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This now, my friends, is my contribution, and I have brought you the wholesomest food with which it was in my power to provide you. For, as you may read in the Parasite of Antiphanes,— [p. 565]
For I have never taken any great trouble
In buying fish; * *
* * * * *
* * So that others from rich banquets coming
Should blame the gluttonous surfeits of their friends.
And, indeed, I myself am not so violently fond of fish as the man in the Butalion of the same poet. (And that play is an amended edition of one of the Countryman's characters.) And he says—
A. And I to-day will give a feast to all of you;
And take you money now, and buy the supper.
B. Yes; for unless I've money I should hardly
Know how to buy discreetly. But i' the first place,
Tell me what food, what dishes you prefer.
A. All kinds of food.
B. But tell me separately.
First now, should you approve of any fish?
A. A fishmonger came once into the country
With a good basketfull of sprats and triglides,
And, by Jove, greatly he pleased all of us.
B. Well, tell me then, should you now like some fish?
A. Indeed I should, if they were very little.
For all large fish I always fancy cannibals.
B. What can you mean, my friend?
A. Why, cannibals;—
How can a man eat fish which eat up men!
B. 'Tis plain enough that it is Helen's food
This fellow means, just sprats and triglides.
And in his Countryman he also calls sprats and triglides the food of Hecate. And Ephippus too, disparaging small fish, in his Philyra, speaks as follows—
A. My father, would you like to go to market
And buy some fish for me
B. What shall I buy?
A. Some grown up fish, my father, no small babies.
B. Do not you yet know all the worth of money?

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