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Title: The Complete Angler 1653
Author: Walton, Izaak, 1593-1683
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Complete Angler 1653" ***

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[Spelling, punctuation and capitalization are unchanged except as noted
at the end of the text.

Sidenotes are shown inline in [brackets]. The random use of asterisks
is as in the original. The 1653 text used brackets to supplement
marginal quotation marks. These have been replaced by conventional
"quotation marks". A handful of superscripts (w^{th}) have been
"unpacked" to the complete word; titles such as "M^r." are written
inline (Mr.).]





Being a

  Facsimile Reprint of the First Edition
  published in 1653. With a Preface by




_The "first edition" has been a favourite theme for the scorn of those
who love it not. "The first edition--and the worst!" gibes a modern
poet, and many are the true lovers of literature entirely insensitive
to the accessory, historical or sentimental, associations of books. The
present writer possesses a copy of one of Walton's Lives, that of
Bishop Sanderson, with the author's donatory inscription to a friend
upon the title-page. To keep this in his little library he has
undergone willingly many privations, cheerfully faced hunger and cold
rather than let it pass from his hand; yet, how often when,
tremulously, he has unveiled this treasure to his visitors, how often
has it been examined with undilating eyes, and cold, unenvious hearts!
Yet so he must confess himself to have looked upon a friend's superb
first edition of "Pickwick" though surely not without that measure of
interest which all, save the quite unlettered or unintelligent, must
feel in seeing the first visible shape of a book of such resounding
significance in English literature._

_Such interest may, without fear of denial, be claimed for a facsimile
of the first edition of "The Compleat Angler" after "Robinson Crusoe"
perhaps the most popular of English classics. Thomas Westwood, whose
gentle poetry, it is to be feared, has won but few listeners, has drawn
this fancy picture of the commotion in St. Dunstan's Churchyard on a
May morning of the year 1653, when Richard Marriott first published the
famous discourse, little dreaming that he had been chosen for the
godfather of so distinguished an immortality. The lines form an
epilogue to twelve beautiful sonnets _à propos_ of the bi-centenary of
Walton's death:_

  "What, not a word for thee, O little tome,
  Brown-jerkined, friendly-faced--of all my books
  The one that wears the quaintest, kindliest looks--
  Seems most completely, cosily at home
  Amongst its fellows. Ah! if thou couldst tell
  Thy story--how, in sixteen fifty-three,
  Good Master Marriott, standing at its door,
  Saw Anglers hurrying--fifty--nay, three score,
  To buy thee ere noon pealed from Dunstan's bell:--
  And how he stared and ... shook his sides with glee.
  One story, this, which fact or fiction weaves.
  Meanwhile, adorn my shelf, beloved of all--
  Old book! with lavender between thy leaves,
  And twenty ballads round thee on the wall."

_Whether there was quite such a rush as this on its publishing day we
have no certain knowledge, though Westwood, in his "Chronicle of the
Compleat Angler" speaks of "the almost immediate sale of the entire
edition." According to Sir Harris Nicolas, it was thus advertised in
_The Perfect Diurnall: from Monday, May 9th, to Monday, May 16th,

_"The Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation, being a
discourse of Fish and Fishing, not unworthy the perusal of most
Anglers, of 18 pence price. Written by Iz. Wa. Also the Gipsee, never
known Play of the Spanish Gipsee, never till now published: Both printed
for Richard Marriot, to be sold at his shop in Saint Dunstan's
Churchyard, Fleet street."_

_And it was thus calmly, unexcitedly noticed in the _Mercurius
Politicus: from Thursday, May 12, to Thursday, May 19, 1653_: "There is
newly extant, a Book of 18d. price, called the Compleat Angler, or the
Contemplative Man's Recreation, being a discourse of Fish and Fishing,
not unworthy the perusal of most Anglers. Printed for Richard Marriot,
to be sold at his shop in St. Dunstan's Churchyard, Fleet street."_

_Thus for it, as for most great births, the bare announcement sufficed.
One of the most beautiful of the world's books had been born into
the world, and was still to be bought in its birthday form--for

_In 1816, Mr. Marston calculates, the market value was about £4 4s. In
1847 Dr. Bethune estimated it at £12 12s. In 1883 Westwood reckoned it
"from £70 to £80 or even more" and since then copies have fetched £235
and £310, though in 1894 we have a sudden drop at Sotheby's to £150--
which, however, was more likely due to the state of the copy than to
any diminution in the zeal of Waltonian collectors, a zeal, indeed,
which burns more ardently from year to year._

_Sufficiently out of reach of the poor collector as it is at present, it
is probable that it will mount still higher, and consent only to belong
to richer and richer men. And thus, in course of time, this facsimile
will, in clerical language, find an increasing sphere of usefulness;
for it is to those who have more instant demands to satisfy with their
hundred-pound notes that this facsimile is designed to bring
consolation. If it is not the rose itself, it is a photographic
refection of it, and it will undoubtedly give its possessor a
sufficiently faithful idea of its original._

_But, apart from the satisfaction of such curiosity, the facsimile has a
literary value, in that it differs very materially from succeeding
editions. The text by which "The Compleat Angler" is generally known is
that of the fifth edition, published in 1676, the last which Walton
corrected and finally revised, seven years before his death. But in the
second edition (1655) the book was already very near to its final
shape, for Walton had enlarged it by about a third, and the dialogue
was now sustained by three persons, Piscator, Venator and Auceps,
instead of two--the original "Viator" also having changed his name to
"Venator." Those interested in tracing the changes will find them all
laboriously noted in Sir Harris Nicolas's great edition. Of the further
additions made in the fifth edition, Sir Harris Nicolas makes this just
criticism: "It is questionable," he says, "whether the additions which
he then made to it have increased its interest. The garrulity and
sentiments of an octogenarian are very apparent in some of the
alterations; and the subdued colouring of religious feeling which
prevails throughout the former editions, and forms one of the charms of
the piece, is, in this impression, so much heightened as to become
almost obtrusive."_

_There is a third raison d'être for this facsimile, which to name with
approbation will no doubt seem impiety to many, but which, as a
personal predilection, I venture to risk--there is no Cotton! The
relation between Walton and Cotton is a charming incongruity to
contemplate, and one stands by their little fishing-house in Dovedale
as before an altar of friendship. Happy and pleasant in their lives, it
is good to see them still undivided in their deaths--but, to my mind,
their association between the boards of the same book mars a charming
classic. No doubt Cotton has admirably caught the spirit of his master,
but the very cleverness with which he has done it increases the sense
of parody with which his portion of the book always offends me. Nor can
I be the only reader of the book for whom it ends with that gentle
benediction--"And upon all that are lovers of virtue, and dare trust in
his providence, and be quiet, and go a Angling"--and that sweet
exhortation from 1 Thess. iv. 11--"Study to be quiet."_

_After the exquisite quietism of this farewell, it is distracting to
come precipitately upon the fine gentleman with the great wig and the
Frenchified airs. This is nothing against "hearty, cheerful Mr.
Cotton's strain" of which, in Walton's own setting and in his own
poetical issues, I am a sufficient admirer. Cotton was a clever
literary man, and a fine engaging figure of a gentleman, but, save by
the accident of friendship, he has little more claim to be printed
along with Walton than the gallant Col. Robert Venables, who, in the
fifth edition, contributed still a third part, entitled "The
Experienc'd Angler: or, Angling Improv'd. Being a General Discourse of
Angling," etc., to a book that was immortally complete in its first._

_While "The Compleat Angler" was regarded mainly as a text-book for
practical anglers, one can understand its publisher wishing to make it
as complete as possible by the addition of such technical appendices;
but now, when it has so long been elevated above such literary
drudgery, there is no further need for their perpetuation. For I
imagine that the men to-day who really catch fish, as distinguished
from the men who write sentimentally about angling, would as soon think
of consulting Izaak Walton as they would Dame Juliana Berners. But
anyone can catch fish--can he, do you say?--the thing is to have so
written about catching them that your book is a pastoral, the freshness
of which a hundred editions have left unexhausted,--a book in which the
grass is for ever green, and the shining brooks do indeed go on



                Compleat Angler
                     or the
              Contemplative Man's

             Being a Discourse of
               FISH and FISHING,
     Not unworthy the perusal of most _Anglers_.

  _Simon Peter_ said, I go a _fishing_; and they said,
         We also wil go with thee. _John 21.3_.

   _London_, Printed by _T. Maxes_ for RICH. MARRIOT,
    in _S. Dunstans_ Churchyard Fleet Street, 1653.]

  To the Right Worshipful


  Of MADELY Manor in the County of
  _Stafford_, Esq; My most honoured Friend.


_I have made so ill use of your former favors, as by them to be
encouraged to intreat that they may be enlarged to the _patronage_ and
_protection_ of this Book; and I have put on a modest confidence, that I
shall not be denyed, because 'tis a discourse of _Fish_ and _Fishing_,
which you both know so well, and love and practice so much._

_You are assur'd (though there be ignorant men of an other belief) that
_Angling_ is an Art; and you know that Art better then any that I know:
and that this is truth, is demostrated by the fruits of that pleasant
labor which you enjoy when you purpose to give rest to your mind, and
devest your self of your more serious business, and (which is often)
dedicate a day or two to this _Recreation_._

_At which time, if common Anglers should attend you, and be
eye-witnesses of the success, not of your fortune, but your skill, it
would doubtless beget in them an emulation to be like you, and that
emulation might beget an industrious diligence to be so: but I know it
is not atainable by common capacities._

_Sir, this pleasant curiositie of Fish and Fishing (of which you are so
great a Master) has been thought worthy the _pens_ and _practices_ of
divers in other Nations, which have been reputed men of great _Learning_
and _Wisdome_; and amongst those of this Nation, I remember Sir _Henry
Wotton_ (a dear lover of this Art) has told me, that his intentions
were to write a discourse of the Art, and in the praise of _Angling_,
and doubtless he had done so, if death had not prevented him; the
remembrance of which hath often made me sorry; for, if he had lived to
do it, then the unlearned _Angler_ (of which I am one) had seen some
Treatise of this Art worthy his perusal, which (though some have
undertaken it) I could never yet see in English._

_But mine may be thought: as weak and as _unworthy_ of common view: and
I do here freely confess, that I should rather excuse my self, then
censure others my own Discourse being liable to so many exceptions;
against which, you (Sir) might make this one, _That it can contribute
nothing to your knowledge_; and lest a longer Epistle may diminish your
pleasure, I shall not adventure to make this Epistle longer then to add
this following truth, _That I am really, Sir_,_

  Your most affectionate Friend,
  and most humble Servant,

                            IZ. WA.



_Reader of this Discourse_:

But especially,

To the honest ANGLER.

I think fit to tell thee these following truths; that I did not
undertake to write, or to publish this discourse of _fish_ and
_fishing_, to please my self, and that I wish it may not displease
others; for, I have confest there are many defects in it. And yet, I
cannot doubt, but that by it, some readers may receive so much _profit_
or _pleasure_, as if they be not very busie men, may make it not
unworthy the time of their perusall; and this is all the confidence
that I can put on concerning the merit of this Book.

And I wish the Reader also to take notice, that in writing of it, I
have made a recreation, of a recreation; and that it might prove so to
thee in the reading, and not to read _dull_, and _tediously_, I have in
severall places mixt some innocent Mirth; of which, if thou be a
severe, sowr complexioned man, then I here disallow thee to be a
competent Judg. For Divines say, _there are offences given; and
offences taken, but not given_. And I am the willinger to justifie this
_innocent Mirth_, because the whole discourse is a kind of picture of
my owne disposition, at least of my disposition in such daies and times
as I allow my self, when honest _Nat._ and _R. R._ and I go a fishing
together; and let me adde this, that he that likes not the discourse,
should like the pictures the _Trout_ and other fish, which I may
commend, because they concern not my self.

And I am also to tel the Reader, that in that which is the more usefull
part of this discourse; that is to say, the observations of the _nature_
and _breeding_, and _seasons_, and _catching of fish_, I am not so
simple as not to think but that he may find exceptions in some of these;
and therefore I must intreat him to know, or rather note, that severall
Countreys, and several Rivers alter the _time_ and _manner_ of fishes
Breeding; and therefore if he bring not candor to the reading of this
Discourse, he shall both injure me, and possibly himself too by too many

Now for the Art of catching fish; that is to say, how to make a man
that was none, an Angler by a book: he that undertakes it, shall
undertake a harder task then _Hales_ that in his printed Book*
[*Called the private School of defence] undertook by it to teach
the Art of Fencing, and was laught at for his labour. Not but that
something usefull might be observed out of that Book; but that Art
was not to be taught by words; nor is the Art of Angling. And yet, I
think, that most that love that Game, may here learn something that may
be worth their money, if they be not needy: and if they be, then my
advice is, that they forbear; for, I write not to get money, but for
pleasure; and this discourse boasts of no more: for I hate to promise
much, and fail.

But pleasure I have found both in the _search_ and _conference_ about
what is here offered to thy view and censure; I wish thee as much in
the perusal of it, and so might here take my leave; but I will stay
thee a little longer by telling thee, that whereas it is said by many,
that in _Fly-fishing_ for a _Trout_, the Angler must observe his twelve
_Flyes_ for every Month; I say, if he observe that, he shall be as
certain to catch fish, as they that make Hay by the fair dayes in
Almanacks, and be no surer: for doubtless, three or four _Flyes_ rightly
made, do serve for a _Trout_ all _Summer_, and for _Winter-flies_, all
_Anglers_ know, they are as useful as an _Almanack_ out of date.

Of these (because no man is born an _Artist_ nor an _Angler_) I thought
fit to give thee this notice. I might say more, but it is not fit for
this place; but if this Discourse which follows shall come to a second
impression, which is possible, for slight books have been in this Age
observed to have that fortune; I shall then for thy sake be glad to
correct what is faulty, or by a conference with any to explain or
enlarge what is defective: but for this time I have neither a
willingness nor leasure to say more, then wish thee a rainy evening to
read this book in, and that the east wind may never blow when thou
goest a fishing. Farewel.

                       IZ. WA.


Because in this Discourse of _Fish_ and _Fishing_ I have not observed
a method, which (though the Discourse be not long) may be some
inconvenience to the Reader, I have therefore for his easier finding
out some particular things which are spoken of, made this following

_The first Chapter is spent in a _vindication_ or _commendation_ of the
Art of _Angling_._

_In the second are some observations of the nature of the _Otter_, and
also some observations of the _Chub_ or _Cheven_, with directions how
and with what baits to _fish_ for him._

_In _chapt. 3._ are some observations of _Trouts_, both of their
_nature_, their _kinds_, and their _breeding_._

_In _chap. 4._ are some direction concerning baits for the _Trout_, with
advise how to make the _Fly_, and keep the live baits._

_In _chap. 5._ are some direction how to fish for the _Trout_ by night;
and a question, Whether fish bear? and lastly, some direction how to
fish for the _Umber_ or _Greyling_._

_In _chap. 6._ are some observations concerning the _Salmon_, with
direction how to _fish_ for him._

_In _chap. 7._ are several observations concerning the _Luce_ or _Pike_,
with some directions how and with what baits to fish for him._

_In _chap. 8._ are several observations of the nature and breeding of
_Carps_, with some observations how to _angle_ for them._

_In _chap. 9._ are some observations concerning the _Bream_, the
_Tench_, and _Pearch_, with some directions with what baits to _fish_
for them._

_In _chap. 10._ are several observations of the _nature_ and _breeding_
of _Eeles_, with advice how to fish for them._

_In _chap. 11._ are some observations of the nature and breeding of
_Barbels_, with some advice how, and with what baits to fish for them;
as also for the _Gudgion_ and _Bleak_._

_In _chap. 12._ are general directions how and with what baits to fish
for the _Russe_ or _Pope_, the _Roch_, the _Dace_, and other small
fish, with directions how to keep _Ant-flies_ and _Gentles_ in winter,
with some other observations not unfit to be known of _Anglers_._

_In _chap. 13._ are observations for the colouring of your _Rod_ and

These directions the Reader may take as an ease in his search after
some particular Fish, and the baits proper for them; and he will shew
himselfe courteous in mending or passing by some errors in the Printer,
which are not so many but that they may be pardoned.


The Complete



The contemplative Mans


    { PISCATOR }
    { VIATOR   }

_Piscator._ You are wel overtaken Sir; a good morning to you; I have
stretch'd my legs up _Totnam Hil_ to overtake you, hoping your
businesse may occasion you towards _Ware_, this fine pleasant fresh
_May day_ in the Morning.

_Viator._ Sir. I shall almost answer your hopes: for my purpose is to
be at _Hodsden_ (three miles short of that Town) I wil not say, before
I drink; but before I break my fast: for I have appointed a friend or
two to meet me there at the _thatcht house_, about nine of the clock
this morning; and that made me so early up, and indeed, to walk so fast.

_Pisc._ Sir, I know the _thatcht house_ very well: I often make it my
resting place, and taste a cup of Ale there, for which liquor that
place is very remarkable; and to that house I shall by your favour
accompany you, and either abate of my pace, or mend it, to enjoy such a
companion as you seem to be, knowing that (as the Italians say) _Good
company makes the way seem shorter_.

_Viat._ It may do so Sir, with the help of good discourse, which (me
thinks) I may promise from you, that both look and speak so cheerfully.
And to invite you to it, I do here promise you, that for my part, I
will be as free and open-hearted, as discretion will warrant me to be
with a stranger.

_Pisc._ Sir, I am right glad of your answer; and in confidence that you
speak the truth, I shall (Sir) put on a boldness to ask, whether
pleasure or businesse has occasioned your Journey.

_Viat._ Indeed, Sir, a little business, and more pleasure: for my
purpose is to bestow a day or two in hunting the _Otter_ (which my
friend that I go to meet, tells me is more pleasant then any hunting
whatsoever:) and having dispatched a little businesse this day, my
purpose is tomorrow to follow a pack of dogs of honest Mr. ---- ----,
who hath appointed me and my friend to meet him upon _Amwel hill_ to
morrow morning by day break.

_Pisc._ Sir, my fortune hath answered my desires; and my purpose is to
bestow a day or two in helping to destroy some of those villainous
vermin: for I hate them perfectly, because they love fish so well, or
rather, because they destroy so much: indeed, so much, that in my
judgment, all men that keep Otter dogs ought to have a Pension from the
Commonwealth to incourage them to destroy the very breed of those base
_Otters_, they do so much mischief.

_Viat._ But what say you to the _Foxes_ of this Nation? would not you
as willingly have them destroyed? for doubtlesse they do as much
mischief as the _Otters_.

_Pisc._ Oh Sir, if they do, it is not so much to me and my Fraternitie,
as that base Vermin the _Otters_ do.

_Viat._ Why Sir, I pray, of what Fraternity are you, that you are so
angry with the poor _Otter_?

_Pisc._ I am a Brother of the _Angle_, and therefore an enemy to the
_Otter_, he does me and my friends so much mischief; for you are to
know, that we _Anglers_ all love one another: and therefore do I hate
the _Otter_ perfectly, even for their sakes that are of my Brotherhood.

_Viat._ Sir, to be plain with you, I am sorry you are an _Angler_: for
I have heard many grave, serious men pitie, and many pleasant men scoff
at _Anglers_.

_Pisc._ Sir, There are many men that are by others taken to be serious
grave men, which we contemn and pitie; men of sowre complexions;
mony-getting-men, that spend all their time first in getting, and next
in anxious care to keep it: men that are condemn'd to be rich, and
alwayes discontented, or busie. For these poor-rich-men, wee Anglers
pitie them; and stand in no need to borrow their thoughts to think our
selves happie: For (trust me, Sir) we enjoy a contentednesse above the
reach of such dispositions.

And as for any scoffer, _qui mockat mockabitur_. Let mee tell you,
(that you may tell him) what the wittie French-man [_The Lord Mountagne
in his Apol. for Ra. Sebond._] sayes in such a Case. _When my _Cat_ and
I entertaine each other with mutuall apish tricks (as playing with a
garter,) who knows but that I make her more sport then she makes me?
Shall I conclude her simple, that has her time to begin or refuse
sportivenesse as freely as I my self have? Nay, who knows but that our
agreeing no better, is the defect of my not understanding her language?
(for doubtlesse Cats talk and reason with one another) and that shee
laughs at, and censures my folly, for making her sport, and pities mee
for understanding her no better?_ To this purpose speaks _Mountagne_
concerning _Cats_: And I hope I may take as great a libertie to blame
any Scoffer, that has never heard what an Angler can say in the
justification of his Art and Pleasure.

But, if this satisfie not, I pray bid the Scoffer put this Epigram into
his pocket, and read it every morning for his breakfast (for I wish him
no better;) Hee shall finde it fix'd before the Dialogues of _Lucian_
(who may be justly accounted the father of the Family of all
_Scoffers_:) And though I owe none of that Fraternitie so much as good
will, yet I have taken a little pleasant pains to make such a
conversion of it as may make it the fitter for all of that Fraternity.

  _Lucian_ well skill'd in _scoffing_, this has writ,
  Friend, that's your folly which you think your wit;
  This you vent oft, void both of _wit_ and _fear_,
  Meaning an other, when your self you jeer.

But no more of the _Scoffer_; for since _Solomon_ sayes, [Pro 24. 9.] he
is an abomination to men, he shall be so to me; and I think, to all that
love _Vertue_ and _Angling_.

_Viat._ Sir, you have almost amazed me: for though I am no Scoffer, yet
I have (I pray let me speak it without offence) alwayes look'd upon
_Anglers_ as more patient, and more simple men, then (I fear) I shall
finde you to be.

_Piscat._ Sir, I hope you will not judge my earnestnesse to be
impatience: and for my _simplicitie_, if by that you mean a
_harmlessnesse_, or that _simplicity_ that was usually found in the
Primitive Christians, who were (as most _Anglers_ are) quiet men, and
followed peace; men that were too wise to sell their consciences to buy
riches for vexation, and a fear to die. Men that lived in those times
when there were fewer Lawyers; for then a Lordship might have been
safely conveyed in a piece of Parchment no bigger then your hand,
though several skins are not sufficient to do it in this wiser Age. I
say, Sir, if you take us Anglers to be such simple men as I have spoken
of, then both my self, and those of my profession will be glad to be so
understood. But if by simplicitie you meant to expresse any general
defect in the understanding of those that professe and practice
_Angling_, I hope to make it appear to you, that there is so much
contrary reason (if you have but the patience to hear it) as may remove
all the anticipations that Time or Discourse may have possess'd you
with, against that Ancient and laudable Art.

_Viat._ Why (Sir) is Angling of Antiquitie, and an Art, and an art
not easily learn'd?

_Pisc._ Yes (Sir:) and I doubt not but that if you and I were to
converse together but til night, I should leave you possess'd with the
same happie thoughts that now possesse me; not onely for the Antiquitie
of it, but that it deserves commendations; and that 'tis an Art; and
worthy the knowledge and practice of a wise, and a serious man.

_Viat._ Sir, I pray speak of them what you shall think fit; for wee
have yet five miles to walk before wee shall come to the _Thatcht
house_. And, Sir, though my infirmities are many, yet I dare promise
you, that both my patience and attention will indure to hear what you
will say till wee come thither: and if you please to begin in order
with the antiquity, when that is done, you shall not want my attention
to the commendations and accommodations of it: and lastly, if you shall
convince me that 'tis an Art, and an Art worth learning, I shall beg I
may become your Scholer, both to wait upon you, and to be instructed in
the Art it self.

_Pisc._ Oh Sir, 'tis not to be questioned, but that it is an art, and
an art worth your Learning: the question wil rather be, whether you be
capable of learning it? For he that learns it, must not onely bring an
enquiring, searching, and discerning wit; but he must bring also that
_patience_ you talk of, and a love and propensity to the art itself:
but having once got and practised it, then doubt not but the Art will
(both for the pleasure and profit of it) prove like to _Vertue, a
reward to it self_.

_Viat._ Sir, I am now become so ful of expectation, that I long much to
have you proceed in your discourse: And first, I pray Sir, let me hear
concerning the antiquity of it.

