And when they were now on the point of sitting down to eat again, Daphnus bade them stop, quoting this iambic out of the Mammacythus or Auri of Metagenes—
As when we're feasting anywhere,And indeed, said he, I say that the discussion about fish is still defective in some points, since the sons of Aesculapius (such as Philotimus I mean, in his essay on Food, and Mnesitheus the Athenian, and Diphilus the Siphnian) hare said a good deal about fishes, of which we have as yet taken no notice. For Diphilus, in his work entitled A Treatise on Food fit for People in Health and Invalids, says,—"Of sea-fish, those which keep to the rocks are easily digested, and juicy, and purgative, and light, but not very nutritious; but those which keep in the deep water are much less digestible, very nutritious, but apt to disagree with one. Now, of the fish which keep to the rocks, the phycen and the phycis are very tender little fish, and very digestible; but the perch, which is like them, varies a little as to the places in which it is found. And the tench resembles the perch; but the smaller tench and the white ones are tender, juicy, and digestible; but the green ones (and they are also called caulinæ) are dry, and devoid of juice. The channæ also have tender meat, put still they are harder than the perch. Then there is the scarus, which has tender flesh, not very firm, sweet, light, digestible, [p. 560] not apt to disagree with one, and good for the stomach. But the fresh ones are less popular than the others, because they hunt the sea-hares and feed on them, owing to which their entrails are apt to produce cholera morbus. And the fish which is called ceris is tender, good for the bowels, and good for the stomach; but its juice has fattening and purgative qualities. The orphus, which some write ὀρφὸς, and some ὀρφὼς, is very full of a pleasant juice, glutinous, indigestible, very nutritious, diuretic. But the parts near his head are glutinous and digestible; but the more fleshy parts are indigestible and heavy, and the part towards the tail is the tenderest part; and he is a fish apt to generate phlegm, and indigestible. The sphyrenæ are more nutritious than the congers; and the eel caught in lakes is not so nice as the sea-eel, but it is more nutritious. The chrysophrys is very like the melanurus; and the sea-scorpions, which are found in the deep sea, and are of a tawny colour, are more nutritious than those which are found in marshes, or than the large ones which are taken on the shores.
Then we all talk and argue faster.