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Museum of Comparative Zoology 
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Museum of Comparative Zoology 
Gift of: 

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del.—G.B Sowerby, litb.. 

Tincent Brooks , Imp 

1& 2. Helix, Pomatia- Apple or Vine snail. 

3 & 4 . Helix Nemoralis _Woo d snail 

5 Helix Aspersa_Common Garden snail 
6. Helix Pisana _the Banded snail 






Recipes for Cooking tfum. 



' And the recipes and different modes of dressing 
I am prepared to teach the world for nothing, 
If men are only wise enough to learn." 

AthencEus, Deipnox, Book iii. c. 69. 





[All rights reserved.] 


In these days, when attention has been so much 
directed towards the cultivation of the common kinds 
of eatable shell-fish, it is surprising that the im- 
portance of certain others for food has been hitherto 
almost entirely overlooked. We understand the good 
qualities of oysters, cockles, and a few other kinds ; 
but some equally nutritious (which are universally 
eaten on the Continent) are seldom, if ever, seen in 
our markets, or are only used locally as food, and the 
proper modes of cooking them are scarcely known. 
I have therefore endeavoured to call attention to all 
the eatable species common on our coasts, and also 
to those which, though not found here in abundance, 
might be cultivated as easily as oysters, and form 
valuable articles of food. 




Pholadid^: ........ 1 

Myadjs 8 

SOLENIDiE . . . . . . . .13 

Tellinid^: ... 18 

Mactrid^e ........ 22 

Venerid^ 25 


Cardiad^: . 41 

Mytilid^j 58 

Aviculid^e 85 

Pectinid^e ........ 103 

OSTREADiE . . . . . . . . . 124 

Patellhle 172 

Haliotid^e 179 

LittoriniDjE 187 

muricid^e 191 

Helicid^: 209 

Sepiad^: 245 

ClDARIDiE 268 

List of Works referred to or consulted . . . 275 

Index 289 


Plate I. (Frontispiece?) 

1. & 2. Helix pomatia. Vine Snail. 

3. & 4. Helix nemoralis. Wood Snail. 

5. Helix aspersa. Common Garden Snail, 

6. Helix Pisana. Banded Snail. 
Plate II. Pholas dactylus. Piddock or Clam. 
Plate III. 1. My a truncata. Gaper. 

2. Solen siliqua. Razor-shell. 
Plate IV. 1. Psammobia vespertina. The Setting Sun. 

2. Mactra solida. Trough Shell. 
Plate V. 1. Tapes pullastra. Pullet. 

2. Venus verrucosa. Warty Venus. 
Plate VI. Isocardia cor. Heart-Shell or Oxhorn- 

Plate VII. 1. Cardium edule. Common Cockle. 

2. Cardium rusticum. Red-nose Cockle. 
Plate VIII. 1. Mytilus edulis. Common Mussel. 

2. Ostrea edulis. Oyster. 
Plate IX. Pinna pectinata. Sea-wing. 

Plate X. 1. Pecten opercularis. Painted Scallop. 

2. Pecten maximus. Scallop. 
Plate XI. 1. Haliotis tuberculata. Ormer or Sea-ear. 

2. Patella vulgata. Limpet. 
Plate XII. 1. Buccinum undatum. Whelk. 

2. & 3. Littorina littorea. Periwinkle. 




Pholas Dactylus, Linnaeus. Piddock or Clam. — 
Shell equi valve, oblong-ovate, gaping chiefly anteriorly, 
inequilateral, thick, white exteriorly and inside polished ; 
exterior covered with longitudinal furrows and con- 
centric striae, with sharp radiating spines; no hinge; 
beaks hidden with callosities ; a flattened spoon-shaped 
tooth, which curves forward, in each valve; accessory 
valves four in number. 

The perforating powers of the Pholas have for a 
length of time been a subject of discussion amongst 
naturalists, and appear likely to continue so. Some 
thought that by means of its foot it perforated the soft 
clay or stone which hardened round it ; and a Dutch 
philosopher named Sellius, nearly 130 years ago, pub- 
lished an account of the Teredo, wherein he showed 
that its shell could not be the instrument of perforation, 
and asked how it was possible that the extremely 
tender shell of the young Teredo could make a hole in 



solid oak — a material ten times harder than itself. He 
also observed that the form of the tube is evidently 
not the result of an auger-like instrument, because it 
is broader at the bottom than at the top and sides. 

Dr. J. G. Jeffreys, who quotes the above in his 
1 British Conchology/ agrees with Sellius that the foot 
or muscular disk, and not the shell, is " the sole instru- 
ment of perforation by the mollusca of stone, wood, 
and other substances, which is closely applied to the 
concave end of the hole, and is constantly supplied 
with moisture through the glandular tissues of the 
body." He adds, " By this simple, yet gradual process, 
the fibres of wood or grains of sand-stone may easily 
be detached or disintegrated, time and patience being 
allowed for the operation." Some naturalists believe 
that it is accomplished by means of an acid contained 
in the fish, by which it dissolves the calcareous rocks ; 
while others maintain that the Pholas bores by using 
its shell as a rasp. This mechanical process is fully 
described by " Astur/' who, from his own observa- 
tions, has endeavoured to solve the problem, and who, 
to quote the late Mr. Buckland's words, is apparently 
the only person "who has ever seen the Pholas at work." 
In the ( Field/ " Astur" published some time since an 
interesting description of the method by which this 
mollusk bores its habitation. He says, " Having pro- 
cured several of these mollusks in pieces of timber, I 
extracted one, and placed it loose in my aquarium, in 
the vague hope that it would perforate some sand- 
stone on which I placed it. It possessed the powers 
of locomotion, but made no attempt to bore. I then 
cat a piece of wood from the timber in which it had 
been found, and placed the Pholas in a hole a little 


more than an inch deep. Its shell being about two 
inches long, this arrangement left about an inch and 
three-quarters exposed. After a short time the animal 
attached its foot to the bottom of the hole, and com- 
menced swaying itself from side to side, until the hole 
was sufficiently deep to allow it to proceed in the 
following manner. It inflated itself with water appa- 
rently to its fullest extent, raising its shell upwards 
from the hole ; then, holding by its muscular foot, it 
drew its shell gradually downwards. This would have 
produced a perpendicular and very inefficient action, 
but for a wise provision of nature. The edges of the 
valves are not joined close together, but are connected 
by a membrane; and, instead of being joined at the 
hinge, like ordinary bivalves, they possess an extra 
plate attached to each valve of the shell, which is 
necessary for the following part of the operation. In 
the action of boring, this mollusk, having expanded 
itself with water, draws down its shell within the hole, 
gradually closing the lower anterior edges, until they 
almost touch. It then raises its shell upwards, gradu- 
ally openiug the lower anterior edges and closing the 
upper, thus boring both upwards and downwards. 
The spines (points) on the shells are placed in rows, 
like the teeth of a saw ; those toward the lower part 
being sharp and pointed, whilst those above, being- 
useless, are not renewed. So far for the operation of 
boring; but how to account for the holes fitting the 
shape of the animal inhabiting them ? To this I fear- 
lessly answer, that this is only the case when the 
Pholas is found in the rock which it entered when 
small. This mollusk evidently bores merely to protect 
its fragile shell, and not from any love of boring ; and 

b 2 


in this opinion I am borne out by my own specimens. 
The young Pholas, haviDg found a substance suitable 
for a habitation, ceases to bore immediately that it has 
buried its shell below the surface of the rock, &c. It 
remains quiescent until its increased growth requires a 
renewal of its labours. It thus continues working deeper 
and deeper, and, should the substance fail or decay, it 
has no alternative but to bore through, and seek some 
fresh spot where it may find a more secure retreat/' 

At Amroth, near Tenby, is a submerged forest, the 
trees of which are completely perforated by the Pholas; 
and at spriug-tides fine specimens may be collected. 
Montagu remarks that, whilst it is the general habit 
of shipworms (Teredo navalis, or Teredo norvegica) to 
bore parallel with the grain, the Pholas perforates the 
wood across the grain.* 

Dr. J. G. Jeffreys mentions that Redi, in a letter to 
his friend Megalotti, describes the Teredo as being not 
only eatable, but excelling all shellfish, the oyster not 
excepted, in its exquisite flavour. Nardo also praises 
it, and wonders why the Venetians, who call it Bisse del 
legno, do not eat it.f 

The German name for the Pholas is very appropriate, 
viz., die Bohr muschel, Steinbohrer, or pierce-stone; in 
France it is called le Bail commun, Gite, or Pitau ; in 
Spain, Foladoj Almeixa-bravas ; in Minorca, Peus de 
cobra and Batil del mar; and in Sicily, Battoli di mari. 

An old fisherman told me that the Pudworm, as he 
called it, was a very delicate fish ; and he had often 
noticed on the Hampshire coast, that at low spring- 
tides in the winter, when sharp frosts set in, and when 

* Forbes and Hanley, ' British Mollusca.' 
t ' British Concbology,' vol. iii. p. 159. 


that part of the shore where these mollusks bury 
themselves, is left exposed by the tide, they are all 
killed. He was in the habit of collecting the Pholas 
dactylus as bait for white fish, digging them out of the 
clay or shale ; and he added that if he kept them a 
day or so before using them, they changed colour, and 
shone like glowworms, even shone quite brightly in 
the water, some distance below the surface, when put 
on the hooks for bait. This reminds me of the follow- 
ing quaint lines in Breton's f Ourania/ quoted in 
Daniel's ' Rural Sports :' — 

"The glowworme shining in a frosty night 
Is an admirable thing in Shepheard's sight. 
Twentie of these wormes put in a small glasse, 
Stopped so close that no issue doe passe, 
Hang'd in a Bow-net and suncke to the ground 
Of a poole or lake, broad and profound, 
Will take such plentie of excellent fish 
As well may furnish an Emperor's dish." 

The luminosity of the Pholas after death is referred 
to by Pliny, who says, " The onyches shine in the dark 
like fire, and in the mouth even while they are eaten;"* 
and, " that it is the property of the dacijtlus (a fish so 
called from its strong resemblance to the human uail) 
to shine brightly in the dark, when all other lights are 
removed, and the more moisture it has the brighter is 
the light emitted. In the mouth, even while they are 
eaten, they give forth their light, and the same, too, 
when in the hands; the very drops, in fact, that fall 
from them on the ground, or on the clothes, are of the 
same luminous nature." f 

* Pliny, ' Nat. Hist.' vol. ii. bk. ix. c. 51. Throughout this volume 
I have used the translations of Pliny and Athenams in Bonn's Series of 
Classical Authors, 

t Idem. vol. ii. bk. ix. c. 87. 


Co.sta, as quoted by Dr. J. G. Jeffreys in his ' British 

Conchology/ says that it is so phosphorescent, that if 
the flesh is chewed and kept in the mouth, the breath 
becomes luminous and looks like a real flame. 

Dr. Coldstream states that " the phosphorescent 
light of this mollusk is given out most strongly by the 
internal surfaces of the respiratory tubes, and that it 
is strongest in summer; and Professor John Miiller 
has observed, that when Pholades are placed in a 
vacuum, the light disappears, but reappears on the 
admission of air; also, that when dried, they recover 
their luminous property on being rubbed or moistened.* 

Many others have also made experiments with the 
Pholas, and have studied its phosphorescence, viz., 
Reaumur, Beccaria, Marsilius, Galeatus, and Moutius. 
The two first mentioned endeavoured to render this 
" luminosity permanent, and the best result was ob- 
tained by placing the dead mollusk in honey, by which 
its property of emitting light lasted more than a year. 
Whenever it was plunged into warm water, the body 
of the Pliolas gave as much light as ever."f 

Beccaria also found that a single Pholas "rendered 
seven ounces of milk so luminous that the faces of 
persons might be distinguished by it, and it looked as 
if transparent/^ 

Pholas clactylus, or the long oyster, as it is called at 
Weymouth, is not often eaten in England, but is 
generally used for bait. A Newhaven fisherman, how- 
ever, told me they sometimes collect some for eating 
from the chalk boulders, between Newhaven and 

* Forbes and Hanly, vol. i. p. 107. 

t < Phosphorescence,' by T. L. Phipson, Ph.D., F.C.S., p. 105. 

% Ibid. p. 104. 


Brighton ; that they were much more pleasant to the 
taste than whelks ; and they only scald or boil them 
for a few minutes. 

In France, in the neighbourhood of Dieppe, a great 
many women and children, each provided with an iron 
pick, are employed in collecting them either for sale 
in the market or for bait. # 

I find from Mr. Morton, of St. Clement's, Jersey, 
who kindly sent me much information respecting the 
shell-fishes used as food in the Channel Islands, that 
in Jersey the Pholas is plentiful, and is sold in the 
market boiled ready for eating. In Spain it is con- 
sidered as next best to oysters, and is sometimes eaten 
raw. All the Pholades are edible, and a large 
West Indian species, Pholas costata, is much prized, 
and is regularly sold in the markets of Havana, as 
we are informed by Forbes and Hanley. Athenseus 
recommends these shellfish, as they are very nu- 
tritious, but he adds that they have a disagreeable 

The Normandy method of cooking the Pholas (le dail 
eommun) is to dress them with herbs and breadcrumbs, 
or pickle them with vinegar. J 

Large quantities of this fish are sold in the markets 
of La Rochelle, and Captain Bedford says that the 
Pholas crispata is eaten by the poor of Oban.§ 

* ' British Conchotomy,' vol. iii. p. 102. 

f ' Deipnosophists,' vol. i. bk. iii. c. 35, p. 146. 

J * Cottage Gardener,' vol. i. p. 382. 

§ ' British Conchotomy,' vol. iii. p. 114. 


Fam. MY ADM. 

Mya Truncata, Linnaeus. Gaper or Truncated Mya. 
— Shell equal-valved, suboval, gaping much at the 
small end, truncated and swollen at the other, covered 
with a pale greenish epidermis, which also continues 
over its long broad tube and mantles; valves wrinkled 
transversely ; beaks depressed ; umbones prominent, 
but unequal ; a large spoon- shaped tooth in left 
valve, with a socket or hollow in the other; ligament 

Of the three species of Myadce which inhabit our 
British seas, two of them are used for food, viz. Mya 
truncata (the one figured) and Mya arenaria, which 
last is much eaten at Naples. At Belfast this shell is 
called " Cockle brillion," * evidently the same name as 
that applied in Brittany to the winkle, viz. vrelin or 
hrelin. They live buried in the sand or mud, in an 
upright position, at the mouths of rivers and estu- 
aries near low-water mark, and at low tide their 
locality is known by the holes in the surface. It re- 
quires much labour and patient digging, sometimes to 
the depth of more than a foot, to procure a dish of 
these esculents, therefore they are not so common an 
article of food as others which are more easily gathered. 
In Orkney, Mya truncata is called Kunyu, and is not 
only eaten, but is used as bait for cod-fishing. The 
Zetlanders call it SmursUn, the Feroese, Smirslingur. 
They eat it boiled. In German it is the KlaffniusrJirJ. 
On some parts of the Devonshire coast it is known as 

* 'British Conchology,' vol. iii. p. 65. 


the spoon-shell, probably owing to the wide spoon- 
shaped tooth in the left valve. The length of a full- 
grown specimen is about 3 inches, by 2\ in breadth. 
Mya arenaria is larger than Mya truncata, longer and 
more pointed at the gaping end, equally coarse and 
rugged in appearance, its colour varying according to 
the nature of the soil in which it buries itself. 
Montagu states that this species is eaten at South- 
ampton, and called "old maid;"* but upon making 
inquiry there I cannot discover that they are now 
known by that name. In Chichester harbour and in 
Fareham Creek the poorer classes collect them for 
eating, and call them " pullers." At Youghal the 
name for them is " sugar-loons," and in Dublin 
"colliers," and at both places they are considered 
good bait, and fit to eat ; but at Youghal they warn 
you to be careful to take off the skin which covers the 
outside of the shell and tube, as it is supposed to be 
poisonous. However, it is probably harmless, except 
in cases where it causes indigestion ; but I believe 
Mya arenaria has been known really to disagree with 
some people, and Miss Ball mentions a friend being 
very uncomfortable after eating one. The Hampshire 
people do not seem to have noticed this peculiarity. 
I cannot let this opportunity pass without expressing 
my sincere thanks to Miss Ball for much valuable in- 
formation, which she kindly sent to me from Ireland, 
respecting the various edible mollusks. 

Mya arenaria (Mye des sables) may occasionally be 
seen exposed for sale in the market at Bordeaux. 

It is the Soft Clam of America, and there it is most 
highly esteemed as food, and also as bait. Mr. Earll 
* Forbes and Hanley, * British Mollusca.' 


(of the United States Commission) gave some interest- 
ing details at one of the Conferences held in connection 
with the International Fisheries Exhibition, London, 
1883, respecting the extent to which My a arenaria is 
used in the United States. He says, " In the State 
of Maine 318,000 bushels, or 1,000,000 lbs. of this 
mollusk were used for bait and for food. In Massa- 
chusetts an equal quantity, if not more, and in the 
Middle States 406,000 bushels, makiug in all over 
1 ,000,000 bushels, having a value to fishermen of 
458,000 dollars. He had not the statistics for Con- 
necticut, Rhode Island, and some of the other States 
where these shellfish were also used in considerable 
quantities, but including them it might be said that 
over a million and a quarter bushels, valued at probably 
not less than 600,000 dollars, were used on the Atlantic 

sea-board Some fishermen on the coast confined 

themselves to the quarrying, as it was called, of these 
shellfish, for they had the habit of burying themselves 
two or three inches deep in the mud or sand of the 
shallow bays along the shore. This industry afforded 
employment to a large number of fishermen at a time 
when nothing else could be done. Some of the smaller 
vessels, not considered safe to encounter the winter 
gales, were taken into the shallow waters, and served 
as hotels and work-houses for the men engaged in 
quarrying the clams. These men spent two or three 
months in gathering a vessel-load, shelling them and 
salting them, to be sold in the early spring to the 
vessels engaged in the great ocean cod fisheries ; 
whilst large numbers were also engaged during the 
entire summer gathering them to be sold in the larger 
markets for food, where they were prized very highly 


by both rich and poor." * In New York they are sold 
at three dollars per hundred, and, retail, thirty-five 
cents per dozen, and are best in cold weather. 

Mr. R. E. C. Stearns, in the c American Naturalist ;' 
May, 1881, mentions the introduction (probably re- 
cently) of Mya arenaria in the Bay of San Francisco, 
and that it is now one of the most abundant species of 
shellfish to be seen in the markets. 

Myadce are widely distributed, and are not only food 
for man, but for the walrus and other northern animals, 
besides birds and fishes, which relish them greatly. 
Captain Tackey, in his expedition to the river Zaire, 
or Congo, found that a species of Mya was much 
sought after by the natives, and that three or four 
hundred canoes were met with near Draper's Islands, 
in which the people were busily engaged in dragging 
up these shellfish ; having made temporary huts by 
bending and entwining living branches of trees, be- 
sides, occupying caverns in the rocks with their 
families during the fishing-season. The shells were 
opened, and the fish having been taken out was dried 
in the sun. The Chinese name for Mya arenaria is 
" Tse-ga," and they consider it a great delicacy, and 
they eat it with a seasoning, of which onion is the 

A Clam dredger was exhibited at the International 
Fisheries Exhibition in the Chinese collection. It 
was a rake, which is fastened round the waist of the 
fisherman with a rattan band. He walks backwards 

* Papers of the Conferences held in connection with the Great 
International Fisheries Exhibition : * Mollusks, Mussels, Whelks,' &c. 
by Charles Harding. 

f ' Notice sur la Malacolo./ie du littoral de l'Empire Chinois,' par 
Odon Desbeau. ' Journal de Conchyliologie,' tome xi. 1863. 


through the shallow water drawing the rake towards 
him ; and when the iron comes in contact with any- 
thing hard he feels with his foot, and if it prove to be 
a clam, he picks it up and goes on as before. 

Youghal way of Cooking Sugar-loons. — Boil them ; 
take them out of the shell, and eat them with a little 
butter, taking care to cut off the outside skin.* 

Hampshire Method of Cooking Myadce. — Wash the 
shells well, then boil quickly for a few minutes; as 
soon as the shell opens, the fish is cooked. Do not let 
them boil longer, as it makes them hard, and spoils 
the flavour. A little vinegar and pepper can be added 
as a relish. 

Clam Soup. — Two small bunches of young, soft 
clams ; cut out the round fat parts, chop the hard 
parts with twenty-five hard clams medium sized ; put 
these into the juice with a little water, and boil from 
two to three hours, then put in the round parts, with a 
piece of butter and a little pepper, and boil fifteen 
minutes ; add a pint of hot milk, and let it just come 
to a boil before serving, f 

To Boil soft Claras.- — Wash the shells clean, and put 
the clams, the edges downwards, in a kettle; then pour 
about a quart of boiling water over them ; cover the 
pot and set it over a brisk fire for three quarters of an 
hour ; pouring boiling water on them causes the shells 
to open quickly and let out the sand which may be in 
them. Take them up when done; take off the black 
skin which covers the hard part, trim them clean, and 
put them into a stewpan ; put to them some of the 
liquor in which they were boiled ; add to it a good bit 

* Miss Ball. t ' Every Day's Need.' 


of butter, and pepper and salt to taste ; make them 
hot ; serve with cold butter and rolls.* 

Stewed soft shell Clams. — Get fifty clams taken from 
their shells, and freed from the black skin; wash- them 
well in clear water and put them in a stewpan with 
very little water ; cover and set it over a gentle fire 
for half an hour ; then add to them a bit of butter the 
size of a large egg, or larger ; dredge in a tablespoon- 
ful of flour, and salt and pepper to taste ; stir it in 
them ; cover the stewpan for ten minutes, then serve 
hot. Many persons like the addition of a wine-glass 
of vinegar.f 

To Fry soft Clams. — Get them taken from the shell, 
as they are very troublesome to clean. Wash them in 
plenty of water, and lay them on a thickly folded 
napkin to dry out the water ; then roll a few at a time 
in wheat flour, until they will take up no more. 
Have a thick-bottomed frying-pan one third full of 
boiling hot lard, and salted (in proportion, a table- 
spoonful of salt to a pound of lard), lay the clams in 
with a fork, one at a time ; lay them close together 
and fry gently, until one side is a delicate brown, 
then turn carefully and brown the other ; then take 
them off and put on a hot dish. When fried properly, 
these clams are very excellent.* 



Solen Siliqua, Linnaeus. Razor Shell. — Shell 
straight, open at both extremities. Two teeth in left 

* Mrs. Crowen's 'American Lady's Cookery Book.' 
t Ibid. J Ibid. 


valve, and one in the other; exterior covered with an 
olivaceous epidermis, concentrically striated. Breadth 
1 inch, length from 7 to 8 inches. 

The razor or spout-fishes are all good for food, but 
Solen siliqua, which is the largest of our British 
species, is the one generally collected for that purpose. 
Solen ensis is eaten in the Feroe Isles, and is there 
called Langskoel; and Solen marginatus, commonly 
known as Vagina, is greatly prized as an article of food 
by the Neapolitans. This last-named species has a 
wide range abroad, but is not so common in this 
country as the two above-mentioned shells, though it 
is abundant in some localities, amongst others Rye, 
Tenby, and the Channel Islands. In the Isle of Man 
the razor-fish is called Eeast-gholvirragh. 

The razor-shell is the aulo of the Romans; and 
Aristotle, in his ' History of Animals/ gives a descrip- 
tion of it, stating that "it buries itself in the sand, 
can rise and sink in, but does not leave its hole, is 
soon alarmed by noise, and buries itself rapidly; and 
that the valves of the shell are connected together at 
both sides, and their surface smooth."* 

However, according to Dr. J. G. Jeffrey s, the power of 
locomotion of the Solen is not confined to burrowiEg; 
as they can dart from place to place in the water as 
quickly as the scallop, and apparently in the same way. 

In the time of Athengeus it was much eaten, and 
highly valued, if we may judge from the following 
quotations in his ' Deipnosophists :' — 

" Araros says, in his ' Campylion/ — 

" These now are most undoubted delicacies, 
Cockles and solens. 

* Forbes and Hanley, ' Brit. Moll.' vol i. p. 240. 


" And Sophron says, in his ' Mimi/ — 

" A. What are these long cockles, O my friend, 
Which you do think so much of? 
B. Solens, to be sure; 

This, too, is the sweet-flesh 'd cockle, dainty food, 
The dish much loved by widows." * 

Epicharrnus, in his play of the ' Marriage of Hebe/ 
mentions the oblong solens. 

Again, Athenasus says, — "But the solens, as they 
are called by some, though some call them avXot and 
Bova/ces, or pipes, and some, too, call them ovules , or 
claws, are very juicy, but the juice is bad, and they are 
very glutinous. And the male fish are striped, and 
not all of one colour, but the female fish is all of one 
colour, and much sweeter than the male ; and they are 
eaten boiled and fried, but they are best of all when 
roasted on the coals till their shells open. And the 
people who collect this sort of oyster are called Solenistce, 
as Phasnias the Eresian relates in his book, which is 
entitled ' The Killing of Tyrants by way of Punish- 
ment ;' where he speaks as follows: — 'Philoxenus, 
who was called the Solenist, became a tyrant from 
having been a demagogue. In the beginning he got 
his living by being a fisherman and a hunter after 
solens; and so, having made a little money, he advanced 
and got a good property.'' " 

On some parts of our shores great quantities of 
razor-shells are collected, sometimes by putting a little 
salt on the holes, which irritates the fish, and makes it 
rise to the surface ; and again in the following manner, 
as described by Messrs. Forbes and Hanley : — " A long 
narrow wire, bent and sharpened at the end, is sud- 

* Athenseus, vol. i. b. iii. p. 144, Bonn's Classical Library. 


denly thrust into the hollows of the sands indicative of 
the presence of these animals, and, passing between 
the valves, the barbed portion fixes itself, on retraction, 
in the animal, and forces it to the surface. " 

Poli gives an account of Solen-fishing at Naples. 
He tells us that the lurking-place of the Solen is 
betrayed by a hole in the sand, agreeing in shape with 
the apertures of its tubes or siphons. Where the 
water is shallow the fisherman sprinkles some oil on 
the surface, in order to see these marks more clearly. 
He then steadies himself by leaning on a staff with his 
left hand, and feels for the Solen with his naked right 
foot. This he catches, and holds between his great 
toe and the next ; but although his toes are protected 
by linen bands, the struggles of the Solen to escape 
are so violent, and the edges of the shell so sharp, that 
often a severe wound is inflicted by it. Where the sea 
is five or six feet deep, the fisherman dives or swims 
under water with his eyes open, and after finding the 
holes, digs with his hands for the razor-fish.* At 
Tenby baskets-full are often brought to the door, and 
they are considered very good to eat. In Japan they 
are said to be so highly prized that, by the express 
order of the prince of that country " it is forbid to fish 
them until a sufficient quantity hath been provided 
for the Emperor's table.' 'f 

In the Bay of Concepcion are several species of 
shell-fish highly esteemed, and Ulloa especially men- 
tions some Venuses and a number of razor-shells. 
The Chinese eat the razor-fishes, and they may be seen 

* * British Conchology,' vol. iii. p. 13. 

f ' Glimpses of Ocean Life,' by Johp Harper, F.R.S. 


ia the market at Tche-fou. The small kinds they call 
Tchln-ga, and the larger species Chu-en-na.* 

At Naples it is considered qnite a recherche morseb 
too expensive for the common people, a dishful selling 
at six carlines, which is equal to two shillings of our 
English money. 

The G-erman name for this shell is Scheidenmuschel 
or Messerschalenmuschel, and the French call it Manche 
de couteau and coutoye. In Spain it has several names 
by which it is known, viz., Miiergos, Muerganos, Mor- 
gueras, Maneg de ganivet, Longeirones, Caravelas, and 
at Mahon, Manecs de quinivet.f The Sicilian names 
for it are Cannulicchiu stortu and Couca niura, and 
in the Adriatic Solen siliqua is called Capa tabar- 

Razor -fishes may be cooked in the following 
manner : — 

Razor-fish Soup. — Take 2 lbs. of razor- fish, and, after 
they have been well washed, put them into a saucepan, 
and keep them on a slow fire till they open, then take 
out the fish from the shells. Chop up some parsley 
very fine, and put it, with a tablespoonful of oil or an 
ounce of butter, into a saucepan, and fry until it 
becomes brown. To this add a pint of water, or a pint 
and a half of milk, and, when boiling, place in your 
fish, with a little salt and pepper, and let it boil again 
for half an hour. Add toasted bread before it is served 
up, or boil some vermicelli with it, of course adding 
more water. 

To cook Razor-fish. — Boil them for ten minutes or so, 

* ' Notice sur la Malacologie du Littoral de l'Empire Chinois,' par 
Odon Desbeaux, ' Journal de Conch.' tome xi. 1863. 

f M. de la P. Graells, ' Exploracion' cientilica de las costas del Fenol.' 



then take them out of their shells, and fry them with 
butter or lard. Add a little salt and pepper. 

Another way to cook Solens. — Stew them in milk till 
they are tender, add pepper and salt ; butter is a great 

The razor-fish is much prized on the Scotch coast, 
where it is merely boiled, and eaten with salt and 
pepper. Poli says that it is good either raw, or fried 
with breadcrumbs, pepper, oil, and lemon -juice. 


Psammobia Vespertina, Chemnitz. The Setting Sun. 
— Shell of an oblong oval shape, equivalve, rather 
flattened, opaque, colour whitish, shading to a reddish 
yellow at the beaks, with radiating rays of carmine 
and purplish pink ; epidermis of an olivaceous brown ; 
ligament external, prominent, and of a horn-colour; 
beaks small ; teeth, two in each valve ; in the left 
valve, one tooth bifid. 

The TellinidcB are but rarely used for food in this 
country, though several species are used for that pur- 
pose abroad. With us the Psammobia vespertina is 
stated by Dr. J. G-. Jeffreys* to be eaten by the 
peasantry at Kenmare, and heaps of their shells may 
be seen round the huts. 

Mr. Damon informed me that this pretty shell is 
dredged duriug the summer months in Bantry Bay, 
all the boats being then engaged in dredging sand and 

* • British Conchology,' vol. ii p. 400. 


its contents, for the farmers, who use it as manure ; 
and that out of the heaps of sand, &c, formed on the 
quay, the Psammobia and other shells are collected. 
It is only a locally abundant species ; but is generally 
diffused. Large richly-coloured specimens are found 
in Birterbury Bay, Connemara ; and Cornwall, Devon, 
Dorset, Northumberland, Pembrokeshire, Firth of 
Forth, and the Channel Isles, are a few of the localities 
given by Dr. Jeffreys. 

Athenaeus* states that Tellinidse were very common 
at Canopus, and abound when the Nile begins to rise, 
and that the thinnest of these were the royal ones, 
which were digestible and light. For fish-sauces, both 
the Psammobia and the Donax, or Wedge-shell (which 
belongs to the Tellinidge also), might be substituted 
instead of cockles ; and, indeed, a species of the latter, 
which with us is very rare, viz., Donax trunculus, is 
sold in the markets at Naples, and is said by Poli to 
be one of the best kinds of shellfish, both for making 
sauce and for seasoning small rolls of bread. I have 
often watched the women at Viareggio fishing for the 
Donax and the Mactridae. They dress themselves in 
their husbands' or brothers' old garments, and stand in 
the water to the waist. They use a kind of net made of 
a piece of thin light wood, oval-shaped at one end and 
straight at the other. This is surrounded on the upper 
side by a small frame-work about six to eight inches 
deep, except at the straight end, and covered with sail- 
cloth or some such material, to keep in the sand and 
shells. To this is attached a wooden handle about four 
to five feet in length. They hold the net before them in 

• ' Atben. Deipn.' vol. i. bk. iii. c. 40. 

c 2 


almost an upright position, the straight end towards 
thein, and scrape the sand into it. When sufficiently 
full, it is looked over, and the shells picked out and 
thrown into a basket which they carry slung on their 
backs. It is apparently very hard work, and the poor 
women complained much of the cold, standing and 
working so long in the water before they could 
get a basketful. 

Dr. Jeffreys says, that according to Philippi Donax 
trunculus is still esteemed a delicacy in the south of 
Italy, and in Sicily it is called Arceddu giarnusu* and 
Cozzola. The Spaniards know it by the names of 
Cliirlas, Tallerinas, and Navallas, and in Minorca it is 
called Xarletas. 

It is much eaten in Spain, and at Malaga is very 
common, and is cooked with rice. 

On the French Coast the Donax is very abundant, 
and is eaten by the poor people, but always cooked. 
In German it is called Stiimpfmuschel. In the islands 
of Guadeloupe and Martinique women also collect a 
species of Donax for food, viz., Donax denticulata.f 

Potage aux Chobettes (name given to Donax denti- 
culata), Martinique recipe. — Wash the shells in several 
waters to completely free them from the sand. Boil 
them ten to twelve minutes in the quantity of water 
required for the soup. Pass the liquid through a fine 
sieve, and then throw into it a piece of the best butter, 
with some pepper, salt, and spices ; and add rice 
or bread. The fish can be served apart, with butter 
or oil, and chopped herbs ; but they form so small a 

* 'The Mediterranean,' by Roar-Admiral W. Henry Smyth. 
f ' Utilite' de certains Moilusques Marins vivants but les cotes de la 
Guadeloupe et de la Martinique/ par M. Beau, 'Journal de Conch.' 


dish after having been boiled, that it requires a con- 
siderable quantity to satisfy the appetites of three or 
four persons. Sometimes the fish is pounded and 
made into a puree to mix with the soup ; but it makes 
it more substantial and heavier of digestion. 

Spanish Method of making Fish Sauce. — Scald the 
fish in boiling water, sufficiently to make the shells 
open ; but do not let them be heated more than neces- 
sary. Clean them nicely, and then mix them with a 
white sauce. To give a pleasant flavour, add a little 
lemon-juice or vinegar. 

Spanish way of Cooking all kinds of Shellfish. — 
Chop up a good quantity of garlic, onions, parsley, 
and red peppers (which last must be prepared by 
throwing them into boiling water, and rubbing off the 
skins with a dry cloth); scald the fish, and pick them 
out of their shells, then put all together in an olla (or 
round earthen pot), with plenty of oil ; fry them till a 
deep yellow. They may either be served thus, or when 
finished add some broth, boil it up, and serve it like a 
thick soup. 

The genuine Cadiz lovers of shellfish, however, 
consider that scalding the fish spoils it ; they there- 
fore prefer the raw fish being put at once into the oil 
and vegetables, and the dish is then sent to table with 
the shells in it. " Psammobia vespertina " has the 
following names in Spain, Navallinas and Gnitzu- 



Mactra Solida, Linnaeus. Trough- shell. — Shell 
thick, opaque, of a yellowish-white colour, nearly equal- 
valved, covered at the sides with a brownish or drab- 
coloured epidermis ; nearly triangular in form, ligament 
short and internal ; beaks small ; a V-shaped cardinal 
tooth in one valve, with a long lateral tooth on each 
side, and fitting in the opposite valve in jo deep grooves, 
with tooth-like edges. 

Of the Mactrida3, both Mactra solida and Mactra 
stultorum are sometimes eaten in England, but they are 
not considered very good, and are full of sand ; though 
the former is eaten in Devonshire ; and Mr. Dennis 
(as quoted by Dr. Jeffreys, in his 'British Conchology') 
says that the people of Newhaven, near Brighton, eat 
the Mactra stultorum also. It appears that in 1861 
the steam dredging-machines were at work at the 
mouth of the harbour, and that they turned up Mactra 
stultorum in great numbers, so that the beach at high- 
water mark was covered by them.* They live buried 
in the sand not very far from low- water mark and at 
no great depth from the surface. In Holland the 
shells of Mactra stultorum are used for making roads 
and foot-paths ; they are also burnt for lime, and the 
fish is eaten there. According to Poli, it is known in 
Italy by the name of Mezzana, at Naples Gongola, and 
in the Adriatic Bibaron color ito.f It is eaten at 
Yiareggio, with Mactra lactea, and Mactra corallina 

* ' British Conchology/ vol. ii. p. 424. 

f ' The Fisheries of the Adriatic/ by George L. Faber. 


In Spain the names for it are Chirlas, Pechinas 
llisas, and Escicpinas bestias, and for Mactra solida, 
Cascaras y chirlas. In German, Mactridce are called 
Trogmuscheln. Our rare Mactra glauca or helvacea, 
which is a much larger shell than either of the other 
kinds above-mentioned, and is at least three inches 
long by four broad, with longitudinal rays of a pale 
fawn, or a drab colour, resembling Mactra stultorum, 
is sold in the market at Brest; and at Granville is 
known by the name of Schias. It is also found at 
Naples, and is called Fava, by the Neapolitans. Poll 
speaks with evident satisfaction of its sweet and ex- 
cellent flavour. It is eaten in Spain, where it is known 
by the name of Cascaras. It is taken in the Channel 
Islands, but we seldom find more than single valves 
upon our coast, though I have seen a perfect pair in 
the collection of a friend, which had been found on 
the Hayle Sands, Cornwall. Mr. King, of 190, Port- 
land Road, sent me a magnificent specimen alive, 
some years since, which enabled me to examine the 
fish, and admire the beautiful colouring of its two 
short thick tubes, of a pale yellow shading to a rich 
orange ; round the orifices were dark streaks of 
crimson, the cirri of the same colour as the tubes. 
The animal, however, varies much in colour; and 
another live specimen I received afterwards, was not 
so bright. 

Mactra subtruncata, or the lady-cockle, as it is called 
at Belfast, is said by Mr. Alder to be gathered at 
Lamlash Bay, and used as food for pigs, and in some 
parts it is used as bait by fishermen. 

One other species of Mactra may be mentioned as 
edible, as it is eaten in the Channel Islands, and also 


in Spain (where it is known by the following names, 
Arolas, Orolas, and Navallon), viz., Lutraria elliptica, 
very unlike the Madridce in appearance, and not 
tempting to look at. It is a broad flattish shell, about 
live inches long, and three in height, with a long tube, 
something resembling Mya arenaria. It lives in 
muddy estuaries, and at the mouths of rivers, buried 
to the depth of one and a half to two feet ; and I have 
had some fine specimens from the mouth of the Towy, 
in Carmarthenshire. 

Mr. Dennis * says the Lutrarice are called Clumps at 
Herm, and I am told by Mr. Morton, that the fisher- 
men in Jersey know them by the name of Horse-shoes. 
In Devonshire they are called Glams. In cooking 
them, they are first boiled, then taken out of their 
shells and fried. 

Lutraria oblong a, whicli is a common species in 
some of the little muddy estuaries near Croisic and 
Piriac, on the coast of the Loire Inferieure, is said by 
M, Cailliaud to be very generally eaten, but it is a 
rare species with us, though it has been taken on the 
Devon, Cornwall, and Dorset coasts. At Mahon the 
name for it is Guitzii ; Quiquirig alias, and Cobras at 
Santander, and Ropamaceiras at Vigo.f 

Mr. J. K. Lord states that in British Columbia and 
Vancouver's Island the large Lutraria Maxima, called 
the great clam, or otter-shell, is one of the staple 
articles of winter food on which the Indian tribes who 
inhabit the North- West Coast of America in a great 
measure depend. The squaws fish for them, as it is 

* ' British Conchology,' vol. ii. p. 430. 

f ' Molluscos Marinos de Espafia, Portugal y las Baleares,' por 
J. G. Hidalgo. 

VENEltlM. — PULLET. 25 

derogatory to the dignity of a man to dig clams. 
They use a bent stick for the purpose, about four feet 
long, and they cook them by placing the shells on red- 
hot pebbles from the camp fire till the shells open. 
To preserve them for winter use, a long wooden needle, 
with an eye at the end, is threaded with cord made 
from native hemp, and on this the clams are strung 
like dried apples, and thoroughly smoked in the in- 
terior of the lodge.* 

Mactridce are also found in great quantities buried 
in the sandbanks on the Coast of Chili. 

To dress Mactridce. — Boil them, and then eat them 
with pepper, salt, and vinegar. 


Tapes Pullastra, Linnseus. Pullet or Gully och. — 
Shell oblong, opaque; valves inequilateral, covered 
with concentric strias, which become coarser and more 
wavy towards the extremities, and are crossed by 
longitudinal striae ; ligament external, long, horn- 
colour. Three teeth in each valve, erect, very narrow. 

Though so common a species, the Tapes is not so 
generally eaten in England as abroad, though both 
this and Tapes decussata are eaten in Devonshire, 
Hampshire, and Sussex. They both inhabit muddy 
sand or gravel, and occasionally we find specimens of 
the former in holes which have been made by the 
Pholas, and deserted ; and I have taken them out of 

* ' The Naturalist in British Columbia,' by John Keast Lord. 


holes in the rocks, both at Tenby and Eastbourne, but 
rarely without some depression or distortion of the 
valves. But the Tapes decussata is more local than 
the Tapes pullastra. I had never found it in pro- 
fusion till the spring of 1862, when, on visiting the 
sands near the mouth of the Exe, I noticed that at 
low-water mark the ground was covered with speci- 
mens of it; and also with Scrobicularia piper ata, which 
is called by the Exmouth fishermen the " mud-hen •" 
but this latter is not used for food in this country, as 
it has a hot biting taste.* It is said to be eaten at 
Spezia, and may be seen in the markets of Trieste and 
Venice; and it is used for making soup. It is known by 
the name of "caparozzolo."f Tapes decussata is a larger 
and more rugged shell than Tapes pidlastra, though 
much resembling it, but it is not so convex, and differs 
from it in colour, being of a dirty white, with the 
bands, rays, or markings of a drab colour, sometimes 
of a purplish-tinge ; while Tapes pullastra is of a more 
yellowish -white, with zigzag markings of a rufous- 
brown, sometimes extending all over the shell, and at 
others only towards the extremities. 

In the Northern Isles, the pullet or cullyock, is only 
used for bait. 

Tapes decussata is called in some parts of England 
" purr," and in Hampshire " butter-fish." At Stub- 
bington, near Tichfield, quantities are collected, and 
sold in the neighbourhood, at 5d. per quart, where 
they are considered richer and better than cockles. 
They are found at low tide not far from high-water 
mark, and their locality is easily detected by two holes 

* ' British Conchology,' vol. ii. p. 446. 

f ' The Fisheries of the Adriatic,' by G. L. Faber. 


in the sand or gravel (unlike the cockle, which makes 
but one), about an inch or so apart. They are easily- 
dug up by means of an old knife. On warm, still days 
they appear to rise more readily to the surface ; but 
if cold or windy they burrow about two to three inches 
deep in the gravelly sand. Butter-fish are considered 
very wholesome and I was assured by the cockle 
gatherers that they might be eaten with impunity at all 
times of the year, and never disagreed with people as 
the mussels and cockles occasionally do. At Falmouth, 
also, they are considered far richer and sweeter than 
cockles, and are sold in the market at 3d. per 

M. Gay says, that at Toulon it is known by the 
name of Clouvisso, and is a favourite dish in Continental 
seaports.* Clovisse is another name for it, and at 
Bordeaux it sells in the market from twenty to thirty 
centimes per hundred, and both it and Tapes pullastra 
are called Palourde by the French, and also le Lunot. 
At Puerto de Santa Maria, in Spain, it is very highly 
prized, and the Spaniards say "es buena" in speaking 
of it ; and at Vigo thousands are gathered at every 
tide. The following names are given in Spanish to all 
kinds of Tapes, viz. Almeixas, Almeija, Petchinas, 
Almejas, and Escupina lliza. At Naples it is called 
Vongola verace. 

Other species of Tapes are eaten abroad, besides 
those already mentioned ; and we may add another to 
our edible mollusks, viz. Tapes virginea, which is dis- 
tributed all round our coasts. It varies very much in 
colour, and you may gather a dozen or more specimens 
without finding two that resemble each other. The 

* ' British Conchology,' vol. ii. p. 361. 


brightest I ever found was near Dawlish; it was 
mauve colour, with white streaks. The largest are 
dredged at Tenby. 

In Ireland, at Youghal, in Birterbury Bay, in Con- 
nemara, and in Bantry Bay, Tapes av,rea is said to 
be eaten, but it is not a common species, though 
locally abundant; and in the spring numbers are 
found in the Scilly Isles. At Falmouth, it is brought 
to market with Tapes decussata from Helford, and both 
kinds are called " hens." 

The Spaniards prize the Tapes highly, as I pre- 
viously observed. At Cadiz, shellfish are considered 
good if people drink too much wine, and consequently 
they are often introduced at festas; and no food is 
considered by the Spaniards so nourishing as shellfish 
for those who work hard. 

It is a rule at Spanish tables to hand round white 
wine with shellfish, though with other things they 
use any wine indiscriminately, and the wisdom of this 
custom is proved by experience. Indeed serious 
illnesses are often caused by taking port wine with 
oysters, lobsters, &c. ; the astringent qualities of port, 
having the effect of hardening the shellfish, and some- 
times producing violent indigestion. In Paris not so 
very long ago, we might have read amongst the many 
varied signs, the following, " le vin blanc, hon pour les 
huitres." The following recipes for cooking the Tapes 
are from Cadiz. 

Tapes Soup — Sopa de Almejas. — Wash the shells and 
put them into a saucepan with a little water, then put 
them on the fire for a few minutes to open them. Pick 
the fish out and put them into a clean saucepan, with 
an onion chopped very small, salt, pepper, and butter. 


Fry till they are of a good brown colour, then add 
water or broth, and boil till a strong soup is made. 
If preferred, fresh fish may be added when serving it. 

Tapes decussata. — Ahnejas blancas. — Wash them well, 
dry them, and place them in a saucepan or casserole 
in the oven, which must not be hot enough to burn 
them ; when open, take them out of their shells, and 
place them on a very slow fire, with butter, parsley, 
and a little chopped onion ; when tender, add a little 
flour, pepper and half a glass of white wine. As soon 
as they are ready to serve, add the yolk of an egg, 
well beaten, and the juice of a lemon. 

Tapes, another way —Ahnejas cocidas. — Wash and 
open them as above, add butter and some chopped 
parsley, serve in their own liquor, with the juice of a 
lemon squeezed into it. 

Tapes Rag oid — Almejas guisa das. — After having well 
washed the shells, put them into an earthen vessel, 
with a piece of butter ; when open, pass the liquor 
that runs from them through a sieve, and take the fish 
out of the shells. Place the fish in the liquor, and add 
more butter, mixed with chopped parsley, pepper, and 
salt ; moisten them with broth, white wine, or water ; 
let them boil some minutes, and, when ready to serve, 
add an egg well beaten, some lemon-juice or vinegar. 

Tapes an naturel — Almejas al naturel — Prepare them 
as mentioned in the recipe above, then put the fish in 
a saucepan with their own liquor ; add whole pepper- 
corns and cook them over a very slow fire, shaking them 
about from time to time ; then add lemon-juice and 
shake them again over the fire. Salt to your taste, 
and serve without any other sauce. 

Tapes Sauce — JSalsa de Almejas. — Scald the fish ir» 


boiling water to open their shells, but do not let them 
be heated more than necessary, clean them nicely, and 
mix them with a white sauce, acidulated with lemon- 
juice or vinegar ; use with boiled or fried fish. 

Potage of Oysters and Tapes, — Menestra de Ostras y 
Almejas. — Wash the shells and put them in hot water 
to open them. Take out the fish, and put them in a 
saucepan on the fire with a little water ; chop two 
onions small and fry them in butter ; while stirring 
them about dredge in slowly a little flour; add the 
oysters and Tapes, and the water in which they were 
boiled, stir the whole for a few minutes over the fire, 
then add the yolk of an egg well beaten up. Fry 
slices of bread in butter, and place them at the 
bottom of the dish, pouring the potage over them ; 
then serve. 

Hampshire Method of Cooking Tapes. — Wash the 
shells, then boil them for a few minutes, till the water 
is just on the eve of boiling over. If boiled with 
cockles, the " butterfish " must be placed in the sauce- 
pan a few seconds before the cockles. They are also 
very good eaten raw, like oysters. 

Venus Verrucosa Linnaeus. Warty Venus. — Shell 
opaque, very solid, inequilateral, covered with concen- 
tric ridges which bend backwards, and towards the 
sides or ends become coarser, forming knots or tuber- 
cles. These ridges are divided by fine ribs or furrows, 
which radiate from the beaks, giving them a scalloped 
appearance. Umbones prominent, the beaks small 
and sharp, the lunule distinct and heart-shaped. 
Ligament rather long and narrow. Three teeth in 
each valve; the margins crenulated inside. Colour, 
pale yellowish-brown. 


This coarse, rough-looking shell is found on many 
parts of the coast of the English Channel, also in the 
Channel Islands, and in Ireland. 

Mr. Hanley* states, that at Herm, near Guernsey, 
it is collected as an article of food from the small pools 
between the rocks at low water ; and Dr. J effreys says 
that it is habitually eaten in County Clare, and that 
Weinkauff mentions its being sold in the market at 

It is a common species on the south coast of Ireland, 
and Mr. Damon, of Weymouth, on visiting Henmare, 
found that owing to the great consumption of Venus 
verrucosa for food, the species was nearly exhausted. 
It is dug out of a sandbank at low spring tides, at 
Bantry. M. Charles Bretagne, Member of the Societe 
Imperiale d'Acclimatation, wished to try and pro- 
pagate it on the coasts of France, from Toulon to 
Menton, and the Due de Monaco conceded the right 
to establish banks for the rearing of oysters and la 
Praire, as this Venus is called in France.f The stock 
of the latter would have to be brought from Mahon, 
as it is not found in any quantity on the coast of 
Provence. Dr. Paul Fischer observes that it ought to 
thrive well at Arcachon if cultivated, as it is in- 
digenous there. 

It has several names by which it is known in Spain ; 
viz., Maclo cuadrado, Carneros, Gurrianos y Verigiletos 
Gredas, Escwpinas grabadas, and at Naples, Taratufolo 
and Camadid, and in Sicily, Vongulo. 

The beautiful Venus Ckione, or Cytherea Chione 

* Forbes and Hanley, ( British Mollusca/ vol. i. p. 404. 
t ' Notes sur la Praire,' par M. Charles Bretagne, ' Journal de Con- 
chyliologie/ tome xii. 1864. 


may also be included in our list of " edible mollusea," 
though it is not sufficiently abuudant to forui any 
more than a rare and dainty dish with us ; while in 
the Mediterranean, it is a common species ; and ac- 
cording to Mr. Faber,* it is also abundant in the 
lasroons of Venice, and on the sand-banks of Grado on 
the Austrio-ltalian coast, and the shells are exported 
for miniature painting. 

It is however, found at Hayle, Cornwall, and may 
be gathered at the lowest spring tides. They burrow 
in the sand, and it requires some skill and quickness 
to catch them, as they retire so rapidly. The fisher- 
men called them " cocks " and told me they usually 
cooked them by boiling, but that they did not often 
eat them. I have taken them near the mouth of the 
river Helford, where they appear to be tolerably abun- 
dant; and in that neighbourhood the local name given 
to this species is the Gram. 

I was so fortunate as to procure a dozen beautiful 
specimens from Plymouth, besides those from the 
Helford river ; the largest measuring 2J inches in 
leno-th and 3| in breadth. The colour is a pinkish- 
brown, with rays of a darker shade ; the epidermis is 
of a pale horn-colour, and transparent, showing the 
rays of the shell through, and is very glossy. The 
shell itself is solid and opaque. Specimens sent to 
me from the Mediterranean are the same as those 
found on our coasts, both as to size and colouring ; 
but this is not the case with some of our other 
bivalves, — the Isocardia Cor, for instance, attaining a 
larger size with us, than it does in the south of 

* ' The Fisheries of the Adiiatic,' by George L. Faber. 


Messrs. Forbes and Hanley give the following 
localities for Gytherea chione, viz., Plymouth and Teign- 
tnouth, and Dr. Jeffreys mentions Mount's Bay, and 
other parts of the coast of Cornwall. 

The Neapolitans call it Fasolara, and the Taren tines, 
Gamadia di lima, while in Spain it is called Sauerinas, 
Conchas, and Mariposas.* 

Poli, in his magnificent work, the ' Testacea utri- 
usque Siciliee ' (to which more modern writers are so 
deeply indebted for their anatomical description of 
molluscous animals), mentioning this fish, under the 
names of Venus chione and Callista coccinea, says it is 
most excellent, and that though cooked in various 
ways (common to different shellfish), it is most de- 
licious when simply cooked in oil, or butter, with 
breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, and pepper and salt. 

To cook Venus verrucosa. — Boil them, after first 
washing the shells well to free them from sand and 
mud, then fry them for a few minutes in a frying-pan, 
with a little butter or lard, adding pepper and salt 
according to taste. Fry some parsley quite crisp, and 
serve round the dish. 

Venus Gallina may be mentioned as an edible species 
also, and is very common everywhere on our coasts, 
where there is sand, but although it is not used as 
food with us, it is much eaten in some parts of Italy 
by the poorer classes ; and the name for it at Venice 
is Bibarazza. In Spain, too, it is eaten, and at Mahoii 
is called Escwpina Maltesa. 

Before leaving the Venus tribe of shells, I must call 
attention to an American species, which is now 

* ' Moluscos Marinos de Espafia, Portugal y las Baleares,' por 
J. G. Hidalgo. 



becoming an object of interest to the shellfish growers 
in this country, viz., Venus mercenaria. The experi- 
ment to acclimatize it on the French coast has already 
been tried by M. de Broca, M. Coste, and the Count de 
Ferussac. Breeding-beds were prepared on the coast 
at Arcachon and Saint-Yaast-la-Hogue, and in 18GI 
the steward of the ' Arago ' steamer brought over 
about 200 hard clams, and also some American oysters, 
which were deposited in these beds under the super- 
intendence of M. Coste.* In 1863 another supply of 
live clams was brought over, but Dr. Paul Fischer 
stated, in 1865, that though the mollusks seemed per- 
fectly healthy, they did not appear to have spawned, 
as no young specimens could be found. Mr. F. G. 
Moore, Curator of the Liverpool Museum, describes 
(in a paper given to Professor Brown Goode, and 
quoted at one of the Conferences held at the Inter- 
national Fisheries Exhibition,) the successful introduc- 
tion of the hard clam, or quahog, into the waters of 
St. George's Channel. 

Venus mercenaria is very largely consumed in 
America. The New York supply comes chiefly from 
Long Island. The prices for them are as follows : 
20 cents per dozen, and 75 cents to 1 dollar per 100. 
Like oysters, they bear long journeys well, and can be 
preserved alive for some time by being kept wet and 
cool. The shell is very thick, covered with a drab- 
coloured epidermis, and much resembles, in form, our 
Cyprlna islandica, but it is more triangular. Inside, 
the valves at one end are of a rich purple colour, the 
portion used for making the ' Wampum, as we shall 
read further on. 

* ' Utilization of Minute Life/ by Dr. T. L. Phipsou. 

VEXE1UDJ2. — PULLET. ,'j j 

The following recipes for cooking clams, are from 
America, and will no doubt be acceptable ; especially 
if the experiment of acclimatizing these shellfish on 
our shores should prove successful. 

Clam Soup. — Take 50 clams, 1 quart of milk, 1 pint 
of water, 2 tablespoonfuls of butter. Drain off the 
liquor from the clams, and put it over the fire with a 
dozen whole peppers, a few bits of cayenne pods, half 
a dozen blades of mace, and salt to taste. Let it boil 
for ten minutes, then put in the clams and boil half an 
hour quite fast, keeping the pot closely covered. If 
you dislike to see the whole spices in the tureen, strain 
them out before the clams are added. At the end of 
the half-hour, add the milk, whichh as been heated to 
scalding, not boiling, in another vessel. Boil up again, 
taking care the soup does not burn, and put in the 
butter. Then serve without delay. If you desire a 
thicker soup stir a heaping tablespoonful of rice-flour 
into a little cold milk, and put in with the quart of 

Hard Clam Soup. — Take 50 large or 100 small sand 
clams, and their liquor, from the shells ; strain the 
liquor; add to it a quart of milk and water each; if 
the clams are large, cut each in two and put them into 
it ; set them over a moderate fire until the clams are 
tender (about one hour); skim it clear; put to it half 
a pound of butter crackers rolled fine ; cover the pot 
for ten minutes, then add a quarter of a pound of 
sweet butter, and serve hot.f 

To boil Hard Clams. — Wash the shells until they are 
perfectly clean, then put them into a kettle, with the 

* ' Common Sense in the Household,' by Marion Harland. 
f Mrs. Crowen's ' American Lady's Cookery Book.' 

D 2 ' 


edges downwards; add a pint of water, cover the pot 
and set it over a brisk fire ; when the shells open wide 
they are cooked. Half an hour is generally enough 
for them; if a strong taste to the juice is not liked, 
put more than a pint of water to them When done, 
take the clams from the shells and place them in a 
deep dish; add to them some of the juice, a good bit 
of butter, and some pepper; or toast some thin slices 
of bread, butter them and cut them small, and put 
them in the dish, before putting in the clams and 

Fried Hard- Shell Clams. — Get the large sand clams, 
wash them in their own liquor ; dip them in wheat 
flour or rolled crackers as may be preferred, and fry 
in hot lard or beef dripping, without salt ; or dip each 
one in batter. f 

Omlet of Hard- Skull Clams. — Make a batter of two 
well-beaten eggs, to a pint of milk and a gill of the 
liquor from the clams, with a pint bowl of wheat flour ; 
beat it until it is smooth and perfectly free from 
lumps ; then stir into it fifty small sand clams, or 
twenty-five large ones, chopped small ; have a frying- 
pan, put into it a teacup of lard or bsef fat; make it 
boiling hot, put in the batter half an inch deep, and 
set the pan over a gentle heat until one side is a fine 
brown ; pass a knife-blade round the edges and under 
it occasionally to loosen it from the pan; then turn the 
other side. When both are done, turn it into a dish. 
This quantity of batter will make several omlets. J 

Clam, Pot Pie. — Put two pounds of wheat flour into 
a bowl ; make a hollow in the centre of it ; put into it 
a teaspoonful of salt, and a pint of buttermilk or sour 

* Mrs. Crowen. t Ibid. % Ibid. 


milk; measure a small teaspoonful of dry saleratus 
(volatile salts), mix it with a little hot water; when 
all is dissolved, and a little cooled, add to it the sour 
milk or buttermilk, then proceed to make it into a soft 
dough with as much cold water as may be necessary ; 
dip your hands in dry flour to prevent the dough from 
sticking to them. Rub over the sides of an iron dinner- 
pot with a bit of butter, and line the sides only with 
the paste made in the hands, not more than half an 
inch thick, press it closely against the pot, then put in 
fifty large clams, a quarter of a pound of sweet butter 
cut small, a small teaspoonful of ground pepper 
strewed over, and half a nutmeg, grated, if liked; 
dredge wheat flour over, until it looks white ; put of 
clam juice and water sufficient to nearly reach the top 
of the paste ; lay skewers across, roll out a crust for 
the top, and whatever paste remains, cut into small 
squares, and drop iu before putting on the crust ; 
cut a slit in the centre, cover the pot close and set it 
over a gentle fire for one hour ; then take it up and 
serve as soon as done. The crust becomes heavy by 
standing. This is a dish much liked by those who are 
fond of clams. The paste directed in this recipe is 
delicate and far more healthful than any other.* 

Pickled Clams. — Boil them from the shells, and take 
them out with a skimmer and put them into a basin; 
take of their own liquor half enough to cover over 
them, and the same quantity of strong vinegar. Whole 
pepper, alspice and mace, each a teaspoonful ; make 
this hot and then pour it over the clams. After 
twenty -four hours they are fit for eating, and will keep 
good for a long time. 

* Mrs. Crowen. 


Clam Fritters. — One and a half pints of milk; one 
and a quarter pounds of flour; four eggs, whites and 
yolks beaten separately; whites stirred in lightly at 
the last ; the clams must be chopped small; mix well, 
aud drop with a spoon into hot lard, and fry brown.* 

Scalloped Clams. — Chop the clams fine, and season 
with pepper and salt. Cayenne pepper is thought to 
give a finer flavour than black or white, but to some 
palates it is insufferable. Mix in another dish, some 
powdered cracker, moistened first with warm milk, 
then with the clam liquor, a beaten egg or two, and 
some melted butter. Stir in with this the chopped 
clams. Wash as many clam-shells as the mixture will 
fill, wipe and butter them; fill, heaping up and smooth- 
ing over with a silver knife or teaspoon, range in rows 
in your baking-pan, and cook until nicely browned. 
Or, if you do not care to be troubled with the shells, 
bake in patty-pans, sending to table hot in the tins, as 
you would in the scallop-shells.f 

Clam Chowder. — Fry five or six slices of fat pork 
crisp, and chop to pieces. Sprinkle some of these in 
the bottom of a pot; lay upon them a stratum of 
clams ; sprinkle with cayenne or black pepper and 
salt, and scatter bits of butter profusely over all ; next, 
have a layer of chopped onions, then one of small 
crackers, split and moistened with warm milk. On 
these pour a little of the fat left in the pan after the 
pork is fried, and then comes a new round of pork, 
clams, onions, &c. Proceed in this order until the pot 
is nearly full, then cover with water, and stew slowly 

• ' Every Day's Need.' 

f 'Common Sense in the Household,' by Marion Harlaud. 


— the pot closely covered — for three-quarters of an 
hoar. Drain off all the liquor that will flow freely, 
and, when you have turned the chowder into the 
tureen, return the gravy to the pot. Thicken with 
flour, or, better still, pounded crackers ; add a glass 
of wine, some catsup and spiced sauce; boil up, and 
pour over the contents of the tureen. Send around 
walnut or butternut pickles.* 

At Hong Kong there is a large consumption of 
Cytherea petechialis ; and Cytherea arabica is said by 
Dr. Leon Vaillant to be eaten by the Arabs, and it is 
found in the Bay of Suez.f 


Isocardia Cor, Linnaeus. Heart-Shell or Oxhom- 
Cockle. — Shell very strong, nearly spherical, heart- 
shaped, concentrically striated, equivalve, smooth, with 
a dark reddish-brown epidermis ; beaks very promi- 
nent and curled; two primary teeth in the right valve, 
lying parallel to each other; in the left valve the 
outer tooth is indented and is large, the other, thin 
and laminar. The lateral tooth strong and elongated, 
situated under the ligament, which is external. 

This magnificent mollusk is very partially distri- 
buted, though plentiful in some places. Specimens 
have been sent to me from Dublin Bay, where, I grieve 

* 'Common Sense in the Household,' by Marion Harland. 
+ ' Recherches sur la Faune Malacologique de la baie de Suez.' 
' Journal de Couch.' tome xiii. 1865. 


to say, they are getting very scarce, and also from 
Brixham, where they are highly prized by the fisher- 
men. They do not, however, often bring them on 
shore, though they bring them up in the dredges, 
unless they wish to make a present of a dish to some 
friend, or know where they can dispose of them. 
They call them " Torbay-noses," and they are also 
known by the names of " Oxhorn- cockles," and 
" Heart-shells ;" in France, Coeur de boeuf; in Hol- 
land, Zots-kappen, or fool's cap ; at Naples, Cocciola 
zigga ; and at Venice, Bibaronde mare, and Ghama a 
cuore. Dr. J. G. Jeffreys, quoting an interesting 
account of Isocardia cor, by the Rev. James Bulwer 
(who kept a specimen in a vessel of sea-water, and 
was therefore able to study the habits of the animal), 
given in the ' Zoological Journal/ states, " that the 
animal appears insensible both to sound and light, as 
the presence or absence of either did not interrupt its 
movements ; but its sense of feeling appeared to be 
very delicate ; minute substances being dropped into 
the orifice of the mantle instantly excited the animal, 
and a column of water strongly directed, expelled 
them from the shell. With so much strength was the 
water in some instances ejected that it rose above the 
surface of three inches of superincumbent fluid .... 
Locomotion very confined ; it is capable, with the 
assistance of its foot, which it uses in the same manner 
(but in a much more limited degree) as the Cardiacea, 
of fixing itself firmly in the sand, generally choosing 
to have the umbones covered by it, and the orifices of 
the tubes of the mantle nearly perpendicular.* Rest- 
ing in this position on the margin of a sand-bank of 

* ■ British Conchology/ vol. ii. pp. 300, 801. 


which the surrounding soil is mud, at too great a 
depth to be disturbed by storms, the Isocardia of our 
Irish Sea patiently collects its food from the sur- 
rounding element, assisted in its choice by the current 
it is capable of creating by the alternate opening and 
closing of its valves." 

