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a blessing that money cannot buy; and therefore value it, and be thankful for it. As for money, (which may be said to be the third blessing,) neglect it not ; but note, that there is no necessity of being rich ; for I told you, there be as many miseries beyond riches as on this side them: and, if you have a competence, enjoy it with a meek, cheerful, thankful heart. I will tell you, scholar, I have heard a grave divine say, that God has two dwellings, one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart, which Almighty God grant to me, and to my honest scholar! And so you are welcome to Tottenham High Cross.
Venator. Well, master, I thank you for all your good directions ; but for none more than this last, of thankfulness, which I hope I shall never lo:get.
BOWERBANKS, TOTTENHAM. And pray let's now rest ourselves in this sweet shady arbour, which Nature herself has woven with her own fine finger ; it is such a contexture of woodbines, sweetbriar, jessamine, and myrtle, and so interwoven, as will secure us both from the sun's violent heat, and from the approaching shower. And being sat down, I will requite a part of your courtesies with a bottle of sack, milk, oranges, and sugar, which, all put together, make a
drink like nectar ; indeed, too good for any body but us anglers. And so, master, here is a full glass to you of that liquor ; and, when you have pledged me, I will repeat the verses which I promised you : it is a copy printed amongst some of Sir Henry Wotton's, and doubtless made either by him or by a lover of angling. Come, master, now drink a glass to me, and then I will pledge you, and fall to my repetition; it is a description of such country recreations as I have enjoyed since I had the happiness to fall into your company.
Quivering fears, heart-tearing cares,
Fly, fly to courts,
Fly to fond worldlings' sports,
Where mirth's but mummery,
And sorrows only real be.
Come, serene looks,
Clear as the crystal brooks,
Peace and a secure mind,
Which all men seek, we only find.
You 'd scorn proud towers,
And seek them in these bowers;
Nor murmurs e’er come nigh us,
Saving of fountains that glide by us.
And wounds are never found,
Save what the ploughshare gives the ground.
Unless it be
The fond credulity * Feigned, or forced smiles, from the word Sardon, the name of an herb, resembling smallage, and growing in Sardinia, which being eaten by men, contracts the muscles, and excites laughter, even to death. Vide Erasmi sidugiu tit. Risus.
Of silly fish, which (worldling like) still look
Nor envy, 'less among
The birds, for price of their sweet song.
We all pearls scorn,
Save what the dewy morn
And gold ne'er here appears,
Save what the yellow Ceres bears.
May pure contents
For ever pitch their tents
Which we may every year,
Piscator. Trust me, scholar, I thank you heartily for these verses ; they be choicely good, and doubtless made by a lover of angling
drink a glass to me, and I will requite you with another very good copy: it is a farewell to the vanities of the world, and some say written by Sir Harry Wotton, who, I told you, was an excellent angler. But let them be writ by whom they will, he that writ them had a brave soul, and must needs be possessed with happy thoughts at the time of their composure :
Farewell, ye gilded follies, pleasing troubles !
Fame, honour, beauty, state, train, blood, and birth,
Are but the fading blossoms of the earth.
I would be wise, but that I often see
I have wish'd all; but now I wish for neither,
Great, high, rich, wise, nor fair, — poor I'll be rather.
with a speaking eye
And hold one minute of this holy leisure
Beyond the riches of this empty pleasure !
And if contentment be a stranger, then,
I'll ne'er look for it, but in heaven again. Venator. Well, master, these verses be worthy to keep a room in every man's memory. I thank you for them; and i thank you for your many instructions, which (God willing) I will not forget. And as St Austin, in his Confessions, (book
* An angel is a piece of coin, value ten shillings. The words to “ vie angels" are a metonomy, and signify to “compare wealth.”. In the old ballad of The Beggar's Daughter of Bethnal Green, a competition of this kind is introduced : a young
knight, about to marry the beggar's danghter, is dissuaded from so unequal a match by some gentlemen, his relations, who urge the poverty of her father; the beggar challenges them to “drop angels' with him, and fairly empties the purses of them all. The neighbourhood of Bethnal Green is seldom without a public
house with a sign representing the Beggar, and the dissuaders of the match, dropping gold; the young woman, and the knight, her lover, standing between them.
iv. chap. 3) commemorates the kindness of his friend Verecundus, for lending him and his companion a country house, because there they rested and enjoyed themselves, free from the troubles of the world : so, having had the like advantage, both by your conversation and the art you have taught me, I ought ever to do the like; for, indeed, your company and discourse have been so useful and pleasant, that, I may truly say, I have only lived since I enjoyed them and turned angler, and not before. Nevertheless, here I must part with you, here in this now sad place where I was so happy as first to meet you : but I shall long for the ninth of May; for then I hope again to enjoy your beloved company at the appointed time and place. And now I wish for some somniferous potion, that might force me to sleep away the intermitted time; which will pass away with me as tediously as it does with men in sorrow; nevertheless, I will make it as short as I can, by my hopes and wishes : and, my good master, I will not forget the doctrine which you told me Socrates taught his scholars, that they should not think to be honoured so much for being philosophers, as to honour philosophy by their virtuous lives. You advised me to the like concerning angling, and I will endeavour to do so ; and to live like those many worthy men, of which you made mention in the former part of your discourse. This is my firm resolution. And as a pious man advised his friend, that, to beget mortification, he should frequent churches, and view monuments and charnel-houses, and then and there consider how many dead bones time had piled up at the gates of death : so when I would beget content, and increase confidence in the power, and wisdom, and providence of Almighty God, I will walk the meadows, by some gliding stream, and there contemplate the lilies that take no care, and those very many other various little living creatures that are not only created, but fed (man knows not how) by the goodness of the God of Nature, and therefore trust in him. This is my purpose : and so, « let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.” And let the blessing of St Peter's Master be with mine.
Piscator. And upon all that are loyers of virtue, and dare trust in His providence, and be quiet, and go a-angling.
“ STUDY TO BE QUIET.”_1 Thess. iv. 11.
END OF PART I.