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Engraved from an Original Picture by Nasmyth, in the Proefsion of the Publishers
ST ALBANS ABBEY, Published by T Gouden. 107. St. Martini GaneCharing Crefu.
duckes, cotes, and many other foules, wyth theyr brodes; whyche me. semyth better than alle the noyse of houndys, the blastes of hornys, and the scrye of foulis, that hunters fawkeners, and foulers can make. And if the Angler take fysshe ; surely, thenne, is there noo man merier than he is in his spyryte.
At the beginning of the directions, How the angler is to make his harnays, or tackle, he is thus instructed to provide a Rod: And how ye shall make your rodde craftly, here I shall teche you. Ye shall kytte betweene Myghelmas and Candylmas, a fayr staffe, of a fadom and an halfe longe and arme-grete, of hasyli, wyllowe, or aspe; and bethe hym in an hote ouyn, and sette hym euyn ; thenne, lete hym cole and drye a moneth. Take thenne and frettei hym, faste, wyth a coekeshote corde; and bynde hym to a fourme, or an euyn square grete tree. Take, thenne, a plummer's wire, that is euen and streyte, and sharpe at the one ende; and hete the sharpe ende in a charcole fyre till it be whyte, and brenne the staffe therwyth thorugh, euer streyte in the pythe at bothe endes, tyll they mete: and after that brenne hym in the nether end wyth a byrde brochez and wyth other broches, eche gretter than other, and euer the grettest the laste; so that ye make your hole, aye, tapre were. Thenne lete hym lye styll, and kele two dayes; un frette 3 hym thenne, and lete hym drye in an hous roof, in the smoke tyll he be thrugh drye. In the same season, take a fayr yerde of grene hasyll, and bethe him euen and streyghte, and lete it drye with the staffe; and whan they ben drye, make the yerde mete unto the hole in the staffe, unto halfe the length of the staffe; and to perfourme that other half of the croppe, -take a fayr shote of blacke thornn, crabbe tree, medeler, or of jenypre, kytte in the same season, and well bethyd and streyghte, and frette theym togyder fetely, soo that the croppe maye justly entre' all into the sayd hole ; thenne shaue your staffe, and make hym tapre were ; then vyrell the staffe at bothe endes with long hopis of yren, or laton, in the clennest wise, wyth a Pyke at the nether ende, fastnyd with a rennynge vyce, to take in and out your croppe; thenne set your croppe an handfull within the ouer ende of your staffe, in suche wise that it be as bigge there as in ony other place about : thenne arme your croppe at thouer ende, downe to the frette, wyth a lyne of vj heeres, and dubbe the lyne, and frette it faste in the toppe wyth a bowe to fasten on your lyne ; and thus shall ye make you a rodde soo prevy, that ye may walke therwyth; and there shall noo man wyte where ubowte yc goo.
Speaking of the Barbel, she says : Tire Barbyll is a swete fysshe; but it is u quasy meete, and a peryllous for mannys body. For, comynly, he yeuyth an introduxion to the febres : and yf he be eten rawe, 4 he may be cause of mannys dethe, whyche hath oft be seen. And of the Carp,
(1) i. e. tye it about : the substantive plural, frets of a lute, is formed of this verb.
(2) A bird spit. (3) Untie it.
(4) The usage of the fourteenth century, at which this caution is levelled, cannot at this day but fill us with astonishment. What is it to manducate and take into our stomachs the flesh of any aniinal without any kind of culinary preparation, but to feed like cannibals! The reflection on this practice operated so strongly on the mind of the Hon. Robert Boyle, that he speaks in terms of abhorrence of the eating of raw oysters, in a book entitled, Reflections, &c. which hereafter will be mentioned.
The nearest approach, excepting the instance above, which in this age of
that it is a deyntois fysshe, but there ben but fewe in Englonde. And therefore I wryte the lasse of hym. He is an euyll fysshe to take. For he is soo stronge enarmyd in the mouthe, that there maye noo weke harnays hold hym.
And as touchynge his baytes, I have but lytyll knowledge of it. And me wereloth to wryte more than I knowe and have prouyd. But well | wote, that the redde worme and the menou ben good baytes for hym at all tymes, as I have herde saye of persones credyble, and also founde wryten in bokes of credence, 1
For taking the Pike, this lady directs her readers in the following terms, viz.
