discern the bite.
That when the fish begins to nib and bite,
The moving of the float doth them bewray :
These may you place upon your lines at will,
And stop them with a white and handsome quill.
Then buy your hooks the finest and the best
That may be had of such as use to sell, *
And from the greatest to the very least,
Of every sort pick out and choose them well,
Such as in shape and making passe the rest,
And do for strength and soundnesse mostexcell :
Then in a little box of driest wood
From rust and canker keep them faire and good.
That hooke I love that is incompast round
Like to the print that Pegasus did make,
With horned hoofe upon Thessalian ground ;
From whence forthwith Pernassus spring out brake
That doth in pleasant waters so abound,
And of the Muses oft the thirst doth slake,
Who on his fruitfull bankes do sit and sing,
That all the world of their sweet tunes doth ring, -j-
* I use to make mine own hooks, so shall I have them of" the
best Spanish and Millan needles, ot what size bent or sharpness,
and I like as I need. Soften your needles in an hot fire in a chafer.
The Instruments. First, an'liold-fast.
Secondly, an hammer to flat the place for the heard.
Thirdly, a file to make the beard, and sharp n the point.
Fourthly, a bender, viz. a pin bended, put in the end of a
rick, an handfull long, thus, | T j
When they are made, lap them in the end of a wier, and heat
them a::aine, and temper them in ov'e or butter.
f The best form for ready striking and sure holding and
strength, is a strait and somewhat long shanke and strait nibM,
with a little compare, not round in any wis? "<""- it nei-
ther strikes surely nor readily, but is weak, jas having
too ^reat a compasse : some use to batter the """'*-' upper end
thus to hold ^^..i^,.- the fast <-r: but good thred or silke, good band
may make it J fast enough, it is botcherly, hinders the
biting and sometimes cuts the line.
i; H 4 Or
Or as Thaumantis, when she list to shroud
Her selfe against the parching sunny ray,
Under the mantle of some stormy cloud,
Where she her sundry colours doth display,
Like Junoes bird, of her fair garments proud,
That Phoebus gave her on her marriage day :
Shews forth her goodly circle fair and wide,
To mortall wights that wonder at her pride.
His shank should neither be too short nor long,
His point not over sharp, nor yet too dull : *
The substance good that may indure from wrong :
His needle slender, yet both round and full,
Made of the right Iberian mettall strong,
That will not stretch, nor break at every pull :
Wrought smooth andcleane withouten crack or knot,
And bearded like the wild Arabian goat.
Then let your hook be sure and strongly plac't
Unto your lowest linke with silke or haire,
Which you may do with often overcast,
So that you draw the bowts together neare.
And with both ends make all the others fast,
That no bare place or rising knot appeare ;
Then on that l ; nke hang leads of even weight
To raise your float, and carry down your bait.
Thus have you rod, line, float and hook ;
The rod to strike when you shall think it fit,
The line to lead the fish with wary skill,
The float and quill to warn you of the bit ;
The hook to hold him by the chap or gill,
Hook, line and rod, all guided to your wit.
Yet there remaines of fishing-tooles to tell,
Some other sorts that you must have as well.
A little board, the lightest you can find, f
But not so thin that it will break or bend,
Of cypres sweet, or of some other kind,
That like a trencher shall it selfe extend:
* He meanes the hooke may be too weake at the point, it can-
not be too sharpe if the mettall be good Steele.
f Or winde them on two or three of your fingers, like an Orph-
Made smooth and plain your lines thereon to wind
"With battlements at every other end :
Like to the bulwarke of some ancient towne,
As well-wall'd Sylchester now razed downe.
A shooe to bear the crawling worms therein,
With hole above to bang it by your side, *
A hollow cane that must be light and thin,
Wherein the Bob and Palmer shall abide,
Which must be stopped with an handsome pin,
Lest out againe your baits do hap to slide.
A little box that covered close shall lie,
To keep therein the busie winged flie.
Then must you have a plummet, formed round,
Like to the pellet of a birding bow : f
Wherewith you may the secret'st waters sound,
And set your float thereafter, high or low,
Till you the depth thereof have truly found,
And on the same a twisted thread bestow,
At your own will, to hang it on your hook,
And so to let it down into the brook.
Of lead likewise, yet must you have a ring,
Whose whole diameter in length contains \
Three inches full, and fastned to a string
That must be long and sure, if need constrains:
Through whose round hole you shall your angle bring
And let it fall into the watry plains,
Until! he come the weeds and sticks unto,
From whence your hooke it serveth to undo.
