The Carp, pp.258-259.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

   HAS a great fame for the sweetness of its flesh, and appears often with great repute on our tables, when measuring twelve inches between the eye and the beginning of the tail. The scales are large with a golden gloss upon a dark green ground. They grow sometimes to a great size, being then three or four feet in length, and contain a great quantity of fat. The soft roe of the Carp is esteemed a great delicacy among the epicures on our board. In the canals of Chantilly, formerly the seat of the Prince of Condé, Carps have been kept for above one hundred years, most of them appearing hoary through old age, and so tame that they answered to their names when the keeper called them to be fed. This fish has very small teeth and a broad tongue; the tail is widely spread as well as the fins, which are inclined to a reddish tint. Those that live in rivers and running streams are most approved, as those which inhabit the pools and ponds have generally a muddy disagreeable taste. It is said that they were brought first to England by Leonard Maschal, about two hundred and fifty years ago. They are very tenacious of life, and when cut in quarters, the head being divided in two, the pieces have often been seen to jump off the dresser table, and even out of the frying-pan into the fire, which circumstance has given birth to the proverb. 

“In genial spring, beneath the quiv’ring shade 

Where cooling vapours breathe along the mead, 

The patient fisher takes his silent stand 

Intent, his angle trembling in his hand; 

With looks unmov’d, he hopes the scaly breed, 

And eyes the dancing cork and bending read. 

Our plenteous streams a various race supply, 

The bright ey’d pearch with fins of Tyrian dye; 

The silver eel in shining volumes roll’d, 

The yellow Carp in scales be-drop’d with gold; 

Swift trouts, diversify’d with crimson stains, 

And pikes, the tyrants of the wat’ry plains. 

——————————————–POPE’S WINDSOR FOREST. 

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