Page images
PDF
EPUB

like sunbeams in the rainbow, and and raging sea, and by that means prescoured along the moor! All was won- serves both man and beast that it destroys derful and wild, and what eager rap

thern not, as we see it daily doth those that ture leapt at our hearts, when the venture upon the sea, and are there ship. Tarcel flew aloft, and kept circling in

wrecked, drowned, and left to feed Had.

docks ; when we that are so wise as to keep the air till the game was sprung, and

ourselves on earth, walk, and talk, and live, then the flight of fury and of fear !

and eat, and drink, and go a hunting : of But we forget ourselves, and therefore

which recreation I will say a little, and then say, in the words of Auceps

leave Mr Piscator to the commendation of But lest I should break the rules of Angling.” civility with you, by taking up more than Having thus extolled hunting as a the proportion of time allotted to me, I

game for princes and noble persons, will here break off, and entreat you, Mr

observing that it was one of the qualiVenator, to say what you are able in the commendation of Hunting, to which you

fications that Xenophon bestowed on are so much affected.”

his Cyrus, that he was a hunter of wild Venator now takes up the argument,

beasts, and that hunting trains up the and following the same train of reason

younger nobility to the use of manly ing with Auceps, who began with eu

exercises in their riper age, Venator logizing the air, he pronounces the fol

sounds the praises of his pack.

“ And for the dogs that we use, who can lowing brief panegyric on the earth :“ Well, sir, and I will now take my

commend their excellency to that height turn, and will first begin with a commen.

which they deserve ? how perfect is the dation of the Earth, as you have done most

Hound at smelling, who never leaves or for.

sakes his first scent, but follows it through excellently of the Air ; the earth being that element upon which I drive my pleasant,

80 many changes and varieties of other wholesome, hungry trade. The earth is a

scents, even over, and in the water, and

into the earth? What music doth a pack solid, setiled element; an element most universally beneficial both to man and

of dogs then make to any man, whose heart beast : to men who have their several re

and ears are so happy as to be set to the

tune of such instruments? How will a creations upon it, as Horse-races, Hunting, sweet smells, pleasant walks ; the Earth

right Greyhound fix his eye on the best feeds man, and all those several beasts that

Buck in a herd, single him out, and follow both feed him, and afford him recreation :

him, and him only, through a whole herd What pleasure doth man take in hunting

of rascal game, and still know and then kill the stately Stag, the generous Buck, the

him ? For my Hounds, I know the lanWild Boar, the cunning Otter, the crafty

guage of them, and they know the language Fox, and the fearful Hare? And if I may

and

meaning of one another, as perfectly as

we know the voices of those with whom we descend to a lower game, what pleasure is

discourse daily." it sometimes with gins to betray the very vermin of the earth ? as namely, the Fi.

It is now Piscator's turn to speak; chat, the Fulimart, the Ferret, the Pole.

and, following the example of his two cal, the Mouldwarp, and the like creatures

friends, he first of all pronounces a that live upon the face, and within the very long and a very learned eulogy bowels of the earth? How doth the earth on the element of earth. When that bring forth herbs, flowers, and fruits, both is finished, he exclaims, for physic and the pleasures of mankind ? " Pisc. 0, Sir, doubt not but that and above all, to me at least, the fruitful Angling is an art ; is it not an art to de. Vine, of which, when I drink moderately, ceive a Trout with an artificial fly? a Trout! it clears my brain, cheers my heart, and that is more sharp-sighted than any Hawk harpens my wit. How could Cleopatra you have named, and more watchful and ave feasted Mark Antony with eight Wild timorous than your high-mettled Merlin is hars roasted whole at one supper, and bold ? and yet, I doubt not to catch a brace oter meat suitable, if the earth had not or two to-morrow, for a friend's breakfast: ben a bountiful mother ? But to pass by doubt not, therefore, Sir, but that Angling the mighty Elephant, which the earth is an art, and an art worth your learning : brees and nourisheth, and descend to the the question is rather, whether you be caleast f creatures, how doth the earth afford pable of learning it ? for Angling is someus a dctrinal example in the little Pismire, what like Poetry, men are to be born so: I who in.he Summer provides and lays up mean with inclinations to it, though both her Witer provision, and teaches man to may be heightened by discourse and pracdo the lreo The earth feeds and carries tice; but he that hopes to be a good those horns that carry us.