The Mediterranean species of this bivalve are smaller 
than those found on our coasts, and there are no less 
than five or six kinds known in the European and 
Indian seas.* 

Epimarchus, in his play of the ' Marriage of Hebe/ 
mentions shellfish of all kinds, and says, — 

"And bring too the black 
Cockle, which keeps the cockle-hunter on the stretch. "+ 

This may possibly refer to the oxhorn-cockle. 

The wife of a coastguardsman, who had lived many 
years at Brixham, and had often luxuriated in a dish 
of these delicious shellfish, gave me the following 
recipe for cooking them : — 

To dress Torbay noses. — Wash the shells well, then 
boil them till they open — about ten minutes or so ; 
take the fish out of the shells and put them into a fry- 
ing-pan with some butter, a little salt and pepper, 
and fry till they are of a good brown colour; then 


Caedium Edule, Linnasus. Common Cockle. — Shell 

* ' Manuel de Conchyliologie, 5 par Dr. T. C. Chenu. 
f Athenseus, ' Deip.' Eohn's Class. Lib. iii. p. 112. 


eqnivalve, subcordate, with twenty-four or more ribs 
radiating from the beaks, which are bent inwards ; 
umbones prominent ; the internal margins of the 
valves fluted or indented. Ligament external, strong, 
and of a dark horn-colour. Four teeth in each valve ; 
the two primary teeth close together, the lateral teeth 
remote. Colour yellowish-white. 

The common Cockle (the Ruocane or Bruvawe of the 
Irish ; la Bucarde sourdon, Rigardot, or Coque of the 
French, the Berdigones, Berberichos, Croques, Cameiros, 
Romeas. and Escwpinas de gallet, of the Spaniards) is 
found all round our coasts, burying itself in sand, or 
sandy mud, in the neighbourhood of estuaries ; and at 
low tides numbers of people may be seen busily en- 
gaged filling their baskets, as it is everywhere much 
sought after for food ; and during times of scarcity in 
some of the northern islands of Scotland, the inhabi- 
tants might have perished with hunger, if it had not 
been for this useful little shellfish. The quantity of 
shellfish, particularly of cockles, on the shores of most 
parts of the Long Island (Western Isles) is almost 
inconceivable. On the sands of Barra alone, scores of 
horse-loads may be taken at a single tide. Cockles 
are considered by the people very nutritious, especially 
when boiled with milk.* It is astonishing how quickly 
an expert cockle-gatherer will fill his basket; and 
sometimes they make use of a piece of bent iron, or half 
an old hoop, to scrape the shells out of the sands. 
At Starcross, they have small " cockle-gardens/' 
where the shellfish are kept, and the flavour of these 
cockles is considered superior to those which are 

* * Visits to the Seacoasts : Shipwrecked Mariners,' vol. xii. p. 32, 


found elsewhere. The costume of the women who 
gather them is anything but becoming — large fisher- 
men's boots, their dresses so arranged as to resemble 
verv larsre knickerbockers, and an old hat or hand- 
kerchief on their heads, with their baskets on their 

I am told that some of the Gower people, on the 
north side of the seigniory of Gower (a Flemish colony 
in Glamorganshire), live nine months in the year on 
cockles. They also carry large quantities to Swansea 
market, whence they are sent to London, and indeed 
by rail to all parts of England. 

At Penclawdd tons of cockles are gathered to send 
away, and women do the work. Mr. Wirt Sikes tells 
us, that the sand-banks are lined with the "cockle- 
wives " scraping for cockles, the scraper being made 
from an old reaping-hook. The tide recedes for a 
mile and exposes acres upon acres of sand in which the 
cockles are embedded. Some of the women have 
small carts or donkies with panniers, but the majority 
carry their baskets on their heads. They earn in good 
times, three or four shillings a day. The cockle is 
usually boiled out of its shell, and sold by measure, 
by the itinerant vendors. The cockles are generally 
gathered on Friday for the Swansea market on 

Mr. Baines, in his ( Explorations in South-West 
Africa/ tells us that cockle-shells are greatly prized 
by the Damaras, and if they are rich enough to afford 
it, one is worn in the hair over the centre of the fore- 
head ; and he adds, that if some friend at home would 
invest three-halfpence in these favourite mollusks, and 

* ' Old South Wales,' by Wirt Sikes, p. 243. 


send him the shells after his meal, he might make his 
fortune. In the British Museum a fishing-net is ex- 
hibited, from the Friendly Islands, with cockle-shells 
fastened on to it to sink it, instead of leads. 

Cockle-shells are used as cultch for the oyster spat 
to adhere to; they are thrown on to the breeding 
beds ; and they sow them during the time the oyster 

spat are floating about in the sea Mr. Frank 

Buckland, in his examination before the Select Com- 
mittee on Oyster Fisheries, 1876, adds that "Spat 
are especially fond of cockles, and that the great ad- 
vantage of cockle-shells cultch is, that the oysters will 
grow up in handsome bunches, they can then be 
broken off, and they will grow into proper size and 
shape, and become handsome and fit for market." 

Major Hayes, Inspector of Irish Fisheries, in his 
report on the principal Oyster Fisheries of France, 
made in 1878, noticed at Arcachon, a new form of 
collector for spat, viz., cockle-shells strung closely to- 
gether upon wire, a hole being made in the shell near 
the hinge ; the wire is run through, and when strung 
they are placed at the proper time in situations favour- 
able for catching spat. They are kept about three 
inches above the mud by means of pegs placed at 
intervals, to which the wire is attached, and they ap- 
peared to succeed admirably, as when a long string, 
or chaplet, as it is called at Arcachon, was lifted, every 
shell was covered with young oysters. 

Cockle-shells are also used for making garden 
walks, and good lime is made from them when they 
are calcined. 

Pepys, in his ' Diary/ mentions the care with which 
the ground in the Mall was kept for the game of " Pall 


mall." In 1663, May 15th, he says " I walked in the 
Park (St. James's) discoursing with the keeper of the 
Pall mall, who was sweeping it, and who told me, that 
the earth is mixed that do floor the mall, and that 
over all there is cockle-shells powdered, and spread, to 
keep it fast, which however, in dry weather turns to dust 
and deads the ball. The person who had the care of the 
ground was called the " King's Cockle Strewer." * 

In the heraldry of Prussia, the cockle-shell is used. 
" Barry of four, argent and azure, semee of cockle- 
shells counterchanged, are borne by the Silesian family 
of Von Strachwitz, which has for crest, two wings also 
charged with cockles/'f 

We also find this shell figured on coins. A speci- 
men in the British Museum of the sextans, the sixth 
part of the as, or piece of two ounces, has on one side 
a caduceus, a strigil, and two balls, and on the other, a 

Ossian, in his poem the ' War of Inis-thona/ tells 
us that the king of that island gave a feast to Oscar, 
which lasted three days, and that they " rejoiced in 
the shell," — meaning that they feasted sumptuously 
and drank freely. Again, we meet with the " chief of 
shells," and the " hails of shells." Macpherson calls 
the cockle the "heroes' cup of festivity," being known 
by the name of 8liga-crechin,% or the drinking -shell ; 
and it is also stated that this shell is used in the 
Hebrides for skimming milk.§ This seems, however, 
hardly possible, for the " heroes " would probably not 

* ' London : its Celebrated Characters and Remarkable Places/ 
vol. i. p. 138. 

t Sibmacher's ' Wapenbuch,' Heraldry of Fish, p. 226. 
X In Manx, SMigh, is the name for the cockle. 
§ ' A Book for the Seaside.' 


be content with so small a cup as the little common 
cockle. It must have been some larger shell, and for- 
merly the word " cockle " was applied to any shell : 
besides which, the common cockle could not, from its 
shape, be used for skimming milk, and from its size, 
it would be of little use for that purpose. Moreover, 
we know that the so-called cockle used in the 
Hebrides for that purpose is a Mya, there called the 

The Irish, the South Welsh, and probably others, 
call the whelk (Buccinum undatum) the Goggle, and 
know it by no other name. It is evidently the same 
word, and is more correctly applied, as we shall pre- 
sently see. 

" Cockle" w;is the common name in olden times 
for the escallop of pilgrims, — " he wore the cockle in 
his hat," &c. ; and it is still often used in heraldic 
language. Lydgate, when he says — 

" And as the coclcille, with heavenly dewe 
So ciene 
Of kynde, engendreth white perlis rounde." 

means evidently the oyster, alluding to the old fable of 
pearls being formed by the oyster's rising to the sur- 
lace of the water at the full moon, and opening its 
shell to receive the falling dew-drops, which thus 
hardened into pearls, — an idea which is quaintly de- 
tailed by Robinson, in his ' Essay towards a Natural 
History of Westmoreland and Cumberland ' (1709), 
who, in speaking of the pearls procured from the rivers 
Irt and End, says " Those large shellfish which we call 
horse-mussels, which, gaping eagerly and sucking in 
their dewy streams, conceive and bring forth great 
plenty of them," (the pearls), " which the neighbour- 


hood gather up at low-water, and sell at all prices." 
The natives of India have a similar belief with regard 
to the origin of pearls, viz. that they are congealed 
dewdrops, which Buddha in certain months showers 
upon the earth, when they are caught up by the oysters 
whilst floating on the waters to breathe.* 

The Asiatics have also an idea that the pearls found 
in certain shellfish are produced from drops of rain- 
water, which they imbibe : — 

"Who spread out the earth on the face of the water, 
And tbrm'd precious pearls from the tears of the clouds ! ; 'f 

The natives of Java have a still stranger belief that 
the pearls themselves breed and increase if placed in 
cotton, and they sell what they term "breeding pearls" 
for this purpose, affecting to distinguish the male 
from the female. Those pearls which are clustered 
together in the form of a blackberry, are said by them 
to be thus produced. Nor is this belief peculiar to 
Java, as a Spanish lady informed a friend of mine, 
that, if seed-pearls were shut up in cotton-woo], they 
would increase either in size or in number? The ex- 
perience of our jewellers is, that the effect of cotton- 
wool on pearls is to injure their colour, and make them 
yellow. But it is said to preserve them, if they are 
kept in a box with a piece of the root of ash, or in dry 
magnesia. The tears of Chinese mermaids are said to 
be pearls. J 

Shakespeare says, — 

" Love's feeling is more soft and sensitive 
Than are the horns of cockled snads." 

* ' Household Words/ vol. iii. p. 80. "My Pearl-fishing Expedition." 
*f* Forbes, ' Oriental Memoirs,' vol. iii. p. 180. 
% ' 3 Grange Njies from a Chinese Studio.' 


Here cockled means either shelled or whorled. 

The Greek /co^Xta?, /c6y(\o<;, means a snail, or a shell 
with a spiral whorl (hence the name of " goggle " for 
the Buccinum); bat it is also used sometimes for a 
bivalve shell or " cockle. " K.oy\idpiov is a spoon. 

Camden, in his c Britannia ' (p. 962), in speaking of 
Ireland, and of the commodities of the British Ocean, 
savs, "There are cockles, also in great numbers, with 
which they dye a scarlet colour so strong and fair, 
that neither the heat of the sun nor the violence of the 
rain will change it, and the older it is, the better it 
looks/' Of coarse, the purple-fish (Purpura lapillus) is 
here meant. 

Locke also speaks of the "oyster or cockle." 

The Latin cochlea is properly a snail; but cochlear 
(cochleare, or cochlear ium), " a spoon," or "spoonful," 
seems to be derived from the form of a bivalve shell, 
rather than of a snail ; it was also a measure for 
liquids, and in medicine it still signifies a spoonful, 
hence the Italian cucchiajo, French cuiller. Cochle- 
arium was also used by the Romans for any small shell, 
as in mediaeval times. Some authors, indeed, say the 
spoon was called cochlear, not from its shape, but from 
the pointed end or handle being ased for taking the 
snails (cochlear) oat of their shells and eating them, 
and the broader part for eating eggs, &c. This may 
be doubted, but a spoon could scarcely resemble a 
snail-shell, and Martial says (xiv. 121), u Sum cochleis 
habilis, nee sum minus utilis ovis." 

At the meeting of the Ethnological Society, March 
4th, 1862, Mr. G. W. Earl gave an interesting descrip- 
tion of the singular Malayan shell- mounds, which were 
formed entirely of cockle -si tells. He described them as 


existing in the province of Wellesley, near the Mudah 
river; that they were about five to six miles from the 
sea, situated on sandy ridges that appeared formerly to 
bound the narrow estuaries communicating with the 
ocean. He adds that these mounds of cockle-shells 
are about eighteen to twenty feet high, and that the 
Chinese immigrants have largely employed them as a 
source of lime. These mounds are supposed to be of 
great antiquity, from the fact of the shells being partly 
cemented together by crystallized carbouate of lime, 
the result of the very slow action of atmospheric and 
aqueous influences. At the bottom of one mound 
which contained 20,000 tons of shells, a human pelvis 
was found ; and other remains and stone-implements 
have been obtained from the Chinese lime-burners. 
Mr. Earl attributes the formation of these mounds to 
the Semangs, a diminutive negro race, now sparing] v 
scattered over the surrounding country, but who were 
evidently very numerous and widely spread in former 

In Grey's e Australia/ vol. i.. mention is made of a 
hill of broken shells, which it must have taken cen- 
turies to form, situated between Port George the 
Fourth, and Hanover Bay. " It covered nearly half an 
acre of ground, and in some places was ten feet hi oh ; 
it was situated over a bed of cockles, and was evidently 
formed from the remains of native feasts, as their fire- 
places and the last small heaps of shells were visible 
on the summit of the hill." A similar mound noticed 
near Port Essington, of shells rudely heaped together, 
is supposed to be a burying-place of the Indians. 

At Wigwam Cove, Tierra del Fuego, piles of old 

* • Intellectual Observer,' vol. i. p. 239. 



shells, often amounting to some tons in weight, were 
noticed by Dr. Darwin, which had at different periods 
formed the chief food of the inhabitants.* 

These remind us of the so-called kjokkenmoddings 
(kitchen heaps) of Denmark, or shell-mounds, to which 
the attention of archaeologists has been recently at- 
tracted in Northern Europe, and which consist of 
thousands of shells of the oyster, cockle, and other 
edible mollusks, with implements of stone, such as 
flint knives, hatchets, &c, and implements of bone, 
wood, and horn, with fragments of coarse pottery 
mixed with charcoal and cinders. f 

Quite recently, one of these kjokkenmoddings has 
been discovered at Newhaven, in Sussex, and among 
the objects found were limpet and other shells, with 
bones of animals. J 

In 1863, Sir John Lubbock published, in the 
' Natural History Review/ an account he had received 
from the Rev. G. Gordon, of Scotch kjokkenmoddings 
on the Elginshire coast, resembling those in Denmark. 
Mr. Gordon says, "By far the most striking, if not 
the most ancient, of the kjokkenmoddings we have in 
our vicinity, is that one which lies within a small wood 
on the old margin of the Loch of Spynie, and on a sort 
of promontory formed of those raised shingle beaches 
so well developed in that quarter. This mound, or 
rather two mounds (for there is an intervening portion 
of the ground which has no shells), must have been of 
considerable extent. A rough measurement gives 
eighty by thirty yards for the larger, and twenty-six 

* Darwin, • Voyage of Adventure and Beagle,' vol. iii. p. 234. 
t Sir Charles Lyell's 'Antiquity of Man.' 


by thirty for the smaller portion. The most abundant 
shell is the periwinkle ; next in order as to frequency 
is the oyster, which, as well as those who had it as a 
large item in their bill of fare, has passed away from 
our coasts. Save in some of the nooks of our Firth, 
as at Cromarty, Altirtie, and Avoch, we know not 
where a small dish of them could be procured. As 
third in order, in this mound, is the mussel, and then 
the cockle." 

Mr. Gordon further adds that similar refuse-heaps 
are found all round the shores of the Moray Firth, and 
that the farmers gradually cart them away to serve as 
manure or top dressings. 

These shell-mounds, Sir John Lubbock states, are 
actually called " shelly-meddings " by the fishermen of 
that district. 

Sir Gardner Wilkinson found large masses of cockle- 
shells embedded in the ditches of an old British camp 
or earthwork, called " Nottle Tor," in the seigniory of 
Gower, in Glamorganshire. This camp stands on a 
high rock above the sea, and at some distance from 
any dwelling-house ; the shells are therefore from fish 
eaten by the ancient Britons. 

Cockle, mussel, and oyster shells, are often dis- 
covered in great quantities on the sites of Roman 

In the reign of King John we read of vessels called 
" cogs." They were supposed to be short and of great 
breadth, like a cockle- shell, whence they are said to 
have derived their name. The name "coo-" was 
variously written, viz., kogge, gogga, kogh, cocka, 
coqua, &c. " Cogs " were used for the conveyance of 

E 2 


passengers from England to France, and as coasting 

To make Cockle Soup. — Boil your cockles, pick them 
out of the shells, then wash them and put them into a 
saucepan; take two or three pounds of fresh fish, and 
a cullis, as for crayfish soup, and strain it through a 
sieve, to the thickness of a cream : put a little of it to 
your cockles ; cut off the top of a French roll, take out 
the crumb, and fry it in a little butter, place it in the 
middle of a soup-dish, your bread being soaked with 
some of your cullis ; garnish with a rim of paste, lay 
the cockle-shells round the outside; thicken up the 
cockles with the yolk of an egg as you do a fricassee, 
and put one or two into each shell round the soup ; 
also fill up the loaf in the middle ; the cullis being 
boiling hot, squeeze into it, and on the cockles, a little 
lemon, and serve it up.f 

Francatelli's Cockle Soup. — Scald, drain, beard, and 
wash carefully, four dozen of cockles, reserving their 
liquor in a pan. Put four ounces of butter into a stew- 
pan to barely dissolve over the fire ; mix in four ounces 
of flour, moisten with a pint and a half of good white 
stock or milk ; season with nutmeg, a pinch of cayenne, 
and a teaspoonful of anchovy; add half a pint of 
cream ; stir over the fire for a quarter of an hour's 
gentle boiling, and then, having cut the cockles in 
halves, pour the hot soup over them in the tureen. J 

Cockle Sauce. — Clean cockles thoroughly from all 
particles of sand, put them into a saucepan with the 

* ' Hist, ot the Royal Navy,' by Sir N. H. Nholns, vol. i., note, i>. 128. 
f ' Cooks' and Confectioners' Dictionary,' by Johu iSott. 
1 ' Cook's Guide.' 


liquor and a little water, thicken with, flour and butter, 
adding pepper, salt, a little mace, and some cream. 

S oyer's Porridge of Cockles, oysters or mussels, for 
the poor. They make a most nourishing and palatable 
food, and on the coast a very economical one. — Take 
two dozen oysters, or if you use cockles or mussels, 
take a quart of either, put them into an earthen jar 
with their liquor, and three tablespoonfuls of flour ; 
place it on the fire, and stir them round and round ; 
add a little salt and pepper, and they are done. Eat 
them thus, or add them to soup or porridge. A little 
dripping or lard is an improvement, also a bay-leaf, 
mint, or an onion sliced. 

Scalloped Cockles. — Wash the cockles well, tben 
scald some dozens of them; strain the liquor into a 
stew-pan, and add thereto two ounces of butter, mixed 
with two ounces of flour, a little cream, anchovy, nutmeg, 
and cayenne ; stir the sauce over the fire, to boil and 
reduce, for ten minutes, then add a couple of yolks of 
eggs, a little lemon-juice, and some chopped parsley ; 
add the cockles ; stir all together over the fire for a few 
minutes, and fill some scallop shells with this prepara- 
tion. Cover them over with a thick coating of fried 
bread-crumbs ; place them on a baking-sheet in the 
oven for five minutes, and serve hot.* 

Ragout of Cockles. — Clean your cockles, open them 
and take them out of their shells, toss up some mush- 
rooms in butter, put in your cockles with a bunch of 
sweet herbs, and moisten the whole with half of their 
own liquor, and as much fish-broth ; add some parsley 
shred small, and some pepper ; when ready, thicken 

* Francatelli. 


with a fish cullis, let it be of high relish ; and serve up 

Cockle Pie. — Wash them well, put into a stew-pan 
to open ; then take them out of their shells and par- 
boil them; wash them very clean in the water they 
were boiled in, and a little white wine ; mince them 
small with the yolks of hard-boiled eggs; season with 
salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and squeeze in the juice of 
one or two oranges (Seville are the best) ; put them 
in your dish covered with paste, close them up, and 
bake them ; when baked, liquor with butter, and white 
wine, and garnish with slices of orange, f 

To Stew Cockles. — Clean them and wash them from 
the sand in three or four waters ; boil them and pick 
them out of the shells. To a pint of the fish put 
half-a-pint of fish stock, two ounces of butter, and 
some pepper and salt ; add a spoonful of flour, stirred 
in gradually, and simmer over a slow fire until it is of 
a proper thickness ; add a large spoonful of essence of 
anchovy, and one of mushroom ketchup. J 

To Stew Cockles (A Grower Eecipe). — Wash the 
cockles well and put them in a saucepan on the fire 
to open ; this requires care, as, if they are left on long 
they become very tough ; they should only just be 
warmed enough to make them open. The usual way 
of boiling them until they fall to the bottom saves 
trouble, but spoils the fish. Fry some bacon, then 
take it out of the frying-pan and keep it warm, and 
put a quart of cockles into the fat that flowed out of 
it. Fry the cockles for some time, stirring them 
constantly, but do not brown them much ; then add 

* ' Lady's Companion,' vol. i. t Ibid. 

X Murray's ' Modern Cookery.' 


a tablespoonful of flour mixed in half-a-pint of water, 
or rather more, and a little pepper ; let them stew in 
the frying-pan (shaking it frequently), until the flour 
is set. Serve them as hot as possible, and garnish 
with the bacon, or not, according to taste. 

The natives of the seigniory of Gower cook cockles 
in various ways ; sometimes they fry them with ham. 
They also make excellent pies of cockles with chopped 
chives, a layer of bacon being placed at the bottom of 
the dish ; or they fry the cockles with oatmeal and 
chives, or oatmeal alone ; they also make of them an 
excellent and nutritious soup. 

In Ireland, the common cockles are cooked in their 
shells over the fire, and eaten with oaten cake. The 
shells are separated by twisting them apart, and a 
little butter is put into the shell, which is then placed 
on the turf-fire till the fish inside is fried. 

Mr. Blackburn, in his ' Travelling in Spain in the 
Present Day,' says, that one of the best dishes at 
Seville is composed of rice, pimentoes, cockles (in- 
cluding sand and shells), well boiled in oily gravy. 

Caudium Rusticum, or Tuberculatum, Linnaeus. 
Red-nosed Cockle. — Shell nearly three inches in length, 
and two in breadth ; very solid, subrotund, opaque, 
with twenty-one or more broad ribs which radiate 
from the beaks, with knots or tubercles on them, which 
on the anterior slope are flat, and even wanting in 
young specimens, and on the posterior side are more 
pointed and rugged ; the interstices between the ribs 
coarsely striated. Umbones prominent; beaks in- 
curved. Ligament large, central tooth large, and the 
lateral teeth remote. 

This large, handsome cockle is essentially a Mediter- 


ranean species, and is rare and local iri England. Ifc 
is found on the Devonshire coast, at Paignton, and 
occasionally at Dawlish, and at certain times of the 
year, especially in the spring after a gale from the 
east, numbers may be gathered. On paying a visit to 
the Paignton sands, for the purpose of shell collecting, 
in the spring of 1862, the beach was quite strewn with 
broken single valves of this cockle, and there had 
evidently been quantities of live specimens washed up 
as well, as we met many persons returning home with 
their baskets heavily laden with them. 

Cardium rusticum varies in colour, from nearly white 
to a rich rufous-brown ; sometimes there is a white 
band round the shell, and one of a dark chestnut-brown 
towards the margins. The colouring of the animal is 
most beautiful, the body being of a pink or pale 
vermilion, the mantle yellow or reddish, and the long 
foot of a most brilliant crimson. This foot terminates 
in a hooked point, and when stretched to its utmost 
is nearly four inches in length. It is by means of this 
organ that the cockle can bury itself in the sands, and 
also take those wonderful leaps of which we read in 
Mr. Gosse's interesting work, 'The Aquarium/ and again 
in his ( A Year at the Shore/ where he mentions that a 
specimen was seen to throw itself over the gunwale of a 
boat when laid on the bottom boards. Mr. Gosse 
states, in this latter work, that the mode of leaping is 
performed as follows : — " The long taper foot is thrust 
to its utmost, and feels about for some resisting sur- 
face, a stone, for instance, which it no sooner feels 
than the hooked point is pressed stiffly against it, 
the whole foot, by muscular contraction, is made 
suddenly rigid, and the entire creature, — mantle, 


siphons, shell, and all, is jerked away in an uncouth 

There is another cockle found also at Paignton, 
which is even more scarce than Cardium rusticum, viz. 
Cardium aculeatum ; it is larger and not so solid, with 
long spines on each rib, and is of a pale brownish-pink 
or flesh colour. It is very good to eat. I have had 
splendid specimens sent to me, alive, from Paignton, 
in a jar, with seaweed ; some measuring more than 
three inches in length, and two-and-a-half in breadth, 
and I have taken them myself at Langston Point, near 
Dawlish. The foot of the animal is long, and of a 
reddish-pink, but not nearly so vivid or brilliant in 
colour as that of Cardium rusticum. It is also an 
inhabitant of the Mediterranean. 

Paignton method of Cooking the Red-nosed CocHe. — 
Cleanse them for a few hours in cold spring water, and 
then fry them in a batter made of bread-crumbs.* 

Cockle Soup. — After the cockles have been well 
washed, place them in a stew-pan over a slow fire till 
they open, and then take them out of their shells. 
Put an ounce of butter or lard, some finely-chopped 
parsley, a sliced onion, a little pepper, and a teaspoon- 
ful of anchovy, into a saucepan, with a little flour, and 
fry till it becomes brown. To this add a pint of water, 
or a pint and a half of milk, and when it boils, place 
in your cockles. Let it boil again for half an hour, 
then serve. The cockles being large will require to 
be cut in halves or quarters, previous to their being 
put into the soup ; and the quantity required would 
be about two pounds' weight. 

Pickled Red-noses. — Wash the shells well; then place 
* Forbes and Hanley, ' Brit. Moll.' vol. ii. p. 15. 


them in a saucepan of cold water with some salt in it. 
Let them simmer until the water boils up, when they 
are considered fully cooked ; on no account allow them 
to remain longer on the fire. Take the fish out of the 
shells and wash them in clean water, then sprinkle 
them with a little salt and pepper ; place them in a 
jar, and fill it up with vinegar. The fish thus pickled, 
should keep perfectly for a month. 

In the Bay of Naples, where these cockles abound, 
they are eaten, as we are told by Poli,* either raw, or 
cooked with oil, pepper, salt, herbs, and bread-crumbs. 
They are called Cocciola at Naples, and Cappa tonda at 
Venice; and Major Byng Hallf speaks of cockles 
stewed in oil as being greatly prized by the natives of 
Madrid ; and Cardium rusticum is known in Spain by 
the names of Marolos, Conchas, and Romeus. 


Mytilus Edolis, Linnaeus. Common Mussel. — Shell 
equivalved, wedge-shaped, rather pointed at the beaks. 
In the hinge are three or four tooth-like crenulations. 
Ligament internal, or nearly so, and very strong. Colour 
of the shell a greyish-blue sometimes radiated with 
darker blue. Epidermis olivaceous. 

The mussel is called in Anglo-Saxon, Muscl, Huscel, 
Muscule, Muscla } which names mean that which instantly 
retires on being touched; in Dutch, Mossel; in DaDish, 
Muskd ; in German, Muschel ; in French, Moule, at 

* ' Testacea utriusque Siciliae,' 1795. 
*f- ' Queen's Messenger/ p. 341. 


Bordeaux, Charron (from the village of that name, 
where there is a large mussel trade) ; in Feroese, Kreak- 
lingur ; in Andalusia, Longherone, and in other parts of 
Spain, Mocejones, Mexillones, Muscles, and Musclus. 
The Venetian names for it are Peschio delV arsenale, 
and Pedacchio di mar, and the Neapolitan, Cozza negra, 
or Cozza di Tarento. Mussels are used for food in many 
places, and also for bait, " and on some parts of the 
Northumberland coast the fishermen have made mussel- 
gardens for the preservation of those shellfish ; they 
are formed by piling up stones round certain places on 
the seashore, between tide-marks, and are carefully 
watched by their proprietors.'"* 

M. de Quatrefages, in his interesting work, ' Eambles 
of a Naturalist/ gives an account of the origin and 
development of the mussel-trade on the French coast. 
" An Irishman of the name of Walton was shipwrecked 
on the coast in 1235, near the little village of Esnandes, 
in the Bay of Aiguillon, and was the only person saved 
out of all the crew of the ill-fated vessel. He amply 
repaid the services which had been rendered him ; some 
sheep were saved from the wreck, which he crossed 
with the animals of the country, producing a breed of 
sheep which is still held in high estimation. He in- 
vented a kind of net, the ' allouret/ for catching birds 
which skim the surface of the water at twilight or dark, 
and in order to make these nets thoroughly effective, 
it was necessary to go to the centre of the immense 
bed of mud, where the birds sought their food, and to 
secure a number of poles to support the nets, which 
were between 300 and 400 yards in length. On exa- 
mining these poles, Walton discovered that they were 

* ' A Book for the Seaside,' p. 100. 


covered with mussel spawn. He then increased the 
number of his poles, and after various attempts he 
constructed his first artificial mussel-bed, or bouchot. 
At the level of the lowest tides he drove into the mud 
stakes that were strong enough to resist the force of 
the waves, and placed them in two rows about a yard 
distant from each other. This double line of poles 
formed an angle, whose base was directed towards the 
shore, and whose apex pointed to the sea. This pali- 
sade was roughly fenced in with long branches, and a 
narrow opening having been left at the extremity of 
the angle, wicker-work cases were arranged in such a 
manner as to stop any fishes that were being carried 
back by the retreating tide. It was soon found inex- 
pedient to trust only to the chance of the currents and 
waves that might bring in the young mussels to 
the poles and fences, and men frequently went to a 
very great distance in search of the young mollusks, — 
even as far as the plateau of Chatelaillon." 

M. de Quatrefages further tells us, that the little 
mussels that appear in the spring are called seeds; 
they are scarcely larger than lentils till towards the 
end of May, when they rapidly increase in size, and are 
then called renouvelains, and in July are ready for 
transplanting. They are detached from the bouchots 
which are situated at lowest tide-mark, and are then 
put into pockets or bags made of old nets, " which are 
placed upon the fences that are not quite so far 
advanced into the sea." The young mussels attach 
themselves by means of their byssus all round the 
pockets or bags. As they increase in size and become 
crowded together, they are taken out and distributed 
over other poles lying nearer the shore, and the full- 


grown mussels, which are ready for sale, are planted on 
the houchots nearest the shore. The fishermen gather 
enormous quantities of fresh mussels every day, and 
take them in carts, or on the backs of horses, " to La 
Rochelle, and other places, from whence they are sent 
as far as Tours, Limoges and Bordeaux." 

It appears that the French mussel breeders have 
discovered that mussels which live suspended to piles, 
or ropes of vessels, nets, &c, attain to a larger size, than 
those which live on the bottom, be it sandy, rocky or 
muddy ; they therefore suspend thick ropes to wooden 
piles, and the mussels adhere by their byssus to them, 
the ropes are then tightened a little to prevent the 
animals lying on the bottom.* 

The fishermen of Cherbourg consider that there are 
two distinct varieties of the common mussel, viz., 
Mytilus incurvatus and Mytilus achatinus. The former 
is usually sold under the name of Cayeu, and is much 
esteemed by the consumers of mussels, the flesh being 
more delicate and easier of digestion ; and it is also 
stated, that the shell of this species is never inhabited 
by the Pinnotheres, which is often found in the common 
mussel. The Cayeu is generally to be found on the 
rocks, where it lives rather isolated ; while the common 
mussel is found on the muddy sand. The second 
variety, viz., Mytilus achatinus, is to be met with only 
in the neighbourhood of the " Grand-Vey/' and then 
only at spring-tides. It is much less esteemed as food, 
as it is tougher than Mytilus incurvatus. It is sold at 
Cherbourg under the name of la Blonde, on account of 
its colour. t 

* Phipson's ' Utilization of Minute Life,' pp. 163, 164. 
t ' Essaie d'un Catalogue des Mollutques, marins, terrestres et 
fluviatiles/ par Al. J. A. Mace. 


The British method of renring mussels differs from 
that of the French. By the latter, endeavours are made 
to intercept the spat, as we have already seen, and by 
the former, the young mussels are removed from the 
grounds where they have been deposited, as soon as 
they are sufficiently large, to positions up estuaries, at 
some distance from the sea, where they are uncovered 
at low-water. They grow and fatten by the admixture 
of the fresh- water with the salt-water.* 

The Billingsgate market is chiefly supplied with 
mussels from Holland, the east coast of England, Corn- 
wall, and Devonshire, in August and September ; 
though smaller quantities are received from other parts 
of our coasts, besides those above mentioned. About 
ten or twenty tons' weight arrive at a time, though, of 
course, the quantity varies according to the season, and 
they are sold at Is. a measure. In the evidence given 
before the Fisheries Commission at Exeter, Decem- 
ber 24, 1863, it was stated, that the price of these 
shellfish taken in the estuary at Lympstone, was 
8s. per sack of ten pecks, but that the supply was de- 

Mussel culture is now successfully carried on, on the 
Boston Deep beds. Mr. Frank Buckland stated, in his 
examination before the Select Committee on Oyster 
Fisheries, in 1876, that, since the Lynn and Boston cor- 
porations have taken the beds under their protection, 
the mussels have increased immensely. The average 
value of these shellfish in the Lynn Deep alone, is about 
£3400 a year. There are 16 bags, or 32 bushels, in a 
ton of mussels, and each ton is worth about £1. 

* ' Fish and Fisheries,' edited by David Herbert, M.A. ' Best Means 
of Increasing Mussels,' &c., by J. C. Wilcocks. 


Dr. Knapp informed Messrs. Forbes and Hanley that 
the quantity of mussels consumed in Edinburgh and 
Leith is about 10 bushels per week, " say for forty 
weeks in the year, in all 400 bushels annually. Each 
bushel of mussels, when shelled and freed from all 
refuse, will probably contain from 3 to 4 pints of the 
animals, or about 900 to 1000, according to their size. 
Taking the latter number, there will be consumed, in 
Edinburgh and Leith, about 400,000 mussels. This is 
a mere trifle compared to the enormous number used 
as bait for all sorts of fish, especially haddocks, cod, 
ling, halibut, plaice, skate, &c; and at Newhaven the 
total consumption of mussels for bait may be reckoned 
at 4,320,000 annually. There are nearly as many used 
at Musselburgh, Fisherrow, &c, and other places on 
the Frith of Forth, and we may calculate that 30,000,000 
or 40,000,000 of mussels are used for bait alone by the 
fishermen of that district each year."* 

We learn from Mr. P. Wilson, late Inspector of 
Fisheries at Eyemouth, in Scotland, that in one week 
alone, sixty-one tons of mussels were used for baiting 
the long lines, by the boats from the fishing stations of 
Eyemouth, Burnmouth, and Coldingham, the cost of 
which was about £1 60, the produce in fish from which 
was 25,620 stone, worth £2500.f 

Mussels are considered to be the best bait for salt- 
water fish, and will keep alive two days, when taken 
from the shell, and suspended on a hook in sea- 

The mussel has the power of attaching itself by means 
of its " byssus," to rocks and stones ; and we read that 

* Forbes and Hanley, ' British Mollusca,' vol. ii. pp. 174, 175. 
f 'Molluscs, Mussels, Whelks, &c./ by Charles Harding-. 


the bridge at Bideford, in Devonshire, cannot be kept 
in repair by mortar, owing to the rapidity of the tide. 
"The corporation, therefore, keep boats to bring mussels 
to it, and. the interstices of the bridge are filled by hand 
with these shellfish, and. it is supported, entirely by the 
strong byssus or threads these mussels fix to the 
stonework. ,; * 

This byssus proceeds from a gristly shaft, which, 
Dr. Jeffreys states, appears to support the bundle of 
filaments like the handle of a broom ; and Aristotle 
mentions this shellfish in his list of cartilaginous 

So valuable are mussels towards the protection of the 
shores from the inundations of the sea on some parts 
of our coasts, that it becomes necessary to prevent their 
being gathered in some places (see ' Times/ August 7th, 
1865). An action for trespass was brought some time 
a^o for the purpose of establishing the right of the lord 
of the manor to prevent the inhabitants of Heacham 
from taking mussels from the seashore. The locality 
is the foreshore of the sea, running from Lynn in a 
north-westerly direction towards Hunstanton, Norfolk j 
and " the nature of the shore is such that it requires 
constant attention, and no little expenditure of money, 
to maintain its integrity, and guard against the serious 
danger of inundations of the sea." A large quantity 
of shingle, seaweed, and mussels is always to be seen, 
and beds of mussels extend for miles along the shore, 
and mix with the seaweed and shingle, which get fixed 
on the artificial jetties running into the sea, attaching 
themselves by means of the byssus to these embanking 
defences, thereby rendering them firm, and thus acting 

* ' Glimpses of Ocean Life,' p. 179. 


as barriers against the sea; therefore, while it is im- 
portant for the inhabitants, who claim a right by custom 
to take mussels and other shellfish from the shore, it 
is equally important for the lord of the manor to do his 
utmost to prevent these natural friends of bis embank- 
ments and jetties, from being removed in large quan- 
tities from his part of the shore. 

According to Mr. Frank Buckland, the mussel is a 
great hindrance to the development of oyster-beds. 
" The mussel spat is sent forth, and the young mussels 
fall down upon the oyster-beds, and spin their webs 
over them, like beautiful silk ropes, by means of which 
they hold on to rocks and other things. They accu- 
mulate the mud, and the mud covers the oysters." 

Neumann tells us that calcined mussel-shells make 
strong lime and bind quickly, and that shell-lime is 
generally considered stronger than stone-lime. Mussel- 
shells, when polished, make pretty pincushions and 
needle- books, and at the colourists they are filled with 
gold, silver, and bronze, and sold for heraldic painting 
and illuminating. It was in one of these shells, also, 
in which the witch, in the quaint old story, put to sea 
for the purpose of wrecking her enemy's ships, 

A large species of mussel, called awabi, or awabee, 
is said to be used in Japan as a new year's gift. The 
day is spent in paying respects, visiting, and giving 
presents to friends and relatives, and they mostly con- 
sist of awabi. I believe, however, that it was not a 
mussel that was given as a new year's gift, but the 
large Haliotis yigantea, which is called awabi, by the 
Japanese, as we shall presently see. Awabi, in days of 
yore, were the first sustenance and support of the 
Japanese, as acorns were formerly the primitive diet 


of the inhabitants of Europe, and the awabl is the 
emblem, or rather the memorial, of the frugality of 
their forefathers.* 

There is another purpose for which these shells are 
used, which would astonish the " Truefitts," of the 
present day; for Grey, in his 'Australia/ mentions 
that amongst the contents of a native woman's bag 
was a mussel-shell for cutting the hair. 

There is an interesting account in Captain O'Brien's 
' Adventures during the late War/ of the method of 
fishing for mussels in the Bay of Concepcion. A man 
and woman in a canoe push off from the shore, to a 
certain depth, when the man with a long pole ascer- 
tains the depth of the mussel-bed. This pole, which 
has a sharpened end, is struck into the bed, and 
serves as the anchor or mooring for the boat; the 
woman, with her arms round it, makes it her line of 
descent. With this as a conductor, she slides or slips 
down, and soon reappears with her arms crossed round 
the pole, but with both hands as full as they can hold of 
mussels. Having deposited her handfuls in the canoe, 
she descends again and again six or eight times, until 
her cargo is complete. Upon Captain O'Brien's remon- 
strating with a man for imposing such a dangerous 
duty upon a woman, instead of undergoing it himself, 
he explained to him, that this diving was a privilege of 
the sex, and that no man would dare to be so unmanly 
as to rob a woman of her birthright. These Chilian, 
or Bay of Concepcion belles, sell their produce in the 
market for dresses and finery. 

The usual size of the common mussel is about two 
inches and a half in length, and about half that in 

* ' Ri ligious Ceremonies,' vol. iv. p. 315. 


breadth; but in 1862 I produced two specimens from 
Exmouth, which had been dredged, the largest measur- 
ing five inches in length and two and a half in breadth, 
the other four inches long and one and a quarter 
wide. Large mussels are brought from Padstow, and 
are sold in the Truro market ready boiled for eating, 
and, when cooked, the fish measures quite two iuches 
in length ; the colour is like the yolk of a hard-boiled 
egg and the flesh is very sweet and tender. The shells 
of these, measured four inches in length, and two and 
a half inches in breadth. Though mussels are a valuable 
article of food, and considered wholesome, yet many 
cases of poisoning by mussels have occurred ; but it 
may generally be traced to their having been gathered 
from either the sides of docks, or piers, where there 
are copper bolts or nails, or from ships that are copper- 
bottomed ; or else from the neighbourhood of large 
town sewers, the sewerage water running over the 
rocks on which the mussels grow. In the ( Field/ 
November 15th, 1862, is an interesting account of an 
experiment made on oysters that had become so im- 
pregnated with copper as to be as green as verdigris. 
They were taken from Falmouth harbour. An at- 
tempt was made to extract the copper from them ; 
and, after putting a hundred or more into a large 
crucible, reducing them to ashes, and continuing to 
increase the heat until the copper was melted; the 
produce was a bright bead of pure copper, which, ac- 
cording to the description, would be about the size of a 
large pin's head. Mr. Penwarne, who communicated 
this article to the ' Field/ adds, that the oysters may 
have lain on a lode, or the copper might have accu- 
mulated from the wash of the stamping-mills. This 

f 2 


proves, without doubt, that shellfish cau be impreg- 
nated with copper or other poisonous substances, 
which probably would affect those who ate them. 
Some persons consider that mussels are* unwholesome 
if a small species of crab (Pinnotheres pisum, or 
Pinnotheres veterum), which is sometimes found in 
their shells, is not carefully taken out ; others, that 
they are only fit for food in the winter months ; and 
by some on account of their feeding on the spawn of 
the star-fish, which is poisonous.* It is said that if a 
silver spoon is boiled with the mussels, and it turns 
black, it proves that they are poisonous, and not fit to 
be eaten. But, whatever may be the cause of the 
wholesale poisoning by these shellfish, they have been 
the means of saving many poor from starvation in times 
of scarcity. Mr. Patterson, of Belfast, in his ' Intro- 
duction to Zoology/ mentions having been informed 
by an old inhabitant of Holywood, near the above- 
mentioned town, that in 1792, or 1793, there was a 
great drought prevailing, which caused much distress, 
and that in the month of June or July, twenty poor 
families from the interior of the country encamped on 
the roadside, near the beach to the west of Holywood, 
remaining there about five weeks, subsisting partly 
on such vegetable matter as they could pick up about 
the hedgerows and fences, but principally upon 
the mussels which are so abundant on the extensive 
mud-banks of the neighbouring coast. No instance 
of disease from this diet occurred, and during that 
summer the poorer classes in the village appeared 
quite as healthy as in other years, though mussels 
formed their chief food. 

* ' British Conchology,' vol. i'i. p. 109. 


Some of the natives inhabiting the Patagoniati 
Channels between the Gulf of Penas and Smyth's 
Channels, live the greater part of the year almost 
entirely on mussels and limpets, varied occasionally 
by the capture of a seal or small otter.* 

Athena3us says that mussels are moderately nutri- 
tious and digestible, the best being the Ephesian kind, 
which are particularly good when taken about the end 
of autumn (vol. i. p. 150). 

In the Feroe Isles, the large horse-mussel, Mytilus 
modiolus is eaten, and they call it in Feroese Ova. Mr. 
Alder tells us that at Rothesay they are collected for 
food f (though not so delicate as Mytilus edulis), and 
in the Shetland Isles for bait, where they are known 
by the name of Yoags. They are also eaten in the 
north of Ireland, but not considered very good, on 
account of their strong scent and flavour; but they 
are capital bait for cod. In Labrador the bait gene- 
rally used at the commencement of the cod-fishing 
season, viz., in May and June, consists of mussels 
salted for the purpose ; but as soon as the capelings 
(Mallofus villosus) reach the coast, they are sub- 
stituted, to save expense ; and in many instances the 
flesh of gannets and other sea fowl is employed. J 

At Tenby, they call Mytilus modiolus the poisonous 
mussel, and affirm that no one ever ventures to 
eat it. 

Pearls are occasionally found in the common mussel, 
and also in the oyster, scallop, cockle, periwinkle, and 

* ' Cruise of the Alert/ p. 48. 

+ Forbes aud Hanley, ' Brit. Mollusca/ vol. ii. p. 185. 
J ' Life and Adventures of John James Audubon,' edited by R. Bu- 
chanan, p. 246, chap. xlii. 


pinna; but they are generally inferior ia size and 
quality to those of the freshwater pearl-mussel, Unio 
margaritiferus ; and Mr. Beckman, in his ' History of 
Inventions/ states that real pearls are found under 
the shield of the sea-hare (Aplysia), as has been ob- 
served by Bohadsch, in his book ' De Animalibus 
Marinis ' (Dresdas, 1761). Our Scotch pearl-fishery 
has, within the last few years, been revived, and in 
1860 Mr. Moritz Unger, a foreigner, on making a tour 
through the districts where the pearl-mussel abounds, 
found that the pearl-fishing was not altogether for- 
gotten, many of the people having pearls in their pos- 
session, of which they did not know the value. He 
purchased all he could obtain ; consequently, in the 
following year, many persons devoted their spare time 
to pearl-fishing, and during the summer months made 
as much as £8 to £10 weekly. The summer of 1862 
was most favourable for fishing, owing to the dryness 
of the season, and the average price was from £2 6s. 
to 10s. ; £5 being a high price. They now fetch prices 
varying from £5 to £20. The Queen purchased one 
Scotch pearl for 40 guineas; others at high prices 
have been bought by the Empress of the French and 
the Duchess of Hamilton, and Mr. Unger had a neck- 
lace of these pearls valued at £350.* In 1867, at the 
September meeting of the ' Perthshire Society of 
Natural Science/ attention was called to the pro- 
bability of the ultimate extinction of the pearl-mussel 
Unio margaritiferus in the rivers near Perth, owing to 
the quantities destroyed in search of pearls, thousands 
of shells being left on the banks of the rivers where 

* The ' Times/ December 24, 1863. 


the pearl-fishers had pursued their searches.* These 
mussels are found in Lochs Earn, Tay, Rannoch, and 
Lubnaig, and in the Don, the Leith, and in many of 
the other Scotch streams; also in some of the Welsh 
rivers, from whence I have received fine specimens ; in 
Ireland, near Enniskillen, and in the river Bann, which 
is noted for its fine pearls. 

Sir Robert Redding, in a letter dated Dublin, 
October 13th, 1688, — as quoted by Dr. Boate in his 
' Natural History of Ireland/ — says " that there are 
four rivers in the county of Tyrone abounding with 
pearl-mussels, all emptying themselves into Lough 
Foyle, whereon stands the town of Derry. There are 
also other rivers in the county of Dunnagall, a river 
near Dundalk, the Shure, running to Waterford .... 
And no doubt there may be many more that I do not 
know ; all these places are at the feet of very great 
mountains. The manner of pearl-fishing is not extra- 
ordinary, the poor people, in the warm months, before 
harvest is ripe, whilst the rivers are low and clear, go 
into the water, some with their toes, some with wooden 
tongs, and some by putting a sharpened stick into the 
opening of the shell, take them up ; and although by 
common estimate not above one shell in a hundred 
may have a pearl, and of those pearls not above one 
in a hundred be tolerably clear, yet a vast number of 
fair merchantable pearls, and too good for the apothe- 
cary, are offered for sale by those people every 
summer assize. Some gentlemen of the country make 
good advantage thereof, and myself, whilst there, saw 
one pearl bought for 50*., that weighed 36 carats, and 
valued at £40." 

* * Naturalist's Circular,' No. 17, October, 1867. 


The penrl-inussels are collected in the same manner 
now, viz., by wading for them in shallow pools, or by 
thrusting a long stick between the valves when the 
shell is open. When a number have been collected 
they are left to decompose, when the pearls drop out.* 
They may also be found in Kerry, in the Moy, near 
Foxford, and in many of the other Irish rivers; and 
Mr. Buckland stated in the ' Field/ December 10th, 
1864, that they abound near Oughterard, and that a 
man called u Jemmy the Pearl-catcher" told him he 
knew when a mussel had a pearl in it, without re- 
quiring to open it first, because " she (the mussel) sits 
upright with her mouth in the mud, and her back is 
crooked/' that is, it is corrugated like a cow's horn. 
Bruce, in his l Travels/ observes that the pearl-fishers 
of Bahrein informed him that they had no expectation 
of finding a pearl when the shell was smooth and per- 
fect, but were sure to find some when the shell was 
distorted, and deformed ; and he adds that this applies 
equally to the Scotch pearl-mussels. In France they 
also collect pearls from the pearl-mussels, and they 
generally sell them as foreign pearls. At Omagh, in 
the north of Ireland, there was formerly a pearl-fishery, 
and Gilbert, Bishop of Limerick, about 1094, sent a 
present of Irish pearls to Anselm, Archbishop of 
Canterbury. Pearls were much used in Irish religious 
ornaments in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 
Scotch pearls were in demand abroad as early as the 
twelfth century. In the fourteenth century (1355) 
Scotch pearls are referred to in a statute of the 
Parisian goldsmiths, by which it was enacted that no 
worker in gold or silver should set them with oriental 

* * Tour iu Ulster.' 


pearls, except in large ornaments or jewels for churches. 
In the reign of Charles L, the Scotch pearl trade was 
considered of sufficient importance to be worthy of the 
attentiou of Parliament.* 

John Spruel in ' An Accompt Current betwixt Scot- 
land and England,' Edinburgh, 1705, says, "If a Scotch 
pearl be of a fine transparent colour, and perfectly 
round, and of any great bigness, it may be worth 15, 
20, 30, 40 to 50 rix-dollars, yea, I have given 100 rix- 
dollars (£16 9s. 2d.) for one, but that is rarely to get 

such I have dealt in pearl these forty years 

and more, and yet to this day 1 could never sell a 
necklace of fine Scots pearl in Scotland ; nor yet fine 
pendants, the generality seeking for oriental pearls, 
because further fetcht. At this very day I can show 
some of our own Scots pearl, as fine, more hard and 
transparent than any oriental. It is true that the 
oriental can be easier matcht because they are all of a 
yellow water; yet foreigners covet Scots pearl. 
Suetonius says that the great motive of Caesar's 
coming to Britain was to obtain its pearls, and states 
that they were so large that he used to try the weight 
of them by his hand, and dedicated a breastplate made 
of them to Venus Genetrix.f 

Oriental pearls are found in the Meleagrina margari- 
tifera, or pearl-oyster, which belongs to the family 

The common freshwater JJnio [JJnio tumidus), and 
also JJnio pidorum, both produce pearls, but they are 
generally small, and of a bad colour; sometimes I 

* ' The Scotch Pearl Fishery ' (' The Wesleyan and Methodist Maga- 
zine,' January, 1865, from the ' Times' and the ' Scotsman'). 
f Camden's ' Britannia,' p. 962. 


have found several in one shell, and again, I have 
opened many, and not been successful. 

A species of freshwater mussel, Anodonta ci/gnea, is 
said to be eaten in the county of Leitrim by the 
peasantry, and Unionidce are eaten in the south of 
Europe, either roasted in their shells and drenched 
with oil, or covered with bread-crumbs, and scalloped ; 
and, according to Dr. Wilhelm Gottlob Rosenhauer, 
Unio Hequienii, and TJnio litoralis, which are found near 
Granada, in the river Jenil, are often brought to the 
market; but when the fish are taken out of their shells 
and cooked, they are described as very tough food. 
Anodontce and TJnionidce (Anodontes et Mulettes), are 
employed by the fishermen in the neighbourhood of 
Nantes for bait;* and I have occasionally used Dreis- 
sena polymorpha, for the same purpose, which seemed 
to be greatly appreciated by the fish in the pond where 
I was fishing, as they greedily sucked off the bait as 
fast as it was put on the hook. The Dreissence were 
brought from the canal at Sawley, Leicestershire, and 
turned into the ponds, where they have thriven 
wonderfully, and are the favourite food of water-rats, 
if one may judge from the number of empty shells 
deposited on the banks, amongst the rushes, in small 
heaps sometimes two or three inches deep. In some 
countries the shells of the large Anodontce are used for 
skimming milk. In China, in the province of Nanking, 
Anodonta edulis (Heude) is said by M. R. P. Heude to 
be cultivated in the large canals of Song-kiang-fou for 
eating purposes/]- and in the Chinese market atTa-kou 
Anodontce are brought in basketfuls from the Pei-ho 

* ' Catalogue des Radiaires,' etc., par Frederic Cailliaud, de Nantes, 
f ■ Diagnoses Molluscoruin in fluminibus provinciae Nankingensis 


river and sold as food.* The valves of TJnio ttentsi- 
nensts, the Ko-fen of the Chinese, are used by them 
as a powder in medicine, and occasionally as one of the 
ingredients in pills, as a substitute for pearls.f 

The pearl-mussels Dipsa plicatus, and the Alasmo- 
dontcp, both belonging to the family Unionidce, are used 
for the artificial production of pearls in China. The 
art of artificial pearl-making is of great antiquity. 
The Chinese attribute it to a native of Hutchefu, 
named Ye-jin-Yang, who lived in the thirteenth cen- 
tury. His memory is still honoured by those who 
practise the art, and there is a temple especially 
dedicated to him. There is a large manufactory of 
these artificial pearls in the neighbourhood of Canton, 
and at Hutchefu, near the river Ning-Po. In the 
months of April and May the Dipsas, and Alasmodontce, 
are furnished with matrices of metal, placed between 
the shell and the mantle of the fish. In one year they 
are incrustated with the nacre; but sometimes they are 
left longer to obtain a thicker coating. Thus are pro- 
duced the little figures of idols with which the Chinese 
ornament their hats and caps. J The valves of Dipsa 
plicatus are used also for weighing grains of rice, &c. 

In the north-western part of Australia, a freshwater 
mussel forms a staple article of food, while in the 
south-western part of the continent the natives will 
not touch them, but regard them with a superstitious 

Collectorum,' auctore, R. P. Heude, S. J. 'Journal de Conchyliologie,' 
tome xxii. 1874. 

* ' Notice sur la Malacologie de quelques points du littoral de 
l'Einpire Chinois,' par Odon Desbeaux, ' Journal de Conch.' 

+ ' Essai sur la Pharinacie et la Matiere Medicale des Chinois,' par 
J. O. Desbeaux. 

X ' Journal de Conchyliologie,' P. Fischer, tome xiii. 1865. 


dread and abhorrence. In Grey's f Australia J he gives 
an account of a native, Kaiber by name, whom he 
ordered to gather some of these shellfish for food, as 
they were nearly dying from hunger; but the man 
steadfastly refused, as he affirmed that by touching 
them, the native sorcerer, or " Boyl-yas," would ac- 
quire a mysterious influence over him, which would end 
in his death. At last, however, he was ordered to 
bring some instantly, as Mr. Grey intended eating 
them. After thinking for a moment or so, Kaiber 
walked away for this purpose, but bitterly lamented 
his fate whilst occupied with his task. It was true, 
he said, he had not died of hunger or thirst, but this 
was all owing to his courage and strong sinews ; yet, 
what would these avail against the supernatural powers 
of the Boyl-yas. " They will eat me at night, whilst 
worn-out by fatigue I must sleep." However, the 
mussels were brought, and Mr. Grey made a meal of 
them * It is not only of late years that Mytilus edulis 
has been thought worthy to grace our table, for in 
1390 we have the following recipes given in a " role " 
of ancient English cookery, compiled by the master 
cooks of King Richard II., called the l Forme of 
Oury :'- 

" Muskels in breivet (broth), 122. — Take muskels 
(mussels), pyke them, seeth hem with the own broth 
(in their own liquor). Make a lyor (mixture) of 
crustes (i.e. of brede) and vinegar; do in onyons 
inynced, and cast the muskels thereto, and seeth it, 
and do thereto powder, with a lytel salt and safron. 
The samewise make of oysters. 

ie Caw del of 3/uslcels, 124. — Take and seeth muskels, 

* • Australia,' vol. ii. pp. 84, 85. 


pyke (pick) hem clene and waishe hem clene in wyne. 
Take almandes and bray hem. Take some of the 
muskels and grynde hem, and some hewe small. Draw 
(mix up) the muskels yground (that are ground) with 
the self (same) broth. Wryng the almandes with 
faire (clean) water. Do all this togider. Do thereto 
verjous (verjuice) and vinegar. Take whyte of lekes, 
and parboil hem wel. Wryng out the water, and hew 
hem small. Cast oile thereto, with onyons parboiled, 
and minced small. Do thereto powder, fort, safron, 
and salt; a lytel seeth it, not to stondyng (too thick), 
and messe it forth."* 

Soyer's Recipe for Cooking Mussels. — Take three 
dozen mussels, wash them and place in a stew-pan over 
the fire for ten minutes, to open the shell (sometimes 
a small crab will be found in them, which remove, as 
they are rather unwholesome); replace them with their 
liquor, and bottom shell, in the pan ; add a spoonful of 
flour, mixed with some butter or lard, and a spoonful 
of chopped parsley ; stir it, and stew for five minutes, 
and serve. If required in large quantities, take the 
large boiler, put therein four pounds of lard or butter 
and four pounds of sliced onions ; fry for five minutes. 
Have ready two pailfuls of mussels out of the shell, 
and in their liquor, which put in the boiler with one 
pound of salt, two ounces of pepper, two ounces of 
sugar, two pounds of chopped parsley, and two pounds 
of flour, mixed with water to the thickness of good 
cream ; boil ten or fifteen minutes, stir it gently with 
a wooden spatula, and serve. If not required maigre, 
use instead of water, the same quantity of boiliDg 

* 'Autiquitates Cuiinarise,' by the Rev. Richard Warner, p. 23. 


stock mixed with flour; a flavour of herbs may be 
given if liked, and bits of meat added to it. 

Mussel Soup. — Take the liquor that flows from the 
mussels when open on the fire, and strain it through a 
fine napkin ; put it into some good broth ; add the 
yolks of six eggs beat up with it, thicken it over the 
fire, and put it into your soup when ready to serve, 
arranging the mussels round the dish.* 

Mussel Soup with Crawfish. — Take a hundred mus- 
sels, wash them very clean, put them into a stew-pan, 
cover them close. Let them stew till open, then take 
them out of their shells, strain the liquor through a 
fine sieve over the mussels. Take a dozen crawfish, 
pound them up with a dozen of almonds blanched and 
beat fine ; then take a small parsnip, and a carrot 
scraped and cut into thin slices ; fry them brown, 
with a little butter. Take two pounds of any fresh 
fish, and boil in a gallon of water, with a bundle of 
sweet herbs, a large onion stuck with cloves, whole 
pepper, black and white, a little parsley, a small piece 
of horseradish, and salt the mussel liquor, the crawfish 
and the almonds. Let this boil till half is wasted, 
then strain it through a sieve, put the soup into a 
saucepan, with twenty of the mussels, a few mushrooms 
and truffles cut small, and a leek cut very small. Take 
two French rolls, take out the crumb and fry it brown, 
cut it into little pieces, put it into the soup, and let 
it boil altogether for a quarter of an hour, with the 
fried carrot and parsnip. In the meantime take the 
crust of the rolls fried crisp, half a hundred of the 
mussels, a quarter of a pound of butter, a spoonful of 
water, and shake in a little flour, then set this on the 

* ' French Family Cook.' 


fire, keeping the saucepan shaking all the time till the 
butter is melted. Season with pepper and salt ; beat 
the yolks of the eggs and put them in, stir all the 
time for fear of curdling, add a little grated nutmeg. 
When it is thick and fine, fill the rolls, pour your soup 
into the dish, place in the rolls, and lay the rest of the 
mussels round the rim of the dish.* 

Mussels a la Poulette. — Take two quarts of mussels 
— the smallest are the most delicate; scrape the shells 
carefully, with a knife, and wash in water, changed 
several times, till perfectly free from grit. Put one 
quart of the mussels in a saute-pan, with a sliced 
onion, four ounces, a few sprigs of parsley, say one 
ounce, two pinches of salt, two small pinches of pepper, 
one pint of French white wine. Cover the saute-pan ; 
put it on the fire, and toss the mussels occasionally ; 
when the shells open the mussels are done, then take 
them out of the saute-pan, and take off one shell. 
Put the second quart on the fire, and cook them in 
the same way. It is advisable to cook only half the 
quantity at a time, as the mussels would not be done 
evenly, if too many were put in the pan at once. 
Be careful not to let them be overdone, as this 
would shrink and harden them, and impair their 

Strain the liquor into a basin ; put into a stew-pan 
one ounce of butter, and one ounce of flour ; stir over the 
fire for three minutes ; mix the liquor, and add enough 
water to produce a pint of sauce ; thicken it with 
two yolks of eggs and half an ounce of butter, add one 
tablespoonful of chopped parsley. Dip the mussels in 
plenty of hot water; drain them well, and wipe them. 

* ' The Art of Cookery made Plain arid Easy.' 


Serve the mussels in their shells, pouring the sauce 
over them."* 

Mussels a la Mariniere. — Prepare and cook the 
mussels as in the preceding- recipe, putting, however, 
half a pint more wine for boiling them ; that is, a pint 
and a half instead of one pint. When the mussels are 
done, strain the liquor through a pointed gravy 
strainer, into a stew-pan; boil it, and add three ounces 
of butter, and a tablespoonful of chopped parsley; take 
off the fire, and stir till the butter is melted ; drain 
and wipe the mussels ; put them on a dish, in their 
shells, pour the sauce over them, and serve ; — half an 
ounce of well washed and chopped shalot can also be 
added to the sauce, if the flavour is not objected to.f 

Mussel Sauce. — Cleanse, beard, wash, and blanch or 
parboil two quarts of mussels, take all the white fat 
mussels out of their shells, and place in a bain-marie, 
reserving their liquor in a basin. Then knead four 
ounces of butter with two ounces of flour, some nutmeg, 
pepper, and salt, add the liquor from the mussels, a piece 
of glaze, and half a pint of cream ; stir the whole on 
the stove fire till it boils, and keep it boiling for ten 
minutes, then add a season of four yolks of eggs, and 
pass through a tammy on the mussels ; just before 
sending the sauce to table, throw in a tablespoonful 
of chopped and blanched parsley, and a little lemon- 
juice. This sauce is well adapted for boiled whitings, 
turbot, cod, haddock, and gurnet. J 

To dress Mussels. — After having well washed and 
scraped their shells, drain them, and put them to dry 
in a stew-pan over a good fire, letting them remain 

* ' The Royal Cookery Book,' by Jules Gouffe. t Ibid. 

