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But for chaste love the Mullet hath no peer;
For, if the fisher hath surpris'd her pheer,
As mad with wo, to shore she followeth,
Prest to consort him, both in life and death.

(Dubartas, Fifth Day).

On the contrary, what shall I say of the House-Cock, which treads any hen; and, then, contrary to the Swan, the Partridge, and Pigeon, takes no care to hatch, to feed, or cherish his own brood, but is senseless, though they perish. And it is considerable, that the Hen (which, because she also takes any Cock, expects it not), who is sure the chickens be her own, hath by a moral impression her care and affection to her own brood more than doubled, even to such a height, that our Saviour, in expressing his love to Jerusalem (Mat. xxiii. 37), quotes her, for an example of tender affection, as his Father had done Job, for a pattern of patience.

And to parallel this Cock, there be divers fishes that cast their spawn on flags or stones, and then leave it uncovered, and exposed to become a prey and be devoured by vermin or other fishes. But other fishes, as namely the Barbel, take such care for the preservation of their seed, that, unlike to the Cock, or the Cuckoo, they mutually labour, both the spawner and the melter, to cover their spawn with sand, or watch it, or hide it in some secret place, unfrequented by vermin or by any fish but themselves.

Sir, these examples may, to you and others, seem strange; but they are testified, some by Aristotle, some by Pliny, some by Gesner, and by many others of credit; and are believed and known by divers, both of wisdom and experience, to be a truth; and indeed are, as I said at the beginning, fit for the contemplation of a most serious and a most pious man. And, doubtless, this made the prophet David say, 'They that occupy themselves in deep waters, see the wonderful works of God': indeed such wonders, leasures too, as the land affords not.


And that they be fit for the contemplation of the most prudent, and pious, and peaceable men, seems to be testified by the practice of so many devout and contemplative men,

as the Patriarchs and Prophets of old; and of the Apostles of our Saviour in our latter times, of which twelve, we are sure, he chose four that were simple fishermen, whom he inspired, and sent to publish his blessed will to the Gentiles; and inspired them also with a power to speak all languages, and by their powerful eloquence to beget faith in the unbelieving Jews; and themselves to suffer for that Saviour, whom their forefathers and they had crucified; and, in their sufferings, to preach freedom from the incumbrances of the law, and a new way to everlasting life: this was the employment of these happy fishermen. Concerning which choice, some have made these observations: First, that he never reproved these, for their employment or calling, as he did the Scribes and the Moneychangers. And secondly, he found that the hearts of such men, by nature, were fitted for contemplation and quietness; men of mild, and sweet, and peaceable spirits, as indeed most Anglers are: these men our blessed Saviour, who is observed to love to plant grace in good natures, though indeed nothing be too hard for him, yet these men he chose to call from their irreprovable employment of fishing, and gave them grace to be his disciples, and to follow him, and do wonders; I say four of twelve.

And it is observable, that it was our Saviour's will that these, our four fishermen, should have a priority of nomination in the catalogue of his twelve Apostles (Mat. x.), as namely, first St. Peter, St. Andrew, St. James, and St. John; and, then, the rest in their order.

And it is yet more observable, that when our blessed Saviour went up into the mount, when he left the rest of his disciples, and chose only three to bear him company at his Transfiguration, that those three were all fishermen. And it is to be believed, that all the other Apostles, after they betook themselves to follow Christ, betook themselves to be fishermen too; for it is certain, that the greater number of them were found together, fishing, by after his resurrection, as it is recorded in the twenty-first chapter of St. John's gospel.

And since I have your promise to hear me with patience,


I will take a liberty to look back upon an observation that hath been made by an ingenuous and learned man; who observes, that God hath been pleased to allow those whom he himself hath appointed to write his holy will in holy writ, yet to express his will in such metaphors as their former affections or practice had inclined them to. And he brings Solomon for an example, who, before his conversion, was remarkably carnally amorous; and after, by God's appointment, wrote that spiritual dialogue, or holy amorous love-song the Canticles, betwixt God and his church in which he says, 'his beloved had eyes like the fish-pools of Heshbon.'

And if this hold in reason, as I see one to the contrary, then it may be probably concluded, that Moses, who I told you before writ the book of Job, and the prophet Amos, who was a shepherd, were both Anglers; for you shall, in all the Old Testament, find fish-hooks, I think but twice mentioned, namely, by meek Moses the friend of God, and by the humble prophet Amos.