If I would be Angler, must not only bring an inquiring, prodigal my time and your patience, searching, observing wit ; but he must what mighnot I say in commendations of bring a large measure of hope and patience, - the earth ? hat puts limits to the proud and a love and propensity to the art itself ;

but lravmg once got and practised it, then ver's side is not only the quietest and fittest doubt not but Angling will prove to be so place for contemplation, but will invite an pleasant, that it will prove to be like vir. Angler to it: and this seems to be main. tue, a reward to itself.”

tained by the learned Pet. Du Moulin, Piscator then descants on the anti- who in his discoursing of the fulfilling of quity of angling, remarking, that some prophecies, observes, that when God in. say it is as ancient as Deucalion's flood; tended to reveal any future events or high some that Belus was the inventor of it; notions to his prophets, he then carried while others maintain, that Seth, one

them either to the deserts or the sea-shore, of the sons of Adam, taught it to his

that having so separated them from amidst

the press of people and business, and the sons, and “ that by them it was de

cares of the world, he might settle their rived to posterity.” Others say, “ that

mind in a quiet repose, and there make it was engraven on those pillars which them fit for revelation. he erected, and trusted to preserve the “ And this seems also to be intimated knowledge of the mathematics, music, by the Children of Israel, (Psal. 137,) who and the rest of that precious know- having in a sad condition banished all ledge, and those useful arts, which, mirth and music from their pensive hearts, by God's appointment or allowance, and having hung up their then mute harps and his noble industry, were thereby upon the willow-trees growing by the rivers preserved from perishing in Noah's of Babylon, sat down upon those banks Hood.” After a good deal more to the bemoaning the ruins of Sion, and contem

plating their own sad condition. same purpose, Piscator, from treating

“ And an ingenious Spaniard says, that the subject historically, turns to the " rivers and the inhabitants of the watery philosophy of the occupation :- element were made for wise men to con

“ And for that I shall tell you, that in template, and fools to pass by without con. ancient times a debate hath risen, and it sideration.” And though I will not rank remains yet unresolved, whether the hap- myself in the number of the first, yet give piness of man in this world, doth consist

me leave to free myself from the last, by more in contemplation or action.

offering to you a short contemplation, first “ Concerning which some have endea- of rivers and then of fish ; concerning which voured to maintain their opinion of the I doubt not but to give you many obser. first, by saying, that the nearer we mortals vations that will appear very considerable: come to God by way of imitation, the more

I am sure they have appeared so to me, happy we are. And they say, that God and made many an hour pass away more enjoys himself only by a contemplation of pleasantly, as I have sat quietly on a flowhis own Infiniteness, Eternity, Power and

ery bank by a calm river, and contemplaGoodness, and the like. And upon this ted what I shall now relate to you." ground, many cloisteral men of great learn. Piscator now discourses“ concerning and devotion, prefer contemplation be- ing rivers” most eruditely indeed, and fore action. And many of the fathers seem

must no doubt have astonished Venato approve this opinion, as may appear in their commentaries upon the words of our

tor and Auceps, who were not very Saviour to Martha, (Luke x, 41, 42.)

learned persons. The grand conclu“ And on the contrary, there want not

sion he draws from this vast display men of equal authority and credit, that of authorities, is, that prefer action to be the more excellent ; “ In the Scripture, Angling is always as namely experiments in physic, and the taken in the best sense, and that though application of it, both for the ease and pro- Hunting may be sometimes so taken, yet longation of man's life ; by which each it is but seldom to be so understood. And man is enabled to act and do good to others; let me add this more, he that views the either to serve his country, or do good to

ancient Ecclesiastical Canons, shall find particular persons; and they say also, that hunting to be forbidden to Churchmen, is action is doctrinal, and teaches both art and being a turbulent, toilsone, perplexog virtue, and is a maintainer of humane so- recreation; and shall find Angling allered ciety; and for these and other like reasons to Clergymen, as being a harmless rereato be preferred before contemplation.

tion, a recreation that invites them trcon“ Concerning which two opinions I shall templation and quietness." forbear to add a third by declaring my own, and rest myself contented in telling you,

Nothing in the whole vol me is

more characteristic of Waltors style my very worthy friend, that both these

than the following quotatia. We meet together, and do most properly belong to the most honest, ingenuous, quiet, old Dr Nowel ; but we wanthe wood

wish we could also quote th effigy of and harmless art of Angling.

