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sengers, though she lives wholly in the domain of the latter.
But the perch might bite gentles after all and why not try these? It is time for them to begin moving. If you see them leap, you can be sure of a good basketful, for they seldom leap, and when they do, are uncommonly sharp set.
CHAPTER X-Angling Authors.
DICTIONARY often makes very pretty reading. Where is the man who cannot pass a very smooth hour away over Dr. Johnson? Literature, though articulated, is still sweet. Even those most honourable people who persuade themselves and others that a roll of disjointed texts in waiting rooms will improve our morals and theology are much to be admired. Matthew Arnold pokes pretty fun at Dr. Marsh, their venerable and amiable choryphæus; and others have doubted whether the edification justified the cost and the occasional ribaldry with which it is met. Indeed it is grievous to see pious exclamations misused, as for instance by the wag who, when annoyed by a legend in the Langport waiting room, to the effect that smoking was strictly prohibited, excised and hung under it a postscript from Dr. Marsh, "O, the patience of God's people!" But the Marshians are right. Literature is needed in waiting-rooms
to inform the perfunctorily leisured classes who sojourn there, and to soften the savage morals of those who have just missed their trains. It is a mistake, perhaps, to limit us to such ancient writers, and to maxims of Divinity, even if these were always sound. But whose fault is that? Let Dr. Marsh be supplemented by other writers. They must be, like him, ejaculatory and concise like him, fragmentary and not so absorbing that one's ears will be deaf to the arrival of the train and the cries of the porters: like him, pure, and as elevating as time and place will allow like him, too, of small market value, lest rogues seize and pawn the tools of our advancement. Should we not find much comfort in an Ainsworth's Latin Dictionary at these times? Or better still, in the Angler's Dictionary, the Bibliotheca Piscatoria? This latter, if kept in a slot machine and extracted by pennyworths, would increase the dividends without doubt. It is well known to booksellers, and indeed was lent me by the prince of them* but deserves much fame. It was compounded by Mr. T. Westwood, an angler, a poet, and a lover of the Sancgreall, as he calls it, and by Mr. Thomas * Mr. B. H. Blackwell, of Oxford. Floreat!
Satchell, a writer upon our clownish names for fishes, who publishes with the English Dialect Society. Mr. Satchell, one may guess, was some sib to Mr. W. Satchell the publisher, for the book came from his wallet in Covent Garden in 1883. Give it to any man of sense for five minutes and he will be the richer for ever. "So Leigh Hunt wrote on angling," he will exclaim, "and William Howitt and Miss M. R. Mitford, and James Thompson, and Sir Humphrey Davy, and Du Bartas." What, Phineas Fletcher, Michael Drayton? Lord Rochester has a short note which might be extended, for the merry monarch was a great angler, and Sidney's diary gives glimpses of him risking his health on days when a dog would not go abroad, to the surprise and sarcasm of his court. To say the honest truth this fact must not be too well bruited, for the enemies of anglers know but too little of this singular and most lovable king. That little is not good. They have heard gossip about his mistresses, and he stands for them as a synonym for lewdness. The pathos of his life, the impossibilities of his position, the gallant laughter of a man who was bound to disappoint all men's hopes, and who mounted
and rode for a certain fall, all these things are nothing to them. But while we condemn adultery, let us not forget charity, even to perplexed kings, and the rulers of distracted, divided and anatomized bodies politic. My aunt Susan will be confirmed in her worst suspicions if she ever hears that King Charles II was one of us. She will ascribe a Nellie and a Duchess at least to each of us, without reflecting that while the king spent his hours by the innocent waterside, John, Earl of Rochester, and others, the anti-anglers, were not exactly redeeming their own time, but were behaving as some anti-anglers have behaved both before and since. Let us cram her with the savoury meats of scandal from the king's opposers. That will bring delight and possibly profit to her peculiar soul.
The only drawback to the waiting-room use of this Bibliotheca Piscatoria is that it may extend the vice of covetousness, and blast our blessed contentment. Who, for instance, when he heard of M. (i.e. Master Leonard Mascall), who wrote in black-letter in 1590 a "Booke of Fishing, with Hooke and Line," could fail to hanker for it? Especially when the hearer learns that he