And you, perhaps, my friends, have willingly passed by (as if it were some sacred fish) the fish mentioned by Ephippus the comic poet, which he says was dressed for Geryon, in his play called Geryon. The lines are these:—
A. When the natives of the landBut I am not ignorant that Ephippus has said the very same thing in his play called the Peltast; in which the following lines also are subjoined to those which I have just quoted:—
Catch a fish which is not common,
But fine, as large as the whole isle
Of Crete, he furnishes a dish
Able to hold a hundred such;
And orders all who live around,
Sindi, and Lycians, and Paphians,
Cranai, and Mygdoniotæ,
To cut down wood, because the king
Is boiling this enormous fish.
So then they bring a load of wood,
Enough to go all round the city,
[p. 547] And light the fire. Then they bring
A lake of water to make brine,
And for eight months a hundred carts
Are hard at work to carry salt.
And around the dish's edge
Five five-oar'd boats keep always rowing;
And bid the slaves take care the fire
Burns not the Lycian magistrates.
B. Cease to blow this cold air on us,
King of Macedon, extinguish
The Celts, and do not burn them more.
Talking all this nonsense, heBut, with reference to whom it is that Ephippus said this, it is now proper for you to inquire, my good friend Ulpian, and then to tell us; and in this inquiry—
Raises the wonder of the youths
With whom he feasts, though knowing not
The simplest sums and plainest figures;
But drags his cloak along the ground
With a most lordly, pompous air.
If you find aught hard and inexplicable,as Prometheus says in Aeschylus.
Repeat it over, understand it clearly,—
For I have much more leisure than I like;