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Topsel, and others, say of the PALMER-WORM, Caterpillar : that whereas others content themselves to feed on particular herbs or leaves; (for most think, those very leaves that gave them life and shape, give them a particular feeding and nourishment, and that upon them they usually abide ;) yet he observes, that this is called a pilgrim, or palmer-worm, for his very wandering life, and various food; not contenting himself, as others do, with any one certain place for his abode, nor any certain kind of herb or flower for his feeding, but will boldly and disorderly wander up and down, and not endure to be kept to a diet, or fixed to a particular place.
Nay, the very colours of caterpillars are, as one has observed, very elegant and beautiful. I shall, for a taste of the rest, describe one of them; which I will, some time the next month, shew you feeding on a willow-tree; and you shall find him punctually to answer this very
description : his lips and mouth somewhat yellow; his eyes black as jet; his forehead purple; his feet and hinder parts green; his tail two-forked and black; the whole body stained with a kind of red spots, which run along the neck and shoulder-blade, not unlike the form of St. Andrew's cross, or the letter X, made thus cross-wise, and a white line drawn down his back to his tail; all which add much beauty to his whole body. And it is to me observable, that at a fixed age this caterpillar gives over to eat, and towards Winter comes to be covered over with a strange shell or crust, called an aurelia: and so
lives a kind of dead life, without eating, all Bacon's Exper.
the Winter. And as others of several 728 * 90, in his Natural History. kinds turn to be several kinds of flies and vermin, the Spring following; so this caterpillar then turns to be a painted butterfly.
Come, come, my scholar, you see the river stops our morning walk: and I will also here stop my discourse:
View Sir Fra.
only as we sit down under this honeysuckle hedge, whilst I look a line to fit the rod that our brother Peter hath lent you, I shall, for a little confirmation of what I have said, repeat the observation of Du Bartas: God, not contented to each kind to give
6. Day of And to infuse the virtue generative,
Lately, a mushroom; now, a flying gull, Ven. O my good master, this morning-walk has been spent to my great pleasure and wonder: but, I pray, when shall I have your direction how to make artificial flies, like to those that the Trout loves best; and, also, how to use them?
Pisc. My honest scholar, it is now past five of the clock: we will fish till nine; and then go to breakfast. Go you to yon sycamore-tree, and hide your bottle of drink under the hollow root of it; for about that time, and in that place, we will make a brave breakfast with a piece of powdered beef, and a radish or two, that I have in my fish-bag: we shall, I warrant you, make a good, honest, wholesome, hungry breakfast. And I will then give you direction for the making and using of your flies: and in the mean time, there is your rod and line; and my
advice is, that you fish as you see me do, and let's try which can catch the first fish.
Ven. I thank you, master.
I will observe and practise your direction as far as I am able.
Pisc. Look you, scholar; you see I have hold of a good fish: I now see it is a Trout. I pray, put that net under him; and touch not my line, for if you do, then we break all. Well done, scholar: I thank you.
Now for another. Trust me, I have another bite. Come scholar, come lay down your rod, and help me to land this as you did the other. So now we shall be sure to have a good dish of fish for supper.
Ven. I am glad of that: but I have no fortune: sure, master, yours is a better rod and better tackling.
Pisc. Nay, then, take mine; and I will fish with yours. Look you, scholar, I have another. Come, do as you did before. And now I have a bite at another. Oh me! he has broke all: there's half a line and a good hook lost.
Ven. Ay, and a good Trout too.
Pisc. Nay, the Trout is not lost; for pray take notice, no man can lose what he never had.
Ven. Master, I can neither catch with the first nor second angle: I have no fortune.
Pisc. Look you, scholar, I have yet another. And now, having caught three brace of Trouts, I will tell you a short tale as we walk towards our breakfast. A scholar, a preacher I should say, that was to preach to procure the approbation of a parish that he might be their lecturer, had got from his fellow pupil the copy of a sermon that was first preached with great commendation by him that composed it: and though the borrower of it preached it, word for word, as it was at first, yet it was utterly disliked as it was preached by the second to his congregation; which the sermon-borrower complained of to the lender of it: and was thus answered: “I lent you, indeed, my fiddle, but not my fiddle-stick; for you are to know, that every one cannot make music with my words, which are
fitted to my own mouth.” And so, my scholar, you are to know, that as the ill pronunciation or ill accenting of words in a sermon spoils it, so the ill carriage of your line, or not fishing even to a foot in a right place, makes you lose your labour: and you are to know, that though you
have my fiddle, that is, my very rod and tacklings with which you see I catch fish, yet you have not my fiddle-stick, that is, you yet have not skill to know how to carry your hand and line, nor how to guide it to a right place: and this must be taught you ; for
you are to remember, I told you Angling is an art, either by practice or a long observation, or both. But take this for a rule, When you fish for a Trout with a worm, let your line have so much, and not more lead than will fit the stream in which you fish; that is to say, more in a great troublesome stream than in a smaller that is quieter; as near as may be, so much as will sink the bait to the bottom, and keep it still in motion, and not more.
But now let's say grace, and fall to breakfast. What say you, scholar, to the providence of an old angler? Does not this meat taste well ? and was not this place well chosen to eat it? for this sycamore-tree will shade us from the sun's heat.
Ven. All excellent good; and my stomach excellent good, too. And now I remember, and find that true which devout Lessius? says, “ that poor men, and those that fast often, have much more pleasure in eating than rich men, and gluttons, that always feed before their stomachs are empty of their last meat and call for more;
(1) Leonard Lessius, a very learned jesuit, professor of divinity in the college of Jesuits at Louvain: he was born at Antwerp, 1554; and became very famous for his skill in divioity, civil law, mathematics, physic, and history : he wrote several theological tracts, and a book entitled, Hygiasticon, seu veru ratio valetudinis bona, & vitæ ad extremum senectutem conservandæ. See Walton's Life prefixed. From this tract of Lessius, it is probable the passage in the text is cited. He died 1623.
for by that means they rob themselves of that pleasure that hunger brings to poor men.” And I do seriously approve of that saying of yours," that you had rather be a civil, well-governed, well-grounded, temperate, poor angler, than a drunken lord:” but I hope there is none such. However, I am certain of this, that I have been at many very costly dinners that have not afforded me half the content that this has done; for which I thank God and you.
And now, good master, proceed to your promised direction for making and ordering my artificial fly.
Pisc. My honest scholar, I will do it; for it is a debt due unto you by my promise. And because you shall not think yourself more engaged to me than indeed you really are, I will freely give you such directions as were lately given to me by an ingenious brother of the angle, an honest man, and a most excellent fly-fisher.
You are to note, that there are twelve kinds of artificial made Flies, to angle with upon the top of the water. Note, by the way, that the fittest season of using these, is a blustering windy day, when the waters are so troubled that the natural fly cannot be seen, or rest upon them. The FiRST is the dun-fly, in March: the body is made of dun wool; the wings, of the partridge's feathers. The second is another dun-fly: the body of black wool; and the wings made of the black drake's feathers, and of the feathers under his tail. The THIRD is the stone-fly, in April: the body is made of black wool; made yellow under the wings and under the tail, and so made with wings of the drake. The FOURTH is the ruddy-fly, in the beginning of May: the body made of red-wool, wrapt about with black silk; and the feathers are the wings of the drake; with the feathers of a red capon also, which hang dangling on his sides next to the tail. The FIFTH is the yellow or greenish fly, in May likewise: the body made of yellow wool; and the wings made of the red