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a man with whom I have often fished and conversed; a man whose foreign employments in the service of this nationand whose experience, learning, wit, and cheerfulnessmade 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 not then 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 passions, a procurer of contentedness;" and "that it begat habits of peace and patience in those that professed and practised it." Indeed, my friend, you will find angling to be like the virtue of humility; which has a calmness of spirit, and a world of other blessings attending upon it. Sir, this was the saying of that learned man.
And I do easily believe, that peace and patience, and a calm content did cohabit in the cheerful heart of Sir Henry Wotton; because I know that, when he was beyond seventy years of age, he made this description of a part of the present pleasure that possessed him, as he sat quietly, in a summer's evening, on a bank a-fishing. It
this time, by which it was then made, I shall repeat it
This day dame Nature seem'd in love:
Fresh juice did stir th' embracing vines,
Joan takes her neat-rubb'd pail, and now
And now, though late, the modest rose
Thus all looks gay, and full of cheer,
These were the thoughts that then possessed the undisturbed mind of Sir Henry Wotton. Will you hear the wish of another angler, and the commendation of his happy life, which he also sings in verse; viz. Jo. Davors, Esq.
Let me live harmlessly; and near the brink
With eager bite of perch, or bleak, or dace;
Whilst some men strive ill-gotten goods t'embrace;
Let them that list, these pastimes still pursue.
And on such pleasing fancies feed their fill:-
Red hyacinth, and yellow daffodil,
1 The swallow.
I count it higher pleasure, to behold
The stately compass of the lofty sky;
With sundry kinds of painted colours fly;
The hills and mountains raised from the plains;
The veins, inclosed with rivers running round;
The lofty woods,-the forests wide and long,—
Adorn'd with leaves, and branches fresh and green,-
Do welcome with their quire the summer's Queen;
Are intermixt, with verdant grass between ;
All these, and many more, of His creation
That made the heavens, the Angler oft doth see,
To think how strange, how wonderful they be ;
To set his heart from other fancies free;
Sir, I am glad my memory has not lost these last verses, because they are somewhat more pleasant and more suitable to May-day, than my harsh discourse. And I am glad your patience hath held out so long, as to hear them and me, for both together have brought us within the sight of the Thatch'd-house: and I must be your debtor, if you think it worth your attention, for the rest of my promised discourse, till some other opportunity, and a like time of leisure.
Ven. Sir, you have angled me on with much pleasure to the Thatch'd-house; and I now find your words true, "That good company makes the way seem short;" for, trust me,