X Francatelh 3 ' Aloderu Cook.' 


till the heat opens them. Then take them out of the 
shells one by one, being careful to pick off the beards 
where you find any, and put them into a stew-pan, 
with a bit of butter, parsley, and scallions, shred 
small ; shake them over the fire, and put a little flour, 
moistening them with broth ; when the sauce is con- 
sumed, put in the yolks of three eggs, beat up with 
cream, thicken it over the fire, and afterwards add a 
dash of verjuice (or lemon) .* 

Mussel Fritters. — Take them out of their shells, and 
steep them two hours in a quart of vinegar, some 
water, and a little butter, rolled in flour, with salt, 
pepper, parsley, scallions, tarragon, garlic, a little 
carrot and parsnip, thyme, laurel, and basil ; the whole 
make lukewarm, then take out your mussels, dry, and 
dip them in a batter made with flour, white wine, and 
a spoonful of oil, and salt and fry them.t 

Mussels Fried. — Put them into a saucepan, in which 
there is as much boiling water as will cover them ; 
when they are open, take them out and beard them ; 
wash them in warm water, wipe them dry and flour 
them ; fry them crisp, dish them up with butter 
beaten up with the juice of lemon; fry some parsley 
crisp and green, and throw it over them. J 

To Slew Mussels.— Clean them and wash them from 
the sand, in two or three waters ; put them into a 
stew-p in, cover them close, and let them stew till all 
the shells are opened ; then take them out one by one, 
and to a quart of mussels put a pint of liquor and a 
quarter of a pound of butter, rolled in a little flour; 
when they are done enough, have some crumbs of 

* 'French Family Cook.' f Idem. 

£ Salmon's ' Family Dictionary.' 



bread ready, and cover the bottom of your dish thick ; 
grate half a nutmeg over them, and pour the mussels 
and sauce all over the crumbs, and send them to 

Mussel Pie. — Make a good paste, lay it all over the 
dish ; wash your mussels clean in several waters, then 
put them into a stew-pan, cover them, and let them 
stew till they open ; pick them out, and see that there 
be no crabs under the tongue ; put them into a sauce- 
pan, with two or three blades of mace, strain the 
liquor just enough to cover them, add a good piece of 
butter, and a few crumbs of bread ; stew them a few 
minutes ; fill your pie, cover it, and bake for half an 

To Pickle Mussels. — Take fresh mussels, wash them 
very clean, and put them in a pot over the fire till 
they open. Then take them out of their shells, pick 
them clean, and lay them to cool. Then put their 
liquor to some vinegar, whole pepper, ginger sliced 
thin, and mace, setting it over the fire; when it is 
scalding hot, put in the mussels, and let them stew a 
little ; then pour out the pickle from them, and when 
both are cold, put them into an earthen jug (jar ?) and 
cork it up close; in two or three days they will be fit 
to eat. J 

Mussels dressed a la Provencale. — Wash the mussels 
well several times, changing the water so as to cleanse 
them thoroughly ; put them to dry in a saucepan over 
a hot fire, till the shells open. Take off one valve of 
the shell only. Put into a saucepan half a glass of 
oil, parsley, chives, mushrooms, truffles, half a clove of 

* 'The Lady's Companion,' vol. i. p. 149. t Ibid 

J 'The Complete Cook,' by James Jenks, 1718. 


garlic, all chopped very fine. Put it on the fire ; 
moisten it with a glass of white wine, a spoonful of 
broth, and half the quantity of liquor from the 
mussels. Boil this sauce, and when it is nearly 
reduced to half, add the mussels, with a spoonful of 
gravy ; let the whole boil a few minutes ; then add a 
spoonful of lemon-juice, pepper, and grated nutmeg, 
then serve.* 

Francatelli's Recipe for Scalloped Mussels. — Scald 
and beard some dozen mussels ; strain the liquor into a 
stew-pan, and add thereto two ounces of butter, mixed 
or kneaded with two ounces of flour ; a little cream, 
anchovy, nutmeg, and cayenne ; stir the sauce over the 
fire to boil and reduce for ten minutes, then add a 
coupleof yolksof eggs,a little lemon-juice, somechopped 
parsley, and add the mussels. Stir all together over 
the fire for a few minutes, and fill some scallop-shells 
with this preparation ; cover them over with a thick 
coating of fried bread-crumbs, place them on a baking- 
sheet in the oven for a few minutes, and serve them 
quite hot. They may also be served upon neatly- 
shaped pieces of dry toast. 

A Ragout of Mussels. — When the mussels are well 
cleaned, stew them without water till they open, take 
them from the shells, save the liquor ; put into a stew- 
pan a piece of butter, with a few chopped mushrooms, 
a little parsley, and a little grated lemon-peel ; stir 
this ; put in some good gravy, with pepper and salt ; 
thicken this with a little flour ; boil it up, put in the 
mussels with some liquor, and serve hot.f 

* • Dictionnaire General de la Cuisiue Francaise, Ancienne et Mo- 

f ' The Lady's Assistant.' 

G 2 


Another Ragout of Mussels. — Cleanse some mussels, 
and put them into a stew-pan on a stove,, till they open. 
Take them out of their shells, and keep their liquor ; 
then blanch them in butter. Put some mushrooms in 
a stew-pan, with a bunch of sweet herbs, and pepper ; 
some veal gravy to moisten the whole; then stew it 
on a slow fire. Your sauce being done, take off the 
fat, and thicken it with cullis of veal and ham ; then 
put in your mussels with some of their own liquor, 
and let it do slowly, taking care that it does not boil ; 
let it be relishing, and serve it up hot for a dainty 

To Boil Mussels (Truro recipe). — Place them in a 
saucepan with very little water, as their own liquor 
helps to boil them. As soon as the shells open take 
out the fish, and wash them in a small quantity of 
cold water (about a pint), with a lump of salt about 
the size of a halfpenny. Open them and take out 
the little crab if there is one, and cut out the hard 

Cullis of Mussels. — Stew them, and strain them ; 
fry carrots, parsnips, parsley, basil, lemon, crumbs, a 
dozen almonds ; moisten them with broth ; strain and 
keep the broth for use. 

Mussels may be served in the shells, after having 
been boiled, as many persons prefer to pick the fish 
out themselves, and eat them with cold butter. 

The Neapolitans, as mentioned by Poli, eat mussels 
raw and fried, besides making patties and sauces of 

('hilian Method of cooking Shell-fish. — A. hole is dug 
in the ground, in which large smooth stones are laid, 
* ' The Lady's Companion.' 


and upon them a fire is kindled. When they are suffi- 
ciently heated, the ashes are cleared away, and shell- 
fish are heaped upon the stones, and covered first with 
leaves or straw, and then with earth. The fish thus 
baked are exceedingly good and tender, and this mode 
of cooking them is very superior to any other, as they 
retain within the shell, all their own juiciness."* Meat 
dressed in the same manner is most delicious. 

Lithodomus lithophagus, a Mediterranean species, 
which also belongs to the "Mytilidas," is generally eaten 
in Spain, and is called Datil de mar. It is also much 
esteemed as food on the eastern shores of the Adriatic, 
and the Italian names for it are Dattolo di pietra 
and Dattolo di mar.f Area Noe, Area barbata, and a 
species of Pectunlulus are eaten in Italy and Spain. 


Pinna Pectinata Linnaeus. Sea-iving. — Shell 
wedge-shaped, gaping at one end, and tapering to a 
point at the other, equivalve, horn-colour; hinge, tooth- 
less, straight, and long ; ligament, linear, strong and 
elastic and internal, sometimes smooth, and at others 
with delicate ribs which radiate from the beaks, which 
are straight and pointed. 

The Pinna is the largest of our British bivalves, 
and specimens are found twelve inches long and seven 
broad at the gaping end. Many pairs of this shell were 

* Kiug's ' Adventures of the Beagle,' vol. i. p. 291. 
t Faber's ' Fisheries of the Adriatic.' 


found in the spring of 1862 on the beach at Dawlish, 
some of them with the fish still alive in them ; but they 
were all small, the size of the one figured. Other 
localities mentioned by Forbes and Hanley are Salcomb 
Bay (where a bed of these shells was discovered by 
Montagu), Weymouth, all the Dorset coast, Milford 
Haven, the Hebrides, Zetland, and in Ireland, off the 
coasts of Londonderry, Antrim, Down, &c. ; and at 
Youghal, where they are known by the name of "pow- 
der-horns/' the fishermen bring in fine specimens from 
the " Nymph Bank/'' Dr. Jeffreys was informed by 
Mr. Spence Bate, that at Plymouth the trawlers call 
the Pinnce, " caper-longers," which word is supposed 
to be a corruption of cappa lunga, — the name they 
bear in the Mediterranean ; and the familiarity of Ply- 
mouth seamen with such Italian words is accounted for 
by so many of our men-of-war having been at Naples. 
They are also known in Italy by the following names : — 
Nacherone, Madre-pema, Palostrega; and at Fiume, 
Piede de caval. In I ranee they call them Jambonneaux; 
in Spain, Nacre ; and in Germany, Stecmiischel. 

The Pinnce live in sand and mud, with the small 
end downwards, in an upright position, and attached 
by a very strong byssus of silky thread. A small 
species of crab lives frequently in the shell of the Pinna; 
and the following is a quaint description given by Pliny 
of the friendship of the Pinna and its little guest : — 
" The Pinna is also of the tribe of shellfishes. It is 
always found in muddy places, but never without a 
companion, which they call pinnoteves or pinnophylax, 
and which is a little shrimp, or in some places a crab, a 
searcher for food. The pinna first gapes open, and, being 
destitute of sight, exposes its body within to various little 


fishes, which come leaping by close to it, and being 
unmolested grow so bold as to skip into its shell and 
fill it full. The Pinnoteres, waiting for the opportunity, 
gives notice to the Pinna by a gentle pinch ; upon 
which, shutting its mouth, it kills whatever is within 
the shell, and divides the spoil with its companion."* 

Mr. Sayf says, that a small crab (a species of Pinno- 
teres), which lives in the shell of the common American 
oyster [Ostrea virginica) ,is much valued by oyster eaters 
in the United States, and that in opening a large 
quantity of oysters, these little crabs are collected apart, 
and serve to gratify the palate of gourmands. They 
are only seven-twentieths of an inch long, by two-fifths 

The byssus, or silky thread of the Pinna, is called by 
the Sicilian fishermen, lana jpenna, and is manufactured 
into a silken fabric. It was known to the ancients, and 
called by them pinna-wool, and by the Tarentines lana 
pesca, or fish-wool. St. Basil, Bishop of Cassarea, in 
Cappadocia, mentions it in one of his homilies, saying, 
e: Whence had the Pinna its gold-coloured wool, that 
colour which is inimitable ? "§ 

Gibbon states that the Romans called the Pinna " the 
silk-worm of the sea," and that a robe made from the 
silk was the gift of a Roman Emperor to one of the 
Satraps of Armenia. 

In Aufrere's travels is a description of the mode of 
collecting these shellfish by the Neapolitans, and of 
the manufacture of different articles from the silk : — 

* Pliny, ' Nat. Hist.' bk. ix. c. 42 (or 66 Tr. Bohn). 

t ' Journ. Acad. Sc. Phil.' i. 68. 

X ' Popular Hist. Brit. Crustacea.' 

§ ' Stolberg's Travels,' vol. ii. p. 151, translated by Thomas Holcroft. 


" As soon as a pinna is discovered, an iron instrument, 
called pemonico, is slowly let down to the ground over 
the shell, which is then twisted round and drawn out. 
When the fishermen have got a sufficient number of 
them, the shell is opened, and the silk, called lana 
penna 3 is cut off the animal, and, after being twice 
washed in tepid water, once in soap and water, and 
twice again in tepid water, is spread upon a table, and 
suffered to become half dry in some cool and shady 
place. Whilst it is yet moist, it is softly rubbed and 
separated with the hand, and again spread upon the 
table to dry ; and, when thoroughly dried, it is drawn 
through a wide comb, and afterwards through a narrow 
one. These combs are of bone, and resemble hair- 
combs. The silk thus combed belongs to the common 
sort, and is called extra dente ; but that which is des- 
tined for finer work is again drawn through iron combs 
or cards, called search. It is then spun with a distaff 
and spindle, two or three threads of it being mixed 
with one of silk, after which they knit, not only gloves, 
stockings, and waistcoats, but even whole garments of 
it. W T hen the piece is' finished it is washed in clean 
water mixed with lemon-juice; after which it is gently 
beaten between the hand, and finally smoothed with a 
warm iron. The most beautiful are of a brown cin- 
namon, and glossy gold colour. A pair of gloves made 
of the Pinna silk may be seen in the British Museum ; 
and in the International Exhibition some articles made 
of it were exhibited in the Italian Court, viz., a 
large shawl, gloves, and specimens of the thread in 

As an article of food, the Pinna is nearly as good as 
the scallop, and Plutarch tells us that Matron, the 


parodist, speaks of it as forming one of the dishes at 
an Attic banquet, saying, — 

" And pinnas sweet, and cockles fat were there, 
Which the wave breeds beneath its weedy bed." 

Indeed, if we may judge from the number of times 
Athenaeus mentions it amongst the various eatable shell- 
fishes, it formed a favourite article of food amongst the 
ancients, aud was highly prized by them, as it is at 
Naples in these days, where it is considered a recherche 
morsel, and too expensive for the poor people to indulge 
in. It is of greater value for its byssus, than for the 

Poli remarks that it rarely appears in the Neapolitan 
markets. He says that it is cooked at Naples with 
pepper, oil, and lemon-juice, and served with baked 

The large triangular-shaped Pinna radis may be 
seen in the markets at Athens. 

Pearls are found in the Pinna, as I have already 
stated, and the Oriental pearls, in the Pearl-oyster, 
Meleagrinamargaritifera, which belongs to the " Avicu- 
lidas." According to Pliny, the island of Taprobane 
(Ceylon) was most productive of pearls, and he con- 
siders that the most valuable were those found in the 
vicinity of Arabia, in the Persian Gulf. Chares of 
Mytilene, in his seventh book of his " Histories of 
Alexander," tells us that in the Indian Sea, and also 
off the coast of Armenia, Persia, Susiana, and Babv- 
lonia, a fish is caught very like an oyster, large aud 
of oblong shape, containing within its shell flesh 
which is plentiful, white, and very fragrant, and from 
it the men pick out white bones, called by them pearls. 
And of these they make necklaces and chains for the 


hands arid feet, of which the Persians are very fond, 
as are the Medes, and all Asiatics, esteeming them as 
much more valuable than golden ornaments.* Occasion- 
ally, they are called stones; and bones, by Greek Authors; 
and Tertullian calls them maladies of shellfish and 
warts — " concharum vitia et verrucas." Pliny statesf 
that when pearls grow old they become thick and adhere 
to the shell, from which, they can only be separated by 
a file ; again, that pearls which have one surface flat 
and the other spherical, opposite to the plane side, are 
for that reason called tym'pania, or tambour-pearls, 
tf quibus una tantum est facies, et ab ea rotunditas, 
aversis planities, ob id tympania nominatur/' The 
" tympana," or hand-drums of the ancients, were often 
of a semi-globular shape, like the kettle-drums of the 
present day. Shells which had pearls still adhering 
to them were used as boxes for unguents.J Long 
pear-shaped pearls, called elenchi, had their peculiar 
value, resembling iu form the alabaster boxes which 
were used for ointments. Earrings were invented by 
the Roman ladies, called crotalia, or Castanet pendants, 
from the pearls rattling as they knocked against each 
other. § The story of Cleopatra swallowing the pearl 
in order that she might say she had expended on a 
single entertainment ten millions of sesterces, is too well 
known to require repeating here; suffice it to say, that 
Pliny informs us that before the time of Antony and 
Cleopatra, Clodius, the son of the tragic actor ^Esopus, 
had done the same at Rome ; " he, having dissolved in 

* ' Atbenseus,' vol. i. p. 155. 

t Ibid. vol. ii., bk. ix., p. 433. 

J Pliny, ' Nat. Hist.' vol. ii. bk. ix. p. 432- 

§ Ibid. vol. ii. bk. ix., p. 435. 


vinegar (or at least attempted to do so), a pearl worth 
about £8000, which he took from the earring of Csecilia 
Metella " *. Pliny further adds, that by way of glorifi- 
cation to his palate, Clodius iEsopus was desirous of 
trying what was the taste of pearls, and as he found it 
wonderfully pleasing, that he might not be the only 
one to know it, he had a pearl set before each of his 
guests for him to swallow. t 

In the ' History of Banking/ by Mr. W. J. Lawson, 
as quoted by Madame de Barrera, is an account of a 
similar piece of ostentatious folly perpetrated in modern 
times by the wealthy English merchant, Sir Thomas 
Gresham. We read that "the Spanish Ambassador 
to the English Court, having extolled the great riches 
of the King his master, and of the grandees of his 
master, before Queen Elizabeth, Sir Thomas Gresham 
who was present, told him that the Queen had subjects 
who at one meal expended not only as much as the daily 
revenues of his kingdom, but also of all his grandees; 
and added, "This I will prove any day, and lay you a con- 
siderable sum on the result." The Spanish Ambassador 
soon afterwards came unexpectedly to the house of 
Sir Thomas, and dined with him ; and finding only an 
ordinary meal, said " Well, sir, you have lost your 
wager." " Not at all," replied Sir Thomas, "and this 
you shall presently see." He then pulled out a box from 
his pocket and taking one of the largest and finest 
eastern pearls from it exhibited it to the Ambassador, 
and then ground it, and drank the powder in a glass 
of wine to the health of the Queen. " My lord Am- 
bassador," said Sir Thomas, " you know I have often 

* Hor. ii. Sat. iii. 239. 

f Pliuy, ' Nat. Hist.' vol. ii., bk. ix., chap. 59. 


refused £15,000 for that pearl : have I lost or won ? u 
" I yield the wager as lost," said the Ambassador, 
"and I do not think there are four subjects in the 
world who would do as much for their sovereign." 

It was not unusual for the Romans to adorn their 
horses and other favourite animals, with splendid 
necklaces; and we are told that ' Incitatus/ the 
favourite horse of the Emperor Caligula, wore a pearl 
collar. The Roman ladies even wore pearls at night, 
that in their sleep they might be conscious of the pos- 
session of these valuable gems. Julius Csosar pro- 
hibited the use of purple and pearls to all persons who 
were not of a certain rank, and the latter also to un- 
married women. 

Marco Polo speaks of the pearl-fisheries of the Great 
Province of " Maabar " (Ma'bar), the name given by 
the Mahomedans in the 14th and 15th centuries to a 
tract corresponding in a general way with what we 
call the Coromandel Coast, and " that the king of that 
state hath a very great receipt and treasure from his 
dues upon those pearls." He gives a description of the 
king, viz., as follows : — " Round his loins he has a piece 
of fine cloth, round his neck a necklace entirely of 
precious stones, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, and 
the like of great value. He also wears, hanging in 
Iront of his chest, from the neck downwards, a fine 
silk thread, strung with 104 large pearls and rubies of 
great price. The reason why he wears this cord of 
104 great pearls and rubies, is (according to what 
they tell), that every morning and evening he has to 
say 104 prayers to his idols. Such is their religion 
and custom, and thus did all the kings his ancestors 
before him, and they bequeathed the string of pearls to 


him, that tie should do the like. The prayer consists 
of these words, Pacatfta, Pacauta, Pacauta, repeated 
104 times. No one is permitted to take out of the 
kingdom a pearl weighing more than half a saggio,* 
Unless he manages to do so secretly. This order has 
been given because the king de«ires to reserve all 
such to himself. Several times a year he sends a pro- 
clamation through the realm, that if any one who 
possesses a pearl or stone of great value w r ill bring it 
to him, he will pay for this, twice as much as it cost."f 
In a note to the above, Dr. Caldwell says, that the 
word Pacauta was probably Bagavd or Pagavd the 
Tamil form of the vocative Bhagavata, "Lord." The 
Hindus believe the repetition of the name of God is 
an act of adoration; Japa, as this act is called, makes 
an essential part of the daily worship. No doubt the 
number of prayers should have been 108 (not 104), 
which is the mystic number among both Brahmans 
and Buddhists. 

From the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, ex- 
travagance in jewellery was carried to an unlimited 
extent at the courts in Europe- ; and from the reign of 
Francis I. to that of Louis XIII., the greater part of 
the jewels worn were set with pearls, and these latter 
were worn in preference to all other ornaments until 
the death of Maria Theresa of Austria. ;£ 

The French call irregular-shaped pearls, Perles bar- 

* The Venetian " saggio," a weight for precious substances, was 
one-sixth of an ounce, and corresponded with the weight of the Roman 
gold " solidus," which was one-sixth of a Roman ounce. Appendix K. 
vol. ii. p. 472. Marco Polo. 

f 'The Book of Ser Marco Polo,' translated and edited by Colonel 
H. Yule, bk. iii. chap. xvii. vol. ii. 

£ ' Gems and Jewels/ p. 27, by Madame de Barrera. 


roques, and these "malformations were ingeniously 
utilized by the fanciful taste of the cinque-cento 

No doubt many of my readers will remember the 
specimens exhibited in the loan collection at the South 
Kensington Museum. One was a cinque-cento pen- 
dant in the form of a siren ; the head, neck, and arms, 
of white enamel, the body made of a very large pearl 
barroque, and a fish-tail enamelled, and set with 
rubies. It belonged to Colonel Guthrie, and is of fine 
Italian work of the sixteenth century. Another, in 
the possession of Messrs. Farrer, was a gold pendant 
jewel in the form of a ship with three masts, a large 
pearl barroque forming the hull, &c. The wedding 
dress of Anne of Cleves was " a gown of rich cloth of 
gold, embroidered with great flowers of large orient 
pearls." The unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, pos- 
sessed pearls which were considered the finest in 
Europe, and these were purchased, in a most iniquitous 
manner, by Queen Elizabeth, from the Earl of Moray, 
for a third part of their value. Miss Strickland states 
(in her f Lives of the Queens of Scotland/ pages 82 
and 83, vol. vi.), that if anything further than the 
letters of Drury and Throckmorton be required to 
prove the confederacy between the English govern- 
ment and the Earl of Moray, it will only be necessary 
to expose the disgraceful fact of the traffic for Queen 
Mary's costly parure of pearls, her own personal pro- 
perty, which she had brought from France. A few 
days before she effected her escape from Lochleven 
Castle, the Regent sent these, with a choice selection of 
her jewels, very secretly, to London, by his trusty 

* • Precious Stones/ &c, by the Rev. C. W. King. 


agent, Sir Nicholas Elphinstone, who undertook to 
negotiate their sale with the assistance of Throck- 
morton. Queen Elizabeth had the first offer of them, 
and the French Ambassador thus describes them : — 
" There are six cordons of large pearls strung as pater- 
nosters, but there are five and twenty separate from 
the rest, much finer and larger than those which are 
strung. These are, for the most part, like black 
muscades " (a very rare and valuable variety of pearl, 
with the deep purple colour and bloom of the mus- 
catel grape).* 

They were appraised by various merchants, but 
Queen Elizabeth was determined to have them at the 
sum named by the jeweller, though he would have 
made his profit by selling them again. Others valued 
them at three thousand pounds sterling ; some Italian 
merchants at twelve thousand crowns; but twelve 
thousand was the price Queen Elizabeth was allowed 
to have them for, and Catherine de Medicis was quite 
as eager to purchase these pearls as her good cousin 
of England, knowing they were worth nearly double 
the sum at which they had been valued in London, 
having presented some of them herself to Mary. She 
therefore used every endeavour to recover them, but 
the French Ambassador wrote to inform her that it 
was impossible to accomplish her desire of obtaining 
the Queen of Scots* pearls, "for, as he had told her 
from the first, they were intended for the gratification 
of the Queen of England, who had been allowed to 
purchase them at her own price, and they were now 
in her hands." The possession of wealth and jewels is 
not always a source of happiness or benefit to their 
* See note, ' Lives of the Queens of Scotland,' vol. ii. p. 83. 


possessors, if we may judge from the above mentioned 
fact in history, and indeed it is even more clearly 
exemplified in the case of the eminent Mogul, who 
died of hunger during a grievous famine, which de- 
populated part of Guzerat. A large mausoleum or 
Mahometan tomb was erected to his memory in the 
suburbs of Cambay, with an inscription, telling us that 
during this terrible scarcity, the deceased had offered 
a measure of pearls for an equal quantity of grain, but 
not being able to procure it, he died of hunger.* 

In ' History and Mystery of Precious Stones/ re- 
viewed in the ( Morning Post/ Feb. 4th, 1884, we read, 
that pearls have for ages been significant of tears. 
Queen Margaret Tudor, cousin of James IV. of Scot- 
land, previous to the battle of Flodden Field, had 
strong presentiments of the disastrous issue of that 
conflict. She had fearful dreams, and in one vision 
she beheld abundant pearls, the emblems of widow- 
hood and mourning. A few nights before the assas- 
sination of Henry IV. of France, his consort, Marie de 
Medicis, dreamed that all the jewels in her crown were 
changed into pearls, and she was told that it signified 
she would weep greatly. 

A pearl is described by Madame de Barrera as 
nearly the size of a pigeon's egg, and pear-shaped ; it 
weighed 250 carats, and was known as " La Pere- 
arma," and belonged to the crown of Spain. It was 
brought from Panama in 1560 by Don Diego de 
Temes, who presented it to Philip IT. " It was then 
valued at fourteen thousand ducats, but Freco, the 
kino-'s jeweller, having seen it, said it might be worth 
£14/)00, £30,000, £50,000, £100,000, as such a pearl 

* Forbes' 'Oriental Memoirs,' vol. ii p. 18. 


was priceless." In ] 779 a pearl, which from its shape 
was called the " Sleeping Lion/' was offered for sale 
at St. Petersburg, by a Dutchman; it weighed 578 
carats, and was bought in India for £4500. 

The largest pearl known, I believe, is in the possession 
of Mr. Beresford Hope ; it weighs three ounces, and is 
two inches long, and two and a half inches in circum- 
ference, and is set as a pendant : and the pearl necklace 
of the Empress of the French is one of the finest known. 
The Shah of Persia has a pearl valued at £60,000.* 

In India rose-coloured pearls are much esteemed, 
for red pearls (Lohitamukti) form one of the seven 
precious objects which it was incumbent to use in the 
adornment of Buddhistic reliquaries, and to distribute 
at the building of a Dagopa.f 

Marco Polo states, that in the island of " Chipangu " 
(the kingdom of Japan) , the Chinese " Jih-pan-kive," 
rose-coloured pearls were abundant, and quite as 
valuable as the white ones, and that there some of the 
dead were buried and others were burnt, and that 
when a body was burnt they put one of these rose- 
coloured pearls in the mouth " for such is their 
custom. "J These rose-coloured pearls were no doubt 
those found in the conch shells. 

The most productive pearl-fishery banks lie on the 
west coast of Ceylon, between the eighth and ninth 
degree of north latitude, near the level dreary beach of 
Condatchy, Aripo, and Manaar.§ The other principal 

* 'A Manual of Precious Stones and Antique Gems,' by Hodder 
M. Westropp. 

+ ' Nat. Hist, of Precious Stones,' by Koeppen as quoted in Yule's 
' Marco Polo.' 

X * The Book of Ser Marco Polo,' by Colonel Henry Yule, C.B. 

§ ' Voyage of the Novara,' vol. i. pp. 37£— 381. 



fisheries are those of the Bahrein Islands in the Persian 
Gulf, Coromandel, Catifa in Arabia (which produced 
the pearls purchased by Tavernier for £110,000), the 
Algerine Coast, the Sooloo Islands, and, in the Western 
world, the Bay of Panama and the Coast of Columbia, 
which had formerly some very valuable pearl-fisheries, 
for Seville alone is said to have imported thence up- 
wards of 697 lbs. in the year 1587. 

In Western Australia pearl-fishery grounds have 
been discovered in the Torres Straits. 

In 1864 the pearl-fishery of Ceylon suffered con- 
siderably, owing to an irruption of the skate fish, which 
was said to have killed the pearl-oysters ; and the loss 
of revenue was calculated at £50,000. 

A correspondent of the ■ Ceylon Observer/ says, 
however, that the Ceylon pearl-fishery shows no sign of 
languishing, and that a new bank had been fished, 
the oysters from which are of a larger size than those 
hitherto obtained from this fishery. The total amount 
received by the government, in 1881, was £75,000 
worth less than the largest fishery on record, viz., that 
of 1814, which gave a return of £105,000 ; but in the 
'Journal of the Society of Arts/ Aug. 12th, 1881, as 
quoted from * Colonies and India/ it is said that the 
pearl-fishery for that year had been one of the most 
successful on record. The pearls from the oysters on 
the banks situated off " Silavaturai/' on the western 
coast of the island, have been famous for their purity, 
shape, and colour, from time immemorial, and in these 
attributes they far surpass those obtained from the 
pearl-oysters of the Persian Gulf, although, as a rule, 
inferior in size to the latter. . . . The pearl-oyster is 
said to be migratory in its habits, and for one cause or 


another some of the banks are for years deserted by 
them. The following description, from the same source, 
of the working of the fishery may be interesting. The 
inspector having sent in his report to the effect that 
there are sufficient pearl-oysters of mature age on the 
banks, the government advertises a date for its com- 
mencement. A large number of boat-owners, both 
Cingalese and from the opposite coast of India, apply 
to enrol their boats, and these probably number 150 
to 180; they are divided into two fleets, sailing under 
red and blue flags. They proceed to the banks, which 
are some six miles from shore, on alternate days. 
Each boat provides its own crew and divers, and has 
on board a guard whose duty it is to see that the 
oysters fished are not surreptitiously disposed of. 
Each diver stands on a flat stone attached to the diving- 
rope, and, after taking a long inspiration, closes the 
nostrils with one hand, and descends on the stone to 
the bottom, where he hastily collects as many oysters 
in his basket as the time he is able to remain under 

water admits of At a given signal all the 

boats sail for the shore, where they are unloaded under 
inspection, and the oysters placed in the government 
Jcottoos (palisaded enclosures with cement floors). 
Here the oysters are counted, and the proportion due 
to the boat-owners for their services, is made over to 
them. The remainder, which is the property of 
government, is put up to auction and sold to the 
highest bidder. The purchasers remove their lots to 
private kottoos, where the oysters are left to de- 
compose, to enable the pearls to be washed out. 

In Ceylon, the fourth part of the pearls brought up 
is the diver's share. In each boat there are ten divers, 

h 2 


each with an assistant. Before the divers descend a 
number of quaint ceremonies are gone through with 
incantations, both in the boats and on shore. So 
superstitious are these men, that not one of their 
number, Christian or idolater, would continue their 
employment without the countenance of the sorcerer, 
and in 1857 Government was compelled to pay these 
impostors. The chief shark-charmer was a Roman 
Catholic* The same authority further states that the 
utmost depth in which a diver can remain safely is 
about seventy feet. They can remain under water from 
fifty to sixty seconds, and the diving is carried on from 
five to six hours daily. Each of the ten divers can, in 
the course of the day, bring up from 1000 to 4000 pearl- 
shells. A single oyster contains sometimes thirty or 
forty pearls, of which some may be worth a sovereign 
on the spot. The small valueless seed-pearls are burnt, 
and sold as pearl-lime to the wealthy Malays, to add to 
the betel and cabbage-nuts which they chew. The 
Ceylonese mix the lustreless pearls with grain, and feed 
their poultry with them, in whose crops the pearls 
regain their former brilliancy $fter a few minutes 
grinding. The crops are slit up, and the pearls taken 
out. It is said to be done by other Indian races, but 
that the pearls lose weight. In India the priests of 
Buddha keep up the strange belief as to the origin of 
pearls, which I have mentioned elsewhere, and make 
it a pretext for exacting what they term " Charity 
oysters," from the divers and boatmen of their faith 
for the use of Buddha, who, when propitiated, will 
make the fish yield more pearls in future seasons. f 

* ' Voyage of the Novara,' vol. i. p. 332. 

f ' Household Words,' " My Pearl-fishiug Expedition," vol. iii. p. 80. 


At the Bahrein fisheries the trade is in the hands of 
the merchants, who bear hard on the divers, and even 
those who make the greatest exertions in diving can 
scarcely obtain a sufficiency of food.* The hardships 
and sufferiDgs endured by the divers are very great. 
After a long dive, we are told that the natives of the 
Paamuto Islands may be seen squatting on the reefs 
with blood gushing from the ears and nose, and become 
quite blind for ten or twenty minutes. 

Sir William Denison tells us, that the pearl-fishery 
of Tuttukudi or Tutikorin, in the Gulf of Manaar, has 
been rather productive of late years. The leading man 
of the pearl-divers was presented to him, and he wore, 
as a sort of badge of office, a gold shell with a pearl 
inside. f 

Mr. Edward Rae mentions having purchased some 
fairly good pearls at Archangel, from the pearl-fisheries 
on the Terski coast. J Pearls are occasionally found 
by the men employed in Birmingham in making pearl- 
buttons, in the mother-of-pearl shells imported for that 
purpose. A few years since, it is stated that a small 
number of shells were brought to Birmingham, which, 
either by mistake, or through ignorance, had not been 
cleared of the pearls at the fishery, and a considerable 
number were found, and sold by the man who had 
bought the shells for working into buttons. One pearl 
sold for £40; the purchaser is believed to have re-sold 
it for £160, and it was said to have been offered for sale 
in Paris, afterwards, for £800. § 

* McCullock's ' Commercial Dictionary.' 

f 'Varieties of Vice-Kegal Life,' by Sir William Denison, K C. B., 
p. 199. 

t ' The White Sea Peninsula,' p. 119. 

§ 'Jewellery and Gilt Toys,' by J. S. Wright, in 'The Resources, 


Pearls from Meleagrina margaritifera are used in 
medicine by the Chinese, in the composition of pills 
and powders, and, naturally, they are said to have 
marvellous powers of cure, on account of the costliness 
of the ingredients. The following is a remedy called 
Pao-lmig-che, which is used in the treatment of small- 

Tche-tcliong (red coral) ... 10 grammes. 
,, ,, (ruby) .... 4 grammes. 

Tchin-chou (fine pearls) . . 4 grammes. 

Teou-pau-hiang (musk) ... 6 grammes. 

Pe-tche-tse (bole earth) ... 3 grammes. 

Reduce all these substances to powder and mix them 
well, then, with gum and water, make them into a 
paste, then divide and roll into small pills, and gild 

The Pinna may be cooked in the following manner : — 

Pinna Soup. — Take five or six pinnce, according to 
their size, and after they have been well washed, put 
them into a saucepan on a slow fire until the shells 
open ; then take out the fish. Chop some parsley very 
fine, and put it with a tablespoonful of oil or an ounce 
of butter, into a saucepan, and fry until it becomes 
brown. To this add a pint of water, and, when it boils, 
put in your fish, with a little salt and pepper. 

Sometimes vermicelli is boiled with it, when more 
water must be added ; or take a slice or two of bread 
nicely toasted, and, after cutting it up into small pieces, 
put it into the soup before it is served. 

Products, Industrial Hist, of Birmingham,' &c, edited by Samuel 

* ' Essai sur la Pharmacie et la Matiere Medicale des Chinois, , par 
J. 0. Desbeaux. 


Fried Pinnce like Cutlets. — Take half-a-dozen of these 
shellfish, and, after well washing them, place them in 
a saucepan over a slow fire until tliey open of their own 
accord ; take out the fish from their shells, and place 
them on a dish, covering them well with flour or bread- 
crumbs. Put some oil or lard into a frying-pan, and, 
when it begins to boil, add your fish, and fry them of 
a bright yellow colour. The frying-pan should be gently 
shaken all the time, so that the fish may not adhere 
together, but be quite separate. Fried parsley may be 
added just before serving up, and slices of lemon put 
round the dish. 

Fam. pectinhle. 
pecten.— scallop. 

Pecten Maximus, Linnaeus. Great Scallop. — Shell 
suborbicular ; valves very dissimilar, the upper one 
concave at the umbones ; the under valve very convex ; 
strong ribs, fifteen or sixteen in number ; rather broad, 
and distinctly striated; auricles large, nearly equal; 
hinge without teeth; ligament internal, placed in a 
triangular recess. 

The great edible scallop, though generally distributed 
in our seas, is only locally abundant. At Eastbourne 
and Brighton numbers are brought in by the fishing- 
boats, and in the spring, during the prevalence of the 
easterly gales, live specimens may be found on the 
beach at Dawlish. The London markets are supplied 
from various parts of our coasts, but I am told that 
tons of scallops and periwinkles are sent yearly from 
Brading Harbour, in the Isle of Wight ; but the greatest 


supply is from Holland. They are sold at 2s. per dozen, 
and are chiefly sought after for the shell. There are 
large scallop beds off the Isle of Man, and the name 
for this shell in Manx is Raucan, or Roagan. At Vigo, 
Pecten maximus is the constant food of all classes from 
Christmas to Easter ; after which it is only eaten by 
the very poor people, and there it is known by the 
name of Beira. In Andalusia it is called Rufina, and 
in Galicia, Vieiras and Avineiras. 

The French call the scallops, Peignes, Coquilles de St. 
Jacques, Grosille, Grand' -pelerine, Gqfiche, Paiourde, Ri- 
carde or Ricardot;* and the name for them in German 
is Jacobsmuschel, Pilgrimsniuschel, and Kammmuschel. 
At Tarento the fishermen call this shell Concha di San 
Dialogo,&Ti& consider it a great delicacy; and formerly 
it grew so large there, that Horace says, " Peetinibus 
patulis jactat se molle Tarentum/'t In other places it 
is called Cappa di San Giacomo ; and, according to Poli, 
Cozza di San Giacomo, by the Neapolitans, and Cappa 
Santa, by the Venetians. In Sicily it is known by the 
name of Pettenu. In Youghal, these mollusks are called 
Kirkeens, or Kirkeen thraws ; and another Irish name for 
them is Sligane-mury . In Scotland scallops are often 
called clams, and are used as bait for the white-fish 
lines ; but other shells are called clams, amongst them 
is Pholas dactylus, which is generally used by us as 
bait, though eaten in France ; J and in the Shetland Isles 
the large Cyprina Islandica is the clam. A species of 
Mya, eaten by the natives of the Zaire or Congo river, 
is stated by Mr. Fitzmaurice to resemble what is usually 
called the clam, in England; and at Dawlish, the Solen 

* ' British Conchology,' vol. ii. p. 74. f Aufrere's ' Travels.' 

1 ' Book for the Seaside,' p. 48. 


is called the Sand- clam. Lutraria maxima is called the 
Great clam, as we have already seen. In America, Mya 
arenaria is the soft clam, and Venus wercenaria the 
hard clam, and it is from the shell of the latter that 
the wampum, or Indian money, is made, although 
other shells are used for the same purpose; the white 
" wampum " being made sometimes from the Bahama 
conch, or strombus. It is the token of peace and friend- 
ship amongst the American Indians. The coloured 
portion of the inside of Venus mercenaria — the clam 
shell — is ground into oblong pieces, vary in g from one 
quarter of an inch usually, to three quarters of an inch 
in length, and of the diameter of a crow's quill. The 
pieces are then strung together like beads, to the 
number of about two dozen and a half to three dozen 
on a string, and this is called a string of irampum. The 
worth of luampum is regulated very much by its free- 
dom from white and by the intensity of its blue or 
purple. The manufacturers prepare two kinds, which 
are of different value. According to their deepness of 
blue, or freedom from white, is the estimation in which 
the pieces and strings are held. Formerly the price 
of a horse, a pack of beavers, or anything else, could be 
estimated exactly in strings and pieces of wampum. 
Belts are made of pieces of wampum strung together, 
and it is believed that the Indians adapt and arrange 
them in such a manner as to be significant like writing. 
Belts of wampum are, therefore, mostly delivered at 
treaties, and on great public occasions. In ' Flint 
Chips/ Mr. Stevens mentions that Mr. Granville John 
Penn, a descendant of William Penn, the founder of 
Pennsylvania, had until quite recently in his posses- 
sion, the belt of wampum, the sole title-deed of an 


extensive transfer of land, delivered by the Lenni- 
Senape Sachem Indians to William Penn, at the Great 
Treaty, under the elm-tree at Shackamaxon, in 1682. 
It was handed down for generations in the Penn family, 
and was presented to the Historical Society of Phila- 
delphia in 1857. It was composed of eight strings of 
" wampum," formed of white and black beads, worked 
upon leather thongs, and the whole made into a belt, 
twenty-eight inches in length by five and a half inches 
in breadth. The ground is of white beads, and the 
pattern consists of three diagonal stripes of black beads, 
and, in the centre, Penn is represented taking the hand 
of the Indian Sachem, the former being the larger 
figure of the two."* 

The native money of New Britain consists of small 
cowrie-shells strung on strips of cane — called in Duke 
of York Island, Dewarra — measured in lengths. The 
first length being from hand to hand across the chest, 
with the arms extended ; the second length from centre 
of breast to the hand, one arm extended ; the third 
from the shoulder to the tip of the fingers along the 
arm ; fourth, from the elbow to the tip of the fingers > 
fifth, from the wrist to the tip of the fingers ; and sixth, 
finger lengths. Fish are generally bought by their 
length in Dewarra, unless they are too small. A large 
pig will cost from thirty to forty lengths of the first 
measure, and a small one, ten. The measurement of 
the shell-money is the same in New Britain as in 
Duke of York Island, though called by another name, 

The deep valves of Pecten maximus are used by 

* < Flint Chips,' by Edward T. Stevens, pp. 460—462. 
f * Wanderings in a Wild Country,' by Wilfrid Powell. 


fishermen as lamps for their huts, and, according to 
Fuller, they were also made use of by the pilgrims in 
Palestine as cups and dishes ; but I believe that the 
real Pilgrim scallop is Pecten Jacobcens, which is found 
in the Mediterranean, and is smaller, more convex, the 
ribs more defined and angular. The scallop was also 
the badge of the pilgrim, and the poet Bowles says : — 

"He clad him in his pilgrim weeds, 
With trusty statf in hand 
And scallop shell, and took his way, 
A wanderer through the land." 

Again, in Marmion, we read : — 

" The summoned Palmer came in place, 
His sable cowl o'erhuug his face ; 
In his black mantle was he clad, 
With Peter's keys in cloth of red 

On his broad shoulders wrought ; 
The ' scallop shell ' his cap did deck ; 
The crucifix around his neck 

Was from Loretto brought; 
His sandals were with travel tore, 
Staff, budget, bottle, scrip he wore : 
The faded palm-branch in his hand, 
Showed pilgrim from the Holy Laud." 

At the present day many distinguished families bear 
scallop shells on their shields, showing that their 
ancestors had made pilgrimages to the Holy Land, or 
other distant shrines ; and Fuller says : — 

" For the scallop shows a coat of arms, 
That, of the bearer's line, 
Some one in former days hath been 
To Santiago's shrine." 

The scallop shell may be seen in the arms of the 
Duke of Bedford, the Earl of Jersey* (whose ancestor, 

* i 

The Noble and Gentle Men of England,' by E. P. Shirley, Esq. 


Sir Eichard de Villars, "assumed the coat of arms, 
argent, on a cross gules, five escallops or," in the reign of 
Edward I., as a badge for his services in the Crusades), 
the Marquis Townshend, Lord Dacres, and many 
others. An escallop argent, between two palm- 
branches vert, is the crest of Bulliugham, of Lincoln- 
shire ; and that of Bower, of Cloughton and Brid- 
lington, Yorkshire, is an escallop argent. 

The arms of Backenham Priory, Norfolk, founded 
about 1146, by William de Albini, Earl of Arundel, 
and Queen Adeliza, his wife, widow of King Henry L, 
were argent, three escallops sable ; and the seal of the 
Priory bears the figure of St. James as a pilgrim, 
with the scallop shell in his hat, a pilgrim's staff in 
one hand, and a scrip in the other.* Another old 
Abbey seal, of which I have seen the impression, has 
the figure of St. James (or Saint Jacques de la Hovre) 
in his pilgrim's dress, his staff in one hand and a scrip 
in the other, with a scallop shell on either side of the 
figure. The inscription, unfortunately, I could not 
read, as it was indistinct. The Abbey of Reading, 
Berks, was under the patronage of St. James the 
Great, and bore as arms, " azure, three escallops or."f 
On many monumental slabs and tombs the scallop shell 
appears; and in Melbourne Church, Derbyshire, in a 
canopied recess in the chancel, is a recumbent figure 
of a knight, or crusader, with mail and surcoat, with a 
shield on his arm bearing three scallop shells, with 
chevron between. The monument is much mutilated, 
and it is not known to whom it belongs. Again, in 
St. Clement's Church, Sandwich, is a slab with the 

* Moule's « Heraldry of Fish,' p. 223. 

t ' Glossary of Heraldry,' Parker, Oxford. 


date 1583, to the memory of " George Raw, gent., 
sometyme mayor and customer of Sandwic, and mar- 
chant adventurer in London •" with a shield bearing 
the arms, ermine on a chief (gules), two escallop 
shells (or) ; crest, a dexter arm embowered in armuur 
(sable), garnished (or), holding a scallop shell. How- 
ever, the escallop in heraldry is borne not only as a 
badge of pilgrimages, but by those who have made 
long voyages, have gained great victories, or have had 
important naval commands.* 

It is curious to remark, that leaden coffins, orna- 
mented with scallop shells, rings, and beaded pattern, 
belonging to a much earlier period, have been dug up 
from time to time on the sites of Roman cemeteries. 
Mr. C. Roach Smith, in an interesting paper on 
f Leaden Coffins/ in ' Journal of the Archaeological 
Association/ vol. ii., mentions several. Two were 
found at Colchester, and near one of them was an urn, 
in which were two coins, one of Antoninus Pius, and 
the other of Alexander Severus ; again, in Weever's 
f Funeral Monuments/ mention is made of a similar 
coffin (discovered in the parish of Stepney, Middlesex, 
in the district known to occupy the site of one of the 
cemeteries of Roman London), the upper part orna- 
mented with scallop shells ; having at the head and 
foot two jars ; on the sides a number of bottles of 
glistening red earth, some of which were painted, 
and also some glass phials. The chest, or coffin, con- 
tained the body of a woman. Leaden coffins have been 
found at York, and in a Roman tomb at Southfleet, 
Kent, and other places, as well as in France; and 

* 'Crests of Great Britain and Ireland/ vol. i. p. 525, by Fairbairn. 


Mr. C. Roach Smith says, "that they may, most of 
them, possibly be assigned to the Roman-British 

The scallop shell appears legitimately to have be- 
longed to pilgrims to the Shrine of St. James of Com- 
postella, as may be gleaned from the following legend 
given by old Spanish writers : — 

" The body of St. James, after he had been be- 
headed by Herod Agrippa, was taken away by his dis- 
ciples, carried to Joppa, and placed on board ship 
(some say that this ship was of marble). The angels 
miraculously conveyed the body of the saint, in the 
ship without sails or oars, from Joppa to Galicia. It 
passed the village of Bonzas, on the coast of Portugal, 
on the day that a marriage had been celebrated there. 
The bridegroom, with his friends, were amusing them- 
selves on horseback on the sands, when his horse be- 
came unmanageable, and plunged into the sea ; where- 
upon the miraculous ship stopped in its voyage, and 
presently the bridegroom emerged, horse and man, 
close beside it. A conversation ensued between the 
knight and the saint's disciples on board, in which 
they apprised him that it was the saint who saved 
him from a watery grave, and explained the Christian 
religion to him. He believed, and was baptized there 
and then, and immediately the ship resumed its 
voyage, and the knight came galloping back over the 
sea to rejoin his astonished friends. He told them all 
that had happened, and they, too, were converted, and 
the knight baptized his bride with his own hand. 
Now, when the knight emerged from the sea, both 
his dress and the trappings of his horse were 
covered with scallop shells ; and, therefore, the 


Galicians took the scallop sliell as tlie sign of St. 

The port where the body of St. James was landed 
was called Tria Flavia, now Padron.f In those 
days there reigned over the country a certain queen 
named " Lupa/' and she and her people were plunged 
in wickedness and idolatry. Now, having come 
to shore, they laid the body of the Apostle upon a 
great stone, which became like wax, and, receiving the 
body, closed around it. This was a sign that the 
saint willed to remain there ; but the wicked queen 
Lupa was displeased, and commanded that some 
wild bulls should be harnessed to a car, and that the 
body, with the self-formed tomb, should be placed on 
it, hoping that it would be dragged to destruction. 
But in this she was mistakeu, for the wild bulls, when 
signed by the cross, became as docile as sheep, and 
they drew the body of St. James straight into the 
court of her palace. When queen Lupa beheld this 
miracle, she was confounded, and she and all her 
people became Christians, and she built a magnificent 
Church to receive the sacred remains, and died in the 
odour of sanctity. But then came the darkness and 
ruin, which, during the invasion of the Barbarians, 
overshadowed all Spain, and the body of the Apostle 
was lost, and no one knew where to find it, until the 
year 800. FlorezJ says, that a Galician peasant dis- 
covered, in the ninth century, the spot in which was 

* ' Pilgrims of the Middle Ages,' by the Rev. E. L. Cutts, M.A. 
'Art Journal,' 1861. 

f ' Sacred and Legendary Art,' 2 vols, by Mrs. Jameson. 

J ' Historia Compostellaua,' lib. i. cap. ii. apud, ' Espana Sagrada/ 
tome xx. 


deposited a marble sepulchre, containing the ashes of 
St. James, owing to the appearing of certain preter- 
natural lights in a forest ; but others say that the dis- 
covery was made by Theodorier, Bishop of Tria Flavia, 
about 814. A rude chapel, suitable to the poverty of 
the Christians, was immediately built by Alphonso, 
the Chaste, king of Leon, and in 876, his successor, 
Alphonso III., erected, on the spot, a temple more 
worthy of the majesty of the saint.* The shells of 
Galicia, or scallops, belouged exclusively to the Com- 
postella pilgrim, and the Popes Alexander III., 
Gregory IX., and Clement V., in their Bulls, granted a 
faculty to the Archbishops of Compostella, to excom- 
municate all who sold these shells to pilgrims anywhere 
except in the city of Compostella. f 

When the marriage of Edward I., king of England, 
took place with Leonora, sister of Alonzo of Castile, a 
protection to English pilgrims was stipulated for, but 
they came in such numbers that they alarmed the 
French, who threw difficulties in their way. In the 
fifteenth century, Byruer mentions that 916 licences 
were granted to make the pilgrimage to Santiago in 
1428; in 1434 as many as 2460 were granted.^ The 
name of " Jacobitas," or " Jacobipetas," was given to 
Compostella pilgrims, and there was an hotel in Paris 
on purpose for receiving them if they were bound to 
St. James's shrine; but the revenues failing, it was 

* ' Medii iEvi Kalendariutn,' &c, by R. J. Hampson, vol. ii. bk. ii. 
p. 329. 

f ' On Pilgrims' Signs and Tokens,' by C. Roach Smith. See note, 
* Archaeological Journal,' vol. i. p. 202. 

X See note, ' Pilgrims of the Middle Ages,' vol. vii. p. 308, ' Art 
Journal,' 1861, by the Rev. E. L. Cutts. 


purchased by the Dominicans.* Besides its badge, 
each pilgrimage had also its gathering cry, which the 
pilgrims shouted out, as at grey of morn they slowly 
crept through the town or hamlet where they had 
passed the night, and Pope Calixtus says,f that the 
Santiago pilgrims were accustomed, before dawn, at 
the top of each town, to cry with a loud voice, " Dens 
adjuva ! Sancte Jacobi \" " God help ! Santiago \" 

It is stated that pilgrims used to present their scrips 
and bourdons to their parish churches, and Coryatt saw 
cockle, mussel-shells, beads, and other religious relics, 
hung up over the door of a little chapel in a nunnery. 
These were deposits and offerings made by pilgrims to 
Compostella, when they returned and gave thanks.* 

The Rev. E. L. Cutts states that shells have not 
unfrequently been found in stone coffins, and are sup- 
posed to be relics of the pilgrimage once taken by the 
deceased to Compostella; and that when the grave of 
Bishop Mayhew, who died in 1516, w 7 as opened some 
years ago, in Hereford Cathedral, a common rough 
hazel-wand, between four and five feet long, and as 
thick as a rnan's finger, was found lying by his side, 
and with it a few mussel and oyster shells. 

St. James of Compostella is said to have performed 
many miracles, and to have appeared no less than fifteen 
times to the Spanish kings and princes, when some 
great advantage always ensued ; for instance, one day 
he put himself at the head of the troops of a king of 
Spain, Ramira, king of Leon, and leading them against 

* Fosbroke's 'British Monaehism,' p. 469. 

f ' Sermones Bib. Pat.' ed. Bignis xv. 330; ' Pilgrims of the Middle 
.Asjes ' (note). 

X Fosbroke's ' British Monachism.' 



the Moors, mounted on a white horse, the housings 
charged with escallops, defeated those infidels. St. 
James supported his people, by taking part in their 
battles, down to a very late period, as Caro de Torres 
mentions two engagements in which he cheered on the 
squadrons of "Cortes" and " Pizarro" "with his sword 
flashing lightning in the eyes of the Indians."* The 
great Spanish military order of " Santiago de la Espada " 
is supposed to have been instituted in memory of the 
celebrated battle of Clavijo, the peculiar badge of which 
order is a red cross, like a sword, charged with a white 
scallop shell, and the motto " Rubet ensis sanguine 
Arabum."f To this day you are told in Spain, that the 
scallops found at Clavijo, were dropped there by St. 
James, or Santiago, when he assisted the Spaniards to 
kill 60,000 Moors in the year 997, and they are con- 
sidered visible proofs for those who doubt the miracles 
of this saint. 

Other orders of knighthood used the scallop shell 
as an ornament, viz., that of St. James of Holland, the 
badge and collar being formed of escallops. It was 
instituted in 1290 by Florian II., Comte de Hollande, 
but it was abolished with the Roman Catholic Religion. J 
Louis IX. of France, or St. Louis, as he was generally 
called, instituted an order of knighthood, called the 
"Ship and Escallop Shell," to induce the French nobility 
to accompany him in his pilgrimage to the Holy Land ; 
but it did not long survive its foundation. § He quitted 

* « Ordenes Militares/ fol. 5. Note, Prescott's ' Ferdinand and 
Isabella,' vol. i. p. 274. 
f ' Heraldry of Fish.' 

X ' Collection Historique de la Chevallerie,' par A. M. Perrot. 
§ ' Heraldry of Fish.' 


Paris the 12 th June, 1248, to embark at Aigues- 
Mortes, in Languedoc, a town which he had founded 
that he might have a seaport on the Mediterranean. 
He also embarked at that place on his unsuccessful 
crusade in 1270, having assembled a fleet of 800 galleys, 
and an army of 40,000 men. 

Louis XI. of France, about 1469, instituted the order 
of knighthood and honour of St. Michael, which, in 
England, at least, was distinguished by the name of 
" Order of the Cockle/'' (the common name in olden times 
for the escallop of pilgrims being the cockle). The robes 
were ornamented with a profusion of escallop shells. 
Strutt gives the following description, from a manu- 
script inventory, of the robes at Windsor Castle in the 
reign of Henry VII. : " A mantel] of cloth of silver lined 
with white satten, with escallop shells. Item, a hoode of 
crymsin velvet, embraudered with escallop shelles, lined 
with crymson satten" ( f Horda Angel-cynnan/ vol. iii, 
p. 79).* 

In 1.566, Charles IX. of France sent an ambassador, 
Monsieur Eambullet, with the order of the " cockle," 
to the king consort, Lord Darnley, who received the 
same in the chapel of the palace of Holyrood.f 

The following description of the apostle St. James, 
patron of Spain, given by Bernard Picart, may not be 
uninteresting to some of my readers. He says St. 
James, patron of all Spain, has rested for these 900 
years past in the Metropolitan Church of Compostella. 
The image of this blessed apostle is upon the high 

* ' Medii Mvi Kalendarium,' by R. T. Hampson, vol. i. bk. ii. 
pp. 356, 357. 

t ' History of the Reformation of Religion in Scotland,' by John 

I 2 


altar : it is a small wooden bust, with fortv or fiftv 
white tapers constantly burning before it. Pilgrims 
kiss it three times, and put their hats upon the head 
of it, with abundance of respect and devotion. There 
are thirty silver lamps always burning in the church, 
and six large silver candlesticks five feet high, which 
were given by Philip III. There are five platforms 
of large freestones, for walking all round the church, and 
above it is another of the same kind, where the pilgrims 
ascend and fix some remnant of their clothes to a stone 
cross, which is erected thereon. They likewise per- 
form another ceremony as singular as this. They pass 
under this cross three times, through such a small hole 
that they are obliged to slide through with their breasts 
against the pavement, so that such as are never so little 
too fat must suffer severely, and yet through they must 
go if they will obtain the indulgence thereto affixed. 
This is the strait gate of the gospel, through which 
the pilgrims enter into the high-road of salvation. Some 
who had forgotten to pass under the stone cross have 
gone back five hundred leagues to perform this cere- 
mony.* Mr. Street, in his l Gothic Architecture in 
Spain/ states that even in that country, the old belief of 
the power of the bones of St. James of Compostella to 
work miracles appear now practically to have died out, 
and that there are no longer great pilgrimages to his 
shrine. However, at Santiago de Compostella, he sawcme 
professional pilgrim with his rags covered with scallop 
shells, whom he had previously seen begging at Zara- 
goza; and in one of the Plazas at Santiago an old woman 
was selling scallop shells. The doors in Toledo are 
studded with many and fanciful forms of door-nails, of 
* ' Religious Ceremonies,' by Picart, p. 432. 


very quaint and beautiful shapes, and, occasionally, they 
have reference to the object or history of the building ; 
for instance, any building in any way connected with 
Santiago has the nails in the form of scallop shells.* 
The custom of bearing scallop shells as a badge of 
pilgrimage, is more widely spread than is usually sup- 
posed, for Sir Rutherford Alcock mentions their use on 
the sleeves of many of the Japanese pilgrims to the 
Cone of Fusiyama, in the island of Japan. In China, 
the valves of Pecten Japonicus are used as small shovels. 
Shells were used by the Romans to ornament their 
dwellings, and the " Fountain of Shells/' described in 
Sir William Gell's ' Pompeiana/ was decorated with 
the Tyrian murex and the scallop. Mr. Damon tells us 
that there is still standing, in a villa at Pompeii, a 
fountain decorated with the shells of the Mediterranean, 
one species of which, viz., Murex Brandaris, retains 
its colour and general freshness, and is not to be dis- 
tinguished from living examples. In an interesting 
paper on a ' Collection of recent shells discovered among 
the ruins of Pompeii, and preserved in the Museo 
Borbonico at Naples/ published in the l Geological 
Magazine/ vol iv. No. 7, July, 1867, Mr. Damon calls 
our attention to the following, and says, that " Among 
the many singular discoveries made in the ruins of 
Pompeii, and deposited in the Museo Borbonico, in the 
city of Naples, are a variety of shells, principally species 
now found in the Mediterranean Sea, amongst them 
Pecten Jacobceus, and so far of interest as an illustration 
of the persistency of certain known species within the 
historic period, no difference whatever being observable 
between the disinterred, and living specimens. On a 
* • A Summer in Spain,' by Mrs. Ramsey, p. 102. 


close examination I observed, besides those from the 
neighbouring seas, species from distant countries, for 
example, Conns textiles. Triton femorale, Meleagrina 
mavgaritifera (Pearl- Oyster), species only found in the 
Indian and Eastern Seas. I think, therefore, that this 
may be regarded as part of a Natural History collection. 
Assuming the truth of this conjecture, its antiquity is 
without precedent. Did the original proprietor form 
one of a Natural History Society at Pompeii, of which 
the distinguished Naturalist, Pliny, who perished at 
Pompeii, was a member ? It would also be curious, in 
these days of research for priority of names, to know 
how they were described. Such a discovery might 
disturb existing nomenclature, and increase the per- 
plexity already felt in naming collections. But laying 
aside fanciful conjectures, the collection is further 
instructive from the condition and perfect preservation 
in which the specimens are found, after an interment 
of nearly 1800 years." 

The scallop is figured on the coins of Saguntum, 
which are of Phoenician time, the dolphin being on one 
side, with the letters s.a.g. w. under, and the scallop 
on the reverse ; and Florez, in his f Medallas de Espana/ 
Parte 2, 1728, says of these coins, "These (the dol- 
phin and the scallop shell) allude to Neptune and 
Venus, for as the dolphin is sacred to Neptune, so is 
the shell to Venus,* as the daughter of the sea, and 
also for the pearls it engenders, applied to the adorn- 
ment of women. This shell is most appropriate for 
the impress of a maritime city, from the utility eu closed 
within it, and its application to diverse uses, either from 
its seed for jewels, or as a delicacy for the table, for the 

* ' Faveaa concha Cypria vecta fcua,' Tibullus, lib. iii. El. 3, &c. 


precious tints with which it is coloured, for its use as a 
medicine, and for ostentation in virtue of its ornamental 

Real scallop shells are used in the baptismal service 
for pouring water over the child, though the shell is 
usually of silver gilt, and in private baptism a wooden 
shell is frequently adopted. " Baptismal shells/' are 
mentioned in a list of the ornaments of the church in 
the fifteenth century, and they are still used in some 

The following are a few recipes for cooking the 
scallop : — 

To dress Scallops. — Wash them six or seven times 
in clean water, then set them on the fire to stew in 
their own liquor ; take the fish and beard them very 
clean, let the liquor settle, and strain it off, and take 
warm milk, and wash the fish very well ; then take the 
liquor, some good gravy, and crumbs of bread; set it 
on the fire, and when the bread is a little stewed, take 
a quarter of a pound of butter, and roll it in fine flour 
to thicken it ; then take an anchovy, a little mace and 
nutmeg ; put in your fish and boil it half a dozen times, 
and serve it up." * 

" To stew Scallops — Boil them very well in salt and 
water ; then take them out and stew them in a little of 
their own liquor, a glass of white wine, and a little 
vinegar ; add some grated bread-crumbs, and the 
yolks of two or three hard eggs minced small ; stew 
all together till they are sufficiently done ; then add a 
large spoonful of essence of anchovy, and a good piece 
of butter rolled in flour ; or stew very gradually in a 
rich white sauce, with thick cream, until quite hot, 

* From an old MS. Book.— C. C. W, 


without being allowed to boil, and serve with sip- 
pets." * 

" To cook Scallops. — Clean them from the shell ; take 
off the beards, as also the black marks they bear ; then 
cut them into four pieces. Fry some bread-crumbs 
with butter, pepper, and salt, to a light brown colour ; 
then throw in your scallops, and fry all together for 
about three minntes and a half, taking care to shake the 
frying-pan, all the time. Last of all, press them tight 
into shells or a dish, and brown them with a sala- 
mander, and send them to table/"f 

"Pickled Scallops. — One gallon of scallops drained 
from the liquor ; put them into a bowl of salt and 
water, take immediately out ; measure the liquor and 
take as much vinegar as liquor ; a tablespoonful of 
peppercorns, one of cloves, one of salt, a small tea- 
spoonful of mace, boil them about three minutes, pour 
on the,, liquor after it has boiled five minutes ; cover, 
and let stand.^J 

"Scallops. — American Recipe. — The heart is the only 
part used. If you buy them in the shell, boil and 
take out the hearts. Those sold in the markets are 
generally ready for frying or stewing. Dip them in 
beaten egg, then in cracker- crumbs (or bread-crumbs), 
and fry in hot lard."§ 

Pecten Operculars, Linnaeus. Lid Scallop. — 
Shell spherical ; valves convex, of nearly equal dimen- 
sions, rather strong; ribs, eighteen or twenty in 
number, finely striated, both longitudinally and trans- 

* Murray's 'Modern Cookery Book.' 

f « A Man Cook.' See ' Field,' Feb. 20, 186 L 

X ' Every Day's Needs.' 

