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Pisc. Well sung, Coridon! this song was sung with mettle and it was choicely fitted to the occasion; I 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 may 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.
1 These initials appear in Walton's first edition only; and, as Walton had previously stated, are those of William Basse.-ED.
Cor. Well sung, brother! you have paid your debt in good coin. We anglers are all beholden to the good man that made this song: come, hostess! give us more ale: and let's drink to him.
And now let's every one go to bed, that we may rise early but first let's pay our reckoning, for I will have nothing to hinder me in the morning; for my purpose is to prevent the sun-rising.
Pet. A match. Come, Coridon! you are to be my bedfellow. I know, brother! you and your scholar will lie together. But where shall we meet to-morrow night? for my friend Coridon and I will go up the water towards Ware.
Pisc. And my scholar and I will go down towards Waltham.
Cor. Then let's meet here; for here are fresh sheets that smell of lavender; and I am sure we cannot expect better meat, or better usage in any place. Pet. 'Tis a match. Good night to every body. Pisc. And so say I. Ven. And so say I.
Pisc. Good morrow, good hostess! I see my brother Peter is still in bed: come, give my scholar and me a morning drink, and a bit of meat to breakfast and be sure to get a dish of meat or two against supper, for we shall come home as hungry as hawks. Come, scholar, let's be going.
Ven. Well now, good master! as we walk towards the river, give me direction, according to your promise, how I shall fish for a trout.
Pisc. My honest scholar, I will take this very convenient opportunity to do it.
The trout is usually caught with a worm-or a minnow,1 which some call a penk-or with a fly, viz. either a natural or an artificial fly: concerning which three I will give you some observations and directions.
And, first, for worms. Of these there be very many sorts: some breed only in the earth, as the earth-worm; others of, or amongst, plants, as the dug-worm; and others breed either out of excrements, or in the bodies of living creatures,
1 Spinning with a minnow, or a small penk, is a very successful mode of catching trout at the weirs of the river Thames. A swivel must be used.-ED.