There is also the torpedo. Plato, or Cantharus, says, in the Alliance—
A boil'd torpedo is delicious food.But Plato the Philosopher says, in the Meno, “You seem very much to resemble the sea-torpedo; for that fish causes any one who comes near it to become torpid.” And an allusion to the name occurs also in Homer, where he says—
His hand was torpid (νάρκησε) at the wrist.But Menander, in his Phanus, uses the termination a, and says—
A certain torpor (νάρκα) creeps o'er all my skin;though no one of the ancient writers ever used this form of the word. But Icesius says that it is a fish without much nutriment or much juice in it, but that it has some cartilaginous sort of substance diffused all over it, very good for the stomach. And Theophrastus, in his book on Animals which live in Holes, says that the torpedo works its way underground because of the cold. But in his treatise on Poisonous Animals, and on Animals which sting, he says that the torpedo can send the power which proceeds from it through wood, and through harpoons, so as to produce torpor in those [p. 494] who have them in their hands. But Clearchus the Solensian has explained the cause of this in his treatise on Torpor; but, since his explanation is rather a long one, I do not recollect his exact words, but will refer you to the treatise itself. But the torpedo, says Aristotle, is one of the cartilaginous and viviparous fish; and, to provide itself with food, it hunts after little fish, touching them, and causing them all to become torpid and motionless. And Diphilus of Laodicea, in his essay on the Theriaca of Nicander, says that it is not every part of the animal which produces this torpor, but only some particular parts of it; and he says that he has arrived at this fact by a long series of experiments. But Archestratus speaks of–
A bold torpedo done in oil and wine,Alexis, in his Galatea, says—
And fragrant herbs, and some thin grated cheese.
I counsel you to season well and stuffAnd in his Demetrius he says—
Torpedos whole, and then to roast them thoroughly.
Then I took a torpedo, calculating
If my wife touch'd it with her tender fingers
That they would get no hurt from its backbone.