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with more pleasure, and less fear of running into error. But I must not yet forsake the waters, by whose help we have so many known advantages.

And first, to pass by the miraculous cures of our known baths, how advantageous is the sea for our daily traffick, without which we could not now subsist. How does it not only furnish us with food and physic for the bodies, but with such observations for the mind as ingenious persons would not want!

How ignorant had we been of the beauty of Florence, of the monuments, urns, and rarities that yet remain in and near unto old and new Rome, so many as it is said will take up a year's time to view, and afford to each of them but a convenient consideration! And therefore it is not to be wondered at, that so learned and devout a father as St. Jerome, after his wish to have seen Christ in the flesh, and to have heard St. Paul preach, makes his third wish, to have seen Rome in her glory; and that glory is not yet all lost, for what pleasure is it to see the monuments of Livy, the choicest of the historians; of Tully, the best of orators; and to see the bay trees that now grow out of the very tomb of Virgil! These, to any that love learning, must be pleasing. But what pleasure is it to a devout Christian, to see there the humble house in which St. Paul was content to dwell, and to view the many rich statues that are made in honour of his memory! nay, to see the very place in which St. Peter and he lie buried together! These are in and near to Rome. And how much more doth it please the pious curiosity of a Christian, to see that place, on which the blessed Saviour of the world was pleased to humble Himself, and to take our nature upon Him, and to converse with men: to see Mount Sion, Jerusalem, and the very sepulchre of our Lord Jesus! How may it beget and heighten the zeal of a Christian, to see the devotions that are daily paid to him at that place! Gentlemen, lest I forget myself, I will stop here, and remember you, that but for my element of water, the inhabitants of this poor island must remain ignorant that such things ever were, or that any of them have yet a being.

Gentlemen, I might both enlarge and lose myself in such like arguments. I might tell you that Almighty God is said to have spoken to a fish, but never to a beast; that he hath made a whale a ship, to carry and set his prophet, Jonah, safe on the appointed shore. Of these I might speak, but I must in manners break off, for I see Theobalds House. I cry you mercy for being so long, and thank you for your patience.

AUCEPS. Sir, my pardon is easily granted you: I except against nothing that you have said: nevertheless, I must part with you at this park-wall, for which I am very sorry; but I assure you, Mr. Piscator, I now part with you full of good thoughts, not only of yourself, but your recreation. And so, Gentlemen, God keep you both.

PISCATOR. Well, now, Mr. Venator, you shall neither want time, nor my attention to hear you enlarge your discourse concerning hunting.

VENATOR. Not I, Sir: I remember you said that Angling itself was of great antiquity, and a perfect art, and an art not easily attained to; and you have so won upon me in your former discourse, that I am very desirous to hear what you can say further concerning those particulars.

PISCATOR. Sir, I did say so: and I doubt not but if you and I did converse together but a few hours, to leave you possessed with the same high and happy thoughts that now possess me of it; not only of the antiquity of Angling, but that it deserves commendations; and that it is an art, and an art worthy the knowledge and practice of a wise man.

VENATOR. Pray, Sir, speak of them what you think fit, for we have yet five miles to the Thatched House; during which walk, I dare promise you, my patience and diligent attention shall not be wanting. And if you shall make that to appear which you have undertaken, first, that it is an art, and an art worth the learning, I shall beg that I may attend you a day or two a-fishing, and that I may become your scholar, and be instructed in the art itself which you so much magnify.

PISCATOR. O, Sir, doubt not but that Angling is an

art; is it not an art to deceive a Trout with an artificial Fly? a Trout! that is more sharp-sighted than any Hawk you have named, and more watchful and timorous than your high-mettled Merlin is bold? and yet, I doubt not to catch a brace or two to-morrow, for a friend's breakfast: doubt not therefore, Sir, but that angling is an art, and an art worth your learning. The question is rather, whether you be capable of learning it? for angling is somewhat like poetry, men are to be born so: I mean, with inclinations to it, though both may be heightened by discourse and practice but he that hopes to be a good angler, must not only bring an inquiring, searching, observing wit, but he must bring a large measure of hope and patience, and a love and propensity to the art itself; but having once got and practised it, then doubt not but angling will prove to be so pleasant, that it will prove to be, like virtue, a reward to itself.