_Pisc._ Sir, I wil preface no longer, but proceed in order as you
desire me: And first for the Antiquity of _Angling_, I shall not say
much; but onely this; Some say, it is as ancient as _Deucalions_ Floud:
[J. Da.] and others (which I like better) say, [Jer. Mar] that _Belus_
(who was the inventer of godly and vertuous Recreations) was the
Inventer of it: and some others say, (for former times have had their
Disquisitions about it) that _Seth_, one of the sons of _Adam_, taught
it to his sons, and that by them it was derived to Posterity. Others
say, that he left it engraven on those Pillars which hee erected to
preserve the knowledg of the _Mathematicks_, _Musick_, and the rest of
those precious Arts, which by Gods appointment or allowance, and his
noble industry were thereby preserved from perishing in _Noah's_ Floud.

These (my worthy Friend) have been the opinions of some men, that
possibly may have endeavoured to make it more ancient then may well be
warranted. But for my part, I shall content my self in telling you,
That _Angling_ is much more ancient then the incarnation of our
Saviour: For both in the Prophet _Amos_, [Chap. 4. 2.] and before him in
_Job_, [Chap. 41.] (which last Book is judged to be written by _Moses_)
mention is made _fish-hooks_, which must imply _Anglers_ in those

But (my worthy friend) as I would rather prove my self to be a
Gentleman, by being _learned_ and _humble_, _valiant_ and _inoffensive_,
_vertuous_ and _communicable_, then by a fond ostentation of _riches_;
or (wanting these Vertues my self) boast that these were in my
Ancestors; [And yet I confesse, that where a noble and ancient Descent
and such Merits meet in any man, it is a double dignification of that
person:] and so, if this Antiquitie of Angling (which, for my part, I
have not forc'd) shall, like an ancient Familie, by either an honour, or
an ornament to this vertuous Art which I both love and practise, I shall
be the gladder that I made an accidental mention of it; and shall
proceed to the justification, or rather commendation of it.

_Viat._ My worthy Friend, I am much pleased with your discourse, for
that you seem to be so ingenuous, and so modest, as not to stretch
arguments into Hyperbolicall expressions, but such as indeed they will
reasonably bear; and I pray, proceed to the justification, or
commendations of Angling, which I also long to hear from you.

_Pisc._ Sir, I shall proceed; and my next discourse shall be rather a
Commendation, then a Justification of Angling: for, in my judgment, if
it deserves to be commended, it is more then justified; for some
practices what may be justified, deserve no commendation: yet there
are none that deserve commendation but may be justified.

And now having said this much by way of preparation, I am next to tell
you, that in ancient times a debate hath risen, (and it is not yet
resolved) Whether _Contemplation_ or _Action_ be the chiefest thing
wherin the happiness of a man doth most consist in this world?

Concerning which, some have maintained their opinion of the first, by
saying, "That the nearer we Mortals come to God by way of imitation,
the more happy we are:" And that God injoyes himself only by
_Contemplation_ of his own _Goodness_, _Eternity_, _Infiniteness_, and
_Power_, and the like; and upon this ground many of them prefer
_Contemplation_ before _Action_: and indeed, many of the Fathers seem
to approve this opinion, as may appear in their Comments upon the words
of our Saviour to *_Martha_. [* Luk. 10. 41, 42]

And contrary to these, others of equal Authority and credit, have
preferred _Action_ to be chief; as experiments in _Physick_, and the
application of it, both for the ease and prolongation of mans life, by
which man is enabled to act, and to do good to others: And they say
also, That _Action_ is not only Doctrinal, but a maintainer of humane
Society; and for these, and other reasons, to be preferr'd before

Concerning which two opinions, I shall forbear to add a third, by
declaring my own, and rest my self contented in telling you (my worthy
friend) that both these meet together, and do most properly belong to
the most honest, ingenious, harmless Art of Angling.

And first I shall tel you what some have observed, and I have found in
my self, That the very sitting by the Rivers side, is not only the
fittest place for, but will invite the Angler to Contemplation: That
it is the fittest place, seems to be witnessed by the children of
_Israel_*, [* Psal. 137.] who having banish'd all mirth and Musick from
their pensive hearts, and having hung up their then mute Instruments
upon the Willow trees, growing by the Rivers of _Babylon_, sate down
upon those banks bemoaning the _ruines of Sion_, and contemplating
their own sad condition.

And an ingenuous _Spaniard_ sayes, "That both Rivers, and the
inhabitants of the watery Element, were created for wise men to
contemplate, and fools to pass by without consideration." And though I
am too wise to rank myself in the first number, yet give me leave to
free my self from the last, by offering to thee a short contemplation,
first of Rivers, and then of Fish: concerning which, I doubt not but to
relate to you many things very considerable.

Concerning Rivers, there be divers wonders reported of them by Authors,
of such credit, that we need not deny them an Historical faith.

As of a River in _Epirus_, that puts out any lighted Torch, and kindles
any Torch that was not lighted. Of the River _Selarus_, that in a few
hours turns a rod or a wand into stone (and our _Camden_ mentions the
like wonder in _England_:) that there is a River in _Arabia_, of which
all the Sheep that drink thereof have their Wool turned into a
Vermilion colour. And one of no less credit then _Aristotle_, [In his
_Wonders of nature_.] tels us of a merry River, the River _Elusina_,
that dances at the noise of Musick, [This is confirmed by _Ennius_ and
_Solon_ in his holy History.] that with Musick it bubbles, dances, and
growes sandy, but returns to a wonted calmness and clearness when the
Musick ceases. And lastly, (for I would not tire your patience)
_Josephus_, that learned _Jew_, tells us of a River in _Judea_, that
runs and moves swiftly all the six dayes of the week, and stands still
and rests upon their _Sabbath_ day. But Sir, lest this discourse may
seem tedious, I shall give it a sweet conclusion out of that holy Poet
Mr. _George Herbert_ his Divine Contemplation on Gods providence.

  Lord, who hath praise enough, nay, who hath any?
  None can express thy works, but he that knows them:
  And none can know thy works, they are so many,
  And so complete, but only he that owes them.

  We all acknowledge both thy power and love
  To be exact, transcendent, and divine;
  Who does so strangely, and so sweetly move,
  Whilst all things have their end, yet none but thine.

  Wherefore, most Sacred Spirit, I here present
  For me, and all my fellows praise to thee:
  And just it is that I should pay the rent,
  Because the benefit accrues to me.

And as concerning Fish, in that Psalm, [Psal. 104.] wherein, for
height of Poetry and Wonders, the Prophet _David_ seems even to exceed
himself; how doth he there express himselfe in choice Metaphors, even
to the amazement of a contemplative Reader, concerning the Sea, the
Rivers, and the Fish therein contained. And the great Naturallist
_Pliny_ sayes, "That Natures great and wonderful power is more
demonstrated in the Sea, then on the Land." And this may appear by the
numerous and various Creatures, inhabiting both in and about that
Element: as to the Readers of _Gesner_, _Randelitius_, _Pliny_,
_Aristotle_, and others is demonstrated: But I will sweeten this
discourse also out of a contemplation in Divine _Dubartas_, who sayes,
[Dubartas in the fifth day.]

  God quickened in the Sea and in the Rivers,
  So many fishes of so many features,
  That in the waters we may see all Creatures;
  Even all that on the earth is to be found,
  As if the world were in deep waters drownd.
  For seas (as well as Skies) have Sun, Moon, Stars;
  (As wel as air) Swallows, Rooks, and Stares;
  (As wel as earth) Vines, Roses, Nettles, Melons,
  Mushrooms, Pinks, Gilliflowers and many milions
  Of other plants, more rare, more strange then these;
  As very fishes living in the seas;
  And also Rams, Calves, Horses, Hares and Hogs,
  Wolves, Urchins, Lions, Elephants and Dogs;
  Yea, Men and Maids, and which I most admire,
  The Mitred Bishop, and the cowled Fryer.
  Of which examples but a few years since,
  Were shewn the _Norway_ and _Polonian_ Prince.

These seem to be wonders, but have had so many confirmations from men
of Learning and credit, that you need not doubt them; nor are the
number, nor the various shapes of fishes, more strange or more fit for
_contemplation_, then their different natures, inclinations and actions:
concerning which I shall beg your patient ear a little longer.

The _Cuttle-fish_ wil cast a long gut out of her throat, which (like
as an Angler does his line) she sendeth, forth and pulleth in again at
her pleasure, according as she sees some little fish come neer to her;
[_Mount El. sayes_: and others affirm this] and the _Cuttle-fish_
(being then hid in the gravel) lets the smaller fish nibble and bite the
end of it; at which time shee by little and little draws the smaller
fish so neer to her, that she may leap upon her, and then catches and
devours her: and for this reason some have called this fish the

There are also lustful and chaste fishes, of which I shall also give
you examples.

And first, what _Dubartas_ sayes of a fish called the _Sargus_; which
(because none can express it better then he does) I shall give you in
his own words, supposing it shall not have the less credit for being
Verse, for he hath gathered this, and other observations out of Authors
that have been great and industrious searchers into the secrets of

  The Adulterous _Sargus_ doth not only change,
  Wives every day in the deep streams, but (strange)
  As if the honey of Sea-love delight
  Could not suffice his ranging appetite,
  Goes courting _She-Goats_ on the grassie shore,
  Horning their husbands that had horns before.

And the same Author writes concerning the _Cantharus_, that which you
shall also heare in his own words.

  But contrary, the constant _Cantharus_,
  Is ever constant to his faithful Spouse,
  In nuptial duties spending his chaste life,
  Never loves any but his own dear wife.

Sir, but a little longer, and I have done.

_Viat._ Sir, take what liberty you think fit, for your discourse seems
to be Musick, and charms me into an attention.

_Pisc._ Why then Sir, I will take a little libertie to tell, or rather
to remember you what is said of _Turtle Doves_: First, that they
silently plight their troth and marry; and that then, the Survivor
scorns (as the _Thracian_ women are said to do) to out-live his or her
Mate; and this is taken for such a truth, that if the Survivor shall
ever couple with another, the he or she, not only the living, but the
dead, is denyed the name and honour of a true _Turtle Dove_.

And to parallel this Land Variety & teach mankind moral faithfulness &
to condemn those that talk of Religion, and yet come short of the moral
faith of fish and fowl; Men that violate the Law, affirm'd by Saint
_Paul_ [Rom. 2. 14.15] to be writ in their hearts, and which he sayes
shal at the last day condemn and leave them without excuse. I pray
hearken to what _Dubartas_ sings [_Dubartas_ 5. day.] (for the hearing
of such conjugal faithfulness, will be Musick to all chaste ears) and
therefore, I say, hearken to what _Dubartas_ sings of the _Mullet_:

  But for chaste love the _Mullet_ hath no peer,
  For, if the Fisher hath surprised her pheer,
  As mad with wo, to shoare she followeth,
  Prest to consort him both in life and death.

On the contrary, what shall I say of the _House-Cock_, which treads any
Hen, and then (contrary to the _Swan_, the _Partridg_, and _Pigeon_)
takes no care to hatch, to feed, or to cherish his own Brood, but is
sensless though they perish.

And 'tis considerable, that the _Hen_ (which because she also takes any
_Cock_, expects it not) who is sure the Chickens be her own, hath by a
moral impression her care, and affection to her own Broode, more then
doubled, even to such a height, that our Saviour in expressing his love
to _Jerusalem_, [Mat. 23. 37] quotes her for an example of tender
affection, as his Father had done _Job_ for a pattern of patience.

And to parallel this _Cock_, there be divers fishes that cast their
spawne on flags or stones, and then leave it uncovered and exposed to
become a prey, and be devoured by Vermine or other fishes: but other
fishes (as namely the _Barbel_) take such care for the preservation of
their seed, that (unlike to the _Cock_ or the _Cuckoe_) they mutually
labour (both the Spawner, and the Melter) to cover their spawne with
sand, or watch it, or hide it in some secret place unfrequented by
Vermine, or by any fish but themselves.

Sir, these examples may, to you and others, seem strange; but they are
testified, some by _Aristotle_, some by _Pliny_, some by _Gesner_, and
by divers others of credit, and are believed and known by divers, both
of wisdom and experience, to be a truth; and are (as I said at the
beginning) fit for the contemplation of a most serious, and a most
pious man.

And that they be fit for the contemplation of the most prudent and
pious, and peaceable men, seems to be testified by the practice of so
many devout and contemplative men; as the Patriarks or Prophets of old,
and of the Apostles of our Saviour in these later times, of which
twelve he chose four that were Fishermen: concerning which choice some
have made these Observations.

First, That he never reproved these for their Imployment or Calling, as
he did the Scribes and the Mony-Changers. And secondly, That he found
the hearts of such men, men that by nature were fitted for
contemplation and quietness; men of mild, and sweet, and peaceable
spirits, (as indeed most Anglers are) these men our blessed Saviour
(who is observed to love to plant grace in good natures) though nothing
be too hard for him, yet these men he chose to call from their
irreprovable imployment, and gave them grace to be his Disciples and to
follow him.

And it is observable, that it was our Saviours will that his four
Fishermen Apostles should have a prioritie of nomination in the
catalogue of his twelve Apostles, as namely first, S. _Peter_, _Andrew_,
_James_ [Mat. 10.] and _John_, and then the rest in their order.

And it is yet more observable, that when our blessed Saviour went up
into the Mount, at his Transfiguration, when he left the rest of his
Disciples and chose onely three to bear him company, that these three
were all Fisher-men.

And since I have your promise to hear me with patience, I will take a
liberty to look back upon an observation that hath been made by an
ingenuous and learned man, who observes that God hath been pleased to
allow those whom he himselfe hath appointed, to write his holy will in
holy Writ, yet to express his will in such Metaphors as their former
affections or practise had inclined them to; and he brings _Solomon_
for an example, who before his conversion was remarkably amorous, and
after by Gods appointment, writ that Love-Song [The Canticles] betwixt
God and his Church.

And if this hold in reason (as I see none to the contrary) then it may
be probably concluded, that _Moses_ (whom I told you before, writ the
book of _Job_) and the Prophet _Amos_ were both Anglers, for you shal
in all the old Testament, find fish-hooks but twice mentioned; namely,
by meek _Moses_, the friend of God; and by the humble Prophet _Amos_.

Concerning which last, namely, the Prophet _Amos_, I shall make but
this Observation, That he that shall read the humble, lowly, plain
stile of that Prophet, and compare it with the high, glorious, eloquent
stile of the prophet _Isaiah_ (though they be both equally true) may
easily believe him to be a good natured, plaine Fisher-man.

Which I do the rather believe, by comparing the affectionate, lowly,
humble epistles of S. _Peter_, S. _James_ and S. _John_, whom we know
were Fishers, with the glorious language and high Metaphors of S.
_Paul_, who we know was not.

Let me give you the example of two men more, that have lived nearer to
our own times: first of Doctor _Nowel_ sometimes Dean of S. _Paul_'s,
(in which Church his Monument stands yet undefaced) a man that in the
Reformation of Queen _Elizabeth_ (not that of _Henry the VIII._) was so
noted for his meek spirit, deep Learning, Prudence and Piety, that the
then Parliament and Convocation, both chose, injoyned, and trusted him
to be the man to make a Catechism for publick use, such a one as should
stand as a rule for faith and manners to their posteritie: And the good
man (though he was very learned, yet knowing that God leads us not to
heaven by hard questions) made that good, plain, unperplext Catechism,
that is printed with the old Service Book. I say, this good man was as
dear a lover, and constant practicer of Angling, as any Age can
produce; and his custome was to spend, besides his fixt hours of prayer
(those hours which by command of the Church were enjoined the old
Clergy, and voluntarily dedicated to devotion by many Primitive
Christians:) besides those hours, this good man was observed to spend,
or if you will, to bestow a tenth part of his time in Angling; and also
(for I have conversed with those which have conversed with him) to
bestow a tenth part of his Revenue, and all his fish, amongst the poor
that inhabited near to those Rivers in which it was caught, saying
often, _That Charity gave life to Religion_: and at his return would
praise God he had spent that day free from worldly trouble, both
harmlesly and in a Recreation that became a Church-man.

My next and last example shall be that undervaluer of money, the late
Provost of _Eaton Colledg_, Sir _Henry Wotton_, (a man with whom I have
often fish'd and convers'd) a man whose forraign imployments 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 a frequent practicer of the Art of Angling, of which he
would say, "'Twas an imployment for his idle time, which was not idly
spent;" for Angling was after tedious study "A rest to his mind, a
cheerer of his spirits, a divertion of sadness, a calmer of unquiet
thoughts, a Moderator of passions, a procurer of contentedness, and
that it begot habits of peace and patience in those that profest and
practic'd it."

Sir, This 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, that when he was
beyond seventy years of age he made this description of a part of the
present pleasure that possest him, as he sate quietly in a Summers
evening on a bank a fishing; it is a description of the Spring, which
because it glides as soft and sweetly from his pen, as that River does
now by which it was then made, I shall repeat unto you.

  This day dame Nature seem'd in love:
  The lustie sap began to move;
  Fresh juice did stir th'imbracing Vines,
  And birds had drawn their Valentines.
  The jealous _Trout_, that low did lye,
  Rose at a well dissembled _flie_;
  There stood my friend with patient skill,
  Attending of his trembling quil.
  Already were the eaves possest
  With the swift Pilgrims dawbed nest:
  The Groves already did rejoice,
  In _Philomels_ triumphing voice:
  The showrs were short, the weather mild,
  The morning fresh, the evening smil'd.

    _Jone_ takes her neat rubb'd pail, and now
  She trips to milk the sand-red _Cow_;
  Where for some sturdy foot-ball Swain,
  _Jone_ strokes a _Sillibub_ or twaine.
  The fields and gardens were beset
  With _Tulips_, _Crocus_, _Violet_,
  And now, though late, the modest _Rose_
  Did more then half a blush disclose.
  Thus all looks gay and full of chear
  To welcome the new liveried year.

These were the thoughts that then possest the undisturbed mind of Sir
_Henry Wotton_. Will you hear the wish of another Angler, and the
commendation of his happy life, [Jo. Da.] which he also sings in Verse.

  Let me live harmlesly, and near the brink
  Of _Trent_ or _Avon_ have a dwelling place,
  Where I may see my _quil_ or _cork_ down sink,
  With eager bit of _Pearch_, or _Bleak_, or _Dace_;
  And on the world and my Creator think,
  Whilst some men strive, ill gotten goods t'imbrace;
    And others spend their time in base excess
    Of wine or worse, in war and wantonness.

  Let them that list these pastimes still pursue,
  And on such pleasing fancies feed their fill,
  So I the _fields_ and _meadows_ green may view,
  And daily by _fresh Rivers_ walk at will,
  Among the _Daisies_ and the _Violets_ blue,
  Red _Hyacinth_, and yellow _Daffadil_,
    Purple _Narcissus_, like the morning rayes,
    Pale _ganderglass_ and azure _Culverkayes_.

  I count it higher pleasure to behold
  The stately compass of the lofty _Skie_,
  And in the midst thereof (like burning Gold)
  The flaming Chariot of the worlds great eye,
  The watry clouds, that in the aire up rold,
  With sundry kinds of painted colour flye;
    And fair _Aurora_ lifting up her head,
    Still blushing, rise from old _Tithonius_ bed.

  The _hils_ and _mountains_ raised from the _plains_,
  The _plains_ extended level with the _ground_,
  The _grounds_ divided into sundry _vains_,
  The _vains_ inclos'd with _rivers_ running round;
  These _rivers_ making way through natures chains
  With headlong course into the sea profound;
    The raging _sea_, beneath the vallies low,
    Where _lakes_, and _rils_, and _rivulets_ do flow.

  The loftie woods, the Forrests wide and long
  Adorn'd with leaves & branches fresh & green,
  In whose cool bowres the birds with many a song
  Do welcom with their Quire the _Sumers Queen_:
  The Meadows fair, where _Flora's_ gifts among
  Are intermixt, with verdant grass between.
    The silver-scaled _fish_ that softly swim,
    Within the sweet brooks chrystal watry stream.

  All these, and many more of his _Creation_,
  That made the Heavens, the _Angler_ oft doth see,
  Taking therein no little delectation,
  To think how strange, how wonderful they be;
  Framing thereof an inward contemplation,
  To set his heart from other fancies free;
    And whilst he looks on these with joyful eye,
    His mind is rapt above the Starry Skie.

Sir, I am glad my memory did not lose these last Verses, because they
are somewhat more pleasant and more sutable to _May Day_, then my harsh
Discourse, and I am glad your patience hath held out so long, as to
hear them and me; for both together have brought us within the sight of
the _Thatcht House_; and I must be your Debtor (if you think it worth
your attention) for the rest of my promised discourse, till some other
opportunity and a like time of leisure.

_Viat._ Sir, You have Angled me on with much pleasure to the _thatcht
House_, and I now find your words true, _That good company makes the
way seem short_; for, trust me, Sir, I thought we had wanted three
miles of the _thatcht House_, till you shewed it me: but now we are at
it, we'l turn into it, and refresh our selves with a cup of Ale and a
little rest.

_Pisc._ Most gladly (Sir) and we'l drink a civil cup to all the _Otter
Hunters_ that are to meet you to morrow.

_Viat._ That we wil, Sir, and to all the lovers of Angling too, of
which number, I am now one my self, for by the help of your good
discourse and company, I have put on new thoughts both of the Art of
Angling, and of all that profess it: and if you will but meet me too
morrow at the time and place appointed, and bestow one day with me and
my friends in hunting the _Otter_, I will the next two dayes wait upon
you, and we two will for that time do nothing but angle, and talk of
fish and fishing.

_Pisc._ 'Tis a match, Sir, I'l not fail you, God willing, to be at
_Amwel Hil_ to morrow morning before Sunrising.


_Viat._ My friend _Piscator_, you have kept time with my thoughts,
for the Sun is just rising, and I my self just now come to this place,
and the dogs have just now put down an _Otter_, look down at the bottom
of the hil, there in that Meadow, chequered with water Lillies and
Lady-smocks, there you may see what work they make: look, you see all
busie, men and dogs, dogs and men, all busie.

_Pisc._ Sir, I am right glad to meet you, and glad to have so fair an
entrance into this dayes sport, and glad to see so many dogs, and more
men all in pursuit of the _Otter_; lets complement no longer, but joine
unto them; come honest _Viator_, lets be gone, lets make haste, I long
to be doing; no reasonable hedge or ditch shall hold me.

_Viat._ Gentleman Huntsman, where found you this _Otter_?

_Hunt._ Marry (Sir) we found her a mile off this place a fishing; she
has this morning eaten the greatest part of this _Trout_, she has only
left thus much of it as you see, and was fishing for more; when we came
we found her just at it: but we were here very early, we were here an
hour before Sun-rise, and have given her no rest since we came: sure
she'l hardly escape all these dogs and men. I am to have the skin if we
kill him.

_Viat._ Why, Sir, whats the skin worth?

_Hunt._ 'Tis worth ten shillings to make gloves; the gloves of an
_Otter_ are the best fortification for your hands against wet weather
that can be thought of.

_Pisc._ I pray, honest Huntsman, let me ask you a pleasant question, Do
you hunt a Beast or a fish?

_H._ Sir, It is not in my power to resolve you; for the question has
been debated among many great Clerks, and they seem to differ about it;
but most agree, that his tail is fish: and if his body be fish too,
then I may say, that a fish will walk upon land (for an _Otter_ does
so) sometimes five or six, or ten miles in a night. But (Sir) I can
tell you certainly, that he devours much fish, and kils and spoils much
more: And I can tell you, that he can smel a fish in the water one
hundred yards from him (_Gesner_ sayes, much farther) and that his
stones are good against the Falling-sickness: and that there is an herb
_Benione_, which being hung in a linen cloth near a Fish Pond, or any
haunt that he uses, makes him to avoid the place, which proves he can
smell both by water and land. And thus much for my knowledg of the
_Otter_, which you may now see above water at vent, and the dogs close
with him; I now see he will not last long, follow therefore my Masters,
follow, for _Sweetlips_ was like to have him at this vent.

_via._ Oh me, all the Horse are got over the river, what shall we do

_Hun._ Marry, stay a little & follow, both they and the dogs will be
suddenly on this side again, I warrant you, and the _Otter_ too it may
be: now have at him with _Kil buck_, for he vents again.

