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And that they often do sell fish which is dead stinking is proved by what Antiphanes says in his Adulterers, as follows—
There's not on earth a more unlucky beast
Than a poor fish, for whom 'tis not enough
To die when caught, that they may find at once
A grave in human stomachs; but what's worse,
They fall into the hands of odious fishmongers,
And rot and lie upon their stalls for days;
And if they meet with some blind purchaser,
He scarce can carry them when dead away;
But throws them out of doors, and thinks that he
Has through his nose had taste enough of them.
And in his Friend of the Thebans he say—
Is it not quite a shame, that if a man
Has fresh-caught fish to sell, he will not speak
To any customer without a frown
Upon his face, and language insolent
And if his fish are stale, he jokes and laughs-
While his behaviour should the contrary be;
The first might laugh, the latter should be shamed.
And that they sell their fish very dear we are told by Alexis in his Pylæan Women—
Yes, by Minerva, I do marvel at
The tribe of fishmongers, that they are not
All wealthy men, such royal gains they make.
For sitting in the market they do think it
A trifling thing to tithe our properties;
But would take all at one fell swoop away.

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