Have tools good store to serve your turn withal),
Lest that you happen some to lose or breaker
As in great waters oft it doth befall,
* Worme poake of cloatli, or bo; es.
f A plummet you neede not, for your line leing well leaded,
>nd without a float, will try your depths. When the lead above
your hooke comes to the earth, the line will leave sinking.
+ Thar is good, but a forked rod about two yards long is
better: when your hooke is fastned in the water, take a rod thus
coid put the line in the fork.?, and so follow down to your hooke,
and so letting your line be somewhat slack, move your forke too
and fro, especially downwards, and so shall your hooke be loose.
When that the hooke is nought, or line too weake,
And waxed thread, or silke so it be small,
To set them on, that if you list to wreake
Your former losse, you may supply the place,
And not returne with sorrow and disgrace.
Have twist likewise, so that it be not white, *
Your rod to mend, or broken top to tye;
For all white colours do the fishes fright,
And make them from the bait away to flye :
A file to mend your hooks, both small and light,
A good sharp knife your girdle h nging by:
A pouch with many parts and purses thin,
To carry all your tooles and trinkets in.
Yet must you have a little rip beside
Of willow twigs, the finest you can wish,
Which shall be made so handsome and sr> wide
As may contain good store of sundry fi-h:
And yet with ease be hanged by your side,
To bring them home the better to your dish.
A little net that on a pole shall stand,
The mighty pike or heavy carpe to land.
His severall Tooles, and what Garment is fittest.
And let your garments russet be or gray,
Of colour darke, and hardest to discry,
That with the raine or weather v, ill away,
And least offend the fearful 1 fishes eye:
For neither scarlet, nor rich cloth of ray,
Nor colours dipt of fresh Assyrian dye,
Nor tender silkes, of purple, paule, of gold,
Will serve so well to keep off wet or cold.
In th's array the Angler good shall go
Unto the brooke to find his wished game ;
Like oid Menalchus wandring to and fro,
Untill he chance to light upon the same,
And there his art and cunning shall bestow,
Foi every fish his bait so well to frame,
That long ere Phcebus set in western fome,
He shall return well loaden to his home,
* White and gray is gcod, answering the colours of the skie.
Some youthfull gallant here perhaps will say
This is no pastime for a gentleman,
It were more fit at cards and dice to play,
To use both fence and dancing now and than,
Or walk the streets in nice and strange array,
Or with coy phrases court his mistris fan :
A poor delight, with toyl and painfull watch,
With losse of time a silly fish to catch.
What pleasure can it be to walk about
The fields and meads, in heat or pinching cold,
And stand all day to catch a silly trout,
That is not worth a teaster to be sold,
And peradventure sometimes go without :
Besides the toyls and troubles manifold :
And to be washt with many a showre of rain,
Before he can return from thence again ?
More ease it were, and more delight I trow,
In some sweet house to pisse the time away,
Amongst the best with brave and gallant show,
And with fair dames to daunce, to sport, and play,
And on the board the nimble dice to throw,
That brings in gain, and helps the shot to pay;
And with good wine, and store of dainty fare,
To feed at will, and take but little care.
A worthy Answer.
1 mean not here mens errours to reprove,
Nor do 1 envy their seeming happy state;
But rather marvel] why they do not lone
An honest sport, that is without debate;
Since their abused pastimes often move
Their mi rides to anger, and to mortall hate :
And as in bad delights their time they spend,
So ott it brings them to no better end.
Indeed it is a life of lesser pain,
To sit at play from noon till it be night :
And then from night till it be noon again,
With damned oaths pronounced in despight,
.For little caus< , and every trifle vain.
To curse, to brawle, to quarrell, and to light,
To pack the cards, and with some coznmg trick
I J is fellow's purse of all his coyn to pick.
Or to beguile another of his wife,
As did iEghistus Agamemnon serve :
Or as that Roman monark * led a life
To spoyle and spend, while others pine and starve,
And to compell their friends with foolish strife
To take more drink then will their health preserve.
And to conclude, for debt or just desart,
In baser tune to sing the counter-part.
let me rather on the pleasant brinke
Of Tyne and Trent possesse some dwelling place,
Where I may see my quill and corke down sinke
With eager bit of Barbell, Bleike, or Dt'ce :
And on the world and his Creatour thinke,
While they proud Thais painted sheet embrace,
And with the fume of strong tobacco's smoke,
All quaffing round are ready for to choke.
Let them that list these pastimes then pursue,
And on their pleasing fancies feed their fill ;
So 1 the fields and meadows green may view,
And by the rivers fresh may walke at will,
Among the dazies and the violets blew :
Bed hyacinth, and yellow daflbdill,
Purple Narcissus like the morning rayes,
Pale Ganderglas, and azor Culverkayes.
1 count it better pleasure to behold
The goodly compasse of the lofty skie,
And in the midst thereof like burning gold,
The flaming chariot of the world's great eye ;
The watry clouds that in the ayre uprold
With sundry kinds of painted colours flie;
And faire Aurora lifting up her head,
All blushing rise from old Tithonus bed.
The hilsand mountains raised from the plains,
The plains extended levell with the ground,
The ground divided into sundry vains.
The vains enclos'd with running rivers round,
The rivers making way through nature's chains,
With headlong course into the sea profound ;
The surging sea beneath the vallies low,
The vallies sweet, and lakes that lovely flow.
The lofty woods, the forrests wide and long
Adorn'd with leaves and branches fresh and green,
In whose cool brows the birds with chanting song
Do welcome with their quire the Summer's Queen,
The meadows fair where Flora's guifts among,
Are intermixt the verdant grasse between.
The silver skaled fish that softly swim
Within the brooks and chrystall watry brim.
All these and many more of his creation,
That made the heavens, the Angler oft doth see.
And lakes therein no little delectation
To thinke how strange and wonderfull they bee,
Framing thereof an inward contemplation,
To set his thoughts on other fancies free :
And whiles he looks on these with joyfull eye..
His minde is wrapt above the starry skie.
The Author of Angling, Poetic all fictions.
But how this art of Angling did begin,
And who the use thereof and practise found ?
How many times and ages since have bin,
Wherein the sun hath dayly compast round
The circle that the signes twice six are in.
And yielded yearly comfort to the ground ?
It were too hard for me to bring abou',
Since Ovid wrot not all that story out.
Yet to content the willing reader's eare,
I will not spare the sad report to tell,
When good Deucalion nnd his Pyrrha deare,
Were only left upon the earth to dwell,
Of all the rest that overwhelmed were
With that great fioud, which in their dayes befell,
Wherein the compasse of the world so round,
Both man and beast with waters deep were dround.
Betweene themselves they wept and made great moane
How to repair again the wofuil fall
Of all mankind, whereof they two alone
The remnant were, and wretched portion small.
But ?ny means or hope in them was none,
That might restore so great a losse withall ;
Since they were aged, and in years so run,
That now almost their thread of life was spun.
Untill at last they saw whereas they stood
An ancient temple, wasted and forlorn :
Whose holy fires, and sundry offerings good,
The late outragious waves away had born :
But when at length down fain was the flood,
The waters low it proudly gan to scorn.
Unto that place they thought it best to go,
The counsell of the goddesse there to know.
For long before that fearfull deluge great,
The universal earth had overflown,
A heavenly power there placed had her seat,
And answers gave of hidden things unknown :
Thither they went her favour to entreat
Whose fame throughout that coast abroad was blown,
By her advice some way or mean to find,
How to renew the race of humane kinde.
Prostrate they fell upon the sacred ground,
Kissing the stones, and shedding many a tear,
And lowly bent their aged bodies down
Unto the earth, with sad and heavy chear,
Playing the saint with soft and dolefull sound,
That she vouchsafe their humble suit to hear:
The goddesse heard, and bad them go and take
Their mother's bones, and throw behinde their back,
This oracle obscure and dark ofsence,
Amazed much their mindes with fear and doubt,
What kind of meaning might be drawn fro" thence,
And how to understand and find it out,
How with so great a sin they might dispence,
Their parent's bones to cast and throw about :
Thus when they had long time in study spent,
< Hit of the church with carefull thought they went.
And now beholding better every place,
liach hill and dale, each river, rock, and tree,
And musing thereupon a little space,
They thought the earth their mother wel might be,
And that the stones that lay before their face,
To be her bones did nothing her disgrace:
Wherefore to prove- if it were false or true,
The scattered stones behinde their backes they threw
Forthwith the stones, a wondrous thing to heare,
Began to move, as they had life conceiv'd,
And waxed greater then at first they were;
And more and more the shape of man receiv'd,
Till every part most plainly did appeare,
That neither eye nor sence could be deceiv'd :
They heard, they spake, they went, & walked too.