“ And first, I shall tell you what some cut-block-so, gentle readr, look at have observed, and I have found it to be a George Buchanan on ou, cover, and real truth, that the very sitting by the ri. you will have a tolerablygood idea of

the phiz of the honest angling “Dean by them this is written, " That he died of the Cathedral Church of St Paul's 13 Feb. 1601, being aged 95 years, 44 of in London, 1550.” By the way, we

which he had been Dean of St Paul's wonder if George Buchanan was an

Church ; and that his age had neither im. angler. Is there anything about it in paired his hearing, nor dimmed his eyes,

nor weakened his memory, nor made any his Latin poems? We hope that we

of the faculties of his mind weak or use. are not shewing our ignorance in put- less." "Tis said that Angling and Temting this query.

a man.

perance were great causes of these bless“ I might here enlarge myself by telling ings, and I wish the like to all that imi. you, what commendations our learned Per. tate him, and love the memory of so good kins bestows on Angling : and how dear a lover, and great a practiser of it our learn. “ My next and last example shall be ed Doctor Whitaker was, as indeed many that under-valuer of money, the late Proothers of great learning have been. But I vost of Eton College, Sir Henry Wotton, will content myself with two memorable a man with whom I have often fished and men, that lived near to our own time, conversed, a man whose foreign employ, whom I also take to have been ornamcats ments in the service of this nation, and to the art of Angling.

whose experience, learning, wit, and cheer“ The first is Doctor Nowell, some time fulness, made his company to be esteemed Dean of the Cathedral Church of St Paul's one of the delights of mankind : this man, in London, where his monument stands whose very approbation of Angling were yet undefaced : a man that in the Refor- sufficient to convince any modest censurer mation of Queen Elizabeth, not that of of it, this man was also a most dear lover, Henry VIII., was so noted for his meek and a frequent practiser of the art of Ang. spirit, deep learning, prudence and piety, ling; of which he would say, “ 'Twas an that the then Parliament and Convocation employment for his idle time, which was both, chose, enjoined, and trusted him to be then not idly spent :' for Angling was, the man to make a Catechism for public after tedious study, “a rest to his mind, a use, such a one as should stand as a rule cheerer of his spirits, a diverter of sadness, for faith and manners to their posterity. a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a moderator And the good old man, though he was of passions, a procurer of contentedness :' very learned, yet knowing that God leads and that it begat habits of peace and us not to heaven by many nor by hard patience in those that professed and prac. questions, like an honest Angler, made tised it.' Indeed, my friend, you will find that good, plain, unperplexed Catechism Angling to be like the virtue of Humility, which is printed with our good old Service, which has a calmness of spirit, and a world Book. I say, this good man was a dear of other blessings attending upon it. lover, and constant practiser of Angling, “ Sir, this was the saying of that learn. as any age can produce; and his custom ed man, and I do easily believe that peace, was to spend besides his fixed hours of and patience, and a calm content, did coprayer, those hours which by command of habit in the cheerful heart of Sir Henry the Church were enjoined the Clergy, and Wotton, because I know that when he was voluntarily dedicated to devotion by many beyond seventy years of age, he made this primitive Christians : I say, besides those description of a part of the present pleasure hours, this good man was observed to spend that possessed him, as he sat quietly in a a tenth part of his time in Angling ; and Summer's evening on a bank a-fishing ; it also, for I have conversed with those which is a description of the Spring, which, behave conversed with him, to bestow a tenth cause it glided as soft and sweetly from his part of his revenue, and usually all his pen, as that river does at this time, by which fish, amongst the poor that inhabited near it was then made, I shall repeat it unto to those rivers in which it was caught ; you. saying often, . That Charity gave life to This day dame Nature seem'd in love ; Religion :' and at his return to his house The lusty sap began to move ; would praise God he had spent that day Fresh juice did stir th' embracing vines, free from worldly trouble ; both harmless. And birds had drawn their valentines ; ly, and in a recreation that became a The jealous Trout, that low did lie, Churchman. And this good man was well Rose at a well dissembled fly ; content, if not desirous, that posterity There stood my friend with patient skill, should know he was an Angler, as may Attending of his trembling quill. appear by his picture, now to be seen, and Already were the eaves possest carefully kept in Brazen-nose College, to With the swift Pilgrim's daubed nest : which he was a liberal benefactor, in which The groves already did rejoice, picture he is drawn leaning on a desk with In Philomel's triumphing voice: his Bible before him, and on one hand of The showers were short, the weather mild, him his lines, hooks, and other tackling The morning fresh, the evening smil'd. lying in a round; and on his other hand Joan takes her neat rub'd pail, and now are his Angle-rods of several sorts : and She trips to milk the sand-red cow;

stream.

cess

ness.