Take a codlynge hoke ; and take a Roche, or a fresshe Heeryng; · and a royre wyth an hole in the ende, and put it in at the mouth, and out at the taylle, downe by the ridge of the fresshe Heeryng; and thenne put the lyne of your hoke in after, and drawe the hoke into the cheke of the fresshe Heeryng ; then put a plumbe of lede upon your lyne a yerde longe from your hoke, and aflote in myd waye betwene; and caste it in a pytte where the Pyke usyth: and this is the beste and moost surest crafte of takynge the Pyke. Another manere takynge of hym there is ; take a frosshe, 2 and put it on your hoke, at the necke, betwene the skynne and the body, on the backe half, and put on a flote a yerde therefro, and caste it where the Pyke hauntyth, and ye shall haue hym. Another manere : Take the same bayte, and put it in asa fetida, and caste it in the water wyth a corde and a corke, and ye shall not fayl of hym. And yf ye lyst to haue a good sporte, thenne tye the corde to a gose fote; and ye shall se gode halynge, whether the gose or the Pyke shall have the better. :
The directions for making flies, contained in this book, are, as one would expect, very inartificial : we shall therefore only add, that the authoress advises the angler to be provided with twelve different sorts; between which and Walton's twelve, 3 the difference is so very small, as well in the order as the manner of describing them, that there cannot remain the least doubt but he had seen, and attentively perused this ancient treatise.
The book concludes with some general cautions, among which are these that follow; which at least serve to shew, how long Angling has been looked on as an auxiliary to contemplation.
Also ye shall not use this forsayd crafty dysporte, for no couetysenes, to the encreasynge and sparynge of your money oonly; but pryncypally for your solace, and to cause the helthe of your body, and specyally of your soule; for whanne ye purpoos to goo on your dysportes in fysshynge, ye woll not desyre gretly many persons wyth you, whyche myghte lette you of your game. And thenne ye may serue God,
rational refinement we make to the savage practice that gives occasion to this note, is the eating of salted or pickled herrings or anchovies ; but for ihis it may be said in excuse, that there may possibly be in salt some principle similar, in its operation on certain bodies, to fire, at least, we find that the purposes of culinary fire are sufficiently answered in the process of curing herrings.
(1) Considering the time when this book was written, we may conclude, that these could be hardly any other than Monkish manuscripts.
(2) Or Frog. Minsheu's Dictionary. (3) Vide, infra, Chap. V.
deuowtly, in sayenge affectuously youre custumable prayer ;' and, thus doynge, ye shall eschewe and voyde many vices.
But to return to the last-mentioned work of our author, The Complete Angler: it came into the world attended with Encomiastic Verses by several writers of that day ;2 and had in the title-page, though Walton thought proper to omit it in the future editions, this apposite motto: “ SIMON PETER said, I go a fishing; and they said, we also will go
with thee.” John 21. 3. And here occasion is given us to remark, that the circumstance of time, and the distracted state of the kingdom at the period when the book was written, reaching indeed to the publication of the third edition thereof, are evidences of the author's inward temper and disposition; for who-but a man whose mind was the habitation of piety, prudence, humility, peace and cheerfulness-could delineate such a character as that of the principal interlocutor in this dialogue; and make him reason, contemplate, instruct, converse, jest, sing, and recite verses, with that sober pleasantry, that unlicentious hilarity, that Piscator does ? and this, too, at a time when the whole kingdom was in arms; and confusion and desolation were carried to an extreme sufficient to have excited such a resentment against the authors of them, as might have soured the best temper, and rendered it, in no small degree, unfit for social intercourse. 3
If it should be objected, that what is here said may be equally true of an indolent man, or of a mind insensible to all outward accidents, and devoted to its own ease and gratification, to this it may be answered, that the person here spoken of was not such a man : on the contrary, in sundry views of his character, he appears to have been endowed both with activity and industry; an industrious tradesman; industrious in collecting biographical memoirs and historical facts, and in rescuing from oblivion the memory and writings of many of his learned friends : and, surely, against the suspicion of insensibility He must stand acquitted, who appears to have had the strongest attachments, that could consist with christian charity, both to opinions and men; to episcopacy, to the doctrines, discipline, and the liturgy of the established church; and to those divines and others that favoured the civil and ecclesiastical constitution of this country,—the subversion whereof, it was his misfortune both to see and feel. Seeing, therefore, that amidst the public calamities, and in a state of exile from that city where the earliest and dearest of his connections had been formed, he was thus capable of enjoying himself in the manner he appears to have done; patiently submitting to those evils which he could not prevent we must pronounce him to have been
(1) A note of the pious simplicity of former times, which united prayer with recreation.
(2) This is a mistake; it was upon the publication of the second edition, that the commendatory verses appeared.
(3) This kind of resentment we cannot better estimate, than by a comparison thereof with its opposite affection, whatever we may call it; which in one instance, to wit, the restoration of King Charles II. had such an
e mathematician, ihat, for joy on receiving the news that the parliament had voted the king's return, he expired.