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A CONFERENCE BETWIXT AN ANGLER, A FALCONER, AND A

HUNTER, EACH COMMENDING HIS RECREATION.

CHAP. I.

PISCATOR, VENATOR, AUCEPS.1

Piscator. You are well overtaken, Gentlemen! A good morning to

you

both ! I have stretched my legs up Tottenham Hill to overtake you, hoping your

business

may occasion you towards Ware, whither I am going this fine fresh May morning.

Where not otherwise marked all the variations are in the first Edition, 1653, in which

the dialogue is between two persons, namely Piscator and Viator. VARIATION.] Piscator. You are well overtaken, Sir; a good morning to you ; I have stretched my legs up Totnam Hill to overtake you, hoping your business may occasion you towards Ware, this fine pleasant fresh May-day in the morning.

1 There is so striking a resemblance between the commencement of the first edition of “The Complete Angler," and the opening of " A Treatise of the Nature of God," 12mo. 1599, that it is almost certain it was the model of Walton's work. The conversation in that Treatise is between a “Gentleman” and a “Scholar,” and commences

Note.]

thus :

Gent. Well overtaken, Sir!
Scholar. You are welcome, Gentleman!

Gent. No great gentleman, Sir; but one that wisheth well to all that mean well. I pray you, how far do you travel this way?

• Venator. Sir, I, for my part, shall almost answer your hopes; for my purpose is to drink my morning's draught at the Thatched House in Hoddesden; and I think not to rest till I come thither, where I have appointed a friend or two to meet me : but for this gentleman that you see with me, I know not how far he intends his journey; he came so lately into my company, that I have scarce had time to ask him the question.

AUCEPs. Sir, I shall by your favour bear you company as far as Theobalds, and there leave you; for then I turn up a friend's house, who mews a Hawk for me, which I now long to see.

VENATOR. Sir, we are all so happy as to have a fine, fresh, cool morning; and I hope we shall each be the happier in the others' company. And, Gentlemen, that I

yours,

I shall either abate or amend my pace to enjoy it, knowing that, as the Italians

say, “ Good company in a journey makes the way to seem the shorter."3

may not lose

Variation.] Viator. Sir, I shall almost answer your hopes : for my purpose is to be at Hoddesden, three miles short of that town, I will 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 Thatched House, about nine of the clock this morning; and that made me so early up, and indeed, to walk so fast.

Piscator. Sir, I know the Thatched 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 the shorter. Note continued.]

Scholar. As far as York.
Gent. I should be glad, if I might have your company thither.

Scholar. And I, if my company might stand you in any stead; but howsoever it be, you may command it; and, by vouchsafing me the benefit of your company, make me much beholden to you,” &c.

Many other parts of the Treatise appear to have been imitated both by Walton and Cotton.

2 “ Mew is that place, whether it be abroad or in the house, where you set down your Hawk, during the time that she raiseth her feathers.”Latham.

3 Compagno allegro per camino ti serve per roncino.

AUCEPS. It

may do so, Sir, with the help of good discourse, which, methinks, we may promise from you,

that both look and speak so cheerfully: and for my part, I promise you, as an invitation to it, that I will be as free and open hearted as discretion will allow me to be with strangers.

VENATOR. And, Sir, I promise the like.

Piscator. I am right glad to hear your answers; and, in confidence you speak the truth, I shall put on a boldness to ask you, Sir, whether business or pleasure caused you to be so early up, and walk so fast? for this other gentleman hath declared he is going to see a hawk, that a friend mews for him.

VENATOR. Sir, mine is a mixture of both, a little business and more pleasure; for I intend this day to do all my business, and then bestow another day or two in hunting the Otter, which a friend, that I go to meet, tells me is much pleasanter than any other chase whatsoever: howsoever, I mean to try it; for to-morrow morning we shall meet a pack of Otter-dogs of noble Mr. Sadler's, 4

Variation.) c Viator. 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 than any hunting whatsoever: and having dispatched a little business this day, my purpose is to-morrow to follow the pack of dogs of honest Mr.

who hath appointed me and my friend to meet him upon Amwell Hill to-morrow morning by day break.

Note.) 4 Ralph Sadler, of Standon, in the county of Herts, Esq. whose name is left blank in the first Edition, was the son and heir of Sir Thomas Sadler, Knight, eldest son of the celebrated Sir Ralph Sadler, Knight Banneret in the Reigns of Henry the Eighth and Queen Elizabeth. He succeeded to the estate at Standon, a few miles from Amwell, in 1606; married Anne, the eldest daughter of Sir Edward Coke, the Chief Justice; but died without issue before February, 1660. Sir Henry Chauncy, describing his property, says, that “he delighted much in Hawking and Hunting, and the pleasures of a country life; was famous for his noble table, his great hospitality to his neighbours, and his abundant charity to the poor : and after he had lived to a great age, died on the twelfth day of February, 1660, without issue ; whereupon this manor descended to Walter Lord Aston, the son and heir of Gertrude his sister."- Antiq. of Hertf. p. 219 b. See Scott's Sadler Papers, vol. ii. p. 604, and Clutterbuck's Herts. vol. iii. p, 229. H.

upon Amwell Hill, who will be there so early, that they intend to prevent the sunrising.

Piscator. Sir, my fortune has answered my desires, and my purpose is to bestow a day or two in helping to destroy some of those villanous 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 pensions from the King,a to encourage them to destroy the very breed of those base Otters, they do so much mischief.

VENATOR. But what say you to the Foxes of the Nation, would not you as willingly have them destroyed ? for doubtless they do as much mischief as Otters do.

PISCATOR. Oh, Sir, if they do, it is not so much to me and my fraternity, as those base vermin the Otters do.

AUCEPs. Why, Sir, I pray, of what fraternity are you, that you are so angry with the

poor

Otters? • PISCATOR. I am, Sir, a Brother of the Angle, and therefore an enemy to the Otter : for you are to note, that we Anglers all love one another, and therefore do I hate the Otter' both for my own, and their sakes who are of my

brotherhood. Venator. And I am a lover of Hounds; I have followed

VARIATION.] a Commonwealth.-1st and 2nd Edit.

e Piscator. 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 Oiter perfectly, even for their sakes that are of my brotherhood.

Viator. Sir, to be plain with you, I am sorry you are an Angler: for I have heard many grave, serious men pity, and many pleasant men scoff at Anglers.

Piscator. Sir, there are many men that are by others taken to be serious, grave men, which we contemn and pity; men of sour complexions; money-getting men, that spend all their time, first in getting, and next in anxious care to keep it: men that are condemned to be rich, and always discontented, or busy. For these poor rich men, we Anglers pity them; and stand in no need to borrow their thoughts to think ourselves happy: for, trust me, Sir, we enjoy a contentedness above the reach of such dispositions.

i the Otter perfectly, even for their sakes.- 1st Edit.- the Otter, even.- 2nd Elit.

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