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Scottish Salmon

Salmon is more plentiful in Scotland than in any other region of the world: in harvest time they come from
the seas up in small rivers, where the waters are most shallow, and there is male and female, rubbing their bellies or wombs, one against the other, they shed their spawn, which forthwith they cover with sand and gravel, and so depart away: from henceforth they are gaunt and slender, and in appearance so lean, appearing nought else but skin and bone, and therefore out of use and Season to be eaten.

Some say, if they touch any their full fellows during the time of their leanness, the same side which they touched will likewise become lean. The foresaid spawn and melt being hidden in the sand (as you have heard), in the next spring doth yield great number of little fry, so fresh and tender for a long time, that till they come to be so great as a man’s finger (if you catch any of them), they melt away as it were jelly or a blob of water; from henceforth they go to the sea, where within twenty days, they grow to a reasonable greatness, and then returning to the place of tlseir generation, they show a notable spectacle to be considered.

There are many linns or pools, which being in some places among the rocks very shallow, above and deep beneath, with the fall of the water, and thereto the salmon not able to pierce through the channel, either for swiftness of the course, or depth of the descent, he goes so neer
unto the side of the rock or dam as he may, and there adventuring a leap over and into the linn, if he leap well at the first, he obtains his desire; if not, he tries the
second or third time, till he returns to his countrie.

A great fish able to swim against the stream; often tries to leap, and cannot get over. He becomes bruised and meazled; others that happen to fall upon dry land (a
thing often seen), are taken by the people (watching their time) ; some in cauldrons of hot water, with fire under them, sit upon shallow or dry places, in hopes to catch the fattest, by reason of their weight, that do leap short. The taste of these is esteemed most delicate, and their price commonly great.



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