Where, for some sturdy foot-ball swain Do welcome with their Quire the Summer's Joan strokes a syllabub or twain.

Queen. The fields and gardens were beset

The meadows fair where Flora's gifts With Tulips, Crocus, Violet ;

among And now, though late, the modest Rose Are intermix'd, with verdant grass between. Did more than half a blush disclose. The silver-scaled fish that softly swim Thus all looks gay, and full of cheer, Within the sweet brook's crystal watery To welcome the new livery'd year.”

All these and many niorc of His creation “ These were the thoughts that then That made the heavens, the Angler oft possessed the undisturbed mind of Sir Hen

doth see ; ry Wotton. W'ill you hear the wish of an- Taking therein no little delectation, other Angler, and the commendation of his To think how strange, how wonderful they happy life, which he also sings in verse ?

be; viz. Jo. Davors, Esq. ;

Framing thereof an inward contemplation, Let me live harmlessly, and near the brink

To set his heart from other fancies free; Of Trent or Avon have a dwelling-place ;

And whilst he looks on these with joyful Where I may see my quill or cork down

eye, sink

His mind is wrapt above the starry sky. With eager bite of Perch, or Bleak, or “ Sir, I am glad my memory has not Dace,

lost these last verses, because they are someAnd on the World and my Creator think; what more pleasant and more suitable to Whilst some men strive ill gotten goods Maij-day, than my harsh discourse, and t'embrace,

I am glad your patience hath held out so And others spend their time in base ex- long, as to hear them and me; for both of

them have brought us within the sight of Of wine, or worse, in war and wanton. the Thatched-house : and I must be your

debtor, if you think it worth your attention, Let them that list these pastimes still pur. for the rest of my prontised discourse, till sue,

some other opportunity, and a like time of And on such pleasing fancies feed their fill, leisure. So I the fields and meadows green may “ VEN. Sir, you have angled me on view,

with much pleasure to the Thatched-house, And daily by fresh Rivers walk at will;

and I now find your words true, • That Among the Daisies and the Violets blue,

good company makes the way seem short ;' Red Hyacinth, and yellow Daffodil, for, trust me, sir, I thought we had want

Purple Narcissus like the morning rays, ed three miles of this house till you shewed Pale Gander-grass, and azure Culver it to me; but now we are at it, we'll turn keys.

into it, and refresh ourselves with a cup of I count it higher pleasure to behold drink, and a little rest. The stately compass of the lofty sky, “ Pisc. Most gladly, sir, and we'll And in the midst thereof, like burning drink a civil cup to all the Otter hunters gold,

that are to meet you to-morrow. The flaming chariot of the world's great “ Ven. That we will, sir ; and to all eye ;

the lovers of Angling too, of which num. The watery clouds that in the air up rollid, ber I am now willing to be one myself; With sundry kinds of painted colours fly,

for by the help of your good discourse and And fair Aurora lifting up her head,

company, I have put on new thoughts both Still blushing, rise from old Tithonus' of the art of Angling, and of all that probed.

fess it; and if you will but meet me to. The hills and mountains raised from the

morrow, at the time and place appointed, plains,

and bestow one day with me and my friends The plains extended level with the ground,

in hunting the Otter, I will dedicate the The grounds divided into sundry veins,

next two days to wait upon you, and we The veins enclos'd with rivers running two will for that time do nothing but Angle,

and talk of fish and fishing. These rivers making way through Nature's “ Pisc. "Tis a match, sir ; I'll not fail chains

you, God willing, to be at Amwell-hill toWith headlong course into the sea pro- morrow morning before Sun-rising." found;

Next day the three friends meet, The raging sea, beneath the valleys low,

and Piscator undertakes to initiate Where lakes, and rills, and rivulets dó

Venator and Auceps into the mysteflow. The lofty woods, the forests wide and long,

rious craft of angling. Fain would we Adorn'd with leaves and branches fresh and

extract largely, but where should we

stop? For we hear the very rustling green, In whose cool bowers the birds with many of the reeds, we smell the field-flowers, a song,

and not a fish leaps that we do not list

round;

but I pray

his plunge. No doubt the angler alone gale: her voice was good, and the ditty can enter fully into the spirit of the fitted for it ; 'twas that smooth song, dialogue; but its pure and natural which was made by Kit. Marlow, now at English, so easy and idiomative, every least fifty years ago ; and the Milk-maid's scholar will feel-indeed, scholar or mother sung an answer to it, which was not, every reader with an ear and a made by Sir Walter Raleigh in his youngsoul. So let us conclude with a good er days. long extract.

