The Holinshed Project

Holinshed Project Home

The Texts

Previous | Next

1.9. Of the sundrie kinds of muskles and cockles in Scotland, and of pearles gotten in the same: of the vncouth and strange fish there to be seene, and of the na|ture of the herbe Citisus, com|monlie called Hadder. The ninth Chapter.

Of the sundrie kinds of muskles and cockles in Scotland, and of pearles gotten in the same: of the vncouth and strange fish there to be seene, and of the na|ture of the herbe Citisus, com|monlie called Hadder. The ninth Chapter.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 _HEre it resteth that I shew the nature of muskles and cockles, wherof we haue ma|nie and sundrie kinds among vs: of these also some are small, and yet if they be eaten fresh, are not without a natu|rall delicacie in tast. Others are greater and not vnlike in forme and quantitie to those that haue the purple: and albeit that they are vtterlie void therof, yet is their meat and substance right pleasant in the eating. There are of another sort which are longer and greater than either of these, called Horsse muskles, to be had in Dee and Done, and in these are the pearles ingendered. Certes they loue to be resident in the déepest and clearest waters that are void of mud and filth, and such is their esti|mation among the deintiest kinds of food, that they were not vnwoorthilie called of old time, widowes lustes. Their shelles also is as it were wrought euen from the verie tops, and thereto full of spots, where|in (as in yéeld of gaine) they farre excéed all other. Cardane de|nieth this, lib. 7. de Sub|tilitate. These earlie in the morning, in the gentle, cleare, and calme aire, lift vp their vpper shelles and mouthes a little aboue the water, and there receiue of the fine and pleasant breath or dew of heauen, & afterwards according to the measure and quantitie of this vitall force receiued, they first conceiue, then swell, and fi|nallie product the pearle.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 They are so sensible and quicke of hearing, that although you standing on the braie or banke aboue them, doo speake neuer so softlie, or throw neuer so small a stone into the water, yet they will descrie you, and settle againe to the bottome, without re|turne for that time. Doubtlesse they haue as it were a naturall carefulnesse of their owne commoditie, as not ignorant, how great estimation we mortall men make of the same amongst vs, and therefore so soone as the fishermen doo catch them, they bind their shelles togither, for otherwise they would open and shed their pearles of purpose, for which they know themselues to be pursued. Their maner of apprehen|sion is this, first foure or fiue persons go into the ri|uer togither, vp vnto the shoulders, and there stand in a compasse one by another with poles in their hands whereby they rest more suerlie, sith they fix them in the ground, and staie with one hand vpon them: then casting their eies downe to the bottome of the wa|ter, they espie where they lie by their shining and cléerenesse, and with their toes take them vp (for the deapth of the water will not suffer them to stoope for them) & giue them to such as stand next them.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 The perls that are so gotten in Scotland, are not of small value, they are verie orient & bright, light and round, and sometimes of the quantitie of the naile of ones little finger, as I haue had and séene by mine owne experience. Almost such another mus|kle found on the coast of Spaine, the shels whereof are gathered by such as go in pilgrimage to saint Iames, and brought into Scotland, but they are EEBO page image 16 without pearls, bicause they liue in salt water, which is an enimie to the margarite: but Cardane also denieth it. In all the sea coasts also of Scotland are cockles and muskles of the same forme, but without this commoditie. Many vncouth and strange shapes of fish likewise are seene there, whereof some are ar|med with shels, some with hard skales, and diuers round as a ball skinned like an yrcheon or hedghog, hauing but one cundit both for purgation of their excrements, and reception of their sustenance. To shew euerie kind of fish that is in Scotland, it were but a vaine trauell, sith the same are knowne almost in euerie region.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 In like sort we haue such plentie of fish vpon our seuerall coasts, that although milians and infinite numbers of them be taken on the one daie, yet on the next their losse will be so supplied with new store, that nothing shall be missing by reason of the yester|fang: so bountifull is God in these his benefits vnto vs. Furthermore, there is another gift bestowed vpon vs by the singular prouidence of God. For the greater dearth & penurie of flesh and corne is séene in Scotland, the greater store of fish is taken vpon our shores. In like sort, in the deserts and wild places of this realme, there groweth an hearbe of it selfe called Hadder or Hather verie delicat, as Columel|la lib. 9. cap. 4. saith, for goats & all kind of cattell to Galen. lib. [...]. de Antidotis sai|eth that Citi|sus is no herb but a shrub, and so dooth Plinie lib. 12. cap. 3. lib. 13. cap. 24. lib. 16. chap. 38. And Columella in the end of his 5. booke, where he accompteth it amõg trées. feed vpon, and likewise for diuerse foules, but bées es|peciallie. This herbe in Iune yéeldeth a purple sloure, swéet as honie, whereof the Picts in time past did make a pleasant drinke, and verie wholsome for the bodie: but forsomuch as the maner of making hereof is perished in the hauocke made of the Picts, when the Scots subdued their countrie, it lieth not in me to set downe the order of it, neither shewed they euer the learning hereof to any but to their owne nation. Finallie there is no part of Scotland so barren and vnprofitable, but it produceth either iron or some other kind of mettall, as may be proo|ued easilie throughout all the Iles that are annexed to the same.

Previous | Next