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Asinius Celer,1 a man of consular rank, and remarkable for his prodigal expenditure on this fish, bought one at Rome, during the reign of Caius,2 at the price of eight thousand sesterces.3 A reflection upon such a fact as this will at once lead us to turn our thoughts to those who, making loud complaints against luxury, have lamented that a single cook cost more money to buy than a horse; while at the present day a cook is only to be obtained for the same sum that a triumph would cost, and a fish is only to be purchased at what was formerly the price for a cook! indeed, there is hardly any living being held in higher esteem than the man who understands how, in the most scientific fashion, to get rid of his master's property.

(18.) Licinius Mucianus relates, that in the Red Sea there was caught a mullet eighty4 pounds in weight. What a price would have been paid for it by our epicures, if it had only been found off the shores in the vicinity of our city!

1 He may have been the son of C. Asinius Gallus, who was consul B. C. 8; but he does not appear to have ever been consul himself.

2 The reign of the Emperor Caligula.

3 Juvenal, Sat. iv. 1. 15, speaks of a mullet being bought for 6000 sesterces, a thousand for every pound, and Suetonius tells us that in the reign of Tiberius three mullets were sold for 30,000 sesterces. It is in allusion to this kind of extravagance that Juvenal says, in the same Satire, that it is not unlikely that the fisherman could be bought as a slave for a smaller sum than the fish itself. At the above rate, each of these mullets sold for about £70 of our money.

4 Cuvier says that although the mullet of the Indian Seas is in general larger than ours, it is never found at all approaching the weight here mentioned.

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