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But, notwithstanding the Squibs and Witticisms of incredulity, the Account is authentic.


according to the common saying, were introduced into England in the Reign of HENRY the VIIIth, and were then so rare, that a Pike was sold at double the price of a house-lamb in February, and a Pickerel for more than a fat Capon. In the History of the Carp, this account respecting their Introduction is rather doubted, for reasons there stated.

But whenever first known in this Country, the Pike is common in most of the lakes of Europe; the largest are in those of Lapland, where, according to SCHEFFER, they are sometimes eight feet long, and are taken in such abundance, as to be dried and exported as a considerable article of Commerce.

The head of the Pike is very flat, the eyes small, and of a gold tinge; the upper jaw broad, and shorter than the lower, which turns up a little at the end, and is marked with minute punctures; the teeth are very sharp, disposed not only in the front of the upper jaw, but in both sides of the lower, in the roof of the mouth, and has often three rows upon the tongue, and even down to the Orifice of the Sto mach; the gape of the jaws is wide, although loosely connected; they have on each side an additional bone like the Jaw of a Viper, which renders them capable of greater distention when the prey is swallowed the body is long, the back broad, and almost square when in its best state; the belly is always


white. When in high Season their colours are very fine, being green, spotted with bright yellow, and the gills are of a most vivid red: out of Season, the green assumes a grey appearance, and the yellow spots turn pale. The dorsal fin is placed low on the back.

All writers who treat of this fish bring instances of its uncommon Voracity. Mr. PENNANT speaks of one in his own knowledge, that was choaked by attempting to swallow one of its own Species, that proved too large a morsel: the Pike does not confine itself to feed on fish and frogs, but will devour the water rat and young ducks, as they are swimming; and in Dr. PLOTT'S History of Staffordshire, the following fact is recorded: that "at Lord Gower's canal at Trentham, a Pike seized the head of a Swan as she was feeding under water, and gorged so much of it as killed them both; the Servants, perceiving the Swan remain in the same position for a considerable time, went in the Boat, and found both Swan and Pike dead."

Instances of their fierceness are related still more marvellous. GESNER says, that a famished Pike in the Rhone, fixed on the lips of a Mule that was drinking, and was drawn out by the beast before it could disengage itself; that people have been bit by Pike whilst bathing, and that they will even contend with the Otter for its prey. In December 1765, a Pike was caught in the River Ouse that weighed upwards of Twenty-eight pounds, and was bought by a Gentleman in the Neighbourhood for a Guinea. When it was opened, the Cook to his great astonishment found a Watch with two Seals annexed to it by

a black ribband, in the body of the Pike. These, it was afterwards discovered, had belonged to a Gentleman's Servant, who had unfortunately been drowned about six weeks before, between Littleport and South-Ferry. In 1798, whilst two Gentlemen were angling in a pond near Warnham, in Sussex, a Pike, weighing upwards of seven pounds, seized a Dog that was lapping the water, and was landed by holding fast to the Dog, to the astonishment of the fishermen. Near Youghall, a yearling Calf drinking in the River Blackwater, was seized by a Pike, which was drawn out of the water before quitting its hold; on killing the fish, a water rat and a Perch entire were found in its stomach; the Pike's weight was thirty-five pounds. Ireland is remarkable for abundance of Pike, and for the size to which they arrive in its Waters; in the river Shannon and in Lough Corrib they have been found near Seventy pounds weight.

Small fish shew a similar uneasiness at the presence of the Pike, as the little Birds do at the sight of the Hawk or Owl; and when they lie dormant near the Surface, (as they frequently do in sultry weather,) the lesser fish swim around in vast numbers, and with evident anxiety. Pike are often taken, in the hottest part of the days in Summer, while they are thus asleep, by a noose of wire, fixed to a strong pole about four yards long; by which the wire with great slowness is conducted over the Pike's head and Gill fins, and then hoisted with a jerk to land.

Pike are also frequently shot while thus basking themselves: the Marksman aims directly under them:

from the deception there is in the water, and its causing the shot to rise much when fired into, he would otherwise miss his object.

The Longevity of the Pike is truly remarkable, if credit may be given to the assertion respecting it.

Rzaczynski speaks of one ninety years old; but GESNER'S Pike, that was taken near Hailbrun, in Swabia, in 1497, with a brazen ring, denoting, that from the hands of the Governor of the Universe; FREDERICK the Second, he was put into that lake in 1230, places the former almost in a state of Infancy.

Pike love a still, shady, unfrequented water, with a sandy, clayey, or chalky bottom, (arriving at a larger size in Pools than Rivers;) and from May to the beginning of October, they usually place themselves amongst or near Flags, Bulrushes, and Waterdocks, and particularly under the Ranunculus aquaticus when in flower, and which floats on the surface; they will sometimes be found in the termination of sharp currents: from March to the end of May they resort to back waters that have direct communication with the main stream: as Winter approaches they retire into the deeps, under clay banks, bushes impending over the water, stumps and roots of trees*,

In the extensive Lakes in the interior part of the Country at Hudson's Bay, Pike and Perch are caught in those Lakes only that are surrounded with Woods, and into which Trees have fallen, and numbers of the Roots of others are far protruded into the Water; nor do these two Species even in the Summer Season go down the Rivers issuing from those Lakes, and which run into what is termed the barren ground, where the Lakes are not sheltered by Trees and Bushes.

piles of bridges, and flood-gates. They spawn in March or April, according to the coldness or warmth of the weather, quitting the rivers for the creeks and ditches communicating with them, and there dropping their Ova in the grass and reeds; in Ponds they choose the weeds upon the shallows for depositing it: Ducks and other Wild fowl eagerly devour the spawn, and by them it is transported to other waters. The appearance of the Pike in ponds, where none were ever put, has been deemed as extraordinary as its asserted Longevity; it is however easily accounted for upon the well-known principles of the Generation of fishes: if a Heron has devoured their Ova, and afterwards ejected them, while feeding in one of these ponds, it is highly probable that they may be produced from this original, in the same way as the Seeds of Plants are known to be disseminated.

Mr. PENNANT (who states that the largest Pike he had ever heard of in England weighed thirty-five pounds) notices a method of taking Pike, in the shallow water of the Lincolnshire Fens, which he considers peculiar to that County and the Island of Ceylon. The Fishermen use what is called a Crownnet, which is no more than a hemispherical basket, open at top and bottom; the person stands at the end of one of the little Fen-boats (called Punts,) and frequently puts his basket down to the bottom of the water; then poking with a stick in it, discovers whether he has any booty, by the stirring of the fish, which is then hoisted into the Punt: vast numbers are taken in this manner.

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