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1. The Praise of Angling. And let me tell you, that Angling is of high esteem, and of much use in other nations. He that reads the Voyages of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto, shall find that there he declares to have found a king and several priests a fishing.
And he that reads Plutarch, shall find, that Angling was not contemptible in the days of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and that they, in the midst of their wonderful glory, used Angling as a principal recreation. And let me tell you, that in the Scripture, Angling is always taken in the best sense; and that though hunting may be sometimes so taken, yet it is but seldom to be so understood. And let me add this more: he that views the ancient Ecclesiastical Canons, shall find hunting to be forbidden to Churchmen, as being a turbulent, toilsome, perplexing recreation; and shall find Angling allowed to Clergymen, as being a harmless recreation, a recreation that invites them to contemplation and quietness.
I might here enlarge myself, by telling you what commendations our learned Perkins bestows on Angling: and how dear a lover, and great a practiser of it, our learned Dr. Whitaker was; as indeed many others of great learning have been. But I will content myself with two memorable men, that lived near to our own time, whom I also take to have been ornaments to the art of Angling.
The first is Dr. Nowel, sometime dean of the cathedral church of St. Paul, in London, where his monument stands yet undefaced; a man that, in the reformation of Queen Elizabeth, (not that of Henry VIII.) was so noted for his meek spirit, deep learning, prudence, and piety, that the then Parliament and Convocation, both, chose, enjoined, and trusted him to be the man to make a Catechism for
public use, such a one as should stand as a rule for faith and manners to their posterity. And the good old man, (though he was very learned, yet knowing that God leads us not to heaven by many, nor by hard questions,) like an honest Angler, made that good, plain, unperplexed Catechism which is printed with our good old Service-book. I say, this good man was a dear lover and constant practiser of Angling, as any age can produce: and his custom was to spend besides his fixed hours of prayer, (those hours which, by command of the church, were enjoined the clergy, and voluntarily dedicated to devotion by many primitive Christians,) I say, besides those hours, this good man was observed to spend a tenth part of his time in Angling; and, also, (for I have conversed with those which have conversed with him,) to bestow a tenth part of his revenue, and usually all his fish, amongst the poor that inhabited near to those rivers in which it was caught; saying often, “That charity gave life to religion :' and, at his return to his house, would praise God he had spent that day free from worldly trouble; both harmlessly, and in a recreation that became a churchman. And this good man was well content, if not desirous, that posterity should know he was an Angler; as may appear by his picture, now to be seen, and carefully kept, in Brazennose College; to which he was a liberal benefactor. In which picture he is drawn, leaning on a desk, with his Bible before him; and on one hand of him, his lines, hooks, and other tackling, lying in a round; and, on his other hand, are his Angle-rods of several sorts; and by them this is written,
that he died 13 Feb. 1601, being aged 95 years, 44 of which he had been Dean of St. Paul's church; and that his age neither impaired his hearing, nor dimmed his eyes, nor weakened his memory, nor made any of the
faculties of his mind weak or useless. It is said that Angling and temperance were great causes of these blessings. And I wish the like to all that imitate him, and love the memory of so good a man.
My next and last example shall be that undervaluer of money, the late provost of Eton College, Sir Henry Wotton, (a man with whom I have often fished and conversed,) a man whose foreign employments in the service of this nation, and whose experience, learning, wit, and cheerfulness, made 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.
As soon as he was perfectly recovered from his sickness, he took a journey from Oxford to Exeter, to satisfy and see his good mother, being accompanied with a countryman and companion of his own College, and both on foot; which was then either more in fashion, or want of money or their humility made it so: But on foot they went, and took Salisbury in their way, purposely to see the good Bishop, who made Mr. Hooker and his companion dine with him at his own table ; which Mr. Hooker boasted of with much joy and gratitude when he saw his mother and friends : and at the Bishop's parting with him, the Bishop gave him good counsel, and his benediction, but forgot to give him money; which when the Bishop had considered, he sent a servant in all haste to call Richard back to him; and at Richard's return the Bishop said to him, 'Richard, I sent for you back to lend you a horse which hath carried me many a mile, and, I thank God, with much ease;' and presently delivered into his hand a walking-staff, with which he professed he had travelled through many parts of Germany. And he said,
Richard, I do not give, but lend you my horse ; be sure you be honest, and bring my horse back to me at your return this way to Oxford. And I do now give you ten groats, to bear your charges to Exeter; and here is ten groats more, which I charge you to deliver to your mother, and tell her, I send her a Bishop's benediction with it, and beg the continuance of her prayers for me. And if you bring my horse back to me, I will give you ten groats more, to carry you on foot to the College : and so God bless you, good Richard.'
And this, you may believe, was performed by both parties. But alas! the next news that followed Mr. Hooker to Oxford was, that his learned and charitable patron had changed this for a better life. Which may be believed, for as he lived, so he died, in devout meditation and prayer; and in both so zealously, that it became a religious question, 'Whether his last ejaculations or his soul did first enter heaven?'.
And now Mr. Hooker became a man of sorrow and fear: of sorrow, for the loss of so dear and comfortable a patron; and of fear for his future subsistence. But Mr. Cole raised
his spirits from this dejection, by bidding him go cheerfully to his studies, and assuring him, that he should neither want food nor raiment (which was the utmost of his hopes), for he would become his patron.
And so he was for about nine months, or not much longer; for about that time the following accident did befal Mr. Hooker.
Edwin Sandys (then Bishop of London, and after Arch. bishop of York) had also been in the days of Queen Mary forced, by forsaking this, to seek safety in another nation; where, for many years, Bishop Jewel and he were companions at bed and board in Germany; and where, in this their exile, they did often eat the bread of sorrow, and by that means they there began such a friendship, as time did not blot out, but lasted till the death of Bishop Jewel, which was in 1571. A little before which time the two Bishops meeting, Jewel began a story of his Richard Hooker, and in it gave such a character of his learning and manners, that though Bishop Sandys was educated in Cambridge, where he had obliged, and had many friends; yet his resolution was, that his son Edwin should be sent to Corpus Christi College in Oxford, and by all means be pupil to Mr. Hooker, though his son Edwin was then almost of the same age : For the Bishop said, “I will have a tutor for my son, that shall teach him learning by instruction, and virtue by example; and my greatest care shall be of the last; and (God willing) this Richard Hooker shall be the man into whose hands I will commit my Edwin. And the Bishop did so about twelve months after this resolution.
And doubtless, as to these two, a better choice could not be made ; for Mr. Hooker was now in the nineteenth year of his age; had spent five in the University; and had, by a constant unwearied diligence, attained unto a perfection in