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Now, as an angler melancholy standing
Upon a greene bancke yeelding room for landing,
A wrigling yellow worme thrust on his hooke,
Now in the midst he throwes, then in a nooke:
Here pulls his line, there throws it in againe,
Mending his croke and baite, but all in vaine,
He long stands viewing of the curled streame;
At last a hungry pike, or well-growne breame,
Snatch at the worme, and hasting fast away
He, knowing it a fish of stubborne sway,
Puis up his rod, but soft; (as having skill)
Wherewith the hooke fast holds the fishe's gill.

Browse's Pastorals.

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Justly would all lovers of the "gentle-craft" wax wroth with us, were we to omit to chronicle in this month of April the commencement of their patient labours. In these fresh „ , t early spring mornings the spirit

*; of old Izaak Walton stirs in

"many a breast, and though the

; - '' words of the following song may not find an utterance from the lips—the feelings embodied in the words are aroused in many a youth, and drive him forth at dawn with fishing-tackle slung around him and a good rod in his hand.


Oh the gallant fisher's life,

It is the best of any;

'Tis full of pleasure, void of strife,

And 'tis beloved by many;

Other joys

Are but toys;

Only this

Lawful is;

For our skill

Breeds no ill,
But content and pleasure.

In a morning up we rise,
Ere Aurora's peeping,
Drink a cup to wash our eyes,
Leave the sluggard sleeping:

Then we go

To and fro

With our knacks

At our backs,

To such streams

As the Thames,
If we have the leisure.

When we please to walk abroad
For our recreation,
In the fields is our abode,
Full of delectation:

Where in a brook,

With a hook,

Or a lake

Fish we take,

Then we sit

For a bit
Till we fish entangle.

We have gentles in a horn
We have paste and worms too;
We can watch both eve and mon,
Surfer rain and storms too;

None do here

Use to swear;

Oaths do fray

Fish away;

We sit still

And watch our quill;
Fishers must not wrangle.

If the sun's excessive heat
Make our bodies swelter,



To an osier-hedge we get
For a friendly shelter;

Where in a dyke

Perch or pike

Roach or dace

We do chace,

Bleak or gudgeon

Without grudging;
We are still contented.

Or we sometimes pass an hour
Under a green willow,
That defends us from a shower,
Making earth our pillow;

Where we may

Think and pray,

Before death

Stops our breath:

Other joys

Are but toys And to be lamented.

Izaak Walton.


Here from old Izaak Walton's book again we find such a pleasant picture of a contemplative fisherman's peace of mind that we cannot resist laying it before our readers.

"My next and last example"—the good old man is pleading eloquently though quaintly, for the morality of his favourite sport—" shall be that undervaluer of money the late Provost of Eton College, Sir Henry Wotton, a man with whom I have often fished and conversed, a man whose foreign employments in the service of this nation, and whose experience, learning, wit, and cheerfulness, made his company to be esteemed one of the delights of mankind; this man, whose very approbation of angling were sufficient to convince any modest censurer of it, this man was also a most dear lover and frequent practiser of the art of angling; of which he would say, ''Twas an employment for his idle time, which was then not idly spent: for angling was, after tedious study, a rest to his mind, a cheerer of his spirits, a diverter of sadness, a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a moderator of passions, a procurer of contentedness; and that it begat habits of peace and patience in those that possessed and practised it.' Indeed, my friend, you will find angling to be like the virtue of humility, which has a calmness of spirit and a world of other blessings attending upon it.

"Sir, it was the saying of that learned man, and I do easily believe that peace and patience and a calm content did cohabit in the cheerful heart of Sir Henry Wotton, because I know, when he was beyond seventy years of age, he made this description of a part of the present pleasures that possessed him, as he sate quietly in a summer's evening on a bank a-fishing; it is a description of the spring, which because it glided as softly and sweetly from his pen, as that river does at this time, by which it was then made, I shall repeat it unto you:—

This day Dame Nature seem'd in love;

The lusty sap began to move:

Fresh juice did stir th' embracing vines,

And birds had drawn their valentines;

The jealous trout that low did lie,

Rose at a well-dissembled fly;

There stood my friend with patient skill,

Attending of his trembling quill.

Already were the caves possest

With the swift pilgrim's daubed nest:

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