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Welcome pure thoughts; welcome ye silent groves;
And if contentment be a stranger then,
Ven. 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 4. 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 turn'd angler, and not before. Nevertheless, here I must part with you; here in this now sad place, where I was so
(1) To the many short poeins, abounding with fine moral sentiments, contained in this book, I here add the following lines of Mr. Cowley, translated from Martial, Lib. II. Epig. 53; which, far surpassing the original, exhibit a picture of a contented mind; and, for the manly spirit of independence that breathes in them, I have never yet seen equalled by any in our own language.
Would you be free? 'Tis your chief wish you say.
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 bodies 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.
Pisc. And upon all that are lovers 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 1.