And Amphis says in his Impostor—
'Tis easier to get access to the general,And Alexis says in his Apeglaucomenos—
And one is met by language far more courteous,
And by more civil answer from his grace,
Than from those cursed fishfags in the market.
For when one asks them anything, or offers
To buy aught of them, mute they stand like Telephus,
And just as stubborn; ('tis an apt comparison,
For in a word they all are homicides;)
And neither listen nor appear to heed,
But shake a dirty polypus in your face;
Or else turn sulky, and scarce say a word,
But as if half a syllable were enough,
Say “se'n s'lings this,” “this turb't eight'n-pence.”
This is the treatment which a man must bear
Who seeks to buy a dinner in the fish-market.
When I behold a general looking stern,
I think him wrong, but do not greatly wonder,
That one in high command should think himself
Above the common herd. But when I see
The fishmongers, of all tribes far the worst,
Bending their sulky eyes down to the ground,
And lifting up their eyebrows to their foreheads,
I am disgusted. And if you should ask,
“Tell me, I pray you, what's this pair of mullets?”
“Tenpence.” “Oh, that's too much; you'll eightpence take”
“Yes, if you'll be content with half the pair.”
“Come, eightpence; that is plenty.” "I will not
Take half a farthing less: don't waste my time."
Is it not bitter to endure such insolence?