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bag, and put them into a little box in his pocket, where he would usually let them continue half an hour or more, before he would bait his hook with them; I have asked him his reason, and he has replied, " He did but pick the best out to be in "readiness against he baited his hook the next "time." But he has been observed both by others and myself, to catch more fish than I or any other body that has ever gone a-fishing with him could do, and especially Salmons; and I have been told lately, by one of his most intimate and secret friends, that the box in which he put those worms, was anointed with a drop, or two or three, of the Oil of Ivy-berries, made by expression or infusion; and told, that by the worms remaining in that box an hour, or alike time, they had incorporated a kind of smell that was irresistibly attractive, enough to force any fish within the smell of them, to bite. This I heard not long since from a friend, but have not tried it; yet I grant it probable, and refer my reader to Sir Francis Bacons Natural History, where he proves fishes may hear, and doubtless can more probably smell: and I am certain Gesner says, the Otter can smell in the water, and I know not but that fish may do so too: 'tis left for a lover of Angling, or any that desires to improve that art; to try this conclusion.
I shall also impart two other experiments, but not tried by myself, which I will deliver in the same words that they were given me by an excellent Angler and a very friend, in writing; he told me the latter was too good to be told, but in a learned language, lest it should be made common. "Take the stinking oil, drawn out of Polypody "of the oak by a retort, mixed with turpentine, "and hive-honey, and anoint your bait therewith, "and it will doubtless draw the fish to it."
The other is this: Vulnera hederce grandissirrue infiicta sudant Balsamum oleo gelato, albicantique persimile, odoris vero longe suavissimi.
'Tis supremely sweet to any fish, and yet Assafcetida may do the like.
But in these things I have no great faith, yet grant it probable, and have had from some chemical men, namely, from Sir George Hastings and others, an affirmation of them to be very advantageous: but no more of these, especially not in this place.
I might here, before I take my leave of the Salmon, tell you, that there is more than one sort of them, as namely, a Tecon, and another called in some places a Samlet, or by some, a Skegger: but these and others, which I forbear to name, may be fish of another kind, and differ, as we know a Herring and a Pilcher do, which I think are as different, as the rivers in which they breed, and must by me be left to the disquisitions of men of more leisure, and of greater abilities, than I profess myself to have.
And lastly, I am to borrow so much of your promised patience, as to tell you that the Trout or Salmon being in season, have at their first taking out of the water, which continues during life, their bodies adorned, the one with such red spots, and the other with such black or blackish spots, as give them such an addition of natural beauty, as, I think, was never given to any woman by the artificial paint or patches, in which they so much pride themselves iu this age. And so I shall leave them both, and proceed to some observations on the Pike.
Observations of the Luce or Pike, with Directions how tofishfoi him.
The mighty Luce or Pike is taken to be the Tyrant, as the Salmon is the King of the fresh waters. 'Tis not to be doubted, but that they are bred, some
by generation, and some not: as namely, of a weed called Pickerel-weed, unless learned Gesner be much mistaken: for he says, this weed and other glutinous matter, with the help of the Sun's heat in some particular months, and some ponds apted for it by nature, do become Pikes. But doubtless divers Pikes are bred after this manner, or are brought into some ponds some such other ways as are past man's finding out, of which we have daily testimonies.
Sir Francis Bacon, in his History of Life and Death, observes the Pike to be the longest-lived of any fresh-water-fish, and yet he computes it to be not usually above forty years; and others think it to be not above ten years; and yet Gesner mentions a Pike taken in Swedeland in the year 1449, with a ring about his neck, declaring he was put into that pond by Frederick the Second, more than two hundred years before he was last taken, as by the Inscription in that ring, being Greek, was interpreted by the then Bishop of Worms. But of this no more, but that it is observed, that the old or very great Pikes have in them more of state than goodness j the smaller or middle-sized Pikes, being by the most and choicest palates observed to be the best meat; and contrary, the Eel is observed to be the better for age and bigness.
All Pikes that live long prove chargeable to their keepers, because their life is maintained by the death of so many other fish, even those of their own kind; which has made him by some writers to be called the Tyrant of the Rivers, or the Fresh- waterWolf, by reason of his bold, greedy, devouring disposition, which is so keen, as Gesner relates, a man going to a pond, where it seems a Pike had devoured all the fish, to water his Mule, had a Pike bit his Mule by the lips; to which the Pike hung so fast, that the Mule drew him out of the water, and by that accident the owner of the Mule angled out the Pike. And the same Gesner observes, that a Maid in Poland had a Pike bit her by the foot as she was washing clothes in a pond. And I have heard the like of a woman in Killingworth Pond, not far from Coventry. But I have been assured by my friend Mr. Seagrave, of whom I spake to you formerly, that keeps tame Otters, that he hath known a Pike in extreme hunger, fight with one of his Otters for a Carp that the Otter had caught, and was then bringing out of the water. I have told you who relate these things, and tell you they are persons of credit, and shall conclude this observation, by telling you what a wise man has observed; "It is a hard thing to persuade the belly, because "it has no ears."
But if these relations be disbelieved, it is too evident to be doubted, that a Pike will devour a fish of his own kind, that shall be bigger than his belly or throat will receive, and swallow a part of him, and let the other part remain in his mouth till the swallowed part be digested, and then swallow that other part that was in his mouth, and so put it over by degrees; which is'not unlike the Ox and some'