_via._ Marry so he is, for look he vents in that corner. Now, now
_Ringwood_ has him. Come bring him to me. Look, 'tis a Bitch _Otter_
upon my word, and she has lately whelped, lets go to the place where
she was put down, and not far from it, you will find all her young
ones, I dare warrant you: and kill them all too.

_Hunt._ Come Gentlemen, come all, lets go to the place where we _put
downe_ the _Otter_; look you, hereabout it was that shee kennell'd; look
you, here it was indeed, for here's her young ones, no less then five:
come lets kill them all.

_Pisc._ No, I pray Sir; save me one, and I'll try if I can make her
tame, as I know an ingenuous Gentleman in _Leicester-shire_ has done;
who hath not only made her tame, but to catch fish, and doe many things
of much pleasure.

_Hunt._ Take one with all my heart; but let us kill the rest. And now
lets go to an honest Alehouse and sing _Old Rose_, and rejoice all of
us together.

_Viat._ Come my friend, let me invite you along with us; I'll bear your
charges this night, and you shall beare mine to morrow; for my
intention is to accompany you a day or two in fishing.

_Pisc._ Sir, your request is granted, and I shall be right glad, both
to exchange such a courtesie, and also to enjoy your company.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Viat._ Well, now lets go to your sport of Angling.

_Pisc._ Lets be going with all my heart, God keep you all, Gentlemen,
and send you meet this day with another bitch _Otter_, and kill her
merrily, and all her young ones too.

_Viat._ Now _Piscator_, where wil you begin to fish?

_Pisc._ We are not yet come to a likely place, I must walk a mile
further yet before I begin.

_Viat._ Well then, I pray, as we walk, tell me freely how you like my
Hoste, and the company? is not mine Hoste a witty man?

_Pisc._ Sir, To speak truly, he is not to me; for most of his conceits
were either Scripture-jests, or lascivious jests; for which I count no
man witty: for the Divel will help a man that way inclin'd, to the
first, and his own corrupt nature (which he alwayes carries with him)
to the latter. But a companion that feasts the company with _wit_ and
_mirth_, and leaves out the _sin_ (which is usually mixt with them) he
is the man: and indeed, such a man should have his charges born: and to
such company I hope to bring you this night; for at _Trout-Hal_, not
far from this place, where I purpose to lodg to night, there is usually
an Angler that proves good company.

But for such discourse as we heard last night, it infects others; the
very boyes will learn to talk and swear as they heard mine Host, and
another of the company that shall be nameless; well, you know what
example is able to do, and I know what the Poet sayes in the like case:

        ---- Many a one
  Owes to his Country his Religion:
  And in another would as strongly grow,
  Had but his Nurse or Mother taught him so.

This is reason put into Verse, and worthy the consideration of a wise
man. But of this no more, for though I love civility, yet I hate severe
censures: I'll to my own Art, and I doubt not but at yonder tree I
shall catch a _Chub_, and then we'll turn to an honest cleanly Alehouse
that I know right well, rest our selves, and dress it for our dinner.

_via._ Oh, Sir, a _Chub_ is the worst fish that swims, I hoped for a
_Trout_ for my dinner.

_Pis._ Trust me, Sir, there is not a likely place for a _Trout_
hereabout, and we staid so long to take our leave of your Huntsmen this
morning, that the Sun is got so high, and shines so clear, that I will
not undertake the catching of a _Trout_ till evening; and though a
_Chub_ be by you and many others reckoned the worst of all fish, yet
you shall see I'll make it good fish by dressing it.

_Viat._ Why, how will you dress him?

_Pisc._ I'll tell you when I have caught him: look you here, Sir, do
you see? (but you must stand very close) there lye upon the top of the
water twenty _Chubs_: I'll catch only one, and that shall be the
biggest of them all: and that I will do so, I'll hold you twenty to

_Viat._ I marry, Sir, now you talk like an Artist, and I'll say, you
are one, when I shall see you perform what you say you can do; but I
yet doubt it.

_Pisc._ And that you shall see me do presently; look, the biggest of
these _Chubs_ has had some bruise upon his tail, and that looks like a
white spot; that very _Chub_ I mean to catch; sit you but down in the
shade, and stay but a little while, and I'll warrant you I'll bring him
to you.

_viat._ I'll sit down and hope well, because you seem to be so

_Pisc._ Look you Sir, there he is, that very _Chub_ that I shewed you,
with the white spot on his tail; and I'll be as certain to make him a
good dish of meat, as I was to catch him. I'll now lead you to an
honest Alehouse, where we shall find a cleanly room, Lavender in the
windowes, and twenty Ballads stuck about the wall; there my Hostis
(which I may tell you, is both cleanly and conveniently handsome) has
drest many a one for me, and shall now dress it after my fashion, and I
warrant it good meat.

_viat._ Come Sir, with all my heart, for I begin to be hungry, and long
to be at it, and indeed to rest my self too; for though I have walked
but four miles this morning, yet I begin to be weary; yester dayes
hunting hangs stil upon me.

_Pisc._ Wel Sir, and you shal quickly be at rest, for yonder is the
house I mean to bring you to.

Come Hostis, how do you? wil you first give us a cup of your best Ale,
and then dress this _Chub_, as you drest my last, when I and my friend
were hereabout eight or ten daies ago? but you must do me one
courtesie, it must be done instantly.

_Host._ I wil do it, Mr. _Piscator_, and with all the speed I can.

_Pisc._ Now Sir, has not my Hostis made haste? And does not the fish
look lovely?

_Viat._ Both, upon my word Sir, and therefore lets say Grace and fall
to eating of it.

_Pisc._ Well Sir, how do you like it?

_viat._ Trust me, 'tis as good meat as ever I tasted: now let me thank
you for it, drink to you, and beg a courtesie of you; but it must not
be deny'd me.

_Pisc._ What is it, I pray Sir? You are so modest, that me thinks I may
promise to grant it before it is asked.

_viat._ Why Sir, it is that from henceforth you wil allow me to call
you Master, and that really I may be your Scholer, for you are such a
companion, and have so quickly caught, and so excellently cook'd this
fish, as makes me ambitious to be your scholer.

_Pisc._ Give me your hand: from this time forward I wil be your Master,
and teach you as much of this Art as I am able; and will, as you desire
me, tel you somewhat of the nature of some of the fish which we are to
Angle for; and I am sure I shal tel you more then every Angler yet

And first I will tel you how you shall catch such a _Chub_ as this was;
& then how to cook him as this was: I could not have begun to teach you
to catch any fish more easily then this fish is caught; but then it
must be this particular way, and this you must do:

Go to the same hole, where in most hot days you will finde floting neer
the top of the water, at least a dozen or twenty _Chubs_; get a
_Grashopper_ or two as you goe, and get secretly behinde the tree, put
it then upon your hook, and let your hook hang a quarter of a yard
short of the top of the water, and 'tis very likely that the shadow of
your rod, which you must rest on the tree, will cause the _Chubs_ to
sink down to the bottom with fear; for they be a very fearful fish, and
the shadow of a bird flying over them will make them do so; but they
will presently rise up to the top again, and there lie soaring till
some shadow affrights them again: when they lie upon the top of the
water, look out the best _Chub_, which you setting your self in a fit
place, may very easily do, and move your Rod as softly as a Snail
moves, to that _Chub_ you intend to catch; let your bait fall gently
upon the water three or four inches before him, and he will infallibly
take the bait, and you will be as sure to catch him; for he is one of
the leather-mouth'd fishes, of which a hook does scarce ever lose his
hold: and therefore give him play enough before you offer to take him
out of the water. Go your way presently, take my rod, and doe as I bid
you, and I will sit down and mend my tackling till you return back.

_viat._ Truly, my loving Master, you have offered me as fair as I could
wish: Ile go, and observe your directions.

Look you, Master, what I have done; that which joyes my heart; caught
just such another _Chub_ as yours was.

_Pisc._ Marry, and I am glad of it: I am like to have a towardly
Scholer of you. I now see, that with advice and practice you will make
an Angler in a short time.

_Viat._ But Master, What if I could not have found a _Grashopper_?

_Pis._ Then I may tell you, that a black _Snail_, with his belly slit,
to shew his white; or a piece of soft cheese will usually do as well;
nay, sometimes a _worm_, or any kind of _fly_; as the _Ant-fly_, the
_Flesh-fly_, or _Wall-fly_, or the _Dor_ or _Beetle_, (which you may
find under a Cow-turd) or a _Bob_, which you will find in the same
place, and in time wil be a _Beetle_; it is a short white worm, like
to, and bigger then a Gentle, or a _Cod-worm_, or _Case-worm_: any of
these will do very wel to fish in such a manner. And after this manner
you may catch a _Trout_: in a hot evening, when as you walk by a Brook,
and shal see or hear him leap at Flies, then if you get a _Grashopper_,
put it on your hook, with your line about two yards long, standing
behind a bush or tree where his hole is, and make your bait stir up and
down on the top of the water; you may, if you stand close, be sure of a
bit, but not sure to catch him, for he is not a leather mouthed fish:
and after this manner you may fish for him with almost any kind of live
Flie, but especially with a _Grashopper_.

_Viat._ But before you go further, I pray good Master, what mean you by
a leather mouthed fish.

_Pisc._ By a leather mouthed fish, I mean such as have their teeth in
their throat, as the _Chub_ or _Cheven_, and so the _Barbel_, the
_Gudgion_ and _Carp_, and divers others have; and the hook being stuck
into the leather or skin of such fish, does very seldome or never lose
its hold: But on the contrary, a _Pike_, a _Pearch_, or _Trout_, and so
some other fish, which have not their teeth in their throats, but in
their mouthes, which you shal observe to be very full of bones, and the
skin very thin, and little of it: I say, of these fish the hook never
takes so sure hold, but you often lose the fish unless he have gorg'd

_Viat._ I thank you good Master for this observation; but now what shal
be done with my _Chub_ or _Cheven_ that I have caught.

_Pisc._ Marry Sir, it shall be given away to some poor body, for Ile
warrant you Ile give you a _Trout_ for your supper; and it is a good
beginning of your Art to offer your first fruits to the poor, who will
both thank God and you for it.

And now lets walk towards the water again, and as I go Ile tel you when
you catch your next _Chub_, how to dresse it as this was.

_viat._ Come (good Master) I long to be going and learn your direction.

_Pisc._ You must dress it, or see it drest thus: When you have scaled
him, wash him very cleane, cut off his tail and fins; and wash him not
after you gut him, but chine or cut him through the middle as a salt
fish is cut, then give him four or five scotches with your knife, broil
him upon wood-cole or char-cole; but as he is broiling; baste him often
with butter that shal be choicely good; and put good store of salt into
your butter, or salt him gently as you broil or baste him; and bruise
or cut very smal into your butter, a little Time, or some other sweet
herb that is in the Garden where you eat him: thus used, it takes away
the watrish taste which the _Chub_ or _Chevin_ has, and makes him a
choice dish of meat, as you your self know, for thus was that dressed,
which you did eat of to your dinner.

Or you may (for variety) dress a _Chub_ another way, and you will find
him very good, and his tongue and head almost as good as a _Carps_; but
then you must be sure that no grass or weeds be left in his mouth or

Thus you must dress him: Slit him through the middle, then cut him into
four pieces: then put him into a pewter dish, and cover him with
another, put into him as much White Wine as wil cover him, or Spring
water and Vinegar, and store of Salt, with some branches of Time, and
other sweet herbs; let him then be boiled gently over a Chafing-dish
with wood coles, and when he is almost boiled enough, put half of the
liquor from him, not the top of it; put then into him a convenient
quantity of the best butter you can get, with a little Nutmeg grated
into it, and sippets of white bread: thus ordered, you wil find the
_Chevin_ and the sauce too, a choice dish of meat: And I have been the
more careful to give you a perfect direction how to dress him, because
he is a fish undervalued by many, and I would gladly restore him to
some of his credit which he has lost by ill Cookery.

_Viat._ But Master, have you no other way to catch a _Cheven_, or

_Pisc._ Yes that I have, but I must take time to tel it you hereafter;
or indeed, you must learn it by observation and practice, though this
way that I have taught you was the easiest to catch a _Chub_, at this
time, and at this place. And now we are come again to the River; I wil
(as the Souldier sayes) prepare for skirmish; that is, draw out my
Tackling, and try to catch a _Trout_ for supper.

_Viat._ Trust me Master, I see now it is a harder matter to catch a
_Trout_ then a _Chub_; for I have put on patience, and followed you
this two hours, and not seen a fish stir, neither at your Minnow nor
your worm.

_Pisc._ Wel Scholer, you must indure worse luck sometime, or you will
never make a good Angler. But what say you now? there is a _Trout_ now,
and a good one too, if I can but hold him; and two or three turns more
will tire him: Now you see he lies still, and the sleight is to land
him: Reach me that Landing net: So (Sir) now he is mine own, what say
you? is not this worth all my labour?

_Viat._ On my word Master, this is a gallant _Trout_; what shall we do
with him?

_Pisc._ Marry ee'n eat him to supper: We'l go to my Hostis, from whence
we came; she told me, as I was going out of door, that my brother
_Peter_, a good Angler, and a cheerful companion, had sent word he
would lodg there to night, and bring a friend with him. My Hostis has
two beds, and I know you and I may have the best: we'l rejoice with my
brother _Peter_ and his friend, tel tales, or sing Ballads, or make a
Catch, or find some harmless sport to content us.

_Viat._ A match, good Master, lets go to that house, for the linen
looks white, and smels of Lavender, and I long to lye in a pair of
sheets that smels so: lets be going, good Master, for I am hungry again
with fishing.

_Pisc._ Nay, stay a little good Scholer, I caught my last _Trout_ with
a worm, now I wil put on a Minow and try a quarter of an hour about
yonder trees for another, and so walk towards our lodging. Look you
Scholer, thereabout we shall have a bit presently, or not at all: Have
with you (Sir!) on my word I have him. Oh it is a great logger-headed
_Chub_: Come, hang him upon that Willow twig, and let's be going. But
turn out of the way a little, good Scholer, towards yonder high hedg:
We'l sit whilst this showr falls so gently upon the teeming earth, and
gives a sweeter smel to the lovely flowers that adorn the verdant

Look, under that broad _Beech tree_ I sate down when I was last this
way a fishing, and the birds in the adjoining Grove seemed to have a
friendly contention with an Echo, whose dead voice seemed to live in a
hollow cave, near to the brow of that Primrose hil; there I sate
viewing the Silver streams glide silently towards their center, the
tempestuous Sea, yet sometimes opposed by rugged roots, and pibble
stones, which broke their waves, and turned them into some: and
sometimes viewing the harmless Lambs, some leaping securely in the cool
shade, whilst others sported themselvs in the cheerful Sun; and others
were craving comfort from the swolne Udders of their bleating Dams. As
I thus sate, these and other sighs had so fully possest my soul, that I
thought as the Poet has happily exprest it:

  I was for that time lifted above earth;
  And possest joyes not promis'd in my birth.

As I left this place, and entered into the next field, a second
pleasure entertained me, 'twas a handsome Milk-maid, that had cast away
all care, and sung like a _Nightingale_; her voice was good, and the
Ditty fitted for it; 'twas that smooth Song which was made by _Kit
Marlow_, now at least fifty years ago; and the Milk maid's mother sung
an answer to it, which was made by Sir _Walter Raleigh_ in his younger

They were old fashioned Poetry, but choicely good, I think much better
then that now in fashion in this Critical age. Look yonder, on my word,
yonder they be both a milking again: I will give her the _Chub_, and
persuade them to sing those two songs to us.

_Pisc._ God speed, good woman, I have been a-fishing, and am going to
_Bleak Hall_ to my bed, and having caught more fish then will sup my
self and friend, will bestow this upon you and your daughter for I use
to sell none.

_Milkw._ Marry, God requite you Sir, and we'l eat it cheerfully: will
you drink a draught of red Cow's milk?

_Pisc._ No, I thank you: but I pray do us a courtesie that shal stand
you and your daughter in nothing, and we wil think our selves stil
something in your debt; it is but to sing us a Song, that that was sung
by you and your daughter, when I last past over this Meadow, about
eight or nine dayes since.

_Milk._ what Song was it, I pray? was it, _Come Shepherds deck your
heads_: or, _As at noon _Dulcina_ rested_: or _Philida flouts me_?

_Pisc._ No, it is none of those: it is a Song that your daughter sung
the first part, and you sung the answer to it.

_Milk._ O I know it now, I learn'd the first part in my golden age,
when I was about the age of my daughter; and the later part, which
indeed fits me best, but two or three years ago; you shal, God willing,
hear them both. Come _Maudlin_, sing the first part to the Gentlemen
with a merrie heart, and Ile sing the second.

        The Milk maids Song.

  Come live with me, and be my Love,
  And we wil all the pleasures prove
  That vallies, Groves, or hils, or fields,
  Or woods and steepie mountains yeelds.

  Where we will sit upon the _Rocks_,
  And see the Shepherds feed our _flocks_,
  By shallow _Rivers_, to whose falls
  Mellodious birds sing _madrigals_.

  And I wil make thee beds of _Roses_,
  And then a thousand fragrant posies,
  A cap of flowers and a Kirtle,
  Imbroidered all with leaves of Mirtle.

  A Gown made of the finest wool
  Which from our pretty Lambs we pull,
  Slippers lin'd choicely for the cold,
  With buckles of the purest gold.

  A belt of straw and ivie buds,
  With Coral clasps, and Amber studs
  And if these pleasures may thee move,
  Come live with me, and be my Love.

  The Shepherds Swains shal dance and sing
  For thy delight each May morning:
  If these delights thy mind may move,
  Then live with me, and be my Love.

_Via._ Trust me Master, it is a choice Song, and sweetly sung by honest
_Maudlin_: Ile bestow Sir _Thomas Overbury's_ Milk maids wish upon her,
_That she may dye in the Spring, and have good store of flowers stuck
round about her winding sheet_.

        The Milk maids mothers answer.

  If all the world and love were young,
  And truth in every Shepherds tongue?
  These pretty pleasures might me move,
  To live with thee, and be thy love.

  But time drives flocks from field to fold:
  When rivers rage and rocks grow cold,
  And _Philomel_ becometh dumb,
  The Rest complains of cares to come.

  The Flowers do fade, and wanton fields
  To wayward Winter reckoning yeilds
  A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
  Is fancies spring, but sorrows fall.

  Thy gowns, thy shooes, thy beds of Roses,
  Thy Cap, thy Kirtle, and thy Posies,
  Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
  In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

  Thy belt of straw and Ivie buds,
  Thy Coral clasps and Amber studs,
  All these in me no means can move
  To come to thee, and be thy Love.

  But could youth last, and love stil breed,
  Had joys no date, nor age no need;
  Then those delights my mind might move
  To live with thee, and be thy love.

_Pisc._ Well sung, good woman, I thank you, I'l give you another dish
of fish one of these dayes, and then beg another Song of you. Come
Scholer, let _Maudlin_ alone, do not you offer to spoil her voice. Look,
yonder comes my Hostis to cal us to supper. How now? is my brother
_Peter_ come?

_Host._ Yes, and a friend with him, they are both glad to hear you are
in these parts, and long to see you, and are hungry, and long to be at


_Piscat._ VVel met brother _Peter_, I heard you & a friend would lodg
here to night, and that has made me and my friend cast to lodge here
too; my friend is one that would faine be a brother of the _Angle_: he
has been an _Angler_ but this day, and I have taught him how to catch a
_Chub_ with _daping_ a _Grashopper_, and he has caught a lusty one of
nineteen inches long. But I pray you brother, who is it that is your

_Peter._ Brother _Piscator_, my friend is an honest Country man, and
his name is _Coridon_, a most downright witty merry companion that met
me here purposely to eat a _Trout_ and be pleasant, and I have not yet
wet my line since I came from home: But I wil fit him to morrow with a
_Trout_ for his breakfast, if the weather be any thing like.

_Pisc._ Nay brother, you shall not delay him so long, for look you here
is a _Trout_ will fill six reasonable bellies. Come Hostis, dress it
presently, and get us what other meat the house wil afford, and give us
some good Ale, and lets be merrie.

  [Illustration: _The Description of a _Trout_._]

_Peter._ On my word, this _Trout_ is in perfect season. Come, I thank
you, and here's a hearty draught to you, and to all the brothers of the
Angle, wheresoever they be, and to my young brothers good fortune to
morrow; I wil furnish him with a rod, if you wil furnish him with the
rest of the tackling, we wil set him up and make him a fisher.

And I wil tel him one thing for his encouragement, that his fortune
hath made him happy to be a Scholer to such a Master; a Master that
knowes as much both of the nature and breeding of fish, as any man; and
can also tell him as well how to catch and cook them, from the _Minnow_
to the _Sammon_, as any that I ever met withall.

_Pisc._ Trust me, brother _Peter_, I find my Scholer to be so sutable
to my own humour, which is to be free and pleasant, and civilly merry,
that my resolution is to hide nothing from him. Believe me, Scholer,
this is my resolution: and so here's to you a hearty draught, and to
all that love us, and the honest Art of Angling.

_Viat._ Trust me, good Master, you shall not sow your seed in barren
ground, for I hope to return you an increase answerable to your hopes;
but however, you shal find me obedient, and thankful, and serviceable
to my best abilitie.

_Pisc._ 'Tis enough, honest Scholer, come lets to supper. Come my
friend _Coridon_, this _Trout_ looks lovely, it was twenty two inches
when it was taken, and the belly of it look'd some part of it as yellow
as a Marygold, and part of it as white as a Lily, and yet me thinks it
looks better in this good fawce.

_Coridon._ Indeed, honest friend, it looks well, and tastes well, I
thank you for it, and so does my friend _Peter_, or else he is to

_Pet._ Yes, and so I do, we all thank you, and when we have supt, I wil
get my friend _Coridon_ to sing you a Song, for requital.

_Cor._ I wil sing a Song if anyboby wil sing another; else, to be plain
with you, I wil sing none: I am none of those that sing for meat, but
for company; I say, 'Tis merry in Hall when men sing all.

_Pisc._ I'l promise you I'l sing a Song that was lately made at my
request by Mr. _William Basse_, one that has made the choice Songs of
the _Hunter in his carrere_, and of _Tom of Bedlam_, and many others of
note; and this that I wil sing is in praise of Angling.

_Cor._ And then mine shall be the praise of a Country mans life: What
will the rest sing of?

_Pet._ I wil promise you I wil sing another Song in praise of Angling,
to-morrow night, for we wil not part till then, but fish to morrow, and
sup together, and the next day every man leave fishing, and fall to his

_Viat._ 'Tis a match, and I wil provide you a Song or a Ketch against
then too, that shal give some addition of mirth to the company; for we
wil be merrie.

_Pisc._ 'Tis a match my masters; lets ev'n say Grace, and turn to the
fire, drink the other cup to wet our whistles, and so sing away all sad

Come on my masters, who begins? I think it is best to draw cuts and
avoid contention.

_Pet._ It is a match. Look, the shortest Cut fals to _Coridon_.

_Cor._ Well then, I wil begin; for I hate contention.


  Oh the sweet contentment
  The country man doth find!
    high trolollie laliloe
    high trolollie lee,
  That quiet contemplation
  Possesseth all my mind:
    _Then care away,
    and wend along with me._

  For Courts are full of flattery,
  As hath too oft been tri'd;
    high trolollie lollie loe
    high trolollie lee,
  The City full of wantonness,
  and both are full of pride:
    _Then care away,
    and wend along with me._

  But oh the honest countryman
  Speaks truly from his heart,
    high trolollie lollie loe
    high trolollie lee,
  His pride is in his Tillage,
  his Horses and his Cart:
    _Then care away,
    and wend along with me._

  Our clothing is good sheep skins
  Gray russet for our wives,
    high trolollie lollie loe
    high trolollie lee.
  'Tis warmth and not gay clothing
  that doth prolong our lives:
    _Then care away,
    and wend along with me,_

  The ploughman, though he labor hard,
  Yet on the _Holy-day_,
    high trolollie lollie loe
    high trolollie lee,
  No _Emperor_ so merrily
  does pass his time away:
    _Then care away,
    and wend along with me._

  To recompence our Tillage,
  The _Heavens_ afford us showrs;
    high trolollie lollie loe
    high trolollie lee,
  And for our sweet refreshments
  the earth affords us bowers:
    _Then care away,
    and wend along with me._

  The _Cuckoe_ and the _Nightingale_
  full merrily do sing,
    high trolollie lollie loe
    high trolollie lee,
  And with their pleasant _roundelayes_
  bid welcome to the _Spring_:
    _Then care away,
    and wend along with me._

  This is not half the happiness
  the Country man injoyes;
    high trolollie lollie loe
    high trolollie lee,
  Though others think they have as much
  yet he that says so lies:
    _Then come away, turn
    County man with me._

_Pisc_. Well sung _Coridon_, this Song was sung with mettle, and it was
choicely fitted to the occasion; I shall love you for it as long as I
know you: I would you were a brother of the Angle, for a companion that
is cheerful and free from swearing and scurrilous discourse, is worth
gold. I love such mirth as does not make friends ashamed to look upon
one another next morning; nor men (that cannot wel bear it) to repent
the money they spend when they be warmed with drink: and take this for
a rule, you may pick out such times and such companies, that you may
make your selves merrier for a little then a great deal of money; for
_'Tis the company and not the charge that makes the feast_: and such a
companion you prove, I thank you for it.

