Page images

sung last night, when young Coridon the shepherd played so purely on his oaten pipe to you and your cousin Betty.

MAUDLIN. I will, mother.

I married à wife of late,
The more's my unhappy fate :
I married her for love,
As my fancy did me move,
And not for a worldly estate :
But oh! the green sickness
Soon changed her likeness;
And all her beauty did fail.
But 'tis not so

With those that go
Thro' frost and snow,
As all men know,

And carry the milking-pail.

PISCATOR. Well sung, good woman; I thank you. I'll give you another dish of fish one of these days; and then beg another song of you. Come, scholar! let Maudlin alone: do not you offer to spoil her voice. Look! yonder comes mine hostess, to call us to supper. How now! is my brother Peter come?

HOSTESS. Yes, and a friend with him. They are both glad to hear that you are in these parts; and long to see you; and long to be at supper, for they be very hungry.


More Directions how to fish for, and how to make for the Trout an Artificial Minnow and Flies, with some Merriment

PISCATOR. Well met, brother Peter! I heard you and a friend would lodge here to-night; and that hath made me to bring my friend to lodge here too. My friend is one that would fain be a brother of the angle: he hath been an angler but this day; and I have taught him how to catch

a Chub, by dapping with a grasshopper; and the Chub he caught was a lusty one of nineteen inches long. But pray, brother Peter, who is your companion?

PETER. Brother Piscator, my friend is an honest countryman, and his name is Coridon; and he is a downright witty companion, that met me here purposely to be pleasant and eat a Trout; and I have not yet wetted my line since we met together; but I hope to fit him with a Trout for his breakfast; for I'll be early up.

PISCATOR. Nay, brother, you shall not stay so long; for, look you! here is a Trout will fill six reasonable bellies.

Come, hostess, dress it presently; and get us what other meat the house will afford; and give us some of your best barley-wine, the good liquor that our honest forefathers did use to drink of; the drink which preserved their health, and made them live so long, and to do so many good deeds.


PETER. O' my word, this Trout is perfect in season. Come, I thank you, and here is a hearty draught to you, and to all the brothers of the angle wheresoever they be, and to my young brother's good fortune to-morrow. will furnish him with a rod, if you will furnish him with the rest of the tackling: we will set him up, and make him a fisher. And I will tell him one thing for his encouragement, that his fortune hath made him happy to be scholar to such a master; a master that knows as much, both of the nature and breeding of fish, as any man; and can also tell him as well how to catch and cook them, from the Minnow to the Salmon, as any that I ever met withal.

PISCATOR. Trust me, brother Peter, I find my scholar to be so suitable to my own humour, which is to be free and pleasant and civilly merry, that my resolution is to hide nothing that I know from him. Believe me, scholar, this is my resolution; and so here's to you a hearty draught, and to all that love us and the honest art of Angling.

VENATOR. Trust me, good master, you shall not sow

your seed in barren ground; for I hope to return you an increase answerable to your hopes: but, however, shall find me obedient, and thankful, and serviceable to my best ability.


PISCATOR. 'Tis enough, honest scholar! come, let's to supper. Come, my friend Coridon, this Trout looks lovely; it was twenty-two inches when it was taken; and the belly of it looked, some part of it, as yellow as a marigold, and part of it as white as a lily; and yet, methinks, it looks better in this good sauce.

CORIDON. Indeed, honest friend, it looks well, and tastes well I thank you for it, and so doth my friend Peter, or else he is to blame.

PETER. Yes, and so I do we all thank you and when we have supped, I will get my friend Coridon to sing you a song for requital.


CORIDON. I will sing a song, if anybody will sing another, else, to be plain with you, I will sing none. am none of those that sing for meat, but for company:

I say,

'Tis merry in hall,
When men sing all.'

PISCATOR. I'll promise you I'll sing a song that was lately made, at my request, by Mr. William Basse; one that hath made the choice songs of the 'Hunter in his Career,' and of 'Tom of Bedlam,' and many others of note; and this, that I will sing, is in praise of Angling.

CORIDON. And then mine shall be the praise of a Countryman's life. What will the rest sing of?

PETER. I will promise you, I will sing another song in praise of Angling to-morrow night; for we will not part till then; but fish to-morrow, and sup together: and the next day every man leave fishing, and fall to his business.

VENATOR. 'Tis a match; and I will provide you a song or a catch against then, too, which shall give some addition of mirth to the company; for we will be civil and as merry as beggars. Let's e'en say

PISCATOR. 'Tis a match, my masters. grace, and turn to the fire, drink the other cup to whet

our whistles, and so sing away all sad thoughts. Come on, my masters, who begins? I think it is best to draw cuts, and avoid contention.

PETER. It is a match. Look, the shortest cut falls to Coridon.

CORIDON. Well, then, I will begin, for I hate con



Oh the sweet contentment
The countryman doth find!
Heigh trolollie lollie loe,
Heigh trolollie lee.

That quiet contemplation
Possesseth all my mind:
Then care away,

And wend along with me.

For Courts are full of flattery,
As hath too oft been tried;

Heigh trolollie lollie loe, etc.

The City full of wantonness,
And both are full of pride:
Then care away, etc.

But oh, the honest countryman
Speaks truly from his heart,

Heigh trolollie lollie loe, etc.

His pride is in his tillage,

His horses, and his cart:
Then care away, etc.

Our clothing is good sheep-skins,
Grey russet for our wives;

Heigh trolollie lollie loe, etc.
"Tis warmth and not gay clothing
That doth prolong our lives:

Then care away, etc.

The ploughman, tho' he labour hard,

Yet on the holy-day,

Heigh trolollie lollie loe, etc.

No emperor so merrily

Does pass his time away:

Then care away, etc.

To recompense our tillage,
The heavens afford us showers;
Heigh trolollie lollie loe, etc.


And for our sweet refreshments
The earth affords us bowers:
Then care away, etc.

The cuckow and the nightingale
Full merrily do sing,

Heigh trolollie lollie loe, etc.
And with their pleasant roundelays
Bid welcome to the Spring :
Then care away, etc.

This is not half the happiness
The countryman enjoys;

Heigh trolollie lollie loe, etc.

Though others think they have as much,
Yet he that says so lies:

Then come away,

Turn countrymen with me.


PISCATOR. Well sung, Coridon, this song was sung with mettle; and it was choicely fitted to the occasion: shall love you for it as long as I know you. I would you were a brother of the angle; for a companion that is cheerful, and free from swearing and scurrilous discourse, is worth gold. I love such mirth as does not make friends ashamed to look upon one another next morning; nor men, that cannot well bear it, to repent the money they spend when they be warmed with drink. And take this for a rule: you may pick out such times and such companies, that you make yourselves merrier for a little than a great deal of money; for "'Tis the company and not the charge that makes the feast'; and such a companion you prove: I thank you for it.

But I will not compliment you out of the debt that I owe you, and therefore I will begin my song, and wish it may be so well liked.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »