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Pisc. Come, Sir, fall to then; you see my
supper is always ready when I come home, and I'll make no stranger of you.
Viat. That your meal is so soon ready, is a sign your servants know your certain hours, Sir; I confess I did not expect it so soon : but now 'tis here, you shall see I will make myself no stranger.
Pisc. Much good do your heart: and I thank you that friendly word: and now, Sir, my service to you in a cup of More-Land's ale; for you are now in the MoreLands, but within a spit and a stride of the Peak. Fill my friend his glass.
Viat. Believe me you have good ale in the More-Lands, far better than that at Ashborn.
Pisc. That it may soon be! for Ashborn has, (which is a kind of riddle,) always in it, the best malt and the worst ale in England. Come, take away, and bring us some pipes, and a bottle of ale: and go to your own suppers. Are you for this diet, Sir?
Viat. Yes, Sir, I am for one pipe of tobacco; and I perceive yours is very good by the smell.
Pisc. The best I can get in London, I assure you. But
(1) It should seem by what Walton says, Chap. X. that he was a smoker : and the reader sees, by the passage in the text, that Piscator, by whom we are to understand Cotton himself, is so curious as to have his tobacco from London.
Smoking, or as the phrase was, taking tobacco, was, in Queen Elizabeth's and her successor's time, esteemed the greatest of all foppery. Ben Jonson, who mortally hated it, has numberless sarcasms against smoking and smokers; all which are nothing, compared to those contained iv that work of our King James the First, A Counter-blast to Tobacco. Nor was the ordivary conversation of this monarch less fraught with reasons and invectives against the use of that weed, as will appear from the following saying of his, extracted from A Collection of Witty Apothegms, delivered by hini and others, at several times, and on sundry occasions, published in 12mo. 1671.
“That tobacco was the lively image and pattern of hell; for that it had, by allusion, in it all the parts and vices of the world whereby hell may be gained ; to wit : First, It was a smoke; so are the vanities of this world. Secondly, It delighteth them who take it ; so do the pleasures of the world delight the men of the world. Thirdly, It maketh men drunken, and light in the head ; so do the vanities of the world : men are drunken therewith. Fourthly, He that taketh tobacco saith he cannot leave it, it doth bewitch him ; even so the
Sir, now you have thus far complied with my designs, as to take a troublesome journey into an ill country, only to satisfy me; how long may I hope to enjoy you?
Viat. Why truly, Sir, as long as I conveniently can ; and longer, I think you would not have me.
Pisc. Not to your inconvenience by any means, Sir: but I see you are weary, and therefore I will presently wait on you to your chamber, where, take counsel of your pillow; and, to-morrow, resolve me. Here, take the lights; and
pray follow them, Sir: Here you are like to lie; and now I have shewed you your lodging, I beseech you, command any thing you want, and so I wish you good rest.
Viat. Good night, Sir.
pleasures of the world make men loath to leave them, they are for the most part so inchanted with them. And further, besides all this, It is like hell in the very substance of it, for it is a stinking loathsome thing; and so is hell. And further, his Majesty professed that, were he to invite the devil to dinner, he should have three dishes ; 1. A pig; 2. A pole of ling and mustard ; and 3. A pipe of tobacco for digesture.”
In a Poem printed anno 1619, written by Samuel Rowley, I meet with the following humorous lines, uttered by two good fellows, lovers of drinking and tobacco; and, since that time, printed on a London tobacconist's paper :
I am as dry as ever was March dust;
Lo! here's my groat, and my tobacco too. I conclude this note on smoking, which, by this time, may have made the reader laugh, with the mention of a fact that may go near to make him węep, which the people of Herefordshire have by tradition. In that county, to signify the last or concluding pipe that any ove means to smoke at a sittivg, they use the term a Kemble Pipe, alluding to a man of the name of Kemble, who in the cruel persecution under that merciless bigot queen Mary, being condemned for heresy, in bis walk of some miles from the prison to the stake, amidst a crowd of weepiog friends, with the tranquillity and fortitude of a primitive martyr, smoked a pipe of tobacco !
Conference, containing a description of Mr. Cotton's Fishing-house,
with his Apology for writing a Supplement to Walton's Book.
Piscator. Good morrow, Sir: what! up and drest, so early?
Viator. Yes, Sir, I have been drest this half-hour : for I rested so well, and have so great a mind either to take, or to see a Trout taken in your fine river, that I could no longer lie a-bed.
Pisc. I am glad to see you so brisk this morning, and so eager of sport: though I must tell you this day proves so calm, and the sun rises so bright, as promises no great success to the angler : but, however, we'll try, and, one way or other, we shall, sure, do something. What will you have to your breakfast, or what will you drink this morning?
Viat. For breakfast I never eat any, and for drink am very indifferent; but if you please to call for a glass of ale, I'm for you: and let it be quickly if you please, for I long to see the little fishing-house you spoke of, and to be at my lesson.
Pisc. Well, Sir, you see the ale is come without calling; for though I do not know yours, my people know my diet, which is always one glass so soon as I am drest, and no more, till dinner: and so my servants have served you.
Viat. My thanks! And now, if you please, let us look out this fine morning.
Pisc. With all my heart. Boy, take the key of my fishing-house, and carry down those two angle-rods in the hall-window, thither, with my fish-pannier, pouch, and
landing-net; and stay you there till we come. Come, Sir, we'll walk after, where, by the way, I expect you should raise all the exceptions against our country you
Viat. Nay, Sir, do not think me so ill-natur'd nor so uncivil: I only made a little bold with it last night to divert you, and was only in jest.
Pisc. You were then in as good earnest as I am now with you; but had you been really angry at it, I could not blame you: for, to say the truth, it is not very taking at first sight. But look you, Sir, now you are abroad, does not the sun shine as bright here as in Essex, Middlesex, or Kent, or any of your southern counties?
Viat. 'Tis a delicate morning, indeed, and I now think this a marvellous pretty place.
Pisc. Whether you think so or no, you cannot oblige me more than to say so: and those of my friends who know my humour, and are so kind as to comply with it, usually flatter me that way. But look you, Sir, now you are at the brink of the hill, how do
my river; the vale it winds through, like a snake; and the situation of my little fishing-house?
Viat. Trust me, 'tis all very fine; and the house seems, at this distance, a neat building.
Pisc. Good enough for that purpose. And here is a bowling-green too, close by it; so though I am myself no very good bowler, I am not totally devoted to my own pleasure, but that I have also some regard to other men's. And now, Sir, you are come to the door: pray walk in, and there we'll sit, and talk as long as you please.
Viat. Stay, what's here over the door? PISCATORIBUS SACRUM.* Why then, I perceive I have . There is, under this some title here; for I am one of them, tioned in the title-page of though one of the worst. And here, of the fishing house has below it, is the cypher* too you spoke pleasantness of the river,
of; and 'tis prettily contrived. Has mountains, and meadows my master Walton ever been here to Sir Philip Sidney, or
father, see it; for it seems new built ?'
were again alive, to do it. Pisc. Yes, he saw it cut in the stone before it was set up; but never in the posture it now stands : for the house was but building when he was last here, and not rais'd so high as the arch of the door. And I am afraid he will not see it, yet : for he has lately writ me word, he doubts his coming down this summer; which, I do assure you, was the worst news he could possibly have sent me.
Viat. Men must sometimes mind their affairs to make more room for their pleasures. And 'tis odds he is as much displeas'd with the business that keeps him from you, as you are that he comes not. But I am the most pleased with this little house, of any thing I ever saw: it stands in a kind of peninsula too, with a delicate clear river about it. I dare hardly go in, lest I should not like it so well within as without: but, by your leave, I'll try. Why, this is better and better, fine lights, finely wainscoted, and all exceeding neat, with a marble table and all in the middle !
(1) ID 1784, Mr. White, since of Crickhowel, favoured Sir John Hawkins with a description of the Fishing House. The account he gave of it was, that it was of stone, and the room inside a cube of fifteen feet; that it was paved with black and white marble, and that in the middle was a square black marble table supported by two stone feet. The room was wainscoted with curious mould. ings that divided the pannels up to the cieling. In the larger pannels were represented, in painting, some of the most pleasant of the adjacent scenes, with persons fishing; and in the smaller, the various sorts of tackle and implements used in angling. In the further corner, on the left, was a fire-place with a chimney; on the right a large beaufet, with folding.doors, whereon were the portraits of Mr. Cotton with a boy-servant, and Walton iu the dress of the time. Underneath was cup-board ; the door whereof, the figures of a Trout and of a Grayling were well pourtrayed. At this time the edifice was in but indifferent condition; the paintings, and even the wainscoting, in many places, being much decayed.
Since the above period Beresford Hall has beeu visited, and the Fishing-House seems to have suffered by the lapse of time, and was fast falling into decay. The glass from the windows gone, the pavement removed, and the wainscot de stroyed. The inscription was still legible over the door, and the date 1674,
The cypher also of Walton and Cotton ou the key-stone of the arch of the door (represented in the title-page of the second part) was still legible.