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Nottingham, Lincoln, Leicester, and York, augmenteth the turbulent current of Humber, the most violent stream of all the isle. This Humber is not, to say truth, a distinct river having a springhead of his own, but it is rather the mouth or astuarium of divers rivers here confluent and meeting together, namely, your Derwent, and especially of Ouse and Trent; and, as the Danow, having received into its channel the river Dravus, Savus, Tibiscus, and divers other, changeth his name into this of Humberabus, as the old geographers call it
4. Med Way, a Kentish river, famous for harbouring the royal navy.
5. Tweed, the north east bound of England; on whose northern banks is seated the strong and impregnable town of Berwick.
6. Tyne, famous for Newcastle, and her inexhaustible coalpits.* These, and the rest of principal note, are thus comprehended in one of Mr Drayton's Sonnets:—
Our floods' queen, Thames, for ships and swans is crown'd;
And stately Severn for her shore is prais'd;
And Avon's fame to Albion's cliffs is rais'd.
Carlegion Chester vaunts her holy Dee;
York many wonders of her Ouse can tell;
And Kent will say her Medway doth excel:
Cotswold commends her Ists to the Tame;
Our northern horders hoast of Tweed's fair flood;
And the old Lea brags of the Danish blood, t
* It is unnecessary to give here such a description and history of the rivers of this kingdom as some readers would wish for. They may, however, find a great variety of cunous and useful learning on the subject in Seidell's Notes on the Polyolbhn.—H.
t "LEE fln. Ly3an. Saxon. L:tj, Mar. [fcrsan Marccllinu■]. Lra, Polydoro. The name of the water which (runnyn betwene Ware and London) devydethe, for a great part of the way, Essex and Hertfordshyre. It begynncthe near a place called Whitchurche ; and from thence, passinge by Hertford, Ware, and Waliham, openethe into the Thamise at Ham in Essex; wheare the place is, at this day, called Lee Mouthe. It hathe, of longe tyme, horne vessells from London. ao myles towarde the head; for, in tyme of Kinge Alfrede, the Danes entered Leymouthe, and fortified, at a place adjoyninge to this ryver, ao myles from London ; where, by fortune, king Alfrede passinge bvi espied that the channel! of the ryver might be in such sortc weakened, that they should want water to returae withe their shippes: he caused therefore the water to be abated by two greate trenches, and settinge the Londoners upon theim, he made theim batteil; wherein they lost four of their captnines, and a great nomber of their common souldiers: the rest flyinge into the castle which they had builte. Not longe after, they weare so
Eressed that they forsoke all, and lefte their shippes as a pray to the Londoners; which, reakinge some, and burninge other, conveyed the rest to London. This castle, for the distance, might seme Her-forde; but it was some other upon that banke, which had no longe continuance : for Edward the elder, and son of this Alfrede, builded Hertlorde not longe after."—Vide Lambarde's Dictionarium Topograph icum, voce LEE. Drayton's Polyothions Song the Twelfth, and the first note thereon. Other authors who confirm this fact, a'so add, that for the purpose aforesaid he opened the mouth of the river. See Sir William Dugdale's History of the embankmg and draining the Fens, and Sir Jobn Spelman's Life of Alfred the Great, published by Hearne, in 8vof 17o9;
These observations are out of learned Dr Heylin, and my old deceased friend Michael Drayton; and because you say you love such discourses as these, of rivers, and fish, and fishing, I love you the better, and love the more to impart them to you. Nevertheless, scholar, if I should begin but to name the several sorts of strange fish that are usually taken in many of those rivers that run into the sea, I might beget wonder in you, or unbelief, or both: and yet I will venture to tell you a real truth concerning one lately dissected by Dr Wharton, a man of great learning and experience, and of equal freedom to communicate it; one that loves me and my art; one to whom I have been beholden for many of the choicest observations that I have imparted to you. This good man, that dares do anything rather than tell an untruth, did, I say, tell me he had lately dissected one strange fish, and he thus described it to me :—
"This fish was almost a yard broad, and twice that length; his mouth wide enough to receive, or take into it, the head of a man; his stomach, seven or eight inches broad. He is of a slow motion; and usually lies or lurks close in the mud; and has a movable string on his head, about a span or near unto a quarter of a yard long; by the moving of which, which is his natural bait, when he lies close and unseen in the mud, he draws other smaller fish so close to him, that he can suck them into his mouth, and so devours and digests them." 9
And, scholar, do not wonder at this; for besides the credit of the relator, you are to note, many of these, and fishes which are of the like and more unusual shapes, are very often taken on the mouths of our sea-rivers, and on the sea-shore. And this will be no wonder to any that have travelled Egypt; where, 'tis known, the famous river Nilus does not only breed fishes that yet want names, but, by the overflowing of that river, and the help of the sun's heat on the fat slime which that river leaves on the banks when it falls back into its natural channel, such strange fish and beasts are also bred, that no man can give a name to; as Grotius in his " Sopham," * and others, have observed.