But I will not complement you out of the debt that I owe you, and
therefore I will begin my Song, and wish it may be as well liked.

  The ANGLERS Song.

  As inward love breeds outward talk,
  The _Hound_ some praise, and some the _Hawk_,
  Some better pleas'd with private sport,
  Use _Tenis_, some a _Mistris_ court:
    But these delights I neither wish,
    Nor envy, while I freely fish.

  Who _hunts_, doth oft in danger ride
  Who _hauks_, lures oft both far & wide;
  Who uses games, may often prove
  A loser; but who fals in love,
    Is fettered in fond _Cupids_ snare:
    My Angle breeds me no such care.

  Of Recreation there is none
  So free as fishing is alone;
  All other pastimes do no less
  Then mind and body both possess;
    My hand alone my work can do,
    So I can fish and study too.

  I care not, I, to fish in seas,
  Fresh rivers best my mind do please,
  Whose sweet calm course I contemplate;
  And seek in life to imitate;
    In civil bounds I fain would keep,
    And for my past offences weep.

  And when the timerous _Trout_ I wait
  To take, and he devours my bait,
  How poor a thing sometimes I find
  Will captivate a greedy mind:
    And when none bite, I praise the wise,
    Whom vain alurements ne're surprise.

  But yet though while I fish, I fast,
  I make good fortune my repast,
  And there unto my friend invite,
  In whom I more then that delight:
    Who is more welcome to my dish,
    Then to my Angle was my fish.

  As well content no prize to take
  As use of taken prize to make;
  For so our Lord was pleased when
  He Fishers made Fishers of men;
    Where (which is in no other game)
    A man may fish and praise his name.

  The first men that our Saviour dear
  Did chuse to wait upon him here,
  Blest Fishers were; and fish the last
  Food was, that he on earth did taste.
    I therefore strive to follow those,
    Whom he to follow him hath chose.
                            W. B.

_Cor._ Well sung brother, you have paid your debt in good coyn, we
Anglers are all beholding to the good man that made this Song. Come
Hostis, give us more Ale and lets drink to him.

And now lets everie one go to bed that we may rise early; but first
lets pay our Reckoning, for I wil have nothing to hinder me in the
morning for I will prevent the Sun rising.

_Pet._ A match: Come _Coridon_, you are to be my Bed-fellow: I know
brother you and your Scholer wil lie together; but where shal we meet
to morrow night? for my friend _Coridon_ and I will go up the water
towards _Ware_.

_Pisc._ And my Scholer and I will go down towards _Waltam_.

_Cor._ Then lets meet here, for here are fresh sheets that smel of
Lavender, and, I am sure, we cannot expect better meat and better

_Pet_. 'Tis a match. Good night to every body.

_Pisc._ And so say I.

_Viat._ And so say I.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Pisc._ Good morrow good Hostis, I see my brother _Peter_ is in bed
still; Come, give my Scholer and me a cup of Ale, and be sure you get
us a good dish of meat against supper, for we shall come hither as
hungry as _Hawks_. Come Scholer, lets be going.

_Viat._ Good Master, as we walk towards the water, wil you be pleased
to make the way seeme shorter by telling me first the nature of the
_Trout_, and then how to catch him.

_Pisc._ My honest Scholer, I wil do it freely: The _Trout_ (for which I
love to angle above any fish) may be justly said (as the ancient Poets
say of Wine, and we English say of Venson) to be a generous fish,
because he has his seasons, a fish that comes in, and goes out with the
_Stag_ or _Buck_: and you are to observe, that as there be some _barren
Does_, that are good in Summer; so there be some _barren Trouts_, that
are good in Winter; but there are not many that are so, for usually
they be in their perfection in the month of _May_, and decline with the
_Buck_: Now you are to take notice, that in several Countries, as in
_Germany_ and in other parts compar'd to ours, they differ much in
their bigness, shape, and other wayes, and so do _Trouts_; 'tis wel
known that in the Lake _Lemon_, the Lake of _Geneva_, there are
_Trouts_ taken, of three Cubits long, as is affirmed by _Gesner_, a
Writer of good credit: and _Mercator_ sayes, the _Trouts_ that are
taken in the Lake of _Geneva_, are a great part of the Merchandize of
that famous City. And you are further to know, that there be certaine
waters that breed _Trouts_ remarkable, both for their number and
smalness. I know a little Brook in _Kent_ that breeds them to a number
incredible, and you may take them twentie or fortie in an hour, but
none greater then about the size of a _Gudgion_. There are also in
divers Rivers, especially that relate to, or be near to the Sea, (as
_VVinchester_, or the Thames about _VVindsor_) a little _Trout_ called a
_Samlet_ or _Skegger Trout_ (in both which places I have caught twentie
or fortie at a standing) that will bite as fast and as freely as
_Minnows_; these be by some taken to be young _Salmons_, but in those
waters they never grow to bee bigger then a _Herring_.

There is also in _Kent_, neer to _Canterbury_, a _Trout_ (called there
a _Fordig Trout_) a _Trout_ (that bears the name of the Town where 'tis
usually caught) that is accounted rare meat, many of them near the
bigness of a _Salmon_, but knowne by their different colour, and in
their best season cut very white; and none have been known to be caught
with an Angle, unless it were one that was caught by honest Sir _George
Hastings_, an excellent Angler (and now with God) and he has told me,
he thought that _Trout_ bit not for hunger, but wantonness; and 'tis
the rather to be believed, because both he then, and many others before
him have been curious to search into their bellies what the food was by
which they lived; and have found out nothing by which they might
satisfie their curiositie.

Concerning which you are to take notice, that it is reported, there is
a fish that hath not any mouth, but lives by taking breath by the
porinss of her gils, and feeds and is nourish'd by no man knows what;
and this may be believed of the _Fordig Trout_, which (as it is said of
the _Stork_, that he knowes his season, so he) knows his times (I think
almost his day) of coming into that River out of the Sea, where he
lives (and it is like feeds) nine months of the year, and about three
in the River of _Fordig_.

And now for some confirmation of this; you are to know, that this
_Trout_ is thought to eat nothing in the fresh water; and it may be the
better believed, because it is well known, that _Swallowes_, which are
not seen to flye in _England_ for six months in the year, but about
_Michaelmas_ leave us for a hotter climate; yet some of them, that have
been left behind their fellows, [View Sir _Fra. Bacon_ exper. 899.]
have been found (many thousand at a time) in hollow trees, where they
have been observed to live and sleep out the whole winter without meat;
[See _Topsel_ of _Frogs_] and so _Albertus_ observes that there is one
kind of _Frog_ that hath her mouth naturally shut up about the end of
_August_, and that she lives so all the Winter, and though it be strange
to some, yet it is known to too many amongst us to bee doubted.

And so much for these _Fordig Trouts_, which never afford an Angler
sport, but either live their time of being in the fresh water by their
meat formerly gotten in the Sea, (not unlike the _Swallow_ or _Frog_)
or by the vertue of the fresh water only, as the _Camelion_ is said to
live by the air.

There is also in _Northumberland_, a _Trout_, called a _Bull Trout_, of
a much greater length and bignesse then any in these Southern parts;
and there is in many Rivers that relate to the Sea, _Salmon Trouts_ as
much different one from another, both in shape and in their spots, as
we see Sheep differ one from another in their shape and bigness, and in
the finess of their wool: and certainly as some Pastures do breed
larger Sheep, so do some Rivers, by reason of the ground over which
they run, breed larger _Trouts_.

Now the next thing that I will commend to your consideration is, That
the _Trout_ is of a more sudden growth then other fish: concerning
which you are also to take notice, that he lives not so long as the
_Pearch_ and divers other fishes do, as Sir _Francis Bacon_ hath
observed in his History of life and death.

And next, you are to take notice, that after hee is come to his full
growth, he declines in his bodie, but keeps his bigness or thrives in
his head till his death. And you are to know that he wil about
(especially before) the time of his Spawning, get almost miraculously
through _Weires_ and _Floud-Gates_ against the stream, even through
such high and swift places as is almost incredible. Next, that the
_Trout_ usually Spawns about _October_ or _November_, but in some
Rivers a little sooner or later; which is the more observable, because
most other fish Spawne in the Spring or Summer, when the Sun hath
warmed both the earth and water, and made it fit for generation.

And next, you are to note, that till the Sun gets to such a height as
to warm the earth and the water, the _Trout_ is sick, and lean, and
lowsie, and unwholsome: for you shall in winter find him to have a big
head, and then to be lank, and thin, & lean; at which time many of them
have sticking on them Sugs, or _Trout_ lice, which is a kind of a worm,
in shape like a Clove or a Pin, with a big head, and sticks close to
him and sucks his moisture; those I think the _Trout_ breeds himselfe,
and never thrives til he free himself from them, which is till warm
weather comes, and then as he growes stronger, he gets from the dead,
still water, into the sharp streames and the gravel, and there rubs off
these worms or lice: and then as he grows stronger, so he gets him into
swifter and swifter streams, and there lies at the watch for any flie
or Minow that comes neer to him; and he especially loves the _May_
flie, which is bred of the _Cod-worm_ or _Caddis_; and these make the
_Trout_ bold and lustie, and he is usually fatter, and better meat at
the end of that month, then at any time of the year.

Now you are to know, that it is observed that usually the best _Trouts_
are either red or yellow, though some be white and yet good; but that
is not usual; and it is a note observable that the female _Trout_ hath
usually a less head and a deeper body then the male _Trout_; and a
little head to any fish, either _Trout_, _Salmon_, or other fish, is a
sign that that fish is in season.

But yet you are to note, that as you see some Willows or Palm trees bud
and blossome sooner then others do, so some _Trouts_ be in some Rivers
sooner in season; and as the Holly or Oak are longer before they cast
their Leaves, so are some _Trouts_ in some Rivers longer before they go
out of season.


And having told you these Observations concerning _Trouts_, I shall
next tell you how to catch them: which is usually with a _Worm_, or a
_Minnow_ (which some call a _Penke_;) or with a _Flie_, either a
_natural_ or an _artificial_ Flie: Concerning which three I wil give
you some Observations and Directions.

For Worms, there be very many sorts; some bred onely in the earth, as
the _earth worm_; others amongst or of plants, as the _dug-worm_; and
others in the bodies of living creatures; or some of dead flesh, as the
_Magot_ or _Gentle_, and others.

Now these be most of them particularly good for particular fishes: but
for the _Trout_ the _dew-worm_, (which some also cal the _Lob-worm_)
and the _Brandling_ are the chief; and especially the first for a great
_Trout_, and the later for a lesse. There be also of _lob-worms_, some
called _squirel-tails_ (a worm which has a red head, a streak down the
back, and a broad tail) which are noted to be the best, because they
are the toughest, and most lively, and live longest in the water: for
you are to know, that a dead worm is but a dead bait, and like to catch
nothing, compared to a lively, quick, stirring worm: And for a
_Brandling_, hee is usually found in an old dunghil, or some very
rotten place neer to it; but most usually in cow dung, or hogs dung,
rather then horse dung, which is somewhat too hot and dry for that

There are also divers other kindes of worms, which for colour and
shape alter even as the ground out of which they are got: as the
_marsh-worm_, the _tag-tail_, the _flag-worm_, the _dock-worm_, the
_oake-worm_, the _gilt-tail_, and too many to name, even as many sorts,
as some think there be of severall kinds of birds in the air: of which
I shall say no more, but tell you, that what worms soever you fish
with, are the better for being long kept before they be used; and in
case you have not been so provident, then the way to cleanse and
scoure them quickly, is to put them all night in water, if they be
Lob-worms, and then put them into your bag with fennel: but you must
not put your Brandling above an hour in water, and then put them into
fennel for sudden use: but if you have time, and purpose to keep them
long, then they be best preserved in an earthen pot with good store of
_mosse_, which is to be fresh every week or eight dayes; or at least
taken from them, and clean wash'd, and wrung betwixt your hands till it
be dry, and then put it to them again: And for Moss you are to note,
that there be divers kindes of it which I could name to you, but wil
onely tel you, that that which is likest a _Bucks horn_ is the best;
except it be _white_ Moss, which grows on some heaths, and is hard to
be found.

For the _Minnow_ or _Penke_, he is easily found and caught in April,
for then hee appears in the Rivers: but Nature hath taught him to
shelter and hide himself in the Winter in ditches that be neer to the
River, and there both to hide and keep himself warm in the weeds, which
rot not so soon as in a running River in which place if hee were in
Winter, the distempered Floods that are usually in that season, would
suffer him to have no rest, but carry him headlong to Mils and Weires
to his confusion. And of these _Minnows_, first you are to know, that
the biggest size is not the best; and next, that the middle size and
the whitest are the best: and then you are to know, that I cannot well
teach in words, but must shew you how to put it on your hook, that it
may turn the better: And you are also to know, that it is impossible it
should turn too quick: And you are yet to know, that in case you want a
Minnow, then a small _Loch_, or a _Sticklebag_, or any other small
Fish will serve as wel: And you are yet to know, that you may salt, and
by that means keep them fit for use three or four dayes or longer; and
that of salt, bay salt is the best.

Now for _Flies_, which is the third bait wherewith _Trouts_ are usually
taken. You are to know, that there are as many sorts of Flies as there
be of Fruits: I will name you but some of them: as the _dun flie_, the
_stone flie_, the _red flie_, the _moor flie_, the _tawny flie_, the
_shel flie_, the _cloudy_ or blackish _flie_: there be of Flies,
_Caterpillars_, and _Canker flies_, and _Bear flies_; and indeed, too
many either for mee to name, or for you to remember: and their breeding
is so various and wonderful, that I might easily amaze my self, and
tire you in a relation of them.

And yet I wil exercise your promised patience by saying a little of the
_Caterpillar_, or the _Palmer flie_ or _worm_; that by them you may
guess what a work it were in a Discourse but to run over those very
many _flies_, _worms_, and little living creatures with which the Sun
and Summer adorn and beautifie the river banks and meadows; both for
the recreation and contemplation of the Angler: and which (I think) I
myself enjoy more then any other man that is not of my profession.

_Pliny_ holds an opinion, that many have their birth or being from a
dew that in the Spring falls upon the leaves of trees; and that some
kinds of them are from a dew left upon herbs or flowers: and others
from a dew left upon Colworts or Cabbages: All which kindes of dews
being thickened and condensed, are by the Suns generative heat most of
them hatch'd, and in three dayes made living creatures, and of several
shapes and colours; some being hard and tough, some smooth and soft;
some are horned in their head, some in their tail, some have none; some
have hair, some none; some have sixteen feet, some less, and some have
none: but (as our _Topsel_ hath with great diligence observed) [_In his
History of _Serpents_._] those which have none, move upon the earth, or
upon broad leaves, their motion being not unlike to the waves of the
sea. Some of them hee also observes to be bred of the eggs of other
Caterpillers: and that those in their time turn to be _Butter-flies_;
and again, that their eggs turn the following yeer to be

'Tis endlesse to tell you what the curious Searchers into Natures
productions, have observed of these Worms and Flies: But yet I shall
tell you what our _Topsel_ sayes of the _Canker_, or _Palmer-worm_, or
_Caterpiller_; That wheras others content themselves to feed on
particular herbs or leaves (for most think, those very leaves that gave
them life and shape, give them a particular feeding and nourishment,
and that upon them they usually abide;) yet he observes, that this is
called a _Pilgrim_ or _Palmer-worm_, for his very wandering life and
various food; not contenting himself (as others do) with any certain
place for his abode, nor any certain kinde of herb or flower for his
feeding; but will boldly and disorderly wander up and down, and not
endure to be kept to a diet, or fixt to a particular place.

Nay, the very colours of _Caterpillers_ are, as one has observed, very
elegant and beautiful: I shal (for a taste of the rest) describe one of
them, which I will sometime the next month, shew you feeding on a
Willow tree, and you shal find him punctually to answer this very
description: "His lips and mouth somewhat yellow, his eyes black as
Jet, his ore-head purple, his feet and hinder parts green, his tail two
forked and black, the whole body stain'd with a kind of red spots which
run along the neck and shoulder-blades, not unlike the form of a Cross,
or the letter X, made thus cross-wise, and a white line drawn down his
back to his tail; all which add much beauty to his whole body." And it
is to me observable, that at a fix'd age this _Caterpiller_ gives over
to eat, and towards winter comes to be coverd over with a strange shell
or crust, and so lives a kind of dead life, without eating all the
winter, and (as others of several kinds turn to be several kinds of
flies and vermin, the Spring following) [View Sir _Fra. Bacon_ exper.
728 & 90. in his Natural History] so this _Caterpiller_ then turns to be
a painted Butterflye.

Come, come my Scholer, you see the River stops our morning walk, and
I wil also here stop my discourse, only as we sit down under this
Honey-Suckle hedge, whilst I look a Line to fit the Rod that our
brother _Peter_ has lent you, I shall for a little confirmation of what
I have said, repeat the observation of the Lord _Bartas_.

  God not contented to each kind to give,
  And to infuse the vertue generative,
  By his wise power made many creatures breed
  Of liveless bodies, without _Venus_ deed.

  So the cold humour breeds the _Salamander_,
  Who (in effect) like to her births commander
  With child with hundred winters, with her touch
  Quencheth the fire, though glowing ne'r so much.

  So in the fire in burning furnace springs
  The fly _Perausta_ with the flaming wings;
  Without the fire it dies, in it, it joyes,
  Living in that which all things else destroyes.

    [Sidenote: Gerh. Herbal. Cambden.]

  So slow _Boötes_ underneath him sees
  In th'icie Islands _Goslings_ hatcht of trees,
  Whose fruitful leaves falling into the water,
  Are turn'd ('tis known) to living fowls soon after.

  So rotten planks of broken ships, do change
  To _Barnacles_. Oh transformation strange!
  'Twas first a green tree, then a broken hull,
  Lately a Mushroom, now a flying Gull.

_Vi._ Oh my good Master, this morning walk has been spent to my great
pleasure and wonder: but I pray, when shall I have your direction how
to make Artificial flyes, like to those that the _Trout_ loves best?
and also how to use them?

_Pisc._ My honest Scholer, it is now past five of the Clock, we will
fish til nine, and then go to Breakfast: Go you to yonder _Sycamore
tree_, and hide your bottle of drink under the hollow root of it; for
about that time, and in that place, we wil make a brave Breakfast
with a piece of powdered Bief, and a Radish or two that I have in my
Fish-bag; we shall, I warrant you, make a good, honest, wholsome,
hungry Breakfast, and I will give you direction for the making and
using of your fly: and in the mean time, there is your Rod and line;
and my advice is, that you fish as you see mee do, and lets try which
can catch the first fish.

_Viat._ I thank you, Master, I will observe and practice your direction
as far as I am able.

_Pisc._ Look you Scholer, you see I have hold of a good fish: I now see
it is a _Trout_; I pray put that net under him, and touch not my line,
for if you do, then wee break all. Well done, Scholer, I thank you. Now
for an other. Trust me, I have another bite: Come Scholer, come lay
down your Rod, and help me to land this as you did the other. So, now
we shall be sure to have a good dish of fish for supper.

_Viat._ I am glad of that, but I have no fortune; sure Master yours is
a better Rod, and better Tackling.

_Pisc._ Nay then, take mine and I will fish with yours. Look you,
Scholer, I have another: come, do as you did before. And now I have a
bite at another. Oh me he has broke all, there's half a line and a good
hook lost.

_Viat._ Master, I can neither catch with the first nor second Angle; I
have no fortune.

_Pisc._ Look you, Scholer, I have yet another: and now having caught
three brace of _Trouts_, I will tel you a short Tale as we walk towards
our Breakfast. A Scholer (a Preacher I should say) that was to preach
to procure the approbation of a Parish, that he might be their
Lecturer, had got from a fellow Pupil of his the Copy of a Sermon that
was first preached with a great commendation by him that composed and
precht it; and though the borrower of it preach't it word for word, as
it was at first, yet it was utterly dislik'd as it was preach'd by the
second; which the Sermon Borrower complained of to the Lender of it,
and was thus answered; I lent you indeed my _Fiddle_, but not my
_Fiddlestick_; and you are to know, that every one cannot make musick
with my words which are fitted for my own mouth. And so my Scholer, you
are to know, that as the ill pronunciation or ill accenting of a word
in a Sermon spoiles it, so the ill carriage of your Line, or not
fishing even to a foot in a right place, makes you lose your labour:
and you are to know, that though you have my Fiddle, that is, my very
Rod and Tacklings with which you see I catch fish, yet you have not my
Fiddle stick, that is, skill to know how to carry your hand and line;
and this must be taught you (for you are to remember I told you Angling
is an Art) either by practice, or a long observation, or both.

But now lets say Grace, and fall to Breakfast; what say you Scholer, to
the providence of an old Angler? Does not this meat taste well? And was
not this place well chosen to eat it? for this _Sycamore_ tree will
shade us from the Suns heat.

_Viat._ All excellent good, Master, and my stomack excellent too; I
have been at many costly Dinners that have not afforded me half this
content: and now good Master, to your promised direction for making and
ordering my Artificiall flye.

_Pisc._ My honest Scholer, I will do it, for it is a debt due unto you,
by my promise: and because you shall not think your self more engaged
to me then indeed you really are, therefore I will tell you freely, I
find Mr. _Thomas Barker_ (a Gentleman that has spent much time and
money in Angling) deal so judicially and freely in a little book of his
of Angling, and especially of making and Angling with a _flye_ for a
_Trout_, that I will give you his very directions without much
variation, which shal follow.

Let your rod be light, and very gentle, I think the best are of two
pieces; the line should not exceed (especially for three or four links
towards the hook) I say, not exceed three or four haires; but if you
can attain to Angle with one haire; you will have more rises, and catch
more fish. Now you must bee sure not to cumber yourselfe with too long
a Line, as most do: and before you begin to angle, cast to have the
wind on your back, and the Sun (if it shines) to be before you, and to
fish down the streame, and carry the point or tip of the Rod downeward;
by which meanes the shadow of yourselfe, and Rod too will be the least
offensive to the Fish, for the sight of any shadow amazes the fish, and
spoiles your sport, of which you must take a great care.

In the middle of _March_ ('till which time a man should not in honestie
catch a _Trout_) or in _April_, if the weather be dark, or a little
windy, or cloudie, the best fishing is with the _Palmer-worm_, of which
I last spoke to you; but of these there be divers kinds, or at least
of divers colours, these and the _May-fly_ are the ground of all
_fly_-Angling, which are to be thus made:

First you must arm your hook, with the line in the inside of it; then
take your Scissers and cut so much of a browne _Malards_ feather as in
your own reason wil make the wings of it, you having with all regard to
the bigness or littleness of your hook, then lay the outmost part of
your feather next to your hook, then the point of your feather next the
shank of your hook; and having so done, whip it three or four times
about the hook with the same Silk, with which your hook was armed, and
having made the Silk fast, take the hackel of a _Cock_ or _Capons_
neck, or a _Plovers_ top, which is usually better; take off the one
side of the feather, and then take the hackel, Silk or Crewel, Gold or
Silver thred, make these fast at the bent of the hook (that is to say,
below your arming), then you must take the hackel, the silver or gold
thred, and work it up to the wings, shifting or stil removing your
fingers as you turn the Silk about the hook: and still looking at every
stop or turne that your gold, or what materials soever you make your
_Fly_ of, do lye right and neatly; and if you find they do so, then when
you have made the head, make all fast, and then work your hackel up to
the head, and make that fast; and then with a needle or pin divide the
wing into two, and then with the arming Silk whip it about crosswayes
betwixt the wings, and then with your thumb you must turn the point of
the feather towards the bent of the hook, and then work three or four
times about the shank of the hook and then view the proportion, and if
all be neat, and to your liking, fasten.

