But Antiphanes, in his Lycon, jesting on the Egyptians after the manner of the comic poets, says— [p. 470]
They say in other things the Egyptian raceAnd Anaxandrides, in his Cities, directing what he says to the Egyptians, speaks as follows—
Is clever also, since they think the eel
On a level with the gods; or I may say
By far more valuable. For, as to the gods,—
Those we gain over by our prayers alone;
But as for eels, without you spend at least
Twelve drachmas you can scarce get leave to smell them.
So it is altogether a holy beast.
I never could myself your comrade be,And Timocles, in his Egyptians, says—
For neither do'our manners nor our laws
Agree with yours, but they are wholly different.
You do adore an ox; I sacrifice him
To the great Gods of heaven. You do think
An eel the mightiest of deities;
But we do eat him as the best of fish.
You eat no pork; I like it above all things.
You do adore a dog; but I do beat him
If e'er I catch him stealing any meat.
Then our laws enjoin the priests to be
Most perfect men; but yours are mutilated.
If you do see a cat in any grief
You weep; but I first kill him and then skin him.
You have a great opinion of the shrew-mouse;
But I have none at all.
How can an ibis or a dog be able
To save a man? For where with impious hearts
Men sin against the all-acknowledged Gods,
And yet escape unpunish'd, who can think
The altar of a cat will be more holy,
Or prompter to avenge itself, than they?