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better keep it on your hook, you may knead with your paste a little (and not much) white or yellowish wool.
And if you would have this paste keep all the year, for any other fish, then mix with it virgin wax, and clarified honey, and work them together with your hands before the fire; then make these into balls, and they will keep all the year.
And if you fish for a carp with gentles, then put upon your hook a little piece of scarlet about this bigness, it being soaked in or anointed with oil of peter, called by some oil of the rock; and if your gentles be put two or three days before into a box or horn anointed with honey, and so put upon your hook as to preserve them to be living, you are as like to kill this crafty fish this way as any other; but still, as you are fishing, chew a little white or brown bread in your mouth, and cast it into the pond about the place where your floats wims. Other baits there be; but these, with diligence and patient watchfulness, will do it better than any that I have ever practised, or heard of: and yet I shall tell you that the crumb of white bread and honey, made into a paste, is a good bait for a carp; and you know it is more easily made. And having said thus much of a carp, my next discourse shall be of the bream; which shall not prove so tedious, aud therefore I desire the continuance of your
But, first, I will tell you how to make this carp, that is so curious to be caught, so curious a dish of meat, as shall make him worth all your labour and patience; and though it is not without some trouble and charges, yet it will recompense both.
Take a carp (alive if possible), scour him, and rub him clean with water and salt, but scale him not; then open him, and put him, with his blood, and his liver (which you must save when you open him) into a small pot or kettle; then take sweet marjoram, thyme, and parsley, of each half a handful, a sprig of rosemary, and another of savory, bind them into two or three small bundles, and put them to your carp, with four or five whole onions, twenty pickled oysters, and three anchovies. Then pour upon your carp as much claret wine as will only cover him, and season your claret well with salt, cloves, and mace, and the rinds of oranges and lemons; that done,
cover your pot and set it on a quick fire till it be sufficiently boiled; then take out the carp and lay it with the broth into the dish, and pour upon it a quarter of a pound of the best fresh butter, melted and beaten with half-a-dozen spoonfuls of the broth, the yolks of two or three eggs, and some of the herbs shred; garnish your dish with lemons, and so serve it up, and much good do you.
Observations of the Bream, and Directions to Catch him.
ISC. The Bream, being at a full growth, is a large and stately fish: he will breed both in rivers and ponds; but loves best to live in ponds, and where, if he likes the water and air, he will grow not only to be very large, but as fat as a hog: he is by Gesner taken to be more pleasant or sweet than wholesome this fish is long in growing, but breeds exceedingly in a water that pleases him yea, in many ponds so fast as to overstore them, and starve the other fish.
He is very broad, with a forked tail, and his scales set in excellent order; he hath large eyes, and a narrow sucking mouth; he hath two sets of teeth, and a lozenge-like bone, a bone to help his grinding. The melter is observed to have two large melts; and the female two large bags of eggs or spawn.
Gesner reports, that in Poland a certain and a great number of large breams were put into a pond, which in the next following winter were frozen up into one entire ice, and not one drop of water remain
ing, nor one of these fish to be found, though they were diligently searched for; and yet the next spring, when the ice was thawed, and the weather warm, and fresh water got into the pond, he affirms they all appeared again. This Gesner affirms, and I quote my author because it seems almost as incredible as the resurrection to an atheist but it may win something, in point of believing it, to him that considers the breeding or renovation of the silk-worm, and of many insects. And that is considerable, which Sir Francis Bacon observes in his History of Life and Death (fol. 20), that there be some herbs that die and spring every year, and some endure longer.
But though some do not, yet the French esteem this fish highly, and to that end have this proverb, "He that hath breams in his pond is able to bid his friend welcome." And it is noted that the best part of a bream is his belly and head.
Some say that breams and roaches will mix their eggs and melt together, and so there is in many places a bastard breed of breams, that never come to be either large or good, but very numerous.
The baits good to catch this Bream are many. 1. Paste made of brown bread and honey, gentles, or the brood of wasps that be young (and then not unlike gentles), and should be hardened in an oven, or dried on a tile before the fire, to make them tough; or there is at the root of docks or flags, or rushes in watery places, a worm not unlike a maggot, at which tench will bite freely. Or he will bite at a grasshopper with his legs nipped off, in June or July, or at several flies under water, which may be found on flags that grow near to the water-side. I doubt not but that there be many other baits that are good; but I will turn them all into this excellent one, either for a carp or bream, in any river or mere it was given to me by a most honest and excellent angler; and hoping you will prove both, I will impart it to you.
1. Let your bait be as big a red worm as you can find, without a knot; get a pint or quart of them in an evening in garden walks, or chalky common, after a shower of rain, and put them with clean moss well washed and picked, and the water squeezed out of the moss as dry as you can, into an earthen pot or pipkin set dry, and
change the moss fresh every three or four days, for three weeks or a month together; then your bait will be at the best, for it will be clear and lively.
2. Having thus prepared your baits, get your tackling ready and fitted for this sport. Take three long angling rods, and as many and more silk, or silk and hair lines, and as many large swan or goosequill floats. Then take a piece of lead, made after this manner, and fasten them to the low ends of your lines; then fasten your link-hook also to the lead, and let there be about a foot or ten inches between the lead and the hook; but be sure the lead be heavy enough to sink the float or quill a little under the water, and not the quill to bear up the lead, for the lead must lie on the ground. Note, that your link next the hook may be smaller than the rest of your