I confess, no direction can be given to make a man of a dull capacity
able to make a flye well; and yet I know, this, with a little practice,
wil help an ingenuous Angler in a good degree; but to see a fly made by
another, is the best teaching to make it, and then an ingenuous Angler
may walk by the River and mark what fly falls on the water that day,
and catch one of them, if he see the _Trouts_ leap at a fly of that
kind, and having alwaies hooks ready hung with him, and having a bag
also, alwaies with him with Bears hair, or the hair of a brown or sad
coloured Heifer, hackels of a Cock or Capon, several coloured Silk and
Crewel to make the body of the fly, the feathers of a Drakes head,
black or brown sheeps wool, or Hogs wool, or hair, thred of Gold, and
of silver; silk of several colours (especially sad coloured to make the
head:) and there be also other colour'd feathers both of birds and of
peckled fowl. I say, having those with him in a bag, and trying to make
a flie, though he miss at first, yet shal he at last hit it better,
even to a perfection which none can well teach him; and if he hit to
make his _flie_ right, and have the luck to hit also where there is
store of _trouts_, and a right wind, he shall catch such store of them,
as will encourage him to grow more and more in love with the Art of

_Viat._ But my loving Master, if any wind will not serve, then I wish I
were in _Lapland_, to buy a good wind of one of the honest witches,
that sell so many winds, and so cheap.

_Pisc._ Marry Scholer, but I would not be there, nor indeed from under
this tree; for look how it begins to rain, and by the clouds (if I
mistake not) we shall presently have a smoaking showre; and therefore
fit close, this _Sycamore tree_ will shelter us; and I will tell you,
as they shall come into my mind, more observations of flie-fishing for
a _Trout_.

But first, for the Winde; you are to take notice that of the windes the
_South winde_ is said to be best. One observes, That

                When the winde is south,
  It blows your bait into a fishes mouth.

Next to that, the _west_ winde is believed to be the best: and having
told you that the _East_ winde is the worst, I need not tell you which
winde is best in the third degree: And yet (as _Solomon_ observes, that
_Hee that considers the winde shall never sow_:) so hee that busies his
head too much about them, (if the weather be not made extreme cold by
an East winde) shall be a little superstitious: for as it is observed
by some, That there is no good horse of a bad colour; so I have
observed, that if it be a clowdy day, and not extreme cold, let the
winde sit in what corner it will, and do its worst. And yet take this
for a Rule, that I would willingly fish on the Lee-shore: and you are
to take notice, that the Fish lies, or swimms neerer the bottom in
Winter then in Summer, and also neerer the bottom in any cold day.

But I promised to tell you more of the Flie-fishing for a _Trout_,
(which I may have time enough to do, for you see it rains _May-butter_).
First for a _May-flie_, you may make his body with greenish coloured
crewel, or willow colour; darkning it in most places, with waxed silk,
or rib'd with a black hare, or some of them rib'd with silver thred;
and such wings for the colour as you see the flie to have at that
season; nay at that very day on the water. Or you may make the
_Oak-flie_ with an Orange-tawny and black ground, and the brown of a
Mallards feather for the wings; and you are to know, that these two are
most excellent _flies_, that is, the _May-flie_ and the _Oak-flie_: And
let me again tell you, that you keep as far from the water as you can
possibly, whether you fish with a flie or worm, and fish down the
stream; and when you fish with a flie, if it be possible, let no part
of your line touch the water, but your flie only; and be stil moving
your fly upon the water, or casting it into the water; you your self,
being also alwaies moving down the stream. Mr. _Barker_ commends
severall sorts of the palmer flies, not only those rib'd with silver
and gold, but others that have their bodies all made of black, or some
with red, and a red hackel; you may also make the _hawthorn-flie_ which
is all black and not big, but very smal, the smaller the better; or the
_oak-fly_, the body of which is Orange colour and black crewel, with a
brown wing, or a _fly_ made with a peacocks feather, is excellent in a
bright day: you must be sure you want not in your _Magazin_ bag, the
Peacocks feather, and grounds of such wool, and crewel as will make the
Grasshopper: and note, that usually, the smallest flies are best; and
note also, that, the light flie does usually make most sport in a dark
day: and the darkest and least flie in a bright or cleare day; and
lastly note, that you are to repaire upon any occasion to your
_Magazin_ bag, and upon any occasion vary and make them according to
your fancy.

And now I shall tell you, that the fishing with a naturall flie is
excellent, and affords much pleasure; they may be found thus, the
_May-fly_ usually in and about that month neer to the River side,
especially against rain; the _Oak-fly_ on the Butt or body of an _Oak_
or _Ash_, from the beginning of _May_ to the end of _August_ it is a
brownish fly, and easie to be so found, and stands usually with his
head downward, that is to say, towards the root of the tree, the small
black fly, or _hawthorn_ fly is to be had on any Hawthorn bush, after
the leaves be come forth; with these and a short Line (as I shewed to
Angle for a _Chub_) you may dap or dop, and also with a _Grashopper_,
behind a tree, or in any deep hole, still making it to move on the top
of the water, as if it were alive, and still keeping your self out of
sight, you shall certainly have sport if there be _Trouts_; yea in a
hot day, but especially in the evening of a hot day.

And now, Scholer, my direction for _fly-fishing_ is ended with this
showre, for it has done raining, and now look about you, and see how
pleasantly that Meadow looks, nay and the earth smels as sweetly too.
Come let me tell you what holy Mr. _Herbert_ saies of such dayes 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,
  The bridal of the earth and skie,
  Sweet dews shal weep thy fall to night,
                    for thou must die.

  Sweet Rose, whose hew angry and brave
  Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
  Thy root is ever in its grave,
                    and thou must die.

  Sweet Spring, ful of sweet days & roses,
  A box where sweets compacted lie;
  My Musick shewes you have your closes,
                    and all must die.

  Only a sweet and vertuous soul,
  Like seasoned timber never gives,
  But when the whole world turns to cole,
                    then chiefly lives.

_Viat._ I thank you, good Master, for your good direction for
fly-fishing, and for the sweet enjoyment of the pleasant day, which
is so far spent without offence to God or man. And I thank you for the
sweet close of your discourse with Mr. _Herberts_ Verses, which I have
heard, loved Angling; and I do the rather believe it, because he had a
spirit sutable to Anglers, and to those Primitive Christians that you
love, and have so much commended.

_Pisc._ Well, my loving Scholer, and I am pleased to know that you are
so well pleased with my direction and discourse; and I hope you will be
pleased too, if you find a _Trout_ at one of our Angles, which we left
in the water to fish for it self; you shall chuse which shall be yours,
and it is an even lay, one catches; And let me tell you, this kind of
fishing, and laying Night-hooks, are like putting money to use, for
they both work for the Owners, when they do nothing but sleep, or eat,
or rejoice, as you know we have done this last hour, and fate as
quietly and as free from cares under this _Sycamore_, as _Virgils_
_Tityrus_ and his _Melibæus_ did under their broad _Beech_ tree: No
life, my honest Scholer, no life so happy and so pleasant as the
Anglers, unless it be the Beggers life in Summer; for then only they
take no care, but are as happy as we Anglers.

_Viat._ Indeed Master, and so they be, as is witnessed by the beggers
Song, made long since by _Frank Davison_, a good Poet, who was not a
Begger, though he were a good Poet.

_Pisc._ Can you sing it, Scholer?

_Viat._ Sit down a little, good Master, and I wil try.

    Bright shines the Sun, play beggers, play,
    here's scraps enough to serve to day:
  What noise of viols is so sweet
  As when our merry clappers ring?
  What mirth doth want when beggers meet?
  A beggers life is for a King:
    Eat, drink and play, sleep when we list,
    Go where we will so stocks be mist.
    Bright shines the Sun, play beggers, &c.

  The world is ours and ours alone,
  For we alone have world at will;
  We purchase not, all is our own,
  Both fields and streets we beggers fill:
    Play beggers play, play beggers play,
    here's scraps enough to serve to day.

  A hundred herds of black and white
  Upon our Gowns securely feed,
  And yet if any dare us bite,
  He dies therefore as sure as Creed:
    Thus beggers Lord it as they please,
    And only beggers live at ease:
    Bright shines the Sun, play beggers play,
    here's scraps enough to serve to day.

_Pisc._ I thank you good Scholer, this Song was well humor'd by the
maker, and well remembred and sung by you; and I pray forget not the
Ketch which you promised to make against night, for our Country man
honest _Coridon_ will expect your Ketch and my Song, which I must be
forc'd to patch up, for it is so long since I learnt it, that I have
forgot a part of it. But come, lets stretch our legs a little in a
gentle walk to the River, and try what interest our Angles wil pay us
for lending them so long to be used by the _Trouts_.

_Viat._ Oh me, look you Master, a fish, a fish.

_Pisc._ I marry Sir. that was a good fish indeed; if I had had the luck
to have taken up that Rod, 'tis twenty to one he should not have broke
my line by running to the Rods end, as you suffered him; I would have
held him, unless he had been fellow to the great _Trout_ that is neer
an ell long, which had his picture drawne, and now to be seen at mine
Hoste _Rickabies_ at the _George_ in _Ware_; and it may be, by giving
that _Trout_ the Rod, that is, by casting it to him into the water, I
might have caught him at the long run, for so I use alwaies to do when
I meet with an over-grown fish, and you will learn to do so hereafter;
for I tell you, Scholer, fishing is an Art, or at least, it is an Art
to catch fish.

_Viat._ But, Master, will this _Trout_ die, for it is like he has the
hook in his belly?

_Pisc._ I wil tel you, Scholer, that unless the hook be fast in his
very Gorge, he wil live, and a little time with the help of the water,
wil rust the hook, & it wil in time wear away as the gravel does in the
horse hoof, which only leaves a false quarter.

And now Scholer, lets go to my Rod. Look you Scholer, I have a fish
too, but it proves a logger-headed _Chub_; and this is not much a miss,
for this wil pleasure some poor body, as we go to our lodging to meet
our brother _Peter_ and honest _Coridon_. Come, now bait your hook
again, and lay it into the water, for it rains again, and we wil ev'n
retire to the _Sycamore_ tree, and there I wil give you more directions
concerning fishing; for I would fain make you an Artist.

_Viat._ Yes, good Master, I pray let it be so.


_Pisc._ VVel, Scholer, now we are sate downe and are at ease, I shall
tel you a little more of _Trout_ fishing before I speak of the _Salmon_
(which I purpose shall be next) and then of the _Pike_ or _Luce_. You
are to know, there is night as well as day-fishing for a _Trout_, and
that then the best are out of their holds; and the manner of taking
them is on the top of the water with a great _Lob_ or _Garden worm_, or
rather two; which you are to fish for in a place where the water runs
somewhat quietly (for in a stream it wil not be so well discerned.) I
say, in a quiet or dead place neer to some swift, there draw your bait
over the top of the water to and fro, and if there be a good _Trout_ in
the hole, he wil take it, especially if the night be dark; for then he
lies boldly neer the top of the water, watching the motion of any
_Frog_ or _Water-mouse_, or _Rat_ betwixt him and the skie, which he
hunts for if he sees the water but wrinkle or move in one of these dead
holes, where the great _Trouts_ usually lye neer to their hold.

And you must fish for him with a strong line, and not a little hook,
and let him have time to gorge your hook, for he does not usually
forsake it, as he oft will in the day-fishing: and if the night be not
dark, then fish so with an _Artificial fly_ of a light colour; nay he
will sometimes rise at a dead Mouse or a piece of cloth, or any thing
that seemes to swim cross the water, or to be in motion: this is a
choice way, but I have not oft used it because it is void of the
pleasures that such dayes as these that we now injoy, afford an

And you are to know, that in _Hamp-shire_, (which I think exceeds all
_England_ for pleasant Brooks, and store of _Trouts_) they use to catch
_Trouts_ in the night by the light of a Torch or straw, which when they
have discovered, they strike with a _Trout_ spear; this kind of way
they catch many, but I would not believe it till I was an eye-witness
of it, nor like it now I have seen it.

_Viat._ But Master, do not _Trouts_ see us in the night?

_Pisc._ Yes, and hear, and smel too, both then and in the day time, for
_Gesner_ observes, the _Otter_ smels a fish forty furlong off him in
the water; and that it may be true, is affirmed by Sir _Francis Bacon_
(in the eighth Century of his Natural History) who there proves, that
waters may be the _Medium_ of sounds, by demonstrating it thus, _That
if you knock two stones together very deep under the water, those that
stand on a bank neer to that place may hear the noise without any
diminution of it by the water_. He also offers the like experiment
concerning the letting an _Anchor_ fall by a very long Cable or rope on
a Rock, or the sand within the Sea: and this being so wel observed and
demonstrated, as it is by that learned man, has made me to believe that
_Eeles_ unbed themselves, and stir at the noise of the Thunder, and not
only as some think, by the motion or the stirring of the earth, which
is occasioned by that Thunder.

And this reason of Sir _Francis Bacons_ [Exper. 792] has made me crave
pardon of one that I laught at, for affirming that he knew _Carps_ come
to a certain place in a Pond to be fed at the ringing of a Bel; and it
shall be a rule for me to make as little noise as I can when I am a
fishing, until Sir _Francis Bacon_ be confuted, which I shal give any
man leave to do, and so leave off this Philosophical discourse for a
discourse of fishing.

Of which my next shall be to tell you, it is certain, that certain
fields neer _Lemster_, a Town in _Herefordshire_, are observed, that
they make the Sheep that graze upon them more fat then the next, and
also to bear finer Wool; that is to say, that that year in which they
feed in such a particular pasture, they shall yeeld finer wool then the
yeer before they came to feed in it, and courser again if they shall
return to their former pasture, and again return to a finer wool being
fed in the fine wool ground. Which I tell you, that you may the better
believe that I am certain, If I catch a _Trout_ in one Meadow, he shall
be _white_ and _faint_ and very like to be _lowsie_; and as certainly if
I catch a _Trout_ in the next Meadow, he shal be strong, and _red_, and
_lusty_, and much better meat: Trust me (Scholer) I have caught many a
_Trout_ in a particular Meadow, that the very shape and inamelled
colour of him, has joyed me to look upon him, and I have with _Solomon_
concluded, _Every thing is beautifull in his season_.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is now time to tell you next, (according to promise) some
observations of the _Salmon_; But first, I wil tel you there is a fish,
called by some an _Umber_, and by some a _Greyling_, a choice fish,
esteemed by many to be equally good with the _Trout_: it is a fish that
is usually about eighteen inches long, he lives in such streams as the
_Trout_ does; and is indeed taken with the same bait as a _Trout_ is,
for he will bite both at the _Minnow_, the _Worm_, and the _Fly_, both
_Natural_ and _Artificial_: of this fish there be many in _Trent_, and
in the River that runs by _Salisbury_, and in some other lesser Brooks;
but he is not so general a fish as the _Trout_, nor to me either so
good to eat, or so pleasant to fish for as the _Trout_ is; of which two
fishes I will now take my leave, and come to my promised Observations
of the _Salmon_, and a little advice for the catching him.


The _Salmon_ is ever bred in the fresh Rivers (and in most Rivers about
the month of _August_) and never grows big but in the _Sea_; and there
to an incredible bigness in a very short time; to which place they covet
to swim, by the instinct of nature, about a set time: but if they be
stopp'd by _Mills_, _Floud-gates_ or _Weirs_, or be by accident lost in
the fresh water, when the others go (which is usually by flocks or
sholes) then they thrive not.

And the old _Salmon_, both the _Melter_ and _Spawner_, strive also to
get into the _Sea_ before Winter; but being stopt that course, or lost;
grow sick in fresh waters, and by degrees unseasonable, and kipper,
that is, to have a bony gristle, to grow (not unlike a _Hauks_ beak) on
one of his chaps, which hinders him from feeding, and then he pines and

But if he gets to _Sea_, then that gristle wears away, or is cast off
(as the _Eagle_ is said to cast his bill) and he recovers his strength,
and comes next Summer to the same River, (if it be possible) to enjoy
the former pleasures that there possest him; for (as one has wittily
observed) he has (like some persons of Honour and Riches, which have
both their winter and Summer houses) the fresh Rivers for Summer, and
the salt water for winter to spend his life in; which is not (as Sir
_Francis Bacon_ hath observed) [In his History of Life and Death.] above
ten years: And it is to be observed, that though they grow big in the
_Sea_, yet they grow not fat but in fresh Rivers; and it is observed,
that the farther they get from the _Sea_, the better they be.

And it is observed, that, to the end they may get far from the _Sea_,
either to Spawne or to possess the pleasure that they then and there
find, they will force themselves over the tops of _Weirs_, or _Hedges_,
or _stops_ in the water, by taking their tails into their mouthes, and
leaping over those places, even to a height beyond common belief: and
sometimes by forcing themselves against the streame through Sluces and
Floud-gates, beyond common credit. And 'tis observed by _Gesner_, that
there is none bigger then in _England_, nor none better then in Thames.

And for the _Salmons_ sudden growth, it has been observed by tying a
Ribon in the tail of some number of the young _Salmons_, which have
been taken in _Weires_, as they swimm'd towards the salt water, and
then by taking a part of them again with the same mark, at the same
place, at their returne from the Sea, which is usually about six months
after; and the like experiment hath been tried upon young _Swallows_,
who have after six months absence, been observed to return to the same
chimney, there to make their nests, and their habitations for the
Summer following; which hath inclined many to think, that every
_Salmon_ usually returns to the same River in which it was bred, as
young _Pigeons_ taken out of the same _Dove-cote_, have also been
observed to do.

And you are yet to observe further, that the He _Salmon_ is usually
bigger then the Spawner, and that he is more kipper, & less able to
endure a winter in the fresh water, then the She is; yet she is at that
time of looking less kipper and better, as watry and as bad meat.

And yet you are to observe, that as there is no general rule without an
exception, so there is some few Rivers in this Nation that have
_Trouts_ and _Salmon_ in season in winter. But for the observations of
that and many other things, I must in manners omit, because they wil
prove too large for our narrow compass of time, and therefore I shall
next fall upon my direction how to fish for the _Salmon_.

And for that, first, you shall observe, that usually he staies not long
in a place (as _Trouts_ wil) but (as I said) covets still to go neerer
the Spring head; and that he does not (as the _Trout_ and many other
fish) lie neer the water side or bank, or roots of trees, but swims
usually in the middle, and neer the ground; and that there you are to
fish for him; and that he is to be caught as the _Trout_ is, with a
_Worm_, a _Minnow_, (which some call a _Penke_) or with a _Fly_.

And you are to observe, that he is very, very seldom observed to bite
at a _Minnow_ (yet sometime he will) and not oft at a _fly_, but more
usually at a _Worm_, and then most usually at a _Lob_ or _Garden worm_,
which should be wel scowred, that is to say, seven or eight dayes in
Moss before you fish with them; and if you double your time of eight
into sixteen, or more, into twenty or more days, it is still the
better, for the worms will stil be clearer, tougher, and more lively,
and continue so longer upon your hook.

And now I shall tell you, that which may be called a secret: I have
been a fishing with old _Oliver Henly_ (now with God) a noted Fisher,
both for _Trout_ and _Salmon_, and have observed that he would usually
take three or four worms out of his bag and put them into a little box
in his pocket, where he would usually let them continue half an hour or
more, before he would bait his hook with them; I have ask'd him his
reason, and he has replied, _He did but pick the best out to be in a
readiness against he baited his hook the next time_: But he has been
observed both by others, and my self, to catch more fish then I or any
other body, that has ever gone a fishing with him, could do, especially
_Salmons_; and I have been told lately by one of his most intimate and
secret friends, that the box in which he put those worms was anointed
with a drop, or two, or three of the Oil of _Ivy-berries_, made by
expression or infusion, and that by the wormes remaining in that box an
hour, or a like time, they had incorporated a kind of smel that was
irresistibly attractive, enough to force any fish, within the smel of
them, to bite. This I heard not long since from a friend, but have not
tryed it; yet I grant it probable, and refer my Reader to Sir _Francis
Bacons_ Natural History, where he proves fishes may hear; and I am
certain _Gesner_ sayes, the _Otter_ can smell in the water, and know
not that but fish may do so too: 'tis left for a lover of Angling, or
any that desires to improve that Art, to try this conclusion.

I shall also impart another experiment (but not tryed by my selfe)
which I wil deliver in the same words as it was by a friend, given me
in writing.

_Take the stinking oil drawn out of _Poly pody_ of the _Oak_, by a
retort mixt with _Turpentine_, and Hive-honey, and annoint your bait
therewith, and it will doubtlesse draw the fish to it._

But in these things I have no great faith, yet grant it probable, and
have had from some chemical men (namely, from Sir _George Hastings_ and
others) an affirmation of them to be very advantageous: but no more of
these, especially not in this place.

I might here, before I take my leave of the _Salmon_, tell you, that
there is more then one sort of them, as namely, a _Tecon_, and another
called in some places a _Samlet_, or by some, a _Skegger_: but these
(and others which I forbear to name) may be fish of another kind, and
differ, as we know a _Herring_ and a _Pilcher_ do; but must by me be
left to the disquisitions of men of more leisure and of greater
abilities, then I profess myself to have.

And lastly, I am to borrow so much of your promised patience, as to
tell you, that the _Trout_ or _Salmon_, being in season, have at their
first taking out of the water (which continues during life) their
bodies adorned, the one with such red spots, and the other with black
or blackish spots, which gives them such an addition of natural
beautie, as I (that yet am no enemy to it) think was never given to any
woman by the Artificial Paint or Patches in which they so much pride
themselves in this age. And so I shall leave them and proceed to some
Observations of the _Pike_.


_Pisc._ It is not to be doubted but that the _Luce_, or _Pikrell_, or
_Pike_ breeds by Spawning; and yet _Gesner_ sayes, that some of them
breed, where none ever was, out of a weed called _Pikrell-weed_, and
other glutinous matter, which with the help of the Suns heat proves in
some particular ponds (apted by nature for it) to become _Pikes_.

Sir _Francis Bacon_ [In his History of Life and Death.] observes the
_Pike_ to be the longest lived of any fresh water fish, and yet that
his life is not usually above fortie years; and yet _Gesner_ mentions a
_Pike_ taken in _Swedeland_ in the year 1449, with a Ring about his
neck, declaring he was put into the Pond by _Frederick_ the second,
more then two hundred years before he was last taken, as the
Inscription of that Ring, being Greek, was interpreted by the then
Bishop of _Worms_. But of this no more, but that it is observed that
the old or very great _Pikes_ have in them more of state then goodness;
the smaller or middle siz'd _Pikes_ being by the most and choicest
palates observed to be the best meat; but contrary, the _Eele_ is
observed to be the better for age and bigness.

All _Pikes_ that live long prove chargeable to their keepers, because
their life is maintained by the death of so many other fish, even those
of his owne kind, which has made him by some Writers to bee called the
_Tyrant_ of the Rivers, or the _Fresh water-wolf_, by reason of his
bold, greedy, devouring disposition; which is so keen, as _Gesner_
relates, a man going to a Pond (where it seems a _Pike_ had devoured all
the fish) to water his Mule, had a _Pike_ bit his Mule by the lips, to
which the _Pike_ hung so fast, that the Mule drew him out of the water,
and by that accident the owner of the Mule got the _Pike_; I tell you
who relates it, and shall with it tel you what a wise man has observed,
_It is a hard thing to perswade the belly, because it hath no ears_.