§ ' Common Sense in the Household,' by Marion Harland. 


versely ; auricles nearly the same size; ligament in- 
ternal ; hinge without teeth. 

This is the common scallop of the people, and much 
smaller than the " Great scallop," also subject to 
greater variety of colour. Specimens are found quite 
white, with a dark red line on the summit of each of 
the radiated ribs (var. lineatus), also brown, yellow, 
speckled white and brown, purplish-pink, and orange. 
The specimen figured was dredged up off the Parson 
and Clerk rocks at Dawlish, and at times there may 
be gathered basketfuls on the beach between that 
town, and the mouth of the Exe. The shells are much 
used in ornamental work ; and pretty baskets, pin- 
cushions, needle-books, &c, are made from the beauti- 
ful variegated valves. 

The scallop may be called the butterfly of the ocean, 
from its power of swimming or flying rapidly through 
the water. This was observed by Pliny, who says that 
the scallop is able to dart above the surface of the 
water, just like an arrow.* By some this power is 
supposed to be caused by the rapid opening and shut- 
ting of the valves, but Mr. Gosse states that, after 
carefully watching the habits of a Pecten, which he 
kept for some days in a glass phial of sea-water, he 
discovered that the flitting motion was performed by 
forcing jets of water through the compressed edges of 
the mantle. He says, " When the Pecten is about to 
leap, it draws in as much water as it can contain with- 
in the mantle, while the lips are held firmly in contact. 
At this instant the united edges of the lips are slightly 
drawn inward; and this action gives sure warning of 
the coming leap. The moment after this is observed, 
* PKdv, 'Nat. Hist.' vol. ii. bk. ix. ch. 45 (29). 


the animal, doubtless by muscular contraction, exerts 
a strong force upon the contained water, while it re- 
laxes the forced contact of the lips at any point of the 
circumference, according to its pleasure. The result 
is, the forcible ejection of a jet of water from that 
point, which, by the resilience of its impact upon the 
surrounding fluid, throws the animal in the opposite 
direction, with a force proportioned to that of the jet 
d'eau" Again, Mr. Gosse adds, " That the Pecten 
widely opens and forcibly closes its valves if left un- 
covered by the water, is, doubtless, correct. I have seen 
my specimen perform such an action, and perhaps it 
might by such means jerk itself from place to 
place, with considerable agility. But I do not 
think so rude a mode of progression could enable 
it to select the direction of its leaps, which, under 
water, appears to me to be determined with so much 

Scallops are found pretty generally distributed in 
all seas, and are much sought after for food. At 
Weymouth, the average produce of the trawlers is 
five bushels of scallops per week. They have been 
sold at two-pence per hundred, 700 going to the 
bushel ;f but they appear to have become scarcer 
lately, if one may judge by the price at which they are 
now sold, viz., four-pence a dozen, and two-pence per 
dozen for the shells, without the fish, for making 
shell ornaments. The fishermen suppose that they are 
taken in the greatest numbers after a fall of snow. In 
Cornwall they are called Frills, or Queens ; on the 
Dorset coast, Squinns, and in the north of France, 

* 'Devonshire Coast,' by P. H. Oosse, pp. 50, 52. 
f ' A Year at the Shore,' by P. H. Gosse, p. 25. 


Vanneau, or Olivette ;* and in the south of Ireland the 
peasantry call them Closheens. The Spanish names for 
Pecten opercularis are Volandeiras, Xels, or Xelets. 
Pecten varius is sent in quantities from the depart- 
ment of Charente Inferieure to the markets at 
Bordeaux, and is there called la Petite palourde,f and 
in the north of France Petite vanne ; and, according to 
Poli, it is the Pellerinella of the Neapolitans, and the 
Ganestrelli di mare of the Venetians. In Spain it has 
many names, viz., Zamorinas, Zamburiiias, Andorrinas, 
Golondrinas, and Bomera, and is used as food, and 
I have seen quantities in the market at Palm a, 

To fry Scallops, — Wash the shells well in clean 
water, then put them into a saucepan over a slow fire 
until they are open ; then take out the fish, take off 
the beards, and place them on a dish, covering them 
well with bread-crumbs or flour, and add a little 
pepper. Then put some oil, lard, or butter into a fry- 
ing-pan, and when it begins to boil, put in the scallops, 
and fry them till they are well browned. Shake the 
fryiug-pan occasionally, to prevent their mixing to- 

Soyer, in his ' Menagere/ gives the following recipe : 
" Escallop is exceedingly fine ; it should be kept in 
salt and water some time, to free it from sand. When 
opened, remove all the beard, and use only the white, 
red, and black parts. It may be cooked like oysters, 
and is excellent with matelote sauce." 

In Francatelli's ' Cook's Guide/ is a recipe for oyster 
soup ; but he adds that a good soup may be made in 

* • British Conchology,' vol. ii. p. 60. 

f ' Faune Conchyliologique Marine,' par le Docteur Paul Fischer. 


the same manner, substituting scallops, instead of 
oysters, and I shall therefore giv T e it. 

" Oyster Soup (Scallop Soup, No. 183). — Scald, drain, 
wash, and beard four dozen oysters (or scallops), re- 
serving their liquor in a pan. Put four ounces of butter 
into a stew-pan, to barely dissolve over the fire ; mix 
in four ounces of flour ; moisten with a pint and a half 
of good white stock, or milk; season with nutmeg, a 
pinch of cayenne, and a teaspoonful of anchovy ; add 
half a pint of cream ; stir over the fire for a quarter of 
an hour's gentle boiling, and then, having cut the 
oysters (or scallops), each into halves, pour the hot 
soup over them in the tureen." 

" To cook Scallops, or e Leitrigens' Donegal fashion. — 
Place them on a gridiron in the shells, with a piece of 
lighted turf-coal placed on the upper shell ; when 
cooked, eat them with butter and pepper." 

Grwillim, in his ' Heraldry/ says that (according to 
Dioscorides) the scallop is "engendered of the dew and 
the air, and hath no blood at all in itself; notwith- 
standing in man's body (of any other food) it turneth 
soonest into blood," and adds, " the eating of this fish 
raw is said to cure surfeit." 

Fam. OSTREAD^]. 


Ostrea Eddlis, Linnaeus. Edible Oyster. — Shell 
nearly round, though variously shaped, inequivalve; 
the upper valve flat, or nearly so, with scales or laminas 
of a yellowish-brown ; the lower valve convex, and 
foliaceous, of a pale pinkish-white, with streaks of 


purplish-pink ; transversely striated. Hinge tooth- 
less ; ligament internal, of an olivaceous-brown ; 
beaks small. The interior of the shell white and 
polished, sometimes the purplish-pink colour of the 
margins showing through. 

The edible oyster of Great Britain is supposed to be 
superior to those of other European countries, and to 
attain to a greater degree of perfection on our coasts ; 
and it was much valued by the Romans, who trans- 
planted numbers from our shores, and placed them in 
artificial beds in the Lucrine Lake. Sergius Orata is 
said to have first invented the artificial oyster-beds, 
" not for the gratification of gluttony, but of avarice, as 
he contrived to make a large income by this exercise 
of his ingenuity/'* M. Dabry de Thersant in a 
number of the ' China Review/ as quoted in the 
1 Flight of the Lapwing/ states, that artificial oyster- 
beds were formed in China long before they are known 
to have existed amongst the Romans, and, while in 
Europe essays and pamphlets are being written on the 
theory of the subject, the practical Chinese have been 
obtaining good results for the last 1800 years, notwith- 
standing the fact that they have no clear ideas as to the 
nature of the oyster or its means of reproduction. 

Apicius first discovered the art of preserving oysters 
fresh for a considerable time, and sent some from Italy 
to the Emperor Trajan, while he was on an expedition 
against the Parthians, which were found on their arrival 
to be as good as on the day they were gathered.f This 
mode may possibly have been the same as that which 
is practised in Italy at the present day, where, as Poli 

* Pliny, 'Nat, Hist,' vol. ii. bk. ix. chap. 79. 
f Daniel's ' Rural Sports,' vol. iv. p. 194. 


tells us, they are carried from Tarentuni to Naples, in 
bags, tightly packed with snow, which not only by its 
coolness preserves them, but also, by preventiog them 
from opening their bivalves, enables them to retain in 
the shells sufficient moisture to preserve their lives for 
a long period.* 

There were other places from whence oysters were 
procured, and Mucianus speaks with rapture of those 
found at Cyzicus, a town in Asia Minor, f on the shores 
of the Sea of Marmora, the ruins now called by the 
Turks, Bal Kiz. He describes them as larger than 
those of Lake Lucrinus ; fresher than those of the 
British coasts ; sweeter than those of Medulas (the dis- 
trict in the vicinity of Bordeaux, now called Medoc) ; 
more tasty than those of Ephesus ; more plump than 
those of Lucus ; less slimy than those of Coryphas (a 
town of Mysia, opposite Lesbos) ; more delicate than 
those of Istria, and whiter than those of Circeii (a town 
of Latium). Pliny mentions that according to the his- 
torians of Alexander's expedition, oysters were found 
in the Indian Sea a foot in diameter, J and Sir James 
E. Tennent unexpectedly attested the correctness of 
this statement, as at Kottiar, near Trincomalee, enor- 
mous specimens of the edible oysters were brought to 
the rest-house. One shell measured more than eleven 
inches in length, by half as many broad. § 

The Greeks preferred the oysters of Abydos, and 

Archestratus, in his ' Gastronomy/ says : — 

" jEiius has mussels fine ; Abydus too 
Is famous for its oysters ; Parium produces 

* Poli, 'Testacea Utriusque Sicilian.' 

f Pliny, ' Nat. Hist.' vol. vi. bk. xxxii. ch. 21. J Ibid. 

§ See note, ' Nat. Hist, of Ceylon,' p. 371. 


Crabs, the bears of the sea, and Mitvlene periwinkles; 

Ambracia in all kinds of fish abounds, 

And the boar-fish sends forth ; and in its narrow strait 

Messene cherishes the largest cockles. 

In Ephesus you shall catch chemae, which are not bad, 

And Chalcedon will give you oysters."* 

Mr. Sharon Turner, in his ' History of the Anglo- 
Saxons from the Earliest Period to the Norman Con- 
quest/ tells us that in the dialogues composed by Elfric 
to instruct the Anglo-Saxon youths in the Latin lan- 
guage, which are yet preserved to us in the MSS. in the 
Cotton Library, there is some curious information con- 
cerniug the manners and trade of our ancestors. In 
one colloquy the fisherman is asked, "What do you 
take in the sea V — " Herrings, and salmons, porpoises, 
sturgeons, oysters, and crabs, muscles, winkles, cockles, 
flounders, plaice, lobsters, and such like."" 

Great Britain is still celebrated for its oysters, and 
large artificial beds are formed for the better rearing 
and breeding of these shell-fish, besides the natural 
oyster-beds which are found on many parts of our 
coasts. The artificial beds require much labour to 
keep them in order, and free from shells and rubbish. 
The mussel is an enemy to the oyster, as I have already 
observed, as it causes mud to collect ; and the star-fish 
and whelk feed upon them, as do crabs, shrimps, and 
other shell-fishes. Dr. Paul Fischer states that the 
oyster-beds at Arcachon have suffered considerably 
from the havoc caused by Murex erinaceus, which has 
appeared in great numbers within the last few years ; 
and it has been suggested by the Commissaire de 
l'lnscription Maritime, at He d'Oleron, that when laying 

* Athenseus ' Peipnosophists,' vol. i. bk. iii. p. 154. 


down a fresh supply of young oysters on the beds, a 
certain quantity should be provided for their enemies 
to feed upon, and thus save the others.* Incessant 
war is waged against the dog-whelk, but the numbers 
do not decrease. It is known by the name of Cormaillot, 
or Perceur. Again, cold weather has a most pernicious 
effect upon the spat, for if the water is not warm 
enough the spat dies. Oysters will not even spawn if 
the weather is too cold. Some of our principal beds 
are those of Whitstable, Rochester, Colchester, Milton, 
Faversham, Queenborough, and Burnham. Colchester 
has been celebrated for its oysters from a remote period, 
and they were deemed an appropriate present from th 3 
authorities of the town to ministers of state, and other 
eminent persons. We hear of their having been sent, 
in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, to Leicester and Wal- 
singham.f At the annual Colchester Oyster Feast, 
held in the Town-hall, October, 1862, Mr. Miller, M.P., 
mentioned that Mr. Goody, clerk to the Colne Fishery 
Company, with himself and a few other gentlemen, had 
appealed to the Treasury, because it was apprehended 
that Belgium, to which a large number of oysters are 
sent, was about to impose a duty which would inflict a 
serious injury upon the town. However, it was found 
from the interview that there was no immediate pro- 
spect of the anticipated danger, and a treaty was con- 
cluded with Belgium, in which a special reservation 
had been made in respect to oysters. J The oysters 
sent to Belgium are fattened in the Ostend beds, and 
then called " Ostend oysters." They are very plump 

* ' Report on Oyster Fisheries of France,' by Major Hayes, 1878. 
f Cromwell's ' History of Colchester,' vol. ii. 
X The • Times,' October, 1862. 


and small, and were at one time highly thought of by 
the oyster-eaters in Paris ; but I believe that they have 
nearly disappeared from the Parisian markets (except 
the green-bearded oysters, such as are found in the 
River Crouch, which are all sent to Paris, and known 
there as Les huitres verts d'Ostend)* and are now 
seat to Berlin, St. Petersburg, and Moscow.f Their 
flavour is certainly quite equal to our "natives," at 
least I thought so, and the shells appeared thinner. 
Oysters, mussels, and periwinkles, with shrimps, are the 
fisheries which engage a good number of fishermen 
at Leigh, near Southend. The Leigh shore has been 
found particularly well adapted to grow and fatten 
oysters. £ 

Whitstable was a fishing-town of note in the reicm 
of Henry YIIL, and was called in ancient records 
" Northwood." Loland, in his l Itinerary/ thus de- 
scribes it: — "Whitstable is upward junto Kent, a ii 
miles or more beyond Faversham, on the same shore, 
a great fisher-towne of one paroche, belongino- to 
Plaze College, in Essex, and yt standeth on the 
se-shore. Ther about they dragge for oysters." 

The dredgers of Whitstable do not trust entirely to 
the natural resources of their oyster-beds, but purchase 
from the Essex coast what is called the brood, which 
is the spat in its second stage. They also purchase 
oysters from Ireland, France, and Holland, and lay 
them down on the Whitstable beds. The following 


interesting account of the Whitstable beds appeared 

* ' Report on Oyster Fisheries,' 1876 . 

+ " L'Alimentation de Paris," "Les Halles Centrales," f Revue ties 
Deux Mondes,' 15 Juin, 1868, tome soixante-quinzieine. 

+ ' Visits to the Sea-coast; the Shipwrecked Jkiariner/ vol. xii. 


in ' Macmillan's Magazine/ No. 36, October, 1862: — 
u The brood is carefully laid down in the oyster-beds 
off Whitstable, and allowed to grow for three, perhaps 
four years. The oysters in different stages are marked 
off by means of long poles, so that the shell-fish farm 
is divided into separate fields, each being in a particular 
stage of growth. At the time when the oysters are 
lifted for the London or other markets, they are mea- 
sured by being thrown against a wire grating, and all 
those under a certain size are thrown again into the 
water. To give an idea of the business done in the 
oyster trade, it may be stated that in 1860 the Whit- 
stable men took as mucli as £50,000, for native oysters 
alone, which, after deducting the cost of the brood, 
would still leave a handsome profit." There are exten- 
sive fisheries opposite Milton, those of the Cheney Rock. 
We are told that in a single season, more than 50,000 
bushels of " natives 9i were sent from this one fishery to 
London.* Mr. Frank Buckland defined a " native " as 
being a thoroughbred oyster, and its geographical 
limits would be at and about the mouth of the Thames, 
from Harwich on the north, down to Margate on the 
south, and it is indigenous to the soil, in contradistinc- 
tion to the Irish, Milford, and other oysters, which come 
from different parts of the world. f 

The " Milton natives " bear the bell, or may be said 
to be the pearls among British oysters. King John 
granted these fisheries to the Abbot of Faversham, in 
whose hands they remained till the dissolution, and 
they have been dredged from the earliest times by a 

* Murray's ' Handbook, Kent and Sussex/ p. 64. 
f ' Report on Oyster Fish- ries,' 1876. 


company of fishermen, ruled, like those of Faversham, 
by certain ancient customs and bye-laws.* 

Jersey oysters are brought over and bedded in the 
Southampton water. They are described as being 
small, but of superior flavour, and are conveyed long 
distances to be laid down, naturalized, and afterwards 
sold as natives. They are also remarkable for their 
saline flavour when first brought over, but it goes 
off after they have been bedded some time at South - 
ampton.f In 1876 Jersey oysters were very scarce, and 
the beds in a bad condition. It is said that formerly 
there were fine oyster-beds between Portsmouth, Hay- 
ling, and the Isle of Wight ; and recently a breeding 
place on the French system has been established at 
Hayling Island, and there is considerable trade carried 
on in oysters. 

There are extensive oyster-beds in the Medina and 
Newtown rivers, in the Isle of Wight, and a large 
quantity were bred in 1880, and were in good condition 
up to 1881. J The manor of Osborne is said to derive 
its old name of Austerbourne, or Oysterbourne, from 
the oyster-beds of the Medina. § A bed of oysters was 
discovered off Eastbourne, some years since, the fish 
being of a very superior and delicate flavour. The price 
was Is. per hundred, but it rose to 2s.; and another 
large bed, which was valued at £5000, was found about 
three miles off the mouth of Dartmouth harbour, about 
the same time. 

W r e read, in Britton's ' History of Dorset/ that there 

* Murray's { Handbook, Kent and Sussex.' 

f ' Field,' Note by the Editor. 

X l Oyster Culture and Oyster Fisheries,' by Professor Hubreolit. 

§ ' A Guide to the Isle of Wight,' by the Rev. Edward Venables, M.A. 

~ K i 


was an oyster-fishery in Poole Bay, and that though 
the town of Poole claimed much dominion in this bay, 
the Lord of Corfe Castle had a power and jurisdiction, 
as Admiral by Water and Land, on the seas rouud the 
Isle of Purbeck, on the high seas, and throughout the 
whole island, in pursuance of a grant by Queen Eliza- 
beth to Sir Christopher Hatton. The fishermen of 
Wareham, upon paying a small fine to the Lord of Corfe 
Castle, have a right also to fish in these waters. A 
considerable oyster-fishery was carried on at Poole, 
which supplied the London markets for two months 
every season, and no less than forty sloops aud boats 
were employed, during which time the receipts 
were between £6000 and £7000. The last day's 
catching, by a prescriptive regulation, was thrown into 
the channels in the harbour, where the oysters were 
left to fatten, and supply the town and neighbouring 
county during the winter. In digging a dock at Ham, 
opposite the harbour, in 1747, a large bed of oyster- 
shells was found, six feet and a half thick, regularly 
piled up. This bed had been formed by the fishermen, 
who deposited the shells after they had taken out the 
fish for pickling, &c, without breaking the ligatures ; 
this was the custom in the 17th century, which in 1640 
and 1670, induced the Corporation (who imagined that 
such encumbrances might injure the channel) to cause 
the fishermen to open their oysters in the boats, and 
throw the shells on the strand, by which that hill of 
shells was raised, which at high water is surrounded by 
the sea, and called " Oyster bank."* 

The late Duke of Northumberland introduced oyster 

* ' Topographical and Historical Description of the County of Dorset/ 
by John Britton, Esq., and Mr. E. W. Brayley, pp. 413, 414. 


cultivation on the Northumbrian coast. They were 
imported and established there, and in the year 1865 
the fisheries were allowed to commence, when they 
were found to have succeeded admirably, but since 
then the sand has destroyed the oysters. Messrs, 
Forbes and Hanley state that since the introduction of 
steamboats and railroads, considerable quantities of 
sea-oysters are brought from Falmouth and Helford, 
in Cornwall, also from Scotland and Ireland ; the 
Irish oysters coming mostly from Carlingford, Mala- 
hide, Lissadell, Burran, Arklow, and Wexford ; but 
the ( Report of the Irish Fishery Commissioners/ in 
1874, gave a most unsatisfactory account of many of 
these fisheries; and it is said that the Carlingford beds, 
once so productive, are nearly dredged out, and in 
1876 the take did not exceed a few thousands. The 
Wexford and Tralee beds were in the same condition, 
from over dredging and a succession of bad spatting 
years. It is not lawful to sell oysters in Ireland in 
the months of May, June, and July. The Wexford 
men dredged for them, of course, in the other months, 
but one reason of the beds being badly stocked 
was, that in the closed months they were regularly 
dredged by Beaumaris boats, which replenished their 
own exhausted beds with them ; and in 1863 a French 
lugger visited Wexford seven times, carrying off on 
each occasion a large quantity of oysters for "laying 
down " on the French coast.* 

The amount of oysters taken on the principal 
natural oyster-beds in 1876, off Arklow, was 7520 
barrels of 450 each, large and small, at prices from 
18s. to 24s. Qd. per barrel. In 1875, 13,640 barrels 

* « Morning Post,' Aug. 29th, 1864. 


were taken. The Burran Bank oysters are highly 
esteemed in Dublin, and are called " Burton Baidcns/' 
They are brought from Kilkerran and Rossmuck 
Bays, in Gralway, and are laid down to fatten on the 
Red Bank Oyster-bed in Aughinish Bay. Formerly 
Mr. Burton Bindon was the possessor of these beds, 
but now Mr. Singleton has succeeded him, as we are 
informed by Mr. Buckland, who visited these and 
other oyster-beds on the west coast of Ireland, the 
east coast of England, and also those on the west 
coast of France. 

There are oyster-beds in the Shannon, said in 1836 to 
yield a revenue of £1400 ; and formerly, a small bed in 
Cork harbour, of no great extent, but the oysters were 
large, and prized for stewing; however, I am told that 
the latter no longer exists. In Lough Swilly there are 
oyster-beds, but the oysters were getting very scarce 
in 1876, and it was proposed having what is called in 
Ireland, a jubilee, viz., closing the banks, or a portion 
of them, for two years, and preventing the picking or 
taking of small oysters.* Oysters are increasing in 
scarcity and dearness in Ireland and in England, and 
this may be traced in a measure to the increased de- 
mand, the railroads conveying the oysters into the 
country ; and Mr. Farrer stated, in the evidence before 
the Committee on Oyster Fisheries, in 1876, that oyster 
cultivators had great difficulty in obtaining oysters to 
fatten, because they were taken into the manufactur- 
ing districts, where the people eat them though in 
bad condition ; whereas they formerly had them 
brought to the beds in the Thames. 

It is said that over- dredging has destroyed many of 

* ' Report on Oyster Fisheries,' 1876; Mr. Blake's evidence. 


the oyster-beds, and doubtless this has been the case 
in places ; but on some parts of the coast it is abso- 
lutely necessary to dredge during the summer, which 
is the close time, to keep the beds free from sand, 
weeds, and mud, which accumulate so much that the 
spat is injured ; but the principal cause of the scarcity 
of the oysters may be attributed to the low tempera- 
ture of the water during the spatting season ; the last 
few summers having been cold, and the weather so 

Between London and Glamorganshire there is a 
large trade in pickled oysters, and we are told that 
seventy-two million oysters are annually consumed in 
London alone.* 

In Scotland, the Cockenzie fishermen derive a good 
portion of their annual income from the oyster trade, 
and dredge for them at high and low tide. The crews 
of the boats keep up a wild and monotonous song (in 
which they believe there is much virtue) all the time 
they are dredging, and assert that it charms the 
oysters into the dredge. f The same authority further 
states, that as a class, the fishers of the Scottish coast 
are very superstitious. They do not like being num- 
bered whilst standing or walking. It offends them 
very much to ask them whilst on their way to their 
boats, where they are going to-day. They consider it 
unlucky to see the impression of a very flat foot upon 
the sand, and they will not go to work, if in the morn- 
ing, on leaving their houses, a pig should cross their 
path. An experimental steam fishing-vessel has been 

* < Journal of Society of Arts.' Aug. 24th, 1883. 
+ ' The Fisher Folk of the Scottish East Coast,' Macuiillan's Magazine, 
October, 1862, £so. 36. 


built at Cockenzie ; she is a dandy cutter-rigged craft, 
forty tons burden, assisted with auxiliary screw steam 
power, for the purpose of dredging oysters during the 
winter months, and deep-sea trawling during the 

The celebrated " Pandore " oysters are principally 
obtained from the neighbourhood of Prestonpans. 
The exclusive right to fish, dredge, and cultivate oysters 
and mussels, belongs to the barony of Prestongrange, 
extending as far as the shores of the barony and to the 
centre of the Forth. During the last century, and the 
earlier portion of this, the proprietors of the barony 
were able to maintain control over the fishermen, and to 

regulate the fishing At that date a number of salt 

works existed along the shore, and the oysters taken 
near them were termed " Pandores," which in Edin- 
burgh still designates the finest oysters.* According 
to Mr. Frank Buckland, the oysters on the west coast 
of Scotland have a very beautiful shell, quite different 
from those on the east coast of England, and the 
beard of the oyster is always black, and this is also 
the case with the Irish, American, and Lisbon oysters. 

Among the 'Antient Cryes of London' we find the 
following : — 

" We daily cryes about the streets may hear, 
According to the season of the year ; 
Some Wellfleet oysters call, others do cry 
Fine Shelsea cockles, or white mussels buy."f 

Oysters are imported very largely from France ; 
also from the Netherlands, from the Eastern Scheldt 
and the Zuyder Zee, and the latter are sold under the 

* ' Report on Oyster Fisheries,' 1876. Letter in Appendix, by 
Edward Vale, factor for Sir G. G. Suttie. 

| Kirby's ' Wonderful Museum,' vol. ii. p. 233. 


name of " Anglo-Dutch." Dr. Knapp tells us that not 
less than 800,000 tubs of oysters, each tub contain- 
ing two English bushels, are annually procured 
from the Normandy coast for the English market 
and the Channel Islands, and large quantities are 
sent from Arcachon. The principal oyster fisheries 
on the French coast are those of Courseulles- 
sur-Mer, Les Sables d'Olonne, Marennes, and La 
Tremblade, which are used simply for rearing and 
fattening purposes ; and those which may be regarded 
as places of reproduction, are Granville, Cancale, 
Auray, Vannes, lie d'Oleron, and Arcachon.* 

An interesting paragraph appeared in the ' Times/ 
November 13th, 1862, on the cultivation of oysters 
on the western coast of France. It is as follows : — - 
" M. Coste has just communicated a paper to the 
Academy of Sciences on the progress of his artificial 
oyster-beds. Several thousands of the inhabitants of 
the island of Re have been for the last four years en- 
gaged in cleansing their muddy coast of the sediments 
which prevented oysters from congregating there, and 
as the work advances, the seed, wafted from Nieulle 
and other oyster localities, settles in the new beds, 
and, added to that transplanted, peoples the coast ; so 
that 72,000,000 of oysters from one to four years old, 
and nearly all marketable, is the lowest average re- 
gistered per annum by the local administration, repre- 
senting at the rate of from 25 to 30 francs per 
thousand, which is the current price in the locality, a 
sum of about two millions of francs, the produce of an 
extremely limited surface. That the waves or currents 

* ' Report on the Principal Oyster Fisheries of France,' by Major 
Kayes, 1878. 


carry the seed of oysters is a well-known fact, since 
the walls of sluices newly erected are often covered 
with them. In the island of Re the existence of oyster- 
beds, however, no longer depends upon this contin- 
gency, they being now in a state of permanent self- 
reproduction. Again, in some localities it is sufficient 
to prepare the emerging banks for collection, to see 
them soon covered with seed ; but in other places 
nothing would be obtained without transplanting 
proper subjects. The concession of emerging banks 
is anxiously applied for by the inhabitants of the coast, 
— the more so, as improvements in the working of this 
branch of trade are of daily occurrence. Thus, Dr. 
Kemmerer, of Re, covers a number of tiles with a 
coating of a kind of mastic, brittle enough to enable him 
to detach the small oysters from it. When this coating 
is well covered with seed, he gets it off all in one piece, 
which he carries to the place where the seed is to 
grow. The same tile he coats a second time, and so on." 
In France, oysters having a green tint are con- 
sidered great delicacies, and the art of greening 
oysters is carried to the greatest perfection on the 
coasts of Aunis, whence come the celebrated green 
oysters of Marennes. They receive their colour and 
peculiar flavour when transplanted to certain beds or 
claires, which, at the approach of winter, are lined with 
a kind of vegetation, which disappears in the spring ; 
and the oysters are said to owe their colouring to the 
absorption of the chlorophyl with which the waters 
of the claires are saturated. It is a fact that the 
oyster assumes its green colour when the claire grows 
green, and loses its colour when the claire is deprived of 
its vegetation. Some have thought that the greening 


of the Marennes oysters was due to the essentially 
argillaceous soil of Marennes, to the brackish waters 
of the Seudre, or to oxide of iron ; but at La T rein- 
blade, where the greening process is also carried on, it 
is attributed as much to the action of fresh water as to 
the nature of the soil, and reeds grow on the edges 
of the claires which could not grow in salt water. 
The greening takes place in a few days. A fortnight 
is sufficient when the claire is in the humour. But the 
greatest care must be taken not to empty the claire, as 
it would be along time before it became green again.* 
Oysters are imported into Marennes for fattening 
and rearing from all parts of France, and the number 
in 1880-81, including Portuguese oysters, amounted to 
130,000,000. In 1882, Marennes sent out 151,000,000 
oysters, representing a value of 5,900,000 francs.f 
Some years since these Marennes oysters were so much 
in demand, that the white oyster-beds in the neigbour- 
hood had become insufficient to stock these peculiar 
beds where the creature acquires the green colour and 
delicious taste which causes the Marennes oyster to be 
so eagerly sought after. White oysters had therefore 
to be imported from Spain, Brittany, Ireland, and 
England. A considerable quantity of oysters were at 
one time imported from Falmouth, and these contain 
copper, which imparts an acrid taste. They were gene- 
rally, on their arrival, deposited in certain beds apart 
from the others, and there kept for six months, after 
which it was proved by experience that they lost their 
copper, salt, and bad flavour. A Marennes fisherman, 

* ' Oyster Culture in France,' Translation of Report, by M. G. Bou- 
cbon-Brandeley. Edward Staubope, 1877. 

f ' Translation of Report on Oyster Culture in France,' by M. Broccbi, 
Aug. 1st, 1882. T. H. Farrer. 


whose trade was not very extensive, procured a few 
thousand oysters from Falmouth, and, out of thirst for 
gain, he sent them off to Rochefort, before they had 
sojourned more than three weeks in the beds set apart 
for their purification. These oysters caused alarming 
symptoms, and M. Cuzent, being called upon to test 
them, as they had been seized in the market at Roche- 
fort, found copper in them, the quantity being about 
twenty-three centigrammes per dozen oysters.* I have 
elsewhere given an account of the finding of copper in 
the Falmouth oysters; one of the tests used by M. 
Cuzent was so very simple, that any one might discover 
the presence of copper. It is as follows : — An ordinary 
needle is thrust into the green part of the oyster, and 
then the mollusk was immersed in pure vinegar. When 
copper was present, thirty seconds sufficed to cover the 
portion of the needle embedded in the oyster with a red 
coatiug of copper, f 

The amount of shell-fish consumed in Paris annually, 
including lobsters, crayfish, oysters, &c, is immense. 
In 1867, the consumption of oysters in Paris was 
26,750,775, of which the greater portion came from 
Courseulles-sur-Mer, and from Saint Vaast-de-la- 
Hougue.J In the 'Revue des Deux Mondes/ Janvier 
l er , 1884, it is stated that the consumption of oysters in 
Paris alone was 2,000,000. 

Oysters are not packed in barrels, as with us, but at 
the restaurants and in the wine-shops are seen very 
shallow baskets, in shape resembling a small shield, 
with a thatching or wall of straw on either side, rising 

* * Galignani's Messenger.' t ' Field,' March 14th, 1868. 

% ' Revue des Deux Moudes,' " L'Alimentatiou de Paris," tome kxv. 
15 Juin, 1868. 


to the height of a foot or a foot and a half, tied with 
string at both ends and across the centre. These 
baskets contain a hundred or more oysters, according 
to their size. 

There is another species of oyster largely cultivated 
in the French oyster-beds, which I have already men- 
tioned, viz., Osirea angulata (the Gryphoea angulata, 
of Lamarck), the Tagus oyster, and quantities are 
consumed in England, where they are known by the 
name of Anglo -Portuguese. Its introduction and 
acclimatization in France are due to an accidental 
case.* A vessel bound from Portugal was laden with 
a cargo of this oyster. Having entered the Gironde, 
after a long passage, the captain, believing the oysters 
dead, threw the cargo overboard, upon an old oyster- 
bed named the Richard bed. Having found in the 
Gironde a soil nearly identical with that which they 
came from, and conditions favourable to their propaga- 
tion, the oysters multiplied in such proportions that from 
the Pointe de Grave to the above Richard bed, an extent 
of thirty kilometres, they form one vast bed. 

The taste and flavour are very different to that of 
our native oysters. It delights in muddy and brackish 
waters, and is suitable for sending long distances, as 
the lower valve is deep and holds much water. M. Paul 
Fischer says that it belongs essentially to the Littoral 
Zone, and is uncovered at each tide, and everywhere 
distributed where limpets are found.f The first im- 
portation of Ostrea angulata to the Arcachon beds from 
Lisbon was in 18fi6. 

* • Oyster Culture iu France,' Translation of Report, by M. Bouchon- 
Brandeley, 1883. 

T ' Journal de Conchy liologie,' 3me Serie, tome xx. No. 1, 1880. 


In the Bay of Cadiz Ostrea Virginica (or Ostrea 
angulata?) is eaten when very small, but the poor people 
eat it full-size, viz., ten inches long. This species lives 
in the salt mud of the Guadalete, and is called Ostione; 
other oysters are called Ostrea or Ostrias, and Ostrea 
edulis is known by the name of Ostia blanca. The river 
is said to be salt three leagues from its mouth. 

A Freuchman at Puerto St. Maria tried the experi- 
ment of breeding oysters for the Madrid market, but 
they were slimy, and not to be compared with the 
English oysters, though they were said to be good when 
cooked ; and Major Byng Hall stated that at Madrid, 
oysters — not fine ones — cost twopence-halfpenny (that 
is, 1 suppose, one real) each ; but this is not very 
remarkable, for in 1865 natives cost twopence, and 
Whitstable oysters three-halfpence each in London, the 
very land of oysters, so scarce had the mollusks become. 

Ostrea edulis is found in abundance in the Gulfs 
of Trieste and of Venice. Ostreo- culture is carried on 
in a most primitive manner by the fishermen of Moi - 
falcone, Duino, Zaole, &c. They drive piles, or rather 
oak branches, into the bed of the sea, in one and a half 
to two fathoms of water, in the spring, and in the 
autumn, when the spat has settled on them, they are 
transferred into deep waters, there to await their de- 
velopment after the third season. In Dalmatia the 
branches of oak are m< rely thrown into the water, and 
there allowed to remain until the oysters mature and fall 


The Tarentines declare that oysters are fattest during 
the full moon, and they are also fully persuaded that 
the moon-beams have a pernicious effect upon sea-fish, 

* < The Fisheries of the Adriatic,' by G. L. Faber. 


therefore they cover over fish taken by moonlight, lest 
they should decompose. The Italian name for the 
oyster is Ostrica. 

Experiments have been tried, both on the French and 
English coasts, to acclimatize the large American oyster, 
Ostrea Virginica, or Ostrea Virginiana, but they did not 
succeed, and although when the weather was warm 
they seemed to fatten and grow, still they would not 
spawn or spat. Large quantities of American oysters 
are sent over to Liverpool, and other parts of England, 
and are sold at a moderate price — from Is. to Is. 6d. a 
dozen was the cost of them in 1876. In 1879, 90,663 
barrels of oysters were shipped to England from New 
York, and its neighbourhood, at a total value of £90,661. 

Mr. Nichols, in his ' Forty Years in America/ tells 
us that oysters are never oat of season in New York. 
They are brought from the shores of Virginia, and 
planted to grow and fatten ; so that every quality and 
flavour can be produced by the varying situations of 
the banks, and the time of planting and the depth of 
water regulates the season of the oyster, and keeps the 
market in constant supply. There is a celebrated 
restaurant for oysters in New York, No. 783, Sixth 
Avenue, and the late proprietor, Mr. Robert Burns, 
informed Mr. Marshall, in November, 1879, that he had 
then in stock about fifty thousand, and in holiday time 
he kept from four to five thousand oysters. The shells 
of one of the large Cow Bay oysters measured 10J inches 
in length, and averaged 4| inches in width, and the fish 
inside averaged 6 inches by 4 inches. Mr. Marshall was 
shown 15,000 of these monsters stored away in bins in a 
cellar under the house. Sometimes even larger speci- 
mens are to be met with. Cow Bay is an inlet of Long 


Island Sound about fifty miles above New York.* From 
information received in 1883, kindly given by the 
manager of the restaurant, which is now carried on by 
a son of Mr. R. Burns, it appears that since 1879 the 
business has been doubled, and double the amount of 
oysters consumed. 

It is not only in seaport towns in America that 
oysters are eaten in enormous quantities, but towns a 
thousand miles inland are well supplied, and oyster 
suppers are as common in Cincinnati or St. Louis as in 
New York or Baltimore. It was stated by Mr. Consul 
Rainall, in 1869, that eight millions of bushels of oysters 
are annually landed at Baltimore for home consumption 
and packing, and as many more to other places. 
Baltimore is the largest oyster-market in the world. 
The average consumption for seven months in the 
year is 35,000 bushels per day. One firm alone from 
October 1st till June 1st, averages 4000 bushels a day, 
packing from 16,000 to 25,000 cans daily, hermetically 
sealed, containing lib. and 21bs. of oysters.f 

In the ' Report of the Commissioners of Fisheries in 
Maryland, January, 1880/ is the following account of 
the oyster-fisheries in Chesapeake Bay, given by Mr. 
W. H. Brooks :— " The town of Crisfield, Maryland, is 
situated at the junction of the two sounds of Pokamoke 
and Tangier, two large and wide but shallow sheets of 
water, whose muddy bottoms abound in oysters of the 
best quality. The town is one of the most important 
centres of the oyster-packing industry, and is built in 
the water upon the shells of the oysters which have 
been shipped to all parts of the country for consump- 

• 'Through America,' by W. G. Marshall, M.A.. 
f ' Field,' May 8th, 1869. 


tiou. As fast as the oysters are opened the shells are 
used to build up new land, and with them a large 
peninsula has been formed, stretching out for more 
than half a mile from the low marshy shore towards 
the oyster-beds, and furnishing room for wide streets, 
a railroad, and a steamboat landing, in addition to the 
large packing-houses, and the shops and dwellings for 
a population of several thousand people. A single view 
of the long white solid streets and docks of this 
singular town would convey a much more vivid idea of 
the oyster-packing industry than any number of tables 
of statistics. At some future period this enormous 
accumulation of oyster-shells will be considered as a 

In Brand's s Popular Antiquities ' we are told, that 
oysters are in season in London on St. James's Day, 
July 25th (old style), and that there is a popular super- 
stition still in force, similar to that relating to goose on 
Michaelmas Day, viz., that whoever eats oysters on 
that day will never want money for the rest of the year ; 
but the real oyster season is considered to commence 
on the 4th of August, and last until January, and the 
natives especially, from October to March. Oysters are 
said to be in season when the month has the letter r in 
it. In 'Poor Robin's Almanack/ 1719, under Sep- 
tember, he says, — 

" This month hath gotten an R in't, 
By which Astrologers do hint, 
That the Fish icleped oysters, 
Are in their operative moistures, 
Which tho' counted ungodly meat, 
Because without grace they are eat, 

* ' Report of the Commissioners of Fisheries of Maryland,' 1880. 
' Development of the American Ouster,' by W. K. Brooks. 



And also uncharitable, 

'Cause naught but Shells come from Table, 

Whereby the Poor small comfort gain, 

Yet this for Truth I will maintain, 

That with a glass of good Canary, 

(Oh ! which to drink too much be chary ;) 

Being wash'd down, 1 say with sack, 

No commendations they need lack ! " 

Oysters are very beneficial to persons who suffer from 
weak digestions, bat then they must be eaten raw, and 
without vinegar or pepper, and I have known an invalid 
able to eat oysters when quite unable to take any other 
food; and oysters are also recommended for consumptive 
patients. Mr. Frank Buckland gives the following 
description of the composition of an oyster, viz., the 
chemical ingredients contained in them, " Oysters con- 
tain a great deal of water of the same composition as 
sea- water ; namely, hydro-chlorate of soda, hydro- 
chlorate of magnesia, sulphate of lime, sulphate of soda, 
and sulphate of magnesia, phosphate of iron and lime. 
Then they contain much osmazome, or creatine. You 
cannot see osmazome very well, but osmazome is the 
smell of roast beef.. It is the same thing as the essence 
of meat. The oyster also contains a certain quantity of 
gelatine and mucus, which renders it so digestible, and 
thirdly, it contains an animal material of which phos- 
phorus is the principal ingredient. Phosphorus is the 
principal brain-making form of food that we can take, 
and therefore those who are fond of literary pursuits, 
who have to work hard, always find that oysters will 
bring them better up to the mark than any other form 
of food that they can take."* 

In China, fresh oysters are used to cure freckles. I 

* < 

Report on Oyster Fisheries,' 1876. 


have already mentioned that artificial oyster cultivation 
is carried on in China, and has been for many genera- 
tions. The principal oyster-beds are situated near the 
mainland, opposite the north and east of Namoa Island. 
Pieces of rock or stones are laid out on the beds, old 
oysters are placed on them, and here the spat is 
deposited. After three years, the oysters are brought 
to market. As regards quality, they are inferior to 
those of Amoy and Foochow, which are exported on a 
large scale to the ports along the coasts.* 

M. Dabry de Thersant says that there are some prolific 
beds in the neighbourhood of Macao, which, after 
deducting the working expenses, about £600, return 
an annual profit of more than £2000. A staff of eight 
men are employed on these beds, at about £1 per 
month each. Another bed which is leased for an 
annual sum of £10, for thirty years, returns a profit of 
from £1100 to £1200 per annum.f 

The best oysters are those collected in January, 
February, and March. There are several species of 
oysters in China. The Bamboo Oysters are grown in the 
following manner. Old oyster-shells of two kinds are 
selected, thick and thin, each of the thick ones having 
a hole one and a half inches in diameter bored through 
the centre of it. Slips of bamboo about two feet in 
length, one and a half inches wide, and half an inch 
thick, are pointed and split to about half the distance 
down, a thin shell is inserted in each split near its 
bottom end, the two top ends of each split are pressed 
together and thrust into the perforated shell, which 

* ' China : Imperial Maritime Customs.' Special Catalogue, Inter- 
national Fisheries Exhibition, London, 18S3. 
t " ± ii^ht of the Lapwing.' 


holds it securely. When a sufficient number of bam- 
boos have been prepared, they are planted very closely 
together on the mud flats, much in the same way as a 
gardener plants cuttings. At the end of about a month, 
the spat, which had attached itself to them when planted 
out, has developed into small oysters. The bamboos 
are then taken up and transplanted about six inches 
apart. In four or five months the bamboos are almost 
hid by the oysters which cluster round them, and which 
are now collected and sold.* The shells of the oyster 
and murex were used by the Romans as tooth-powder, 
and oyster-shells are now used as manure. The 
Chinese use the shells, when ground down, in certain 
skin diseases; and the valves of Ostrea talienwanensis, 
and of other species of oysters, are calcined wntil quite 
white, pulverized, and then mixed with the juice of 
certain plants, as a dressing for ulcers.f In the crab 
traps in China, which are made of bamboo in the shape 
of a truncated cone, the bait is placed in the middle of 
the basket, and an oyster is generally used for that 

Juan Francisco de San Antonio, in his ' Chronicos 
de los Rel. Descalzos de S. Francisco/ &c, 1738, men- 
tions the use of great oyster-shells for " holy water," 
and speaks of one known to be ninety years old, by the 
layers of its shell. But I fancy he must mean the shell 
of the Tridacna gigas, as we know it is used for that 
purpose; and in the church of St. Sulpice, in Paris, 
are two of these shells resting upon rock-work in 
marble, by Pigalle; they were given to Francis I. by 

* * China : Imperial Maritime Customs,' &c. 

f ' Essai sur la Pharmacie et la Mature Medicale des Cliinois,' par 
J. 0. Debeaux. 


the Republic of Venice. In the ' Intellectual Observer/ 
vol. i., p. 483, is an account of an u oyster-shell " island, 
by M. Aucapitaine, on the east coast of Corsica, com- 
posed of layers of shells, bearing some resemblance to 
the shell-mounds of St. Michel-en-1'Herm, in La Vendee. 
This island is formed of still-living species, and is 
between three hundred and four hundred yards in 
circumference, the greatest elevation about thirty 
yards, and the mean elevation rather more than two 
yards above the level of the sea. The Romans are said 
by the fishermen to have deposited the shells of the 
oysters there, which they salted for exportation, but 
1L Aucapitaine does not believe in the artificial origin 
of this island. 

According to M. do Quatrefages, the shell-mounds 
of St. Michel-en-1'Herin are composed of oyster, mussel, 
and scailop shells, of the same species as those living 
now in the neighbouring seas* Many of them have 
their valves still connected by the ligament which forms 
the hinge, and they have not even changed colour. 
The three banks of St. Michel- en-1' Her m are about 
seven hundred and thirty yards in length, three hundred 
in width, and rise about ten to fifteen yards above the 
level of the surrounding marshes. 

Mr. Buckland mentions a large heap of oyster-shells 
in G-alway Bay, at a place called Creggauns ; another 
south-west of Tyrone, and one at Ardfry Point. The 
Creggauns heap consists principally of the shells of the 
oyster, mussel, and common cockle, though the whelk, 
Pecten variug, periwinkle, limpet, Nassa reticulata. 
Helix nemor alls, Trochwt, and Venerupis decussata (Tapes 
decussata?), are also found in it. There are layers of 
wood-ashes and stones, apparently used as hearth- 


stones, showing the marks of having been subjected to 
fire, but no weapons. The heap occupies an irregular 
space of two hundred feet long, and sixty feet wide, 
and ranges from six to eight feet deep. There are 
various traditions as to the age of the heaps ; and it is 
said, that ninety years ago a series of high tides cast 
up the heap of shells from adjoining beds.* 

Dr. Schliemann found oyster-shells in large numbers 
in the ruins of all the five prehistoric settlements at 
Hissarlik, showing that oysters must have been a 
favourite food with all the early settlers, and their 
abundance in the first and oldest city is confirmed by 
Professor R. Virchow.f 

In an old kitchen-midden, in the Andaman Is- 
lands, close to the landing-place at Hoinfray's Ghat, 
Mount Augusta, the valves of oysters Arcidoe. and 
Cyrenidce, are found in abundance, but the present race 
of Andamanese are stated by Mr. Ball not to eat oysters, 
which suggests the idea that possibly there were dif- 
ferent inhabitants of this portion of the island at some 
former period. J Saint-Hilaire describes heaps of oyster 
and other shells, bordering the river Piriqui-assii, near 
Aldea Velha, which are without doubt kjokkenmodding?. 
Similar shell-heaps, or Ostreiras, as they are called in 
Brazil, are found on the coast of Sao Paulo, and on the 
Ilha do Governador, in the Bay of Rio. They often 
contain human remains, pottery, &c § 

At the present day the Baltic appears to be almost 
the only sea where the oyster will not grow, a fact 

* ' Field,' February 4th, 1865. 

+ ' Trqja, 1 by Dr. Henry Schliemann, see note vi. p. 285. 
X 'Jungle Life in India.' 

§ ' Scientific Results of Agassiz's Journey,' by Charles Fred. Hartt. 


attributable to the very great influx of fresh water from 
the mouths of its many rivers, and the less powerful 
current from the ocean, so that, in the words of Sir 
Charles Lyell, " the Ostrea edulis cannot live at present 
in the brackish waters of the Baltic, except near its 
entrance." Yet, from the examination of the Danish 
kjokkenmoddings, it appears " that the oyster flourished 
in places from which it is now excluded, attaining its 
full size." 

Oysters may be eaten in various ways, either cooked 
or raw : — 

" The pepper-box, the cruet, — wait 
To give a relish to the taste ; 
The mouth is watering for the bait 
Within the pearly cloisters cased. 

" Take off the beard, — as quick as thought, 
The pointed knife divides the flesh; 
What plates are laden ! Loads are brought, 
And eaten raw, and cold, and fresh." * 

The oddest way of cooking an oyster, of which we 
have any mention, is that recorded by Evelyn, who, in 
the year 1672, saw Richardson, " the famous fire-eater," 
perform wondrous feats, one of which was, ' ' taking a 
live coal on his tongue, he put on it a raw oyster ; the 
coal was blown on with bellows, till it flamed and 
sparkPd in his mouth, and so remained till the oyster 
gaped, and was quite boil'd." Who ate the oyster 
thus cooked, we are not informed. f 

The Chinese seldom eat fresh oysters, they are 
usually dried. They are first boiled for a short time, 
and then either exposed to the sun, or dried over a slow 

* Hone's * Every Day Book,' vol. ii. p. 1071. 
*f* ' Evelyn's Memoirs,' vol. i. p. 438. 


fire until they look like mushrooms, and give off a nasty 
rancid smell. When they are eaten fresh, they are 
taken with ginger and vinegar, and a sauce is made by 
boiling down the water in which oysters have pre- 
viously been boiled.* 

" Oyster Soup. — Take fifty oysters ; blanch them, but 
do not let them boil ; strain through a sieve, and save 
the liquor. Put a quarter of a pound of butter into 
a stew-pan; when it is melted, add six ounces of flour; 
stir it over the fire for a few minutes, add the liquor 
from the oysters, two quarts of veal stock, one quart 
of new milk ; season with salt, peppercorns, a little 
cayenne pepper, a blade of mace, Harvey's sauce and 
essence of anchovy, a tablespoonf ul of each ; strain it 
through a tammy, let it boil ten minutes ; put the 
oysters into the tureen, with a gill of cream, and pour 
the boiling soup upon them.^f 

Gower Recipe for Oyster Soiqi. — Boil four sheep's 
feet in two quarts of water, till reduced to one quart ; 
it will then be a stiff jelly ; put in it, while boiling, a 
small blade of mace ; take off the fat, and thicken it 
with one and a half tablespoonfuls of ground rice ; add 
from twenty to fifty oysters; boil it till thick enough, 
and add a teacupf ul of cream. 

Ouster Soup is also particularly good when made 
with a fish stock ; as, for instance, with equal quan- 
tities of flounders, skate, and eels, or indeed with any 
fish that is abundant, and not much in request for 
other purposes. 

Oyster Soup. — Take four dozen o} 7 sters ; lay the fish 
apart, and pass the liquor through a sieve, into a 

* ' Flight of the Lapwing.' f Murray's 'Modern Cookery.' 


stew-pan ; set it on the fire ; beat up the yolks of six 
eggs, and stir them in with half a pint of cream ; add 
water or milk to the required quantity ; season with 
pepper, a little grated lemon-peel, and the flesh of an 
anchovy beaten up, with a little butter and a small 
teaspoonful of good arrowroot. Five minutes before 
serving, put in the oysters.* 

" Potage a la Poissonniere. — Blanch and beard two 
dozen of oysters, and four dozen of very fresh mussels ; 
put a quarter of a pound of butter into a stew-pan, 
with six ounces of flour, make a white roux ; when cool, 
add the liquor of the oysters, mussels, and bones of a 
sole, with two quarts of broth, and three pints of 
milk; season with a spoonful of salt, one ditto of 
sugar, a sprig of thyme, parsley, two bay-leaves, four 
cloves, and two blades of mace ; pass through a 
tammy into a clean stew-pan ; boil and skim well ; cut 
about ten pieces of salmon into thin slices, half an inch 
long, a quarter of an inch wide ; cut the fillet of the 
sole the same size; put all into the boiling soup, with 
half a handful of picked parsley and a gill of good 
cream ; put the oysters and mussels in the tureen, and 
serve." t 

" Oyster Mouth Soup. — Make a rich mutton broth, 
with two large onions, three blades of mace, and black 
pepper. When strained, pour it on a hundred and 
fifty oysters, without the beards, and a bit of butter 
rolled in flour; simmer gently a quarter of an hour, 
and serve." J 

" To make an Oyster Soup. — Your stock must be 

* Maitre Jacques. 

f ' The Gastronomic Regenerator,' by Mons. A. Soyer. 

X < All About Oysters.' 


made of any sort of fish the place affords ; let there be 
about two quarts. Take a pint of oysters, beard them 
put them into a saucepan, strain the liquor, let them 
stew two or three minutes in their own liquor, then 
take the hard parts of the oysters, and beat them in a 
mortar with the yolks of four hard-boiled eggs ; mix 
them with some of the soup, put them with the other 
part of the oysters and liquor into a saucepan, a little 
nutmeg, pepper, and salt; stir them well together, 
and let it boil a quarter of an hour. Dish it up, and 
send it to table."* 

"White Oyster Sauce (No. 43). — First scald and beard 
the oysters, and save the liquor. Next knead two ounces 
of butter, with one ounce of flour (or, better still, with 
arrowroot) , in a stew-pan ; add the liquor, a gill of 
cream or milk, a little nutmeg, cayenne, anchovy, 
and lemon-juice ; stir over the fire until the sauce boils, 
then add the oysters and serve hot." f 

" Brown Oyster Sauce (No. 44). — Prepare the oysters 
as in the foregoing recipe, boil down their liquor, add 
half a pint of brown sauce (No. 12), or if there is none 
ready, use melted butter instead, adding a little 
browning ; season with a little anchovy, cayenne, and 
lemon-juice; add the oysters; boil together for a few 
minutes, and serve hot." J 

" Oyster Sauce. — Set a pint of cream upon the hob, 
beside a fire of clear glowing ashes, in an earthenware 
pipkin, glazed inside. Take two ounces of butter, and 
intimately mix with part of it a teaspoonful of best 
arrowroot, flavour with the flesh of anchovy, pounded, 
a dash of cayenne-wine, a squeeze of lemon-juice, and a 

* ' The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy.' 

t Francatelli's « Cook's Guide.' ± Idem. 


scrap of peel, and stir" in the whole, letting it boil 
until of the proper consistence; then put in the 
oysters (if of a large size they should be cut into 
halves or quarters), and keep stirring the sauce for 
about two minutes. — N.B. In mixing the butter with 
the cream take care that the blending proceeds 
slowly, and keep stirring gently with a wooden 
spoon." * 

" Old Recipe for Making Oyster Sauce. — Take half a 
pint of large oysters, liquor and all ; put them into a 
saucepan with two or three blades of mace, and twelve 
whole peppercorns ; let them simmer over a slow fire, 
till the oysters are fine and plump, then carefully with 
a fork take out the oysters from the liquor and spice, 
and let the liquor boil five or six minutes ; strain the 
liquor, wash out the saucepan well, and put the 
oysters and liquor into the saucepan again with half a 
pint of gravy, and half a pound of butter just rolled 
in a little flour. Add two spoonfuls of white wine, 
keep it stirring till the sauce boils, and all the butter 
is melted." 

" Oyster Atlets. — Blanch throat-sweetbreads, and cut 
them into slices ; then take rashers of bacon the size of 
the slices of sweetbreads, and as many large oysters 
blanched as there are pieces of sweetbread and 
bacon. Put the whole into a stew-pan, with a piece of 
fresh butter, parsley, thyme, and eschalots, chopped 
very fine ; pepper, salt, and lemon-juice, a small quan- 
tity of each. Put them over a slow fire, and simmer 
them five minutes. Then lay them on a dish, and when 
a little cool, put them upon a small wooden or silver 
skewer; a slice of sweetbread, a slice of bacon, and an 

* Muitre Jacques. 


oyster, and so on alternately till the skewers are full ; 
then put bread-crumbs over them, which should be 
rubbed through a hair-sieve, and broil the atlets gently 
till done and of a light-brown colour. Serve them up 
with a little cullis under them, together with the liquor 
from the blanched oysters reduced and added to it."* 

" Curried Oyster Atlets. — Take slices of sweetbreads, 
or slices of mutton or veal of the same size, put them 
into a stew-pan with a piece of fresh butter, a table- 
spoonful of currie-powder, the juice of half a lemon, 
and a little salt. Set them over a slow fire, and when 
they are half done, add to them blanched and bearded 
oysters, with their liquor free from sediment, simmer 
together five minutes, lay them on a dish, and when 
cold put them alternately on small wooden skewers. 
Then dip them in the liquor, strew fine bread-crumbs 
on each side, broil them over a clear fire till of a brown- 
colour, and serve them up with some currie sauce under 
them. — N.B. The slices of sweetbread, oyster, veal, or 
mutton, to be of an equal number/'f 

" Curried Oysters. — Let a hundred of large sea-oysters 
be opened into a basin, without losing one drop of 
their liquor. Put a lump of fresh butter into a good- 
sized saucepan, and when it boils, add a large onion, 
cut it into thin slices, and let it fry in the uncovered 
stew-pan until it is of a rich brown ; now add a bit 
more butter, and two or three tablespoonfuls of currie- 
powder. When these ingredients are well mixed over 
the fire with a wooden spoon, add gradually either hot 
water or broth from the stockpot, cover the stew-pan, 
and let the whole boil up. 

" Meanwhile, have ready the meat of a cocoa-nut, 

* ' Old Cookery Book.' t Idem. 


grated or rasped fine, put this into the stew-pan with a 
few sour tamarinds (if they are to be obtained, if not, a 
sour apple chopped). Let the whole simmer over the 
fire until the apple is dissolved, and the cocoa-nut very 
tender; then add a strong thickening made of flour 
and water, and sufficient salt, as a currie will not bear 
being salted at table. Let this boil up for five minutes. 
Have ready also a vegetable marrow, or part of one, 
cut into bits, and sufficiently boiled to require little or 
no further cooking. Put this in with a tomato or two ; 
either of these vegetables may be omitted. Now put 
into the stew-pan the oysters, with their own liquor, 
and the milk of the cocoa-nut, if it be perfectly sweet ; 
stir them well with the former ingredients ; boil the 
currie, stew gently for a few minutes, then throw in 
the strained juice of half a lemon. Stir the currie from 
time to time with a wooden spoon, and, as soon as the 
oysters are done enough, serve it up, with a corre- 
sponding dish of rice on the opposite side of the table. 
This dish is considered at Madras the ne plus ultra of 
Indian cookery."* 

ft To Steiv Oysters. — Take the oysters clean from their 
liquor. Let the liquor stand till it is clear ; then put a 
little of it to the oysters, and stew them ; then put 
to them a little white wine, a little cream, a little 
lemon-juice, and a bit of butter ; shake them together, 
then serve/'f 

i( American Box Stew. — For six people open six doz^u 
of oysters, put them in a basin with their own liquor. 
Place in a stew-pan a pint and a half of milk and a 
quarter of a pound of butter, pepper and salt to taste ; 

* Miss Acton's ' Modern Cookery Book,' taken from ' Magazine of 
Domestic Economy.' f MS. Book. 


thicken witli a teaspoonful of flour, then add the yolks 
of two eggs ; when boiling throw in the oysters and 
liquor, let it boil up again; then pour immediately into 
six soup plates ; in the bottom of each a round of dry 
toast must have been previously placed. Some prefer 
two dozen of oysters to each soup-plate, instead of one 
dozen, in which case, double the quantity of oysters and 
their liquor is required, leaving the other ingredients 
as before."* 

" Oysters Stewed. — Wash them in their own liquor, 
strain them, put them into a saucepan with some 
white pepper pounded, a little beaten mace, a little 
cream, a piece of butter mixed with flour ; stir this till 
it boils, throw in the oysters, simmer them till enough ; 
add salt if required ; toasted sippets round the dish."f 

" To Stew Oysters another way. — Take a quart of 
oysters, wash them one by one in their own liquor with 
a little vinegar and white wine ; then strain the liquor 
into a saucepan, and put your oysters to it, with a bit 
of mace, whole pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and a very 
little thyme and savory, a whole onion, and a little 
lemon-peel ; cover it close, and let it stew very slowly 
almost a quarter of an hour ; then make a sauce with 
six spoonfuls of the liquor, shalot, anchovies, some 
butter, a little mace, and juice of lemon; wet sippets 
in the stewed liquor and lay them upon a plate, lay 
your oysters on them, the best side upwards, and 
crumble the yolks of two or three hard-boiled eggs 
over them, so pour on your sauce. Garnish with lemon 
and barberries.!" 

* { All About Oysters.' 

f ' The Lady's Assistant,' by Mrs. Charlotte Mason, 1775. 

J 'The Lady's Companion,' 1753, vol. ii. p. 151. 


" Oysters Stewed with Milk. — Take a pint of fine 
American oysters, put them with their own liquor and 
a gill of milk into a stew-pan, and, if liked, a blade of 
mace ; set it over the fire, take off any scum which may 
rise; when they are plump and white, turn them into 
a deep plate ; add a little butter and pepper to taste. 
Serve crackers and dressed celery with them.'"* 

" To Stew Oysters the French way. — Parboil a quart of 
oysters in their own liquor, wash them in warm water, 
beard them, and put them into a pipkin with a little of 
their own liquor, white wine, salt, pepper, and a whole 
onion, and let them stew till they are done enough; 
then put them, liquor and all, into a frying-pan, and 
fry them a little; then put in a lump of fresh butter, 
and fry a little longer ; then take the yolks of four 
eggs dissolved in vinegar, with minced parsley, and 
grated nutmeg, put these into the frying-pan to the 
oysters, shake them, let them have a walm (sic) or two, 
and serve them."f 

" Dutch Oysters. — Roll rock oysters in yolk of ego> } 
then dip them in grated bread-crumbs and white pepper, 
one by one, and fry them in butter. Serve them with 
melted butter in a sauce tureen."} 

To Fry Oysters. — Take the largest oysters, open them, 
but do not mangle them, wash them in their own liquor 
and take away all bits of shells; strew a little flour 
over them. Dip them in the yolk of an egg, and fry 
them brown in butter. 

" To Fry Oysters another way. — Beat four eggs with 
salt, add a little nutmeg grated, and a spoonful of 

* Mrs. Crowen's 'American Lady's Cookery Book.' 

t ' The Lady's Companion,' 1753, vol. i. p. 164. 

X ' The English Cookery Buok,' edited by J. U. Walsh. 


grated bread, then make it as thick as batter for pan- 
cakes, with fine flour; drop in the oysters, and fry 
them brown in clarified beef suet. They are to lay 
round any dish of fish."* 

" To Fry Oysters. — Take two quarts of large oysters, 
parboil them in their own liquor, then wash them in 
warm water, dry them, beard them, and flour them ; 
then fry them crisp in clarified butter ; then lay in the 
dish prawns or shrimps buttered with cream and sweet 
butter, and lay the fried oysters about them ; run them 
over with beaten butter, and the juice of oranges; lay 
bay-leaves and orange or lemon in slices round the 
oysters, "f 

11 To Fry Oysters. — Open large oysters, and lay them 
on a sieve to drain ; then put them into a marinade of 
the juice of three or four lemons, and a sliced onion, 
pepper, a little basil, a bay-leaf, and five or six cloves. 
Turn the oysters often when they lie in this marinade. 
Then make a batter with flour and water, and one egg 
and a little salt. Beat these well together: melt a bit 
of butter as big as a walnut, and mix it with your 
batter; then take your oysters out of the marinade, 
and dry them well between two napkins, dip the oysters 
in the batter, and fry them in clarified butter made 
very hot. When they are fried brown, serve them up 
on a clean napkin, with fried parsley."J 

" Fried Oysters — Ostras Asada, Spanish recipe. — 
Take the fish out of the shells, and simmer slowly for 
some minutes in their own liquor. Add salt, pepper, 
parsley chopped fine, a clove of garlic, some oil or 
butter, iu which fry them gently; stir in a spoonful of 

* « The Housewife's Pookot Book.' 

