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oaks are longer before they cast their leaves, so are some Trouts in rivers longer before they go out of season.
And you are to note, that there are several kinds of Trouts : but these several kinds are not considered but by very few men; for they go under the general name of Trouts : just as Pigeons do in most places; though it is certain there are tame and wild Pigeons : and of the tame, there be Helmits and Runts, and Carriers and Croppers, and indeed too many to name. Nay, the Royal Society * have found and published lately, that there be thirty and three kinds of Spiders, and yet all, for aught I know, go under that one general name of Spider. And it is so with many kinds of fish, and of Trouts especially, which differ in their bigness, and shape, and spots, and colour. The great Kentish hens may be an instance, compared to other hens. And, doubtless, there is a kind of small Trout which will never thrive to be big, that breeds very many more than others do that be of a larger size: which you may rather believe, if you consider that the little Wren and Titmouse will have twenty young ones at a time, when, usually, the noble Hawk, or the musical Throssel, or Blackbird, exceed not four or five.
And now you shall see me try my skill to catch a Trout. And at my next walking, either this evening or to-morrow morning, I will give you direction how you yourself shall fish for him.
Venator. Trust me, master, I see now it is a harder matter to catch a Trout than a Chub; for I have put on patience, and followed you these two hours, and not seen a fish stir neither at your minnow nor your worm.
Piscator. Well, scholar, you must endure worse luck sometime, or you will never make a good angler. But what say you now? there is a Trout now, and a good one too, if I can but hold him; and two or three turns more will tire him. Now you see he lies still, and the sleight is to land him: reach mę that landing net. So, sir, now he is mine own: what say you now, is not this worth all my labour and your patience ?
Venator. On my word, master, this is a gallant Trout; what shall we do with him ?
Piscator. Marry, e'en eat him to supper : we'll go to my hostess from whence we came; she told me, as I was going out of door, that my brother Peter, a good angler and a cheerful companion, had sent word he would lodge there to-night, and bring a friend with him. My hostess has two beds, and I know you and I may have the best : we'll rejoice with my brother Peter and his friend, tell tales, or sing ballads, or make a catch, or find some harmless sport to content us and pass away a little time without offence to God or man.
* He must Dr Lister.-J. R.
Venator. A match, good master, let's go to that house ; for the linen looks white, and smells of lavender, and I long to lie in a pair of sheets that smell so. Let's be going, good master, for I am hungry again with fishing.
Piscator. Nay, stay a little, good scholar ; I caught my last Trout with a Worm; now I will put on a Minnow, and try a quarter of an hour about yonder trees for another; and so walk towards our lodging. Look you, scholar, thereabout we shall have a bite presently, or not at all. Have with you, sir : o'my word I have hold of him. Oh! it is a great logger-headed Chub; come, hang him upon that willow twig and let's be going. But turn out of the way a little, good scholar, towards yonder high honeysuckle hedge; there we'll sit and sing, whilst this shower falls so gently upon the teeming earth, and gives yet a sweeter smell to the lovely flowers that adorn these verdant meadows.
Look! under that broad beech tree I sat down, when I was last this way a-fishing; and the birds in the adjoining grove seemed to have a friendly contention with an echo, whose dead voice seemed to live in a hollow tree near to the brow of that primrose hill. There I sat viewing the silver streams glide silently towards their centre, the tempestuous sea ; yet sometimes opposed by rugged roots and pebble stones, which broke their waves, and turned them into foam. And sometimes I beguiled time by viewing the harmless lambs ; some leaping securely in the cool shade, whilst others sported themselves in the cheerful sun; and saw others craving comfort from the swollen udders of their bleating dams. As I thus sat, these and other sights had so fully possessed my soul with content, that I thought, as the poet hath happily expressed it,
I was for that time lifted above earth;.
And possess'd joys not promised in my birth. As I left this place, and entered into the next field, a second pleasure entertained me,—'twas a handsome milkmaid, that had not yet attained so much age and wisdom as to load her mind with any fears of many things that will never be, as too many men too often do; but she cast away all care, and sung like a nightingale; her voice was good, and the ditty fitted for it ; it was that smooth song which was made by Kit Marlow,* now at
* Christopher Marlow, a poet of no small eminence. He was sometime a student at Cambridge, and, after that, an actor on and writer for the stage. There are extant of his writings, five tragedies and a poem that bears his name, entitled Hero and Leander, which, he not living to com. plete it, was finished by Chapman. The song here mentioned is printed, with his name to it, in a Collection entitled, England's Helicon, 4to. 1600, as is also the Answer, here said to be written by Sir Walter Raleigh, but there subscribed " Ignoto.” Of Marlow it is said, that he was the author
least fifty years ago.
