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Must in his harvest or lose all again. Now must he pluck the rose lest other hands,
Or tempests, blemish what so fairly stands:
That stand as if out-facing one another,
Where never gale was longer known to stay 159
How each field turns a street, each street a park
Made green and trimm'd with trees; see how
Devotion gives each house a bough
Or branch: each porch, each door ere this
Made up of white-thorn, neatly interwove;
worthy to be here: " Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
"Truth, Lord; but I have marred them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
And know you not," says Love," who bore the blame?"
My dear, then I will serve."1 "You must sit down," says Love," and taste my meat.
So I did sit and eat.
IZAAK WALTON (1593-1683)
THE COMPLETE ANGLER
FROM THE FIRST DAY
A CONFERENCE BETWIXT AN ANGLER, A FALCONER, AND A HUNTER, EACH COMMENDING HIS RECREATION
CHAPTER I. PISCATOR,2 VENATOR, AUCEPS 4
Piscator. You are well overtaken, Gentlemen! A good morning to you both! I have stretched my legs up Tottenham Hill to overtake you, hoping your business may occasion you towards Ware, whither I am going this fine fresh May morning.
Venator. Sir, I, for my part, shall almost answer your hopes; for my purpose is to drink my morning's draught at the Thatched House in Hoddesden; and I think not to rest till I come thither, where I have appointed a friend or two to meet me: but for this gentleman that you see with me, I know not how far he intends his journey; he came so lately into
1 act as servant 2 angler 3 hunter falconer
my company, that I have scarce had time to ask him the question.
Auceps. Sir, I shall by your favour bear you company as far as Theobalds, and there leave you; for then I turn up to a friend's house, who mews a Hawk for me, which I now long
Piscator. Sir, we are all so happy as to have a fine, fresh, cool morning; and I hope we shall each be the happier in the others' company. And, Gentlemen, that I may not lose yours, I shall either abate or amend my pace to enjoy it, knowing that, as the Italians say, "Good company in a journey makes the way to seem the shorter."
Auceps. It may do, Sir, with the help of a good discourse, which, methinks, we may promise from you, that both look and speak so cheerfully and for my part, I promise you, as an invitation to it, that I will be as free and open hearted as discretion will allow me to be with strangers.
Venator. And, Sir, I promise the like.
Piscator. I am right glad to hear your answers; and, in confidence 2 you speak the truth, I shall put on a boldness to ask you, Sir, whether business or pleasure caused you to be so early up, and walk so fast? for this other gentleman hath declared he is going to see a hawk, that a friend mews for him.
Venator. Sir, mine is a mixture of both, a little business and more pleasure; for I intend this day to do all my business, and then bestow another day or two in hunting the Otter, which a friend, that I go to meet, tells me is much pleasanter than any other chase whatsoever: howsoever, I mean to try it; for to-morrow morning we shall meet a pack of Otter-dogs of noble Mr. Sadler's, upon Amwell Hill, who will be there so early, that they intend to prevent 3 the sunrising.
Piscator. Sir, my fortune has answered my desires, and my purpose is to bestow a day or two in helping to destroy some of those villainous vermin: for I hate them perfectly, because they love fish so well, or rather, because they destroy so much; indeed so much, that, in my judgment all men that keep Otterdogs ought to have pensions from the King, to encourage them to destroy the very breed of those base Otters, they do so much mischief.
Venator. But what say you to the Foxes of the Nation? would not you as willingly
have them destroyed? for doubtless they do as much mischief as Otters do.
Piscator. Oh, Sir, if they do, it is not so much to me and my fraternity, as those base vermin the Otters do.
Auceps. Why, Sir, I pray, of what fraternity are you, that you are so angry with the poor Otters?
Piscator. I am, Sir, a Brother of the Angle, and therefore an enemy to the Otter: for you are to note, that we Anglers all love one another, and therefore do I hate the Otter both for my own, and their sakes who are of my brotherhood.
Venator. And I am a lover of Hounds: I have followed many a pack of dogs many a mile, and heard many merry Huntsmen make sport and scoff at Anglers.
Auceps. And I profess myself a Falconer, and have heard many grave, serious men pity them, it is such a heavy, contemptible, dull recreation.
Piscator. You know, Gentlemen, it is an easy thing to scoff at any art or recreation; a little wit mixed with ill-nature, confidence, and malice will do it; but though they often venture boldly, yet they are often caught, even in their own trap, according to that of Lucian,' the father of the family of Scoffers:
Lucian, well skill'd in scoffing, this hath writ, Friend, that's your folly, which you think your wit:
This you vent oft, void both of wit and fear,
If to this you add what Solomon says of Scoffers, that they are an abomination to mankind, let him that thinks fit scoff on, and be a Scoffer still; but I account them enemies to me and all that love Virtue and Angling.
And for you that have heard many grave, serious men pity Anglers; let me tell you, Sir, there be many men that are by others taken to be serious and grave men, whom we contemn and pity. Men that are taken to be grave, because nature hath made them of a sour complexion; money-getting men, men that spend all their time, first in getting, and next, in anxious care to keep it; men that are condemned to be rich, and then always busy or discontented: for these poor rich men, we Anglers pity them perfectly, and stand in no need to borrow their thoughts to