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cheerful companion, had sent word he would lodge there to-night, and bring a friend with him. My hostess has two beds, and I know you and I have the best; we'll rejoice with my brother Peter and his friend, tell tales, or sing ballads, or make a catch, or find some harmless sport to content us, and pass away a little time without offence to God or man.
Ven. A match, good master! let's go to that house, for the linen looks white, and smells of lavender, and I long to lie in a pair of sheets that smell so. Let's be going, good master, for I am hungry again, with fishing.
Pisc. Nay, stay a little, good scholar. I caught my last trout with a worm; now, I will put on a minnow,' and try a quarter of an hour about yonder trees for another: and, so, walk towards our lodging. Look you, scholar! thereabout, we shall have a bite presently, or not at all. Have with you, sir: o'my word I have hold of him. Oh! it is a great loggerheaded chub; come, hang him upon that willow twig, and let's be going. But turn out of the way a little, good scholar, toward yonder high honeysuckle hedge; there, we'll sit and sing, whilst this shower falls so gently upon the teeming earth, and gives yet a sweeter smell to the lovely flowers that adorn these verdant meadows.
Look! under that broad beech-tree, I sat down, when I was last this way a-fishing. And the birds in the adjoining grove seemed to have a friendly contention with an echo, whose dead voice seemed to live in a hollow tree, near to the brow of that primrose-hill. There, I sat viewing the silver streams glide silently towards their centre, the tempestuous sea; yet sometimes opposed by rugged roots and pebblestones, which broke their waves, and turned them into foam. And sometimes I beguiled time by viewing the harmless lambs; some leaping securely in the cool shade, whilst others sported themselves in the cheerful sun,-and saw others craving comfort from the swollen udders of their bleating
"This kind of fishing is at mid-water, or about a foot more or less under water. A bull-head with his gill fins cut off, is preferable to the minnow, and a roach beyond both."-BROWNE. For large fish spinning the minnow or bleak is a very destructive bait. Gudgeons, dace, and even small trout, may also be used effectively.-HOFLAND.
dams. As I thus sat, these and other sights had so fully possest my soul with content, that I thought, as the poet has happily expressed it,
I was for that time lifted above earth;
As I left this place and entered into the next field, a second pleasure entertained me: 'twas a handsome milk-maid, that had not yet attained so much age and wisdom as to load her mind, with any fears of many things that will never be, as too many men too often do: but she cast away all care, and sung like a nightingale; her voice was good; and the ditty, fitted for it,-it was that smooth song, which was made by Kit Marlow', now at least fifty years ago. And the milk-maid's mother sung an answer to it, which was made by Sir Walter Raleigh in his younger days.
They were old-fashioned poetry, but choicely good; I think, much better than the strong lines which are now in fashion in this critical age. Look yonder! on my word, yonder, they both be a milking again. I will give her the chub, and persuade them to sing those two songs to us.
Sir Walter Raleigh.
God speed you, good woman! I have been a fishing; and
1 Christopher Marlow was a poet or no small eminence in his day, as may be inferred from the frequent mention of him in the writings of his contemporaries. He was some time a student at Cambridge, and after that an actor on, and a writer for, the stage. There are extant of his writings five tragedies, and a poem, that bears his name, entitled "Hero and Leander "possibly a translation from Musæus-which, he not living to complete, it was finished by Chapman. The song here mentioned (see further mention of it in note, p. 119) is printed, with his name to it, in a collection entitled "England's Helicon," 4to. 1600, as is also the Answer, here said to be written by Sir Walter Raleigh, but there subscribed "Ignoto." Of Marlow it is said, that he was the author of divers atheistical and blasphemous discourses; and that in a quarrel with a serving man, his
am going to BLEAK-HALL' to my bed; and having caught
more fish than will sup myself and my friend, I will bestow this upon you and your daughter, for I use to sell none.
Milk-w. Marry! God requite you, sir, and we'll eat it cheerfully. And if you come this way a-fishing two months hence, a grace of God! I'll give you syllabub of new verjuice, in a new-made hay-cock, for it. And my Maudlin shall sing you one of her best ballads; for she and I both love all anglers, they be such honest, civil, quiet men. In the mean
rival in a connection with a lewd woman, he received a stab with a dagger, and shortly after died of the stroke.-See Wood's "Athen. Oxon." vol. i. 338, and also Beard's "Theatre of God's Judgments."-H.
1 The author seems here to have forgot himself; for, p. 96, he says, he is to lodge at Trout-hall. Bleak-hall is supposed to be a rural inn on the side of the Lea river (about a mile from Edmonton), which still passes by that name.-ED.
2 There are some few exceptions to this character of anglers: the greatest and most wonderful revolution that ever happened in any state, I mean that in Naples in the year 1647, was brought about by an angler; concerning whom we are told "that a young man, about twenty-four, happened to be in a corner of the great market-place at Naples: a sprightly man, of
time will you drink a draught of red cow's milk? you shall have it freely.
Pisc. No, I thank you; but, I pray, do us a courtesy that shall stand you and your daughter in nothing, and yet we will think ourselves still something in your debt it is but to sing us a song that was sung by your daughter when I, last, past over this meadow, about eight or nine days since. Was it, "Come at noon Dulcina Chevy Chace?"
Milk-w. What song was it, I pray ? shepherds, deck your herds ?" or, "As rested ?" or, "Phillida flouts me?" or, 66 or," Johnny Armstrong ?" or, "Troy Town ?"
Pisc. No, it is none of those; it is a song that your daughter sung the first part, and you sung the answer to it. Milk-w. O, I know it now. I learned the first part in my golden age, when I was about the age of my poor daughter; and the latter part, which indeed fits me best now, but two or three years ago, when the cares of the world began to take hold of me: but you shall, God willing, hear them both; and, sung as well as we can, for we both love anglers. Come, Maudlin!' sing the first part to the gentlemen, with a merry heart; and I'll sing the second, when you have done.
a middle stature, black-eyed, rather lean than fat, having a small tuft of hair; he wore linen slops, a blue waistcoat, and went barefoot, with a mariner's cap; but he was of a good countenance, stout, and lively as could be. His profession was to angle for little fish with a cane, hook, and line. His name was Tomasso Anello, of Amalfi, but vulgarly called Masaniello." -See the " History of the Revolution in Naples," by Sig. Alessandro Giraffi.-H.
1 See the songs "As at Noon," "6 Chevy Chace," "Johnny Armstrong,"
and "Troy Town," printed, in Percy's "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry." "And at Noon," in Durfey's Collection. "Phillida flouts me," was printed in the "Theatre of Compliments." Lond. 1689, 12mo., and republished in Ritson's "Ancient Songs." 1792. p. 235. The song of "Come Shepherds" was not known till discovered in a manuscript belonging to the late Richard Heber, Esq., and recently printed by Mr. Pickering.-ED.
2 Diminutive for Matilda.