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eating, but is sustained, none but He whose name is Wonderful knows how: I say, put your hook, I mean the arming wire, through his mouth, and out at his gills, and then, with a fine needle and silk, sew the upper part of his leg with only one stitch to the arming wire of your hook, or tie the frog's leg, above the upper joint, to the armed wire; and, in so doing, use him as though you loved him, that is, harm him as little as you may possibly”—(why-does the reader think ?from pity of his sufferings ? — No, but) “ that he may live the longer !" -Once more. “ These live baits may make sport, being tied about the body or wings of a goose or duck, and she chased over a pond : and the like may be done with turning three or four live baits thus fastened to bladders, or boughs, or bottles of hay or flags, to swim down a river, whilst you walk quietly on the shore, and are still in expectation of sport !" Is the reader satisfied ? or does he desire a few more morsels in the following taste ? “ Take a carp, alire if possible, scour him, and rub him clean with salt and water; then open him, and put him with his blood and his liver, &c.” Is it conceivable that these atrocities can proceed from the really kind, simple-hearted, and benevolent Isaac Walton ?- -so sincere a lover of the calm delights of the country-so happy a wanderer“ by hedge-row elms, on hillocks green" so enraptured a listener to the nightingale's song or the cuckoo's voice-in short, with altogether so pure a taste, and so unaffected a feeling for all the best sources of mental pleasure? How strangely do the foregoing details appear in contrast with the following passage. “ How do the blackbird and throssel, with their melodious voices, bid welcome to the cheerful spring, and in their fixed months warble forth such ditties as no art of instrument' can reach to !-Nay, the smaller birds also do the like in their particular seasons, as, namely, the laverock, the tit-lark, the little linnet, and the honest robin, that loves mankind both living and dead. But the nightingale, another of my airy creatures, breathes such sweet loud music out of her little instrumental throat, that it might make mankind to think that miracles are not ceased.
He that at midnight, when the very labourer sleeps securely, should hear, as I have very often, the clear airs, the sweet descants, the natural rising and falling, the doubling and redoubling of her voice, might well be lifted above earth, and say, Lord, what music hast thou provided for the saints in heaven, when thou affordest bad men such music on earth !” Again :-“When I would beget content, and increase confidence in the power and wisdom and providence of God, I will walk the meadows by some gliding stream, and there contemplate the lilies that take no care, and those very many other various little living creatures, that are not only created but fed, man knows not how, by the goodness of the God of Nature, and therefore trust in him. This is my purpose ; and so let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.”. This is his purpose, he says; and in pursu. ance of it he forthwith impales upon a barbed hook one of these a little living creatures” that are “ created and fed by the goodness of the God of Nature”— to be swallowed by another of them, as a means of draging the latter out of the “ gliding stream,” in which, according to Milton's own opinion, the “goodness of God" had placed it--and all purely and avowedly for the sport's sake! “ And so,” he concludes,
let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord," -- including the frog that has just been sewed to his hook by the leg, with the wire run
through his mouth and out at his gills”-- and the fish that has thus been enticed to “ gorge” the said hook and wire, and has had them torn up from out his quivering vitals, and is put on one side to die in lingering torments! Surely, there never was, or will be, such another example of pure and heartfelt kindliness and piety, united to such a heart-sickening and selfish want of feeling and consistency-so sincerely delighted a sense of the beauty and happiness that are every where scattered about us, joined to so callous a habit of wilfully destroying that beauty and happiness, for pure sport! For my part, I could more easily solve the riddle of the sphinx, than give a rational and satisfactory explanation of the following short passage, with which this most singular and unaccountable book closes. The pupil, in return for the instructions that Walton has been giving him about “ live baits," &c. calls for “ the blessing of Peter's master” upon his master; and this latter adds, “ And upon all that are lovers of virtue, and dare trust in his Providence, and be quiet, and go an angling."
