Графични страници
PDF файл


Is of nothing ; or, that which is nothing worth.

Piscator. My purpose was to give you some directions concerning Roach and Dace, and some other inferior fish which make the angler excellent sport; for you know there is more pleasure in hunting the hare than in eating her: but I will forbear, at this time, to say any more, because you see yonder come 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 you.

Well met, gentlemen; this is lucky that we meet so just together at this very door. Come, hostess, where are you? is supper ready ? Come, first give us drink; and be as quick as you can, for I believe we are all very hungry. Well, brother Peter and Coridon, to you both! Come, drink; and then tell me what luck of fish: we two have caught but ten trouts, of which my scholar caught three : look! here's eight; and a brace we gave away. We have had a most pleasant day for fishing and talking, and are 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 ale-house, and there we played at shovel-board half the day; all the time that it rained we were there, and as merry as they that fished. And I am glad we are now with a dry house over our heads; for, hark! how it rains and blows. Come, hostess, give us more ale, and our supper with what haste you may: and when we have supped, let us have your song, Piscator; and

word; you

the catch that your scholar promised us; or else, Coridon will be dogged. Pisc. Nay, I will not be worse than my

shall not want my song, and I hope I shall perfect in it.

Ven. And I hope the like for my catch, which I have ready too: and therefore let's 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 hostess, 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

O the gallant fisher's life,

It is the best of any;
'Tis full of pleasure, void of strife,
And 'tis belov'd by many :

Other joys
Are but toys;
Only this
Lawful is;
For our skill

Breeds no ill,
But content and pleasure.

In a morniug up we rise,

Ere Aurora's peeping;
Drink a cup to wash our eyes ;
Leave the sluggard sleeping:

Then we go
To and fro,
With our knacks
At our backs,
To such streams

As the Thames,
If we have the leisure.

When we please to walk abroad

For our recreation,
In the fields is our abode,
Full of delectation:

Where in a brook
With a hook,
Or a lake,
Fish we take:
There we sit,

For a bit,
Till we fish entangle,

We have gentles in a horn,

We have paste and worms too:
We can watch both night and morn,
Suffer rain and storms too :

Nope do here
Use to swear :
Oaths do fray
Fish away :
We sit still,

And watch our quill;
Fishers must not wrangle.

If the sun's excessive heat

Make our bodies swelter,
To an osier hedge we get
For a friendly shelter;

Where, in a dike,
Pearch or Pike,
Roach or Dace,
We do chase ;
Bleak or Gudgeon,

Without grudging;
We are still contented.

Or we sometimes pass an hour

Under a green willow,
That defends us from a shower,
Making earth our pillow :

Where we may
Think and pray
Before death
Stops our breath;
Other joys

Are but toys,
And to be lamented. .


* This, in its kind, is a good song. The following, taken from Cotton's Poems, 8vo, is to the same purpose; and well deserves a place here.

Away to the brook,

All your tackle out-look,
Here's a day that is worth a year's wishing.

See that all things be right,

For 'twould be a spight
To want tools when a man goes a fishing.

Your rod with tops two,

For the same will not do
If your manner of angling you vary ;

And full well may you think,

If you troll with a pink,
One too weak will be apt to miscarry.

Ven. Well sung, master; this day's fortune and pleasure, and this night's 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

Then basket, neat made

By a master in 's trade,
In a belt at your shoulders must dangle;

For none e'er was so vain

To wear this to disdain
Who a true brother was of the angle.


Next pouch must not fail,

Stuff'd as full as a mail,
With wax, crewels, silks, hair, furs, and feathers,

To make several fies

For the several skies,
That shall kill in despight of all weathers.


The boxes and books

For your lines and your hooks,
And, though not for strict need notwithstanding,

Your scissars and hope

To adjust your points on;
With a net to be sure of your landing.

All these being on,

"Tis high time we were gone,
Down and upward, that all may have pleasure,

Till, here meeting at night,

We shall have the delight
To discourse of our fortunes at leisure.

The day's not too bright,

And the wind hits us right,
And all nature does seem to invite us;

We have all things at will

For to second our skill,
As they all did conspire to delight us.

On stream now, or still,

A large pannier we'll fill,
Trout and Grayling to rise are so willing;

I dare venture to say,

"Twill be a bloody day,
And we all shall be weary of killing.

believe he retired 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 years since I learned it; and having forgotten a part of it, I was forced to

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« ПредишнаНапред »