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The Turbot, pp.237-238.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

   IS a well known and much esteemed fish for the delicate taste, firmness, and sweetness of his flesh. Juvenal in his fourth satyre gives us a most ludicrous description of the Roman Emperor Domitian assembling the senate to decide how and with what sauce this marine monster should be eaten. This fish is sometimes two feet and a half long and about two broad. The scales on the skin are so very small that they are hardly perceptible. The colour of the upper side of the body is a dark brown, spotted with dirty yellow; the under side a pure white, tinged on the edges with somewhat like flesh colour, or pale pink. There is a great difficulty in baiting the Turbot as he is very supercilious about his food; nothing can allure him but herrings or small slices of haddocks, and lampreys, and as they lie in deep water, flirting and paddling on the oose at the bottom of the sea, no net can reach them, and they are generally caught by hooks and lines. They are found chiefly on the northern coasts of England, Scotland, and Holland; but there are several other fishes which, resembling the Turbot in shape, are much inferior to him in flavour. Our epicures pretend to so particular a knowledge of the taste of this fish as to distinguish whether it is brought from Torbay or the mouth of the Elbe. 

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