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others to breed of the slime and dust of the earth, and that in winter they turn to slime again, and that the next summer that very slime returns to be a living creature; this is the opinion of Pliny. And Cardanus* undertakes to give a reason for the raining of frogs: but if it were in my power, it should rain none but water-frogs, for those I think are not venomous, especially the right water-frog, which about February or March breeds in ditches by slime, and blackish eggs in that slime; about which time of breeding, the he and she frogs are observed to use divers summersaults, and to croak and make a noise, which the landfrog, or padock-frog never does. Now of these water-frogs, if you intend to fish with a frog for a pike, you are to choose the yellowest that you can get, for that the pike ever likes the best. And thus use your frog, that he may continue long alive:

Put your hook into his mouth, which you may easily do from the middle of April till August, and then the frog's mouth grows up, and he continues so for at least six months without eating, but is sustained, none, but He whose name is Wonderful, knows how; I say, put your hook, I mean the arming-wire, through his mouth and out at his gills, and then with a fine needle and silk sew the upper part of his leg with only one stitch to the armingwire of your hook, or tie the frog's leg above the upper joint to the armed wire; and in so doing, use him as though you loved

• Jerome Cardan, an Italian physician, naturalist, and mathematician, born at Pavia, Sept. 24, 1501. He was a natural child, and some potion, which his mother took to procure abortion, greatly affected his constitution, rendering him irritable, eccentric, and, notwithstanding the great respect shown him for his learning, unhappy. He was addicted to gaming and astrology. His books (ten volumes folio, Lyons, 1663) show great eccentricity of character and wildness of opinions. He cast his own nativity, and having predicted the day of his death, starved himself that his prophecy might be true, at Rome, Sept. 21, 1576. In 1552 he was in Great Britain, when he cast the nativity (Hawkins says, "wrote a character") of Edward VI., and made some remarkable prognostications. The book referred to in the text is his De Subtilitate, libri xxi., Par., 1551, 8vo. Walton is quoting through Casaubon, or Topsel. As to the raining of frogs it might occur, as in similar cases, from the young frogs having been taken up by winds or water-spouts. Very much of what Walton says, the reader will at once see to be erroneous.-Am. Ed., from several authorities.

him,* that is, harm him as little as you may possibly, that he may live the longer.

And now, having given you this direction for the baiting your ledger-hook with a live fish or frog, my next must be to tell you, how your hook thus baited must or may be used; and it is thus: Having fastened your hook to a line, which, if it be not fourteen yards long, should not be less than twelve; you are to fasten that line to any bough near to a hole where a pike is, or is likely to lie, or to have a haunt; and then wind your line on any forked stick, all your line, except half a yard of it, or rather more, and split that forked stick with such a nick or notch at one end of it, as may keep the line from any more of it ravelling from about the stick than so much of it as you intend; and choose your forked stick to be of that bigness as may keep the fish or frog from pulling the forked stick under the water till the pike bites; and then the pike having pulled the line forth off the cleft or nick of that stick in which it was gently fastened, he will have line enough to go to his hold and pouch the bait: and if you would have this ledger-bait to keep at a fixed place, undisturbed by wind or rather accidents, which may drive it to the shore-side (for you are to note, that it is likeliest to catch a pike in the midst of the water), then hang a small plummet of lead, a stone, or piece of tile, or a turf in a string, and cast it into the water, with the forked stick, to hang upon the ground, to be a kind of anchor to keep the forked stick from moving out of your intended place till the pike come. This I take to be a very good way, to use so many ledger-baits as you intend to make trial of.

Or if you bait your hooks thus with live fish or frogs, and in a windy day fasten them thus to a bough or bundle of straw, and by the help of that wind can get them to move across a pond or mere, you are like to stand still on the shore and see sport presently, if there be any store of pikes; or these live-baits may make sport, being tied about the body or wings of a goose or

* This is the passage on which that eminent moralist Lord Byron founds a charge of cruelty against Walton. It is certainly more agreeable to the angler not to use live baits when it can be avoided, but when you do, it is well to use means that they be not dead, which is all our author means to say. Walton understood the pike well.-Am. Ed.

duck, and she chased over a pond and the like may be done with turning three or four live-baits, thus fastened to bladders, or boughs, or bottles of hay or flags, to swim down a river, whilst you walk quietly alone on the shore, and are still in expectation of sport. The rest must be taught you by practice, for time will not allow me to say more of this kind of fishing with livebaits.


