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fresh rivers; as, namely, the lamprel, the lamprey, and the lamperne; as also of the mighty conger, taken often in Severn about Gloucester: and might also tell in what high esteem many of them are for the curiosity of their taste. But these are not so proper to be talked of by me, because they make us anglers no sport, therefore I will let them alone as the Jews do, to whom they are forbidden by their law.


The Flounder.

And, scholar, there is also a flounder, a sea-fish, which will wander very far into fresh rivers, and there lose himself, and dwell, and thrive to a hand's breadth, and almost twice so long; a fish without scales, and most excellent meat: and a fish that affords much sport to the angler, with any

from each other; fasten one end to the flags, or on the shore, and throw the lead out, and let the line lie some time. And in this way you may probably take a pike.

The river Kennet in Berkshire, the Stour in Dorsetshire, Irk in Lanca. shire, and Ankham in Lincolnshire, are famed for producing excellent eels, the latter to so great a degree, as to give rise to the following proverbial rhyme :

Ankham eel, and Witham Pike,
In all England is none sike.

But it is said, there are no eels superior in goodness to those taken in the head of the New River near Islington; and I myself have seen eels caught there, with a rod and line, of a very large size.

Eels, contrary to all other fish, never swim up, but always down the stream.-H. [This is a mistake, as any one living on the banks of the Thames must know. Eels ascend the river on their return from the sea in the spring, when the eel-bucks or eel-pots are turned down stream, and the contrary way, towards the sea, in the autumn.-ED.]

1 We are indebted to Leeuwenhoeck for the discovery of scales on eels, so that Jews may now eat them as legitimate food. When the skin of an eel is perfectly dry, the scales are more observable.-ED.


small worm, but especially a little bluish worm, gotten out of marsh-ground or meadows, which should be well scoured.' But this, though it be most excellent meat, yet it wants scales, and is, as I told you, therefore an abomination to the Jews.

But, scholar, there is a fish that they in Lancashire boast very much of, called a Char, taken there, and I think there


The Char, or Alpine Trout.

only, in a mere called Winander-Mere; a mere, says Camden, that is the largest in this nation, being ten miles in length, and some say, as smooth in the bottom as if it were paved

1 The taking of flounders with a rod and line is a thing so accidental, that it is hardly worth the mention. The same may be said of smelts, which, in the Thames, and other great rivers, are caught with a bit of any small fish, but chiefly of their own species. In the month of August, about the year 1720, such vast quantities of smelts came up the Thames, that women, and even children, became anglers for them; and, as I have been told by persons who well remember it, in one day, between London-bridge and Greenwich, not fewer than two thousand persons were thus employed.-H. Hawkins is mistaken in saying that flounders are seldom caught by angling. The author of "Angling in the Trent," published in 1801, says, "I have known ten pounds weight taken by two anglers in one afternoon, and a much greater quantity by flounder-lines. I have caught them with lob-worms nearly a pound weight each, and with a minnow one that weighed twenty-three ounces."-ED.

2 This is now known to be incorrect. The char is found in the deepest waters of many of the lakes of Cumberland and Westmoreland, as well as in Winander-mere, and among them Keswick, Crummock-water, Uls

with polished marble. This fish never exceeds fifteen or sixteen inches in length, and 'tis spotted like a trout, and has scarce a bone but on the back. But this, though I do not know whether it make the angler sport, yet I would have you take notice of it, because it is a rarity, and of so high esteem with persons of great note.

Nor would I have you ignorant of a rare fish called a Guiniad,' of which I shall tell you what Camden, and others speak. The river Dee, which runs by Chester, springs in Merionethshire; and, as it runs toward Chester, it runs through Pemble-Mere, which is a large water: and it is observed, that though the river Dee abounds with salmon, and Pemble-Mere with the Guiniad, yet there is never any salmon caught in the mere, nor a guiniad in the river. And now my next observation shall be of the Barbel.

water, and especially in Coniston and Buttermere. Leigh says it is found in Connington-mere, in Lancashire, and Yarrell that it occurs in several of the lakes of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Thompson, in his "Natural History of Ireland," p. 166 (the volume just published), gives an account of the many loughs in which it is found in Ireland.