But if this relation of _Gesners_ bee dis-believed, it is too evident
to bee doubted that a _Pike_ will devoure a fish of his own kind, that
shall be bigger then this belly or throat will receive; and swallow a
part of him, and let the other part remaine in his mouth till the
swallowed part be digested, and then swallow that other part that was
in his mouth, and so put it over by degrees. And it is observed, that
the _Pike_ will eat venemous things (as some kind of _Frogs_ are) and
yet live without being harmed by them: for, as some say, he has in him
a natural Balsome or Antidote against all Poison: and others, that he
never eats a venemous _Frog_ till he hath first killed her, and then
(as _Ducks_ are observed to do to _Frogs_ in Spawning time, at which
time some _Frogs_ are observed to be venemous) so throughly washt her,
by tumbling her up and down in the water, that he may devour her
without danger. And _Gesner_ affirms, that a _Polonian_ Gentleman did
faithfully assure him, he had seen two young Geese at one time in the
belly of a _Pike_: and hee observes, that in _Spain_ there is no
_Pikes_, and that the biggest are in the _Lake Thracimane_ in _Italy_,
and the next, if not equal to them, are the _Pikes_ of _England_.

The _Pike_ is also observed to be a melancholly, and a bold fish:
Melancholly, because he alwaies swims or rests himselfe alone, and
never swims in sholes, or with company, as _Roach_, and _Dace_, and
most other fish do: And bold, because he fears not a shadow, or to see
or be seen of any body, as the _Trout_ and _Chub_, and all other fish

And it is observed by _Gesner_, that the bones, and hearts, & gals of
_Pikes_ are very medicinable for several Diseases, as to stop bloud, to
abate Fevers, to cure Agues, to oppose or expel the infection of the
Plague, and to be many wayes medicinable and useful for the good of
mankind; but that the biting of a _Pike_ is venemous and hard to be

And it is observed, that the _Pike_ is a fish that breeds but once a
year, and that other fish (as namely _Loaches_) do breed oftner; as we
are certaine Pigeons do almost every month, and yet the Hawk, a bird of
prey (as the _Pike_ is of fish) breeds but once in twelve months: and
you are to note, that his time of breeding or Spawning is usually about
the end of _February_; or somewhat later, in _March_, as the weather
proves colder or warmer: and to note, that his manner of breeding is
thus, a He and a She _Pike_ will usually go together out of a River
into some ditch or creek, and that there the Spawner casts her eggs,
and the Melter hovers over her all that time that she is casting her
Spawn, but touches her not. I might say more of this, but it might be
thought curiosity or worse, and shall therefore forbear it, and take up
so much of your attention as to tell you that the best of _Pikes_ are
noted to be in Rivers, then those in great Ponds or Meres, and the
worst in smal Ponds.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now I shall proceed to give you some directions how to catch this
_Pike_, which you have with so much patience heard me talk of.

  [Illustration of a Pike]

His feeding is usually _fish_ or _frogs_, and sometime a weed of his
owne, called _Pikrel-weed_, of which I told you some think some _Pikes_
are bred; for they have observed, that where no _Pikes_ have been put
into a Pond, yet that there they have been found, and that there has
been plenty of that weed in that Pond, and that that weed both breeds
and feeds them; but whether those _Pikes_ so bred will ever breed by
generation as the others do, I shall leave to the disquisitions of men
of more curiosity and leisure then I profess my self to have; and shall
proceed to tell you, that you may fish for a _Pike_, either with a
ledger, or a walking-bait; and you are to note, that I call that a
ledger which is fix'd, or made to rest in one certaine place when you
shall be absent; and that I call that a walking bait, which you take
with you, and have ever in motion. Concerning which two, I shall give
you this direction, That your ledger bait is best to be a living bait,
whether it be a fish or a Frog; and that you may make them live the
longer, you may, or indeed you must take this course:

First, for your live bait of fish, a _Roch_ or _Dace_ is (I think) best
and most tempting, and a _Pearch_ the longest liv'd on a hook; you must
take your knife, (which cannot be too sharp) and betwixt the head and
the fin on his back, cut or make an insition, or such a scar as you may
put the arming wyer of your hook into it, with as little bruising or
hurting the fish as Art and diligence will enable you to do, and so
carrying your arming wyer along his back, unto, or neer the tail of
your fish, betwixt the skin and the body of it, draw out that wyer or
arming of your hook at another scar neer to his tail; then tye him
about it with thred, but no harder then of necessitie you must to
prevent hurting the fish; and the better to avoid hurting the fish,
some have a kind of probe to open the way, for the more easie entrance
and passage of your wyer or arming: but as for these, time and a little
experience will teach you better then I can by words; for of this I
will for the present say no more, but come next to give you some
directions how to bait your hook with a Frog.

_Viat._ But, good Master, did not you say even now, that some _Frogs_
were venemous, and is it not dangerous to touch them?

_Pisc._ Yes, but I wil give you some Rules or Cautions concerning them:
And first, you are to note, there is two kinds of _Frogs_; that is to
say, (if I may so express my self) a _flesh_ and _a fish-frog_: by
flesh _frogs_, I mean, _frogs_ that breed and live on the land; and of
these there be several sorts and colours, some being peckled, some
greenish, some blackish, or brown: the green _Frog_, which is a smal
one, is by _Topsell_ taken to be venemous; and so is the _Padock_, or
_Frog-Padock_, which usually keeps or breeds on the land, and is very
large and bony, and big, especially the She _frog_ of that kind; yet
these wil sometime come into the water, but it is not often; and the
land _frogs_ are some of them observed by him, to breed by laying eggs,
and others to breed of the slime and dust of the earth, and that in
winter they turn to slime again, and that the next Summer that very
slime returns to be a living creature; this is the opinion of _Pliny_:
and* [_In _his 16th Book_, De subtil. ex._] _Cardanus_ undertakes to
give reason for the raining of _Frogs_; but if it were in my power, it
should rain none but water _Frogs_, for those I think are not venemous,
especially the right water _Frog_, which about _February_ or _March_
breeds in ditches by slime and blackish eggs in that slime, about which
time of breeding the He and She _frog_ are observed to use divers
simber salts, and to croke and make a noise, which the land _frog_, or
_Padock frog_ never does. Now of these water _Frogs_, you are to chuse
the yellowest that you can get, for that the _Pike_ ever likes best.
And thus use your _Frog_, that he may continue long alive:

Put your hook into his mouth, which you may easily do from about the
middle of _April_ till _August_, and then the _Frogs_ mouth grows up
and he continues so for at least six months without 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 sow the upper part of his
leg with only one stitch to the armed wire of your hook, or tie the
_frogs_ leg above the upper joint to the armed wire, and in so doing
use him as though you loved him, that is, harme him as little as you
may possibly, that he may live the longer.

And now, having given you this direction for the baiting your ledger
hook with a live fish or frog, my next must be to tell you, how
your hook thus baited must or may be used; and it is thus: Having
fastned your hook to a line, which if it be not fourteen yards long,
should not be less then twelve; you are to fasten that line to any bow
neer to a hole where a _Pike_ is, or is likely to lye, or to have a
haunt, and then wind your line on any forked stick, all your line,
except a half yard of it, or rather more, and split that forked stick
with such a nick or notch at one end of it, as may keep the line from
any more of it ravelling from about the stick, then so much of it as
you intended; and chuse your forked stick to be of that bigness as may
keep the _fish_ or _frog_ from pulling the forked stick under the water
till the _Pike_ bites, and then the _Pike_ having pulled the line forth
of the clift or nick in which it was gently fastened, will have line
enough to go to his hold and powch the bait: and if you would have this
ledger bait to keep at a fixt place, undisturbed by wind or other
accidents which may drive it to the shoare side (for you are to note
that it is likeliest to catch a _Pike_ in the midst of the water) then
hang a small Plummet of lead, a stone, or piece of tyle, or a turfe in
a string, and cast it into the water, with the forked stick to hang
upon the ground, to be as an Anchor to keep the forked stick from
moving out of your intended place till the _Pike_ come. This I take to
be a very good way, to use so many ledger baits as you intend to make
tryal of.

Or if you bait your hooks thus, with live fish or Frogs, and in a windy
day fasten them thus to a bow or bundle of straw, and by the help of
that wind can get them to move cross a _Pond_ or _Mere_, you are like
to stand still on the shoar and see sport, if there be any store of
_Pikes_; or 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 along with them, and are
still in expectation of sport. The rest must be taught you by practice,
for time will not alow me to say more of this kind of fishing with live

And for your dead bait for a _Pike_, for that you may be taught by one
dayes going a fishing with me or any other body that fishes for him,
for the baiting your hook with a dead _Gudgion_ or a _Roch_, and moving
it up and down the water, is too easie a thing to take up any time to
direct you to do it; and yet, because I cut you short in that, I will
commute for it, by telling you that that was told me for a secret: it
is this:

_Dissolve _Gum of Ivie_ in Oyle of _Spike_, and therewith annoint your
dead bait for a _Pike_, and then cast it into a likely place, and when
it has layen a short time at the bottom, draw it towards the top of the
water, and so up the stream, and it is more then likely that you have
a _Pike_ follow you with more then common eagerness._

This has not been tryed by me, but told me by a friend of note, that
pretended to do me a courtesie: but if this direction to catch a _Pike_
thus do you no good, I am certaine this direction how to roste him when
he is caught, is choicely good, for I have tryed it, and it is somewhat
the better for not being common; but with my direction you must take
this Caution, that your Pike must not be a smal one.

_First open your _Pike_ at the gills, and if need be, cut also a little
slit towards his belly; out of these, take his guts, and keep his
liver, which you are to shred very small with _Time_, _Sweet Margerom_,
and a little _Winter-Savoury_; to these put some pickled _Oysters_,
and some _Anchovis_, both these last whole (for the _Anchovis_ will
melt, and the _Oysters_ should not) to these you must add also a pound
of sweet _Butter_, which you are to mix with the herbs that are shred,
and let them all be well salted (if the _Pike_ be more then a yard
long, then you may put into these herbs more then a pound, or if he be
less, then less _Butter_ will suffice:) these being thus mixt, with a
blade or two of Mace, must be put into the _Pikes_ belly, and then his
belly sowed up; then you are to thrust the spit through his mouth out
at his tail; and then with four, or five, or six split sticks or very
thin laths, and a convenient quantitie of tape or filiting, these laths
are to be tyed roundabout the _Pikes_ body, from his head to his tail,
and the tape tied somewhat thick to prevent his breaking or falling off
from the spit; let him be rosted very leisurely, and often basted with
Claret wine, and Anchovis, and butter mixt together, and also with what
moisture falls from him into the pan: when you have rosted him
sufficiently, you are to hold under him (when you unwind or cut the
tape that ties him) such a dish as you purpose to eat him out of, and
let him fall into it with the sawce that is rosted in his belly; and by
this means the _Pike_ will be kept unbroken and complete; then to the
sawce, which was within him, and also in the pan, you are to add a fit
quantity of the best butter, and to squeeze the juice of three or four
Oranges: lastly, you may either put into the _Pike_ with the _Oysters_,
two cloves of Garlick, and take it whole out when the _Pike_ is cut
off the spit, or to give the sawce a hogoe, let the dish (into which
you let the _Pike_ fall) be rubed with it; the using or not using of
this Garlick is left to your discretion._

This dish of meat is too good for any but Anglers or honest men; and,
I trust, you wil prove both, and therefore I have trusted you with this
Secret. And now I shall proceed to give you some Observations concerning
the _Carp_.


_Pisc._ The _Carp_ is a stately, a good, and a subtle fish, a fish that
hath not (as it is said) been long in _England_, but said to be by one
Mr. _Mascall_ (a Gentleman then living at _Plumsted_ in _Sussex_)
brought into this Nation: and for the better confirmation of this, you
are to remember I told you that _Gesner_ sayes, there is not a _Pike_
in _Spain_, and that except the _Eele_, which lives longest out of the
water, there is none that will endure more hardness, or live longer
then a _Carp_ will out of it, and so the report of his being brought
out of a forrain Nation into this, is the more probable.

_Carps_ and _Loches_ are observed to breed several months in one year,
which most other fish do not, and it is the rather believed, because
you shall scarce or never take a _Male Carp_ without a _Melt_, or a
_Female_ without a _Roe_ or _Spawn_; and for the most part very much,
and especially all the Summer season; and it is observed, that they
breed more naturally in Ponds then in running waters, and that those
that live in Rivers are taken by men of the best palates to be much the
better meat.

And it is observed, that in some Ponds _Carps_ will not breed,
especially in cold Ponds; but where they will breed, they breed
innumerably, if there be no _Pikes_ nor _Pearch_ to devour their Spawn,
when it is cast upon grass, or flags, or weeds, where it lies ten or
twelve dayes before it be enlivened.

The _Carp_, if he have water room and good feed, will grow to a very
great bigness and length: I have heard, to above a yard long; though I
never saw one above thirty three inches, which was a very great and
goodly fish.

Now as the increase of _Carps_ is wonderful for their number; so there
is not a reason found out, I think, by any, why the should breed in
some Ponds, and not in others of the same nature, for soil and all
other circumstances; and as their breeding, so are their decayes also
very mysterious; I have both read it, and been told by a Gentleman of
tryed honestie, that he has knowne sixtie or more large _Carps_ put
into several Ponds neer to a house, where by reason of the stakes in
the Ponds, and the Owners constant being neer to them, it was
impossible they should be stole away from him, and that when he has
after three or four years emptied the Pond, and expected an increase
from them by breeding young ones (for that they might do so, he had, as
the rule is, put in three Melters for one Spawner) he has, I say, after
three or four years found neither a young nor old _Carp_ remaining: And
the like I have known of one that has almost watched his Pond, and at a
like distance of time at the fishing of a Pond, found of seventy or
eighty large _Carps_, not above five or six: and that he had forborn
longer to fish the said Pond, but that he saw in a hot day in Summer, a
large _Carp_ swim neer to the top of the water with a _Frog_ upon his
head, and that he upon that occasion caused his Pond to be let dry: and
I say, of seventie or eighty _Carps_, only found five or six in the
said Pond, and those very sick and lean, and with every one a Frog
sticking so fast on the head of the said _Carps_, that the Frog would
not bee got off without extreme force or killing, and the Gentleman
that did affirm this to me, told me he saw it, and did declare his
belief to be (and I also believe the same) that he thought the other
_Carps_ that were so strangely lost, were so killed by _Frogs_, and then

But I am faln into this discourse by accident, of which I might say
more, but it has proved longer then I intended, and possibly may not to
you be considerable; I shall therefore give you three or four more
short observations of the _Carp_, and then fall upon some directions
how you shall fish for him.

The age of _Carps_ is by S. _Francis Bacon_ (in his History of Life and
Death) observed to be but ten years; yet others think they live longer:
but most conclude, that (contrary to the _Pike_ or _Luce_) all _Carps_
are the better for age and bigness; the tongues of _Carps_ are noted to
be choice and costly meat, especially to them that buy them; but
_Gesner_ sayes, _Carps_ have no tongues like other fish, but a piece of
flesh-like-fish in their mouth like to a tongue, and may be so called,
but it is certain it is choicely good, and that the _Carp_ is to be
reckoned amongst those leather mouthed fish, which I told you have
their teeth in their throat, and for that reason he is very seldome
lost by breaking his hold, if your hook bee once stuck into his chaps.

I told you, that Sir _Francis Bacon_ thinks that the _Carp_ lives but
ten years; but _Janus Dubravius_ (a _Germane_ as I think) has writ a
book in Latine of Fish and Fish Ponds, in which he sayes, that _Carps_
begin to Spawn at the age of three yeers, and continue to do so till
thirty; he sayes also, that in the time of their breeding, which is in
Summer when the Sun hath warmed both the earth and water, and so apted
them also for generation, that then three or four Male _Carps_ will
follow a Female, and that then she putting on a seeming coyness, they
force her through weeds and flags, where she lets fall her eggs or
Spawn, which sticks fast to the weeds, and then they let fall their
Melt upon it, and so it becomes in a short time to be a living fish;
and, as I told you, it is thought the _Carp_ does this several months
in the yeer, and most believe that most fish breed after this manner,
except the Eele: and it is thought that all _Carps_ are not bred by
generation, but that some breed otherwayes, as some _Pikes_ do.

       *       *       *       *       *

Much more might be said out of him, and out of _Aristotle_, which
_Dubravius_ often quotes in his Discourse, but it might rather perplex
then satisfie you, and therefore I shall rather chuse to direct you how
to catch, then spend more time in discoursing either of the nature or
the breeding of this _Carp_, or of any more circumstances concerning
him, but yet I shall remember you of what I told you before, that he is
a very subtle fish and hard to be caught.

  [Illustration of a Carp]

And my first direction is, that if you will fish for a _Carp_, you must
put on a very large measure of _patience_, especially to fish for a
_River Carp_: I have knowne a very good Fisher angle diligently four or
six hours in a day, for three or four dayes together for a River _Carp_,
and not have a bite: and you are to note, that in some Ponds it is as
hard to catch a _Carp_ as in a River; that is to say, where they have
store of feed, & the water is of a clayish colour; but you are to
remember, that I have told you there is no rule without an exception,
and therefore being possest with that hope and patience which I wish to
all Fishers, especially to the _Carp-Angler_, I shall tell you with what
bait to fish for him; but that must be either early or late, and let me
tell you, that in hot weather (for he will seldome bite in cold) you
cannot bee too early or too late at it.

The _Carp_ bites either at wormes or at Paste; and of worms I think the
blewish Marsh or Meadow worm is best; but possibly another worm not too
big may do as well, and so may a Gentle: and as for Pastes, there are
almost as many sorts as there are Medicines for the Toothach, but
doubtless sweet Pastes are best; I mean, Pastes mixt with honey, or
with Sugar; which, that you may the better beguile this crafty fish,
should be thrown into the Pond or place in which you fish for him some
hours before you undertake your tryal of skil by the Angle-Rod: and
doubtless, if it be thrown into the water a day or two before, at
several times, and in smal pellets, you are the likelier when you fish
for the _Carp_, to obtain your desired sport: or in a large Pond, to
draw them to any certain place, that they may the better and with more
hope be fished for: you are to throw into it, in some certaine place,
either grains, or bloud mixt with Cow-dung, or with bran; or any
Garbage, as Chickens guts or the like, and then some of your smal sweet
pellets, with which you purpose to angle; these smal pellets, being few
of them thrown in as you are Angling.

And your Paste must bee thus made: Take the flesh of a Rabet or Cat cut
smal, and Bean-flower, or (if not easily got then) other flowre, and
then mix these together, and put to them either Sugar, or Honey, which
I think better, and then beat these together in a Mortar; or sometimes
work them in your hands, (your hands being very clean) and then make it
into a ball, or two, or three, as you like best for your use: but you
must work or pound it so long in the Mortar, as to make it so tough as
to hang upon your hook without washing from it, yet not too hard; or
that you may the better keep it on your hook, you may kneade with your
Paste a little (and not much) white or yellowish wool.

And if you would have this Paste keep all the year for any other fish,
then mix with it _Virgins-wax_ and _clarified honey_, and work them
together with your hands before the fire; then make these into balls,
and it will keep all the yeer.

And if you fish for a _Carp_ with Gentles, then put upon your hook a
small piece of Scarlet about this bigness {breadth of two letters}, it
being soked in, or anointed with _Oyl of Peter_, called by some, _Oyl
of the Rock_; and if your Gentles be put two or three dayes before into
a box or horn anointed with Honey, and so put upon your hook, as to
preserve them to be living, you are as like to kill this craftie fish
this way as any other; but still as you are fishing, chaw a little
white or brown bread in your mouth, and cast it into the Pond about the
place where your flote swims. Other baits there be, but these with
diligence, and patient watchfulness, will do it as well as any as I
have ever practised, or heard of: and yet I shall tell you, that the
crumbs of white bread and honey made into a Paste, is a good bait for a
_Carp_, and you know it is more easily made. And having said thus much
of the _Carp_, my next discourse shal be of the _Bream_, which shall
not prove so tedious, and therefore I desire the continuance of your


_Pisc._ The _Bream_ being at a full growth, is a large and stately
fish, he will breed both in Rivers and Ponds, but loves best to live in
Ponds, where, if he likes the aire, he will grow not only to be very
large, but as fat as a Hog: he is by _Gesner_ taken to be more pleasant
or sweet then wholesome; this fish is long in growing, but breeds
exceedingly in a water that pleases him, yea, in many Ponds so fast, as
to over store them, and starve the other fish.

The Baits good for to catch the _Bream_ are many; as namely, young
Wasps, and a Paste made of brown bread and honey, or Gentels, or
especially a worm, a worm that is not much unlike a Magot, which you
will find at the roots of _Docks_, or of _Flags_, or of _Rushes_ that
grow in the water, or watry places, and a _Grashopper_ having his legs
nip'd off, or a flye that is in _June_ and _July_ to be found amongst
the green Reed, growing by the water side, those are said to bee
excellent baits. I doubt not but there be many others that both the
_Bream_ and the _Carp_ also would bite at; but these time and
experience will teach you how to find out: And so having according to
my promise given you these short Observations concerning the _Bream_, I
shall also give you some Observations concerning the _Tench_, and those
also very briefly.

       *       *       *       *       *

The _Tench_ is observed to love to live in Ponds; but if he be in a
River, then in the still places of the River, he is observed to be a
Physician to other fishes, and is so called by many that have been
searchers into the nature of fish; and it is said, that a _Pike_ will
neither devour nor hurt him, because the _Pike_ being sick or hurt by
any accident, is cured by touching the _Tench_, and the _Tench_ does
the like to other fishes, either by touching them, or by being in their

_Randelitius_ sayes in his discourse of fishes (quoted by _Gesner_)
that at his being at _Rome_, he saw certaine Jewes apply _Tenches_ to
the feet of a sick man for a cure; and it is observed, that many of
those people have many Secrets unknown to Christians, secrets which
have never been written, but have been successsively since the dayes of
_Solomon_ (who knew the nature of all things from the Shrub to the
Cedar) delivered by tradition from the father to the son, and so from
generation to generation without writing, or (unless it were casually)
without the least communicating them to any other Nation or Tribe (for
to do so, they account a profanation): yet this fish, that does by a
natural inbred Balsome, not only cure himselfe if he be wounded, but
others also, loves not to live in clear streams paved with gravel, but
in standing waters, where mud and the worst of weeds abound, and
therefore it is, I think, that this _Tench_ is by so many accounted
better for Medicines then for meat: but for the first, I am able to say
little; and for the later, can say positively, that he eats pleasantly;
and will therefore give you a few, and but a few directions how to
catch him.

  [Illustration of a Tench]

He will bite at a Paste made of brown bread and honey, or at a
Marsh-worm, or a Lob-worm; he will bite also at a smaller worm, with
his head nip'd off, and a Cod-worm put on the hook before the worm; and
I doubt not but that he will also in the three hot months (for in the
nine colder he stirs not much) bite at a Flag-worm, or at a green
Gentle, but can positively say no more of the _Tench_, he being a fish
that I have not often Angled for; but I wish my honest Scholer may, and
be ever fortunate when hee fishes.

_Viat._ I thank you good Master: but I pray Sir, since you see it still
rains _May_ butter, give me some observations and directions concerning
the _Pearch_, for they say he is both a very good and a bold biting
fish, and I would faine learne to fish for him.

_Pisc._ You say true, Scholer, the _Pearch_ is a very good, and a very
bold biting fish, he is one of the fishes of prey, that, like the
_Pike_ and _Trout_, carries his teeth in his mouth, not in his throat,
and dare venture to kill and devour another fish; this fish, and the
_Pike_ are (sayes _Gesner_) the best of fresh water fish; he Spawns but
once a year, and is by Physicians held very nutritive; yet by many to
be hard of digestion: They abound more in the River _Poe_, and in
_England_, (sayes _Randelitius_) then other parts, and have in their
brain a stone, which is in forrain parts sold by Apothecaries, being
there noted to be very medicinable against the stone in the reins:
These be a part of the commendations which some Philosophycal brain
have bestowed upon the fresh-water _Pearch_, yet they commend the Sea
_Pearch_, which is known by having but one fin on his back, (of which
they say, we _English_ see but a few) to be a much better fish.

