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CHAP. 26. (17.)—THE MULLET.

One singular propensity of the mullet1 has afforded a subject for laughter;2 when it is frightened, it hides its head, and fancies that the whole of its body is concealed. Their salacious propensities3 render them so unguarded, that in Phoenicia and in the province of Gallia Narbonensis, at the time of coupling, a male, being taken from out of the preserves, is fastened to a long line, which is passed through his mouth and gills; he is then let go in the sea, after which he is drawn back again by the line, upon which the females will follow him to the very water's edge; and so, on the other hand, the male will follow the female, during the spawning season.

1 Cuvier remarks, that it does not appear that the characteristics of the mullet, here mentioned by Pliny, have been observed in modern times.

2 The same story is told of the ostrich.

3 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. v. c. 4, states to a similar effect.

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