♦ ' Cook's aud Confectioner's Dictionary,' Jobu Xott. J Idem. 


flour, and moisten them with equal quantities of broth 
and wine. When done, add the juice of a lemon v 

"Fried Oysters ; another way. — Beat up two or three 
eggs in a cup, and rasp bread-crumbs on a plate, with 
sweet herbs powdered, and lemon-peel. Dry the 
oysters as much as possible, souse them in the egg f and 
cover them with crumbs. Fry them in plenty of good 
butter, and serve with lemon-juice, cayenne, and brown 
bread and butter, cut thin."* 

" A Ragout of Oysters. — Melt some butter, put in a 
little flour; keep it stirring till brown; wet it with 
gravy ; put in a crust with the oysters and liquor ; toss 
it; season, with pepper, parsley, and fish broth/' 

"A Ragout of Oysters — Ostras Guisadas, Spanish 
recipe. — Put the liquor of the oysters into a saucepan, 
with strong broth, and warm it, salt to your taste ; then 
add the oysters, and a chopped anchovy or two; let 
them simmer, but not boil; serve with chicken, or 
white meat." 

" Grilled Oysters — Open and detach the largest 
oysters ; place upon each a small piece of butter, well 
mixed with finely chopped parsley and spices ; place 
them on the gridiron, and when they begin to boil, serve 
them on a dish ; or else detach the oysters from their 
shells, and let them simmer in their own liquor ; take 
them out, and let them be placed again over tbe fire, 
with a piece of butter, parsley, some pepper, and a 
little lemon-juice. Put four oysters into each shell (after 
it has been well cleansed), and place the shell on the 
gridiron again for a few minutes, taking care not to let 
them boil up. "I 

" Oysters broiled the Butch way.— Take two quarts of 

• Maitre Jacques. f ' La Cuisiniere de la Campague.' 



large oysters, open and parboil them in their own 
liquor; strain them, and then put them into a pipkin, 
with some mace, butter, and slices of onion ; stew 
them, and after that place the shells on a gridiron, and 
put two or three oysters into a shell ; let them broil 
or stew in their own liquor, and so setting them 
on plates, fill them with beaten butter, and serve them 

" To Roast Oysters (206). — Place the oysters unopened 
between the bars of a fire, or in a charcoal stove. They 
require about six or eight minutes time.^f 

" Oysters Boasted. — Take large oysters and spit them 
upon little long sticks, and tie them to the spit, lay 
them down to the fire, and when they ai e dry, baste 
them with claret wine ; put into the pan two anchovies, 
and two or three bay-leaves ; when you think they are 
sufficiently done, baste them with butter, and dredge 
them, and take a little of the liquor out of the pan, and 
some butter, and beat it in a porringer, and pour over 

(t Oysters Roasted, American recipe. — Wash the shells 
perfectly clean, wipe them dry, and lay them on a 
gridiron, the largest side to the fire; set it over a 
bright bed of coals ; when the shells open wide, and the 
oyster looks white, they are done ; fold a napkin on a 
large dish or tray, lay the oysters on it in their shells, 
taking care not to lose the juice ; serve hot. 

fi When oysters (large American ?J are s-erved roasted 
at supper, there must be a small tub between each two 
chairs, to receive the shells, and large coarse napkins 

* ' The Family Dictionary,' b William Salaion, 1710. 
f 'The English Cookery Book.' 

J ' The Family Dictiuna \.' 


cnUed oyster napkins. Serve cold butter and rolls, or 
crackers, with roasted oysters."* 

" Oysters — Ostras a la Pollada, Spanish recipe. — 
Take oysters out of their shells, and blanch them in 
boiling water ; then throw them into cold water, and 
take them out and let them drain. Put into a saucepan 
a piece of butter mixed with flour, parsley chopped 
fine, and mushrooms; warm this over the fire, and add 
sufficient broth to moisten it, and when it is thickened 
sufficiently, add the oysters seasoned with pepper and 
salt, and let the whole boil. The moment before 
serving add the juice of a lemon, or a little vinegar." 

" Boiled Oysters. — Wash the shells nicely, and put 
them into a pot or pan, with the edges downwards ; 
put a pint, or a little less, of water to them, and put 
them over a brisk fire. As soon as the shells open 
wide, take them off, and take out the shells ; then take 
up the oysters with a skimmer, and put them into a 
deep dish ; put to them some of the liquor which boiled 
from them ; add to it butter and pepper to taste, and 
serve with rolls, crackers, or toast/'' For persons in 
delicate health, this manner of preparing oysters, is 
both light and healthful. f 

" Oyster Sausages. — Mince a pint of oysters, scalded 
so as to make them hard, and also a pound of lean 
sirloin of beef, and mix them ; season with pepper, salt, 
and mace ; mix up well with the yolks of eight eggs, 
shape them like sausages, and fry in butter. "J 

11 To make Oyster Sausages. — Take the flesh of the 
inside of a loin of mutton, and chop it as for force-meat, 
and season it with spice ; then put to it fifty oysters, 

* Mrs. Crowen's 'American Lady's Cookery Book.' 
*f Idem. + Maitre Jacques. 

M 'I 


chopped very small, with a little French bread grated, 
and the yolks of four eggs, with a little chopped onion, a 
little beef-suet, and a little lemon-peel. Roll it into 
what form you please, and, if you do not use it, cover 
it up, and it will keep a long time." 

" To Mince Oysters. — Take half a hundred oysters, 
and put them into warm water ; when they are ready 
to boil, shift them into cold water ; then drain them, 
and take that part only which is tender. If you mix 
the flesh of carp with your oysters, it will increase your 
mince, and give it a better flavour. Put a bit of butter, 
shred parsley, scallions, and champignons, into a stew- 
pan, and shake them over the fire, add a little flour, 
and moisten them afterwards with a gill of white wine, 
and as much soape maigre ; then put in your mince, and 
let it stew till the sauce be consumed ; season it agree- 
ably, and when you are ready to serve it, put in the 
yolks of three eggs, beat up with some cream."* 

" Oyster Force-meat. — Open carefully a dozen fine 
oysters, take off the beards, strain their liquor, and 
rinse the oysters in it; grate four ounces of the 
crumb of a stale loaf into light crumbs, mince the 
oysters, but not too small, and mix them with the 
bread ; add an ounce and a half of good butter, broken 
into minute bits, the grated rind of half a small lemon, 
a small saltspoonful of pounded mace, some cayenne, 
a little salt, and a large teaspoonf ul of parsley. Mingle 
these ingredients well, and work them together with 
the unbeaten yolk of an egg, and a little of the oyster 
liquor, the remainder of which can be added to the 
sauce, which usually accompanies this force-meat/'f 

* ' The French Family Cook.' + Miss Acton's ' Modern Cookery.' 


"Oysters and Chestnuts. — Dip some oysters into a 
savory batter ; bread-crumb them, and fry them brown , 
In the same manner treat a similar number of blanched 
Spanish chestnuts. Make a sauce with the oyster 
liquor, a piece of butter rubbed in flour, and two 
glasses of white wine. Stew the chestnuts in this • 
add some yolk of egg to thicken it, and pour it upon 
the oysters/'* 

"Oyster Steak. — Take a steak double the usual 
thickness, and with a very sharp knife divide it in the 
centre from one side only, so as to form a sort of bag. 
Open sufficient oysters to stuff the bag; season with 
salt and pepper; add a lump of butter and some of 
the oyster liquor; sew it up carefully, put it on a 
gridiron, let it gradually cook so as to warm the 
oysters right through. Serve hot with butter, pepper, 
and salt."f 

" Scalloped Oysters. — Scald and beard some dozens 
of oysters ; strain the liquor into a stew-pan, and add 
thereto two ounces of butter, mixed or kneaded with 
two ounces of flour, a little cream, anchovy, nutmeg, 
and cayenne ; stir the sauce over the fire to boil, and 
reduce for ten minutes ; then add a couple of yolks of 
eggs, and a little lemon-juice, and some chopped 
parsley ; add the oysters, cut each in halves ; stir all 
together over the fire for a few minutes, and fill some 
scallop-shells with this preparation ; cover them over 
with a thick coating of fried bread-crumbs ; place them 
on a baking-sheet in the oven for five minutes, and 
serve hot.^J If you have no scallop-shells, the deep 

* ' Household Manuals : How to Cook Fish,' by Georgiaua Hill, 
t ' All About Oysters.' % FrancatelU's ' Cook's Guide.' 


shell of the oyster, well scoured, will serve the pur- 

Many people, however, who prefer the real taste of 
the oyster, and do not like to conceal it beneath that 
of spice, prefer the old-fashioned way of scalloping 
oysters, which is as follows : — 

" Old way of Scalloping Oysters. — Beard the oysters ; 
scald the beards in the liquor from the fish, then strain 
them off; lay alternate layers of bread-crumbs, oysters, 
and small bits of butter in the shells, very slightly 
peppering them as you proceed. Pour the liquor in 
which you scalded the beards, over them ; put them 
into the oven till nicely browned, and if you find the 
colour not bright enough, put them before the fire for 
a few minutes, or salamander them. A little cream, 
added after the shells are filled, but before they are 
put in the oven, is a great improvement." 

By lining the dish, and covering the oysters with 
putf paste, this is converted into an Oyster Pie, which 
makes an excellent dish. 

" Scalloped Oysters. — Ostras en Concha, Spanish recipe. 
— Select the largest shells, and scrub them very clean; 
put four or six oysters into each, with their liquor, and 
cover them with bread-crumbs, seasoned with pepper 
and salt; then place the shells on the gridiron till the 
fish is cooked." 

" Oyster Fritters (2997).— Make a batter of flour, 
milk, and eggs ; season with a very little nutmeg. 
Beard the oysters, and put as many as you think 
proper in each fritter."* 

" Oyster Loaves. — Open the oysters, and save the 
liquor ; wash them in it; then strain it through a sieve, 

* ' Euquire Within upon Everything.' 


and put a little of it into a tosser, with a bit of butter 
and flour, white pepper, a scrape of nutmeg, and a 
little cream, stew them, cut in dice ; put them into 
rolls sold for the purpose."* 

11 An Oyster Loaf. — Cut round holes in the tops of 
French rolls ; take out all the crumb, rub them over 
the sides with a tender force-meat made" of fat oysters, 
part of an eel, pistachio nuts, mushrooms, spice, and 
the yolks of two hard eggs ; beat these well together 
in a mortar, with a raw egg ; then fry the rolls crisp in 
lard, and fill them with a quart of oysters ; the rest of 
the eel cut like lard, spice, mushrooms, and anchovies 
tossed up in their own liquor, and half a pint of white 
wine ; thicken it with eggs, and a bit of butter rolled 
in flour.^f 

" Oysters and Macaroni. — Lay some stewed macaroni 
in a deep dish ; put upon it a thick layer of oysters, 
bearded, and seasoned with cayenne pepper and grated 
lemon-rind. Add a small teacupful of cream. Strew 
bread-crumbs over the top, and brown it in a pretty 
quick oven. Serve hot with a piquante sauce.":}: 

" Oyster Pie. — As you open the oysters separate them 
from the liquor, which strain; parboil them, after 
taking off the beards ; parboil sweetbreads, and cutting 
them in slices, lay them and the oysters in layers ; 
season very lightly with salt, pepper, and mace; then 
put half a teacupful of liquor, and the same of veal 
gravy. Bake in a slow oven ; and before you serve 
put in a teacupful of cream, a little more oyster liquor, 
all warmed, but not boiled ."§ 

* ' The English Cookery Book.' 

f ' The Housekeeper's Pocket Book.' 

X ' Household Manuals : How to Cook Fish.' 

§ Murray's ' Modern Domestic Cookery.' 


An Oyster Pie (old recipe) . — Parboil a quart of large 
oysters in their own liquor ; mince them small, and 
pound them in a mortar with pistachio-nuts, marrow, 
and sweet herbs, an onion, savory, spices, and a little 
grated bread, lay on butter, and close your pie. 

Oyster Pie, another way. — Take a large dish, butter 
it, spread a rich paste over the sides, and round the 
edge ; but not at the bottom ; the oysters should be 
fresh, and as large and fine as possible ; drain off part 
of the liquor from the oysters ; put them into a pan, 
season them with pepper, salt, and spice ; stir them 
well with the seasoning ; have ready the yolks of eggs, 
chopped fine, ;.nd grated bread; pour the oysters (with 
as much of their liquor as you please) into the dish 
that has the paste in it; strew over them the chopped 
egg and grated bread ; roll out the lid of the pie, and 
put it on, crimping the edge handsomely. Bake the 
pie in a quick oven. 

"Oyster and Eel Pie (old recipe). — Make puff paste 
and lay it in your dish; then take great eels and flay 
them, clean them, cut them in pieces, and wash them 
dry. Lay some butter in your pye, and season your 
eels with some pepper, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and mace ; 
and put them in ; cover them all over with great 
oysters, and add more of your beaten spices and salt, 
cover the whole with butter, and put in two or three 
spoonfuls of white wine ; so close it with paste, bake 
it, and serve it in hot." 

Oyster and Parsnip Pie. — Boil the parsnips tender 
and cut them in slices, then line your dish with good 
paste, and lay upon it some pieces of butter, then a 
layer of parsnips, some spice, pepper, &c, then some 
oysters, and yolks of hard-boiled eggs, then more 


butter and spice, &c., then parsnips, then oysters, eggs, 
&c., until your dish is filled. Put butter on the top of 
all, and cover it all with paste ; bake half an hour, or 
so, and when it comes out of the oven, pour over it 
melted butter, and juice of lemon, and serve hot. 

" Pickled Oysters. — Put two dozen of large oysters 
into a stew-pan over a fire, with their liquor only, and 
boil them five minutes; then strain the liquor into 
another stew-pan, and add to it a bay-leaf, a little 
cayenne pepper, salt, a gill and a half of vinegar, half 
a gill of ketchup, a blade of mace, a few allspice, and 
a bit of lemon-peel ; boil it till three parts reduced, 
then beard and wash the oysters, put them to the 
pickle, and boil them together two minutes. When 
they are to be served up, place the oysters in rows, 
and strain the liquor over them ; garnish the dish with 
slices of lemon or barberries."* 

Glamorganshire way of Pickling Oysters. — Beard them 
nicely ; then slowly stew them in the liquor from their 
shells, with a bay-leaf or two, and some whole black 
pepper ; a very small quantity of vinegar is then added, 
and they are placed in stone jars, corked, and covered 
with pitch. They are then ready for the London 

This oyster pickling may be seen going on in almost 
every cottage. The oysters when raw sell at Is, the 
hundred, and when pickled at about Is. 9d., or even 
at 2s. 

Soger's Recipe for Pickling Oysters for the London 

Markets. — " Put the oysters, with their liquor, in an 

earthen pan on the fire to simmer; take off the scum 

as it rises; add some whole pepper, sliced ginger 

* From an old Cookery Book. 


(screen if possible), a few cloves, some chopped chillies, 
and a little vinegar; simmer not longer than five 
minutes, and take them out ; remove the beards, and 
put the oysters in a barrel, and when the liquor is cold, 
strain and add it." 

Pickled Oysters. — Ostras en Escabechados, Spanish 
recipe. — "Make a pickle of the liquor of the oysters, 
chopped onions, parsley, garlic (this, of course, may be 
omitted if not liked), bay-leaves, marjoram, salt, pepper, 
butter into which flour has been rubbed, and a few 
drops of vinegar ; when well thickened hy boiling, add 
the oysters, and stir gently." 

" Oyster Powder. — Open the oysters carefully, so as 
not to cut them, except in dividing the gristle, which 
attaches the shells ; put them into a mortar, and when 
you have got as many as you can conveniently pound 
at once, add about two drachms of salt to about a 
dozen oysters; pound them, and rub them through the 
back of a hair-sieve, and put them into a mortar again, 
with as much flour (but previously thoroughly dried) 
as will roll them into a paste ; roll this paste several 
times ; lastly flour it, and roll it out the thickness of a 
half-crown, and cut it into pieces about one inch square; 
lay them in a Dutch oven, where they will dry so gently 
as not to get burned; turn them every half-hour, and 
when they begin to dry, crumble them; they will take 
about four hours to dry; pound them, sift them, and put 
them into dry bottles; cork and seal them. Three dozen 
of natives require seven and half ounces of flour to 
make them into a paste weighing eleven ounces, and 
when dried six and half ounces. To make half a pint of 
sauce, put one ounce of butter into a stew-pan, with 
three drachms of oyster powder, and six tablespoonfuls 


of milk ; set it on a slow fire, stir it till it boils, and 
season it with salt; as a sauce it is excellent for fish, 
fowls, or rump-steaks. Sprinkled on bread-and-butter 
it makes a good sandwich."* 

"Another Oyster Powder. — When the oysters are 
prepared by simmering in their own liquor, cut them 
across in thin slices ; dry them crisp, that they may 
be reduced to fine powder. Pack and use them for 
sauces, as truffles or morrels."t 

" Oysters on Toast. — Open oysters, put them in a pan 
with their liquor, a quarter of a teaspoonful of pepper, 
a wine glass of milk, two cloves, and a small piece of 
mace, if handy; boil a few minutes until set ; mix one 
ounce of butter with half an ounce of flour; put it (in 
small pieces) in the pan ; stir round, when near boiling 
pour over the toast and serve. A little sugar and the 
juice of a lemon is a great improvement/^ 

" Oyster Toast. — Beard and pound a few oysters in a 
mortar ; when they form a paste add a little cream, and 
season them with pepper ; get ready some nice pieces 
of toast, spread the oyster paste upon them, and place 
them for a few minutes in an oven to become warm. 
A little finely chopped pickle may be thrown upon the 

" Oyster Ketchup. — Pound the fish, and add to each 
pint of them one pint of sherry wine, one ounce of salt, 
powdered mace two drachms, pepper one drachm. 
Boil up, skim, strain ; add to each pint two tea- 
spoonfuls of brandy, then bottle, to flavour sauces when 
oysters are out of season." || 

* ' Enquire Within upon Everything. 

•j- 'Indian Domestic Economy.' 

% ' All About Oysters.' § Idem. 

|j ' Dictionary of Practical Receipts,' by G. W. Francis. 


u Oysters an Gratin. — Set a little cream in a pipkin, 
with a piece of butter (the quantities to be judged ac- 
cording to the size of the dish), and mingle them 
gradually ; add to this a little anchovy sauce, cayenne 
wine, and grated lemon-peel. Pour half of this in a 
dish, lay in the oysters, and grate over them a little 
Parmesan cheese and bread-crumbs (not too thick a 
layer), seasoned in the usual way; then pour over 
the rest of the cream and butter, and grate another thin 
layer of Parmesan and bread-crumbs. Set it in a quick 
oven, or in a Dutch-oven."* 

In the Mediterranean, a species of oyster, viz., 
Spondylus gcederopus, is eaten both in Spain and in 
Italy. The Spanish names for it are Ostia vermella, or 
Ostiavermeya, and the Italian, Spuonnolo, and Copiza. 

Fam. patellid^e. 
patella.— limpet. 

Patella vulgata, Linnaeus. Limpet. — Shell oval and 
conical in shape; apex central, or nearly so, strong, some- 
times with ribs diverging from the apex to the margin, 
and sometimes quite smooth. Colours various, pale grey- 
ish-yellow or greenish-brown, inside generally showing 
the same colour through, and the markings of the ribs 
distinctly towards the margin ; the inside of the apex 
an opaque bluish-white, and the whole slightly polished. 

The common limpet is found distributed all round 
our coasts, where it is greatly valued as bait by fisher- 
men, and Dr. Johnson calculated that in Berwick alone 
there is an annual consumption of no fewer than 

* Maitre Jacques. 


11,880,000 limpets for that purpose.* At low tide 
limpets may be collected in numbers from the rocks 
and. boulders. Some are seen safely ensconced in holes 
or depressions made by means of the muscular action of 
their foot or disk, which is the width of the shell ; 
others are seen creeping about in search of fresh rest- 
ing places, or food, with their tentacles slightly pro- 
truding beyond the shell, till alarmed by some touch, or 
otherwise; and they adhere with wonderful strength 
to the rocks. Wordsworth says : — 

" And should the strongest arm endeavour 
The limpet from its rock to sever, 
'Tis seen its loved support to clasp, 
With such tenacity of grasp, 
We wonder that such strength should dwell 
In such a small and simple shell." 

Dr. A. Hartwig, remarks in his ' Harmonies of Nature • 
or, the Unity of Creation/ that the broad-soled foot of 
the limpet acts as a powerful sucker, and that it has 
been calculated that the larger species are thus able to 
produce a resistence equivalent to the weight of 1 50 lbs. 
which, considering the sharp angle of the shell, is more 
than sufficient todefy the strength of a man toraisethem. 

On the Devonshire coast I have found very laro-e 
specimens of Patella vulgata, and worn quite smooth 
some of the shells measuring as much as eight inches 
in circumference. 

Limpets, a foot in diameter, are found on the western 
coast of South America, and are used by the natives as 

In many places limpets are used for food, especially 
on the Continent, where they are of tener eaten than the 

* Forbes and Hanley, ' Brit. Mollusca,' vol. ii. p. 425. 

f Cuming, as quoted by Woodward, in ' Recent and Fossil Shells.' 


periwinkle. At Naples they make them into soup, and 
I am told it is an excellent dish. At Eastbourne we 
have often seen the Irish reapers come down to the 
shore and eat the limpets raw which they had knocked 
off the rocks with their knives. The poorer classes at 
Eastbourne also eat them constantly, the children 
collecting them at low tide from the rocks. Mr. 
Patterson, while residing", in 1837, near the town of 
Larne, Co. Antrim, endeavoured to form some idea of 
the quantity of the common limpet taken from the 
rocks on that part of the coast, and used as food ; and 
he had reason to believe that the weight of the boiled 
tish was above eleven tons. Limpets ready boiled 
are regularly sold in the fishmarket at Truro, at 1*. per 
quart ; and at Plymouth they gather great numbers of 
them (especially from the breakwater), as well as iu the 
Isle of Man, where they are known by the name of 
"flitters;" and in Scotland the juice of these shell- 
fishes is mixed with oatmeal. In the Feroe Isles they 
call them "flia;" and in 'Life in Normandy ' (vol. i. 
p. -192), we are told "that limpets are constantly 
eaten by the poor ; and that at Granville the children use 
a square-pointed knife, with a thick back, for getting 
them off the rocks; some having, in addition, small 
wooden hammers : others only a stone in their right 
hands. The edge of the knife was applied always on 
one side, and never at the top of the shell ; a little sharp 
tap was given, either with the hammer or stone, and 
the fish fell at once.'' This reminds us of Hermippus, 
who says : — 

" And beating down the limpets from the rocks, 
They wake a noise like castanets."* 

* Athciiseug, 'Deipn.' bk. xiv. 3i). 


The Patellidce were also among the shellfish eaten 
by the ancients ; Diphilus says they have a pleasant 
flavour, are easily digested, and when boiled are 
particularly nice.* It is a curious fact, and one which 
is puzzling to archaeologists, that limpet shells should 
be found in such abundance in cromlechs, both in the 
Channel Islands and in Brittany, surrounding the 
remains of the dead, often covering the bones, skulls, 
&c, to the depth of two and three feet in thickness. 
Mr. F. C. Lukis, in the l Journal of the Archaeological 
Association ' (vol. i. p. 28), mentions finding limpet- 
shells, mixed with earth, round the bones in the Crom- 
lech du Tus, or de Hus, Guernsey. Again, in a Cromlech 
in Jersey, discovered in April, 1848, Mr. Lukis adds 
that there is a difficulty in solving the great question — 
why such a mass of limpet shells should invariably 
accompany these abodes of the dead ? They are found 
not only in the earliest deposits, but also amongst the 
more recent, f 

The term " Cromlech," as applied to the Cromlech du 
Tus, is a local name, used in the Channel Islands for a 
subterranean chamber, lined with upright slabs, covered 
by a roof of one or more slabs of stone, with a long 
passage leading to it, formed in like manner of upright 
slabs covered by large lintels, over which has been 
raised a tumulus of earth; while our term Cromlech 
is applied to those covered by one capstone only, with- 
out any passage leading to them. J Those consisting 
of chambers and a long entrance passage covered by 
slabs, within a large tumulus of earth, as at Wellow, 

* Athenoeus, 'Deipn.' vol. i. bk. iii. p. 152. 
t ' Journal of the Archaeological Association/ vol. iv. p. 336. 
t See Sir Gardiner Wilkinson, ' British Remains on Dartmoor ' 
1 Journal of the Archaeological Association,' vol. xviii. 1863. 


near Stoney Littleton; at Rodmartin; at Uley ; and 
at Nympsfield, are called Tumps. In speaking of 
Cromlechs, in the Channel Islands, I do not therefore 
allude to monuments such as we call Cromlechs ; which, 
last, though probably sepulchral, have not yet been 
found to contain interments. 

We read that at the Cape of Good Hope, at White 
Sands, also at Cape Point, and many other places along 
the coast, there are to be seen a series of shell mounds, 
containing large Patellidce, Haliotis and other shells. 
The limpets are of so large a size that they make 
convenient drinking-cups. All about the mounds are 
to be found various stone implements used by the 
people — either Bushmen, or Hottentots.* 

In Britton's ' History of Dorset/ mention is made 
of the finding of a small urn in a barrow in the parish 
of Lulworth, about two inches high, and one inch in 
diameter, neatly covered with the shell of a limpet ; but 
it was quite empty. Necklaces of limpets and other 
shells, strung together on fibre or sinews, are found 
in early British graves. Beads made from the columella 
of Strombus gigas are found in sepulchral remains in 
Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana,f and the shells of 
the Dentalium made into beads have been met with in 
tumuli in Ohio.J In Egypt, on the mummies of children, 
necklaces of natural shells, or shells figured in gold, 
silver, precious stones, &c, are found — chiefly, accord- 
ing to Passalacqua, met with on those of young 
girls. § 

* ' Notes by a Naturalist on the Challenger, 5 by H. N. Moseley. 
f ' Prehistoric Remains,' by Dr. Daniel Wilson. 
+ « Hint Chips.' 

§ 'A History of Egyptian Mummies,' by Thomas Joseph Petti- 
gtew, F.R.S. 


The women of the Andaman Islands wear various 
ornaments, and, according to Mr. Ball, the most ex- 
traordinary are the skulls of their defunct relatives, 
festooned with strings of shells, which some of them 
carry suspended from their necks.* 

Limpet shells are used for mortar. 

In the island of Herm, near Gruernsey, poultry are 
fed on Patella vulgata ; but it is said that they will 
not touch Patella atheletica, which is also considered 
too tough for bait. 

Sea-birds feed on the Patella, and Mr. Gatcombe, in 
the Field, August, 1863, mentions having once taken 
from the gullet of an oyster-catcher upwards of thirty 
limpets. He also adds an account of a curious occur- 
rence which took place on the Plymouth breakwater 
some time ago, " One of the workmen employed on the 
breakwater observed a sandpiper fluttering in a peculiar 
manner, and discovered, on approaching it, that it had 
been made prisoner by a limpet. It would appear that 
in running about in search of food, the bird's toe had 
accidentally got under a limpet, which, suddenly closing 
to the rock, held it fast until the man came up, who 
with his knife removed the limpet, and released the 

The Cornish giant, Tregeagle (who is said to have 
been a wicked seigneur, once residing in a mansion on 
the site of Dozmare, or Dosmery Pool, by which it was 
engulphed, and his park transformed into the barren 
waste now known as Bodmin Moor,) is supposed to 
haunt Dozmare Pool, and is condemned to the hope- 
less task of emptying it with a single limpet shell, 
which has a hole bored in it. Tregeagle was not an 

* ' Juugle Life/ 



imaginary person, he really existed, and was the dis- 
honest steward of Lord Robartes, of Lanhydrock.* 

The French call this shell Lepas, Patelle, Jamhe, (Ed 
de bouc,f Bernicle, Flie, and the very large ones are 
called Ran, at Cherbourg (the same name as that apr 
plied to the Buccinum, on that part of the coast) ; % the 
Germans, call them Schusselmuschel, Napfmuschel, or 
Napfschnecke ; the Spaniards, Diampa, Lampas, Laypas, 
Lamparas, Lamparons, Conchelos, Cucas, Patgellidas, 
and Barretets ; the Portuguese, Lapa ; and the Italians, 
Lepade; and in Cornwall limpet shells are called 
Crogans, also B>rnigan } and Brennick.§ 

To cook Limpets. — Boil them for a few minutes, and 
take care that the soft part is not broken, as it spoils 
them ; this part is more liable to be broken in the 

Limpet Soup. — Wash them, and free the shells from 
seaweed, &c, put them into a saucepan and parboil 
them. Take them out of the shells ; chop up some 
parsley, and put it, with a tablespoonful of oil, or an 
ounce of lard or butter, into a saucepan, and fry until 
it becomes brown. Add a pint of water, and, when 
boiling, throw in the limpets, with a teaspoonful of 
anchovy sauce, some pepper, and boil again for half an 
hour ; or, if preferred, stew them before putting them 
into the soup. 

To dress Limpets. — Take those of a large size, and 
fry them with a little butter, pepper, and vinegar. The 

* Murray's ' Handbook to Devon and Cornwall.' 
f 'British Conchology,' vol. iii. p. 241. 

X ' Kssai d'un Catalogue des Mollusques Marins, Terrestres, et Flu- 
viatilesy par J. A Mace. 

§ « History of Cornwall,' by the Rev. R. Polwhele. 


smaller ones are better boiled, and then eaten with 
vinegar and pepper. 

Eastbourne method of Cooking Limpets. — Put them 
on the gridiron till all the water boils out of them, and 
then they are fit to eat. 

Dr. Jeffreys speaks highly of roasted limpets, having 
tasted them in the island of Herm. The limpets were 
placed on the ground, arid laid in their usual position, 
and cooked by being covered with a heap of straw, 
which had been set on fire, about twenty minutes before 

"Limpet Sauce. — Choose clean-shelled limpets, not 
covered with barnacles, steep them in fresh water, and 
then heat them in a close-covered saucepan until they 
part easily from the shells. They yield a rich brown 
liquor, in which, after being shelled, they may be 
stewed for half an hour. Thicken the liquor with but- 
ter and flour ; strain and season with pepper, cayenne, 
and salt, and a slight flavouring of lemon-juice or 
vinegar. The limpets, being tough and indigestible, 
are not returned into the sauce." f 


Haliotis tuberculata, Linngeus. Ear-shell, or Ve- 
nus s Ear. — Shell ear-shaped ; short flat spire, lateral, 
and nearly concealed ; aperture wide ; a longitudinal 
row of perforations on the left margin ; the interior 
pearly and iridiscent. 

* ' British Conchology,' vol. iii. p. 239. 
f ' Practical Cookery,' by Hartlaw Keid. 

N2 ** 


The Ear-shell, Ormei\ Oreille de Mer, or Si-ieu (six 
yeux), is said to take its place in the British fauna 
solely on account of its being found in the Channel 
Islands, where it is very abundant ; but it is still more 
so on the coast of France, between St. Malo and Gran- 
ville, and great quantities are brought from thence to 
the Jersey market, which is well stocked during the 
summer, and they are sold at the rate of sixpence a 
dozen. They are also sold in the market at Cherbourg, 
and said to be found on the rocks of the breakwater. 
This celebrated shellfish has been praised by old 
authors as a most delicate morsel. One writer speaks 
of the Ormer, or Auris marina, as " a lump of white 
pulp, very sweet and luscious/' and another, as 
quoted by Professor Ansted, in his ' Channel Islands,' 
mentions "a large shellfish, taken plentifully at low 
tides, called an Ormond, that sticks to the rocks, whence 
we beat them off with a forck or iron hook. 'Tis 
much bigger than an oyster, and like that, good 
either fresh or pickled, but infinitely more pleasant to 
the gusto, so that an epicure would think his palate in 
paradise if he might but always gormandize on such 
delicious ambrosia.'" Athenaaus also tells us that the 
toria, or ears, are most nutritious when fried. Again, 
he says, " But otaria (and they are produced in the 
island called Pharos, which is close to .Alexandria) are 
more nutritious than any of the before-mentioned fish 
(speaking of cockles, sea-urchins, pinnas, &c), but they 
are not easily secreted. But Antigonus, the Carystian, 
says this kind of oyster is called by the ^Eolians the 
'Ear of Venus/"* 

Captain Beechey, in his ' Voyage to the Pacitic,' 

* Athena.'us, ' Deipu.' vol. i. bk. iii. 35, p. 146. 


mentions the abundance of two species of Haliotis in the 
Bay of Monteroy, and that they are much sought after 
by thelnd ains, not only for food, but because the shells 
are used for ornaments, and the natives decorate their 
baskets with pieces of them. Haliotis gigantea is 
eaten by the Californian Indians, and the Chinese 
are very partial to Venus J s-ears, which form part of a 
Chinese dinner, with sea-snails, shark's fins, &c. The 
Koreaus dry great numbers of Haliotis and string 
them upon rattans for the Chinese market, and they 
sell at the rate of 300 for a dollar.* The shells of 
Haliotis tuberculoma are said by M. Debeaux to be used 
in medicine by the Chinese. The Japanese also use 
the HaliotidaB as food, and make them into soup. 

The large Haliotis gigantea they call Awabi, and 
Haliotis supertexta is Tokobushi. f 

TI13 natives of New Zealand call Haliotis iris the 
mutton fish. 

The Guernsey ear-shells are used by farmers to 
frighten away small birds from the standing corn — two 
or three of these shells being strung together and sus- 
pended by a string from the end of a large stick, so as 
to make a clattering noise when moved by the wind.}; 

Haliotida} in great -quantities are brought to Bir- 
mingham from various parts of the world, for making 
mother-of-pearl ornaments, buttons, and inlaying 
papier-mache tables, &c, and this latter art of orna- 
mentation was introduced by George Suter, a decorator 
in the employ of Messrs. Jennens and Bettridge, who 
patented the invention in 1825. An instance has been 

* ' Travels of a Naturalist in Japan and Manchuria,' by Arthur 
Adams, F.L.S., R.N. 

f 'Japan,' by J. J. Rein. J 'British Conchology.' 


known of a ship arriving at London from Panama, 
bringing more than two millions of pearl-shells for 
the English markets. During the last few years 
pearl-shells have risen in price, and in 1883, the value 
had increased from £160 to £240 and £250 per ton.* 

The wholesale price in the Channel Islands for shells 
of the first quality is £10 per ton, and by retail they 
are sold at Id. per lb. 

Mother-of-pearl, however, is not only made from the 
Haliotidce, but the snail pearl-shell Turbo cornutus, 
the white pearl-shell, Meleagrina margaritifera, are also 
used in this manufacture. 

Mr. John P. Turner, in his account of the 'Bir- 
mingham Button Trade/ says, " That no elaborate 
machinery is employed in the production of pearl but- 
tons. " Hitherto skilled hand labour, assisted by 
nothing but the foot-lathe, was alone employed. The 
mother-of-pearl which is cut into buttons, is of various 
kinds. The white-edged Macassar shells (Meleagrina 
margaritifera), fished almost entirely from the seas 
round Macassar, in the East Indies, are the finest in 
size and quality. The yellow-edged Manilla shells are 
more brittle in turning, and are used chiefly for knife- 
handles in the Sheffield trade. The Bombay and Alex- 
andria shells are smaller in size and less delicate in 
tint and clearness, and are found in the Persian Gulf 
and the Red Sea; they vary very much in quality and 

The Black shell, one of the Haliotidce,, is brought 
from the Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean, and is 
so called because, when polished, it throws out a very 
dark shade, full, however, of beautiful rainbow tints 

* Times, Feb. 13th, 1883. 


exquisitely blended. The Panama shells are the 
poorest species of shell, and are used for the inferior 
kinds of buttons.* 

.Curiously carved pearl-shells, the work of the monks 
at Bethlehem, are sold by them to pilgrims and others 
who visit the Holy Land, and Bruce states that mother- 
of-pearl inlaying was brought to great perfection at 
Jerusalem. The nacre was from the Lulu el Berber?, 
or Abyssinian oyster. Great quantities were brought 
daily from the Red Sea to Jerusalem, and crucifixes, 
wafer-boxes, and beads were made and sent to the 
Spanish dominions in the New World. f 

In the days of luxury at Rome, the panels in the 
golden house of Nero were of mother-of-pearl, enriched 
with gold and gems ; and dishes, bowls, and cups of 
pearl-shell, were greatly esteemed in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries. Leland, in his ' Collectanea/ 
describes the christening of the child of the Lady 
Cicile, " wife to John, Erie of Este Frieseland, called the 
Marquis of Bawden, and sister to Eryke, King of 
Sweden, and the decorations cf the chapel, &c. The 
christening took place at the f Queene's Palleyes, 
Westminster/ 30th Sept., Anno 1565, and the chap- 
pell was hung with cloathe of gold. The communion 
table was richly furnished with plate and Jewells, and 
amongst other ornaments were a ' Fountayne and 
Basen of mother-of-pearle, two shippes of mother-of- 
pearle, and another shipe of mother-of-pearle.^ J 

Mr. G. R. Corner mentions a very elegant cup in 

* As quoted in ' The Midland Hardware District,' edited by Samuel 
Timmius, containing 'Papier Mache Manufacture,' by W. C. Ritken, 

f Bruce's ' Travels,' see Appendix, vol. viii. pp. 337, 338. 

± ' Gems and Jewels. 


the possession of the Queen, made of staves of turbo- 
shell mounted on a stem and foot of silver gilt. He 
also adds that the polished, but unmounted turbo, has 
been employed as a festive cup in Wales, to a com- 
paratively late period.* 

We read also of a watch set in " mother-of-pearle, 
with three pendantes of gold, garnished with sparkes 
of rubies, and an opall in everie of them, and three 
small pearles pendent/' which Lord Russell presented 
to Queen Elizabeth ; and Margaret, Countess of Derby, 
presented her with another, as a New Year's gift. " It 
was a white bear of gold and mother-of-perle holding 
a ragged staffe (the ' Leicester' device) standing upon 
a tonne of golde, whearin is a clocke, the same tonne- 
staffe garnished with dyamondes and rubies."t The 
Cathedral at Panama has two towers, with short steeples 
on them painted white, and these steeples are said by 
Mr. Elwes to be faced with the large pearl-oyster 
shells ; but they do not look well.J 

Glass is seldom seen in Manilla for glazing windows, 
but the shells of the Chinese oyster (Placnna placenta) 
are used instead ; § and in certain parts of Ainoy, the 
municipal lamps are made in the shape of a granite 
shaft, surrounded by a wooden box glazed with shells. 
The shells are well washed, and scrubbed, and then cut 
into squares, and slid into grooves cut to receive them 
in the frame of the lamp. || 

The scabbard of the sword of the Emperor Napoleon 
I., which he wore when First Consul, is of gold and 

* ' Journal of Archaeological Association,' vol. xiv. pp. 344, 345. 
t ' Curiosities of Clocks and Watches,' &c, hy Edward J. Wood. 
$ « W.S.W., or a voyage in that direction to the West Indies.' 
§ Collingwood's « Naturalist's Rambles,' p. 294. 
|| ' Flight of the Lapwing.' 


mother-of-pearl; and mock pearls are now much used 
for jewellery made of the pearl-shell; the effect being 
nearly as good as real pearls, and far better than the 
most successful imitations in paste; and Theophilus, in 
his ' Essay on various Arts/ speaks of " sea-shells which 
are cut into pieces, and filed as pearls, sufficiently use- 
ful upon gold."* Various kinds of shells are used for 
ornamental purposes, on account of their beautiful 
nacreous layer : e. g. a Mediterranean species of the 
little Phasianella, which is made into necklaces, ear- 
rings, &c, and known in England as Venetian shells ; 
and in Paris I noticed some pretty bracelets, brooches, 
earrings, necklaces, and studs, made of the Trigonia 
pectinata, an Australian bivalve, so arranged as to show 
the bright pinkish-purple nacre inside the valves. Mr, 
Moseley tells us that numbers of this species of Trigonia 
are dredged in Port Jackson, Sydney, and that this 
shell is especially interestiug to the naturalist, because 
it occurs fossil in secondary deposits in Europe, and 
was long supposed to be entirely a thing of the past, 
until discovered living in Sydney Harbour, f Pearl- 
oyster shells, set in whale's teeth, are considered to be 
the most valuable ornament that can be possessed by a 
Figian ; he wears it hanging on his breast, and he is 
forbidden by the chiefs to sell it. J In the Api Islands 
nearly all the men wear a small triangular ornament 
cut out of the septa of the pearly nautilus shell, threaded 
by the siphon hole in it, tied to their necks; and I 
have seen similar pieces of shell from Queensland, 

* Theophilus, * Qui et Rugerus,' &c, translated by Robert Hendrie 
chap. xcv. p. 391. 

+ 'A Naturalist on the Challenger,' by H. N. Moseley, p. 148. 
X Idem. 


which are worn by the <c gins" on Sandy Island, Mary- 
borough, and strung as necklaces in the same manner. 
They prize them very highly, and it required much per- 
suasion to induce them to part with those we have. 
The Miranha Indians wear on holidays a large button 
made of the pearly river-shell, in a slit cut in the 
middle of each nostril ;* and Sir Samuel Baker states 
that the women of the Shir tribe, living on the White 
Nile, make girdles and necklaces of small pieces of 
river mussel-shells, threaded upon the hair of the 
giraffe's tail, and that the effect is nearly the same as a 
string of mother-of-pearl buttons, f In an old book 
of recipes entitled the ' Druggist's Shop opened/ 
it says, " Mother-of-pearl is of an alkalious substance, 
and Cordial ; good against Faintings, Swoonings, and 
Palpitations of the Heart, .... it is good against 
Melancholy, and Malign, and burning Fevers, Measles, 
Smallpox, &c" 

A large species of Haliotis is eaten at the Cape of 
Good Hope and is prepared by pounding. No iron is 
allowed to touch it in preparation ; it must be loosened 
from the shell with horn or wood implements, and then 
pounded with stone or wood, and finally stewed. It is 
considered that if iron touches the fish it becomes 
rigidly contracted, and hopelessly tough. J 

Through the kindness of Mr. Morton, of St. Cle- 
ments, Jersey, I am enabled to give the following 
recipe for cooking the Sea-ear : — 

" To dress Sea-ears to Perfection. — Take them out of 
the shells, and well scrub them ; then let them simmer 

* ' A Naturalist on the Amazon,' by H. Bates, vol. ii. p. 197. 
t ' Albert Nyanza,' Baker, vol. i. p. 84. 
£ * A Naturalist on the Challenger.' 


for two or three hours, until they are quite tender, 
after which they may be scalloped as an oyster, or put 
into the pan to brown with butter. " 

They require to be well beaten with a stick or 
hammer, to make them tender, if they are to be fried ; 
and they are likewise sometimes pickled with vinegar. 

Haliotis tuberculata is eaten in Italy, and is called 
Orrechiale; and Orrechio di San Pietro in the Adriatic ; 
in Sicily, Patella reale ; Lapa burr a in Portugal ; and in 
Spain, Peneyras, Lamjpreas, Mangulinos, Joeles, Senori- 
nas, Gribas, Oreya de Mar, and Orella de Mar* The 
Germans call it the Meerohr, or Ohrsnecke. 


Littorina littorea, Linnaeus. Periwinkle. — Shell 
spiral, solid ; whorls six or seven in number, covered 
with longitudinal stria?; apex very pointed ; aperture 
nearly round and large ; pillar lip flat, broad, and 
w r hite ; outer lip sharp, sometimes white and occasion- 
ally showing the colour of the exterior of the shell 
through. Interior of the shell a dark brown. Oper- 
culum dark horn-colour. 

In Anglo-Saxon, the periwinkle is called Sea-swmgl, 
or Sea-snail ; in Ireland, the Horse-winkle and Shelli- 
midy forragy, and at Belfast, Whelks ; in Cornwall, 
Gwean, or Guihan ; and in the north, Corvins ; and the 
French give it the name of Sabot, or wooden shoe, as 

* ' Exploracion Cientifica de las Costas del Ferrol,' M. de la P. 


well as Vignot or Vignette, and Bigorneau. In Brittany 
it is called, as elsewhere observed, Vrelin, or Brelin ;* 
and the Spanish Dame for it is Minchas. Few persons 
who have paid a visit to the seaside can have failed to 
remark this common shell, which, at low tide, may be 
seen crawling over the tangled masses of seaweed. 
Many pleasant hours do children pass in gathering 
basketfuls of periwinkles, taking them home and boil- 
ing them, and enjoying a hearty meal, with the 
accompaniment of good thick slices of bread-and-butter. 

Periwinkles vary much in colour, some being of a 
dark olive-green, nearly black, or of a pale greenish- 
white, like the specimen figured ; and others red or 
rufous-brown, with narrow bands of smoke colour. 
Varieties of form also occur, and I procured from 
Exmouth two curious specimens, with the whorls 
angular and the edges sharp, instead of rounded. 

Athenaaus, in his ' Deipnosophists/ mentions several 
kinds of periwinkles. He says, " Of the periwinkle, 
the white are the most tender, and they have no dis- 
agreeable smell, .... but of the black and red kinds 
the larger are exceedingly palatable, especially those 
that are caught in the spring. As a general rule all of 
them are good for the stomach, and digestible when 
eaten with cinnamon and pepper. " 

There is a large consumption of these little mollusks 
in London ; and Billingsgate market is supplied from 
various parts of the British coast; the largest supply is 
in May and June, and they sell at one shilling a measure. 
Mr. Patterson, of Belfast, states, in his ' Introduction 
to Zoology,' that quantities of periwinkles are annually 
shipped from Belfast for London, and in 1861 the 
* • British Conchology,' vol. iii. p. 371. 


amount was 3394 bags, each containing about 3 
bushels, and weighing 3i cwt., so that the periwinkles 
exported in that year exceeded 10,000 bushels, and 
weighed nearly 600 tons. 

There are extensive periwinkle grounds at the mouth 
of Pagham Harbour, which are visited every low tide 
by women and children, who gather large quantities, 
and send them to Brighton and Worthing, and they 
are sold at 8d. per gallon. The Mersey flats supply 
good periwinkles. 

In the Orkneys, at Stromness, I am told that they 
are collected in sacks, and sent south to the different 
markets. Professor Simmonds states that the annual 
consumption of periwinkles in Loudon, in 1858, was 
estimated at 76,000 baskets, weighiug 1900 tons, and 
valued at £15,000 ; further, that the inhabitants of 
Kerara, near Oban, gather them, and get sixpence a 
bushel for collecting them, and forward them from 
Oban to Glasgow, thence to Liverpool, en route for 
London. About thirty tons are sent up to London 
from Glasgow. Mr. A. Morton tells me that in Jersey 
the market is supplied with periwinkles brought from 
Southampton, those found in the island being very 
small; and occasionally a few pints of the Trochus 
appear in the market, and are sold as winkles. Trochus 
zizyphinus, and Trochus cinerarius, are said by M. le Doc- 
teur Ozenne to be eaten at Toulon, and on the coast of La 
Manche, and from experience I can recommend the 
common Trochus crassas, simply boiled and eaten as 
periwinkles, the flavour resembling the latter, and 
being quite as sweet and palatable. In Spain the name 
for the latter is CaricoJes franciscanos, and Mvnchas. 

Both Trochidce and Aporrhais pes-jjelecani are sold 


in the market at Palma, Majorca, for eating purposes ; 
and in Italy the latter is also eaten, and is known at 
Venice and at Trieste, by the name of Zamarugola.* 

The Chinese are very partial to sea-snails, and we 
read in a description given of a Chinese dinner, that 
the second course consisted of a ragout made of them. 

At Macao, these sea-snails are white, but at Ningpo 
they are green, viscous, and slippery, and by no means 
easy to pick up with chop-sticks. Their taste re- 
sembles the green fat of the turtle. It is curious that 
the most abundant shell found in the Scotch kjokken- 
moddings is the periwinkle, and it is also met with in 
great numbers in the Danish shell-mounds. 

Periwinkle Soup. — Take a pint and a half or a quart of 
periwinkles, wash them well, and boil them in a sauce- 
pan with a handful or two of salt, to enable you to pick 
out the fish easily. Put a little dripping or butter into a 
saucepan, with an onion or carrot, some chopped parsley, 
and a sprig of thyme, and fry until it becomes brown. 
Add a pint of water to this, and as soon as it boils put 
in the periwinkles (which have been previously picked 
out of their shells), with a little pepper and salt, and 
let the whole boil again for half an hour. 

To boil Periwinkles. — It is only necessary to put them 
into a stew-pan with as much water as will prevent 
the bottom from burning, as the liquor oozing from 
them will be sufficient for the purpose ; when the shells 
open wide enough to extract the fish, they will be 
sufficiently done.f 

Rote. — It is necessary to throw into the stew-pan a 
handful or two of salt with the periwinkles, otherwise 

* ' British Conchology,' vol. iv. p. 252. 
t Murray's 'Modern Cookery Book.' 


half the fish could not be picked out. The "opening of 
the shell/' refers, we conclude, to the falling oat of the 



Buccindm undatum, Linnseus. Whelk. — Shell ovate, 
with eight whorls, more or less inflated, covered with 
transverse coarse strias; waved or undulated obliquely ■, 
covered with a yellowish-brown epidermis ; leno-th 
about four inches. The aperture large, nearly half the 
length of the body whorl. Columella strong, pillar lip 
smooth, and bent back ; interior white, very polished, 
sometimes lemon-colour, or orange ; canal short ; oper- 
culum of a reddish horn colour. 

The shell of the common whelk, or buckie, the Buccin 
onde and Ran of the French, varies very much in colour, 
being sometimes yellowish, without bands, and other 
specimens having chestnut spiral bands, or wavy 
blotches. White varieties are occasionally taken, and 
the shell figured, being dredged up in deep water, has 
still the rough olivaceous-coloured epidermis on it. 
It is found often on the beach, and is a great enemy to 
other mollusks, boring holes in their shells, and sucking 
the pieces of the fish within, by means of its spiny 
tongue. Dr. Harvey, in his ' Seaside Book/ says, " that 
the proboscis of the whelk consists of two cylinders, 
one within the other, the outer of which serves for the 
attachment of the motor muscles, and the general 
protection of the organ ; while the inner, opening near 

* M. S. L. 


the extremity with a longitudinal mouth, armed with 
two strong cartilaginous lips, encloses the tongue, and 
a great part of the oesophagus. The tongue is armed 
with short spines, and acting in concert with the hard 
lips, which can be opened or shut, or strongly pressed 
together, it forms a sort of rasp or auger, by which very 
hard substances are rapidly perforated; and then the 
tongue being protruded, the hooked spines with which it 
is armed, are admirably fitted for the collection of food." 
Whelks are taken in great numbers in wicker baskets 
baited with offal, and Pliny describes the taking of 
" purple fish " by a similar method, viz., in a kind of 
osier kipe, called Nassis, baited with cockles.* Billings- 
gate market is chiefly supplied from Harwich and Hull, 
and some of the steamers from the North bring six or 
seven tons at a time.f Mr. Charles Harding, of King's 
Lynn, informs us that the principal sources of the 
supply of whelks " on that part of the coast are as 
follows : Saltfleet, about twenty miles from Grimsby, 
Sherringham, near Cromer, Lynn Deeps, Docking 
Channel, Blakeney Coast, Wells, Boston Deeps, Bran- 
caster, Thornham, and Hunstanton. The Lynn fishery 
supplies about 20,000 bags, or 1250 tons of whelks a 
year. . . . The average amount paid for them before 
the expense of boiling and carriage is about £10,000. 
The Great Grimsby fishery supplies about 150,000 
wash of whelks annually. A wash contains 21 quarts 
and a pint, and the average price for the season would 
run about 3*. a wash, or a total of £22,500. ,, J 

* Pliny's ' Nat. Hist.' vol. ii. bk. ix. p. 445. 
f ' Curi<Mt£efl of Food,' p. 345. 

t ! Molluscs, Mussels, Whelks,' &c , by Charles Harding. ' Papers of 
the Conferences held in connection with the Great International Fisheries 



Whelks are sold at Is. 6d. to 2s. a measure ; and are 
in season from August to September, though they are 
really good to eat at any time. Children are frequently 
seen buying a saucer of whelks in London in the spring ; 
and the shellfish shops near Billingsgate market are 
well stocked with them. There are, as Woodward 
remarks, two different shellfish sold in London under 
the name of Whelks or Buckies, namely, the common 
Buccinum undatum, and the more prized Fusus antiquos. 
Whelks are very troublesome to the lobster-fishers, 
for they often devour the bait, and I have seen at 
St. Margaret's-at-Cliffe, on the Kentish coast, the 
lobster-pots drawn up, one after the other, baitless, 
and full of these greedy mollusks ; most trying to the 
poor fishermen, especially when bait was scarce, and 
they had been obliged to walk some miles in the 
morning to purchase it. 

On some parts of the coast the fishermen use *the 
Buccinum for bait for the long-line fishing, and Mr. 
Smethurst, of Grimsby, says that when the fishermen 
get on to what is called the " shawl " of the Dogger 
Bank, in the spring, when the fish (such as cod, ling, 
halibut, skate and haddock), begin to accumulate in 
the warm weather, whelks are used as bait, and that 
when they fished at the north end of the Dogger, at 
the fall of the year, and in deeper water, lampreys 
were used along with whelks* 

The Lamprey (Petromyzon fluviatilis) is considered 
very valuable as bait, and in the winter and spring 
numbers are found in the river Trent, at Sawley, in 
Leicestershire, and are collected in baskets from the 
weirs to which they adhere, and sent off alive in 
* « Mollusks, Mussels, Whelks,' &c., by Charles Harding. 



large cans to Hull, and other places for the cod-fishery. 
This bait-fishing lasts about a fortnight. 

The fishermen know whelks by the following names, 
viz., Couches or Buckies; and at Youghal they call 
them Googawns, and Cuckoo shells. 

In ' Popular History of the Mollusca/ by Miss Roberts, 
she mentions this species of shell being used in North 
Wales as trumpets by the farmers, for calling their 
labourers ; and shells of a similar kind are also used 
iu Muscovy and Lithuania by the herdsmen for col- 
lecting their cattle, horses, mules, goats, and sheep. 
The Italian herdsmen use them also. Dr. William 
Russell tells us, that at Casamicciola, in the Island of 
Ischia, morning, noon, and night, the air was filled with 
the monotonous notes of conch shells, sounded by the 
watchers over the vineyards and gardens, to scare away 
thieves and birds.* 

hi some parts of Staffordshire the farmers call up 
their cattle by means of a horn or trumpet. In Tahiti 
shells were also used as trumpets — a species of murex 
being the kind generally employed for that purpose. 
The largest shells were selected, sometimes a foot in 
diameter at the mouth. A perforation, about an inch 
in diameter, was made near the apex of the shell, in 
which was inserted a bamboo cane, three feet in length, 
secured by being bound to the shell, the aperture 
rendered air-tight by the outsides of it being cemented 
with a resinous gum from the bread-fruit tree. These 
shells were blown when any procession marched to the 
temple, and at other religious ceremonies; besides being 
used by the herald, and on board the native fleets. The 

* ' Memories of Ischui,' ' Nineteenth Century,' Sept. 1883. 


sound is described as very loud, monotonous, and 

We are told that in the island of Tanna, in the New- 
Hebrides, shell trumpets are blown as signals to the 
disease-makers, or sorcerers, to entreat them to stop 
plaguing their victims. u These disease-makers col- 
lected any nahak, or rubbish, that had belonged to any 
one, such as the skin of a banana he had eaten, wrapped 
it in a leaf like a cigar, and burnt it slowly at one end. 
As it burnt, the owner's illness increased ; and if it was 
burnt to the end, he died ; therefore, as soon as a man 
fell ill, feeling sure that some sorcerer was burning his 
rubbish, shell trumpets, which can be heard for miles, 
are blown as a signal to the sorcerers to stop, and wait 
for the presents which should be sent in the morning. 
When a disease-maker fell ill himself, he too believed 
that some one was burning his rubbish, and had his 
shells blown for mercy." * 

The large chank-shell, Turbinella rapa, is a chief 
instrument of the Buddhists, who blow three times a 
day on this sacred shell, to summon believers to wor- 
ship ; and the same authority states that, according to 
the most ancient annals of the Cingalese, the chank- 
shell is sounded in one of the superior heavens of the 
demigods (similar to the conch-blowing tritons of 
Grecian Mythology) in honour of Buddha, as often as 
the latter wanders abroad on the earth. f Sir J. E. 
Tennent mentions that this chank-shell is exported 
from Ceylon to India as a wind instrument, and to 
be sawn into rings for anklets and bracelets ; and also 

* Turner, ' Polynesia,' as quoted in Taylor's ' History of Mankind,' 
p. 3 28. 

t ' Voyage of the Novara.' 



that a chank, in which the whorls were reversed, and 
ran from right to left, instead of from left to right, was 
regarded with such reverence, that a specimen formerly 
sold for its weight in gold, but that now one may be had 
for £4 or £5. The Chinese also hold reversed chank- 
shells in special veneration, and give high prices for 
them. They are kept in the Pagodas by the priests 
and used on special occasions, and the consecrated oil 
is kept in one of these sinistrorsal Turbinellidce, with 
which the Emperor is anointed at his coronation.* 
From the earliest ages the Gulf of Manaar lias been 
fished for chanks. Perforated conch shells, both a 
Triton (T. variegatum ?), and a large conical Strombus, 
perforated at the apex of the spire, not on the side of 
one of the upper whorls, as in the case of the Triton, 
are used by the natives of New Guinea, Humboldt 
Bay, or u Talok Linrju." — They are highly prized by 
them and make a booming noise, t 

A species of Triton was used formerly by the Indians 
of South America as a trumpet, and a specimen was 
dug up at Canete, in Peru. The shell was called 
" Bosina," on account of the sound produced by blowing 
into it resembling the roar of a bull, and it was used 
to announce the approach of any great man into a town. 
It was ornamented with tassels of human hair, and a 
leather strap of exquisite workmanship. Mr. Walter 
Shaw, of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, at 
Callao, is said to have it in his possession. J 

Dr. Potter, in his ' Archaeologia Greeca/ vol. ii., 
states that the ancient Greeks used shells as trumpets 

* Lubbock's ' Prebistoric Times,' vol. i. p. 222. 

t ' A Naturalist on the ' Challenger.' 

$ ' Two Years in Peru,' by Thomas Hutchinson,' vol. i. p. 134. 


as the Spaniards do at the present day ; and that the 
first Grecian signals were lighted torches thrown from 
both armies, by men who were priests of Mars, and 
that these signals being laid aside, shells of fishes suc- 
ceeded, which were sounded in the manner of trumpets, 
which in those days were not invented. Hence Theog- 
nis's riddle may easily be interpreted ; — 

" A sea-inhabitant with living mouth 
Spoke to me to go home, though dead it was.'* 

Triton's shell-trumpet is famous in poetical story, 
whence Ovid, speaking of Neptune, says : — 

11 Already Triton at his call appears 
Above the waves a Tyriari robe he wears; 
Awl in his hand a crooked trumpet bears. 
The Sov'reigu bids him peaceful sounds inspire, 
And give tlie waves the signal to retire ; 
His writhen shell he takes, whose narrow vent, 
Grows by degrees into a large extent." — Dryden. 

And most of the poets mention this custom in their 
description of primitive wars. 

Some of the North American Indian tribes hold sea- 
shells in great reverence, and it is said that the Omaha* 
possessed a sacred shell which they transmitted from 
generation to generation. A skin lodge was built for 
it, and a man appointed as guardian, who resided in the 
lodge. It was placed on a stand and never allowed to 
touch the earth, and was concealed from sight by a 
number of mats made of strips of skins plaited. The 
whole formed a large package, and tobacco, roots of 
trees, and other objects were suspended from it. No 
one dared to open all these coverings to see the sacred 
sliell, for if they attempted to look upon it, they were 
struck with instant and total loss of sight. The Indians 
took the shell with them to all the national hunts, and, 


before going any expedition against their enemies, con- 
sulted it. The medicine men seated themselves round 
the sacred lodge, the lower part of which was thrown 
up like a curtain, and the exterior mat was carefully 
removed from the shell, that it might have air. Some 
of the tobacco consecrated by having been long sus- 
pended to the coverings of the shell, was taken by the 
medicine men, and smoked to the "Great Medicine/' 
During the ceremony every one listened most atten- 
tively, hoping to hear a sound proceed from the shell. 
At length some one imagined he heard a noise resem- 
bling a forced expiration of air from the lungs, and 
this was considered a favourable omen, and the tribe 
prepared for the expedition confident of success. If 
on the contrary the shell obstinately remained silent, 
the result of the expedition was regarded as doubtful.* 
The natives of Usambara, in South Africa, according to 
the late Mr. Keith Johnson, the leader of the East 
African Expedition, in 1879, attach marvellous powers 
to a large land shell, a species of Achatina, imagining 
that it can ward off all forms of evil and witchcraft, and 
for this reason it was held in high repute, and they 
place the dead shells in little enclosures of stone in 
their fields, and at the gateways of their villages, which 
are thus considered safe from the attacks of the enemy, 
or from disease .f 

Dr. Troost, in an account of some ancient remains 
discovered by him in Tennesee, mentions the finding 
of a large conch shell (Cassis flammea), with the 

* Long, ' Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains,' 1823, 
as quoted in ' Flint Chips,' by Edward T. Stevens, pp. 448, 449. 

f ' Notes on the Geology of Asainbam,' published in the ' Proceeding* 
of the Royal Geographical Society,' Sept. 1879. 


interior whorls and columella removed, so that nothing 
remained but the exterior portion of the shell, which 
was open in front, and in it was placed a rudely shaped 
idol, in the form of a kneeling human figure, made of 
clay with pounded shells. It was ploughed up in the 
Sequatchy Valley.* 

Conch shells are used in the manufacture of shell 
cameos, and are known as king, queen (Cassis Mada- 
gascar ien sis), and common conch-shells. Large quan- 
tities are exported from the Bahamas, and the beautiful 
pale pink pearl is found in the common species The 
value of shells exported from thence is £1200 per 
annum, and of pearls £3000 per annum, and it is also 
stated that the bait used in line-fishing is usually the 
conch, and that the fish are drummed up by striking 
two conch-shells together. Ground-bait is used at the 
same time, as in English rivers. f 

The shells of Strombus gigas are used not only for 
making shell cameos, but also in the manufacture of 
porcelain, and it is stated that in 1850, about 300,000 
of these shells were imported to Liverpool for the latter 
purpose. According to M. Beau, in the Island of 
Martinique the Creole cooks have recourse to Strombus 
gigas during the fasting season. The tish, according to 
its size, sells from twenty to forty centimes each. It is 
slightly sweet and a little heavy, and not suitable for 
invalids; but after being well beaten, rubbed with 
charcoal to take away the mucous, washed in several 
waters, the last saturated with lemon-juice, and cooked 
with butter and condiments, it is an agreeable dish, 

* * Trans. Amer. Ethnol. Society,' vol. i. pp. 360, 361; and vol. iii. 
pp. 360, 361 

f ' Official Introduction to Bahamas Fisheries,' &c, by Rebus. 


very nourishing, and easy of digestion. The Creole 
gardeners use the shells of the Laaibis or Strumitis 
gigas, to place round their flower beds, and they are 
also used for making lime, and the price per 10U0 is 
from forty to fifty francs.* 

The manufacture of shell cameos is said to be of 
Sicilian origin, and has been carried on at Rome since 
1805, and in Paris it was commenced by an Italian 
about twenty-five or thirty years ago, and a larger 
number of shell cameos are made in Paris than in Italy, f 

The German name for the whelk is very appropriate, 
viz., Trompetenschncclce, or Kinkhorn. In Anglo-Saxon 
whelk is Weolc, but weolc is said to mean that which 
gives the purple dye (therefore it would apply better to 
the dog-whelk, Buccinum lapillus, or Purpura lapillus, 
which yields a purple dye) ; thus, embroidered with 
purple is weolc-hasn-hewen ; scarlet dye is iveolc-read. 
In 1684 Purpura lapillus, the dog-whelk, was employed 
for dyeing linen in Ireland ; and Neumann says that 
the purple-fish was also found on the coasts of Ireland, 
and that some persons made considerable profit by 
marking linen with its juices. 

