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with a fox, to prevent him from getting
away and giving them a run), he cannot rise
in the air (why not?), but dives under the
water, and every time he shows his head
above the surface, the noblemen let fly at
him with their cross-bows, till at last he is
thoroughly done up, is half-suffocated, and
gives in. " It is a fine sight to behold this
sport (c'est un beau spectacle de voir un tel
deduit), and also is to see a cormorant having
caught a tolerably-sized eel, which he tries to
swallow, but has to fight a long time with it
before he can get it down." The cormorants
themselves are, oddly enough, not thought
good eating by the common people, who say
of them that they are " a dish for the devil"
(qui voudroit jestoyer le diable, il luy
faudroit doñer de tels oyseaux); but Belon does
not think them so bad as they say (toute fois
ne sont si mauvais qu'on crië).

The stork, unfortunately, did not, when.
Belon flourished, enjoy the same immunity;
for though he admits that the Romans
despised them at table, he says, "now they
are looked upon as a royal dish." He moreover
tells us that the gizzard of a stork is an
antidote to poison, and a remedy against
squinting (le gesier de la cigogne est bon
contre les venins et qui en aura mangé ne
sera lousche en sa vie)! It appears also
that even the ostrich, which can digest iron,
is itself digested by Libyan gastronomers,
who eat the flesh and sell the feathers.

This tendency to discover what birds are
most eatable, is manifested throughout the
volume of Peter Belon. Arriving at the noble
Alectrion or Rooster of the United States, he
cites the following recipe, from Dioscorides,
for the concoction of cock-broth. "Take a
fine strong old bird, and having properly
trussed him, stuff him well with roots of fern,
the seed of chartamus (whatever that may
be), salt of mercury, and soldanella (a purgative
sea-weed), and, having sewn him up, boil
him well down." A potage this, which bears
some resemblance to " the sillakickaby of the
ancients," described in Peregrine Pickle, and,
I should think, nearly as agreeable.

The majority of the birds in Belon's book
are accurately described and too well-known
to afford much opportunity for quoting from
what he says of their forms and habits, but
now and then we meet with a rara avis. Such,
for instance is the " Gellinote de bois "
(Gelinotte) which, though still found in the
Ardennes, and occasionally a visitor to
Monsieurs Chevet's shop in the Palais Royal,
is rare enough to merit description at second-
hand. What their price may be I know not,
but three hundred years ago they cost two
crowns a-piece, and were only seen at the
banquets of princes and the wedding-feasts of
great lords. " The feathers on the back are
like those of the woodcock ; the breast and
belly white, spotted with black ; the neck is
like that of a pheasant ; the head and beak
resemble a partridge ; the tail feathers are
black with white tips, the large wing-
feathers variegated like the owl; down to the
feet the legs are feathered like the grouse."
If the gelinotte combines the flavour as well
as the plumage of the birds just mentioned
(omitting the owl) I should say it is worth
the price which Monsieur Chevet puts upon
it before he stuffs it with the truffles.

The Vanneau is another bird which, common
enough in the marshy districts of France
(particularly in Bourbon Vendée) is, I believe,
unknown in England. It is a wading-bird,
and bears some resemblance to the peacock:
hence, its name, corrupted from paonneau to
vanneau; but the peasants call it dinhuit, on.
account of its cry. It is crested with five or
six long black feathers, and is of changeable
hue: in size it is not much larger than a
plover, and is perched on very high red
legs. There is no question about the estimation
as a delicacy in which the vanneau is
still held.

Belon has a good deal to say about quails, and
the various modes of catching them. One way
is by means of an instrument made of
leather and bone, which, set in motion,
utters a sound like the voice of the female
bird, and is called courcaillet, on hearing
which the males run rapidly and are caught
in the fowler's net; but this device is only
effectual during the season of courting. Every
one has noticed how low the quail's cages are
made. Belon says, it is because they are so
given to jumping and excitement that they
would destroy themselves were the cages
higher. Of the crested lark (in French,
cochevis), he tells us, on the authority of several
writers of antiquity, that when made into a
broth or roastedlike punchthey cure the
colic; we all know what capital pâtés are
made of the lark uncrested. We learn that
the woodcockhow admirable is he, too, in a
pâté — though called bécasse, in French, on
account of the length of his bill, ought to be
designated " vvitcoc," that being an English
word, which signifies " cock of the wood,'' and
corresponds with the Greek term, " xilomita."
Some people, Belon says, call him Avis cœca
(blind bird), because he suffers himself to be
so easily caught, and he gives a sufficiently
lively description of one mode of effecting his
capture. It is as follows:— " He who desires
to take the woodcock must put on a cloak
and gloves, the colour of the dead leaves, and
conceal his head and shoulders beneath a
(brown) hat, leaving only two small holes to
see through. He must carry in his hands
two sticks covered with cloth of the same
colour, about an inch of the ends of which
must be of red cloth, and leaning upon
crutches (rather a lame way of proceeding)
must advance leisurely towards the woodcock,
stopping when the bird becomes aware of his
approach. When the woodcock moves on he
must follow until the bird stops again without
raising its head. The fowler must then
strike the sticks together very quickly (moult

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