And it was not without some wit that Diphilus, in his Merchant, speaks in this manner of fish being sold at an exorbitant price—
I never heard of dearer fish at any time.[p. 359] And Alexis says in his Grecian Woman—
Oh, Neptune, if you only got a tenth
Of all that money, you would be by far
The richest of the gods! And yet if he,
The fishmonger I mean, had been but civil,
I would have given him his price, though grumbling;
And, just as Priam ransom'd Hector, I
Would have put down his weight to buy the conger.
Living and dead, the monsters of the deepAnd Archippus, in his play called the Fish, mentions one fishmonger by name, Hermæus the Egyptian, saying—
Are hostile to us always. If our ship
Be overturn'd, they then at once devour
Whatever of the crew they catch while swimming:
And if they're caught themselves by fishermen,
When dead they half undo their purchasers;
For with our whole estate they must be bought,
And the sad purchaser comes off a beggar.
The cursedest of all fish-dealers isAnd Alexis, in his Rich Heiress, mentions a certain fishmonger by name, Micio.
Hermæus the Egyptian; who skins
And disembowels all the vilest fish,
And sells them for the choicest, as I hear.