Various forms of fish-mouths peep out of the water transparent jelly-fish, red tails, blue, green, and silver scales press up, and between them comes up sometimes a great silurian, the shark of the Balaton, a Wels of a hundred pounds' weight, with wide jaws and horse-shoe mustache; but it disappears into the depths again, as if to find safety there.
Along its borders there are summer bathing-places, considered very healthy for children. Very good wine is produced here, as in most parts of Hungary which are hilly, but not situated too high up among the mountains. The lake of Balaton is renowned for a splendid kind of fresh-water fish, the Fogas. It is considered the best fish after trout some even prefer it and it grows to a good size.
Szováta, boasts of a lake containing such an enormous proportion of salt that not even the human body can sink into its depths. In the south there is Herkulesfürdö, renowned as much for the beauty of its scenery as for its waters. Besides those mentioned there are all the summer pleasure resorts; the best of these are situated along Lake Balaton.
The only seaport the country possesses is Fiume, which was given to Hungary by Maria Theresa, who wanted to give Hungary the chance of developing into a commercial nation. Besides the deep but small mountain lakes, there are several large ones; among these the most important is the Balaton, which, altho narrow, is about fifty miles long.
In the cornfields, instead of the sheaves of grain, ineradicable weeds abound, and instead of the golden heads, thistles, burdock, and nightshade are rampant, for no one comes to cut them down. At such a season Michael arrived at his villa on the Balaton. It was an ancient pile.
He now remembered that in one of the valleys near the Platten See he had a summer villa, which he had bought years ago when he hired the fishing of the Balaton lake, and he had only been there two or three times since. There, said he, would he spend the end of the autumn. The doctors approved his choice. The districts of Zala and Vessprimer on the banks of the lake are like the Vale of Tempe.
I have sinned, and I give myself up to death and damnation they are not guilty I alone. Thou Everlasting Justice, who hast brought me to this, be just also to them. Protect, console these feeble women, the helpless child, and give me alone over to Thine avenging angels I am judged and I am silent." He knelt down. Between the edges of the fissure the waves of the Balaton plashed softly.
Not a man nor even a stork is left in the place only the majestic Balaton murmurs mysteriously as it tosses its waves, and no one knows why it is angry. In its midst rises a bare rock, on whose top stands a convent with two towers, in which live seven monks a crypt full of princely bones from top to bottom. And here Timar came to seek for health.
Before the spring comes he will have cleared the Platten-See, so that not a single perch, not a shad nor a roach, not a garfish, let alone a fogasch, will be left in it. And he sends them all to Vienna. As if that was what fogasch swam in the Balaton lake for that those Germans might eat them! The damned scoundrel! The government ought to set a price on his head.
The Lake Taguataga was partially drained by cutting through a narrow ridge of land, not at the natural outlet, but upon one side of the lake, and eight thousand acres of land covered by it were gained for cultivation. U. S. Naval Astronomical Expedition to the Southern Hemisphere, i., pp. 16, 17. Lake Balaton and the Neusiedler Sea in Hungary have lately been, at least partially, drained.