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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 possessed him, as he sat quietly, in a summer's evening, on a bank a fishing. It is a description of the spring; which, because it glided as soft and sweetly from his pen, as that river does at this time, by which it was then made, I shall repeat it unto
This day dame Naturel seem'd in love ;
The jealous trout, that low did lie,
Already were the eves possest
The showers were short, the weather mild,
Where, for some sturdy foot-ball swain,
Variation.] * These verses occur in every edition of the Angler exactly as they are here printed, but the following variations exist between them and the copy printed by Wotton in his Reliquiæ Wottonianæ, p. 384, where they are entitled, “On a Bank as I sate a Fishing; a Description of the Spring." 1 And now all Nature.
And now, though late, the modest rose
These were the thoughts that then possessed the undisturbed mind of Sir Henry Wotton. Will you
hear the wish of another Angler, and the commendation of his happy life, which he also sings in verse : viz. Jo. Davors,
Let me live harmlessly, and near the brink
Of Trent or Avon have a dwelling-place;P
eager bite of Perch, or Bleak, or Dace;?
Whilst some men strive ill-gotten goods ť embrace ;8
• all. It can scarcely be doubted that the “ Friend" alluded to was Izaak Walton. P Oh, let me rather on the pleasant brink
Of Tyne and Trent possess some dwelling place.
. While they proud Thais painted sheet embrace,
All quaffing round are ready for to choke. Note.] 3 John Davors, Esq. was the author of a Poem entitled the Secrets of Angling, teaching the choicest tools, baits, and seasons for the taking of any Fish in pond or river, practised and familiarly opened in three books, by J. D. Esquire, 12mo. 1613, augmented with many approved experiments, by W. Lauson, and reprinted in 1652. Again reprinted from that edition by Triphook in 1811. The verses in the text have been collated with the reprint, and the most important variations are shown in the notes. The work was, however, entered on the books of the Stationers' Company as the production of John Dennys, Esq. “1612, 23 Martij. Mr. Roger Jackson entred for his copie under thands of Mr. Mason and Mr. Warden Hooper, a booke called the Secrete of Angling, teaching the choycest tooles, bates, and seasons for the taking of any Fish in any pond or river, practised and opened in three bookes, by John Dennys, Esquire.” It was dedicated to John Harboone, of Tackley in Oxfordshire, Esq.
Let them that list, these pastimes stillt 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 daffodil, Purple Narcissus like the morning rays, Pale gander-grass, Y and azure culver-keys. I count it higher? pleasure to behold
The stately compass of the lofty sky; And in the midst thereof, like burning gold,
The Aaming chariot of the world's great eye:
With sundry kinds of painted colours fly;
The plains extended level with the ground,
The veins inclos'd with rivers running round; Thesed rivers making way through nature's chains,
With headlong course, into the sea profound;
Adorned with leaves and branches fresh and green, In whose cool bowers the birds with many a song,
Do welcome with their quire the summer's Queen ; The meadows fair, where Flora's gifts, among Are intermixt, with h verdant grass
VARIATION.] t then.
u their. * And by the rivers fresh may walk at will. y Ganderglas. z better.
a goodly. C running rivers. d The.
e surging f The vallies sweet, and lakes that lovely flow. 8 In whose cool brows the birds with chanting song.
i Within the brooks and crystal watry brim. NOTE continued.] by “R. I.” who states in the dedication, that the author was dead. Fourteen lines “ in due praise of his praiseworthy skill and work,” signed, “ Jo Daves,” are prefixed.
All these, and many more of his creation
That made the heavens, the Angler oft doth see;
To think how strange, how wonderful they be:
To set his heart from other fancies free;
His mind is rapt above the starry sky.
VARIATION.] k And takes.
1 his thoughts on.
And I must be
think it worth your attention, for the rest of my promised discourse, till some other opportunity, and a like time of leisure.
VENATOR. Sir, you have angled me on with much pleasure to the Thatched 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 this house, till you showed it to me. But now we are at it, we'll turn into it, and refresh ourselves with a cup of drink, and a little rest.
Piscator. Most gladly, Sir, and we'll drink a civil cup to all the Otter-hunters that are to meet you to-morrow.
Venator. That we will, Sir, and to all the lovers of Angling too, of which number I am now willing to be one myself; 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 to-morrow at the time and place appointed, and bestow one day with me and my friends, in hunting the
NOTE.] 6 In the Whitehall Evening Post, in May 1760, appeared the following advertisement :-"To be disposed of, at Barton under Needwood, near Litchfield, Staffordshire, Otter Hounds, exceeding staunch, aud thoroughly well trained to the hunting of this animal. The pack consists of nine couple and a terrier, and are esteemed to be as good, if not the best hounds in the kingdom. In the winter season they hunt the hare, except about two couple and a half that are trained to the Otter only; but there are about two couple of harriers, that have never been entered at the Otter, which will go with the rest; besides three couple of
year old hounds, now fit to enter at either or both; and one couple of whelps, ready to go to walks. The greatest part of them are the blood of as high breed a fox hound as any in England. The proprietor disposes of them for the two following reasons only: first, because all the Otters, except about three or four, are killed within this hunt, which consists of all the rivers in this county (except the Dove, where Otters are not to be killed with hounds), Leicestershire, and Warwickshire; but more especially, because the proprietor finds himself too infirm to follow them. None but principals will be treated with. Direct to Walter Biddulph, of Barton aforesaid, Esq., by whom all letters from principals will be duly answered.
“N.B. Mr. Biddulph has killed within these last six years with these hounds, above Burton upon Trent only, seventy-four Otters. There are six spears to be disposed of with the hounds.”