And the milkmaid's mother sung an answer to it, which was made by Sir Walter Raleigh, in his younger days.
They were old-fashioned poetry, but choicely good; I think much better than the strong lines that are now in fashion in this critical age. Look yonder! on my word yonder they both be a-milking again. I will give her the Chub, and persuade them to sing those two songs to us.
God speed you, good woman! I have been a-fishing; and am going to Bleak Hall* to my bed; and having caught more fish than will sup myself and my friend, I will bestow this upon you and your daughter; for I use to sell none.
Milk-woman. Marry! God requite yoù, sir, and we'll eat it cheerfully. And if you come this way a-fishing two months hence, a grace of God! I'll give you a syllabub of new verjuice, in a new made haycock, for it. And my maudlin shall sing you one of her best ballads; for she and I both love all anglers, they be such honest, civil, quiet men. In the meantire will you drink a draught of red cow's milk ? you shall have it freely.
Piscator. No, I thank you ; but, I pray, do us a courtesy that shall stand you and your daughter in nothing, and yet we will think ourselves still something in your debt : it is but to sing us a song that was sung by your daughter when I last passed over this meadow, about eight or nine days since.
Milk-woman. What song was it, I pray?_Was it Come Shepherds, deck your herds ? or, As at noon Dulcinia rested ? or, Phillida flouts me? or, Chevy Chase ? or, Johnny Armstrong ? or, Troy Town ?t
Piscator. No, it is none of those ; it is a song that your daughter sung the first part, and you sung the answer to it.
Milk-woman. Oh, I know it now. I learned the first part in my golden age, when I was about the age of my poor daughter ; and the latter part, which indeed fits me best now, but two or three years ago, when the cares of the world to take hold of me: but you shall, God willing, hear them both ; and sung as well as we can, for we both love anglers. Come, Maudlin, sing the first part to the gentlemen, with a merry heart; and I'll sing the second when you have done.
of divers atheistical and blasphemous discourses; and that in a quarrel with a serving man, his rival in a connection with a lewd woman, he received a stab with a dagger, and shortly after died of the stroke. WOOD Athen. Oxon. vol. i. 338, and Beard's Theatre of God's Judgments.
* The author seems here to have forgot himself; for, page 72, he says he is to lodge at Trout Hall.
+ See the songs, As at Noon, Chevy Chase, Johnny Armstrong, and Troy Town, printed after the most authentic copies, in Percy's Reliques of An cient English Poetry: Phillida flouts me, is to be found in Whittingham's edition of Elegant Extracts in Verse, vol. v. p. 239.
THE COMPLETE ANGLER
THE MILKMAID'S SONG.
Come live with me, and be my love,
Thy silver dishes for thy meat,
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
Then live with me, and be my love. * Venator. Trust me, master, it is a choice song, and sweetly sung by honest Maudlin. I now see it was not without cause that our own Queen Elizabeth did so often wish herself a milkmaid all the month of May, because they are not troubled
* Dr Warburton, in his notes on the Merry Wives of Windsor, ascribes this song to Shakespeare: it is true, Sir Hugh Evans, in the third act of that play, sings four lines of it; and it occurs in a Collection of Poems, said to be Shakespeare's, printed by Thomas Cotes for John Benson, 12mo. 1640, with some variations. On the contrary, it is to be found, with the name of “ Christopher Marlow” to it, in England's Helicon; and Walton has just said it was made by Kit Marlow. The reader will judge of these evidences as he pleases.
THE COMPLETE ANGLER.
with fears and cares, but sing sweetly all the day, and sleep securely all the night: and, without doubt, honest, innocent, pretty Maudlin does so. I'll bestow Sir Thomas Overbury's milkmaid's wish upon her, “ that she may die in the spring ; and, being dead, may have good store flowers stuck round about her winding sheet.” *
THE MILKMAID'S MOTHER'S ANSWER.
If all the world and love were young,
But Time drives flocks from field to fold,
What should we talk of dainties, then,
But could youth last and love still breed,
To live with thee, and be thy love. Mother. Well, I have done my song. But stay, honest anglers; for I will make Maudlin to sing you one short song more, Maudlin, sing that song that you sung last night, when
Sir Thomas Overbury's character of a fayre and happy milkmaid, printed with his poem, entitled The Wife, in 12mo. 1655.