However much I may wish to engender in the reader a hatred for. this execrable " sport," I would willingly leave him impressed with the same respect and affection that I myself feel towards the honest Isaac Walton. I shall, therefore, close this slight notice with a few specimens of his exquisite naiveté, simplicity, and enthusiasm ;--all of which would be perfectly delightful, if they were not worse than cast away on such a subject. I have said that he is unaffectedly kindhearted. He is so much so, that he cannot bring himself to hate any thing—not even the worst things, except otters. But these he abuses in set terms, calling them “ villainous vermin,” and “ base otters;" and he assures us that he “ hates them perfectly, because they love fish sú well; or rather, because they destroy so much." Next to otters, he dislikes scoffers, because he has heard that they rail at his beloved pursuit. He makes it a point of conscience to dislike them, “because I account them enemies to me, and to all that love virtue and angling!" With him the terms are convertible ;-see what he says afterwards to the same effect: “ It (angling) will prove like virtue, a reward to itself.” Again, he describes his deceased friend, Sir George Hastings,
an excellent angler, and now with God," as if he believed, which he undoubtedly did, that the one is the surest and shortest road to the other. Hcar, also, what he says of Dr. Nowel, Dean of St. Paul's : “ And the good old man, though he was very learned, yet knowing that God leads us not to heaven by many nor by hard questions, like an honest angler," —did what, does the reader think?—why, “ made that good, plain, unperplexed catechism which is printed with our good old service-book!" Describing the same person, he continues—“ his custom was to spend, besides his fixed hours of prayer, (those hours which by command of the church were enjoined the clergy, and voluntarily dedicated to devotion by many primitive Christians,) I say, besides those hours, this good man was observed to spend a tenth part of his time in angling," which he (Walton) considers as, par excellence, • a recreation that became a churchman.” And then he goes on to describe his picture in Brazen Nose college; " in which picture he is drawn leaning on a desk, with his Bible before him, and on the one
66 Trust me,
hand of him lines, "hooks, and other tackling, lying in a round; and on his other hand his angle-rods of several sorts." It is evident from all this, that Walton thought Dr. Nowel, as he was a good angler, could not fail to be a good Christian. Numerous other passages might be pointed out, to shew that Walton actually felt, if he did not believe, that there is, in fact, some natural and necessary connexion between angling and virtue.' I will refer to one or two more on this point, as their characteristic naïveté is perfectly delightful. After having described, to his pupil, with infinite gusto, the best mode of dressing a pike, he adds, *. This dish of meat is too good for any but anglers, or very honest men.". Again, speaking of a “brother of the angle,” he says he was
honest man, and a most excellent fly-fisher.” With him the two characters never occur separately. Nay, he carries his enthusiasm so far on this point, that he believes men are born to angling, as they are to poetry, and that without a genius for it they cannot succeed; angling is somewhat like poetry,--men are to be born so.” Finally, he has little doubt that a person thus gifted is equally capable of all other good works. His book contains several beautiful copies of verses ; but hear what he says of the most beautiful of them all : scholar, I thank you heartily for these verses: they be choicely good, and doubtless made by a lover of angling.” And yet there is not one word in them that would countenance this idea ; on the contrary, the few words that do refer to angling, tend to prove directly the opposite.
It is to be remarked, as another curious result of Walton's enthusiasm for angling, that it not only destroyed his excellent natural ieelings, but also his good sense and good taste, in all points connected with that subject. He had, generally speaking, an admirable taste for poetry; and yet because Du Bartas (that ideal of the bombastical and mock-heroic) says something about angling and fishes, Walton quotes him with ecstacy, and calls him “ the divine Du Bartas;" and believes and instances ever so many wild and ridiculous stories that he tells about the “ chaste mullet,” the “constant cantharus,” and the " adulterous sargus.” Nay, on this subject he believes and quotes that proverbial liar, Ferdinand Mendez Pinto himself.