The shell, which is very hard, is broken by a smart 
blow, taking care not to crush the body of the fish 
within. After picking off the broken pieces, there 
appears a white vein or reservoir, lying transversely in 
a little furrow near the head. This being carefully 
taken out, and characters drawn with it, or its viscid 
juice squeezed upon linen or silk, the part immediately 
acquires, on being exposed to the sun, a pale yellowish 

* ' De l'Utilite de certains Mollusques Marius de la Guadeloupe et de 
la Martinique/ par AI. Beau. 

f ' Dictionary of Terms in Art,' by F. W. Fairholt, F.S.A. 


green, which quickly deepens into an emerald green, 
then changes to blue, and at last to a fine purplish-red. 
If the cloth be now washed with scalding water and 
soap, and laid again in the sun, the colour changes 
to a beautiful crimson, which suffers no further altera- 
tion from sun, or air, soap, alum, alkaline leys, or any 
of the substances used for assaying the permanency of 

The juice of the purple-fish receives no colour itself, 
and communicates none to silk or lineu, without ex- 
posure to the sun. It seems to be the light, and not 
the heat, of the sun, that calls forth the tincture ; for 
when the cloth is covered with thin opaque bodies, 
which transmit heat without light, no colour is produced, 
while transparent ones give no impediment to its pro- 
duction. The juice, itself, in close glass vessels becomes 
presently purple in the sun.* Lister, in 168G, mentions 
the discovery of a shellfish, Purpura Anglicana, on the 
shores of the Severn, in which there is a vein containing 
a juice giving the delicate and durable tincture of the 
rich Tyrian purple. A writer in the ' Annual Register ' 
for 1 760, says that, being " at a gentleman's house in 
the west of Ireland, he took particular notice of the 
gown of the lady of the house. It was a muslin flowered 
with the most beautiful violet colour .... She told me 
it was her own work, and took me to the seaside, where 
she gathered some little shells ; . . . beating them open 
and extracting the liquor with the point of a clean pen, 
she marked some spots directly before me." He adds : — 
" 1 suppose a huudred fishes would not produce a drop 
as large as a pea." Richard of Cirencester also mentions 

* ' Neumann's Chemistry,' p. 510 ; the Memoirs of the French 
Academy for 1730. See ' Philosophical Transactions,' .No. 178. 


as a production of Britain, " shells from which is pre- 
pared a scarlet dye of the most beautiful hue, which 
never fades from the effect of sun or rain." 

It is also stated in the ( Athenasum ' of July 20, 1 850, 
that the Nicaraguan Indians use a purple dye prepared 
from shellfish. 

Pliny says that there are two kinds of fish that pro- 
duce the purple dye, the Buccinum, and the Purpura, 
purple or pelagia.* Murex trunculus is generally 
considered to have yielded it, but Murex brandaris 
was also used, and most certainly at Tyre, as we shall 
presently read. 

We all know the story of the discovery of the Por- 
phyra shellfish, by the dog of a Tyrian nymph loved 
by Hercules ; which having picked up some of these 
shells, and crushed them with its teeth, its mouth became 
stained with purple dye. It is scarcely probable that 
it could crush the strong hard shells of the Buccinum, 
or Murex, but it might easily break the beautiful fragile 
shell of the Helix ianthina, which we know yields a 
purple juice ; for though a fable, the above was intended 
to relate a possible event; and we are told by Sir 
Gardner Wilkinson, that the ianthina is common on 
the coast about Tyre and Beyrout. And though so small, 
being only the size of a small snail, three-quarters of 
an inch in diameter, the water becomes completely 
coloured all around it, whenever it is alarmed, and throws 
out its purple liquid, f 

Athenasus speaks of many different kinds of purple- 
fish, some of them of large size, like those which are 
found near Segeum and Lesteum ; and some small, like 

* Pliny, 'Nat. Hist.' vol. ii. bk. ix. chap. 67. 

f See note, Uavvlinson's ' Herodotus,' vol. ii. bk. iii. chap. 20, p. 415. 


those found in the Euripus, and around Caria. Ac- 
cording to Pliny, the juice of the Buccinum was con- 
sidered inferior by itself, but mixed with that of the 
Pelagia it blended well, and gave a bright lustre to the 
colour. The proper proportions for dyeing fifty pounds 
of wool were 200 pounds of juice of the Buccinum, and 
111 pounds of pelagium,* and this mixture produced a 
beautiful amethyst colour. The Tyrian hue was given 
to wool by soaking it in the juice of the Pelagia, while 
the mixture was in a raw state, and afterwards dipping 
it in the juice ol the Buccinum. The best quality was 
of the colour of blood, of a blackish hue to the sight, 
but of a shining appearance when held up to the 
light.f The " conchyliated " colour comprehended a 
variety of shades, viz., that of the heliotropium, as 
well as one of a deeper colour ; that of the mallow in- 
clining to a full purple, and that of the late violet ; 
this last being the most vivid of all the " conchyliated " 
tints. J 

The best purple in Asia was that of Tyre, and the 
peculiar symbol of that city was the whelk, or purpura, 
and it appears on the Tyrian medals. § Strabo remarks 
that this city was rendered unpleasant as a place of 
residence, owing to the great number of its dyeing- 

In the days of Ezekiel, purple was imported by the 
Tyrians from the Peloponnesus, but they soon learned 
to extract the dye for themselves. A modern traveller, 
Mr. Wilde, observed at Tyre numerous round holes 

* Pelagia was the shellfish, and pelagium, the juice, or colour, 
from it. 

f Pliny, 'Nat. Hist.' vol. ii. bk. ix. chap. 62 (38). 
X Ibid. vol. iv. bk. xxi. chap. 22 (8). 
§ « Heraldry of Fish.' 


cut in the solid sandstone rock, in which shells seem 
to have been crushed. They were perfectly smooth on 
the inside, and many of them shaped like a modern 
iron pot, broad and flat at the bottom, and narrowing 
towards the top. Many of these were filled with a 
breccia of shells, and he supposes that all the shells 
were of one kind, probably Murex trunculus* 

Dr. Tristram in ' The Land of Israel/ mentions 
finding traces at Tyre of its ancient trade and manufac- 
tures, and that amongst the rubbish thrown out in the 
excavations were numberless fragments of glass, and 
whole " kitchen-middens " of shells, crushed and 
broken, the owners of which had once supplied the 
famed Tyrian purple dye. All these shells were of one 
species, and that one of the most plentiful on the coast, 
the Murex brandaris. It has frequently been stated 
that Murex trunculus is the true original of the Tyrian 
dye, and it is very possible that it may have been also 
used for that purpose. But Dr. Tristram adds, " While 
we noticed only a few broken specimens of M. trun- 
culus scattered about, the compact masses of broken 
shells, and which, therefore, had most probably been 
used in manufacture, and not merely for food,, were 
exclusively of the former species." 

In Africa, the island of Meninx (now called Gerbee, 
in the Gulf of Cabes) was famed for its purple, as 
well as parts of Gsetulia that border on the ocean ; 
and in Europe, the best came from the coast of 

Cornelius Nepos speaks of the Tarentine red ; and 

Hardouin remarks that in his time were still to be seen 

the remains of the ancient dyeing-houses at Tarentum, 

* W. Smith, ' Dictionary of the Bible/ vol. iii. p. 1581, article ■ Tyre.> 

MUItlCID^E. — WHELK. 205 

and that vast heaps of the shells of the Murex had been 

Aufrere, in 1 789, describes a hill called Monte Tes- 
taceo, behind the Alcantarine Convent, at Tarento, 
consisting chiefly of the shells of Murex brandaris 
which were supposed to have produced the purple dye,f 
and according to Dr. Bizio, the Tyrian purple was pro- 
duced from this Murex brandaris, and the amethystine 
purple from Murex Iruncnlus. Romulus employed the 
purple dye for the trabea. It was purple and white, 
something similar in cut to the toga, and was the royal 
robe worn by the early kings. Servius mentions two 
other kinds of trabea besides the one already described, 
one wholly of purple, which was sacred to the gods, and 
another of purple and saffron, which belonged to augurs. 
Julius Cassar appears to have been the first of the Ro- 
man emperors who wore the toga entirely of purple. 

As long as the Empire of the East lasted, this dye 
continued to be appropriate to imperial use. Its 
manufacture seems to have expired with the capture 
of Constantinople by the Turks, for, in 1464, Pope 
Paul II. authorized the substitution of scarlet for 
purple in the vestments of the church. J 

The best purple dye was stated by the ancients to be 
exceedingly durable ; and when Alexander took pos- 
session of Susa, he found amongst its treasures 5000 
talents in weight of purple cloth, from Hermione in 
the Peloponnesus, which had been laid up there for 180 
years, and yet retained all the freshness and brilliancy 

* Pliny, « Nat. Hist.' see note, vol. ii. bk. vs.. ch. 63 (39). 
f Aufrere's ■ Travels.' 

% Schmidt, ' Forschungen/ p. 209, as quoted in ' Phoenicia/ by John 
Kenrick, M.A. 


of its original colour. It was said to owe its durability 
and freshness to some use of honey in the process of 

In f Religious Ceremonies/ p. 309, we are told 
that the Pope celebrates Mass in Lent, Advent, and all 
eves on which fasting is required, in a purple robe. 

Other shellfish produce purple dyes ; amongst them 
Aplysia hybrida, and I have dyed a piece of linen with 
the beautiful purple liquid which it emits, but it faded 

Dr. Darwin mentions a large Aplysia which is com- 
mon at the Cape de Verd Islands, five inches long, and 
of a dirty yellowish colour, veined with purple, and 
when disturbed, it emits a very fine purplish-red fluid, 
which stains the water for a space of a foot round. 

The Dolabella Bumphi is stated by Mr. Nicholas 
Pike to yield a deep lilac liquid, and from one spe- 
cimen which he found on Barkly Island, off the Island 
of Mauritius, he procured nearly half an ounce of the 
viscous liquid, which retained its colour even when dry.f 

Lima squamosa secretes a liquid of a blood-red 
colour. J It is found at Malion, Minorca. 

Scalaria communis yields a purple liquor destruc- 
tible by acids, and Planorbis corneus, a purplish fluid, 
but it cannot be made of any use, though Lister tried 
several experiments with the vain hope of being able 
to fix it. 

In Spain, Murex trunculus is eaten, and is called, 
Corns, Com blanc, Caracoles, Cornias, Bois, and Bucios; 

* Plutarch, Alex., c. 36, as quoted in ' Phoenicia,' by John Ken. 
rick, M.A. 

f ' Subtropical Rambles,' by Nicholas Pike, p. 277. 
I ' Journal cle Conchy liologie,' 18137 ; vol. xv. p. 265. 


and Purpura lapillus is said by M. Cailliaud to be used 
for food in the spring (after the fish have spawned) by 
some of the inhabitants of St. Michel- Chef- Chef, in the 
department of the Loire Inferieure. In March, 1865, I 
saw Purpura lapillus sold at Hastings ready boiled 
for eating at Id. per pint; but the name given to 
them, was not one to encourage a trial, viz., Man- 
suckers; though I was assured they were very good, 
and tasted like periwinkles. The Spanish names for 
it are Minchas, and Corn de fel. 

The Almond Whelk, or Red Whelk, as it is some- 
times called — Fusus antiquus — is eaten in Liverpool, 
and great quantities are taken on the Cheshire coast. 
In Dublin the fishermen use them principally for bait 
for the larger kind offish, such as cod and ling, and only 
occasionally eat them, boiled or pickled. The beautiful 
large white variety is dredged off the Irish coast. My 
largest specimen from Dublin measures six and a half 
inches in length, and three and a half inches in breadth, 
and Dr. Jeffreys saw the shells used as lamps in the 
Shetland Isles by the northern fishermen. They are 
suspended from a nail in the wall or ceiling of the hut, 
by means of a piece of string, which is fastened round 
the shell in a triangular form. The inside is filled with 
fish-oil, and a wick of cotton or tow is put into the 
canal at the extremity of the mouth.* The Chinese use 
a large shell, a species of Fusus> for their fog-horns. 

In ' Antiquitates Culinariae/ it is said that at the 
enthronization feast of William Warham, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, in 1504, 8000 whelks were supplied at five 
shillings a thousand, and they were served up as an 
accompaniment to sturgeon ; and amongst the dishes 
* ' British Conchology,' vol. i., Introduction, p. ixviii. 


forming part of the second course, we read of Sturgeon 
in foyle with welkes. 

In heraldry we find whelks used, and the arras of Sir 
John Shelley, of Maresfield, in Sussex, are sable, afess 
engrailed between three whelk-shells or. The Shelleys 
of Lincolnshire bear, argent a chevron gules, between 
three whelks sable ;* and the crest of the Venables, of 
Cheshire, is a wyvern gules, issuing from a whelk-shell 
argent ; and many other examples might be given.f 

A buccinum, or whelk, with a figure rising out of it, 
or rather looking out of it, is sculptured on the font in 
St. Clement's Church, Sandwich. 

It is said that the eider-duck when it has not more 
than one or two eggs in its nest, places a shell, Bucci- 
num glaciate, beside them. The usual number of eggs 
is from five to six. Western Norway Island, off the 
coast of Western Spitzbergen, is a well-known place 
where the eider-duck breeds in great numbers. J 

Dublin Method of Cooking Whelks. — Cleanse them 
well, boil them till they can easily be taken from the 
shell, and then fry them with plenty of fat or butter, 
till they are brown. 

Whelk Soup. — Take two onions and cut them into 
small dice, fry them in a stew-pan with some butter ; 
shake the pan well for a few minutes, add five heads 
of celery, two handfuls of spinach, two cabbage-lettuces 
cut small, and some parsley. Shake the pan again, 
put in two quarts of water, some crusts of bread, a 
teaspoonful of pepper, and a blade or two of mace. Let 
this boil gently for an hour. Boil the whelks, take 

* Burke's ' General Armorie.' 

+ Fairbairn's ' Crests of Great Britain.' 

X Nordenskjold's 'Arctic Voyages in 1878 9.' 


tbem out of their shells, and fry them a good brown, 
and then add them to the soup, and let the whole boil 
a few minutes, then serve.* 

Another way of making Whellc Soup. — Wash the 
whelks well, boil them and pick them out of the shells. 
Put an ounce of butter or dripping', with some finely 
chopped parsley, an onion, a little pepper and salt, into 
a saucepan, and fry it until it becomes brown, adding a 
little flour. Then to this add a pint of water or a pint 
and a half of milk, and when it boils, place in the whelks 
and a teaspoonful of anchovy. Let it boil again for 
half an hour, then serve. 

To dress Whelks. — Boil them till quite tender, then 
eat them with vinegar and pepper. 

At Marseilles I have seen the large Triton nodiferus 
sold in the streets ready boiled for eating ; but it did 
not look a tempting dish, and appears to be appre- 
ciated only by the lower classes. 


Helix pomatia, Linnaeus. Vine Snail. — Shell glo- 
bular, strong, large, covered with coarse longitudinal 
striae, five volutions, convex ; spire short, and the apex 
blunt; pale cream- colour, with rufous bands; the 
columella arched; and of a pale purplish-pink; the 
outer lip dark reddish-brown; mouth almost round. 

Helix aspersa, Linnaeus. Garden Snail — Shell 

opaque, nearly globular, four to four and a half volutions, 

the last much larger, occupying nearly two-thirds of 

the shell; mouth nearly ovate; spire short, with a 

* 'Old Cookery Book.' 



blunt point; the outer lip white, with dark-brown 
bands or mottlings, subject to great variety of markings; 
epidermis yellowish-green, and thick. 

Helix nemqkalis, Linnaeus. Wood Snail.— Shell 
imperforate, globular, whorls five, more or less covered 
with minute spiral striae; mouth pyriform; inner margin 
oflip of a rich dark chocolate-brown; in variety hortensis 
mouth has a white lip. Colours various ; yellow, yellow 
with brown bands, pink, pink and brown, dark choco- 
late, with darker bands of the same colour, and white. 

Helix pisana, Linnaeus. The Banded Snail. — Shell 
rather depressed, and nearly globular, of a pale yel- 
lowish-white, with spiral bands of a dark chocolate- 
brown, which are not always joined together, giving the 
shell a speckled or streaky appearance ; whorls five 
or five and a half; mouth pink and rather large. 
Varieties nearly white and also others with the bands 
of a chestnut colour, and scarcely to be distinguished. 

Helix pomatia is the largest of our land snails, being 
about one and three quarters inches in breadth and 
length, and is found in Kent, Surrey, Gloucestershire, 
and other southern counties ; and a specimen was met 
with some time since in a lane near Exmouth, which I 
believe to be a new locality for it. Some curious re- 
versed specimens are occasionally found in France, and 
one variety particularly struck me, which was exhibited 
in the Museum at the Jardin des Plantes, in Paris. 
It was something the shape of a Buccinnm, the whorls 
rounded and swollen, and six in number. A beautiful 
white variety is also found, but rarely, in the environs of 
Clermont. It is supposed by some to have been origi- 
nally introduced into England by Sir Kenelm Digby, as 
food or medicine for his wife, who was suffering from 


consumption ; others say that the Romans introduced 
it ; but Dr. Jeffreys believes it to be indigenous, and 
observes (in his ' British Conchology ') that it is not 
found in many parts of England and Wales where the 
Romans built cities or had important military stations. 

Archaeologists often find snail-shells in great abun- 
dance, however, in excavating on the sites of Roman 
stations, and at Lymne, in Kent (Portus Lemanis), 
Mr. Wright has seen them dug up in masses almost as 
large as ordinary buckets, and completely embedded 
together ; * and I have seen in the Museum at Shrews- 
bury, the shells of Helix aspersa, with those of Fitsus 
antiquusj Buccinum undatum, Cardium echinatum, and 
of the oyster, which had all been found at Wroxeter. 
In France, also, empty shells of the Vine snail, Helix po- 
matia have been met with amongst the ruins of Roman 
villas, in the neighbourhood of Auch, Agen, and in 
Provence ; and in the Danish " kjokkenmoddings," 
Helix nemoralis has been found in small quantities. 

As a medicine, snails were recommended for other 
diseases besides consumption, and Helix aspersa,, the 
common garden snail, was generally used. 

In a quaint old book, entitled 'A Rich Storehouse or 
Treasurie for the Diseased, wherein are many approved 
medicines for divers and sundrie diseases which have 
longe been hidden, and not come to light before this 
time ; first set forth for the benefit of the poorer sorts of 
people that are not of abilitie to goe to the Physicians,' 
by Master Ralph Blower, we find : — ,f Snales which bee 
in shells, beat together with bay salt and mallowes, 
and laid to the bottomes of your feet, and to the wristes 
of your hands, before the fit commeth, appeaseth the 
* ' The Celt, the Roman, aud the Smoii.' 

v 2 


ague." Again : — "Take twenty garden snails and beat 
them (shelles aud all) in a mortar, until you perceive 
them to be come to asalue ; then spread a little thereof 
upon a lumen c loath, and lay it to the place grieued, and 
when one plaister is dry, then take that of, and put on 
another, and it will both heale the sore place and draw 
it." For corns, he recommends " blacke sope and 
similes, of each a like quantitie, stampe them togither, 
aud make plaister thereof, and spread it upon a piece 
of fine linnen cloth, or else upon a piece of white leather, 
and lay it upon the corne, and it will take it cleane 
away within seven dayes space/' 

"Another soueraigne Medicine for a Web in the eye. — 
Take a good quantitie ot snailes with their shells upon 
them, and wash them very well, and then distill them 
in a common stillatorie ; then take of the galles of 
Hares, Red currall, and Sugar-candie, aud mingle them 
together with the said water, and then distill them 
againe ; then take the same water, and put it into a 
glasse or viall, and when you will use it, take a drop 
thereof, and put it into your eyes both morning and 
evening, and it will help you." 

Dr. William Salmon's reiipefor a Web in the eye. — ■ 
"To remove this offence of sight, take the shell- 
snails and burn them to powder, beat it fine, and sift 
it, add to it the powder of cuttleboue ; put these into 
alum-water where honey is dissolved, and shake them 
about : wheu the water is thick with the powder, drop 
some of it into the eye with a feather, keeping the lids 
closed a while and turn your eye to and fro, that it may 
fret off the film or skin that hinders the sight, and in 
oftt n so doing it will wear it away." 

JJr. Fuller, in his ' Fnai niaeojoeia,' recommends 


snails in scorbutic affections, and gives the following 
recipe for a consumption : — 

" Snail-water Pectoral. — Take snails beaten to a mash, 
with their shells, three pounds ; crum of white bread, 
newly baked, twelve ounces ; nutmeg, six drams ; 
ground-ivy, six handfuls; whey, three quarts; distill 
it in a cold still, without burning. If I would have this 
water not so absolutely cold, I add brandy half a pint 
or a pint. This water humects, dilutes, supplies, 
tempers, nourishes, comforts, and therefore is highly 
conducive in hectic consumptive emaciations. " 

In Dr. John Quincy's ' Pharmacopoeia Officinalis, or 
a complete English Dispensatory,' are the following : — 

" Decoctwm Limacum, or Decoction of Snails. — Take 
garden snails, cleansed from their shells, number twelve; 
red cows' milk, new, two pounds; boil to a pound; and 
add rose-water, an ounce ; sugar-candy, half-an-ounce. 

" It will be very difficult to boil this so long as to 
waste one-half, because it will be apt both to run over 
and burn to the bottom, and therefore must be stirred 
all the while ; this quantity is ordered to be drank 
every morning, and is a noble restorative in consump- 
tions, especially for young people.'"' 

" Decoctum Antiphthisicum, a Decoction against Con- 
sumptions. — Take ox-eye daisy flowers, dried, a handful; 
snails, washed clean, numb, three; candied eryngo-root, 
half an ounce; pearl-barley, two ounces ; boil in spring- 
water from apoundtohalfapound,andthenstrainforuse. 

"This brings a supply of such soft and inoffensive 
nourishment, as gives no trouble to a weak constitution, 
and therefore is of service in consumptions, hectic 
fevers, etc., etc. The patient must drink four ounces of 
this warm, with an equal quantity of milk, twice a day." 


In Ireland the snail, or " shellimidy," was recom- 
mended for many diseases, and "a water distilled from 
shell-snails in canary wine, in the month of May, is a 
great restorative in consumptions ; also strengthens 
the liver ; outwardly applied it is a cosmetic ; it beau- 
tifies the face, and the volatile oil and spirit extracted 
from snails resist poison, open all manner of obstruc- 
tions, cure the pleurisy, asthma, most disorders of the 
lung's, and, alter a wonderful manner, the consumption. 
Dose of the volatile salt, from grnius six to twelve ; of 
the spirit, from thirty to forty drops."* 

The following recipes are from an old manuscript 
book ; but though snails might be tolerated, I doubt 
any person having sufficient courage to try them with 
the addition of earthworms ! 

" For a Consumption. — Take twelve snails, better 
house snails, and twelve earthworms, clean washed ; 
boil them in a pint of new milk to half a pint, then 
pour it on one ounce of eryngo-root. Take some every 
night and morning. " 

" For a Consumption. — Twenty-four garden snails, 
two sheep's trotters, half an ounce of comfrey-root, 
one quart of spring-water, a quart of milk ; boil all 
together till reduced to half the quantity : take a cup of 
this every night and morning. " 

An excellent Remedy for a Consumption. — Take 
twenty snails, and a handful of broad daisies, and put 
in a quart of water, and gently boil it to a pint, take a 
spoonful every morning in some milk.f 

' Water against a Consumption — Take a pound of 

* 'Zoologia Medicinalis Hibernica,' by Jobn Keogh. 
t ' The Housekeeper's Pocket-book,' by Mrs. Surah Harrison of 
Devonshire (^1751). 


currants, and of hart's tongue, liverwort, and speedwell, 
of each a large handful ; then take a peck of snails, lay 
them all night in hyssop, the next morning rub and 
bruise them, and distill all in a gallon of new milk ; 
sweeten it with sugar-candy, and drink of this water 
two or three times a day, a quarter of a pint at a time; 
it has done good/''* 

An admirable and most famous snail water. — Take a 
peck of garden snails, wash them well in small beer, 
and put them in a hot oven till they have done making 
a noise, then take them out, and wipe them well from 
the green froth that is upon them, and bruise them, 
shells and all, in a stone mortar; then take a quart of 
earthworms, scour them with salt, and slit them, and 
wash them well with w r ater till clean, and in a stone mor- 
tar beat them to pieces ; then lay in the bottom of your 
distilled pot, angelica two handfuls, and two handfuls 
of celandine upon them, to which add two quarts of 
rosemary flowers, bearsfoot, agrimony, red dock roots, 
bark of barberries, betony, wood sorrel, of each two 
handfuls, rue, one handful ; then lay the snails and 
worms on the top of the herbs and flowers ; then pour 
on three gallons of the strongest ale, and let it stand 
all night. In the morning put in three ounces of 
cloves beaten, six pennyworth of beaten saffron, and 
on the top of them six ounces of shaved hart's- 
hoin ; then set on the limbeck, and close it with paste, 
and so receive the water by pints, which will be nine 
in all ; the first is the strongest, whereof take in the 
morning two spoonfuls in four spoonfuls of small beer, 
and the like in the afternoon; you must keep a good 
diet, and use moderate exercise to warm the blood. 

* ' The Complete Cook,' by James Jeuks. 


This water is good against all obstructions whatso- 
ever. It cureth a consumption and dropsie. It may- 
be distilled with milk for weak people and children, 
with hart's-tongue and elecampane.* 

" An excellent Snail-water. — Take of comfrey and 
succory-roots, of each four ounces, liquorice, three 
ounces, the leaves of hart's-tongue, plantain, ground- 
ivy, red-nettle, yarrow, brooklime, watercresses, dande- 
lion, and agrimony, of each two large handfuls ; gather 
these herbs in dry weather, and do not wash them, but 
wipe them clean with a cloth. Then take five hundred 
snails, cleansed from their shells, but not scoured, and 
of wmites of eggs beaten up to a water, a pint, four 
nutmegs grossly beaten, the yellow rind of one lemon 
and one orange. Bruise all the roots and herbs and 
put them together, with the other ingredients, in a 
gallon of new milk, and a pint of Canary ; let them 
stand close covered, forty-eight hours, and then distill 
them in a common still, with a gentle fire. This quan- 
tity will fill a still twice. It will keep good a year, and 
is best when made spring or fall ; but it is best when 
new. You must not cork up the bottles for three months, 
but cover them with paper. It is immediately fit for 
use ; take a quarter of a pint of this water, and put to 
it as much milk warm from the cow, and drink it in the 
morning, and at four o'clock in the afternoon, and fast 
two hours after. To take powder of crab's eyes with 
it, as much as will lie on a sixpence, mightily assists to 
sweeten the blood. When you drink this water, be 
very regular in your diet, and eat nothing salt nor 

" Mock Asses Milk. — One pound of snails layed in 

* ' The Complete Cook/ f ' A Queen's Delight/ &c., 1658. 


salt and water for two days, and then cleaned and 
washed, a quarter of a pound of barley, three penny- 
worth of eryn go-root ; boil all the above together, till 
they become a jelly, and let them be strained off. 
Half a pint night and morning for a grown person, 
and quarter of a pint for a child. It must be taken 
warm, and a little milk and sugar added after it is 
warmed. It is an excellent remedy for consumption 
and weakness." 

" To make Snail Broth. — Take five snailhorn snails, 
clean them well with salt and water. Bruise them in 
a marble mortar, put them into a basin of weak 
mutton, or veal, or chicken broth; when boiled about 
five minutes, strain them off into your basin. When 
repeated, take ten, fifteen, or any number of snails to 
twenty, as the person's stomach can bear with."* 

A modern authority, Francatelli, gives the following 
recipe in his ' Cook's Guide ' : — 

" Mucilaginous Broth. — Put a cut-up chicken, a 
pound of veal cutlet, and a calf's foot into a stew-pan, 
with three pints of water, boil and skim ; then add a 
dozen crayfish and a pint of garden snails, both bruised 
and raw, in a mortar ; add also a handful of balm, 
burrage, and chervil, three ounces of prepared Iceland 
moss, and a small quantity of salt. The broth must 
boil very gently by the side of the fire for about two 
hours, without much reduction, and when done is to 
be strained into a basin for use." 

Note. — This is a powerful demulcent, and is much in 
use in France, in cases of phthisis, catarrh, bronchitis, 
etc., etc. 

Oil of Black Snails — Spanish Cure for Consumption. 

* Old MS. B. 


— Make a flannel bag of a triangular shape (like a jelly 
bag), fit the corner into a wide-mouthed bottle, fill it 
with black snails, in the hottest time of the year ; tie 
up the mouth, and suspend the bottle and bag on a 
wall, the hottest you can find. The proper place is the 
sunny angle of a wall, where the south and west sun fall 
longest. The snails will give out a large quantity of 
frothy liquid, which will drain into the bottle ; cork it 
close for use, and give a teaspoonful at a time, three 
or four times a day, in milk or any other liquid. 

The common garden snail, Helix aspersa, also gives 
out a frothy liquid, which might be collected in the 
same manner, and used with benefit by consump- 
tive patients. The friend who kindly gave me the 
above recipe tells me that these black snails resemble 
Helix aspersa, but the colour is much darker, and at a 
distance looks almost black. In an old English 
medical book, dated 1756, syrup of snails is recom- 
mended for coughs, weaknesses, etc., and is made 
by hanging snails up in a bag, with some sugar, by 
which means the syrup drops into a vessel placed to 
receive it. In Sussex the old women thread the 
snails through the shell and the animal, and hang 
them up till they exude the frothy liquid, which they 
collect and give as a remedy in coughs and colds. 

Fur a Swelling on the Joints. — Take three handful s 
of shell snails (off a rabbit-warren), pound them very 
fine, and mix them with some new milk (not too thin) ; 
put them between two pieces of fine linen cloth, and 
apply them on the part. This is to be applied once a 
day, or as often as it gets dry. 

Popular Spanish Cure for the Headache. — Make a 
poultice of bruised snails. They must be broken up 


with their shells and put into a piece of lmen folded 
four times so as to make it thick, dip it in brandy, and 
squeeze it tolerably dry; then apply it to the forehead. 

Pliny also recommends a plaster of slugs, cut up and 
pounded, and applied to the forehead. 

M. Figuier remembers, when studying botany in the 
garden of the School of Medicine, as a youth, at Mont- 
pellier, seeing the celebrated tenor singer, M. Laborde, 
every morning partake of live snails, as he was suffer- 
ing from a w 7 eak chest. M. Figuier assisted in finding 
the snails in the holes in the garden wall, and under 
leaves, and M. Laborde, crushed the mollusks with a 
stone, picking off the pieces of broken shells, then, 
rolling the fish in powdered sugar, swallowed them. 
The remedy was evidently efficacious, as, twenty years 
later, M. Laborde still held his position as tenor, and 
sang at the theatre at Brussels, and also at the opera 
in Paris * 

In the ' Meddygon Myddvai/ published by the Welsh 
MISS. Society, the following recipes are found : — 

" For an Impostume (Whitlow). — Take a snail out of 
its shell, and bruising it small, pound it into a plaster 
and apply it to the finger ; it will ripen and break it, 
and it should then be dressed like any other wound. 
For a patient who is burnt, it recommends a plaster of 
mallows, snail-shells, pennywort, and linseed pounded, 
and applied until the part is healed without even un- 
covering it; and again, it says that an eye ointment 
can be made of a black snail in the month of Ma} 7 , 
roasted in the embers, preserving the oil till required, 
and anointing your eye therewith with a feather/' 

In olden times it was supposed that the small grits 

* ' La Vie et les Moeurs des Animaux,' p. 386. 


of sand found in the horns of snails, introduced into 
hollow teeth, removed the pain instantaneously ; and 
that the ashes of empty snail-shells mixed with myrrh 
were good for the gums (Pliny's ' Nat. Hist/ vol. v. 
p. 431.) 

Pliny also recommends " snails beaten up raw and 
taken in three cyathi of warm water for a cough/' and 
a snail diet for internal pains, the snails to be cooked 
as follows : — " They must first be left to simmer in 
water for some time without touching the contents of 
the shell ; after which, without any other addition, 
they must be grilled upon hot coals, and eaten with 
wine and garum (a kind of fish sauce)/' * Again, 
" that a kind of small elongated snail, dried upon tiles 
in the sun, and reduced to powder, then mixed with 
bean-meal in equal proportions, forms a cosmetic for 
whitening and softening the skin/'' 

In Austria, the teeth of snails are worn as amulets, 
and are considered an invaluable safeguard against 
convulsions, if worn round the neck of a baby ; and 
Miss Eden says, "that there was only one person in 
Salzburg, who could extract the teeth of snails/'t 

Mrs. Bury Palliser states, that pounded snails worn 
round the neck are considered a cure for fevers in 
Brittany; and that near Gruingamp is a small chapel 
dedicated to St. Leonard, the patron saint of prisoners, 
which was built by Charles of Blois on his return from 
his captivity in England, and that, in the month of 
May, those who are attacked with fever repair to 
St. Leonard, to seek upon the walls of the chapel, or 
on the calvary attached to it, snails as cures for their 

* Pliny, « Nat. Hist.' vol. v. chap. xv. bk. xxx. p. 437. 
+ ' My Holiday in Austria,' p. 30. 


malady. They must gather them themselves, pound 
them and put them into little bags, which are worn 
round the neck. As soon as the fever leaves them, 
they bury their bags at the foot of the walls of the 
chapel, and if they fail to perform this ceremony, the 
fever returns. Mrs. Palliser adds, " we found quantities 
of these bags made of course linen, lying half-buried 
under the walls of the chapel." * 

I have been told that a large trade in snails is 
carried on for Covent Garden market in the Lincoln- 
shire Fens, and that they are sold at ISd. per quart, 
and upon further inquiry I find that snails are still 
much used for consumptive patients and weakly 
children; also as salves for corns put between ivy 
leaves ; and as food for birds. In the manufacture of 
cream they are also much employed, bruised in milk 
and boiled, and a retired milkman pronounced, it the 
most successful imitation known. 

It appears that not only are the Helicldee nourishing 
to the human species, but that they have a beneficial 
effect upon sheep, giving a richness to the flavour of 
the mutton. Dr Jeffreys, in his ' British Concholooy/ 
quotes the following passage from Borlase's ( Natural 
History of Cornwall:' — "The sweetest mutton is 
reckoned to be that of the smallest sheep, which 
usually feed on the commons where the sands are 
scarcely covered with the green-sod, and the grass 
exceedingly short; such are the towens or sand-hillocks 
in Pirau-saud, Gwythian, Philne, and Senan Green, 
near the Land's End, and elsewhere in like situations. 
From these sands come forth snails of the turbinated 
;inds, but of different species, and all si'zps, from the 
* ' Brittauy and its Bye'ways.' 


adult to the smallest just from the egg ; these spread 
themselves over the plains early in the morning, and 
whilst they are in quest of their own food among the 
dews, yield a most fattening nourishment to sheep. " 

Birds also are great eaters of snails. Lister mentions 
the partiality of thrushes for Helix nemoralis ; and 
owing to the scarcity of this species in South Derby- 
shire, I have twice brought a large basketful of live 
specimens from Staffordshire, and turned them out, 
hoping they would thrive and increase; but I have 
not only found the dead and broken shells, but con- 
stantly disturbed the feathered depredators themselves 
at their repast. Helix arbiistorum I have also tried, 
but with the same success ; they fared no better than 
the other kind. 

There is a true saying " that there is nothing on 
earth so small that it may not produce great things."* 
Thus, the sacred geese at Rome by their cackling 
awoke Marcus Manlius, and thereby saved the Capitol 
from the Gauls, who were attempting by night to 
surprise the garrison; and even such insignificant 
creatures as snails were the cause of the following 
disaster to a Numidian king : — A castle on a lofty and 
steep rock, into which Jugurtha had carried all his 
treasures, had long been besieged in vain by Marius, 
when a Ligurian in the Roman army, climbing up the 
rocks in quest of snails, was led to continue his search 
for them, till he had nearly reached the summit, and 
thus found that the ascent was practicable; and on 
reporting this fact to Marius, having been ordered to 
lead a chosen band up the same part of the rocks, he 
and his comrades so alarmed the garrison by their 
* ' Proverbial Philosophy.' 

HEL1CID.E. — SNAIL. 223 

unexpected appearance that they gave up the castle to 
the besiegers. 

The Romans were very partial to snails as an article 
of food, and fed them till they grew to a large size. 
Several sorts are mentioned by Pliny, and they were 
all kept separate; amongst others, white ones that 
were found in the neighbourhood of Rieti. He 
describes the Illyrian snails as the largest (probably 
Helix Incorum, or Helix cincta), the African as the most 4 
prolific; others from Soletum, in the Neapolitan terri-, 
tory, as the noblest and best. He also speaks of some 
as attaining to so enormous a size that their shells 
would contain eighty pieces of money of the common 
currency,* that is to say, eighty quadrantes, the 
quadrans beiug a small copper coin three-quarters of 
an inch in diameter, about the size of a new sixpence, 
and one-sixteenth of an inch thick. This statement of 
Pliny's is really not so improbable as may appear at 
first sight, for on trying how many sixpeDces a usual- 
sized specimen of our largest snail, Helix pomatia, 
would hold, I find that about forty could easily be put 
into it ; and very fine specimens are to be found in the 
neighbourhood of the Mont Grenier, in Savoy, which 
would certainly hold more than forty. In the museum 
of the Jardin des Plantes, in Paris, there are two 
specimens of this Helix from Moldavia, nearly twice 
the size of the usual ones, measuring about two and a 
quarter inches in breadth, and which would easily hold 
eighty sixpences. 

Fulvius Hirpinus studied the art of fattening them- 
with so much success, that some of his snails would' 

* Kirby's ' History of Animals,' &c, ' Bridgewater Treatise/ vol. i. 
p. 281. 


contain about ten quarts. Pliny in his letter to Sextus 
Erucius Clarus, says (complainiug of his not fulfilling 
his engagement to sup with him) : — "I had prepared, 
you must know, a lettuce apiece, three snails, two 
*ggs, and a barley-cake, with some sweet wine and 

In Sir Gardner Wilkinson's ' Dalmatia and Monte- 
iegro/ he tells us that the Illyrian snails mentioned by 
• 3 liuy are very numerous in Veglia or Veggia, the 
Jyractica of 

Both Helix pomatia and Helix as'p&rsa are eaten 

abroad to this day, and formerly in England, according 

to Dr. Gray, the glassmen at Newcastle indulged 

themselves in a snail- feast once a year, and collected 

[hem from the fields and hedgerows on the previous 

Sunday. Addison, in his ' Travels,' mentions having 

j<een a snail garden, or " escargotiere," at the Capucins, 

in Friburg. It was a square place boarded in, filled 

with a vast quantity of large snails. The floor was 

strewn about half a foot deep with several kinds of 

plants, for the snails to nestle amongst during the 

winter. When Lent arrived, their magazines were 

opened, and a ragout made of snails. In Barrois, an 

(i escargotiere " consists of a cask with the bead 

staved in, covered with a net ; or a square hole with 

the sides lined with wood, and fastened over at the top 

with an iron trellis, or with a simple hurdle made of 

light osier-sticks. The snails are placed in as they 

find them, until there are sufficient for a repast, or for 

ale. They are also kept in these places till they are 

ttened, or till they close their shells with their 

■ liphragm, which enables them to be more easily 

* Pliin's ' Letters,' vol. i. p. 30. 


transported. In Lorraine, a corner of the garden is 
often given up to the snails, surrounded with a fine 
trellis-work to prevent their escaping, and all kinds of 
vegetables are placed inside which are most appreciated 
by them. During the winter, the " escargots " (their 
shells being closed with their epiphragm) are kept in 
pots, jars, or baskets, in a dry cold place. The vine- 
growers in the neighbourhood of Dijon keep them in a 
dry cellar, or dig a trench in the vine-slopes, placing 
at the bottom some leaves, then their snails, covering 
them with more leaves and a few spadefuls of earth. 

In Silesia, the snails are fed with marjoram, wild 
thyme, and aromatic plants, to give them a flavour. 

Ulm, in Wurtemberg, is celebrated for its " escar- 
gotieres," and, according to Marteni, more than ten 
millions of Helix pomatia are sent away to different 
gardens and " escargotieres " to fatten, and when 
ready for table are sent to various convents in Austria 
for consumption during Lent.* 

Helicidce are considered rather poor food, and there- 
fore suitable as Lenten fare; and this peculiaritv has 
given rise to a singular custom near Bordeaux, men- 
tioned by M. Fischer, who tells us that every year 
crowds of people direct their steps towards the town- 
ship of Canderan, to end the Carnival with gaiety, and 
to have a foretaste of Lent by feasting on snails. The 
consumption is considerable, and a dish of twenty-five 
snails costs one franc fifty centimes. 

A friend told me he had often seen the large vine- 

* Escargotieres, or snail gardens have been in use for a length of 
time in various parts of Europe. Dr. Ebrard in his pamphlet ' Des 
Escargots,' mentions those of Brunswick and Copenhagen, which latter 
furnished snails for the tables of the noble Danes, in the eighteenth 


snail on the dinner table at Vienna; they were served 
up plain, boiled in their shells, or stuffed with force- 
meat. At Naples, snails are generally kept in bran 
for a week or two, or for two or three days, before 
they are considered good for the table. They live on 
the bran, which is said to fatten them. 

When first the snails are gathered from the hedges, 
&c, it is a necessary precaution to starve them for a 
few days, and not to eat them at once, as they feed on 
poisonous plants, such as the deadly nightshade, poppy, 
datura, &c. ; cases of poisoning by snails having oc- 
curred where they had been gathered near, or had fed 
upon these noxious plants. 

It is a mistake to suppose that the only snails used 
as food are the Helix pomatia and Helix aspersa.* 
These are naturally preferred on account of their larger 
size, which makes them less troublesome to eat ; but 
a variety of small kinds of snails, nineteen species in 
all, including those above mentioned, are also em- 
ployed in cookery on the Continent, and there is no 
reason why they should not be as good as the others, 
nor is there any reason why we should not use snails, 
and many other molluscous animals, which we now 
throw aside, but which are doubtless quite as palatable 
and as wholesome as other kinds which our prejudices 
permit us to indulge in. 

M. A. Docteur Ebrard, in his f Des Escargots, au 
point de vue de Y Alimentation, de la Viticulture, et de 
l'Honiculture,' gives an interesting account of the use 

* Helix aspersa has a variety of names in France, and in the north 
it is called Colimaqon, Jardiniere, and Aspergille ; at Montpellier, 
Caraguolo; in Bordelais, Caguuille, Li maou, and Limat ; in Provence, 
Escargit, and Eseourgol ; at Avignon, Caragoou and Contar; Banarut 
at Aries ; and Bajaina at tirasai. — Dr. Ebrard. 


of snails both for food and medicine,, and he tells us 
that during a sojourn of some weeks at Hyeres, in the 
month of April, he was struck by seeing suspended at 
the side of the door of each cottage, a rush basket of 
a peculiar form. He was curious to find out the contents, 
and on looking into one he found it full of snails. At 
the sight of these creatures he made a slight movement 
of disdain, which was perceived by the master of the 
house, who said, " These snails disgust you, but we poor 
people eat no other meat all the year, except at Easter." 

Dr. Ebrard adds that, during the famine of 1816 and 
1817, snails were most valuable articles of food to the in- 
habitants of Central France ; again, that from the coasts 
of Saintonge and Aunis, snails have been for a long time 
exported in casks to Senegal and the Antilles, amongst 
them Helix aspersa ; but in 1825 this trade had 
greatly declined. M. Valmont Bomard saw the pea- 
sants, in the neighbourhood of La Rochelle, gather- 
ing an immense quantity of small snails to send to 
America, in casks filled with branches of trees, crossed 
again and again, so that the snails might be able to 
attach themselves firmly, and not be much shaken 
during the transport. 

Helix aperta, which is not known in England, but is 
figured in Messrs. Forbes and Hanley's ' British Con- 
chology/ from a dead specimen having been found in 
Guernsey, in 1839, is highly esteemed amongst real 
connoisseurs of snails, and is found in Provence (where 
it is called by the Provencaux, Tapada, Tapa, or Tapet), 
in some parts of Italy, and in the islands of the Medi- 

M. Moqum-Tandon tells us that vessels regularly 
visited the coasts of Liguria, in search of considerable 

q 2 


quantities of Helix aperta, for food for the higher 
classes at Rome, where it is known by the name of 
Monacello. The shell is of a yellowish-olive colour and 
nearly translucent, thin, and of an ovate-globular form. 
It has a large mouth, with the peristome white, and 
the whorls four in number. In the heat of summer, 
and during the winter, this Helix, like Helix pomatia, 
buries itself in holes in the ground, shutting up the 
aperture of its shell with a calcareous epiphragm. 

Two of the specimens I have in my collection, which 
came from Italy, still have this epiphragm very per- 
fectly preserved, and it is glossy, and slightly convex. 
Theophrastus, in his c Treatise upon Animals which live 
in holes/ states that snails have the habit of burying 
themselves. He says, " Snails live in holes during the 
winter, and still more in summer, on which account 
they are seen in the greatest numbers during the 
autumn rains. But their holes in the summer are 
made in the ground, and in the trees.* 

Helix nemoralis is also eaten, and at Toulouse sells 
for five or ten centimes a dish ; but by some, snails 
with striped shells are not considered good, as they 
have a bad taste and smell. M. Moquin-Tandon pur- 
chased, in 1847, in the market at Toulouse, a basket 
containing four hundred specimens of Helix aspersa, 
for sixty centimes; and. another, with 1503 specimens 
of Helix nemoralis, for seventy- five centimes — making 
fifteen centimes the hundred for the former, and a little 
less than five centimes for the latter. Helix nemoralis, 
and Helix hortensis, are known by various names in 
France ; for instance, " at Bordeaux they are called 
Demoiselles ; Mogne at Libournes, Limaio at Agen, 

# AthenauuSj ' Deipn ' vol. i. p. 104. 


Moli-morno at Limoges, Limaia at Montpellier, Livree 
in the north of France, and Caracolo in the Pyrenees."* 

Helix piscina, which is a very local species with us, 
and only found at Tenby (where I have seen it in 
profusion), at Manorbeer, in Cornwall, Jersey, and 
Ireland, is greatly prized as an article of food abroad, 
and is larger than it is with us, indeed, almost as 
large as Helix nemoralis. 

At Marseilles the average sale of Helix pisana and 
Helix rhodostoma, is about 20,000 kilogrammes, at three 
francs the fifty kilogrammes, which makes the sum of 
1200 francs. By the sale of our common garden snail 
(Helix asperm) the same price is realized, and that of 
Helix vermieulata amounts to 4800 francs. It is also 
stated that in the market at Dijon is sold, annually, 
about 6000 francs worth of the vine snail Helix 
pomatia (the escargot par excellence, and called also 
Luma, Gros luma 9 and le Mourle de vigjie) at one franc 
fifty centimes per hundred .f In Italy the vine snail is 
known in some places by the name of Bovolo. In 
Corsica the same species are eaten, as those above men- 
tioned, and it is said that, in the Island of Re the sale 
of these Helicidte amounts annually to 25,000 francs, 
but probably this sum is exaggerated. 

In Burgundy, Champagne, and Franche-Comte, a 
great quantity of snails of all kinds are consumed, and 
also sent to Paris ; and Professor Simmonds mentions 
that (in 1859) there were fifty restaurants, and more 
than 1200 private tables in that city, where snails 
were considered a delicacy by from 8000 to 10,000 
consumers ; that the monthly consumption of this 
mollusk was estimated at half a million ; again, that 
the market value of the vineyard snail (vine snail, Hdis 
* Dr. Ebrard, * D<es Escargots/ f Idem* 


poynatia) was from 2s. to 3s. per hundred, while those 
from the hedges, woods, and forests, brought only 
Is. 6d. to 2s. He further adds, that in the vicinity of 
Dijon the proprietor of one snailery is said to clear 
near]y £300 a year by his snails ; and also that there are 
exported from Crete annually about 20,000 okes (each 
nearly 31bs.) of snails, valued at 15,000 Turkish piastres. 
M. Renou (as quoted by M. Cailliaud of Nantes), in 
a curious account, read in 1864 before the Academical 
Society at Nantes, on the importance that the ancients 
attached to snails, observed, that during 1862 and 
1863, the escargots brought to the March e de la 
Bourse, at Nantes, on Sundays and fete days, amounted 
in number to 996,000, producing the sum of 2490 
francs.* M. Roux, superintendent of the Clos de 
Vougeot, and neighbouring vineyards, gave, in the 
' Union Bourguignonne/ some details of the operation 
of clearing the vines of snails. The Clos de Vougeot 
vineyard yielded fifty-five double-decalitres (each thirty- 
five pints); Romanee-Conti, six; Chambertin, six; Per- 
riere and Plante-Chaude, three; in all, seventy. It was 
calculated that these snails would have eaten up 
buds, the produce of which, M. Roux estimated at from 
fifteen to twenty pipes of wine, without reckoning the 
injury to next year's growth. The cost of clearing 
these snails in the fifty -five hectares of the vineyard in 
question amounted to 120 francs, a mere trifle compared 
to what was saved. It is further stated that these mol- 
lusks were sold at a remunerative price, as, when sold 
in Dijon, Lyons, and especially in Paris, they repre- 
sented a value of several thousand francs.f 

* ' Catalogue des Iladiaires, des Annelides, des Cirrhipedes,' &c, 
par Frederic Cailliaud, de Nantes, p. 222. 
t ' Morning Post,' May 8th, 1868. 


We read that formerly, in Paris, snails were only to 
be found in the herbalists' shops, and at the chemists' ; 
but now there are special places for them in the fish 
markets, by the side of the crayfish and other fresh- 
water fishes ; and in nearly all the restaurants you may 
see dishes of Helix pomatia displayed in the windows. 
They are ready cooked, and only require warming for 
a few minutes on the gridiron. It is from Troyes, at 
the price of five francs the hundred, that the vine snail 
is sent to Paris, boiled in their shells, and seasoned 
with fresh butter mixed with parsley, and a very little 
garlic. When you wish to partake of them, you place 
them before the fire till the butter melts, and then they 
are fit to eat. I purchased some, and succeeded in 
eating two, but with difficulty, as the way they were 
dressed did not disguise the slimy, soapy taste, and 
the want of salt and pepper, etc., made them most un- 
palatable. I felt that I could sympathize with Dr. Black 
and Dr Hutton, who also endeavoured to eat a dish, of 
stewed snails ; but, after vainly attempting* to swallow 
in very small quantities the mess which each internally 
loathed, " Dr. Black at length ' showed the white 
feather ;' but in a very delicate manner, as if to sound 
the opinion of his messmate, ' Doctor/ he said, in his 
precise and quiet manner, ' Doctor, do you not think 
that they taste a little — a very little — green V ' Green ! 
green, indeed ! Take them awa' ! take them awa' ! ' 
vociferated Dr. Hutton, starting from the table and 
giving full vent to his feelings of abhorrence/' * 

In Paris, snails are not considered in season till the 
first frost, about the end of October, or beginning of 

* ' Curiosities of Food/ p. 348. 


November, when they are closed with their white 
epiphragm. The Parisians eat about fifteen or twenty 
for breakfast, and they are also said to give a better 
flavour to wine. 

In Spain, also, all snails are eaten, unless they are 
too small to cook ; and they are called Caracola, and 
the men who gather and sell them are called Caraco- 
leros. However, they apply the term Caracola, to all 
snail-like shells, only distinguishing them thus, Cara- 
cola del mar, Caracola del rio % Caracola del huerta, i.e. 
salt, freshwater, or garden caracoles. 

Rosstrassler mentions having seen fourteen different 
species of Helicida? brought to the markets in Murcia 
and Valencia, and sold to be eaten. He adds that 
snails are not only food for the poor, for that many 
kinds are too costly. One species, called Serranos, is 
sold for a penny each of our English money ; but they 
are not half that price bought by the dozen. They cook 
them by stewing them, shells and all, in a richly-spiced 
sauce, and then put the shell to the mouth, and draw 
out the animal by sipping or sucking it. 

Rossmassler states, for the benefit of those who mav 
travel in Spain for scientific purposes, that to collect 
plants it is useless to visit the north of Spain before 
the middle of April, and the south before the end of 
March. For insects and shells, the end of the summer, 
and, above all, the autumn is the best time of the 

The snail hunters, who daily supply the markets 
with large baskets of snails, often have to traverse 
great tracts of hilly country, and are obliged to go out 
very early in the morning, before sunrise, in search of 
these creatures, as they are then to be found in more 


abundance. Much, amusement was afforded to the 
Spaniards by Rossmassler throwing away the delicate 
animal, and only retaining its shell, which to them was 
worthless, but most valuable to him as a concholo^ist. 
Upon one occasion, on arriving at a posada, he found the 
hotel people sitting down to their midday meal, before 
a great dish of snails. He says : — " One look satisfied 
me that they were of a rare kind, for which I had 
sought in vain, and I immediately seized upon some 
of the empty shells, which caused a universal laugh. 
I did not care at all for this, but I had actually to pay 
a real (about 2s. 4>d.) for the empty shells, which, when 
living, I could have got for nothing." This was 
thoroughly Spanish. 

Dr. W. Gottlob Rosenhauer, in his 'Die Thiere 
Andalusiens/ says that Helix lactea, which is very 
abundant, and readily found close to stones, amongst 
grass, near Malaga, and San Fernando, is brought in 
great numbers to the markets in Andalusia, and that 
the empty shells may be seen there all about the streets. 
Both Helix asjjersa and Helix lactea are used abundantly 
for food, but the latter tastes better, and is more deli- 
cate. They are generally cooked in rice, with butter 
or some other greasy substance, aud held in a napkin 
whilst the animal is picked out with a pin ; or some- 
times the mouth (or head) is first cut off, and the 
animal is then drawn out by suction, a proceeding 
not very elegant, at least according to our English ideas. 
Helix lactea may also be classed among the edible 
snails of France, and is found in the Pyrenees, and 
also in Corsica. 

Dr. Ebrard was informed by Dr. Roi, the Inspector 
of Colonization in Africa, that in the market at Algiers 


large heaps of snails are to be seen of the same species 
as those in Central France, and are sold by the bushel, 
and by the hundred, as an article of food ; and a small 
species, about the size of a pea, is collected in Algeria 
in great numbers, and given to the ducks. 

At Oran (which is inhabited by a large number of 
Spaniards), in the European portion of the town, the 
Hon . Lewis Wingfield mentions coming upon a colony 
of Spaniards, principally charcoal-burners, living in 
dwellings hollowed out of the earth on the side of a 
bank sloping to the sea. The better classes of these 
extraordinary habitations were surrounded by a rough 
bamboo paling completely covered with large land 
snails, which are eaten by the poor people. There 
were also heaps of them lying in the sun to dry, and 
great stacks of them, neatly stored away in grass 
hampers, ready for transmission into the interior.* 

Sir Gardner Wilkinson has seen basketsful of snails 
carried about for sale in the streets in Cairo ; and in 
' Physical Geography of the Holy Land/ it is stated 
that they are occasionally eaten in Syria, though not 

De Busbecq, Seigneur of Indevelt, and Ambassador 
to the Court of Portugal, in a letter to his friend 
Nicholas Michault, written about 1554, gives the fol- 
lowing story, which may amuse my readers. He 
commences by giving a description of the scenery of 
Constantinople, etc., and mentions various kinds of 
fishes taken in the Bosphorus and the sea of Marmora, 
and says also, " That the fishermen are for the most 
part Greeks, as they take to the occupation more 

* ' Under the Palms in Algeria and Tunis,' by the Hon. Lewis 
Wingfield, vol. ii. p. 226. 


readily than the Turks, although the latter do not 
despise fish when brought to table, provided they are 
of the kinds which they consider clean ; as for the rest, 
they would as lief take a dose of poison, as touch them. 
I should tell you by the way, that a Turk would sooner 
have his teeth or tongue torn out, than taste anything 
which he considers unclean, as for instance, a frog, a 
snail, or a tortoise. The Greeks are subject to the same 
superstition. I had engaged a lad of the Greek Church 
as purveyor for my people. His fellow-servants had 
never been able to induce him to eat snails ; at last 
they set a dish of them before him, cooked and seasoned 
in such a way that he fancied it was some kind offish, 
and helped himself to it most liberally. But when the 
other servants, laughing and giggling, produced the 
snail shells, and showed him that he had been taken in, 
his distress was such as to baffle all description. He 
rushed to his chamber where there was no end to his 
tears, misery, and sickness. He declared that it would 
cost him two months wages, at the least, to obtain 
absolution for his sin ; it being the custom of Greek 
priests to charge those who come for confession a price 
varying with the nature and extent of the offence, and 
to refuse absolution to those who do not comply with 
their demand."* 

In Hone's f E very-day Book/ we read that "No one 
will marry in May, but, on the first morning of that 
month, the maidens rise early to gather May-dew, which 
they throw over their shoulder in order to propitiate 
fate in allotting them a good husband. If they can 

* ' The Life and Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq,' &c, by 
Charles Thornton Foster, Esq., M.A., and F. H. Blackburue Daniel, 
M.A., vol. i. p. 124. 


succeed, by the way, in catching a snail by the horns, 
and throwing it over their shoulder, it is an omen of 
good luck ; and if it is placed on a slate, then likewise 
it will describe, by its turning, the initials of their future 
husband's name." It is said that if on leaving the house 
you see a black snail (slug ?) seize it boldly by one of 
its horns, and throw it over your left shoulder ; you 
may then go on your way prosperously; but if you 
fling it over the right shoulder, you will draw down ill 
luck. This practice is said to extend as far a south as 

In Piedmont, to induce the snail to put out its horns, 
children are accustomed to sing to it 

" Limassa, limassa, 
Tira fora, i to corn, 
Dass no, i vad dal barbe 
E ti tje fass taie." 

In Sicily, children terrify the snail by informing it 
that their mother is coming to burn its horns with a 
candle ; and in Tuscany, they threaten the white snail 
(la marinella) telling it to thrust out its little horns to 
save itself from kicks and blows. f This reminds us of 
the English children, who used to sing ; 

" Snail, snail, come out of your hole, 
Else we shall beat you as black as a coal ! " 

According to the ' Archasologia Cambrensis,' in the 
parish of St. Clear's, Carmarthenshire, small portions 
of lands were formerly gambled away by means of snail 
races. The rival snails were placed at the foot of a 
post, and the one that first reached the top, won the 
land for its master. In the Isle of Wight, the fishermen 

* ■ Folklore of the Northern Counties of England.' 
t ' Zoological Mythology,' vol. ii. pp. 74, 75. 


of Atherfield and Brixton consider snails the best bait 
for prawns, and horseflesh next ; and in the l Art of 
Angling ' the " white snail," and likewise the u black 
one " (slug ?) slit open that the white may appear, are 
recommended as good bait for the chub early in the 
morning, and likewise good night bait for the trout 
and eel.* 

The Rev. S. Baring G-ould, in f Queer Culprits/ gives 
an account of the laws of Mediaeval Europe, respecting 
the protection of persons, or things, from injuries by 
animals, insects, and snails etc. — He says, according 
to Jewish law, " If an ox gore a man or a woman that 
they die, then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his 
flesh shall not be eaten ; but the owner of the ox shall 
be quit." After giving this command Moses proceeds 
to enforce the doctrine of the responsibility of the 
beast's owner and to ensure his punishment should he 
wittingly let a dangerous animal run loose, also to 
make provision for his security under some extenuating 
circumstances. These commands were carried into the 
laws of Mediaeval Europe ; the priests at the same time 
introducing refinements of their own, and enforcing 
them in numerous cases, which afford matter for curious 
inquiry, and are full of technicalities and peculiarities 
at once amusing and instructive, as throwing light on 
the customs and habits of thought in those times. If a 
child was injured by a sow, or a man killed by a bull, 
the trial was conducted in precisely the same manner as 
though sow or bull were morally criminal. They were 
apprehended, placed before the ordinary tribunal, and 
given over to execution. If an inroad of locusts or snails 
takes place common law is helpless, it may pronounce 

* ■ Tbo Art of Angling : Rock and Sea-fishing,' &c, by R. Brookes. 


judgment, but who is it to execute its decrees ? Tem- 
poral power being palpably unavailing, the spiritual 
tribunal steps in ; the decision of the magistrates beiDg 
useless, perhaps excommunication may suffice. This 
then was an established maxim. If the criminal could 
be reached, it was handed over to the ordinary courts 
of justice; if, however, the matter was beyond their 
control, it fell within the jurisdiction of Ecclesiastical 
Courts." Bartholomew de Chasseneux, a noted lawyer 
of the sixteenth century, gives the foil owing form of 
excommunication. " snails, caterpillars, and other 
obscene creatures, which destroy the food of our neigh- 
bours, depart hence ! Leave these cantons which you 
are devastating, and take refuge in those localities 
where you injure no one. J. N. P/' etc. 

On the 17th of August, 1487, snails were sentenced 
at Macon.* The Norwegians are said to have had a 
" Lemming-Litany " in their church service, in which 
these pests were most solemnly exorcised. f 

The shells of Helix pomatia are used for making small 
whistles tor children. The apex of the shell is cut off, 
and a piece of tin added; they are then sold for a penny 
each; and who does not recollect the wonderful cats 
made of the shells of the common garden snail, Helix, 
aspersa, with heads of putty or cement, and how 
anxious we were to become possessors of these beautiful 
creatures ! They are now seldom seen, except in some 
small out-of-the-way shop in a country town or village, 
such trifles not suiting the tastes of the precocious 
juveniles of the present day. 

* ' Qneer Culprits, Curiosities of the Olden Times,' by S. Baring 
Gould, M.A. 

t ' Norsk, Lapp, and Finn,' by Frank Vincent, Jun., p. 98. 


The ancients seem to have studied the habits of these 
mollusks, as besides Theophrastus, whom I have already 
quoted, Aristotle also mentions them; and Teucer 
speaks of the snail as " an animal destitute of feet and 
spine and bone, whose back is clad with horny shell, 
with long projecting and retreating eyes/'* and many 
others. Hesiod calls the snail the " hero that carries 
his house on his back," and Anaxilas says — 

"You are e'en more distrustful than a snail, 
Who fears to leave even his house hehind him."f 

Somewhat different is the old English proverbial 

" Good wives to snails should be akin, 
Always to keep their homes within ; 
Yet unlike snails they should not pack 
All they are worth upon their back." 

Gwillim, in his ' Heraldry/ informs us that the snail 
is called Tardigrada domiporta, the "slow-going house- 
bearer," and adds, " the bearing of the snail doth 
signify that much deliberation must be used in matters 
of great difficulty and importance; for although the 
snail goeth most slowly, yet, in time she ascendeth to 
the top of the highest tower, as Mr. Carew, of Antony, 
hath wittily moralized in his poem, intituled ' The 
Herring's Tail/ " He gives snails as the armorial 
bearings of the Shelleys, but he also mentions whelks, 
which shells are now borne by this family. 