The char is nearly twice the size of the herring. The back is of an olive green; its belly of a light vermilion, softening in some into white, and changing into a deep red at the insertion of the fins. They are caught only in the winter season, when twenty dozen a-day are sometimes taken by a single boat. In summer they retire to the rocky caves below, some of which are said to be unfathomable: nor do they breed in any lake in which such deep recesses are not found.-ED.

The Gwyniad, called the Schelly in Cumberland, is very numerous in Ulswater, and other large lakes in Cumberland. It is gregarious. I had some sent me from Bala Lake, in North Wales. The fish is not unlike a herring in appearance.-ED.

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Pisc. The Barbel is so called, says Gesner, by reason of his barb or wattels at his mouth, which are under his nose or chaps. He is one of those leather-mouthed fishes that I told you of, that does very seldom break his hold if he be once hooked: but he is so strong, that he will often break both rod and line, if he proves to be a big one.'

But the barbel, though he be of a fine shape, and looks big, yet he is not accounted the best fish to eat, neither for his wholesomeness nor his taste: but the male is reputed much better than the female, whose spawn is very hurtful, as I will presently declare to you.

They flock together like sheep, and are at the worst in April, about which time they spawn, but quickly grow to be in season. He is able to live in the strongest swifts of the water, and in summer they love the shallowest and sharpest streams; and love to lurk under weeds, and to feed on gravel against a rising ground, and will root and dig in the

1 The average size of barbel caught in the river Thames or Lea, is from one to three pounds, but they are occasionally found of eight or ten pounds' weight. Mr. Yarrell says, the largest he finds on record weighed fifteen and a half pounds. They are very abundant about Shepperton and Walton, where as many as from one hundred and fifty to one hundred and eighty have been taken in one day.-ED.

sands with his nose like a hog, and there nests himself: yet sometimes he retires to deep and swift bridges, or floodgates, or wears, where he will nest himself amongst piles, or in hollow places, and take such hold of moss or weeds, that be the water never so swift, it is not able to force him from the place that he contends for. This is his constant custom in summer, when he and most living creatures sport themselves in the sun; but at the approach of winter, then he forsakes the swift streams and shallow waters, and by degrees retires to those parts of the river that are quiet and deeper: in which places, and I think about that time, he spawns; and, as I have formerly told you, with the help of the melter, hides his spawn or eggs in holes, which they both dig in the gravel; and then they mutually labour to cover it with the same sand, to prevent it from being devoured by other fish.

There be such store of this fish in the river Danube, that Rondeletius says, they may in some places of it, and in some months of the year, be taken by those that dwell near to the river, with their hands, eight or ten load at a time.1 He says, they begin to be good in May, and that they cease to be so in August, but it is found to be otherwise in this nation: but thus far we agree with him, that the spawn of a barbel, if it be not poison, as he says, yet that it is dangerous meat, and especially in the month of May; which is so certain, that Gesner and Gasius 2 declare, it had an ill effect upon them, even to the endangering of their lives.3

1 In winter they assemble under roots of trees, or a sunken boat, &c., and are then so torpid, that the fishermen tell me they can push them about with a punt-pole. Darcy, a music-seller at Oxford, is mentioned in the "New Monthly Magazine," (1820, p. 11,) as having taken barbel by diving in a deep hole near the Four Streams. He said that many of these fish lay with their heads against the bank in parallel lines, like horses in their stalls. They were not disturbed at his approach, but allowed him to come close, and select the finest of them. Barbel of fourteen or sixteen pounds in weight have been taken in the Thames.-ED.

2 Antonius Gazius, of Padua, a physician, who wrote a treatise "De Conservatione Sanitatis," in which there is a chapter on the qualities of river fish as food. It was first published at Venice, 1491. He died in 1530. See Jöcher, Moreri, &c.-ED.

3 Though the spawn of the barbel is known to be of a poisonous nature, yet it is often taken by country people medicinally, who find it at once a

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