+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

Honoré, searched the streets of Paris, and
kept a strong guard all night. The duke,
informed of the death of his enemy,
returned at once to Paris, and took up his
lodging at the Louvre. After this the
English and Navarese archers overran half
France, so that no merchant dared venture
to journey out of Paris; and there was
such a famine that a small cask of herrings
sold for thirty golden crowns.

In one more siege of Paris English
soldiers figured, and this was an eventful
siege for France. When Joan of Arc had
beaten us and crowned Charles at Rheims,
she went, much against her wishfor
the divine voices that had hitherto guided
her were this time silentto chase the
English out of Paris. With oriflamme
waving, the maiden rode at the head of
twelve thousand men towards the city of the
Seine. It was with difficulty the French
knights could induce her, however, to
advance beyond St. Denis. Her instinct
did not deceive her  She was wounded
with an arrow in the thigh in attacking
the walls between the gate of St. Denis
and the gate of St. Antoine, and was with
difficulty saved. The attack failed, and
soon after, in attempting to sally from
Compiegne (May, 1430), she was struck
from her horse, and taken prisoner by a
Burgundian. In May of the next year her
cruel enemies burnt the brave maiden in
the market-place at Rouen.


"DEATH to the head that wears no hair,"
was the traditional toast pledged in Dutch
schnaps or Norway corn-brandy, before the
annual fishing fleet of Shetlanders sailed
out to the deep sea of the Haaf to lay in
the provisions for a nine months' winter.
It need hardly be said that the smooth
hairless head was that of the fish.

The finny tenants of the deep have been
made to pay heavy toll of their numbers
for man's use and benefit ever since net and
hook, spear and sieve, harpoon and trident,
were invented for their capture. And yet
there have been few instances in which a
nation, or any large part of a nation, has
steadily persisted in living upon fish food,
and it will usually be found that this
diet has been forced upon a branch of the
great human family by external
circumstances, and often to its detriment. The
Icthyophagi of Arabia, both on the shores
of the Red Sea and on those of the Persian
Gulf, are still, as in the days of Herodotus,
stunted starvelings, inferior, morally and
physically, not merely to the highlanders
of Nejd, and the Bedouins of the Hedjas,
but even to the almost dwarfish Bishareein
of the Nubian desert. In America, no
traveller among the Red Men fails to observe
the contrast between the gigantic stature of
the large-limbed Indians east of the Rocky
Mountains with the short and clumsy forms
of the Chinooks, Snakes, and Flatheads of
the Pacific seaboard. But then the eastern
tribes are meat-fed, nourished on succulent
bison-beef, and on the venison of the black-
tailed deer and wild sheep, whereas the
salmon, the shad, and the globe-fish are
provisions of nature, without whose annual
migration up the rivers the western savages
would die of hunger.

In England, of late years at any rate,
fish has been so much regarded in the
light of a luxury, fit only for the tables of
the rich, that its artificial scarcity, and the
fancifully high price of the more delicate
kinds, have appeared normal, and not to
be avoided. And yet that silvery turbot
which the West-end fishmonger glibly,
almost condescendingly, sells for one, two,
or three guineas to the customer who
wants it for his dinner-party, has fetched a
sum by no means proportioned to the
cost of its capture. A hothouse pineapple
is, in any conscience, dear enough, but then
the precious fruit represents outlay and
care, and all the toil and forethought of
scientific cultivation. The turbot simply
denotes a stroke of good luck, a fortunate
scoop of that trawl-net, to the close meshes
of which all that come, red-spotted plaice,
flat flounders, dark-backed soles, all from the
scarlet gurnet to the green-and-silver whiting,
are emphatically fish. No doubt the
fisherman has been paid, and is drinking
"success to the smack" in some Mariner's
Joy or Admiral Nelson, and the fish has
been hurried up post-haste to London at the
heels of the snorting steam-horse, and there
it is, white and bright as a new-minted
shilling, but the price paid by the consumer
is a fancy price for all that.

It is different, perhaps, with the noble
salmon which lies so temptingly on the
marble slab, with the iced water trickling
over its shining scales. That salmon is
at ever-so-much a pound. It is quoted at
a figure far beyond the compass of modest
purses; but in this case the vendor tells
plain truth, when he says that fine salmon
are sadly scarce. They are scarce, and it
is a shame that they should be so. How