There is a fish, too, called the mænis, or sprat; and Icesius says that they are more juicy than the tench, but that they are inferior in delicacy of flavour, and also in the extent to which they facilitate the secretions of the stomach. But Speusippus, in the second book of his treatise on Things similar to one another, says that both the boax and the smaris resemble the sprat; and these two fishes, are mentioned by Epicharmus, in his Earth and Sea, in the following manner:—
When you see many boaces and smarides.And Epænetus, in his Cookery Book, says, “The smaris, which some people call cynoseuna.” But Antiphanes, in his Coun- tryman, or Butalion, calls the sprats the food of Hecate, on [p. 492] account of their diminutive size; and the following is the passage:—
A. Why, I did think that all these monstrous fishThere is also one kind which is called the leucomænis, or white sprat, which some people call the boax. Poliochus, in his Corinthiastes, says—
B. What can you mean, my friend?
A. Why, cannibals: so how would any man eat them?
B. That's true. But these are food of Hecate,
Which he is speaking of, just sprats and mullets.
Let no man, in God's name I beg, persuade you,
Come when he will or whence, so to mistake
As to call leucomænides boaces.