There is also the scorpion. Diodes, in the first book of his treatise on Wholesome Things, addressed to Plistarchus, says—“Of fresh fish, the following have drier meat: the scorpions, the sea-cuckoo, the sea-sparrow, the sargi, and the rough-tail. But the mullet is not so dry as these are; for all fish which keep near the rocks have softer flesh.” And Icesius says—“There are two kinds of scorpion; one of which lives in the sea, and the other in marshes. And the one which lives in the sea is red, but the other is rather black. But the sea-mullet is superior to the other, both in taste and in nutritious qualities. But the scorpions have purging qualities, are easy of secretion, very juicy, and very nutritious; for they are a cartilaginous fish.” The scorpion brings forth its young twice a-year, as Aristotle tells us, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals. But Numenius says, in his treatise on Fishing,—
The phycides, the alphestes, and besidesBut that he is a fish which has the power of stinging, Aristotle tells us, in his book about Fishes or Animals. And Epicharmus, in his Muses, says that the scorpion is a variegated fish:—
The red-flesh'd scorpion, and the black-tail quick,
Which guides the perch all through the stormy sea.
The variegated scorpion, the grayling,The scorpion is a solitary fish, and feeds on seaweed. But, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, Aristotle speaks of scorpions and scorpides in different places; but it is uncertain whether he means the same fish; because we ourselves have often eaten the scorpæna and the scorpion, and there is no [p. 505] one who does not know that both their juice and their meat are quite different. But Archestratus, that skilful cook, in his Golden Words, tells us—
The fat and well-fed lizards.
When you're at Thasos buy a scorpion,
But let him not be longer than one cubit;
Avoid the larger sizes.