Concerning which last, namely the prophet Amos, I shall make but this observation, that he that shall read the humble, lowly, plain style of that prophet, and compare it with the high, glorious, eloquent style of the prophet Isaiah, though they be both equally true, may easily believe Amos to be, not only a shepherd, but a goodnatured plain fisherman. Which I do the rather believe, by comparing the affectionate, loving, lowly, humble Epistles of St. Peter, St. James, and St. John, who, we know, were all fishers, with the glorious language and high metaphors of St. Paul, who, we may believe, was not.

And for the lawfulness of fishing: it may very well be maintained by our Saviour's bidding St. Peter cast his hook into the water and catch a fish, for money to pay tribute to Caesar. And let me tell you, that Angling is of high esteem, and of much use in other nations. He that reads the Voyages of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, shall find that there he declares to have found a king and several priests a-fishing. And he that reads Plutarch, shall find, that Angling was not contemptible in the days of Mark Antony

and Cleopatra, and that they, in the midst of their wonderful glory, used Angling as a principal recreation. And let me tell you, that in the Scripture, Angling is always taken in the best sense; and that though hunting may be sometimes so taken, yet it is but seldom to be so understood. And let me add this more: he that views the ancient Ecclesiastical Canons, shall find hunting to be forbidden to Churchmen, as being a turbulent, toilsome, perplexing recreation; and shall find Angling allowed to clergymen, as being a harmless recreation, a recreation that invites them to contemplation and quietness.

I might here enlarge myself, by telling you what commendations our learned Perkins bestows on Angling and how dear a lover, and great a practiser of it our learned Dr. Whitaker was; as indeed many others of great learning have been. But I will content myself with two memorable men, that lived near to our own time, whom I also take to have been ornaments to the art of Angling.

The first is Dr. Nowel, sometime1 dean of the cathedral church of St. Paul, in London, where his monument stands yet undefaced; a man that, in the reformation of Queen Elizabeth, not that of Henry VIII., was so noted for his meek spirit, deep learning, prudence, and piety, that the then Parliament and Convocation, both, chose, enjoined, and trusted him to be the man to make a Catechism for public use, such a one as should stand as a rule for faith and manners to their posterity. And the good old man, though he was very learned, yet knowing that God leads us not to heaven by many, nor by hard questions, like an honest Angler, made that good, plain, unperplexed Catechism which is printed with our good old Servicebook. I say, this good man was a dear lover and constant practiser of Angling, as any age can produce: and his custom was to spend besides his fixed hours of prayer, those hours which, by command of the church, were enjoined the clergy, and voluntarily dedicated to devotion by many primitive Christians, I say, besides those hours, this good man was observed to spend a tenth part of his 11550 [1560].

time in Angling; and, also, for I have conversed with those which have conversed with him, to bestow a tenth part of his revenue, and usually all his fish, amongst the poor that inhabited near to those rivers in which it was caught; saying often, 'that charity gave life to religion': and, at his return to his house, would praise God he had spent that day free from worldly trouble; both harmlessly, and in a recreation that became a churchman. And this good man was well content, if not desirous, that posterity should know he was an Angler; as may appear by his picture, now to be seen, and carefully kept, in Brazen-nose College, to which he was a liberal benefactor. In which picture he is drawn, leaning on a desk, with his Bible before him; and on one hand of him, his lines, hooks, and other tackling, lying in a round; and, on his other hand, are his Angle-rods of several sorts; and by them this is written, 'that he died 13 Feb. 1601, being aged ninety-five years, forty-four of which he had been Dean of St. Paul's church; and that his age neither impaired his hearing, nor dimmed his eyes, nor weakened his memory, nor made any of the faculties of his mind weak or useless.' It is said that Angling and temperance were great causes of these blessings; and I wish the like to all that imitate him, and love the memory of so good a man.

My next and last example shall be that undervaluer of money, the late provost of Eton College, Sir Henry Wotton, a man with whom I have often fished and conversed, a man whose foreign employments in the service of this nation, and whose experience, learning, wit, and cheerfulness, made his company to be esteemed one of the delights of mankind. This man, whose very approbation of Angling were sufficient to convince any modest censurer of it, this man was also a most dear lover, and a frequent practiser of the art of Angling; of which he would say, 'it was an employment for his idle time, which was then not idly spent'; for Angling was, after tedious study, ‘a rest to his mind, a cheerer of his spirits, a diverter of sadness, a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a moderator of

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