As other living men are wont to do.
Thus was the earth replenished anew
With people strange, sprung up with little pain,
Of whose increase the progeny that grew,
Did soon supply the empty world again;
But now a greater care there did insue,
How such a mighty number to maintain,
Since food there was not any to be found,.
For that great floud had all destroy'd & drown'd.
Then did Deucalion first the art invent
Of Angling, and his people taught the same;
And to the woods and groves with them he went,
Fit tooles to find for this most needfull game;
There from the trees the longest rindes they rent,
Wherewith strong lines they roughly twist & frame,
And of each crook of hardest bush and brake
They made them hooks the hungry fish to take.
And to intice them to the eager bit,
Dead frogs and flies of sundry sorts he took,
And snailes and wormes, such as he found most fit,
Wherein to hide the close and deadly hook ;
And thus with practice, and inventive wit
He found the means in every lake and brook,
Such store of fish to take with little pain,
As did long time this people new sustain.
in this rude sort, began this simple art,
And so remain'd in that first age of old,
When Saturne did Amalthea's horn impart
Unto the world, that then was all of gold;
The fish as yet had felt but little smart,
And were to bite more eager, apt, and bold,
And plenty still supply'd the place again
Of wofull want, whereof we now complain.
But when in time the fear and dread of man
Fell more and more on every living thing,
And ;ill i he creatures of the world began
To stand in awe of this usurping king,
Whu:-x tyranny so far extended than,
That eaith and seas it did in thraldome bring :
It was a worke of greater pain and skill,
The wary fish in lake or brook to kill.
So worse and worse two ages more did passe
Yet still this art more perfect dayly grew ;
For then the slender rod invented was,
Of finer sort then former ages knew :
And hookes were made of silver and of brasse^
And lines of hemp and flax were framed new,
And sundry baits, experience found out more
Then elder times did know or try before.
But at the last the Iron-age grew neare,
Of all the rest the hardest and more scant:
Then lines were made of silke and subtile haire
And rods of lightest canes and hazell plant,
And hookes of hardest Steele invented were,
That neither skill nor workmanship did want,
And so this art did in the end attain
Unto that state where now it doth remain.
But here my weary Muse awhile must rest,
That is not used to so long a way,
And breath, or pause a little at the least
At this lands end, untill another day,
And then again, if so she think it best,
Our taken-task afresh we will assay,
And forward go, as first we did intend,
Till that we come unto our journeys end.
The end of the First Boohe.
" The Second Booke.
Before I taught what kind of tooles were fit
For him to have that would an Angler bee :
And how he should with practice and with wit
Provide himselfe thereof in best degree:
Now doth remain to shew how to the bit
The fishes may be brought, that earst were free,
And with their pleasing bates intis'd they are
To swallow down the hidden hook unware,
It were not meet to send a huntsman out
Into the woods, with net, with gin, or hay.
To trace the brakes, and bushes all about.
The. stajr, the fox, or backer to betray :
If having found his game he stand in doubt
Which way to pitch, or where his snares to lay,
And with what train he may entice withall
The fearfull beast into his trap to fall.
So though the Angler have good store of tooles,
And them with skill in finest sort can frame ;
Yet when he comes lo rivers, lakes and pooles.
If that he know not how to use the same,
And with what bait to make the fishes fooles,
He may go home as wise as out he came,
And of his comming boasts himself as well,
As he that from his father's chariot fell.
Not that I take upon me to impart
More then by others hath before been told;
Or that the hidden secrets of this art,
I would unto the vulgar sort unfold,
Who peradventure for my pains desart,
Would count me worthy Balam's horse to hold;
But onely to the willing learner show
So much thereof as may suffice to know.
But here, O Neptune, that with triple mace
Dost rule the raging of the ocean wide,
I meddle not with thy deformed race
Of monsters huge, that in those waves abide:
With that great whale that by three whole dayes space,
The man of God did in his belly hide,
And cast him out upon the Euxin shore,
As safe and sound as he had been before.
Nor with that Orke, that on Cephnean strand
Would have devour'r! Andromeda the faire,
Whom Perseus slew with strong and valiant hand,
Delivering her from danger and despaire,
The hurlpoole huge that higher than the land,
Whose streams of waters spouteth in the aire,
The porpois large, that playing swims on hie,
Portending storms or other tempests nie,
Nor that admirer of sweet Musick's sound,
That on his back Arion bore away,
And brought to shore out of the seas profound,
The hippotnme that like an horse doth neigh,
The mors that from the rocks inrolled round,
Within his teeth himselfe doth safe convey:
The tortoise covered with his target hard,
The fubrrone attended with his guard.
VOL. II, i i No -
Nor with that fish that beareth in his snout
A ragged sword his foes to spoile and kill ;
Nor that fierce thrasher that doth fling about
His nimble flayle, and handles him at will,
The ravenous shark that with the sweepings out,
And filth of ships doth oft his belly fill,
The albacore that followeth night and day
The flying fish, and takes them for his prey.
The crocodile that weeps when he doth wrong,
The hollibut that hurts thr appetite,
The turbut broad, the sceale, the sturgeon strong,
The cod, and cozze, that greedy are to bite,
The haake, the haddocke, and the conger long.
The yellow ling, the milver fair and white,
The spreading ray, the thomback thin and flat.
The boysterous base, the hoggish tunny fat.
These kindes offish that are so large of size,
And many more that here I leave untold,
Shall go for me, and all the rest likewise,
That are the flock of Proteus watry fold :
For well I think my hooks would not suffice,
Nor slender lines the least of these to hold.
I leave them therefore to the surging seas,
In that huge depth to wander at their ease.
And speake of such as in the fresh are found,
The little roach, the menise biting fast,
The slim} tench, the slender smelt and round..
The umber sweet, the graveling good of taste,
The wholesome ruffe, the barbell not so sound,
The pearch and pike that all the rest do waste,
The bream, the carp, the chub and chavandar,
And many more that in fresh waters are.
Sit tnen Thalia on some pleasant banck,
Among so many as faire Avon hath,
And marke the anglers how they march in rank,
Some out of Bristol!, some from healthfull Bath,
ITow all the rivers sides along they flanke,
And through the meadows make their wonted path
Ste how their wit and cunning they apply.
To catch the fish that in the waters he.
For the Gudgion. *
Loe in a little boat where one doth stand,
That to a willow bough the while is tide,
And with a pole doth stir and raise the sand,
Whereas the gentle streame doth softly slide,
And then with slender line, and rod in hand,
The eager bit not long he doth abide.
Well leaded is his line, his hooke but small,
A good big cork to bear the stream withall.
His bait the least red worme that may be found,
And at the bottome it doth alwayes liej
Whereat the greedy gudgion bites so sound,
That hooke and all he swalloweth by and by :
See how he strikes, and pulls them up as round,
As if new store the play did still supply :
And when the bit doth die, or bad doth prove,
Then to another place he doth remove.
This fish the fittest for a learner is,
That in this art delights to take some paine ;
For as high-flying hawkes that often misse
The swifter fowles are eased with a traine,
So to a yong beginner yieldeth this
Such ready sport as makes him prove againe,
And leader him on with hope and glad desire,
To greater skill and cunning to aspire.
For the Roch.
Then see on yonder side where one doth sit
With line well twisted, and his hook but small,
His cork not big, his plummets round and fit,
His bait of finest paste, a little ball, f-
Wherewith he doth intice unto the bit,
The carelesse roch, that soone is caught withall :
Within a foot the same doth reach the ground,
And with least touch the float straight sinke'th down.
And as a skilfull fowler that doth use
The flying birds of any kind to take,
* The gudgion hath his teeth in his throat, (as also thi chub.)
rnd lives by much sucking; he is a dainty fish, lik^ or neere as
^ood as the sparlin.
f The roch is one of the m^arust.
I i 2 Th-
4 8 4
The fittest and the best doth always cbuse,
Of many sorts a pleasing stale to make,
Which if he doth perceive they do refuse,
And of mislike abandon and forsake,
To win their love again, and get their grace,
Forthwith doth put another in the place.
So for the roch more baits he hath beside,
As of a sheep the thick congealed bioud,
Which on a board, he useth to divide
In portions small, to make them fit and good,
That better on his hooke they may ?bide:
And of the waspe the white and tender brood,
And worms that breed on every herb and tree.
And sundry flies that quick and lively bee.
For the Dace.
Then look whereas that poplar gray doth grow,
Hard by the same where one doth closely stand,