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monstrous fish to be seen, like a mightie great
tree, spreading abroad with so mightie armes,
that in regard thereof only, it is thought
verily it never entered into the straights or
narrow sea thereby of Gibraltar." (The Gut
of Gibraltar ranges only from five to eight
leagues in width !  A Cuttle that stops the
way in that channel must be of tolerable
size.)  " There show themselves, otherwise,
fishes made like two great wheeles, and
thereupon so they bee called; framed distinctly
with four armes, representing as many spokes
and with their eies they seeme to cover closethe
naves from one side to the other, wherein
the said spokes are fastened." These interesting
creatures  die always of consumption, or
phthysike; the female sooner than the males,
and ordinarily after they have brought forth
their young frie." You could not overdo the
size of your fish to please certain naturalists.
In that chapter of Pliny's History of Nature
which treats of the monstrous fishes of the
Indian Sea, the whale is magnified as follows.
"In the Red Sea there lieth a great demie
island, named Cadara, so far out into the sea
that it maketh a huge gulfe under the winde,
which King Ptolomæus was twelve daies and
nights a rowing through, for as much as there
is no wind at all useth to blow there. In
this creeke, so close and quiet, there be fish
and whales grow to that bignesse, that for
their very weight and unweldinesse of their
bodie they are not able to stirre. The admirals
and other captains of Alexander the Great
made report, that the Gedrosi, a people
dwelling upon the river Arbio, used to make
of such fishes chawes the doors of their
houses; also that they lay their bones
overthwart from one side of the house to
another, instead of beames, joists, and rafters,
to beare up their floores and roufes; and
that some of them were found to be forty
cubits long."

In Antonio Faria's Strange Voyage to
Calempluy (in China) is a record of odd fish
in the Celestial waters. " We sayled thence
(from the bay of Nanquin) thirteen dayes
along the coast, and came to the bay of
Buripalem, in forty-nine degrees, where we found
it somewhat cold, and saw fishes of strange
shapes; some like thornbacks, above four
braces or fathoms compasse, flat-nosed like
an oxe; some like great lizards, speckled
blacke and greene, with three rowes of prickles
on the backe, like bristles, three spannes
long, very sharpe, the rest of the body full,
but of shorter; these fishes will contract
themselves like hedgehogs, and looke
fearfully; they have a blacke snout with tuskes,
after the manner of a bore, two spannes long.
Other deformities and diversities of fishes we

Robert Harcourt's Relation of a Voyage to
Guiana, addressed to Prince Charles
(afterwards Charles the First), tells of divers odd
fish. Here is one: " There is a rare fish
called Capoorwa, which hath in each eie two

sights, and as it swimmeth it beareth the
lower sights in the water, and the other
above; the ribs and back of this fish
resemble these parts of a man, having the ribs
round, and the back flat, with a dent therein, as
a man hath; it is somewhat bigger than a smelt,
but farre exceeding it for daintie meate."
The Manatee, found chiefly on the coasts of
central America, is never suffered to pass
without more or less of admiring comment.
Take this description from the same writer:
"The ox-fish in these parts is a Royall fish,
esteemed above all other fishes, very healthful
in eating, and of good taste, either salted
or fresh. And it rather seemeth beefe than
fish, and some doubts there were, because it
was eaten on fish dayes; the flesh is all
grained like beefe, and so it is cut in slices,
and they dress it at the smoake like bacon or
hanged beefe. In the taste, if it bee eaten or
sodden with cabidge, or other herbes, it
tasteth like beefe, and drest in sowce it
tasteth like mutton; and roasted, both in
smell, taste, and fatnesse, it is like porke, and
hath fat also." A very accurate description,
of the personal appearance of the Manatee
follows, but I leave this to cite what is told
of fish more out of the common. The fish
Piraembu, called a wilde fish, is described as
"a fish that snorteth," being discovered by
the noise it makes. Of the sword-fish we are
told: "The Indians use their snowts when
they are young for to beate their children
and to feare them when they are disobedient
unto them."

"The toad-fish- in the Indian language
Arnayacu- is a small fish a spanne long,
painted, it hath faire eies; taking it out of
the water it snorteth verie much, and cutteth
the hookes, and oute of the water it swelleth
much. All the poison lies in the skinne, and
flaying, they eat it; but eating it with the
skinne, it killeth. It chanced a young man
to eate one with the skinne, who died almost
suddenly; the Father said, I will eate the
Fish that killed my son " (rather a wise
father), "and eating of it died also
presently. It is a good poison for Rats, for
those that eate of it do die presently. There
is another toad-fish of the same fashion that
the other, but it hath many cruel prickles, as
a hedgehogge; it snorteth and swelleth
out of the water; the skinne also killeth,
especially the prickles " (fancy eating the
prickles for pleasure), "because they are
verie venomous; fleaing it, it is eaten. There
is another toad-fish, called in their tongue,
Itaoça; it is threesquare, and the bodie
such, that all of it is like a Dagger; it is
faire, it has the eies bluish, it is eaten fleade;
the poison consisteth in the skinne, livers,
guts, and bones, whatsoever creature doth
eat it dieth. Puraque is like the Scate, it
hath such virtue" (vice, rather), "that if
any touch it, he remaineth shaking as one
that taketh the Palsie, and touching it with a
sticke or other thing it benummeth frequently