9 and then sucks them into his mouth, and devours them.—u/, id, and 3dedit.
the perusal of which last-named author will leave the reader in very little doubt but that these trenches arc the very same lhat now branch off from the river between Temple Mills and Old Ford, and, crossing the Stratford road, enter the Thames, together with the principal stream, a little below Blackwall.—H.
* "Of artificial meat, so many dishes.
The several kinds unknown to Nile of Fishes,
But whither am I strayed in this discourse. I will end it by telling you, that at the mouth of some of these rivers of ours, Herrings are so plentiful, as, namely, near to Yarmouth in Norfolk,* and in the west country Pilchers so very plentiful, as you will wonder to read what our learned Camden relates of them in his "Britannia." t
Well, scholar, I will stop here, and tell you what by reading and conference I have observed concerning fish-ponds.
Doctor Lebault, the learned Frenchman, in his large disChap. xx.t course of Maison Rusiigue, gives this direction for 01 Fish-Ponds. making of fish-ponds. I shall refer you to him, to read it at large: but I think I shall contract it, and yet make it as useful. §
He adviseth, that when you have drained the ground, and made the earth firm where the head of the pond must be, that you must then, in that place, drive in two or three rows of oak or elm piles, which should be scorched in the fire, or half burnt, before they be driven into the earth; for being thus used, it preserves them much longer from rotting. And having done so, lay fagots or bavins of smaller wood betwixt them: and then earth betwixt and ahove them : and then, having first very well rammed them and the earth, use another pile in like manner as the first were: and note, that the second pile is to be of or about the height that you intend to make your sluice or floodgate, or the vent that you intend shall convey the overflowings of your pond in any flood that shall endanger the breaking of your pond-dam.
Then he advises, that you plant willows or owlers,1 ahout it, or both: and then cast in bavins, in some places not far from the
Variation.] 1 osiers.
Slrange beasts from Afrie, which yet want a name,
—Grotius. His Sophompaneas or Joseph, a tragedy, by Francis Goldsmith, Esq., lamo,
* The town of Yarmouth is bound by charter to send annually to the Sheriffs of Norwich a hundred herrincs, which are to be baked in twenty-four pies or pasties, and delivered to the l.,rd of the manor of Easicarlton, who is to convey them to the king.— Leckwith's Fra^menta Antiquitatis, ed. 1784, p, 135.
t P. 178, 186.
X The whole of this chapter was added to the second edition.
§ One of the best French editions of the work here alluded to is mentioned by De Bure, "I/Agriculturc el Maison Rustique de MM. Charles Estienne, et Iean Lienavlt, Docteurs en Mddecine. Edition demicre," 4to, Lyoti. 1594. A translation of this work, under the title of "Maison Rustique, or the Country Farme," compiled by Charles Steuens and Jobn Liebault, Doctors of Physicke, and translated into English by Richard Surflet," appeared in quarto, Lotid. 16oo : and a second edition, with large additions, by Gervase Markham, fol. Lond. 1616. The latter is, no doubt, the "large discourse" to which Walton alludes. This xxth Chapter of Walton is contracted from the xith, xiith, xiiith, xivth, and xvlh chapters of Liebault's fourth hook.—E.
side, and in the most sandy places, for fish both to spawn upon, and to defend them and the young fry from the many fish, and also from vermin, that lie at watch to destroy them, especially the spawn of the Carp and Tench, when 'tis left to the mercy of ducks or vermin.
He, and Dubravius, and all others advise that you make choice of such a place for your pond, that it may be refreshed with a little rill, or with rain water, running or falling into it; by which fish are more inclined hoth to breed, and are also refreshed and fed the better, and do prove to be of a much sweeter and more pleasant taste.