The crest of the Carpenters of Somersetshire is a 

nail passant proper, shell argent ; and that of the 

Galay family, a snail, horns erect, proper. In F. 

Osborn's ' Miscellany/ 1659, it is said that mushrooms, 

* Atheweus, ' Deipu.' bk. x. chap. 83, p. 720. 
f Ibid, book ii. chap. 63, p. IDA. 


snayles, etc., have crawled into the dishes of princes, 
and are daily eaten in their Courts for dainties.* 

To Dress Snails. — Take shell-snails, put them in 
boiling water, then pick them out of the shells, salt 
them, scour the slime from them, and then wash 
them in two or three waters ; then dry them in a 
linen cloth, then put them into a napkin with salt, 
pepper, salad-oil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and winter- 
savoury, shred small, mingle all well together ; then, 
having cleaned the shells, fill them with these ; lay them 
on a gridiron, and broil them over a gentle fire, then 
dish them, four or five dozen in a dish, fill them up 
with oil, and serve them hot.f 

To Dress Snails. — Snails that feed on vines are con- 
sidered the best. Put some water into a saucepan, and 
when it begins to boil, throw in the snails, and let them 
boil a quarter of an hour ; then take them out of their 
shells ; wash them several times, taking great pains to 
cleanse them thoroughly ; place them in clean water, 
and boil them again for a quarter of an hour ; then take 
them out, rinse them, dry them, and place them with 
a little butter in a frying-pan, and fry them gently for 
a few minutes, sufficient to brown them ; serve them 
with some piquante sauce. J 

Snails cooked the French way. — Crack the shells and 
throw them into boiling water, with a little salt and 
herbs, sufficient to make the whole savoury ; in a quarter 
of an hour take them out, pick the snails from the shells, 
and boil them again ; then put them into a saucepan 
with butter, parsley, a clove of garlic, pepper, thyme, 

* ' Antiquarian Chronicle/ June, 1882. 

f ' The Cooks' and Confectioners' Dictionary,' by John Nott. 

J An uid French Recipe. 


a bay-leaf, and a little flour ; when sufficiently done, 
add the yolk of an egg, well beaten, and the juice of a 
lemon, or some vinegar. 

" To bake Snails. — Boil them, scour them, season them 
with salt, pepper, and nutmeg; lay them into a pye 
with marrow, a raw chicken cut in pieces, bits of lard, 
and bacon without bone, whole mace, savoury herbs 
shred, butter, and slices of orange or lemon ; having 
filled your pye, close it up, and when it is baked 
liquor it with white wine and butter.' - '* 

To fry Snails. — Take shell-snails in the months of 
January, February, or March ; when they are closed up 
boil them tender, take them out of the shells, cleanse 
them from the slime, flour them, fry them, dish them ; 
pour over them a sauce made of butter, vinegar, fried 
onions and parsley, with beaten butter, and juice of 
orange, or oil, vinegar, and slices of lemon. 

To make a Hash of Snails. — Boil them, cleanse them 
and mince them, put them into a pipkin with butter or 
oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg, whole capers, pistachios, the 
yolks of hard eggs, and sweet herbs shred, let them 
stew over the fire for half an hour ; lay toasts of fried 
French bread in the bottom of the dish, and some 
toasts round the snails in the dish. 

Winter Soup of Snails. — Place the snails in boiling 
water for a few minutes, when they will easily come 
out of the shell. A little bit of hard matter is to be 
taken from the head ; then stew them for a long time 
in milk.f 

Another recipe from the same source. — Scald the snails 
to get rid of their shells, and then fry them with a few 

* < Cooks' and Confectioners' Dictionary,' by John Nott. 
f ' Life in Normandy,' vol. ii. p. 24. 



crumbs of bread, and a little seasoning, viz., pepper, 
salt, and a finish of fine herbs, or stew them with white 
or brown sauce.* 

The following are Spanish recipes for cooking 
them : — 

"Snails with Parsley. — Caracoles con Perejil. — Take a 
slice of crumb of bread, soak it in vinegar and water, 
pound it in a mortar with garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, 
and mint, add. oil drop by drop, turning the pestle 
the whole time in the same direction ; put the snails 
which have been already boiled, and taken out of 
their shells, into this, and serve cold, or fry the whole 

" Bag oilt of Snails. — Guisado de Caracoles. — Soak the 
snails in salt water, then wash them in two or three 
waters; take thyme, marjoram, bay-leaves, and. salt, 
and fry them with chopped onions, in butter or oil ; 
boil the snails, and take them out of their shells, or, if 
you prefer it, put them shells and all, into the butter, 
and. fry them. Let them be served as follows : soak 
a piece of bread in vinegar and water, and pound it in 
a mortar with a clove of garlic, a little pepper, salt, 
parsley, and mint, chopped very fine ; add oil drop by 
drop, turning the pestle all the time till it is quite a 
smooth paste, and place it round the dish, putting the 
snails in the centre. 

French recipe for dressing Snails. — In spring and 
autumn, the snails which are found in the vineyards 
are good to eat, for those who like them ; and to clean 
them and make them easy to get out of the shell they 
must be dressed as follows : take a handful of charcoal 
ashes, and put it into a saucepan or kettle with some 

* ' Life in Normandy,' vol. ii. p. 62. 


soft water, or water from a river ; when it boils, throw 
in the snails, and leave them for a quarter of an hour. 
Wheu you find the snails can easily be picked out of the 
shell, take them and place them in some tepid water to 
cleanse them ; then again put them into fresh water, 
and let them boil for a minute or so, take them out, and 
let them drain. Put into a saucepan a piece of butter, 
with a bunch of parsley, chives, a clove of garlic, two 
cloves, thyme, a bay-leaf, and some mushrooms, then 
add the snails, being careful that they are well drained. 
Pass the whole over the fire, adding a little flour mois- 
tened with broth, a glass of white wine, salt, and pepper, 
and let it simmer till the snails are quite tender, and 
till the sauce is nearly dried up in the pan. Serve 
them up with a sauce made as follows : take the yolks 
of three eggs, beat them up with some cream, warm 
it, but do not let it boil, add a little white vinegar or 
verjuice, with a little nutmeg.* 

Dijon method of cooking Snails. — Boil them in water 
with some thyme ; take them out of their shells ; place 
in the shells some fresh butter, kneaded with chopped 
parsley ; replace the animal in its shell, and cover it 
with some more of the butter, etc. When required for 
eating, place them on an iron dish, or on one of porce- 
lain. They are placed side by side, with the mouth of 
the shell upwards, in little holes in the iron or porcelain 
dish, which is made for the purpose, and they must 
be warmed till the butter melts. Thus prepared, suails 
sell at Dijon from five to ten centimes a piece.f 

Another method of cooking Snails. — In the north and 
east of France, Helix pomatia, or Helices vigneronnes, 
the vine snails, are boiled in water, and taken out of 

* ' La Cuieiniere Bourgeoise.' t Dr. E braid. 



their shells, then stewed in a saucepan with some fresh 
butter and parsley ; or else the snails, after they have 
been taken out of their shells, and are three parts 
cooked, are put into a saucepan with a little water and 
some butter, or with some broth, adding a little salt, 
pepper, white wine, or vinegar. When they are cooked 
and tender, pour over them a thickening of yolks of 
eggs with chopped parsley ; the addition of nutmeg 
and lemon -juice makes them more savoury.* 

The inhabitants of Central France use several sauces 
for snails, and the four principal are the following, ac- 
cording to Dr. Ebrard, viz. : — 

"L'ayoli, or ail-y-oli, of Languedoc; a paste made 
with olive oil and pounded garlic." 

" L'aillado, of Gascony; a most complicated sauce of 
garlic, onions, chives, leeks, parsley, &c, with spices, 
cloves, and nutmeg, the whole thickened with oil." 

11 La limassade, of Provence, called La vinaigrette in 

"La cacalaousada, of Montpellier, composed of flour, 
ham, sugar, &c. At Bordeaux the aillada is softened 
with a mixture of bread, flour, and yolk of egg, boiled 
with milk." 

Stuffed mails are also considered very good. A fine 
stuffing is made with snails previously cooked, fillets 
of anchovies, nutmeg, spice, fine herbs, and a liaison 
of yolk of eggs. The snail-shells are filled with this 
stuffing, then placed before the fire, and served very 
hot. In some countries Blainville states, that snails 
are eaten, smoked and dried. 

* Dr. Ebrard. 




Sepia officinalis, Linnaaus. Common Cuttle-fish, or 
Scuttle. — The animal is curious, very flat, with white 
stripes across its body, the groundwork being dark 
brown. The head is brown, as well as the arms, but 
the inside of the latter is white, and is furnished with 
four rows of suckers. Its two tentacular arms are 
very long, expanded broadly at the tips, and are also 
furnished with suckers. The beak is hard aud black* 
shaped like that of a parrot. 

The common cuttle-fish, theSeche, Seiche, or Casseron, 
of the French, is very generally eaten by our fishermen, 
and at Great Yarmouth they bring them in baskets to 
the houses for sale, recommending them as excellent 
and wholesome food. Cuttle-fish are often taken on 
the fishing lines, and will follow the bait to the surface, 
sucking it and holding fast by their long tentacles,* 
but we seldom find them alive on the shore, though 
their white hones are constantly picked up; and an 
immense number of these bones sometimes strew the 
beach from Beachy Head to Pevensey, while numbers 
float on the surface of the water. This was particularly 
the case there some years ago. It seemed as if there 
had been some epidemic amongst the cuttles which 
caused this great mortality, for certainly many basket- 
fuls of bones might easily have been collected. They 
are not without their use ; and at Liverpool, cuttle- 
bones are sold to the druggists for making tooth- 
powder, as much as twelve hundredweight arriving at 

* < Sea Fish,' &c, by W. B. Lord. 


a time;* and Pliny says that the ashes of calcined 
shells of the Sepia were used for extracting* pointed 
weapons which had pierced the flesh. -f- 

In Germany it is called the Blackfisch, or Tiutenfisch, 
and in Spain Chocos, Rellenas, Castanuelas, and Sipia ; 
and the Manx name for it is Eeast-yn-vraain-olleij. 

Cuttle-fishes are very common in the Mediterranean, 
and are highly prized by the Neapolitans. In Corfu 
both the Septia and Octopus are considered excellent 
food, and are regarded as flesh. J The modern Greeks 
also make Sepiadce, and especially the Octopodin, a 
principal article of food; they dry them in great 
quantities, and store them away for use to be boiled 
or fried. Mr. R. A. Arnold mentions having seen both 
kinds for sale in the markets at Athens, and he adds, 
that these nondescripts fulfil every condition of the 
Greek Lent, and are accordingly much eaten by pious 
women. While on board the steamer, on the way to 
Eubcea, it happened to be Good Friday, and Mr. Arnold 
inquired of the steward what could be had for break- 
fast, he replied in Greek, " Fasting food," and the first 
dish was composed of polypus, crawfish, and vegetables, 
mingled together and floating in oil. This was followed 
by a dish of fried Sepia.§ Several kinds of Cephalo- 
poda are eaten abroad. The Octopus vulgaris is eaten 
when young and small at Nice, where it is much more 
plentiful in the market than at Genoa ; and if it weighs 
less than a pound, and is still tender, it is much 
esteemed. Those who purchase it generally hammer 

* Phipson's ' Utilization of Minute Life.' 

t Pliny ' Nat. Hist.' vol. vi. bk. xxxii. c. 43. 

X ' The Ionian Islands,' by Professor Austed. 

§ ' From the Levant, the Black Sea, and the Danube,' vol. i. p. 79. 


it well with a stick before cooking it; and at Mar- 
seilles the fishermen beat them with a reed, until it is 
broken, to make them tender. This is an ancient 
custom, for Aristophanes in his ' Dedalus ' says, " It is 
what is called being beaten like a cuttlefish to make it 
tender."* It is also stated that the Greeks are careful 
to drag it for some time upon a stone, holding it by 
the opening in the body. The flesh is said to have a 
peculiar taste, consequently that of the cuttle-fish and 
calmar (loligo) is preferred. At Naples, shellfish mer- 
chants of Sta. Lucia sell them ready cooked, t At 
Venice, Octopi were sold ready boiled, and taken hot 
from the cauldron. J I have seen them in the market 
at Palma, Majorca, where they are called u Pop." 

These Octopods, called Octopodia by the modern 
Greeks, are regularly exposed for sale in the markets 
of Smyrna, as they are in the bazaars in India; and 
on the coast of the Red Sea the inhabitants fish up a 
great quantity of Poiilps, which they both eat and 
sell.§ The North American Indians are also partial to 

Plato, the comic writer, says : — 

" Good-sized polypus in season 

Should be boiled, -to roast them's treason, 
But if early, and not big, 

Koast them ; boil'd ain't worth a fig." 

M. Verany gives the following description of it : — 
" The common Poiilp (the Palpo of the Italians) is 
scattered throughout the Mediterranean, and is found 
on the coast of the Atlantic at the Canaries. According 

* Ozenne. f See notes, ' Life in Normandy.' 

% i The World, beyond the Esterelles,' by A. W. Buekland. § U/enue. 


to facts collected by M. D'Orbigny, it has been found 
at Hayti, Cuba, Bahia, the Isle of France, the East 
Indies, and in the Red Sea. . . . This Cephalopod 
lives almost always amougst rocks, and generally hides 
itself in the holes and crevices, into which it penetrates 
with great ease, its body being very supple and elastic. 
It is in these recesses that he lies watching for the 
auimals on which he lives; as soon as he perceives 
them, he cautiously leaves his den, darts like an arrow 
on his victim, which he wraps himself about, clasps in 
his serpent-like arms, and fixes, by means of his 
suckers. . . . Sometimes he places himself upon sandy 
ground at a short distance from the rocks, and is 
careful to construct a hiding-place. For this purpose 
he brings together, in the form of a circle, a quantity 
of pebbles, which he carries by fixing them on his 
arms by means of his suckers. Then, having formed 
a sort of crater, he ensconces himself in it, and there 
waits patiently for some fish or crab to pass, which he 
skilfully seizes." " The young Poiilps in summer 
come to the pebbly shores, and they are sometimes 
met with in muddy places, from which they are taken 
by the trawl, together with numbers of Eledon (Ele- 
done cirrhosus). They are usually fished for with a line 
without a hook, instead of which is substituted a piece 
of dog-fish, a bit of cuttle-fish, a white fish, a bone, a 
piece of suet, or some attractive substance weighted 
with a small stone. . . . They are also caught with 
a small olive-branch, fixed at the end of a rod, fitted 
with a hook, which is drawn backwards and forwards 
before the openings of the holes and crevices of the 

H. Verany further states that the fishermen catch 


the large ones with the leister, or trident, and in 
summer the young Poiilps are caught with a line 
weighted with lead, furnished with a cork fitted with 
several hooks, covered with pieces of scarlet cloth, 
twisted into thongs. He adds, that the largest Poulp 
he ever saw was about three yards long, and weighed 
nearly half a hundredweight, and was captured by a 
fisherman with his hands only. Poulps of thirty 
pounds weight are not rare at Nice, and those of 
twenty pounds are common. 

Dr. J. H. Bennet has seen at Mentone a Poulp at 
least two metres in length, including the tentacles . . . 
and further adds, that a young Italian with whose 
family he was acquainted, and who was a first rate 
swimmer, nearly lost his life from the attack of one 
of these monsters, about a kilometre from Leghorn. 
He was resting upon a rock covered with seaweed, 
after having swum a long time when a Poulp seized 
him and would certainly have dragged him into the 
water and killed him, if some fishermen who were 
in a boat had not heard his cries, and come to his 

Octopus vulgaris is rare on the British coast. I 
recollect that some years ago, one was found on the 
shore at Beachy Head, by two fishermen, who put it 
into a large bucket or tub, and took it round to most 
of the houses at Eastbourne for exhibition; and Mr. 
Gosse found one, in 1860, on the beach at Babbicombe. 
Dr. Spence, of Lerwick, in 1862, sent an account to 
Dr. Allman, Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh, 
of a huge cuttle-fish, which was thrown on shore some- 

* ' La Mediterranee, La Riviere de Genes et Menton,' par Jacques 
Henri Bennet. 


where on the Shetland Isles, its body measuring seven 
feet, and its arms sixteen feet in length. Very large 
Ceplialopoda are found in the Pacific, and also in 
the Indian Seas, and are said to seize canoes, and drag 
them down; and woe betide the unfortunate bather 
should he happen to be taken in the grasp of one of 
these monsters ; and on the authority of Sir Grenville 
Temple, in Beale's ' History of the Sperm Whale/ an 
anecdote is given, showing what happened in the 
Mediterranean to a Sardinian captain, who was bathing 
at Jerbeh. He felt one of his feet in the grasp of one 
of these animals, and tried with his other foot to dis- 
engage himself, but his limb was immediately seized 
by another of the monster's arms. He then en- 
deavoured with his hands to free himself, but these 
also in succession were firmly grasped by the polypus, 
and the poor man was shortly found drowned, with all 
his limbs firmly bound together by the twining arms 
of the fish ; and it is extraordinary, that where this 
happened, the water was scarcely four feet deep. 
Fredol, in ' Le Monde de la Mer/ states that the 
famous diver, Piscinola, who at the desire of the 
Emperor Frederick II., dived in the Straits of Messina, 
saw, with much alarm, enormous Poi'dps attached to 
the rocks, their arms several yards long, quite capable 
of destroying a man. 

Pliny gives a description of the dangerous powers of 
the polypus for destroying a human being in the water ; 
embracing his body, it counteracts his struggles, and 
draws him under with its feelers, and its numerous 
suckers.* It is said that the fishermen at the present 
day, on the coast of Normandy, state that the polypus, 

* Pliny, ' Nat. Hist,' vol. ii. bk. ix. chap. 48, and note. 


which the j call Ghatrou (or La pieuvre), is a most 
formidable enemy to swimmers and divers, for when it 
has embraced the limbs with its tentacles, it adheres 
with such tenacity that it is quite impossible for a 
person to disengage himself, or to move any of his 
1 mbs.* 

The common Octopus punctatus of the west coast of 
iSTorth America is the largest of its tribe hitherto studied; 
but the gigantic squids far exceed it in size, as we 
shall read presently. Mr. W. H. Dall, in the 'American 
Naturalist/ 1873, tells us that this species of Octopus 
occurs abundantly at Sitka and there reaches a length 
of sixteen feet on a radial spread of nearly twenty- 
eight feet, but the whole mass is much smaller than 
the decapodous (or ten-armed) cephalopoda of lesser 
length. In the Octopus above mentioned, the body 
would not exceed six inches in diameter, and a foot in 
length, and the arms attain an extreme tenuity towards 
their lips. Dr. W. 0. Ayres informed Mr. Yerrill, 
the writer of the above, that he has often seen this 
species exposed for sale in the markets of San Francisco, 
where it is eaten by the French, and that specimens 
with the arms six or seven feet long are common; and 
Professer W. H. Brewer states that he has seen speci- 
mens in the same markets which spread fourteen feet 
across the outstretched arms.f 

The ten-armed Cephalopods, or Gigantic squids, attain 
larger dimensions than the Octopus, viz. the species 
of Architeuthis (a genus which is closely allied to 
Ommastrephes), Onychoteuthis robusta (or Lestoteic- 

* ' Life in Normandy,' note. — D. D. 

f ' Cephnlopods of the North Eastern Coast of America,' by A. E. 
Verrill, Part i. p. 252. 


this), as the following account taken from Mr. A. E. 
Verrill's 'The Cephalopods of the North-Eastern Coast 
of America/ will prove. He mentions the early litera- 
ture of Natural History containing allusions to large 
species of Cephalopods, accompanied by more or less 
fabulous and usually exaggerated descriptions, as for 
instance the one given by old Eric Pontoppidan, which 
I shall quote further on. Professor Steenstrup, and 
Dr. Harting were the first to describe and figure these 
Gigantic squids scientifically. The American fishermen 
frequently meet with these big squids, in the waters of 
Newfoundland and the adjacent coasts ; and the cod- 
fishermen who visit the Grand Banks, appear to have 
been long familiar with them, and occasionally to have 
captured and used them as bait. The whalemen state 
that the sperm whale feed upon huge squid, and that 
when wounded they often vomit large fragments of 
them in such a condition as to be recognizable,* and this 
statement is corroborated by Mr. P. Warrington, of 
Apothecaries' Hall, who informed Mr. H. Woodward 
that the test of the genuineness of i( Ambergris " as 
imported, which is found in the sperm whale (Physeter 
macrocephalus) is, that it is full of the undigested beaks 
of the Galamary, upon which it feeds; and one of the 
"Delphinidse/' the Hyperoodon, or Bottle-headed whale, 
is also said to feed upon cuttle-fishes, as Mr. W. Vrolik 
found in the stomach of one specimen about ten 
millions of the mandibles of a species of Loligo.f 

According to Mr. H. Woodward, the undigested 
remains of fossil cuttle-fishes are frequently noticed 
within the ribs of the Ichthyosauri, and Plesiosauri of 

* Maurz's ■ Sailing Directions,' as quoted by Mr. A. E. Verrill. 

f Description de ' Deux Cephalopodes gigantesques,' par P. Harting. 


our Lias.* Mr. A. E. Verrill thinks it probable that 
only three distinct forms exist amongst the large 
Newfoundland specimens of Architeuthis, and two of 
these may be merely the males and females of one 
species. The Grand Banks specimen (Architeuthis 
prince ps) was found floating on the surface, on the 
Grand Banks, Newfoundland, October 1871, bv Cap- 
tain Campbell, of the Schooner ( B. D. Hoskins/ of 
Gloucester, Mass. The body measured fifteen feet in 
length, four feet eight inches in circumference. The 
arms were mutilated, but the portions remaining were 
estimated to be nine or ten feet long, and twenty-two 
inches in circumference, two being shorter than the 
rest. It was estimated to weigh 2000 lbs. The 
"Thimble Tickle" specimen was captured on the 2nd 
November, 1878, by Stephen Sherring, a fisherman, 
who was out in a boat with two other men, and observed 
some bulky object not far from shore, and they supposed 
it to be a portion of a wreck, and rowed towards it. 
To their horror they found themselves close to a huge 
fish, having large glassy eyes, which was making 
desperate efforts to escape, and churning the water 
into foam by the movement of its immense arms and 
tail. It was aground, and the tide was ebbing. From 
the funnel at the back of its head it was ejecting large 
volumes of water, this being its method of moving 
backwards, the force of the stream, by the reaction of 
the surrounding medium, driving it in the required 
direction. At times the water from the siphon was as 
black as ink. Finding the monster partially disabled, 
the fishermen plucked up courage enough to throw the 
grapnel of their boat, the sharp flukes of which, having 
* c Intellectual Observer,' vol. xi. p. 165. 


barbed points, sunk into the soft body. To the grapnel 
they had attached a stout rope which they had carried 
ashore and tied to a tree, so as to prevent the fish from 
going out with the tide. It was a happy thought, for 
the devil-fish found himself effectually moored to the 
shore. His struggles were terrific as he flung his ten 
arms about in dying agony. The fishermen took 
care to keep a respectful distance from the long ten- 
tacles, which ever and anon darted out like great 
tongues from the central mass. At length it became 
exhausted, and as the water receded it expired. The 
fishermen, knowing no better, proceeded to convert it 
into dog's meat. It was a splendid specimen, the 
largest yet taken, the body measuring twenty feet 

from the beak to the extremity of the tail The 

circumference of the body is not stated, but one of the 
arms measured thirty-five feet. This must have been 
a tentacle. Twenty other specimens are mentioned by 
Mr. Verrill, and their dimensions given. 

It is not only on the north-eastern coasts of America 
that these gigantic cephalopods have been met with, 
for Mr. W. H. Dall, discovered a large and very in- 
teresting species, viz., Onychoteuthis robusta, near Iliu- 
link, Unalashka Island, off the coast of Alaska, in 
1872, thrown upon the beach, and Mr. T. W. Kirk, 
in the ' Transactions of the Wellington Philosophical 
Society/ October, 1879, describes the occurrence of five 
specimens of giant cuttle-fish on the coast of New 
Zealand, of the species Architeuthis Mouchezi(?) . The 
cuttle-bone of one, when first extracted, measured six 
feet three inches in length, and eleven inches in width.* 

* • The Cephalopods of the North Eastern Coast of America,' Parts 
i. and ii., by A. E. Verrill. 


Large specimens are found in Japan, and also at 
Bermuda, and a sailor who had seen some very large 
at the latter place, and had heard of people being 
attacked by them whilst bathing, told me that he had 
ever after felt shy of bathing in the sea, and that even 
the thought of them made him shudder. A friend of 
mine told me that, on his voyage to Ceylon, many 
years ago, he used to beguile the time by fishing-, 
and once he caught a huge cephalopod. When 
it was hauled on board, it stuck and clung with such 
tenacity to the deck and ropes, that it could not 
be pulled off, and was at last cut to pieces with a 

M. Fiourens communicated to the French Academy 
an account of an enormous specimen which was seen 
by Lieut. Bouyer of the French Steamer ' Alecton/ 
in November 1860, forty leagues from Teneriffe. 
The body appeared to be from fifteen to eighteen 
feet in length, and it was of a reddish colour. 
It has been designated, Architeuthis Bouyeri, pro- 

The Norwegian Kralcen, Kraxen, or Krabben, was 
held to belong to the Cephalopods, and old Eric Pon- 
toppidan, a Norwegian bishop, describes it as an animal 
the largest in creation, whose body arises above the 
surface of the water like a mountain, and its arms like 
the masts of ships ; and he adds, that a whole regiment 
of soldiers could easily go through their manoeuvres 
on its back. The Bishop of Midaros is said to have 
discovered one of these gigantic Tcrakens asleep in the 
sun, and believing it to be a large rock, raised an altar 
on its surface and celebrated Mass. The kraken re- 
mained stationary during the ceremony, but the bishop 


had scarcely regained the shore, before the monster 
replunged into the deep.* 

The Hydra of Lerna, destroyed by Hercules, was 
most certainly a polypus, or sepia, and in at least one of 
the early representations of the subject, the animal is 
most correctly drawn as a cuttle-fish or polypus. 
Montfaucon represents the Hydra as a " Monster with 
several heads — some seven, others nine, and others 
fifty — but that it was not a dragon is evident, not only 
rom the waves which are at its feet, but also from the 
form and capaciousness of its breast, and whole body ; 
and again, its connection with the ocean can be traced 
in the crab being sent to its assistance by Juno, to bite 
Hercules in the heel, and when he crushed it, he over- 
came the Hydra. Juno, unable to succeed in her 
attempts to lessen the fame of Hercules, placed the crab 
amongst the constellations, and it forms one of the signs 
of the zodiac. It represents the month of June, because, 
when the sun has come to this constellation he begins 
to go backwards like a crab."f 

Pliny mentions several kinds of polypi, one of which 
he especially calls the land polypus, and states that it 
is larger than that of the sea ; and Hardouin says it is 
the species found on the seashore, which more fre- 
quently comes on dry land than the other kinds. J 

In the Polynesian islands, the natives have a curious 
contrivance for catching cuttle-fish. Jt consists of a 
straight piece of hard wood, a foot long, round, and 
polished, and not half an inch in diameter. Near one 

* ' \,o Monde de la Mer,' par Fredol. 

f * Nat. Hist, of Crabs and Lobsters,' by Frank Buckland, Esq. Jo'nt 
Appendix, No. ii. ' Report on Ciab and Lobster Fisheries, &c, 1877.' 
X Pliuj, ' Nut. Hist.' vol. ii. bk. ix. c. 46; see note. 


end of it a number of beautiful pieces of the cowrie, or 
tiger-shell, are fastened one over another, like the scales 
of a fish, until it is nearly the size of a turkey's egg", 
and resembles the cowrie. It is suspended in a hori- 
zontal position by a strong line, and lowered by the 
fisherman from a small canoe, till it nearly reaches the 
bottom. The fisherman jerks the line to cause the 
shell to move, as if it were alive, and the jerking* 
motion is called tootoofe, the name of the contrivance. 
The cuttle-fish, attracted by the cowries, darts out one 
of its arms, and then another, and so on, until it is 
quite fastened among the openings between the pieces 
of cowrie, when it is drawn up into the canoe and 

The natives of the South Seas have also another 
special bait for the Octopus, which appears to differ 
slightly from the kind already described. It is said 
to be a rat-shaped bait, round which, when dangled in 
the water, over the edge of the reef, the Octopus wraps 
himself so tenaciously as to enable the fisherman to pull 
him out. ... In the centre of this bait is a piece of 
quartz, sometimes of an agate species, rubbed into a 
cone. This is backed by pieces of mottled shell kept 
in place by cocoa-nut fibre, which passes underneath, 
and extends past the point of the cone, into the sem- 
blance of a tail. Mr. Lambert, the authority for the 
above, further tells us, (( that there are one or two 
characteristic native traditions at Tonga Tabu (Figi 
Islands), relative to the peculiar hostility of the 
Octopus tribe to the rat tribe. Formerly they were 
warm friends, but a rat on a volcanic island, which w 
suddenly found to be sinking below the surface of the 
water, having called on an Octopus to carry him on his 



head to a more secure dwelling-place with promises of 
cocoa-nuts in return for safe carriage, not only forgot 
to pay his passage, but, having felt ill on the voyage, 
behaved in anything but a nice manner ; these facts 
so rankled in the hearts of the Odojii, that they are 
quite unable to resist making an onslaught on a bait 
which combines the elements of both rat and nut. The 
natives set great store by these baits, which they call 

The following legend of the Cuttle-fish, from ' Tales 
of Old Japan/ may not be uninteresting to some of my 
readers. " The citizens of Yedo flock for purposes 
convivial or religious, or both, to Meguro, one of the 
many places round Yedo, and cheek by jowl with old 
shrines and temples you meet with many a pretty tea- 
house. In one of them a thriving trade is carried on 
in the sale of wooden tablets, with the picture of a 
pink cuttle-fish on a bright blue ground. These are, 
cx-votos, destined to be offered up at the Temple of 
Yakushi-Niurai, the Buddhist's ^Esculapius, which 
stands opposite, and concerning the foundation of 
which, the following legend is given. 'In the days of 
old there was a priest called Jikaku, who, at the age of 
forty years, it being the autumn of the tenth year of 
the period called Tencho (a.d. 833), was suffering from 
a disease of the eyes, which had attacked him three 
years before. In order to be healed of this disease he 
carved a figure of Yakushi-Niurai, to which he used to 
offer up his prayers. Five years later he went to 
China, taking with him the figure as his guardian 
saint, and at a place called Kairetsu it protected him 
from robbers, wild beasts, and from other calamities. 
* • Voyage of the Wanderer.' 


There he passed his time in studying the sacred laws, 
both hidden and revealed, and, after nine years, set sail 
to return to Japan. When he was on the high seas 
a storm arose, and a great fish attacked and tried to 
swamp the ship, so that the rudder and mast were 
broken, and the nearest shore being that of a land 
inhabited by devils, to retreat or advance was equally 
dangerous. Then the holy man prayed to the patron 
saint, whose image he carried, and as he prayed, 
behold the true Yakushi-Niurai appeared in the centre 
of the ship, and said to him, " Verily thou hast travelled 
far that the sacred laws might be revealed for the 
salvation of many men, now therefore take my image, 
which thou carriest in thy bosom, and cast it into the 
sea, that the wind may abate, and that thou may est be 
delivered from this land of devils. " The commands of 
the saints must be obeyed ; so, with tears in his eyes, 
the priest threw the sacred image into the sea. Then 
did the wind abate, and the waves were stilled, and 
the ship pursued her course as though she was being 
drawn by unseen hands, until she reached a safe haven. 
In the tenth month of the same year, the priest again 
set sail, trusting to the power of his patron saint, and 
reached the harbour of Tsukushi without mishap. For 
three years he prayed that the image he had cast away 
might be restored to him ; until at last, one night, he 
was warned in a dream, that on the sea-shore at 
Matsura, Yakushi-Niura would appear to him. In 
consequence of this dream he went to the province of 
Hizeu, and landed on the shore at Hirato, where, in 
the midst of a blaze of light, the image which he had 
carved appeared to him twice, riding on the back of a 
cuttle-fish. Thus was the image restored to the world 

s 2 


by a miracle/ In commemoration of his recovery from 
the disease of the eyes, and of his preservation from 
shipwreck, that these things might be known to all 
posterity, the priest established the worship of Tako 
Yakushi-Niurai (Yahushi-Nhirai of the Cuttle-fish^, 
and came to Meguro, where he built the temple of 
Fudo Sama,* another Buddhist divinity. At this time 
there was an epidemic of small-pox in the village, so 
that men fell down and died in the street, and the 
holy man prayed to Fudo Sama, that the plague might 
be stopped. Then the god appeared to him and said, 
* The Saint Yakushi-Niurai of the Cuttle-fish, whose 
image thou carriest, desires to have his place in this 
village, and he will heal this plague. Thou shalt 
therefore raise a temple to him here, that not only this 
small-pox, but other diseases for future generations, 
may be cured by his power/ Hearing this, the priest 
shed tears of gratitude, and having chosen a piece of 
wood, he carved a large figure of his patron saint of 
the Cuttle-fish, and placed the smaller image iuside the 
larger, and laid it up in this temple, to which people 
still flock that they may be healed of their diseases/' 

This story is said to be translated from a small ill- 
printed pamphlet sold by the priests of the temple, 
all the decorations of which, even to the bronze lantern 
in the middle of the court-yard, are in the form of a 
cattle-fish, the sacred emblem of the place. f 

Both the Chinese and the Japanese make use of 
Octojnts sinensis (d'Orbigny) as food when youug, and 
season it with vinegar and ginger, and also of a species 

* ' Fudo,' literally ' the motionless ; ' Buddha, iu the state called 

t ' Tales of Old Japan,' by A. B« Mitfovd, vol i. p. 40. 


of Loligo. The Chinese have a special boat for the 

Cuttle-fish fishery, which is carried on both by day and 

night ; and if by night a fire is lighted on deck, that the 

glare may attract the fish to the surface. The season 

for cuttle-fish extends from the second to the eighth 

Chinese month (March to September), and the haul is 

most abundant in the fifth, sixth, and seventh months 

(June, July, and August). They are taken with nets, 

and also with hooks. ... It is only in rainy weather 

that Cuttle-fish are brought at once to the market and 

sold fresh. In fine seasons they are dried in the sun 

ou the rocky islands, and then disposed of. ... To 

dry Cuttle-fish they must be cut open and eviscerated, 

and finally exposed on a bamboo mat in the sun. 

When quite dry they are packed in wooden tubs and 

flattened by the aid of human feet.* 

The flesh of the Loligo, or Squid, was highly esteemed 

by the ancients, and Ephippus recommends the eating 

of Squids and Cuttle-fish together. 

"And many polypi, with wondrous curls." 

A then , Deipnosophiets. 

And Sotades, the comic poet, introduces a cook, speak- 
ing as follows : — 

"To these I added cuttlefish and squilis; 
A fine dish is the squill when carefully cooked, 
But the rich cuttlefish is eaten plain ; 
(Though I did stuff them all with a rich forced-meat 
Of almost every kind of herb and flower). 

Bk. vii. c. 41, At/ien,, Deipnosophists, 

They are still exposed for sale in the bazaars and 
markets in India. 

With us the Squid, or Squill, as it is sometimes caliea 
at Weymouth, is only used as bait. It is good for 
* China, ' Imperial Maritime Customs.' 


catching conger-eels and whiting-pout, also for cod- 
fishing ; but it is also a great enemy to the fisherman ; 
and on the French coast they say that the Galmar, as 
they call it, often tears the fish from their hooks 
during the night when they are fishing with lines. 
The inhabitants of the Basque provinces esteem Gal- 
mars highly as food, and call them Ghipirones, and at 
Bayonne they are also known by the same name, as 
well as by that of Gornet or Gomiche. The Spanish 
names for Loligo vulgares are Maganos, Gibiones, Lura, 
Calamars, Rintillas, and Calamarons ; and in Italy it 
is known by several names also, amongst them, Cala- 
maro, Galamajo, Totano; and Pocuranac at Fiuine.* 

M. Cantraine says that the young only of Loligo 
sagittafa are esteemed as food, and are called Calama- 
retti ; but that Loligo subulata is the species most 
sought after, its flesh being very delicate. Both these 
are Mediterranean species. f 

Both in China and Japan, Squids are regularly col- 
lected for food, and Mr. Arthur Adams gives, in the 
1 Zoologist/ p. 7518, an interesting account of the 
Squid-fishery off Nisi-Bama, in the Oki Islands. On 
nearing the anchorage, on the 19th November, 1859, 
they were struck by the number of lights on the water, 
moving in all directions, and on inquiry they found 
that they were from fishing-boats on the look out for 
rka-surame, or Squids. The lights were produced by 
kindling f< birch-bark in small kinds of gratings, with 
long wooden handles, machines known among seafaring 
men by the name of devils. The flame of the fires is 
very clear and vivid ; and the devils, being held over 

* ' The Fisheries of the Adriatic,' by Faber. 

t ' Malacologie Mediterraue'ene et Littorale,' par F. Cantraine. 


the sides of the boats, attract the Squids." They were 
a species of Ommastrephes, usually called by the fisher- 
men the Flying-squids, or Sea-arrows, as they swim very 
rapidly over the surface of the water, in immense shoals. 
Tliey were taken by "jigging." The "jig " is of iron, 
and consists of a long shank, surmounted by a circlet 
of small recurved hooks. These cuttles are favourite 
articles of food, both with Japanese and Chinese, and 
are carefully dried for the market, and sold in great 
quantities. Near Hakodadi there is, we are told by 
Mr. Adams, a small fishing village exclusively devoted 
to the catching and curing of the Squid; and many 
hundreds of thousands may be seen daily drying in the 
open air, all nicely cleaned ; each kept flat by means of 
little bamboo stretchers, and suspended in regular rows 
on lines, which are raised on poles about six feet from 
the ground. The open spaces, and all the houses in 
the village, are filled with these squid-laden lines. 
Squids everywhere form a novel kind of screen. 

Pliny speaks of the Springing loligo, and Trebius 
Niger remarks that whenever it is seen darting above 
the surface of the water, it portends a change ; and also 
that they sometimes dart above the surface in such vast 
numbers, as to sink the ships upon which they fall.* 

Another of the Teuthidce, which is rare on our coast, 
but is common in the Mediterranean, Sepiola Rondeletii, 
is eaten at Nice, and is called Supieta, or Sepiata, and 
is said to be a very delicate morsel. The Italians call 
it Calamaretto, Zottolina, Sepollna, and Seppietta; and 
quantities are consumed at Genoa and Leghorn, and it 
is also used as food in Sicily and Sardinia. 

Aristotle speaks of the Teuthis, which he says is a 

* Pliny, ' Nat. Hist.' vol. vi. bk. xxxii. c. 6. 


kind of Cuttle-fish, but different from the Sepia, and has 

ink of a pale colour. Alexis talks of cooking them 

thus : — 

" I took the teuthides, cut off their fins, 
Adding a little f;it, I then did sprinkle 
Some thin shred herbs o'er all, for seasoning." 

Bk. vii. c. 130, Athen., Deipnosophists. 

And Antiphanes, in his * Female Fisher/ says (refer- 

riug to the ink) : — 

" Give me some cuttle-fish first. O Hercules, 
They've dirtied every place with ink ; here, take them, 
And wash them clean." 

According to Pliny, Anaxilaus states that the ink 
of the Sepia is possessed of such remarkable potency 
that if it is put into a lamp, the light will become 
entirely changed, and all present will look as black as 

The ink of the Cuttle, or Sepia, is dried, and imported 
from China to Liverpool, where it arrives either in 
cakes, or is there made into cakes called Sepia, which 
is used in painting. Dr. Lankester, in his little work 
on ' Animal Products/ says that the Cuttle-fish is very 
abundant in the Mediterranean, and that the ink-bag 
is carefully extracted, the liquid being poured out to 
allow of its drying as quickly as possible. It is then 
triturated with a little caustic soda, or potash, and after- 
wards boiled with caustic lye for half an hour, when it 
is filtered, and the caustic liquid is then treated with 
an acid till it is neutralized. After standing, a pre- 
cipitate falls, which is collected, washed with water, 
and finally dried by a gentle heat. This substance is 
the dark pigment used by artists under the name of 

* Pliny, 'Nat. Hist.' vol. vi. bk. xxxii. c. 52. 


The polypus is the symbol of Messina, and, according 
to Montfaucon, is figured on a medal of that city, with 
a man's head on the reversed side. 

Pliny recommends the polypus for arresting 'haemor- 
rhage, it is bruised and then applied ; and he further 
adds, concerning it, that of itself it emits a sort of 
brine, and therefore needs none to be used when it is 
cooked; that it should be sliced with a reed, as it is 
spoilt if an iron knife is used, " becoming tainted 
thereby, owing to the antipathy which naturally exists 
between it and iron," and Dalecbamps suggests that 
this means, " it being the nature of flesh to cling to the 

In France, Octopus vulgaris is highly prized for bait, 
and is also considered very good as food, and in ' Life 
in Normandy ' is the following recipe for cooking it. : — 
" A dish of cuttle-fish is divided in the centre by a 
slice of toast; on one side of the toast is a mass of 
cuttle-fish stewed with a white sauce, and on the other, 
a pile of them beautifully fried, of a clear even colour, 
without the slightest appearance of grease. The flour 
of haricot-bean, very finely ground, and which is as good 
as bread-crumbs, is added." 

To Cook Cuttles (Mont St. Michel Recipe). — First 
place them in boiling water and allow them to remain 
some time in order to make them tender. Then cut 
them in pieces and boil them with vegetables and 
onions, then fry them in a paste made of batter. 

The water in which the fish has been boiled is used 
for soup.f 

" To Cook Cuttles. — First cleanse them thoroughly 
by scalding ; then rub the body and legs (feelers ?) with 

* Pliny ' Nat. Hist.' vol. vi. bk. xxxii. c. 42. *f* Ozenne. 


garlic, and afterwards cut the whole into small pieces, 
and fry in olive oil ; one or two fresh gathered Chili 
peppers being introduced as seasoning."* 

"Jersey Method of Cooking Cuttle-fish. — Boil them 
for ten minutes, then take them out, and the skin will 
come off like a glove, leaving the fish like so many- 
sticks of horse-radish. Then boil them for an hour 
longer ; take them out and cut them up, and fry them 
with onions. Some prefer slices of bacon fried with 
them instead of onions, and served up with milk sauce.f 
They are plentiful about October, and large ones are 
sold in the markets at a penny each." 

Italian Recipe. — Fry them in oil. They cook them 
thus at a small village on the Riviera, not far from 
Savona, and they taste like skate. 

Weymouth Recipe for Cooking Common Cuttle, or 
Scuttle. — Cut off the head and feelers, and take out 
the white bone ; then boil for a short time till tender — 
generally ten minutes or so will suffice. It is said to 
taste like lobster. 

Alexis, in his ' Wicked Woman/ introduces a cook, 

saying : — 

"Now these three cuttle-fish I have just bought 
For one small drachma ; and when I have cut off 
Their feelers and their fins, I then shall boil them, 
And cutting up the main part of their meat 
Into small dice, and rubbing in some salt 
(After the guests already are set down), 
I then shall serve them in the frying-pan, 
And serve up hot towards the end of supper." 

Cuttles are in the best season from January to the 
end of March, and they may be cooked thus : — Boil 

* ' The Gun, Rod, and Saddle,' by Capt. J. Parker Gilmore. 
t Mr. A. Morton. 

SEPIAD^l. — CUTTLE. 267 

them and cut them in pieces, season with scallions 
and onions, and add a little vinegar towards the end. 

Spanish Method of Stewing Cuttles. — Stew them 
over a very slow fire in oil or butter, and, before 
serving, add a little water, salt, bread-crumbs, saffron, 
and a soupgon of new honey or sugar. 

Montpellier Method of Cooking Sepiola Rondeletii. — 
Stuff it with a force-meat of fish, then fry the arms and 
cut them in pieces, and place them round the dish.* 

In Spain the cuttle-fishes {Sepiola and Loligo ?) Ca- 
lamares are eaten, either broiled on a gridiron, or 
stewed in red wine in an earthern jar ; after which you 
may boil them if you like, or serve them in wine, or 
stew them, adding, after they are tender, a little flour, 
and the yolk of an egg, well beaten, and this is con- 
sidered the most wholesome way- of dressing them. 

At Palma, Majorca, they are usually stuffed with a 
force-meat, and I found them most palatable, the 
flavour resembling that of the lobster. ■ 

In Andalusia the Calamar, or Choco, is much prized, 
and is very plentiful; and Major Byng Hall mentions 
them as one of the great treats of the natives of 
Madrid, f 

Another species of Octopus, viz. Eledone moschatus } 
which is found in the Mediterranean, is eaten by the 
lower classes in Italy, either boiled, fried, or made into 
a ragout ; and in Sicily and Sardinia, where it is abun- 
dant, the fishermen use it largely for food. J They 
know it by the following names, Muscardino, Muscarolo, 
and Folpo da risi. 

* Ozenne. f ' The Queen's Messenger.' + Ozenne. 




Echinus sph^era, Miiller. Common Sea- egg, or Sea- 
urchin. — A wish has been expressed that I should in- 
clude the " Sea-egg " in my ' Edible Mollusca/ but I 
scarcely feel justified in doing so, as it is not a mollush, 
and has no other claim to appear on these pages further 
than its being fit for food. 

It belongs to another class of animals, the Radiata, or 
Ecliinodermata, which includes the star-fishes, and the 
Holothuriadcp,. The Radiata are so called because all 
their parts radiate from a common centre. 

Echinus sphcera is generally of a reddish colour, or 
purplish, and has white spines, in some tinged with 

Pliny states that the Sea-urchin moves along by 
rolling like a ball, which is the reason that it is so 
often found with the prickles rubbed off ; also " that 
these creatures foreknow the approach of a storm at 
sea, and that they take up little stones with which 
they cover themselves, as a sort of ballnst ; for they 
are very unwilling, by rolling along, to wear away 
their prickles. As soon as seafaring people observe 
this, they at once moor their ship with several 
anchors,"* and we are told that the natives of Apia 
Tali Upolu (Samoa), say they can foretell a storm 
before its appearance, by noticing the Echini crawling 
into snug holes, where they may lie secure on the 
reefs, undisturbed by the raging waters. " The sea 
roars, and the Echini listen," is the Samoan proverb to 

* Pliny, « Nat. Hist.' vol. ii. bk. ix. c. 51, p. 427. 


describe prudence.* By Aristotle it is called the 
"migratory fish/' Professor Forbes, in his 'History 
of British Star-fishes/ observes that " it is with their 
spines that the Echini move themselves, seize their 
prey, and bring it to their mouths by turning the rays 
of their lower edge in different directions. The mouth 
is generally turned to the ground, and the five teeth 
which project from it form part of a remarkable dental 
apparatus, known by the fanciful appellation of ' Aris- 
totle's lantern/ "f 

In heraldry we find, according to Mr. Moule, that the 
Echinus is borne, the arms of the Alstowne family being 
gules, three sea-urchins in pale argent; and those of 
Alstanton, azure, three sea-urchins argent. The shells 
of Echinus sphcera, the common sea-egg, are often 
used for making emery cushions, cases for yard mea- 
sures, and other toys. 

Pennant mentions sea-eggs being used for food in 
many parts of England ; and Mrs. Gratty, in ' Old Folks 
from Home/ if I remember correctly, states that 
Echinus lividus, or "purple egg-urchin," is eaten on 
the west coast of Ireland. It is one of the burrowing 
species, and lives in holes formed by it in the rocks. 
Mr. W. Thompson informed Professor Forbes that he 
had seen it in abundance in the South Isles of Arran. 
" It was always stationary, the hole in which it is found 
being cup-like, yet fitting so as not to impede its 
spines. Every one lived in a hole fitted to its own 
size, the little ones in little holes, and the large ones 
in large holes ; and their purple spines and regular 

* 'A Lady's cruise in a French Man-of-war.' 
f. Foxbes's ' British Star-fishes,' p. 154 


forms presented a most beautiful appearance, studding 
the bottoms of the grey limestone rock pools."* 

At the Museum of the Jardin des Plantes, at Paris, 
I have seen specimens of this Echinus in a block of 
sandstone from the Baie de Douarnenez, in Finisterre ; 
also, specimens of Echinus perforans in granite rock 
from the Bay of Croisic. How these animals bore 
into such hard substances is still a question ; it is 
supposed by some that they first perforate with their 
teeth and then soften the rocks by some secreted 
solvent. f 

A friend of mine, who examined some of the holes, 
observed that they are evidently formed by the animal, 
and are lined with a smooth yellow substance which 
it deposits on the stone; that in limestone rocks the 
deposit is probably obtained from the stone itself by 
means of a solvent, but that in granite it may be 
derived from the lime held in solution in the sea- 

Mr. H. N. Moseley mentions that at St. Vincent, 
Cape de Verde Islands, when the rock pools are 
exposed by low tides, numbers of sea-urchins (Ecldno- 
metra) may be seen burrowing in rounded cavities in 
the rocks, which they had made both in the calcareous 
sand-rock and the volcanic conglomerate.! In Brazil, 
also, a species of Echinometra (Ecliinometra Michclint, 
Dessor) is found living in holes, not only in the sand- 
stone, but in the gneiss rocks, and in many places the 
rock is fairly honeycombed by their nests. § 

In Sicily there is a verse which compares the spines 

* Forbes's « British Star-fishes,' p. 170. 

+ Ibid. p. 154. 

X 'A Naturalist ou the Challenger.' 

§ 'Scientific result of Agas.-iz,' "Journey to Brazil," p. 36. 


of the Sea-urchin to a hundred oars, with which it must 
row, carrying its little invokers j after having cauo-ht 
it, the Sicilian children scatter a little salt over it and 
sing : — 

11 Vdcami, Vocami, centu rimi 
Vdcami, Vocami, centu rimi 
(Row for me, row for me, hundred oars). 

The Sea-urchin moves and the children are delighted.* 
In Dalmatia, Echini are used as bait, when pounded, 
in the basket traps called Nasse, and they are also 
recommended as a care for diarrhoea. 

Echinus esculentus, the real Oursin comestible, or 
Chdtaigne, is found in the Mediterranean, and also on 
the coast of Brittany, and I have seen specimens from 
the roadstead of Brest. Mr. R. Jones (as quoted by the 
Rev. J. Wood, in his ' Natural History/ p. 722) gives 
a most amusing description of sea-egg fishing in the 
Bay of Naples, saying, " 1 had not swam very far 
from the beach before I found myself surrounded by 
some fifty or sixty human heads, the bodies belonging 
to which were invisible, and interspersed among 
these perhaps an equal number of pairs of feet stick- 
ing out of the water. As I approached the spot, 
the entire scene became sufficiently ludicrous and 
bewildering. Down went a head, up came a pair 
of heels ; down went a pair of heels, up came a 
head ; and as something like a hundred people were 
all diligently practising the same manoeuvre, the 
strange vicissitude from heels to head, and head to 
heels, going on simultaneously, was rather a puzzling 
spectacle. On inquiry, it proved that these divers 
were engaged in fishing for Sea-urchins, which are 

* 'Zoological Mythology,' vol. ii. p. 336. 


especially valuable just before they deposit their eggs : 
the roe, as the aggregate egg-masses are termed, being 
large, and in as much repute as the ' soft roe ' of the 

The Fuegian women dive to collect sea-eggs, both 
in winter and summer; and large sea-eggs are found 
in the Bay of Concepcion, which are highly esteemed 
by the Chilians, and eaten raw. 

The species of sea-egg, Echinometra 3fichelini, pre- 
viously mentioned, has moderately long dark purple 
spines, and is exceedingly abundant in places on the 
coast of Brazil in the province of Espirito Santo, and 
is used as food by the natives of the village of Guara- 

Echinidce were also eaten by the ancients, and were 
said to be tender and full of pleasant juice, but apt to 
turn on the stomach ; but they were considered good 
if eaten with sharp mead, parsley, and mint.* 

Demetrius, the Scepsian, says that " a Lacedgemo- 
nian, once being invited to a banquet, when some sea- 
urchins were put before him on the table, took one, 
not knowing the proper manner in which it should be 
eaten, and not attending to those who were in the 
company to see how they ate it; and so he put it in 
his mouth with the skin or shell and all, and began to 
crush the sea-urchin with his teeth ; and being ex- 
ceedingly disgusted with what he was eating, and not 
perceiving how to get rid of the taste, he said, ' Oh, 
what nasty food ! I will not now be so effeminate as 
to eject it, but I will never take it again/ "f 

A friend of mine once tasted a sea-urchin raw, while 

* Atbenseus, ' Deipn.' vol. i. bk. iii. p. 41. 
f Idem. vol. i. bk. iii. c. 41. p. 152. 


she was travelling in the south of Europe, as it was 
highly recommended, and considered quite a delicate 
morsel ; but she told me that it was very unpalatable, 
and rather bitter, and she had not the courage to 
swallow it, like the Lacedaemonian ; however, I have 
eaten one, and did not dislike it. 

In Corfu, in the villages by the sea, a species of 
Echinus is a favourite dish, and allowed, with oysters, 
to be eaten in Lent, except on the strict days. In 
Greece it is considered as vegetable food. 

At Marseilles, baskets are seen in the fish-market 
filled with the beautiful green sea-ribbon, Zoster a 
marina, on which are placed sea- eggs.* I noticed that 
the upper portion of the shell was carefully cut off to 
show the orange-coloured oval mass within, and the 
contents of three or four are generally emptied into 
one shell, as there is not much in one only. Sea- eggs 
are usually brought to the market at Marseilles in 

There are four species of Echini eaten, viz. Echinus 
melo {Voursin melon), in Corsica and Algeria; Echinus 
lividus (Voursin livide), at Naples ; Echinus escidentus 
(Voursin commun or chdtaign e) , in Provence; and 
Echinus granulosus. 

Echinus esculentus is called in Feroese Eyilkier. 

They are usually eaten raw, like oysters, are cut into 
four quarters, and the flesh eaten with a spoon. f 

To Cook Echini. — Boil them as you would boil eggs, 
and eat them with sippets of bread. 

Generally considered in season in the autumn. The 

* ' Reisse-Erinnerungen aus Spanien,' vou E. A. Rossmassler. 
f ' La Vie et les Moeurs des Animaux,' par Louis Figuier. 



sea-egg becomes red like a crab when it is cooked, 
and is said to resemble it in flavour. 

The following are the Italian names for Echini — Rizzo 
di mar, Castagne de mar, Tartuffoli, Melon de mar; 
and, according to Mr. Faber, they are eaten in small 
quantities at Trieste and Fiume, and very generally 
by the Greek sailors, when in season.* 

* 'The Fisheries of the Adriatic.' 





' A Book for the Seaside.' 

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Page 1, line 5, for Pholas Dactylus, read Pholas dactylus. 
6, line 15, for masilius, read Marsilius. 
11, note, for moluses, read molluscB. 
13, line 28, for Solen Siliqua, read Solen siliqua. 
18, line 12, for Psammobia Vespertina, read Psammobia 


22, line 3, for Mactra Solida, read Mactra solida. 
25, line 16, for Tapes Pullastra, read Tapes pullastra. 
31, line 11, for Henmare read Kenmare. 
33, line 17, for Venus Verrucosa, read Venus verrucosa. 

33, line 23, for Venus Gallina, read Venus gallina. 

34, line 2, for Venus Mercenaria, read Venus mercenaria. 
34, line 21, for Venus Mercenaria, read Venus mercenaria. 
55, line 22, for Cardium Rusticum, or Tuberculatum, read 

Cardium rusticum, or tuberculatum. 
75, note, for Odon Desbeaux, read Odon Debeaux. 
102, note, for J. (). Desbeaux, read J. 0. Debeaux. 
120, line 26, for Pecten Opercularis, read Pecten operculars. 
172, line 18, for Patella Vulgata, read Patella vulgata. 
189, line 29, for Trochus crassas, read Trochus crassus. 


Abbey seal, with figure of St. James, 
or St. Jacques, 108. 

Acclimatization of Ostrea Virginica 
on the French coast, 143. 

Acclimatization of Venus mercenaria 
in St. George's Channel, 34. 

Achatina, power of, to ward off evil, 

Action for trespass, 64. 

Admirable and most famous snail- 
water, 215. 

African snails mentioned by Pliny, 

Aillado, sauce for snails, 244. 

Allouret, or bird net, 59. 

Almeixa-bravas, or Piddock, 4. 

Almejas, or Tapes, 27. 

Almejas al naturel, 29. 

Almejas blancas, 29. 

Almejas cocidas, 29. 

Almejas guisadas, 29. 

Alasmodontae, used for artificial pro- 
duction of pearls, 75. 

Ambergris, genuineness of, 252. 

American box stew, 157. 

American Clam acclimatized on the 
French coast, 34. 

American oyster, Ostrea Virginiana, 

Amethystine purple produced from 
Murex trun^ulus, 205. 

Amroth. submerged forest, 4. 

Ancient Greeks used shells as trum- 
pets, 196. 

Andorrihas, 123. 

Anecdote of Dr. Black and Dr. 
Hutton, 231. 

Anglo- Dutch oysters, 137. 

Anglo -Portuguese oysters, 141. 

Anglo-Saxon dialogues, 127. 

Animals adorned with pearls, 92. 
Anklets and bracelets of chank- 

shells, 195. 
Annual Colchester oyster feast, 128. 
Anodonta cygnea eaten in Leitrim, 

Anodonta edulis, 74. 
Anodontae and Unionidaa used for 

bait, 74. 
Another soueraigne Medecine for a 

Web in the eye, 212. 
Antient cryes of London, 136. 
Apicius discovers the art of pre- 
serving oysters fresh, 125. 
Aplysia hybrida emits a purple 

liquid, 206. 
Aplysia, large, common at the Cape 

de Verd Islands, 206. 
Aporrhais pes-pelecani, 189. 
Area barbata, 85. 
Area Noe, 85. 
Arceddu giarnusu, 20. 
Architeuthis, 251 
Architeuthis princeps. 253. 
Aristotle and cartilaginous fish, 64. 
Aristotle's Lantern, 269. 
Aristotle's description of razor-fish, 

Arms of Buckenham Priory, 108 
Articles made of Pinna silk, 88. 
Artificial ovster-beds kno-\n in 

China, 125. 
Artificial ovster-beds of Great Bri- 
tain, 127. 
Ai tificial oyster-beds of the Romans, 

Ashes of calcined shells of S3pia for 

extracting weapons from wounds, 

Aspergille, or Hjlix aspersa, 226. 



Athengeus and the Ephesian mus- 
sels, 69. 

Athenaeus recommends roasted So- 
lens, 15. 

Athenyeus recommends Tellinidye, 

Aulo of the Romans, 14. 

Auris marina, 180. 

Australian freshwater mussel, 75. 

Aviculida?, 85. 

Aviueiras, 104. 

Awabee, or Awabi, 65. 

Bagava, 93. 

Bags and pockets for musBels made 

of old nets, 60. 
Bajaina, name for Helix aspersa at 

Grasse, 226. 
Bamboo oysters, 147. 
Banarut, or Helix aspersa, 226. 
Banded snails, Helix pisana, 229. 
Baptismal shells mentioned in a list 

of Church ornaments, in the 

fifteenth century, 119. 
Baptismal shells usually of silver- 
gilt, 119. 
Baptism, in private, a wooden shell 

used, 119. . 
Barretets, 178. 
Barrois, escargotiere in, 224. 
Beads of Strombus gigas, 176. 
Beira, or great scallop, 104. 
Belief in the power of the bones of 

St. James to work miracles, nearly 

died out, 116. 
Berberichos, 42. 
Berdigones, 42. 
Bernicle, 178. 
Bernigan, 1 78. 
Bibarazza, 83. 
Bibaronde di mare. 40. 
Bibaron colorito, 22. 
Bigoi-neau, 188. 
Bdlingsgate market supplied with 

mussels from Holland, 62. 
Birds feed on snails, 222. 
Bishop Mayhew, 113. 
Bisse del legno, 4. 
Black cockle, 41. 
Blackfish, or Tintenfisch, 246. 
Buhrmuschel, or Steinbohrer, 4. 
Bois, 206. 

Bosina, 196. 

Bouchots, or artificial mussel-beds, 

Bouyer's huge cuttle-fish, 255-. 
Bovolo, 229. 

Boyl-yas, or native sorcerer, 76. 
Breeding pearls, 47. 
Brennick, 178. 
Bridge at Bideford, 64. 
British localities for Solen margi- 

natus, 14. 
British oyster valued by the Romans, 

British specimen of Helix aperta, 

Bruvane, 42. 
Bucarde sourdon, 42. 
Buccin onde', 191. 
Buccinum used for bait for long-line 

fishing, 193. 
Buccinum glaciale, 208. 
Buccinum undatum, 191. 
Buccinum, or whelk, carved on font 

in St. Clement's Church, Sand- 
wich, 208. 
Bucios, 206. 

Buckies, or whelks, 193. 
Burran Bank oysters, 134. 
Burton Bindons, oysters called, 

Butterfish, price of, 26. 
Butterfish, or Purr, 26. 
Byssus of mussels, 64. 

Cabras, 24. 

Caesar, and the pearls of Great 

Britain, 73. 
Caesar, Julius, prohibits unmarried 

women to wear pearls and purple, 

Caesar, Julius, first wore the toga 

entirely of purple, 205. 
Cagouille, 226. 
Calmar, 262. 
Calamars, 262. 

Calamares at Palma, Majorca, 267, 
Calamares eaten in Spain, 267. 
Calamaretto, or Seppieta, 263. 
Calcined mussel-shells make strong 

lime, 65. 
Camadia, 31. 
Camadia di luna, 33. 



Canestrelli di mare, orPecten varius, 

Cannulicchiu stortu, 17. 
Caparozzolo, 26. 
Capa tabacchina, 17. 
Capelings used as bait for cod- 
fishing, 69. 
Caperlongers, 86. 
Cappa lunga, 86. 
Cappa di San Giacomo, 104. 
Cappa Santa, 104. 
Cappa tonda, 58. 
Caracola, 232. 
Caracola del kuerta, 232. 
Caracola del mar. 232. 
Caracola del rio, 232. 
Caracoleros, 232. 
Caracoles, 206. 
Caracoles con Perejil, 242. 
Caragoou, 226. 
Caraguolo, 226. 
Caravelas, 17. 
Cardiadae, 41. 
Cardium aculeatum found on the 

Devonshire coast, 57. 
Cardium edule, 41. 
Cardium rusticum, 55. 
Cardium rusticum, or tuberculatum, 

found at Paignton and Dawlish, 56. 
Cardium rusticum, its leaping 

powers, 56. 
Caricoles franciscanos, 189. 
Carlingford oysters, 133. 
Carneros, 31. 
Carneiroe, 42 

Cascaras, or Mactra glauca, 23. 
Casseron, 245. 
Cassis flammea, idol in, 199. 
Cassis Madagascariensis, or " Queen" 

conch-shell, 199 
Castagne de mar, 274. 
Castafiuelas, 246. 
Cathedral of Panama, the steeples 

faced with pearl-oyster shells, 

Catherine de Medicis, 95. 
Cats made of the shells of Helix 

aspersa, 238. 
Cayeu, 61. 

Cawdel of Muskels, 76. 
Cephalopoda, 250. 
Cephalopoda, large, in Japan, 255. 

