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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/272

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

The London market is chiefly supplied from Holland, the eels being brought over alive in welled vessels. Queen Elizabeth gave a free mooring to these Dutch skoots, and this privilege has been taken advantage of up to the present time. The Dutch eels, however, are very much inferior in flavor to the English, and it seems, therefore, somewhat of a pity that they should have almost a monopoly of the London market. The Norfolk eels, that are caught in such huge quantities, are nearly all sent to Birmingham and the Black Country. In Scotland eels are looked upon with abhorrence, consequently eel-fisheries may be said not to exist there. In Ireland, however, the eel-fisheries are enormously valuable; the eel-weirs on the Erne are said to bring in five or six thousand pounds sterling a year. At Ballisodare the eel-fisheries were found to greatly increase in value by hanging loosely plaited ropes of straw or hay over any obstructions which would be likely to bar the course of the elvers up-stream. These ropes act as ladders, up which the elvers climb, and the immense annual destruction we have already spoken of is averted. Eels cost but little to cultivate, never fail to find a good market, and are one of the richest and most nutritious forms of food possible to find; surely, therefore, in all questions of cheap food-supply they should receive the highest attention. The late Mr. Frank Buckland showed his usual good sense when he declared that the English eel-fisheries were not half developed, and that they deserved considerably more attention than they had hitherto got. That they should soon get this attention must be the hope of all those who do not like to see the good gifts of Nature contemptuously thrown aside and disregarded.—Saturday Review.

 

SKETCH OF GEORGE ENGELMANN, M. D.

THE United States has had many botanists who, making the best use of the immense resources of fresh material which our large and virgin country afforded, have made extensive and important additions to the scope of their science. None among them, perhaps—unless we make a single exception—has done better work in this line and made more valuable contributions than Dr. George Engelmann. "More than fifty years ago," says Dr. Asa Gray, in his sketch of him, "his oldest associates in this country—one of them his survivor—dedicated to him a monotypical genus of plants, a native of the plains over whose borders the young immigrant on his arrival wandered solitary and disheartened. Since then the name of Engelmann has, by his own resources and authorship, become unalterably associated with the buffalo-grass of the plains, the noblest conifers in the Rocky Mountains, the most stately cactus in the world, and with most of the asso-