“ They were old-fashioned poetry, but " Ven. A match, good Master, let's choicely good ; I think much better than go to that house, for the linen looks white, the strong lines that are now in fashion and smells of lavender, and I long to lie

in this critical age. Look yonder! on in a pair of sheets that smell so : let's be my word, yonder they both be a-milking going, good Master, for I am hungry again again. I will give her the Chub, and perwith fishing

suade them to sing those two songs to us. “ Pisc. Nay, stay a little, good Scho

“God speed you, good woman, I have lar ; I caught my last Trout with a worm,

been a-fishing, and am going to Bleaknow I will put on a Minnow, and try a

Hall to my bed, and having caught more quarter of an hour about yonder trees for fish than will sup myself and my friend, I another, and so walk towards our lodging. will bestow this upon you and your daughLook you, Scholar, thereabout we shall

ter, for I use to sell none. have a bite presently, or not at all : have

“ MILK-W. Marry, God requite you, with you, sir ! o' my word I have hold of Sir, and we'll eat it cheerfully; and if him. Oh, it is a great logger-headed you come this way a-fishing two months Chub; come, hang him upon that willow hence, a grace of God I'll give you a syltwig, and let's be going. But turn out of labub of new verjuice in a new-made haythe way a little, good Scholar, towards cock for it, and my Maudlin shall sing yonder high honey-suckle hedge; there you one of her best ballads; for she and we'll sit and sing whilst this shower falls I both love all Anglers, they be such hoso gently upon the teeming earth, and nest, civil, quiet men: in the meantime, gives yet a sweeter smell to the lovely will you drink a draught of Red-cow's flowers that adorn these verdant mea

milk? you shall have it freely. dows.

« Pisc. No, I thank you ; “ Look, under that broad beech-tree I do us a courtesy that shall stand you and sat down, when I was last this way &- your daughter in nothing, and yet

we will fishing, and the birds in the adjoining think ourselves still something in your grove seemed to have a friendly conten- debt : it is but to sing us a song, that was tion with an echo, whose dead voice sung by your daughter, when I last passseemed to live in a hollow tree, near to ed over this meadow, about eight or nine the brow of that primrose-hill; there I days since. sat viewing the silver streams glide silent

« MILK-W. What song was it, I pray? ly towards their centre, the tempestuous

Was it, Come Shepherds deck your herds ? sea ; yet sometimes opposed by rugged or, as at noon Dulcinea rested ? or, Philroots, and pebble stones, which broke lida flouts me! or, Chevy Chace ! or, their waves, and turned them into foam; Johnny Armstrong i or, Troy Town and sometimes I beguiled time by view.

“ PISC. No, it is none of those : it is a ing the harmless lambs, some leaping se- song, that your daughter sung the first curely in the cool shade, whilst others part, and you sung the answer

to it. sported themselves in the cheerful sun;

“ MILK-W. 0, I know it now; I learnand saw others craving comfort from the ed the first part in my golden age, when swollen udders of their bleating dams. As

I was about the age of my poor daughI thus sat, these and other sights had so ter; and the latter part, which indeed fully possessed my soul with content, that

fits me best now, but two or three years I thought, as the poet has happily express

ago, when the cares of the world began ed it ;

to take hold of me; but you shall, God • I was for that time lifted above earth; willing, hear them both, and sung as well And possess'd joys not promised in my

As we can, for we both love Anglers. birth.'

Come, Maudlin, sing the first part to the “ As I left this place, and entered in. gentlemen with a merry heart, and I'll to the next field, a second pleasure enter- sing the second, when you have done.

'twas a handsome Milk-maid that had not yet attained so much age and

THE MILK-MAID'S SONG. wisdom as to load her mind with any fears “ COME live with me, and be my Love, of many things that will nerer be, as too And we will all the pleasures prove, many men too often do; but she cast. That valleys, groves, or hills or field, away all care, and sung like a nightin- Or woods, and steepy mountains yield. VOL. XIV.

3 P

tained me;

« PreviousContinue »