And Sotades, not the Maronite poet, who composed Ionian songs, but the poet of the middle comedy, in the play entitled The Shut-up Women, (for that was the name which he gave to it,) introduces a cook making the following speech,—
First I did take some squills, and fried them all;
Then a large shark I cut in slices large,
Roasting the middle parts, and the remainder
I boil'd and stuff'd with half-ripe mulberries.
Then I take two large heads of dainty grayling,
And in a large dish place them, adding simply
Herbs, cummin, salt, some water, and some oil.
Then after this I bought a splendid pike,
To boil in pickle with all sorts of herbs.
Avoiding all such roasts as want a spit,
[p. 460] I bought too some fine mullet, and young thrushes,
And put them on the coals just as they were,
Adding a little brine and marjoram.
To these I added cuttle-fish and squills.
A fine dish is the squill when carefully cook'd.
But the rich cuttle-fish is eaten plain,
Though I did stuff them all with a rich forced meat
Of almost every kind of herb and flower.
Then there were several dishes of boil'd meats,
And sauce-boats full of oil and vinegar.
Besides all this a conger fine and fat
I bought, and buried in a fragrant pickle;
Likewise some tench, and clinging to the rocks
Some limpets. All their heads I tore away,
And cover'd them with flour and bread crumbs over,
And then prepared them as I dress'd the squills.
There was a widow'd amia too, a noble
And dainty fish. That did I wrap in fig-leaves,
And soak'd it through with oil, and over all
With swaddling clothes of marjoram did I fold it,
And hid it like a torch beneath the ashes.
With it I took anchovies from Phalerum,
And pour'd on them one cruet full of water.
Then shredding herbs quite fine, I add more oil,
More than two cotylee in quantity.
What next? That's all. This sir is what I do,
Not learning from recipes or books of cookery.