To which end it is observed, that such pools as be large and have most gravel, and shallows where fish may sport themselves, do afford fish of the purest taste. And note, that in all pools it is best for fish to have some retiring-place; as, namely, hollow banks, or shelves, or roots of trees, to keep them from danger, and, when they think fit, from the extreme heat of summer; as also from the extremity of cold in winter. And note, that if many trees be growing about your pond, the leaves thereof falling into the water, make it nauseous to the fish, and the fish to be so to the eater of it.
'Tis noted, that the Tench and Eel love mud: and the Carp loves gravelly ground, and in the hot months to feed on grass. You are to cleanse your pond, if you intend either profit or pleasure, once every three or four years, especially some ponds, and then let it lie dry six or twelve months, hoth to kill the waterweeds, as water-lilies, candocks, reate, and bulrushes, that breed there; and also that, as these die for want of water, so grass may grow in the pond's hottom, which Carps will eat greedily in all the hot months, if the pond be clean. The letting your pond dry, and sowing oats in the hottom is also good, for the fish feed the faster; and being sometimes let dry, you may observe what kind of fish either increases or thrives best in that water; for they differ much, both in their breeding and feeding.
Lebault also advises, that if your ponds be not very large and roomy, that you often feed your fish by throwing into them chippings of bread, curds, grains, or the entrails of chickens or of any fowl or beast that you kill to feed yourselves; for these afford fish a great relief. He says that frogs and ducks do much harm, and devour both the spawn and the young fry of all fish, especially of the Carp; and I have, besides experience, many testimonies of it. But Lebault allows water-frogs to be good meat, especially in some months, if they be fat: but you are to note that he is a Frenchman; and we English will hardly believe him, though we know frogs are usually eaten in his country: however he advises to destroy them and kingfishers out of your ponds. And he advises not to suffer much shooting at wildfowl; for that, he says, affrightens, and harms, and destroys the fish.
Note, that Carps and Tench thrive and breed best when no other fish is put with them into the same pond; for all other fish devour their spawn, or at least the greatest part of it. And note, that clods of grass thrown into any pond feed any Carps in summer; and that garden-earth and parsley thrown into a pond recovers and refreshes the sick fish. And note, that when you store your pond, you are to put into it two or three melters for one spawner, if you put them into a breeding-pond; but if into a nurse-pond, or feeding-pond, in which they will not breed, then no care is to be taken whether there be most male or female Carps.
It is observed that the best ponds to breed Carps are those that be stony or sandy, and are warm, and free from wind; and that are not deep, but have willow-trees and grass on their sides, over which the water does sometimes flow: and note, that Carps do more usually breed in marl-pits, or pits that have clean clay hottoms; or in new ponds, or ponds that lie dry a winter season, than in old ponds that be full of mud and weeds.*
* It is observable that the author has said very little of pond-fishing; whicb is, in truth, a dull recreation; and to which I have heard it objected, that fish in ponds are already caught. Nevertheless, I find that in the canal at St James's Parle, which, though a large one, is yet a pond, it was, in the reign of Charles II., the practice of ladies to angle.
"Beneath, a shole of silver fishes glides,
As the method of ordering fish-ponds is now very well known, and there are few hooks of gardening but what give some directions ahout it, it is hoped the reader will think the following quotation from Bowlker sufficient, by way of annotation on this chapter :—
"When you intend to stock a pool with Carp or Tench, make a close etheHng- hedge across the head of the pool, ahout a yard distance of the dam, and ahout three feet ahove the water, which is the best refuge for them I know of, and the only method to preserve pool-fish ; because if any one attempts to rob the pool, muddies the water, or disturbs it with nets, most of the fish, if nnt all, immediately fly between the hedge and the dam, to preserve themselves; and in all pools where there are such shelters and shades, the fish dfli^ht to ssvim backwards and forwards, through and round the same, rubbing and spornng themselves therewith. This hedge ought to be made chiefly of oris, and not too close ; the houghs long and straggling towards the dam ; by which means you may feed and fatten them as you please. The best baits for drawing them together, at first, are maggots or young wasps; the next are bullock's brains and lob-worms, chopped together, and thrown into the pools in large quantities, ahout two hours before sunset, summer and winter. By thus using these ground-baits, once a day, for a fortnight