pacific, which two men were unable to carry.
25 Ajasson remarks that many persons are unable to digest oysters, in an uncooked state.
26 Ajasson remarks that calcined oyster-shells formed an ingredient in the famous lithontriptic of Mrs. Stephens, a so-called remedy which obtained for her a considerable reward, voted by the English Parliament in the middle of last century.
27 A statement purely imaginary, Ajasson thinks; the liquid of this class of shell-fish containing no element whatever to fit it for an antidote.
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