The ray, roach, or sea frog may also be mentioned. They are mentioned under the two former names by Aristotle in his treatise on Animals, where he classes them under the head of cartilaginous fish. And Eupolis, in his Flatterers, says—
At Callias's house there is much pleasure,And Epicharmus says, in his Marriage of Hebe—
For he has crabs for dinner, rays besides,
And hares, and women with light twinkling feet.
And there were rays and sea-frogs, sawfish, sharks,And in his Megarian Woman he writes—
Camitæ, roach, and lobsters with hard shells.
Its sides were like a ray,And Sannyrion says, in his Laughter—
Its back was altogether like a roach,
Its head was long, far more like a stag's,
Its flanks were like a scorpion's, son of the sea.
O rays, O dainty grayling.And Aristotle in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of [p. 450] Animals, says that the following are cartilaginous fish; the ray, the turtle, the sea cow, the lamprey, the sea eagle, the sea frog, and the whole of the shark tribe. But Sophron in his Farces, gives one fish the name of botis, saying, “The cestres eat the botis,” though it is possible that he may be speaking of some herb. But with respect to the sea frog, the wise Archestratus gives us the following advice in his Apophthegms—
Whenever you behold a frog, why roast himAnd concerning the ray, he says—
* * * *
And . . . . prepare his stomach.
A boiled ray is good about midwinter.And Ephippus the comic poet, in his play called Philyra, (now Philyra is the name of a courtesan), says—
Eat it with cheese and assafœtida;
But all the sons o' the sea whose flesh is lean
Should, as a rule, be dress'd in such a fashion;
And thus I recommend you now again.
A. Shall I first cut a ray in slender slices
And boil it? aye? or like the cooks in Sicily
Shall I prefer to roast it?
B. Copy Sicily.