And for your dead-bait for a pike, for that you may be taught by one day's going afishing with me, or any other body that fishes for him; for the baiting your hook with a dead gudgeon or a roach, and moving it up and down the water, is too easy a thing to take up any time to direct you to do it: and yet, because I cut you short in that, I will commute for it, by telling you that that was told me for a secret, it is this:

Dissolve gum of ivy in oil of spike, and therewith anoint your dead-bait for a pike, and then cast it into a likely place; and when it has lain a short time at the bottom, draw it towards the top of the water, and so up the stream; and it is more than likely that you have a pike follow with more than common eager


And some affirm, that any bait anointed with the marrow of the thigh-bone of a hern, is a great temptation to any fish.†

These have not been tried by me, but told me by a friend of note, that pretended to do me a courtesy: but if this direction to catch a pike thus do you no good, yet I am certain this direction how to roast him when he is caught is choicely good, for I have tried it; and it is somewhat the better for not being common: but with my direction you must take this caution, that your pike must not be a small one, that is, it must be more than half a yard, and should be bigger.

* This is anything but an angler-like practice, and should give no pleasure. It is described in the Berners' Treatyse thus: "Take the same bayte and put it in asafetida and cast it in the water wyth a corde and a corke: and ye shall not fayll of hym. And yf ye lyste to have good sporte : thenne tye the corde to a gose fote, and ye shall se good halynge whether the gose or the pyke shall have the better."-Am. Ed.

† Rennie makes a good remark here: "If this be so, it must arise, think, from its fishy smell giving token of a goodly morsel of food, the undoubted cause of salmon roe being so good for bait."

First, open your pike at the gills, and, if need be, cut also a little slit towards the belly; out of these take his guts and keep his liver, which you are to shred very small with thyme, sweetmarjoram, and a little winter-savory: to these put some pickled oysters, and some anchovies, two or three, both these last whole; for the anchovies will melt, and the oysters should not to these you must add also a pound of sweet butter, which you are to mix with the herbs that are shred, and let them all be well salted: if the pike be more than a yard long, then you may put into these herbs more than a pound, or if he be less, then less butter will suffice these being thus mixed with a blade or two of mace, must be put into the pike's belly, and then his belly so sewed up, as to keep all the butter in his belly, if it be possible: if not, then as much of it as you possibly can; but take not off the scales: then you are to thrust the spit through his mouth out at his tail; and then take four, or five, or six split sticks or very thin laths, and a convenient quantity of tape or filleting these laths are to be tied round about the pike's body from his head to his tail, and the tape tied somewhat thick to prevent his breaking or falling off from the spit: let him be roasted very leisurely, and often basted with claret wine and anchovies and butter mixed together, and also with what moisture falls from him into the pan : when you have roasted him sufficiently, you are to hold under him, when you unwind or cut the tape that ties him, such a dish as you purpose to eat him out of; and let him fall into it with the sauce that is roasted in his belly; and by this means the pike will be kept unbroken and complete then, to the sauce which was within, and also that sauce in the pan, you are to add a fit quantity of the best butter, and to squeeze the juice of three or four oranges; lastly, you may either put into the pike with the oysters two cloves of garlic, and take it whole out, when the pike is cut off the spit; or to give the sauce a haut-gout, let the dish into which you let the pike fall, be rubbed with it: the using or not using of this garlic is left to your discretion.

M. B.*

This dish of meat is too good for any but anglers, or very

Who this M. B. was, has not been discovered. Am. Ed.

honest men; and I trust you will prove both, and therefore I have trusted you with this secret.

Let me next tell you, that Gesner tells us there are no pikes in Spain; and that the largest are in the lake Thrasymene in Italy; and the next, if not equal to them, are the pikes of England; and that in England, Lincolnshire boasteth to have the biggest. Just so doth Sussex boast of four sorts of fish; namely, an Arundel mullet, a Chichester lobster, a Shelsey cockle, and an Amerley trout.

But I will take up no more of your time with this relation ; but proceed to give you some observations of the carp, and how to angle for him, and to dress him, but not till he is caught.

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