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Pisc. 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 daping 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 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.

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

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The Trout.

1 "Dapping, or dibbing, is to drop your bait with a very gentle tap or dab on the surface of the water." -BROWNE.

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: I 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.

Pisc. Trust me, brother Peter! I find my scholar to be so suitable to my own good 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.

Ven. 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, you shall find me obedient, and thankful, and serviceable to my best ability.

Pisc. '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.

Cor. 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.

Cor. I will sing a song, if anybody will sing another: else to be plain with you, I will sing none: I am none of those that sing for meat-but for company: I say, ""Tis merry in hall, when men sing all." 1

Pisc. 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.

Cor. 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.

Ven. '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.

Pisc. 'Tis a match, my masters. Let's e'en say 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.

Pet. It is a match. Look! the shortest cut falls to Coridon.

Cor. Well, then! I will begin, for I hate contention.

1 Parody on the adage,

"It's merry in the hall.
When beards wag all."
e.-when all are eating.


2 This song, beginning, "Forth from my dark and dismal cell "—with the music to it, set by Henry Lawes-is printed in a book, entitled "Choice Ayres, Songs, and Dialogues, to sing to the Theorbo, Lute, and Bass Viol," folio 1675; and in Playford's "Antidote against Melancholy," 8vo., 1669; and also in Dr. Percy's "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry."-H.

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1 Trolly lolly was the burthen, or chorus, of several songs of the period ; one is given by Ritson in his "Ancient Songs," 1790, and in Brome's "Jovial Crew," printed among his Comedies, in 1641, is this merry and once very popular catch

"There was an old fellow."

2 John Chalkhill, author of the Poem, "Thealma and Clearcus," which was edited in 1683 by Walton, who then was in the 90th year of his age. His tomb in black marble is to be seen on the walls of Winchester Cathedral. Chalkhill appears to have been distantly related to Walton.-ED.

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