VENATOR. Sir, I am now become so full of expectation, that I long much to have you proceed, and in the order that you propose.

PISCATOR. Then first, for the antiquity of Angling, of which I shall not say much, but only this; some say it is as ancient as Deucalion's flood: others, that Belus, who was the first inventor of godly and virtuous recreations, was the first inventor of Angling and some others say (for former times have had their disquisitions about the antiquity of it), that Seth, one of the sons of Adam, taught it to his sons, and that by them it was derived to posterity: others say that he left it engraven on those pillars which he erected, and trusted to preserve the knowledge of the mathematics, music, and the rest of that precious knowledge, and those useful arts, which by God's appointment or allowance, and his noble industry, were thereby preserved from perishing in Noah's flood.

These, Sir, have been the opinions of several men, that have possibly endeavoured to make angling more ancient than is needful, or may well be warranted; but for my part, I shall content myself in telling you, that angling is much more ancient than the Incarnation of our Saviour;

for in the Prophet Amos mention is made of fish-hooks; and in the Book of Job, which was long before the days of Amos (for that book is said to have been written by Moses), mention is made also of fish-hooks, which must imply anglers in those times.

But, my worthy friend, as I would rather prove myself a gentleman, by being learned and humble, valiant and inoffensive, virtuous and communicable, than by any fond ostentation of riches, or, wanting those virtues myself, boast that these were in my ancestors; and yet I grant, that where a noble and ancient descent and such merit meet in any man, it is a double dignification of that person; so if this antiquity of angling, which for my part I have not forced, shall, like an ancient family, be either an honour or an ornament to this virtuous art which I profess to love and practise, I shall be the gladder that I made an accidental mention of the antiquity of it, of which I shall say no more, but proceed to that just commendation which I think it deserves.

And for that, I shall tell you, that in ancient times a debate hath risen, and it remains yet unresolved, whether the happiness of man in this world doth consist more in Contemplation or Action? Concerning which, some have endeavoured to maintain their opinion of the first; by saying, that the nearer we mortals come to God by way of imitation, the more happy we are. And they say, that God enjoys himself only, by a contemplation of his own infiniteness, eternity, power, and goodness, and the like. And upon this ground, many cloisteral men of great learning and devotion, prefer Contemplation before Action. And many of the Fathers seem to approve this opinion, as may appear in their commentaries upon the words of our Saviour to Martha (Luke x. 41, 42).

And on the contrary, there want not men of equal authority and credit, that prefer action to be the more excellent; as namely, experiments in physic, and the application of it; both for the ease and prolongation of man's life; by which each man is enabled to act and do good to others, either to serve his country, or do good to

particular persons and they say also, that action is doctrinal, and teaches both art and virtue, and is a maintainer of human society; and for these, and other like reasons, to be preferred before contemplation.

Concerning which two opinions I shall forbear to add a third, by declaring my own; and rest myself contented in telling you, my very worthy friend, that both these meet together, and do most properly belong to the most honest, ingenuous, quiet, and harmless art of angling.

And first, I shall tell you what some have observed, and I have found it to be a real truth, that the very sitting by the river's side is not only the quietest and fittest place for contemplation, but will invite an angler to it and this seems to be maintained by the learned Peter du Moulin, who, in his Discourse of the fulfilling of Prophecies, observes, that when God intended to reveal any future events or high notions to his prophets, he then carried them either to the deserts, or the sea-shore, that having so separated them from amidst the press of people and business, and the cares of the world, he might settle their mind in a quiet repose, and there make them fit for Revelation.

And this seems also to be intimated by the children of Israel (Psalm cxxxvii), who having in a sad condition banished all mirth and musick from their pensive hearts, and having hung up their then mute harps upon the willowtrees growing by the rivers of Babylon, sat down upon those banks, bemoaning the ruins of Sion, and contemplating their own sad condition.

And an ingenious Spaniard says, that 'rivers and the inhabitants of the watery element were made for wise men to contemplate, and fools to pass by without consideration.' And though I will not rank myself in the number of the first, yet give me leave to free myself from the last, by offering to you a short contemplation, first of rivers, and then of fish; concerning which I doubt not but to give you many observations that will appear very considerable I am sure they have appeared so to me, and made many an hour pass away more pleasantly, as I have

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