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for distribution at the same rate, in other parts
of the town; workhouses and other public
establishments were also served, and the
supply increased to such a degree, that five
hundred thousand mackerel arrived and were
sold in one day.

This cheap and benevolent supply was
eagerly absorbed while the distress lasted;
but as soon as trade revived, the demand fell
off and finally ceased altogether.

Is this aversion to fish unconquerable? If
it be not, what an enormous augmentation of
wholesome food might be procured to relieve
the increasing wants of the humble and needy.
All the time the above experiment was tried,
only a small portion of the coast was available
for the supply of the densest inland populations
of this island. Now, there is scarcely a
creek or an estuary from which fish cannot
be rapidly transported, however great the

Compared with the boundless means of
supply, and the lightning-like powers of
transit, the price of fish is at present
inordinately dear. But this is solely the fault of
the public. The demand is too inconsiderable
to call forth any great and, therefore, economical
system. The voyager, per steam, between
the Thames and Scotland, or between London
and Cork, cannot fail to wonder when he sees,
as he surely will see on a warm, calm day,
scores of square miles of haddocks, mackerel,
pilchards, herrings, &c.; when he has left on
shore thousands of human beings pining for
food. These enormous shoals approach the
land, too, on purpose to be caught. In the
History of British Fishes, Mr. Yarrell says,
' The law of Nature which obliges mackerel
and many others to visit the shallower water
of the shores at a particular season, appears
to be one of those wise and beautiful
provisions of the Creator by which not only is
the species perpetuated with the greatest
certainty, but a large portion of the parent
animals are thus brought within the reach of
man, who, but for the action of this law,
would be deprived of many of those species
most valuable to him as food. For the
mackerel dispersed over the immense surface
of the deep, no effective fishery could be
carried on; but approaching the shore as
they do from all directions, and roving along
the coast collected in immense shoals, millions
are caught, which yet form but a very small
portion compared with the myriads that
escape.' The fecundity of some of the
species is marvellous. It has been ascertained
by actual experiment, that the roe of the
cod-fish contains from six to nine millions of

Nor are river fish less abundant. Mr.
Yarrell says, that two persons once calculated
from actual observation, that from sixteen to
eighteen hundred of the delicate ingredients
for Twickenham pies passed a given point on
the Thames in one minute of time; an average
of more than one hundred thousand per hour.
And this eel-fare, as it is called, is going on
incessantly for more than two months. The
king of fish is equally prolific, and quite as
easily captured. The choicest salmon that
appear in Billingsgate are from the river
Bann, near Coleraine. We found it eighteen-
pence per pound; yet it is recorded that fourteen
hundred and fifty salmon were taken in
that river at one drag of a single net!

The appetite for fish is, it would seem, an
acquired taste; but it would be of enormous
advantage if any means could be devised for
encouraging the consumption of this description
of food. In order to commence the
experiment we would suggest the regular
introduction of fish into workhouse and prison
dietaries. Formerly, such a measure was not
practicable during the whole of the year, but,
with a trifling outlay, such a system of supply
might be organised as would ensure freshness
and constancy.

The proprietor of the handsome donkey,
who led us into this statistical reverie,
informed usand he was corroborated by his
friendthat the only certainty was the red-
herring and periwinkle trade; but then the
competition was so werry great. " I don't know
how it is," he observed, "but people 'll buy
salt things with all the wirtue dried out on
'em, but——"

"That's because they has a relish,"
interrupted the Mentor.

"But fresh fish," renewed the other gentleman,
with a glance of displeasure at being
interrupted; " fresh fishall alive, as we
cries 'emfresh fish, mind you!—they can't

We also learnt from these gentlemen that
the professors of the Hebrew faith were the
only constant fish-eaters.

"And wy? " continued the councillor, " cos
when they eats fish, they thinks they're a

This reminding us that we were actually
fasting, we complimented our friend on his
donkey (which he assured us was a ' Moke ' of
the reg'lar Tantivy breed), and having
completed the filling of our basket, were about to
return home to breakfast, with an excellent
appetite, and a high respect for the manners
of modern fishmongers, when he hailed us
easily with, " Halloa, you Sir!"

We went back.

"I tell you wot," he said, jerking his thumb
over his shoulder, in the direction of the
Market Tavern,—" but p'raps you have

"Have what?" said we.

"Dined at Simpson's, the Fish Hord'n'ry,"
said he.

"Never," said we.

"Do it! " said he. " You go and have a
tuck-out at Simpson's at four o'clock in the
arternoon (wen me and my old ooman is a
going to take our tea, with a winkle or wot
not) and you 'll come out as bright as a star,
and as sleek as this here Moke."