The _Pearch_ grows slowly, yet will grow, as I have been credibly
informed, to be almost two foot long; for my Informer told me, such a
one was not long since taken by Sir _Abraham Williams_, a Gentleman of
worth, and a lover of Angling, that yet lives, and I wish he may: this
was a deep bodied fish; and doubtless durst have devoured a _Pike_ of
half his own length; for I have told you, he is a bold fish, such a
one, as but for extreme hunger, the _Pike_ will not devour; for to
affright the _Pike_, the _Pearch_ will set up his fins, much like as a
_Turkie-Cock_ wil sometimes set up his tail.

But, my Scholer, the _Pearch_ is not only valiant to defend himself,
but he is (as you said) a bold biting fish, yet he will not bite at
all seasons of the yeer; he is very abstemious in Winter; and hath been
observed by some, not usually to bite till the _Mulberry tree_ buds,
that is to say, till extreme Frosts be past for that Spring; for when
the _Mulberry tree_ blossomes, many Gardners observe their forward
fruit to be past the danger of Frosts, and some have made the like
observation of the _Pearches_ biting.

But bite the _Pearch_ will, and that very boldly, and as one has
wittily observed, if there be twentie or fortie in a hole, they may be
at one standing all catch'd one after another; they being, as he saies,
like the wicked of the world, not afraid, though their fellowes and
companions perish in their sight.

  [Illustration of a Pearch]

And the baits for this bold fish are not many; I mean, he will bite
as well at some, or at any of these three, as at any or all others
whatsoever; a _Worm_, a _Minnow_, or a little _Frog_ (of which you may
find many in hay time) and of _worms_, the Dunghill worm, called a
_brandling_, I take to be best, being well scowred in Moss or Fennel;
and if you fish for a _Pearch_ with a _Minnow_, then it is best to be
alive, you sticking your hook through his back fin, and letting him swim
up and down about mid-water, or a little lower, and you still keeping
him to about that depth, by a Cork, which ought not to be a very light
one: and the like way you are to fish for the _Pearch_ with a small
_Frog_, your hook being fastened through the skin of his leg, towards
the upper part of it: And lastly, I will give you but this advise, that
you give the _Pearch_ time enough when he bites, for there was scarse
ever any _Angler_ that has given him too much. And now I think best to
rest my selfe, for I have almost spent my spirits with talking so long.

_Viat._ Nay, good Master, one fish more, for you see it rains still,
and you know our Angles are like money put to usury; they may thrive
though we sit still and do nothing, but talk & enjoy one another. Come,
come the other fish, good Master.

_Pisc._ But Scholer, have you nothing to mix with this Discourse, which
now grows both tedious and tiresome? Shall I have nothing from you that
seems to have both a good memorie, and a cheerful Spirit?

_Viat._ Yes, Master, I will speak you a Coppie of Verses that were made
by Doctor _Donne_, and made to shew the world that hee could make soft
and smooth Verses, when he thought them fit and worth his labour; and I
love them the better, because they allude to Rivers, and fish, and
fishing. They bee these:

  Come live with me, and be my love,
  And we will some new pleasures prove,
  Of golden sands, and Christal brooks,
  With silken lines and silver hooks.

  There will the River wispering run,
  Warm'd by thy eyes more then the Sun;
  And there th'inamel'd fish wil stay,
  Begging themselves they may betray.

  When thou wilt swim in that live bath,
  Each fish, which every channel hath
  Most amorously to thee will swim,
  Gladder to catch thee, then thou him.

  If thou, to be so seen, beest loath
  By Sun or Moon, thou darknest both;
  And, if mine eyes have leave to see,
  I need not their light, having thee.

  Let others freeze with Angling Reeds,
  And cut their legs with shels & weeds,
  Or treacherously poor fish beset,
  With strangling snares, or windowy net.

  Let coarse bold hands, from slimy nest,
  The bedded fish in banks outwrest,
  Let curious Traitors sleave silk flies,
  To 'witch poor wandring fishes eyes.

  For thee, thou needst no such deceit,
  For thou thy self art thine own bait;
  Tha fish that is not catch'd thereby,
  Is wiser far, alas, then I.

_Pisc._ Well remembred, honest Scholer, I thank you for these choice
Verses, which I have heard formerly, but had quite forgot, till they
were recovered by your happie memorie. Well, being I have now rested my
self a little, I will make you some requital, by telling you some
observations of the _Eele_, for it rains still, and (as you say) our
Angles are as money put to use, that thrive when we play.


It is agreed by most men, that the _Eele_ is both a good and a most
daintie fish; but most men differ about his breeding; some say, they
breed by generation as other fish do; and others, that they breed (as
some worms do) out of the putrifaction of the earth, and divers other
waies; those that denie them to breed by generation, as other fish do,
ask, if any man ever saw an _Eel_ to have Spawn or Melt? And they are
answered, That they may be as certain of their breeding, as if they had
seen Spawn; for they say, that they are certain that _Eeles_ have all
parts fit for generation, like other fish, but so smal as not to be
easily discerned, by reason of their fatness; but that discerned they
may be; and that the Hee and the She _Eele_ may be distinguished by
their fins.

And others say, that _Eeles_ growing old, breed other _Eeles_ out of
the corruption of their own age, which Sir _Francis Bacon_ sayes,
exceeds not ten years. And others say, that _Eeles_ are bred of a
particular dew falling in the Months of _May_ or _June_ on the banks of
some particular Ponds or Rivers (apted by nature for that end) which in
a few dayes is by the Suns heat turned into _Eeles_. I have seen in the
beginning of _July_, in a River not far from _Canterbury_, some parts
of it covered over with young _Eeles_ about the thickness of a straw;
and these _Eeles_ did lye on the top of that water, as thick as motes
are said to be in the Sun; and I have heard the like of other Rivers,
as namely, in _Severn_, and in a _pond_ or _Mere_ in _Stafford-shire_,
where about a set time in Summer, such small _Eeles_ abound so much,
that many of the poorer sort of people, that inhabit near to it, take
such _Eeles_ out of this Mere, with sieves or sheets, and make a kind
of _Eele-cake_ of them, and eat it like as bread. And _Gesner_ quotes
venerable _Bede_ to say, that in _England_ there is an Iland called
_Ely_, by reason of the innumerable number of _Eeles_ that breed in it.
But that _Eeles_ may be bred as some worms and some kind of _Bees_ and
_Wasps_ are, either of dew, or out of the corruption of the earth,
seems to be made probable by the _Barnacles_ and young _Goslings_ bred
by the Suns heat and the rotten planks of an old Ship, and hatched of
trees, both which are related for truths by _Dubartas_, and our learned
_Cambden_, and laborious _Gerrard_ in his _Herball_.

It is said by _Randelitius_, that those _Eeles_ that are bred in
Rivers, that relate to, or be neer to the Sea, never return to the
fresh waters (as the _Salmon_ does alwaies desire to do) when they have
once tasted the salt water; and I do the more easily believe this,
because I am certain that powdered Bief is a most excellent bait to
catch an _Eele_: and Sr. _Francis Bacon_ will allow the _Eeles_ life
to be but ten years; yet he in his History of Life and Death, mentions
a _Lamprey_, belonging to the _Roman_ Emperor, to be made tame, and so
kept for almost three score yeers; and that such useful and pleasant
observations were made of this _Lamprey_, that _Crassus_ the Oratour
(who kept her) lamented her death.

It is granted by all, or most men, that _Eeles_, for about six months
(that is to say, the six cold months of the yeer) stir not up and down,
neither in the Rivers nor the Pools in which they are, but get into the
soft earth or mud, and there many of them together bed themselves, and
live without feeding upon any thing (as I have told you some _Swallows_
have been observed to do in hollow trees for those six cold months);
and this the _Eele_ and _Swallow_ do, as not being able to endure
winter weather; for _Gesner_ quotes _Albertus_ to say, that in the yeer
1125 (that years winter being more cold then usual) _Eeles_ did by
natures instinct get out of the water into a stack of hay in a Meadow
upon dry ground, and there bedded themselves, but yet at last died
there. I shall say no more of the _Eele_, but that, as it is observed,
he is impatient of cold, so it has been observed, that in warm weather
an _Eele_ has been known to live five days out of the water. And
lastly, let me tell you, that some curious searchers into the natures
of fish, observe that there be several sorts or kinds of _Eeles_, as
the _Silver-Eele_, and green or greenish _Eel_ (with which the River of
Thames abounds, and are called _Gregs_); and a blackish _Eele_, whose
head is more flat and bigger then ordinary _Eeles_; and also an _Eele_
whose fins are redish, and but seldome taken in this Nation (and yet
taken sometimes): These several kinds of _Eeles_, are (say some)
diversly bred; as namely, out of the corruption of the earth, and by
dew, and other wayes (as I have said to you:) and yet it is affirmed by
some, that for a certain, the _Silver-Eele_ breeds by generation, but
not by Spawning as other fish do, but that her Brood come alive from
her no bigger nor longer then a pin, and I have had too many
testimonies of this to doubt the truth of it.

And this _Eele_ of which I have said so much to you, may be caught with
divers kinds of baits; as namely, with powdered Bief, with a _Lob_ or
_Garden-worm_, with a _Minnow_, or gut of a _Hen_, _Chicken_, or with
almost any thing, for he is a greedy fish: but the _Eele_ seldome stirs
in the day, but then hides himselfe, and therefore he is usually caught
by night, with one of these baits of which I have spoken, and then
caught by laying hooks, which you are to fasten to the bank, or twigs
of a tree; or by throwing a string cross the stream, with many hooks at
it, and baited with the foresaid baits, and a clod or plummet, or
stone, thrown into the River with this line, that so you may in the
morning find it neer to some fixt place, and then take it up with a
drag-hook or otherwise: but these things are indeed too common to be
spoken of; and an hours fishing with any _Angler_ will teach you
better, both for these, and many other common things in the practical
part of _Angling_, then a weeks discourse. I shall therefore conclude
this direction for taking the _Eele_, by telling you, that in a warm
day in Summer, I have taken many a good _Eele_ by _snigling_, and have
been much pleased with that sport.

And because you that are but a young Angler, know not what _snigling_
is, I wil now teach it to you: you remember I told you that _Eeles_ do
not usually stir in the day time, for then they hide themselvs under
some covert, or under boards, or planks about Floud-gates, or Weirs, or
Mils, or in holes in the River banks; and you observing your time in a
warm day, when the water is lowest, may take a hook tied to a strong
line, or to a string about a yard long, and then into one of these
holes, or between any boards about a Mill, or under any great stone or
plank, or any place where you think an _Eele_ may hide or shelter her
selfe, there with the help of a short stick put in your bait, but
leisurely, and as far as you may conveniently; and it is scarce to be
doubted, but that if there be an _Eel_ within the sight of it, the
_Eele_ will bite instantly, and as certainly gorge it; and you need not
doubt to have him, if you pull him not out of the hole too quickly, but
pull him out by degrees, for he lying folded double in his hole, will,
with the help of his taile, break all, unless you give him time to be
wearied with pulling, and so get him out by degrees; not pulling too
hard. And thus much for this present time concerning the _Eele_: I wil
next tel you a little of the _Barbell_, and hope with a little discourse
of him, to have an end of this showr, and fal to fishing, for the
weather clears up a little.


_Pisc._ The _Barbell_, is so called (sayes _Gesner_) from or by reason
of his beard, or wattles at his mouth, his mouth being under his nose
or chaps, and he is one of the leather mouthed fish that has his teeth
in his throat, he loves to live in very swift streams, and where it is
gravelly, and in the gravel will root or dig with his nose like a Hog,
and there nest himself, taking so fast hold of any weeds or moss that
grows on stones, or on piles about _Weirs_, or _Floud-gates_, or
_Bridges_, that the water is not able, be it never so swift, to force
him from the place which he seems to contend for: this is his constant
custome in Summer, when both he, and most living creatures joy and
sport themselves in the Sun; but at the approach of Winter, then he
forsakes the swift streams and shallow waters, and by degrees retires
to those parts of the River that are quiet and deeper; in which places,
(and I think about that time) he Spawns; and as I have formerly told
you, with the help of the Melter, hides his Spawn or eggs in holes,
which they both dig in the gravel, and then they mutually labour to
cover it with the same sand to prevent it from being devoured by other

There be such store of this fish in the River _Danubie_, that
_Randelitius_ sayes, they may in some places of it, and in some months
of the yeer, be taken by those that dwel neer to the River, with their
hands, eight or ten load at a time; he sayes, they begin to be good in
_May_, and that they cease to be so in _August_; but it is found to be
otherwise in this Nation: but thus far we agree with him, that the
Spawne of a _Barbell_ is, if be not poison, as he sayes, yet that it is
dangerous meat, and especially in the month of _May_; and _Gesner_
declares, it had an ill effect upon him, to the indangering of his

  [Illustration of a Barbell]

This fish is of a fine cast and handsome shape, and may be rather said
not to be ill, then to bee good meat; the _Chub_ and he have (I think)
both lost a part of their credit by ill Cookery, they being reputed the
worst or coarsest of fresh water fish: but the _Barbell_ affords an
_Angler_ choice sport, being a lustie and a cunning fish; so lustie and
cunning as to endanger the breaking of the Anglers line, by running his
head forcibly towards any covert or hole, or bank, and then striking at
the line, to break it off with his tail (as is observed by _Plutark_,
in his book _De industria animalium_) and also so cunning to nibble and
suck off your worme close to the hook, and yet avoid the letting the
hook come into his mouth.

The _Barbell_ is also curious for his baits, that is to say, that they
be clean and sweet; that is to say, to have your worms well scowred,
and not kept in sowre or mustie moss; for at a well scowred Lob-worm,
he will bite as boldly as at any bait, especially, if the night or two
before you fish for him, you shall bait the places where you intend to
fish for him with big worms cut into pieces; and Gentles (not being too
much scowred, but green) are a choice bait for him, and so is cheese,
which is not to be too hard, but kept a day or two in a wet linnen
cloth to make it tough; with this you may also bait the water a day or
two before you fish for the _Barbel_, and be much the likelier to catch
store; and if the cheese were laid in clarified honey a short time
before (as namely, an hour or two) you were still the likelier to catch
fish; some have directed to cut the cheese into thin pieces, and toste
it, and then tye it on the hook with fine Silk: and some advise to fish
for the _Barbell_ with Sheeps tallow and soft cheese beaten or work'd
into a Paste, and that it is choicely good in _August_; and I believe
it: but doubtless the Lob-worm well scoured, and the Gentle not too
much scowred, and cheese ordered as I have directed, are baits enough,
and I think will serve in any Month; though I shall commend any Angler
that tryes conclusions, and is industrious to improve the Art. And now,
my honest Scholer, the long showre, and my tedious discourse are both
ended together; and I shall give you but this Observation, That when
you fish for a _Barbell_, your Rod and Line be both long, and of good
strength, for you will find him a heavy and a doged fish to be dealt
withal, yet he seldom or never breaks his hold if he be once strucken.

And now lets go and see what interest the _Trouts_ will pay us for
letting our _Angle-rods_ lye so long and so quietly in the water. Come,
Scholer; which will you take up?

_Viat._ Which you think fit, Master.

_Pisc._ Why, you shall take up that; for I am certain by viewing the
Line, it has a fish at it. Look you, Scholer, well done. Come now, take
up the other too; well, now you may tell my brother _Peter_ at night,
that you have caught a lease of _Trouts_ this day. And now lets move
toward our lodging, and drink a draught of _Red-Cows milk_, as we go,
and give pretty _Maudlin_ and her mother a brace of _Trouts_ for their

_Viat._ Master, I like your motion very well, and I think it is now
about milking time, and yonder they be at it.

_Pisc._ God speed you good woman, I thank you both for our Songs last
night; I and my companion had such fortune a fishing this day, that we
resolve to give you and _Maudlin_ a brace of _Trouts_ for supper, and
we will now taste a draught of your _Red Cows milk_.

_Milkw._ Marry, and that you shal with all my heart, and I will be
still your debtor: when you come next this way, if you will but speak
the word, I will make you a good _Sillabub_ and then you may sit down
in a _Hay-cock_ and eat it, and _Maudlin_ shal sit by and sing you the
good old Song of the _Hunting in Chevy Chase_, or some other good
Ballad, for she hath good store of them: _Maudlin_ hath a notable

_Viat._ We thank you, and intend once in a Month to call upon you
again, and give you a little warning, and so good night; good night
_Maudlin_. And now, good Master, lets lose no time, but tell me
somewhat more of fishing; and if you please, first something of fishing
for a _Gudgion_.

_Pisc._ I will, honest Scholer. The _Gudgion_ is an excellent fish to
eat, and good also to enter a young _Angler_; he is easie to bee taken
with a smal red worm at the ground and is one of those leather mouthed
fish that has his teeth in his throat and will hardly be lost off from
the hook if he be once strucken: they be usually scattered up and down
every River in the shallows, in the heat of Summer; but in _Autome_,
when the weeds begin to grow sowre or rot, and the weather colder, then
they gather together, and get into the deeper parts of the water, and
are to be fish'd for there, with your hook alwaies touching the ground,
if you fish for him with a flote or with a cork; but many will fish for
the _Gudgion_ by hand, with a running line upon the ground without a
cork as a _Trout_ is fished for, and it is an excellent way.

There is also another fish called a _Pope_, and by some a _Russe_,
a fish that is not known to be in some Rivers; it is much like the
_Pearch_ for his shape, but will not grow to be bigger then a
_Gudgion_; he is an excellent fish, no fish that swims is of a
pleasanter taste; and he is also excellent to enter a young _Angler_,
for he is a greedy biter, and they will usually lye abundance of them,
together in one reserved place where the water is deep, and runs
quietly, and an easie Angler, if he has found where they lye, may catch
fortie or fiftie, or sometimes twice so many at a standing.

There is also a _Bleak_, a fish that is ever in motion, and therefore
called by some the River Swallow; for just as you shall observe the
_Swallow_ to be most evenings in Summer ever in motion, making short
and quick turns when he flies to catch flies in the aire, by which he
lives, so does the _Bleak_ at the top of the water; and this fish is
best caught with a fine smal Artificial Fly, which is to be of a brown
colour, and very smal, and the hook answerable: There is no better
sport then whipping for _Bleaks_ in a boat in a Summers evening, with a
hazle top about five or six foot long, and a line twice the length of
the Rod. I have heard Sir _Henry Wotton_ say, that there be many that
in _Italy_ will catch _Swallows_ so, or especially _Martins_ (the
Bird-Angler standing on the top of a Steeple to do it, and with a line
twice so long, as I have spoke of) and let me tell you, Scholer, that
both _Martins_ and _Blekes_ be most excellent meat.

I might now tell you how to catch _Roch_ and _Dace_, and some other
fish of little note, that I have not yet spoke of; but you see we are
almost at our lodging, and indeed if we were not, I would omit to give
you any directions concerning them, or how to fish for them, not but
that they be both good fish (being in season) and especially to some
palates, and they also make the Angler good sport (and you know the
Hunter sayes, there is more sport in hunting the Hare, then in eating
of her) but I will forbear to give you any direction concerning them,
because you may go a few dayes and take the pleasure of the fresh aire,
and bear any common Angler company that fishes for them, and by that
means learn more then any direction I can give you in words, can make
you capable of; and I will therefore end my discourse, for yonder comes
our brother _Peter_ and honest _Coridon_, but I will promise you that
as you and I fish, and walk to morrow towards _London_, if I have now
forgotten any thing that I can then remember, I will not keep it from

Well met, Gentlemen, this is luckie that we meet so just together at
this very door. Come Hostis, where are you? is Supper ready? come,
first give us drink, and be as quick as you can, for I believe wee are
all very hungry. Wel, brother _Peter_ and _Coridon_ to you both; come
drink, and tell me what luck of fish: we two have caught but ten
_Trouts_, of which my Scholer caught three; look here's eight, and a
brace we gave away: we have had a most pleasant day for fishing, and
talking, and now returned home both weary and hungry, and now meat and
rest will be pleasant.

_Pet._ And _Coridon_ and I have not had an unpleasant day, and yet I
have caught but five _Trouts_; for indeed we went to a good honest
Alehouse, and there we plaid at shovel-board half the day; all the time
that it rained we were there, and as merry as they that fish'd, and I
am glad we are now with a dry house over our heads, for heark how it
rains and blows. Come Hostis, give us more Ale, and our Supper with
what haste you may, and when we have sup'd, lets have your Song,
_Piscator_, and the Ketch that your Scholer promised us, or else
_Coridon_ wil be doged.

_Pisc._ Nay, I will not be worse then my word, you shall not want my
Song, and I hope I shall be perfect in it.

_Viat._ And I hope the like for my Ketch, which I have ready too, and
therefore lets go merrily to Supper, and then have a gentle touch at
singing and drinking; but the last with moderation.

_Cor._ Come, now for your Song, for we have fed heartily. Come Hostis,
give us a little more drink, and lay a few more sticks on the fire, and
now sing when you will.

_Pisc._ Well then, here's to you _Coridon_; and now for my Song.

  Oh the brave Fisher's life,
  It is the best of any,
  'Tis full of pleasure, void of strife,
  And 'tis belov'd of many:
        Other joyes
        are but toyes,
        only this
        lawful is,
        for our skil
        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
       too 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,
       there we sit
       for a bit,
  till we fish intangle.

  We have Gentles in a horn,
  We have Paste and worms too,
  We can watch both night and morn.
  Suffer rain and storms too:
       None do here
       use to swear,
       oathes do fray
       fish away.
       we sit still,
       watch our quill,
  Fishers must not rangle.

  If the Suns excessive heat
  Makes our bodies swelter
  To an _Osier_ hedge we get
  For a friendly shelter,
       where in a dike
       _Pearch_ or _Pike_,
       _Roch_ or _Dace_
       we do chase
       _Bleak_ or _Gudgion_
       without grudging,
  we are still contented.

  Or we sometimes pass an hour,
  Under a green willow,
  That defends us from a showr,
  Making earth our pillow,
       There we may
       think and pray
       before death
       stops our breath;
       other joyes
       are but toyes
  and to be lamented.

_Viat._ Well sung, Master; this dayes fortune and pleasure, and this
nights company and Song, do all make me more and more in love with
_Angling._ Gentlemen, my Master left me alone for an hour this day, and
I verily believe he retir'd himself from talking with me, that he might
be so perfect in this Song; was it not Master?

_Pisc._ Yes indeed, for it is many yeers since I learn'd it, and having
forgotten a part of it, I was forced to patch it up by the help of my
own invention, who am not excellent at Poetry, as my part of the Song
may testifie: But of that I will say no more, least you should think I
mean by discommending it, to beg your commendations of it. And
therefore without replications, lets hear your Ketch, Scholer, which I
hope will be a good one, for you are both Musical, and have a good
fancie to boot.

_Viat._ Marry, and that you shall, and as freely as I would have my
honest Master tel me some more secrets of fish and fishing as we walk
and fish towards _London_ to morrow. But Master, first let me tell you,
that that very hour which you were absent from me, I sate down under a
Willow tree by the water side, and considered what you had told me of
the owner of that pleasant Meadow in which you then left me, that he
had a plentiful estate, and not a heart to think so; that he had at
this time many Law Suites depending, and that they both damp'd his
mirth and took up so much of his time and thoughts, that he himselfe
had not leisure to take the sweet content that I, who pretended no
title, took in his fields; for I could there sit quietly, and looking
on the water, see fishes leaping at Flies of several shapes and
colours; looking on the Hils, could behold them spotted with Woods and
Groves; looking down the Meadows, could see here a Boy gathering
_Lillies_ and _Lady-smocks_, and there a Girle cropping _Culverkeys_
and _Cowslips_, all to make Garlands sutable to this pleasant Month of
_May_; these and many other Field-flowers so perfum'd the air, that I
thought this Meadow like the field in _Sicily_ (of which _Diodorus_
speaks) where the perfumes arising from the place, makes all dogs that
hunt in it, to fall off, and to lose their hottest sent. I say, as I
thus sate joying in mine own happy condition, and pittying that rich
mans that ought this, and many other pleasant Groves and Meadows about
me, I did thankfully remember what my Saviour said, that _the meek
possess the earth_; for indeed they are free from those high, those
restless thoughts and contentions which corrode the sweets of life. For
they, and they only, can say as the Poet has happily exprest it.

  Hail blest estate of poverty!
  Happy enjoyment of such minds,
  As rich in low contentedness.
  Can, like the reeds in roughest winds,
    By yeelding make that blow but smal
    At which proud Oaks and Cedars fal.