I will now close my extracts by a short passage, which cannot fail to convey to the reader an apt idea of the peculiar style in which the Complete Angler is written: “ Piscator-And now, scholar, my direction for fly-fishing is ended with this shower, for it has done raining; and now look about you, and see how pleasantly that meadow looks ; nay, and the earth smells as sweetly too. Come, let you
what holy Mr. Herbert says of such days and flowers as these ; and then we will thank God that we enjoy them, and walk to the river and sit down quietly, and try to catch the other brace of trouts.”
Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
For thou must die.
And thou must die.
Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
And all must die.
Then chiefly lives.
AIR, FLY NOT YET."
To spy the blushing dawn;
Oh haste-oh haste
That decks the spangled lawn.
Or skylark's earlier lay:
Oh hasteroh haste
And watch the squirrel's play.
The timid hare to spy,
Oh haste-oh haste-
From day's too piercing eye.
ON THE GAME OF CHESS IN EUROPE DURING THE
THIRTEENTH CENTURY.* Before I proceed to an examination of the various MSS. consulted in drawing up the present Essay, I beg leave to make a few additional allusions to the ancient romances. In the romance of “ Tristan de Levnnois," written about the year 1120, Tristan goes to the court of King Pharamond for his education, where "tant creust et amenda tant que chascun s'en merveilloit, il sçeut tant des Eschez et des tables que nul ne l'en peult macter.". The romance of “ Ogier le Danois” is peculiarly interesting from the minute description it gives of a Game at Chess played between Charlot and Baldwin ; the tale is thus told :“Et quat ce vit sur le vespre tournoierent vng peu a la salle. Et il print voulente a charlot de iouer aur eschez: si dema’da a baudouin sil y scauoit rien et il respo'dit q'ouy. Adonc lui commanda quil allast querir leschequier et le fist et si tost quil fut venu chascu assist son ieu. Et quant charlot comenca a iouer tira rng petit paonnet et print ung cheualier et baudouyn q fin et soubtil estoit tira le sien et leua et print deux cheualiers. De son rey lui dist eschuc.
En lui disant monseigneur nous aurons tantost la fin de ce jeu. Puis couu'rit charlot son roc et prit ung paonnet. Adonc baudouyn trayt son cheualier et la mis au plus pres de son roy. Et charlot ne puoit point a plaisir, mais lui dist plusieurs fois laissez celle raille ou ie vous iure ma foy q' vous en repentirez. Monseigneur se dist baudouyn cela vault mieulx que tout le ieu car le ieu des eschez est de telle propriete quil ne dema'de que langaige joyeulz,” &c. This of course leads to more violent language, and terminates in Charlot's seizing the chess-board and dashing out the brains of Baldwin. In the sixth book of the “ Philicolo" of Boccacio, a game is described with similar minuteness, but the courteous conduct of Philicolo is a striking contrast to the insolent and overbearing behaviour of Baldwin : the former not only permits his petulant antagonist, a Castellan, to win several games, but when he at length wins and the other in a pet oversets the chess-board, addresses him in the following mild and soothing words,—“Signor mio, per cio che usanza de piu sauii di crucciarsi a questo giuoco, io voi men sauio non reputo, per che contra gli Scacchi crucciato siate; ma se voi haueste ben riguardato il giuoco prima che guastatolo, harreste conosciuto che io era in duo tratti matto da voi. Credo che 'l vedeste, ma per essermi cortese, monstra'doui crucciato uoleste il giuoco hauer perduto, ma cio non sia cosi. Questi bisanti siano tutti uostri,” &c.Sir, as it is customary for the wisest men to be vered at this game, I do not esteem you the less wise, because you vented your anger on the chess-men, but if you had considered the game well before you spoilt it, you would have known that in two moves you might have mated me. I believe you saw it, but in order to be courteous to me, appearing to be vexed, you pretended to have lost the game, but let that not be so. Let these besants be all yours, &c.
There are several MSS. on chess deposited in the British Museum, of which I shall attempt a description, commencing with the least important, and concluding with the more valuable ones.-MS. Sloan.