Cephalopoda large, at Bermuda, 255. 
Cephalopoda, large, caught on a 

voyage to Ceylon, 255. 
Ceylon pearl-fishery suffered from 

skate, 98. 
Ceylon pearl-fisheries in 1881, 98. 
Chama a cuore, 40. 
Chank fishery, 196. 
Chank shell used by the Buddhists, 

Chank shells exported to India from 

Ceylon, 195. 
Chank shells reversed, prized by the 

Chinese, 196. 
Chaplet of cockles, 44. 
Charron, 59. 
Chataigne, 271. 
Chatrou, 251. 

Cheney Rock oyster fisheries, 130. 
Chilian method of cooking shell- fish, 

Chinese clam dredger, 11. 
Chinese dinner, 190. 
Chinese remedy for smallpox, 102. 
Chinese name for " Mya arenaria," 

Chinese names for Solens, 17. 
Chirlas, 20. 
Chocos, 246. 
Christening of the child of Lady 

Cicile,wife of the Erie of Friesland, 

Cidaridse, 268. 
Cimjue-cento ornaments, 94. 
Claires, 138. 
Clams acclimatized on the French 

coast, 34. 
Clam chowder, 38. 
Clams strung like dried apples and 

smoked for winter use, 25. 
Clam soup, 12. 
C am soup, 35. 
Clams, soup of hard, 35. 
Clams, to boil hard, 35. 
Clams, to fry hard, 36. 
Clams, omelet of hard, 36. 
Clams, to boil soft, 12. 
Clams, fishing for soft, 10. 
Clams, to fry soft, 13. 
Clams, stewed soft, 13. 
Clams, price of soft, ll. 
Clams, pickled, 37. 




Clam fritters, 38. 

Clam scalloped, 38. 

Clam pot pie, 3G. 

Clams in Bay of San Francisco, 11. 

Cleopatra and the pearl, 90. 

Clodius iEsopus gives pearls to his 

guests to swallow, 91. 
Closheens, 123. 

Clovisse, price of, at Bordeaux, 27. 
Clumps, or horse-shoes, 21. 
Cocciola, 58. 
Cocciola zigga, 40. 
Cochlea, 48. 
Cochlear, cochleare, or cochlearium, 

Cockenzie fishermen, 135. 
Cockille, meaning oyster, 46. 
" Cockle" applied to any shell, 46. 
Cockle, 41. 
Cockle brillion, 8. 
Cockles boiled in milk, 42. 
Cockle or escallop, 115. 
Cockles fried, 55. 
Cockle-gardens, 42. 
Cockle-gatherers' dress, 43. 
Cockles, mussels, and oysters, on the 

sites of Roman stations, 51. 
Cockle pie, 54. 
Cockle porridge, 53. 
Cockle, red-nose, found at Paignton, 

Cockle, red-nose, cooked Paignton 

method, 57. 
Cockles sent to London from Gower, 

Cockles at Seville. 55. 
Cockle-shell figured on coins, 45. 
Cockle-shells prized by the Da- 

maras, 43. 
Cockle-shells in heraldry, 45. 
Cockle-shells used as leads on fish- 
ing-nets, 44. 
Cockle-shell collecters for oyster 

cultch, 44. 
Cockles said to yield a dye, 48. 
Cockle sauce, 52. 
Cockles scalloped, 53. 
Cockled snails, 47. 
Cockle soup. 57. 
Cockle soup, Francatelli's, 52. 
Cockle sou}', to make, 52. 
Cockles stewed in oil at Madrid, 58. 

Cockles to stew, 54. 
Cockles to stew. Gower recipe, 54. 
Cockle-wives. at Penclawdd, 43. 
Co3ur-de-bo3uf, or heart-shell, 40. 
Cog, variously written, viz., kogge, 

kogh, &c, 51. 
Cogs, vessels called, 51. 
Colchester and its oysters, 128. 
Cold weather injurious to the spat 

of oysters, 128. 
Coliroacon, or Helix aspersa, 226. 
Colourist's shells, 65. 
Composition of oysters, 146. 
Conca niura, or Solen, 17. 
Conch shells from the Bahamas for 

making cameos, 199. 
Conch shells used for frightening 

birds, 194. 
Conch shells perforated used as 

trumpets in New Guinea, 196. 
Concha di San Dialogo, 104. 
Conchas, 33. 
Conchelos, 178. 
Conchyliated colour comprehended 

various shades of purple, 203. 
Consumption of the vine snails in 

Paris, 229. 
Consumption of oysters in America, 

Consumption of oysters in London, 

Consumption of oysters in Paris, 

Contar, 226. 
Copiza, 172. 
Coque, 42. 

Coquilles de St. Jacques, 104. 
Cormaillot or perceur, 128. 
Corn blanc. 206. 
Cornet, or Corniche, 262. 
Cornias, 206. 

Corvins or periwinkles, 187. 
Cotton wool injurious to pearls 47. 
Coutoye, 17. 
Cowrie-shells the native money of 

New Britain, 106. 
Cozza negra, 59. 
Cozza di San Giacomo, 104. 
Cozza di Tarento, 59. 
Crab placed amongst the constel- 
lations 2o6. 
Crab found in Ostrea Virginica, 87. 



Cram, the, 32. 

Crogans, Cornish name for simpelet- 
shells, 178. 

Cromlech, term, 175. 

Cromlech du Tus, 175. 

Croques, 42. 

Crotalia, or castauet pendants, ear- 
rings so called, 90. 

Cucas, 178. 

Cuckoo-shells, 194. 

Cullis of mussels, 84. 

Cultivation of oysters on the 
western coast of France, 137. 

Cup made of staves of turbo-shells, 

Cups and dishes of pilgrims, 107. 

Curried oyster atlets, 156. 

Curried oysters, 156. 

Cuttle-fish, or Scuttle, 245. 

Cuttle-fish, description of, 245. 

Cuttle bones, 245. 

Cuttle bones brought to Liverpool, 

Cuttles, to cook, 265. 

Cuttles, to cook, Mont St. Michel 
recipe, 265. 

Cuttles on the Sussex coast, 245. 

Cuttle drowns a Sardinian Captain, 

Cuttle attacks a young Italian, 249. 

Cuttle-fish a sacred emblem, 258. 

Cuttle-fish as bait, 248. 

Cuttle-fish eaten by the modern 
Greeks, 247. 

Cuttle-fish taken on the fishing 
lines, 245. 

Cuttle-fish of large size in Japan 
and at Bermuda, 255. 

Cuttle-fish food of whales, 252. 

Cuttle-fish, remains of fossil, 252. 

Cuttle-fish, Italian recipe for cook- 
ing, 266. 

Cuttle-fish, Jersey method of cook- 
ing, 266. 

Cuttles, Spanish method of stewing, 

Cuttles, or Scuttle, Weymouth re- 
cipe for cooking, 266. 

Cuttles sold at Yarmouth for eating, 

Cyprina Islandica, called the clam 
in the Shetland Isles, 104. 

Cyprinidae, 39. 

Cytherea Arabica, 39. 

Cytherea Chione, or Venus Chione, 

Cytherea Chione, specimens from 

Plymouth, 32. 
Cytherea petechialis eaten at Hong 

Kong, 39. 

Dail, gite, or pitau, 4. 

Danes in the eighteenth century eat 
snails, 225. 

Danish Kjokkenmoddings, 50. 

Danish Kjokkenmoddings, oysters 
in, 151. 

Dartmouth oysters, 131. 

Datil de mar, 85. 

Datil del Mar, 4. 

Dattolo di mar, 85. 

Dattolo di pietra, 85. 

Decoction of snails against con- 
sumptions (Decoctum Antiphthi- 
sicum), 213. 

Demoiselles, 228. 

Dentalium found in tumuli in 
America. 176. 

Dewarra, 106. 

Diampa, 178. 

Dijon way of cooking snails, 243. 

Dipsa plicatus used for the pro- 
duction of artificial pearls. 75. 

Dipsa plicatus valves used for 
weighing rice, 75. 

Discovery of the ashes of St. James 
of Compostella, 112. 

Distorted and deformed pearl-mussel 
shells often contain pearls, 72. 

Dog of Tyrian nymph, 202. 

Dolabella Rumphi yields a dye, 

Donax denticulata, 20. 

Donax denticulata, Martinique me- 
thod of cooking, 20. 

Donax eaten on the French coast, 

Donax cooked with rice at Malaga, 

Donax called cozzola in Sicily, 20. 

Donax fishing at Viareggio, 19. 

Donax and Psammobia used for 
making sauces, instead of cockles, 



Donax trnnculus sold in the market 

at Xaples, 19. 
Door-nails at Toledo, 116. 
Dredgers of Whitstable, 129. 
Dreissena polyrnorpha, 74. 
Dress of Anne of Cleves, 94. 
Ducks fed on snails, 234. 
Duke of Bedford, arms of the, 107. 
Dutch oysters, 159. 

Ear-shells, Haliotis tuberculata, 179. 

Ear-shells, used in Guernsey to 
frighten birds from the corn, 
. 181. 

Ear of Venus, 180. 

Echinidae eaten by the ancients, 

Echini, to cook, 273. 

Echini best in autumn, 273. 

Echini as a cure in medicine, 271. 

Echini used as bait in Daluiatia, 

Echini eaten at Corfu, 273. 

Echini eaten raw, like oysters, 273. 

Echini move by means of their 
spines. 269. 

Echini foretell storms, 268. 

Echinometra in holes in calcareous 
sand-rock, and other volcanic con- 
glomerate, 270. 

Echinometra in holes in gneiss rocks, 

Echinometra Michelini eaten in 
Brazil, 272. 

Echinus considered as vegetable 
food, 273. 

Echinus esculentus, 271. 

Echinus esculentus the real oursin 
comestible, 271. 

Echinus granulosus, 273. 

Echinus in heraldry, 269. 

Echinus livid us, or purple egg- 
urchin, eaten on the west coast of 
Ireland, 269. 

Echinus lividus eaten at Naples, 273. 

Echinus melo, 273. 

Echinus sphaera, 2<>8. 

Echinus sphaora, shells of, 269. 

Eeast-ghol-virragh, 14. 

Eeast-yn-vraain-olley, 246. 

Eider duck and Buccinum, 208. 

Eledone cirrhosus, 218. 

Eledone moschatus eaten in Italy, 

Elenchi, long-shaped pearls, 90. 
Enemies of the oyster, 127. 
Enthronization feast of William 

Warham, 207. 
Escallop in heraldry, borne not only 

as a pilgrim's badge, 109. 
Escallop shell, crest of Bower and 

Bullingham, 108. 
Escargotieres, or snail gardens, 225. 
Escargots, 225. 
Escourgol, 226. 
Escupiiias bestias, 23. 
Escupiiias de gallet, 42. 
Escupiiias grabadas, 31. 
Escupifia lliza, 27. 
Escupiiia Maltesa, 83. 
Experiments by M. Cuzent on green 

oysters, 140. 
Export of snails from Saintonge and 

Aunis, 227. 
Extracting copper from oysters, 140. 
Extravagance in jewellery from the 

12th to 16th centuries, 93. 
Eyilkier, 273. 

Falmouth oysters sent to Marennes, 

Famine of 1816 and 1817, 227. 
Fasolara, 33. 
Fasting food, 246. 
Fava, 23. 

Figian and pearl-oyster shells, 185. 
Fishing for mussels in Bay of Con- 

cepcion, 66. 
Fishing for donax and mactridae at 

Viare^gio, 19. 
Flie, 178. 
Flitters, 174. 
Fog-horn made of a species of Fusns, 

Folado, 4. 
Folpo da risi, 267. 
Foreign pearls, 72. 
Fortunes predicted by snails, 235. 
Fountain of shells, 117. 
French mussel-breaders, 61. 
French names for limpets, 178. 
French names for scallops, 101. 
Fried oysters another way, 161. 
Frills, or Queens, 122. 



Fuegrian women dive for sea-eggs, 

Fusus antiquus, red or almond 

whelk, 207. 
Fusus antiquus sold in London 

under the name of whelk, 193. 
Fusus antiquus, white variety, 207. 

Gambling by means of snail races, 

Gaper, or mya, 8. 
Garden snail, Helix aspersa, 209. 
Gathering cry of pilgrims, 1 13. 
Gibiones, 262. 
Glams, 24. 

Glow-worm, lines on a, 5. 
Gofiehe, or scallop, 104. 
Goggle, or whelk, 46. 
Golondrinas, 123. 
Gongola, or mactra, 22. 
Googawns, 194. 
Gower, a Flemish colony, 43. 
Gower people live on cockles, 43. 
Gower recipe for oyster-soup, 152. 
Grand'-pelerine, 104. 
Great drought in Ireland in 1792 or 

1793, 68. 
Gredas, 31. 
Green-bearded oysters from the 

river Crouch, 129. 
Green ovsters in France at Maren- 

nes, 138. 
Grilled ovsters, 161. 
Grosille, 104. 

Guisado de Caracoles, 242. 
Guitzu, 24. 
Guitzu-petits. 21. 
Gurriaiios y verigiietos, 31. 
Gwean, guihan, or periwinkle, 187. 

Habits of snails studied by the 

ancients, 239. 
Haliotidse, 179. 
Haliotidae brought to Birmingham, 

Haliotidae eaten by the Japanese, 

Haliotis gigantea eaten by the Cali- 

fornian Indians, 181. 
Haliotis gigantea called "Awabi," 

Haliotis Iris, or mutton-fish, 181. 

Haliotis tuberculata, 179. 

Haliotis supertexta called " Toko- 

bushi," 181. 
Hardships of pearl divers, 101. 
Helices vigneronnes, method of 

cooking, 243. 
Helicidas in the markets in Murcia 

and Valencia. 232. 
HeliGidae as Lenten fare, 225. 
Helix aperta, 227. 
Helix arbustorum, 222. 
Helix aspersa, garden snails, 209. 
Helix aspersa, French names for, 

Helix aspersa used in medecine, 

Helix hortensis, 228. 
Helix ianthina, 202. 
Helix ianthina found on the coast 

about Tyre and Bey root, 202. 
Helix lactea, 233. 
Helix lactea eaten in France and 

Spain, 233. 
Helix lactea found in Corsica, 233. 
Helix nemoralis, wood-snails, 210. 
Helix nemoralis in Danish kjokken- 

moddings, 211. 
Helix nemoralis eaten at Toulouse, 

Helix Pisana, the banded snail, 210. 
Helix Pisana, where found in Great 

Britain, 229. 
Helix pomatia, vine snail, 209. 
Helix pomatia, British localities for, 

Helix pomatia of large size in Savoy, 

Helix pomatia, white variety and 

reversed specimens, 210. 
Helix rbodostoma, 229. 
Helix vermiculata, 229. 
Hens, 28. 

Hill of broken shells, 49. 
Holland, largest supply of scallops 

from, 103. 
HolothuriadEe, 268. 
Horse-musseL 69. 
Horse-winkle, 187. 
Hotel in Paris for pilgrims, 1 12. 
Hyperoodon, or bottle -headed whale, 

food of, 252 
Hydra of Lerna, 256. 



Ika surame, or squids, 262. 
Illyrian snails mentioned by Pliny, 

Image of St. James, 115. 
Incitatup, the favourite horse of the 

Emperor Caligula, 92. 
Indian belief of the origin of pearls, 

Indians use Haliotidae for orna- 
ments, 181. 
Ink of cuttlefish, 264. 
Investigates of the Commissioners 

on the Irish fisheries, 133. 
Irish names for cockle, 42. 
Irish pearls, 71. 
Irish rivers where are found the 

pearl-mussels, 71. 
Island of Re and its oyster-beds, 

Isle of Man scallop-beds, 104. 
Isle of Wight oyster-beds, 131. 
Isocardia cor, 39. 
Jsocardia cor, account of, by Rev, 

James Bulwer, 40. 
Italian names for the Pinna, 86. 

Jacobitae or Jacobipetae, 112. 

Jacobsmuschel, 104. 

Jambe, 178. 

Jambonneaux, 86. 

Japa, 93. 

Japanese pilgrims wear the scallop- 
shell as a badge, 117. 

Jardiniere, 226. 

Javanese belief that pearls breed, 47. 

"Jemmy," the pearl-catcher, 72. 

Jersey oysters, 131. 

Joeles, 187. 

Jugurtha loses his treasures, 222. 

Juice of the purple-fish requires ex- 
posure to the sun to produce the 
colour, 201. 

Kamm-muschel, 104. 

King John and the Milton fisheries, 

King's cockle stewer, 45. 
Kirkeens, or kirkeen thraws, 104. 
Kitchen-midden in the Andaman 

Islands, 150. 
Kjokkenmoddings at Newhaven 

Sussex, 50. 

Kjokkenmoddings,Scotch, described, 

Klaffmuchel, or Mya, 8. 

Kraken Norwegian, 255. 

Kraken, altar erected on its sur- 
face, 255. 

Kreaklingur, or mussel, 59. 

Kunyu, or Mya truncata, 6. 

La Blonde, 61. 

Laborde, M., partakes of live snails, 

Lady's dress figured with dye of the 
purple-fish, 201. 

L'Aillado, 244. 

L'Ayoli, or ail-y oli, 244. 

La Cacalaousada, 244. 

Lampas, 178. 

Lamperas, 178. 

Lamps at Amoy, 184. 

Lamps made of Fusus antiquus, 

Lamparons, 178. 

Lampreas, 187. 

Lampreys used as bait for cod- 
fishing, 193. 

Lampreys at Sawley on Trent, 193. 

Lana penna, 87. 

Lana pesca, or fish wool, 87. 

Land polypus mentioned by Pliny, 

Langskoel, 14. 
Lapa, or limpet, 178. 

Lapa burra, 187. 

Large oysters mentioned by Pliny, 

Laypas, 178. 
Leaden coffins ornamented with 

scallop-shells, 109. 
Legend of the cuttlefish, 258. 
Legend of St. James, 110. 
Leigh oyster fisheries, 129. 
Leister, or trident, 249. 
Leitrigens, to cook, 124. 
Lemming litany, 238. 
Lepade, 178. 
Lid scallop, 120. 

Lid scallop used in shell-work, 121. 
Lid scallop as Dawlish, 121. 
Ligurian and snails, 222. 
Lima squamosa, 206. 
Limaia, or limaio, 229. 



Lirnaou and Limat, 226. 
Limassade, la, 244. 
Limpets for bait, 172. 
Limpets, to cook, 178. 
Limpets consumed at Larne, 174. 
Limpets, to dress, 178. 
Limpets eaten at Eastbourne, 174. 
Limpets, Eastbourne method of cook- 
ing, 179. 
Limpets eaten on the coast of Nor- 
mandy, 174. 
Limpets eaten at Plymouth, 174. 
Limpets, large in shell mounds at 

the Cape of Good Hope, 176. 
Limpet and oyster catcher, 177. 
Limpets roasted, 179. 
Limpet sauce, 179. 
Limpet shell, an urn covered with 

a, 1 76. 
Limpet-shell used by the Giant Tre- 

geagle, 177. 
Limpet-shells found in Cromlechs, 

Limpet- shells used for mortar, 177. 
Limpets sold ready boiled in Truro 

market, 174. 
Limpet soup, 178. 
Limpet soup at Naples, 174. 
Limpets in South America, large, 

Limpets, strength of, 173. 
Lincolnshire Fens supply Covent 

Garden with snails, 221. 
Lithodomus lithophagus, 85. 
Littorina littorea, 187. 
Littorinidae, 187. 
Livree, 229. 
Loligo, or squid, 261. 
Loligo sagittata as food, 262. 
Loligo subulata, 262. 
Longeirones, 17. 
Longherone, 59. 

Long oyster, or Pholas dactylus,, 6. 
Lulu el Berberi, or Abyssinian oyster, 

Lurna, and Gros Luma, names for 

Helix pomatia, 229. 
Lunot, 27. 
Lura, 262. 

Lustreless pearls, 100. 
Lutraria elliptica, 24. 
Lutraria maxima, or Great clam, 24. 

Lutraria oblonga, 24. 

Maclo cuadrado, 31. 

Mactra corallina, 22. 

Mactra glauca, or helvacea, 23. 

Mactra lactea, 22. 

Mactra solida, 22. 

Mactra stultorum, 22. 

Mactra stultorum, roads made of 
shells of, 22. 

Mactra subtruncata, or lady-cockle, 

Mactridae, 22. 

Mactridaa, to dress, 25. 

Madre-perna, 86. 

Madrid, price of oysters at, 142. 

Maganos, 262. 

Makafechis, rat-shaped bait for the 
octopus, 258. 

Manche de couteau, 17. 

Maneg de ganivet, 17. 

Mangulinos, 187. 

Man- suckers, 207. 

Mariposas, 33. 

Marolos, 58. 

Meerohr, 187. 

Meleagrina margaritifera, or white 
pearl-shell, 182. 

Melon de mar. 274. 

Menestra de ostras y Almejas, 30. 

Meninx in Africa, famous for its 
purple, 204. 

Messerschalenmuschel, 17. 

Mexillones, 59. 

Mezzana, 22. 

Military order of Santiago de la 

Espada, 114. 
Milk rendered luminous by a Pholas, 

Milton natives, 130. 
Minchas, 189. 
Miranha Indians, 186. 
Mocejones, 59. 
Mock asses'-milk, 216. 
Mock pearls, 185. 
Mogne, 228. 

Mogul, anecdote of a, 96. 
Moldavian snails, large, 223. 
Molimorno, 229. 
Monacelio, 228. 

Moonbeams injurious to fish, 142. 
Morgueras, 17. 



Mossel, Dutch name for mussel, 58. 

Mother-of-pearl made of Haliotidae, 

Mother-of-pearl buttons, 182. 

Mother-of-pearl cups, 184. 

Mother-of-pearl crucifixes and beads, 

Mother-of-pearl, dishes and bowls 
made of, 183. 

Mother-of-pearl, fountayne and ba- 
sen of, 183. 

Mother-of-pearl, used in medicine, 

Mother-of-pearl, shippes made of, 

Mother-of-peorl, watch set in, 184. 

Mother-of-pearl ornamentation intro- 
duced by George Suter, 181. 

Moucle de vigne, 229. 

Moule. 58. 

Mucianus and the oysters of Cyzicus, 

Mucilaginous broth, 217. 

Muergos, Andalusian name for razor- 
shell, 17. 

Muerganos, 17. 

Murex brandaris, 204. 

Murex erinaceus destructive to 
oysters, 127. 

Murex trunculas, 202. 

Murex trunculus eaten in Spain, 206. 

Muscardino, 267. 

Muscarolo, 267. 

Muschel, 58. 

Muscl, muscule, Anglo-Saxon names 
for mussel, 58. 

Muskels in brewet, 76. 

Mussel-beds, or bouchots, 60. 

Mussel-beds, Boston Deeps and 
Lynn, 62. 

Mussels used for bait, 63. 

Mussels used at Eyemouth for bait, 

Mussels used for bait in Labrador, 

Mussels, to boil, Truro recipe, 84. 

Mussels, British method of rearing, 

Mussels from Cornwall for Billings- 
gate, 62. 

Mussels and cockles in shell-mounds, 

Mussels consumed at Edinburgh and 

Leith, 63. 
Mussels, to dress, 80. 
Mussels dressed a la Provencale, 

Mussels fed on spawn of starfish 

injurious to eat, 68. 
Mussels fit for food in the winter 

months, 68. 
Mussels, French trade in, 61. 
Mussels, French method of rearing, 

Mussels fried, 81. 
Mussel fritters, 81. 
Mussels injurious if gathered from 

ships' sides, &c. , 67. 
Mussels, large, sold in Truro market, 

Mussels and limpets eaten by the 

natives of Patagonia, 69. 
Mussels a la Mariniere, 80. 
Mussels a la Poulette, 79. 
Mussels, to pickle, 82. 
Mussel pie, 82. 

Mussels, another ragout of, 84. 
Mussel sauce, 80. 
Mussels scalloped, Francatelli's 

recipe, 83. 
Mussels, seaweed and shingle, render 

embankments firm, 64. 
Mussels, little, called seeds, 60. 
Mussel-shell for cutting the hair, 66. 
Mussels sent to La Rochelle, 61. 
Mussel soup with crawfish, 78. 
Mussel soup, 78. 
Mussels, to stew, 81. 
Mussel spawn, 60. 
Mussels suspended from ropes ; attain 

a larger size, 61. 
Mussels to be transplanted in July, 

Mussels, value of, in times of scarcity, 

Mya arenaria, 9. 

Mya arenaria at San Francisoo, 1 1. 
Mya, natives of the Congo river 

collect a species, 11. 
Myadae, 8. 
Myadse, habits of, 8. 
Myadae, Hampshire method of cook- 
ing, 12. 
Mya used for skimming milk, 46. 



Mya skin said to be poisonous, 9. 

Mya truncata, 8. 

Mye des Sables, Mya arenaria, sold 

at Bordeaux, 9. 
Mytilidae. 58. 
Mytilus edulis, 58. 
Mytilus modiolus, 69. 
Mvtilus modiolus eaten in Ireland, 

Mytilus modiolus called the poisonous 

mussel at Tenby, 69. 

Nacherone, 86. 

Nacre, or Pinna, 86. 

Nahak, or rubbish collected by the 

- disease-makers in the island of 
Tanna, 195. 

Napfmuschel, 178. 

Napfschnecke, 178. 

Napoleon I., the scabbard of his 
sword made of gold and mother- 
of-pearl, 184. 

Nassa reticulata, 149. 

Nassis, or osier kipe, 192. 

Native, thoroughbred oyster, 130. 

Natives of New Guinea and conch 
shells, 196. 

Nautilus, pearly, ornaments of, 185. 

Navallas, or Donax trunculus, 20. 

Navallinas, or Psammobia vesper- 
tina, 21. 

Navallon, or Mactra, 24. 

Necklaces of limpet and other shells 
found in Bi-itish graves, 176. 

Necklaces of shells found on Egyptian 
mummies, 176. 

Needle coated with copper, 140. 

Nero's golden house, 183. 

Neumann's description of the dog- 
whelk, 200. 

Northumbrian ovster cultivation, 
failure of, 133. 

Nottle Tor, 51. 

Nympsfield, 176. 

Oatmeal and cockles, 55. 

Octopi prized by the North American 

Indians, 247. 
Octopodia eaten by the modern 

Greeks, 247. 
Octopods in market at Smyrna, 247. 
Octopus eaten at Nice, 246. 

Octopus punctatus, 251. 
Octopus sinensis, 260. 
Octopus vulgaris, rare on British- 
coast, 249.. 
Octopus vulgaris, specimens at 

Eastbourne and Babbicombe, 249. 
CEil de bouc, 178. 
Ohrsnecke, 187. 
Oil of black snails, 217. 
Old English rhyme on snails, 239. 
Old pearls said to adhere to the 

shell, 90. 
Olivette, or scallop, 123. 
Ommastrephes, or Hying squids, 263. 
Onyches, 5. 

Onychoteuthis robusta, 254. 
Order of the cockle, 115. 
Order of the cockle given to Lord 

Darnley, 115. 
Order of St. James of Holland, 

Oreille de Mer, 180. 
Orella de Mar, 187. 
Oreya de Mar, 187. 
Orrechiale, 187. 
Orrechio di San Pietro, 187. 
Oriental pearls, 73. 
Ormers fried or pickled in vinegar, 

Ormer, or Ear- shell, 180. 
Ormer-shells used to frighten birds 

from the corn in Guernsey, 181. 
Ormers, Jersey market supplied 

from the French coast, 180. 
Ormer, to dress to perfection, 186. 
Ormond, 180. 
Orolas, 24. 
Ostend oysters, 1 28. 
Ostend oysters sent to Berlin, 129. 
Ostia blanca, 142. 
Ostia vermella, 172. 
Ostione, 142. 

Ostras asadas, or fried oysters, 160. 
Ostras en concha, scalloped ovsters, 

Ostras en escabochados, pickled 

oysters, 170. 
Ostras guisadas, ragout of oysters, 

Ostras & la Pollada, 163. 
Ostrea, 142. 
Ostreadte, 124. . 



Ostrea edulis, 124. 

Ostrea Virginica at Cadiz, 142. 

Ostrea Virginiana, American oyster, 

Ostrea, or Gryphsea angulata, Portu- 
guese oyster, 141. 

Ostreo-culture in the Adriatic, 142. 

Ostreiras, 150. 

Ostrias, 142. 

Ostrica, 143. 

Otaria, 180. 

Otter-shell, Lutraria maxima, 24. 

Oursin livide, 273. 

Oursin melon, 273 

Ova, or Mytilus modiolus, 69. 

Oxhorn cockle, 30. 

Oxhorn cockles prized by the 
Brixham fishermen, 40. 

Oyster, 124. 

Oyster of Abydus, 126. 

Oyster atlets, 155. 

Oyster atlets curried, 156. 

Oyster-baskets in Paris, 140. 

Oyster-beds of Amoy, Foochow, and 
Macao, 147. 

Oyster-beds off Hay ling and Ports- 
mouth, 131. 

Oyster-bed in Lough Swilly, 134. 

Oysters boiled, 163. 

Oysters boiled the Dutch way, 161. 

Oysters, black-bearded. 130. 

Oysters as bait for crabs, 148. 

Oysters, charity, 100. 

Oysters and chestnuts, 165. 

Oysters for consumptive people, 

Oysters from Cornwall, 133. 

Oysters curried, 156. 

Oysters, size of, Cow Bay, 143. 

Oysters of Cyzicus, 126. 

Oysters dried, 151. 

Oysters fattest at the full moon, 

Oysters and eel pie, 168. 

Oyster forcemeat, 164. 

Oysters to cure freckles, 146. 

Oysters, to fry, 159. 

Oysters, to fry, 160. 

Oysters, to fry, 160. 

Oysters, to fry another way, 161. 

Oysters fried another way, 159. 

Oyster fritters, 166. 

Oysters augratin, 172. 

Oysters grilled, 161. 

Oysters will not grow in the Baltic, 

Oyster heaps at Creggauns in 

Tyrone, 149. 
Oyster Jubilee, 134. 
Oyster ketchup, 171. 
Oyster loaves, 166. 
Oyster loaf, 167. 
Oysters and Macaroni, 167. 
Oysters, to mince, 164. 
Oysters, mussels, and periwinkles 

at Leigh, 129. 
Oyster moutb soup, 153. 
Oyster packing industry, at Cris- 

field, Maryland, 144. 
Oyster pie, 167. 
Oyster pie, an, 168. 
Oyster pie, another way, 168. 
Oysters and parsnip pie, 168. 
Oysters pickled, 169. 
Oysters, Glamorganshire way of 

pickling. 169. 
Oysters, Soyer's recipe for pickling 

for the London markets, 169. 
Oysters in Poole harbour, 132. 
Oyster powder, 170. 
Oyster powder, another, 171. 
Oysters, ragout, 161. 
Oysters roasted, 162. 
Oysters, to roast, 162. 
Oysters roasted, American recipe, 

Oyster sauce, 154. 
Oyster sauce, brown, 154. 
Oyster sauce, old recipe, 155. 
Oyster sausages, to make, 163. 
Oyster sausages, 163. 
Oysters, scalloped, 165. 
Oysters scalloped in the old way, 

Oysters always in season at New 

"York, 143. 
Oysters sent to Leicester and Wal- 

singham in Queen Elizabeth's 

reign, from Colchester, 128. 
Oysters sent to Germany and Russia, 

Oyster-shell island on the east coast 

of Corsica, 149. 
Oyster- shells at Hissarlik, 150. 



Oyster- shells as manure, 148. 
Oyster-shells used by the Romans 

as tooth-powder, 148. 
Oyster-shells used in skin diseases, 

Oyster soup, 152. 
Oyster soup with fish stock, 152. 
Oyster soup, another way, 152. 
Oyster soup, to make an, 153. 
Oyster steak, 165. 
Oysters, to stew, 157. 
Oysters stewed, 158. 
Oysters stewed with milk, 159. 
Oysters, to stew another way, 158. 
Oysters, to stew the French way, 

Oysters on toast, 171. 
Oyster toast, 171. 

Pao-Hing-Ch6, remedy for small- 
pox, 102. 

Pacauta, 93. 

Padstow, large mussels from, 67. 

Paignton method of cooking Cardium 
rusticum, 57. 

Palostrega, 86. 

Palourde, or tapes, 27. 

Palourde, or scallop, 104. 

Pall Mall, 44. 

Pandore oysters, 136. 

Parisians eat snaik for breakfast, 

Patella atheletica, 177, 

Patelle, or limpet, 1 73. 

Patella reale, 187. 

Patella vulgata, 172. 

Patellidae, 172. 

Patellidce eaten by the ancients, 1 75. 

Patgellidas, 178. 

Pearls artificial, 75. 

Pearl-fishery at Bahrein, 98. 

Pearls called bones or stones by 
Greek authors. 90. 

Pearls said to be congealed dew- 
drops, 47. 

Pearl-diver's badge of office, 101. 

Pearl-fishery in Ceylon, 98. 

Pearl-tisherv on the coast of Colum- 
bia, 98. 

Pearls, to keep colour of, 47. 

Pearl-fisheries of Condatchy, Aripo, 
and Manaar, 97. 

Pearl-fisheries mentioned bv Marco 

Polo, 92. 
Pearl-fishery at Omagh, 72. 
Pearl-fisheries on the Terski coast, 

Pearl-fishery at Tutikorin, 101. 
Pearls found in the Aplysia, 70. 
Pearls found in the oyster, scallop, 

cockle, and periwinkle, 69. 
Pearls kept in magnesia, 47. 
Pearls like black muscades, 95. 
Pearls used in medecine, 102. 
Pearls in common mussel, 69. 
Pearl mussels in Loch-Earn, Tay, 

Ac, 71. 
Pearl necklace of the king of 

Maabar, 92. 
Pearls, tears of Chinese mermaids, 

Pearls found in mother-of-pearl 

shells at Birmingham, 101. 
Pearls preferred to other ornaments 

until the death of Maria Theresa, 

Pearls placed in the mouth of a dead 

person, 97. 
Pearls used in Irish religious orna- 
ments, in 15th and 16th centuries, 

Pearls significant of tears, 96. 
Pearl oyster, Meleagrina margariti- 

fera, 89. 
Pearl necklace of the Empress of 

the French, 97. 
Pearl necklaces and chains for the 

hands and feet; worn by the 

Medes and Persians, 90. 
Pearls in Unio margaritiferus, 70. 
Pearl called la Peregrina. 96. 
Pearl pounded and drank by Sir 

Thomas Greskam, 91. 
Pearl-shell snail, Turbo cornutus, 

Peasants near La Rochelle gather 

snails to send to America, 227. 
Pechinas llisas, 23. 
Pecten Jacobseus. 107. 
Pecten maximus. 103. 
Pecten opercularis. 120. 
Pecten varius, 123. 
Pectunculus eaten in the Mediter- 
ranean, 85. 



Pedacchio di mar, 59. 

Piede de caval, 86, 

Peignes, 104. 

Pelagia, the shellfish, 203. 

Pelaghrrn, the juice or colour, 203. 

Pellerinella, 123. 

Peneyras, 187. 

Periwinkle, 187. 

Periwinkles, to boil, 190. 

Periwinkle grounds near Pagharn, 

Periwinkles abundant in Scotch 

kjokkenmoddings, 190. 
Periwinkle, limpet. &c, found in the 

Irish oyster heaps, 149. 
Periwinkles, large consumption in 

London, 188. 
Periwinkles sent to London from 

Belfast, 188. 
Periwinkles in the Orkneys, 189. 
Periwinkles sent from Southampton 

to Jersey, 189. 
Periwinkle soup, 190. 
Periwinkle, variety of form, 188. 
Periwinkles of various colours, 188. 
Perles barroques, 93. 
Peschio dell' arsenale, 59. 
Petchinas, 27. 
Petite palourde, or Pecten varius, 

Petite vanne, 123. 
Pettenu, 104. 
Pens de cabra, 4. 

Phasianella, or Venetian shells, 185. 
Philoxenus, the Solenist, 15. 
Pholadidae, 1. 
Pholas used as bait, 5. 
Pholas collected at Dieppe for bait 

and food, 7. 
Pholas costata, a West Indian 

species, 7. 
Pholas crispata, 7. 
Pholas dactylus, 1. 
Pholas dried, recovers its lumi- 
nosity, when rubbed or moist- 
ened, 6. 
Pholas sold in Jersey market ready 

boiled for eating, 7. 
Pholas, Normandy method of cook- 

mg, 7. 
Pholas, its perforating powers a 

subject of discussion, 2, 

Pholas, its phosphorescence, 5. 

Pbolas eaten raw in Spain, 7. 

Piddock, or clam, 1. 

Pilgrim offerings, 113. 

Pilgrirns-nmsckel, 104. 

Pilgrim scallop, Pecten Jacobaeus, 

Pincushions made of shells, 65. 
Pinna, Aufrere describes the collect- 
ing of the, 87. 
Pinna, British localities for the, 86. 
Pinna forms a dish at an Attic ban- 
quet, 89. 
Pinna at Dawlish, 86. 
Pinna or nacre, described by Pliny, 

Pinna, a recherche dish at Naples, 

Pinna, pearls found in the, 89. 
Pinna pectinata, 85. 
Pinna soup, 102. 
Pinna wool, 87. 
Pinneo fried like cutlets, 103. 
Pinnophylax, 86. 
Pinnoteres, 86. 
Pinnotheres pisum, 68. 
Pinnotheres veterum, 68. 
Piscinola, the famous diver, 250. 
Placuna placenta used for glazing 

windows in Manilla, 184. 
Piano rbis corneus yields a dye, 206. 
Plato recommends the Polypus to 

be boiled or roasted, 247. 
Pliny and the luminosity of the 

Pholas after death, 5. 
Pliny mentions several kinds of 

snails, 223. 
Plinv recommends snails for a cough, 

Pliny's observations on the scallop, 

Pliny's supper, 224. 
Pocuranac, 262. 
Poisoning by green oysters at 

Rochefort, 140. 
Poli's method of cooking Cardinm 

rusticum, 58. 
Polpo, Italian name for the common 

poiilp, 247. 
Polynesian method of catching 

cuttlefish, 256. 
Polypus said by Pliny to arrest 



haemorrhage, if bruised and 

applied, 265. 
Polypus, its dangerous powers, 250. 
Polypus, symbol of Messina, figured 

on a coin of that city, 265. 
Pompeii, collection of shells dis- 
covered at, 117. 
Pontoppidan's description of the 

kraken, 255. 
Pop, 247. 
Pope, the, uses a purple robe to 

celebrate Mass in Lent and Ad- 
vent, 206. 
Porphyra shellfish, discovery of, 202. 
Potage aux chobettes. 20. 
Potage a la Poissoniere, 153. 
Poiilp, habits of, 248. 
Poiilp in the Mediterranean, 247. 
Poiilp, large, at Nice, 249. 
Poiilps live in holes amongst the 

rocks, 248. 
Poultry fed on Patella vulgata, 

Poultry fed with lustreless pearls 

and grain, to restore brilliancy to 

the pearls, 100. 
Powder-horns, 86. 
Praire, la, 31. 
Price of Haliotidae in the Channel 

Islands, 182. 
Price of Helix aspersa, 228. 
Price of Helix nemoralis, 228. 
Price of Helix pisana at Marseilles, 

Price of Helix pomatia, 230. 
Price of Helix vermiculata, 229. 
Price of mussels taken at Lymp- 

stone, 62. 
Price of scallops, 122. 
Prices of Scotch pearls, 70. 
Professional pilgrim at Santiago de 

Compostella, 116. 
Proper seasons for visiting Spain for 

scientific purposes, 232. 
Proportions for mixing the juice of 

the buccinum and pelagium for 

dyeing wool, 203. 
Protection to English pilgrims, 112. 
Provencaux names for Helix aperta, 

Psammobia veBpertina, or the setting 

sun, 18. 

Psammobia vespertina eaten at Ken- 
mare, 18. 
Psammobia vespertina, localities for, 

Pudworm, 4. 
Puerto, Santa Maria, supplies oysters 

to Madrid, 142. 
Pullers, sugar-loons, or colliers, 9. 
Pullet, or cullyock, 25. 
Pullet, or cullyock, used for bait, 

Purchase snails and eat them, 231. 
Purple dye used by the Nicaraguan 

Indians, prepared from shellfish, 

Purple dve produced from two kinds 

of shellfish, 202. 
Purple-fish, various kinds mentioned 

by Athenaeus, 202. 
Purple imported from the Pelopon- 
nesus in the days of Ezekiel, 203. 
Purpura Anglicana, 201. 
Purpura lapillus, the dog-whelk, 

Purpura lapillus used for dyeing 

linen in Ireland in 1684, 200. 
Purpura lapillus eaten in France, 207. 
Purpura lapillus eaten at Hastings, 

Purr, or butterfish, 26. 
Pyrenean name, caracolo, for snails, 


Quadrans, a small copper coin, 223. 
Quadrantes, eighty, contained in a 

snail shell, 223. 
Quahog, or large hard clam, 34. 
Queen Elizabeth purchases Mary 

Queen of Scots' pearls, 95. 
Queen Mary's parure of pearls, 94. 
Queens, or scallops, 122. 
Quiquirigallas, 24. 

Radiata, or Echinodermata, 258. 

Ragout of cockles, 53. 

Ragout of mussels, 83. 

Ragout of oysters, 161. 

Ragout of oysters, Ostraa Guisadas, 

Ragout of snails, Spanish recipe, 242. 
Ran, 178. 
Raucan, 104.. 



Raw oysters beneficial to persons 
with weak digestion, 146. 

Razor-fish, to cook, 17. 

Razor-fish on the Scotch coast, 18. 

Razor-fish soup, 17. 

Razor-shells in the Bay of Concep- 
cion, 16. 

Razor-shells, collecting, 15. 

Razor-shell, or Solen, 13. 

Red whelk, Fusus antiquus, 207. 

Red whelk used for bait at Dublin, 

Red whelk eaten in Liverpool, 207. 

Refuse heaps on the shores of the 
Moray Firth, 51. 

Renouvelains, 60. 

Restaurant for oysters in New York, 

Ricarde, or Ricardot, 104. 

Rigardot, 42. 

Rintillas, 262. 

Rivers Irt and End, pearls found in, 

Rizzo di Mar, 274. 

Roagan, 104. 

Rocher de Cancale oyster-beds, 137. 

Romans partial to snails, 223. 

Roman ladies wore pearls at night, 

Romeas, 42. 

Romera, 123. 

Romeus, 58. 

Ropamaceiras, 24. 

Romulus employed the purple dye 
for the trabea. 205. 

Rossmassler and the empty snail- 
shells, 233. 

Rufina, 104. 

Ruocane, 42. 

Rush baskets containing snails, 227. 

Sabot, or periwinkle, 187. 

Sacred geese in the temple of Juno, 

Sacred shell of the Omahas, 197. 

Saggio, Venetian weight for precious 
stones, 93. 

Saint Clement's Church, Sandwich, 

Saint James of Compostella per- 
formed many miracles, 113. 

Saint James's Day, 145. 

Saint James, patron of Spain, 115. 
Saint James and Queen Lupa, 111. 
Saint James's tomb discovered, 111. 
Saintonge and Aunis, snails ex- 
ported from, 227. 
Salsa de Almejas, 29. 
Samoan proverb, 268. 
Sand-clam, or Solen, 105. 
Sauces for snails, 244. 
Scalaria communis yields a purple 

dye, 206. 
Scallops, American recipe, 120. 
Scallop, called the butterfly of the 

ocean, 121. 
Scallops, to cook, 120. 
Scallops, to dress, 119. 
Scallops, to fry, 123. 
Scallop, great, Pecten maximus, 103. 
Scallops from Holland for London 

markets, 104. 
Scallop, its movements described by 

Mr. Gosse, 121. 
Scallops at Clavijo dropped there by 

Saint James, 114. 
Scallop-shell in heraldry, 107. 
Scallops with matelote sauce, 123. 
Scallop-shell, pilgrim's badge, 107. 
Scallop-shell figured on coins, 118. 
Scallop-shells used as lamps. 106. 
Scallop-shells on monumental slabs, 

Scallop-shells belong legitimately to 

Compostella pilgrims, 110. 
Scallops pickled, 120. 
Scallop soup, 124. 
Scallops, to stew, 119. 
Scallops at Vigo the constant food of 

all classes from Christmas to 

Easter, 104. 
Scallops at Weymouth. 122. 
Scarcity of Oxhorn cockle, 40. 
Scheidenmuschel, 17. 
Schiisselmuschel, 178. 
Scotch pear is in demand abroad in 

the twelfth century, 72. 
Scotch pearl-fisbery revived, 70. 
Scotch rivers contain pearl mussels, 

Scotcb pearl trade in the reign of 

Charles I., 73. 
Scrobicularia piperata, or Mudhen, 




Scrobicularia piperata eaten at 

Trieste and Venice, 26. 
Sea-birds feed on Patellidae, 177. 
Sea-ear, 179. 

Sea-egg, or sea-urchin, 268. 
Sea-eggs sold in the market at 

Marseilles, 273. 
Sea-eggs eaten raw in Chili, 272. 
Sea-egg fishing in the Bay of Naples, 

Sea-snaegl, or sea-snail, 187. 
Season for oysters, 145. 
Sea-urchin, anecdote of Lacedae- 
monian and the, 272. 
Sea-urchin described by Pliny, 

Sea-urchin recommended to be 

eaten raw, 273. 
Sea-urchin and Sicilian children, 

Sea-wing. 85. 

Seche, Seiche, or Casseron, 2-45. 
Seed pearls, 100. 
Senorinas, 187. 
Sepiadas, 245. 
Sepia, fried, 267. 
Sepia, method of making, 264. 
Sepia officinalis, 245. 
Sepia used in painting, 264. 
Sepia sold in the markets at Athens, 

Sepiata, or supieta, 263. 
Sepiola Rondeletti, 263 
Sepiola Rondeletti, Montpellier me- 
thod of cooking, 267. 
Sepolina, 263. 

Seppietta, or Calamaretto, 263. 
Septa of pearly nautilus, worn by 

natives of the Api Islands, 185. 
Septa of pearly nautilus worn by the 

"gins" in Queensland, 185. 
Serranos, 232. 
Serranos stewed, 232. 
Shark-channer, 100. 
Shell cameos of Cassis, 199. 
Shell cameos of Strombus gigas, 

Shell cameos of Sicilian origin, 200. 
Shellfish good for those who take 

too much wine, 28. 
Shellimidy, or snails, recommended 

for many diseases in Ireland, ^14. 

Shellimidy forragy, or periwinkle, 

Shell-lime, 65. 

Shell-mounds of cockle-shells. 48. 
Shell-mounds of St. Michel-en - 

l'Herm, 149. 
Shells of Anodontae used for skim- 
ming milk, 74. 
Shells of Galicia, 112. 
Shell-snails pounded, for a swelling 

on the joints, 218. 
Shells found in stone coffins, 113. 
Shells used as trumpets in Muscovy 

and Lithuania by herdsmen, 194. 
She 1 1 trumpets used by sorcerers, 195. 
Shell trumpets in Tahiti, 194. 
Shells of Venus Chione used for 

miniature painting, 32. 
Shelley, arms of Sir John, 208. 
Shelly-nieddings, 51. 
Ship and escallop-shell, Order of the, 

Shligh, or cockle, 45. 
Si-ieu, 180. 

Silesian way of feeding snails, 225. 
Silkworm of the sea, 87. 
Silver spoon boiled with mussels to 

prove if they are wholesome. 68. 
Singular custom near Bordeaux, 

Sipia, 246. 
Sir J. E. Tennent mentions large 

oysters at Kottiar, near Trin- 

comalee, 126. 
Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson and the 

lllyrian snails mentioned by 

Pliny, 224. 
Skulls worn by the women of the 

Andaman Islands, 177. 
Sliga-crechin, or the drinking- shell, 

Sligane-mury, 104. 
Slugs, plaister of, 219. 
Small crabs in mussels said to make 

them unwholesome, 68. 
Smirslingur, 8. 
Smurslin, 8. 
Snails borne as arms in horaldrv, 

Snail, crest of the Carpenters of 

Somersetshire, and of the Galay 

family, 239. 



Snailery at Dijon, 230. 

Snail garden at Friburg, 224. 

Snail garden in Lorraine, sur- 

rounded with trellis-work, 225. 
Snail hunters, 232. 
Snail called Tardigrada domiporta, 

or the Blow-going house-bearer, 

Snails at Algiers sold in the market 

by the bushel, 234. 
Snails cure ague, 211. 
Snails a cure for asthma, 214. 
Snails, to bake, 241. 
Snails as bait for chub, 237. 
Snails as bait for prawns, 237. 
Snail broth, to make, 217. 
Snails at Cairo, 234. 
Snails consumed in Burgundy and 

Champagne, 229. 
Snails and confession, 235. 
Snails for a consumption, 214. 
Snails and earthworms for a con- 
sumption, 214. 
Snails and daisies for a con- 
sumption, 214. 
Snails an excellent remedy for a 

consumption, 214. 
Snails eaten in Corsica, 233. 
Snails for a cough, recommended by 

Pliny, 220. 
Snails and cuttlebone for a web in 

t be eye, 212. 
Snai's, small white, as a cosmetic, 

Snails used in the manufacture of 

cream, 221. 
Snails, to dress, 240. 
Snails, to dress, 240. 
Snails exported from Crete, 230. 
fenails eaten all the year round at 

Hyeres, except at Easter, 227. 
Snails, eaten by sheep, said to 

flavour the mutton, 221. 
Snails excommunicated, 238. 
Snails, to fatten, 226. 
Snails fed on bran at Naples, 226. 
Snails, nineteen species eaten on the 

Continent, 226. 
Snails as food for birds, 221. 
Snails unclean food, 235. 
Sii;il> cooked in the French way, 


Snails of woods and forests, 230. 
Snails, an old French recipe for 

dressing, with a sauce, 242. 
Snails, to fry, 241. 
Snails pounded and worn round the 

neck for fevers, 220. 
Snails give a flavour to wine, 232. 
Snails, grits of sand found in their 

horns, recommended for stopping 

toothache, 219. 
Snails at Hyeres, 227. 
Snails, to make a hash of, 241. 
Snails pounded for an impostume, 

Snails for internal pains, 220. 
Snails kept in jars, 225. 
Snails, large specimens from Mol- 
davia, 223. 
Snails as a medicine, 211. 
Snails brought to Nantes on Sundays 

and fete-days, 230. 
Snails, Norruandy way of cooking, 

another recipe, 241. 
Snails, large, at Oran, 234. 
Snails sold in the Paris markets, 

Snails sent to Paris ready cooked, 

Snails formerly in Paris only found 

in herbalists' shops, 231. 
Snails at the restaurants in Paris, 
( 231. 
Snails, verses on, in Piedmont, 

Tuscany, and Sicily, 236. 
Snails with parsley, Caracoles con 

Perejil, 242. 
Snails as a plaister, 212. 
Snails, when poisonous, 226. 
Snails, when considered in season in 

Paris, 231. 
Snails swallowed raw, a remedy for 

weak chest, 219. 
Snails and sheep's trotters for a con- 
sumption, 214. 
Snails, smoked and dried, 244. 
Snails from Soletum, 223. 
Snails and black sope, a cure for 

corns, 212. 
Snails eaten in Spain, not only by 

the poorer classes, 232. 
Snails, Spanisn method of eating, 




Snails, winter soup of, 2-41. 

Snails stuffed, considered very good, 

Snails eaten in Syria, 234. 
Snails, method of transplanting 

alive, 227. 
Snails' teeth used as an amulet, 

Snails, or escargots, kept in winter 

by the vine-growers of Dijon in 

trenches dug in the vine-slopes, 

Snails at Vienna, 225. 
Snails and the vintage, 230. 
Snail-water, an excellent, 216. 
Snail-water pectoral, 213 
Snail-shells, ashes of, good for the 

gums, 220. 
Snail-shells found at Auch, Agen, 

&c, 211. 
Snail-shells found in kjokkenmod- 

dings, 211. 
Snail-shells found at Lymne, in 

Kent; 211. 
Snail- shells found on the sites of 

Roman stations, 211. 
Snail -shells holding forty sixpences, 

Solen, or razor- shells, 13. 
Solen ensis, 14. 
Solen ensis eaten in the Feroe Isles, 

Solen-fishing at Naples, 16. 
Solenidae, 13. 

Solenist, Philoxenus called the, 15. 
Solenistse, people so called who col- 
lected solens, 15. 
Solen marginatus, or vagina, 14. 
Solen marginatus prized as an ar- 
ticle of food by the Neapolitans, 

Solen siliqua, the largest British 

species, 14. 
Solen, power of locomotion, 14. 
Solens an expensive dish at Naples, 

Solens prized in Japan, 1 6. 
Solens mentioned by Ulloa, 16. 
Solens, another way to cook, 18. 
Solens, oblong, 15. 
Soyer's recipe for cooking mussels, 


Soyer's method of cooking scallops, 

Spaniards hand white wine round 

with shellfish, 28. 
Spanish cure for consumption, oil of 

black snails, 217. 
Spanish cure for headache, 218. 
Spanish method of making fish sauce, 

Spanish way of cooking all kinds of 

shellfish, 21. 
Spanish recipes for cooking snails 

with rice, butter, &c , 233. 
Sperm whale, food of, 252. 
Spout-fishes, 14. 
Spondylus eaten in Italy and Spain, 

Springing Loligo mentioned by Pliny, 

Spuonnolo, 172. 

Squid, or squill, used for bait. 261. 
Squid highlv esteemed by the 

ancients, 261. 
Squid, or calmar, eaten on the French 

coast, 262. 
Squid-fishing in Japan, 263 
Squids, gigantic, from coasts of 

north-eastern America, 252. 
Squinns, 122. 

Starfish feeds on oysters, 127. 
Steam fishing-vessel built at Cock- 

enzie, 136. 
Steckmuscbel, 86. 
Strombus gigas eaten in Martinique, 

Stumpfmuschel, 20. 
Sugar-loons, 9. 
Sun, the setting, or Psammobia 

vespertina, 18. 
Superstitions of the Ceylonese divers, 

Superstitions of the Scotch fisher- 
men, 135. 
Superstitious dread of fresh-water 

mussels, 76. 
Syrup of snails, 218. 

Tallerinas, 20. 

Tapa, tapada, or tapet, names for 

Helix aperta, 227. 
Tapes, or Almejas, 27. 
Tapes aurea eaten in Ireland, 28. 



Tapes aurea found at Helford and 

Falmouth, 28. 
Tapes aurea found in the Scilly 

Isles, 28. 
Tapes cooked Hampshire method, 

Tapes decussata eaten in Devon- 
shire, &c, -5. 
Tapes decussata more local than 

Tapes pullastra, 26. 
Tapes decussata common near Ex- 
mouth, 26. 
Tapes decussata how to find, 26. 
Tapes decussata called Clouvisso, 27. 
Tapes highly prized by the 

Spaniards, 28. 
Tapes au naturel, Almejas al 

natui'al, 29. 
Tapes, potage of oysters and, 30. 
Tapes pullastra, pullet or cullyock, 

Tapes pullastra used as bait in the 

Northern Isles, 26. 
Tapes ragout, Almejas guisadas, 29. 
Tapes sauce, Salsa de Almejas, 29. 
Tapes soup, Sopa de Almejas, 28. 
Tapes Virginea at Dawlish and 

Tenby, 27. 
Taprobane, island of, productive of 

pearls, 89. 
Taratufolo, 31. 
Tarentine red, 204. 
Tarentum, ancient dyeing-houses, 

Tartuffoli. 274 
Tavernier's pearls, 98. 
Tellinidae, 18. 
Tellinidae rarely used for food in 

Great Britain, 18. 
Tellinidae mentioned by Athenaeus, 

Tellinidae, sauces made of, 19. 
Teredo, account of, 4. 
Teredo, said to be good to eat, 4. 
Teredo navalis, and Teredo norve- 

gica, 4. 
Teuthidae, 263. 
Teuthis, mentioned by Aristotle, 

Theognis, riddle of, 197. 
Theophrastus on the habits of 

snails, 228. 

Thrushes partial to snails, 222. 

Tootoofe, 257. 

Torbay-noses, or Oxhorn cockles, 

Torbay-noses, to dress, 41. 
Totano, 262. 
Trabea, Servius mentions two kinds 

of, 205. 
Trabea, the royal robe worn by the 

early kings, 205. 
Trade, oyster, with Belgium, 128. 
Trade, pickled oyster, 135. 
Trade in snails at Covent Garden, 

Tridacna gigas, shells of, used for 

holy-water, 148. 
Trigonia pectinata, an Australian 

bivalve, 185. 
Trigonia pectinata, bracelets, &c, 

made of the shells of, 185. 
Triton nodiferus eaten at Marseilles, 

Trochidae sold occasionally as winkles 

at Jersey, 189. 
Trochus found in the Creggauns 

heap, 149. 
Trochus crassus, 189. 
Trochus zizyphinus eaten at Toulon, 

Trogmuscheln, 23. 
Trompetenschnecke, or Kinkhorn, 

Trough- shell, or Mactra, 22. 
Troyes supplies Paris with the vine- 
snail ready boiled in their shells, 

Tse-ga, Chinese name for Mya 

arenaria, 11. 
Tumps, 176. 
Turbinellidae, 196. 

Turbinella rapa, or chank-shell, 195. 
Turbine la rapa as a wind instru- 
ment, 195. 
Turbinella rapa made into rings for 

anklets and bracelets, 195. 
Turbinella, reversed shells highly 

prized by the Chinese, 196. 
Turbinella, consecrated oil kept in 

reversed shells by the Chinese, 

Turbinella rapa, sacred shell of the 

Buddhists, 195. 



Turbo cornutus, the snail, pearl- 
shell, 182. 

Tympana, or hand- drums of the 
ancients, 90. 

Tympania or tambour-pearls, 90. 

Tyre, the purple of, the best in Asia, 

Tyre said by Strabo to have had 
numerous dyeing "works, 203. 

Tyrian medals, 203. 

Tyrian purple from Murex bran- 
daris, 205. 

Ulm. celebrated for its escargotieres, 

UnionidEe eaten in the south of 

Europe, 74. 
Unionidse and Anodontse used for 

bait in the neighbourhood of 

Nantes, 74. 
Unionidse roasted in their shells, 

Unio margaritiferus, fresh-water 

pearl-mussel, 70. 
Unio Requienii and Unio littoralis, 

Unio tientsinensis, valves used in 

medicine, 75. 
Unio tumidus and Unio pictorum 

produce small pearls, 73. 

Valves of Ostrea talienwanensis, cal- 
cined, and tised in medicine, 148. 

Valves of Pecten Japonicus used as 
shovels, 117. 

Vanneau, or Olivette, 123. 

Various species of shells called clams, 

Veglia, or Veggia, the Cyractica of 
Strabo, 224. 

Veneridae, 25. 

Venus Chione, or Cytherea Chione, 

Venus Chione recommended by Poli 
as food, 33. 

Venus Chione, English localities for, 

Venus gallina, 33. 

Venus mercenaria, the hard clam, 

Venus mercenaria, consumption of, 

Venus verrucosa, the warty Venus, 

Venus verrucosa, sold in the market 

at Algiers, 31. 
Venus verrucosa found in the 

Channel Islands, and English 

Channel, 31. 
Venus verrucosa, to cook, 33. 
Venus verrucosa collected at Herm 

for food, 31. 
Venus verrucosa eaten in Ireland, 31. 
Venus verrucosa cultivated on the 

coast of Provence, 31. 
Vieiras, 104. 

Vignot, vignette, or periwinkle, 188. 
Vinaigrette, la, a sauce for snails, 

Volandeiras, 123. 
Vongola verace, 27. 
Vongulu, 31. 
Vrelin, or brelin, or periwinkle, 188. 

Walton, the Irishman, first estab- 
lished mussel-beds on the French 

coast, 59. 
Wampum, or Indian money, 105. 
Wampum made of Venus mercenaria, 

and other shells, 105. 
Wampum, the token of peace 

amongst the American Indians, 

Wampum, or belt belonging to 

William Penn, 105. 
Wampum, a string of, 105. 
Water-rats and Dreissena poly- 

morpha, 74. 
Wedge- shell, or Donax, 19. 
Welsh rivers contain pearl-mussels, 

Weolc, whelk in Anglo-Saxon is, 

Weolc-basn-hewen, meaning of, 200. 
Weolc-read, or scarlet dye, 200. 
Whelk, buckie, or conch, 194. 
Whelk, or purpura, symbol of Tyre, 

Whelk soup, 208. 
Whelk soup, another way, 209. 
Whelks, a species used as trumpets 

in North Wales, 194. 
Whelks for bait, 193. 
Whelks supplied to Billingsgate 



chiefly from Hull and Harwich, 

Whelks taken in wicker baskets, 

Whelks borne in heraldry, 208 . 
Whelks, to dress, 209. 
Whelks, Dublin method of cooking, 

Whelks feed on oysters, 127. 
Whelks, season for, 193. 
Whelks troublesome to lobster. 

fishers, 193. 
White oysters, 139. 
White oyster sauce, 154. 
White snails from Rieti, 223. 
Whitstable oyster-beds, 129. 
Whitstable a fishing-town of note in 

the reign of Henry VIII., 129. 
Whistles made of the shells of Helix 

pomatia, 238. 
Wigwam Cove, piles of old shells at, 

Winter soup of snails, 241. 

W T itch goes to sea in a mussel-shell, 

Women of the Shir tribe make girdles, 

&c, of river mussel-shells, 186. 
Wood-snail, Helix nemoralis, 210. 
Wordsworth's lines on the limpet, 


Xarletas. 20. 
Xelets, 123. 
Xels, 123. 

Yoags, 69. 

Yonghal way of cooking sugar-loons, 

Zamarugola, 190. 
Zamburifias, 123, 
Zamorifias, 123. 
Zottolina, 263. 
Zostera marina, 273. 
Zots-kappen, 40. 





* i-H '.-V' '* 


del _G. B - Sowerby, Mi 

Vincent Brooks , Imp. 

Pholas Dactylus. Piddock or Clam 

j|l del._G.B. 5owerty,liLh 

Vincent Brooks , Imp . 

1. Mya truncata Gaper. 

2. Solen silicjua, or Razor shell. 



del _G3. Sowerby , lith . 

Vincent Brooks , Imp 

1. Psammobia Yespertina The setting Sun. 
2. Mactra Soli da, or Trough shell. 



del _ G . 3 . Sowerby, lith . 

"Vincent Brooks , Imp . 

1. Tapes pullustra. Pullet. 

2. Verms Verrucosa,. Warty Venus. 

del. G-.B. Sowerby, lith 

Vincent Brooks , Imp . 

Isocardia Cor. _ Heart shell or Oxhorn Cockle. 


U i.',3 Ir,/ 



Vincent Brooks, Imp. 

1. Cardium edule —Common cookie. 
2.Cardium rusticum_ Red nose cockle. 


M del _ G. S . Sowerby, Mi . 

Vincent Brooks, Imp . 

1. Mytilus eclulis. Common Mussel 
2. Ostrea edulis. Oyster 

■-.;■' ■■ V 


-•Ml;-— fJM'- 

del _ G-. B Sowerby, lith 

Vincent Brooks, Imp . 

Pinna pectm&ta. Sea-wing 


j|l del ,_G.B. Sowerby, lith 

Vincent Brooks , Imp . 

l.Pecten Operculans or Painted scallop. 
2 . Pecten maximus , Scallop 


del _ G . B . S owerby 

Vincent Brooks, Imp 

1. Haliotis taberculata, Ear -shell, or Sea-Ear. 
2. Patella vulgata. Limpet 


del _^ G . B - S owerby, lith 

Vincent Brooks, Imp. 

1. Buccmum undalum. Whelk. 
2.3. Litorma litorea. Periwinkle. 













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Aphanipteba . 




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Natural History of Plants. By Prof. Baillon. 
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Flora Capensis. By Prof. Dyer. 

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