Gentlemen, these were a part of the thoughts that then possest me, and
I there made a conversion of a piece of an old Ketch, and added more to
it, fitting them to be sung by us Anglers: Come, Master, you can sing
well, you must sing a part of it as it is in this paper.

  [Illustration: Music

  _The ANGLERS Song._

  _For two Voyces, Treble and Basso. Mr. Henry Lawes._


    Man's life is but vain;
    for 'tis subject to pain,
      and sorrow, and short as a buble;
    'tis a hodge podge of business,
    and mony, and care;
      and care, and mony, and trouble.
    But we'l take no care
    when the weather proves fair,
      nor will we vex now though it rain;
    we'l banish all sorrow,
    and sing till tomorrow,
      and Angle, and Angle again.


    [On following page, with lyrics as above.]]

_Pet._ I marry Sir, this is Musick indeed, this has cheered my heart,
and made me to remember six Verses in praise of Musick, which I will
speak to you instantly.

  Musick, miraculous Rhetorick, that speak'st sense
  Without a tongue, excelling eloquence;
  With what ease might thy errors be excus'd
  Wert thou as truly lov'd as th'art abus'd.
  But though dull souls neglect, and some reprove thee,
  I cannot hate thee, 'cause the Angels love thee.

_Piscat._ Well remembred, brother _Peter_, these Verses came
seasonably. Come, we will all joine together, mine Hoste and all, and
sing my Scholers Ketch over again, and then each man drink the tother
cup and to bed, and thank God we have a dry house over our heads.

_Pisc._ Well now, good night to every body.

_Pet._ And so say I.

_Viat._ And so say I.

_Cor._ Good night to you all, and I thank you.

_Pisc._ Good morrow brother _Peter_, and the like to you, honest
_Coridon_; come, my Hostis sayes there's seven shillings to pay, lets
each man drink a pot for his mornings draught, and lay downe his two
shillings, that so my Hostis may not have occasion to repent her self
of being so diligent, and using us so kindly.

_Pet._ The motion is liked by every body; And so Hostis, here's your
mony, we Anglers are all beholding to you, it wil not be long ere Ile
see you again. And now brother _Piscator_, I wish you and my brother
your Scholer a fair day, and good fortune. Come _Coridon_, this is our


_Viat._ Good Master, as we go now towards _London_, be still so
courteous as to give me more instructions, for I have several boxes in
my memory in which I will keep them all very safe, there shall not one
of them be lost.

_Pisc._ Well Scholer, that I will, and I will hide nothing from you
that I can remember, and may help you forward towards a perfection in
this Art; and because we have so much time, and I have said so little
of _Roch_ and _Dace_, I will give you some directions concerning some
several kinds of baits with which they be usually taken; they will bite
almost at any flies, but especially at Ant-flies; concerning which,
take this direction, for it is very good.

Take the blackish _Ant-fly_ out of the Mole-hill, or Ant-hil, in which
place you shall find them in the Months of _June_; or if that be too
early in the yeer, then doubtless you may find them in _July_, _August_
and most of _September_; gather them alive with both their wings, and
then put them into a glass, that will hold a quart or a pottle; but
first, put into the glass, a handful or more of the moist earth out of
which you gather them, and as much of the roots of the grass of the
said Hillock; and then put in the flies gently, that they lose their
wings, and as many as are put into the glass without bruising, will
live there a month or more, and be alwaies in a readiness for you to
fish with; but if you would have them keep longer, then get any great
earthen pot or barrel of three or four gallons (which is better) then
wash your barrel with water and honey; and having put into it a
quantitie of earth and grass roots, then put in your flies and cover
it, and they will live a quarter of a year; these in any stream and
clear water are a deadly bait for _Roch_ or _Dace_, or for a _Chub_,
and your rule is to fish not less then a handful from the bottom.

I shall next tell you a winter bait for a _Roch_, a _Dace_, or _Chub_,
and it is choicely good. About _All-hollantide_ (and so till Frost
comes) when you see men ploughing up heath-ground, or sandy ground, or
greenswards, then follow the plough, and you shall find a white worm,
as big as two Magots, and it hath a red head, (you may observe in what
ground most are, for there the Crows will be very watchful, and follow
the Plough very close) it is all soft, and full of whitish guts; a worm
that is in Norfolk, and some other Countries called a _Grub_, and is
bred of the spawn or eggs of a Beetle, which she leaves in holes that
she digs in the ground under Cow or Horse-dung, and there rests all
Winter, and in _March_ or _April_ comes to be first a red, and then a
black Beetle: gather a thousand or two of these, and put them with a
peck or two of their own earth into some tub or firkin, and cover and
keep them so warm, that the frost or cold air, or winds kill them not,
and you may keep them all winter and kill fish with them at any time,
and if you put some of them into a little earth and honey a day before
you use them, you will find them an excellent baite for _Breame_ or

And after this manner you may also keep _Gentles_ all winter, which is
a good bait then, and much the better for being lively and tuffe, or
you may breed and keep Gentle thus: Take a piece of beasts liver and
with a cross stick, hang it in some corner over a pot or barrel half
full of dry clay, and as the Gentles grow big, they wil fall into the
barrel and scowre themselves, and be alwayes ready for use whensoever
you incline to fish; and these Gentles may be thus made til after
_Michaelmas_: But if you desire to keep Gentles to fish with all the
yeer, then get a dead _Cat_ or a _Kite_, and let it be fly-blowne, and
when the Gentles begin to be alive and to stir, then bury it and them
in moist earth, but as free from frost as you can, and these you may
dig up at any time when you intend to use them; these wil last till
_March_, and about that time turn to be flies.

But if you be nice to fowl your fingers (which good Anglers seldome
are) then take this bait: Get a handful of well made Mault, and put it
into a dish of water, and then wash and rub it betwixt your hands til
you make it cleane, and as free from husks as you can; then put that
water from it, and put a small quantitie of fresh water to it, and set
it in something that is fit for that purpose, over the fire, where it
is not to boil apace, but leisurely, and very softly, until it become
somewhat soft, which you may try by feeling it betwixt your finger and
thumb; and when it is soft, then put your water from it, and then take
a sharp knife, and turning the sprout end of the corn upward, with the
point of your knife take the back part of the husk off from it, and yet
leaving a kind of husk on the corn, or else it is marr'd; and then cut
off that sprouted end (I mean a little of it) that the white may
appear, and so pull off the husk on the cloven side (as I directed you)
and then cutting off a very little of the other end, that so your hook
may enter, and if your hook be small and good, you will find this to be
a very choice bait either for Winter or Summer, you sometimes casting a
little of it into the place where your flote swims.

And to take the _Roch_ and _Dace_, a good bait is the young brood of
Wasps or Bees, baked or hardened in their husks in an Oven, after the
bread is taken out of it, or on a fire-shovel; and so also is the thick
blood of _Sheep_, being half dryed on a trencher that you may cut it
into such pieces as may best fit the size of your hook, and a little
salt keeps it from growing black, and makes it not the worse but
better; this is taken to be a choice bait, if rightly ordered.

There be several Oiles of a strong smel that I have been told of, and
to be excellent to tempt fish to bite, of which I could say much, but I
remember I once carried a small bottle from Sir _George Hastings_ to
Sir _Henry Wotton_ (they were both chimical men) as a great present;
but upon enquiry, I found it did not answer the expectation of Sir
_Henry_, which with the help of other circumstances, makes me have
little belief in such things as many men talk of; not but that I think
fishes both smell and hear (as I have exprest in my former discourse)
but there is a mysterious knack, which (though it be much easier then
the Philosophers-Stone, yet) is not atainable by common capacities, or
else lies locked up in the braine or brest of some chimical men, that,
like the _Rosi-crutions_, yet will not reveal it. But I stepped by
chance into this discourse of Oiles, and fishes smelling; and though
there might be more said, both of it, and of baits for _Roch_ and
_Dace_, and other flote fish, yet I will forbear it at this time, and
tell you in the next place how you are to prepare your tackling:
concerning which I will for sport sake give you an old Rhime out of an
old Fish-book, which will be a part of what you are to provide.

  My rod, and my line, my flote and my lead,
  My hook, & my plummet, my whetstone & knife,
  My Basket, my baits, both living and dead,
  My net, and my meat for that is the chief;
  Then I must have thred & hairs great & smal,
  With mine Angling purse, and so you have all.

But you must have all these tackling, and twice so many more, with
which, if you mean to be a fisher, you must store your selfe: and to
that purpose I will go with you either to _Charles Brandons_ (neer to
the _Swan_ in _Golding-lane_); or to Mr. _Fletchers_ in the Court which
did once belong to Dr. _Nowel_ the Dean of _Pauls_, that I told you was
a good man, and a good Fisher; it is hard by the west end of Saint
_Pauls_ Church; they be both honest men, and will fit an Angler with
what tackling hee wants.

_Viat._ Then, good Master, let it be at _Charles Brandons_, for he is
neerest to my dwelling, and I pray lets meet there the ninth of _May_
next about two of the Clock, and I'l want nothing that a Fisher should
be furnished with.

_Pisc._ Well, and Ile not fail you, God willing, at the time and place

_Viat._ I thank you, good Master, and I will not fail you: and good
Master, tell me what baits more you remember, for it wil not now be
long ere we shal be at _Totenham High-Cross_, and when we come thither,
I wil make you some requital of your pains, by repeating as choice a
copy of Verses, as any we have heard since we met together; and that is
a proud word; for wee have heard very good ones.

_Pisc._ Wel, Scholer, and I shal be right glad to hear them; and I wil
tel you whatsoever comes in my mind, that I think may be worth your
hearing: you may make another choice bait thus, Take a handful or two
of the best and biggest _Wheat_ you can get, boil it in a little milk
like as Frumitie is boiled, boil it so till it be soft, and then fry it
very leisurely with honey, and a little beaten _Saffron_ dissolved in
milk, and you wil find this a choice bait, and good I think for any
fish, especially for _Roch_, _Dace_, _Chub_ or _Greyling_; I know not
but that it may be as good for a River _Carp_, and especially if the
ground be a little baited with it.

You are also to know, that there be divers kinds of _Cadis_, or
_Case-worms_ that are to bee found in this Nation in several distinct
Counties, & in several little Brooks that relate to bigger Rivers, as
namely one _Cadis_ called a _Piper_, whose husk or case is a piece of
reed about an inch long or longer, and as big about as the compass of a
two pence; these worms being kept three or four days in a woollen bag
with sand at the bottom of it, and the bag wet once a day will in three
or four dayes turne to be yellow; and these be a choice bait for the
_Chub_ or _Chavender_, or indeed for any great fish, for it is a large

There is also a lesser _Cadis-worm_, called a _Cock-spur_, being in
fashion like the spur of a _Cock_, sharp at one end, and the case or
house in which this dwels is made of smal _husks_ and _gravel_, and
_slime_, most curiously made of these, even so as to be wondred at, but
not made by man (no more then the nest of a bird is): this is a choice
bait for any flote fish, it is much less then the _Piper Cadis_, and to
be so ordered; and these may be so preserved ten, fifteen, or twentie

There is also another _Cadis_ called by some a _Straw-worm_, and by
some a _Russe-coate_, whose house or case is made of little pieces of
bents and Rushes, and straws, and water weeds, and I know not what
which are so knit together with condens'd slime, that they stick up
about her husk or case, not unlike the _bristles_ of a _Hedg-hog_;
these three _Cadis_ are commonly taken in the beginning of Summer, and
are good indeed to take any kind of fish with flote or otherwise, I
might tell you of many more, which, as these doe early, so those have
their time of turning to be flies later in Summer; but I might lose my
selfe, and tire you by such a discourse, I shall therefore but remember
you, that to know these, and their several kinds, and to what flies
every particular _Cadis_ turns, and then how to use them, first as they
bee _Cadis_, and then as they be flies, is an Art, and an Art that
every one that professes Angling is not capable of.

       *       *       *       *       *

But let mee tell you, I have been much pleased to walk quietly by a
Brook with a little stick in my hand, with which I might easily take
these, and consider the curiosity of their composure; and if you shall
ever like to do so, then note, that your stick must be cleft, or have a
nick at one end of it, by which meanes you may with ease take many of
them out of the water, before you have any occasion to use them. These,
my honest Scholer, are some observations told to you as they now come
suddenly into my memory, of which you may make some use: but for the
practical part, it is that that makes an Angler; it is diligence, and
observation, and practice that must do it.


_Pisc._ Well, Scholer, I have held you too long about these _Cadis_,
and my spirits are almost spent, and so I doubt is your patience; but
being we are now within sight of _Totenham_, where I first met you, and
where wee are to part, I will give you a little direction how to colour
the hair of which you make your lines, for that is very needful to be
known of an _Angler_; and also how to paint your rod, especially your
top, for a right grown top is a choice Commoditie, and should be
preserved from the water soking into it, which makes it in wet weather
to be heavy, and fish ill favouredly, and also to rot quickly.

Take a pint of strong Ale, half a pound of soot, and a like quantity of
the juice of Walnut-tree leaves, and an equal quantitie of Allome, put
these together into a pot, or pan, or pipkin, and boil them half an
hour, and having so done, let it cool, and being cold, put your hair
into it, and there let it lye; it wil turn your hair to be a kind of
water, or glass colour, or greenish, and the longer you let it lye, the
deeper coloured it will bee; you might be taught to make many other
colours, but it is to little purpose; for doubtlesse the water or glass
coloured haire is the most choice and most useful for an _Angler_.

But if you desire to colour haire green, then doe it thus: Take a quart
of smal Ale, halfe a pound of Allome, then put these into a pan or
pipkin, and your haire into it with them, then put it upon a fire and
let it boile softly for half an hour, and then take out your hair, and
let it dry, and having so done, then take a pottle of water, and put
into it two handful of Mary-golds, and cover it with a tile or what you
think fit, and set it again on the fire, where it is to boil softly for
half an hour, about which time the scum will turn yellow, then put into
it half a pound of Copporis beaten smal, and with it the hair that you
intend to colour, then let the hair be boiled softly till half the
liquor be wasted, & then let it cool three or four hours with your hair
in it; and you are to observe, that the more Copporis you put into it,
the greener it will be, but doubtless the pale green is best; but if
you desire yellow hair (which is only good when the weeds rot) then put
in the more _Mary-golds_, and abate most of the _Copporis_, or leave it
out, and take a little Verdigreece in stead of it.

This for colouring your hair. And as for painting your rod, which must
be in Oyl, you must first make a size with glue and water, boiled
together until the glue be dissolved, and the size of a lie colour;
then strike your size upon the wood with a bristle brush or pensil,
whilst it is hot: that being quite dry, take white lead, and a little
red lead, and a little cole black, so much as all together will make an
ash colour, grind these all together with Linseed oyle, let it be
thick, and lay it thin upon the wood with a brush or pensil, this do
for the ground of any colour to lie upon wood.

_For a Green._

Take Pink and Verdigreece, and grind them together in Linseed oyl, as
thick as you can well grind it, then lay it smoothly on with your
brush, and drive it thin, once doing for the most part will serve, if
you lay it wel, and be sure your first colour be thoroughly dry, before
you lay on a second.

Well, Scholer, you now see _Totenham_, and I am weary, and therefore
glad that we are so near it; but if I were to walk many more days with
you, I could stil be telling you more and more of the mysterious Art of
Angling; but I wil hope for another opportunitie, and then I wil
acquaint you with many more, both necessary and true observations
concerning fish and fishing: but now no more, lets turn into yonder
Arbour, for it is a cleane and cool place.

_Viat._ 'Tis a faire motion, and I will requite a part of your
courtesies with a bottle of _Sack_, and _Milk_, and _Oranges_ and
_Sugar_, which all put together, make a drink too good for anybody, but
us Anglers: and so Master, here is a full glass to you of that liquor,
and when you have pledged me, I wil repeat the Verses which I promised
you, it is a Copy printed amongst Sir _Henry Wottons_ Verses, and
doubtless made either by him, or by a lover of Angling: Come Master,
now drink a glass to me, and then I will pledge you, and fall to my
repetition; it is a discription of such Country recreations as I have
enjoyed since I had the happiness to fall into your company.

  Quivering fears, heart tearing cares,
  Anxious sighes, untimely tears,
    Fly, fly to Courts,
    Fly to fond wordlings sports,
  Where strain'd Sardonick smiles are glosing stil
  And grief is forc'd to laugh against her will.
    Where mirths but Mummery,
    And sorrows only real be.

  Fly from our Country pastimes, fly,
  Sad troops of humane misery,
    Come serene looks,
    Clear as the Christal Brooks,
  Or the pure azur'd heaven that smiles to see
  The rich attendance on our poverty;
    Peace and a secure mind
    Which all men seek, we only find.

  Abused Mortals did you know
  Where joy, hearts ease, and comforts grow,
    You'd scorn proud Towers,
    And seek them in these Bowers,
  Where winds sometimes our woods perhaps may shake,
  But blustering care could never tempest make,
    No murmurs ere come nigh us,
    Saving of Fountains that glide by us.

  Here's no fantastick Mask nor Dance,
  But of our kids that frisk, and prance;
    Nor wars are seen
    Unless upon the green
  Two harmless Lambs are butting one the other,
  Which done, both bleating, run each to his mother:
    And wounds are never found,
    Save what the Plough-share gives the ground.

  Here are no false entrapping baits
  To hasten too too hasty fates
     Unles it be
     The fond credulitie
  Of silly fish, which, worldling like, still look
  Upon the bait, but never on the hook;
    Nor envy, 'nless among
    The birds, for price of their sweet Song.

  Go, let the diving _Negro_ seek
  For gems hid in some forlorn creek,
    We all Pearls scorn,
    Save what the dewy morne
  Congeals upon each little spire of grasse,
  Which careless Shepherds beat down as they passe,
    And Gold ne're here appears
    Save what the yellow _Ceres_ bears.

  Blest silent Groves, oh may you be
  For ever mirths blest nursery,
    May pure contents
    For ever pitch their tents
  Upon these downs, these Meads, these rocks, these mountains,
  And peace stil slumber by these purling fountains
    Which we may every year
    find when we come a fishing here.

_Pisc._ Trust me, Scholer, I thank you heartily for these Verses, they
be choicely good, and doubtless made by a lover of Angling: Come, now
drink a glass to me, and I wil requite you with a very good Copy of
Verses; it is a farewel to the vanities of the world, and some say
written by _Dr. D_, but let them bee writ by whom they will, he that
writ them had a brave soul, and must needs be possest with happy
thoughts at the time of their composure.

  Farwel ye guilded follies, pleasing troubles,
  Farwel ye honour'd rags, ye glorious bubbles;
  Fame's but a hollow eccho, gold pure clay,
  Honour the darling but of one short day.
  Beauty (th'eyes idol) but a damask'd skin,
  State but a golden prison, to live in
  And torture free-born minds; imbroider'd trains
  Meerly but Pageants, for proud swelling vains,
  And blood ally'd to greatness is alone
  Inherited, not purchas'd, nor our own.
    Fame, honor, beauty, state, train, blood & birth,
    Are but the fading blossomes of the earth.

  I would be great, but that the Sun doth still,
  Level his rayes against the rising hill:
  I would be high, but see the proudest Oak
  Most subject to the rending Thunder-Stroke;
  I would be rich, but see men too unkind
  Dig in the bowels of the richest mind;
  I would be wise, but that I often see
  The Fox suspected whilst the Ass goes free;
  I would be fair, but see the fair and proud
  Like the bright Sun, oft setting in a cloud;
  I would be poor, but know the humble grass
  Still trampled on by each unworthy Asse:
  Rich, hated; wise, suspected; scorn'd, if poor;
  Great, fear'd; fair, tempted; high, stil envi'd more
    I have wish'd all, but now I wish for neither,
    Great, high, rich, wise, nor fair, poor I'l be rather.

  Would the world now adopt me for her heir,
  Would beauties Queen entitle me the Fair,
  Fame speak me fortunes Minion, could I vie
  Angels with India, with a speaking eye
  Command bare heads, bow'd knees, strike Justice dumb
  As wel as blind and lame, or give a tongue
  To stones, by Epitaphs, be call'd great Master,
  In the loose Rhimes of every Poetaster
  Could I be more then any man that lives,
  Great, fair, rich, wise in all Superlatives;
  Yet I more freely would these gifts resign,
  Then ever fortune would have made them mine
    And hold one minute of this holy leasure,
    Beyond the riches of this empty pleasure.

  Welcom pure thoughts, welcome ye silent groves,
  These guests, these Courts, my soul most dearly loves,
  Now the wing'd people of the Skie shall sing
  My chereful Anthems to the gladsome Spring;
  A Pray'r book now shall be my looking glasse,
  In which I will adore sweet vertues face.
  Here dwell no hateful locks, no Pallace cares,
  No broken vows dwell here, nor pale fac'd fears,
  Then here I'l sit and sigh my hot loves folly,
  And learn t'affect an holy melancholy.
    And if contentment be a stranger, then
    I'l nere look for it, but in heaven again.

_Viat._ Wel Master, these be Verses that be worthy to keep a room in
every mans memory. I thank you for them, and I thank you for your many
instructions, which I will not forget; your company and discourse have
been so pleasant, that I may truly say, I have only lived, since I
enjoyed you and them, and turned Angler. I am sorry to part with you
here, here in this place where I first met you, but it must be so: I
shall long for the ninth of _May_, for then we are to meet at _Charls
Brandons_. This intermitted time wil seem to me (as it does to men in
sorrow,) to pass slowly, but I wil hasten it as fast as I can by my
wishes, and in the mean time _the blessing of Saint _Peters_ Master be
with mine_.

_Pisc._ And the like be upon my honest Scholer. And upon all that hate
contentions, and love _quietnesse_, and _vertue_, and _Angling_.


       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

Errata and Supplementary Notes added by transcriber:

  All duplications ("that that" and similar) appear to be intentional.

  _Solomon_ sayes, [Pro 24. 9.]
    [_sidenote printed at "almost amazed me" in following paragraph_]
  ... and his custome was to spend, besides his fixt hours of prayer
  (those hours which by command of the Church were enjoined the old ...
    [_conjectural: original text has open parentheses, without comma,
    before "besides his" and again before "those hours", with close
    parenthesis (unchanged) later_]
  conveniently handsome) [open ( for close )]
  the earth affords us bowers: / _Then care away, / and wend ..._
    [_this stanza was printed at the end of a page; the refrain was
    abbreviated to the single line "Then care away &c."_]
  lives by taking breath by the porinss // of her gils
    [_text unchanged_]
  the line should not exceed (especially ...  [exceed, especially ...]
  _Tityrus_ and his _Melibæus_
    [_text unchanged: proper form is "Meliboeus", but error is common_]
  why the should breed in  [_text unchanged: error for "they"?_]

Mechanical Errors:

  _Invisible Letters: the letter or punctuation mark does not appear,
  but there is an appropriately sized empty space._

  goest a fishing. Farewel.  [second i in "fishing"]
  In _chap. 11._ are some observations  [. after "11"]
  _Amwel Hil_ to morrow morning  [o in "to"]
  First, for your live bait of fish [s in "fish"]
  companions perish in their sight. [t. in "sight"]
  or any place where you think an _Eele_ may hide or shelter
    [middle e in "Eele"]

_A series of page numbers in signature F, and one later folio number,
are misprinted:_

  70 printed 80
  71    "    81
  73    "    37
  74    "    84
  75    "    85
  78    "    88
  79    "    89
  G4    "    F4 (page 87)

_The page containing the Bassus of the Angler's Song was printed
upside-down, facing the Cantus (treble) page. This was probably

Notes and Sources:

  about this bigness {breadth of two letters}
    [_printed text shows a black box in line with surrounding letters_]
  the wittie French-man [_The Lord Mountagne / in his Apol. for Ra.
    [_Montaigne, Apologie de Raimond Sebond_]
  [* Psal. 137.]
    [_Here and elsewhere, Psalms use the King James or Protestant
    numbering. Catholic readers should subtract 1._]
  And an ingenuous _Spaniard_ sayes
    [_source unidentified: possibly Juan de Valdés ("Valdesso")_]
  [_Mount El. sayes_: and others affirm this]
    [_source unidentified_]

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