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some the River-Swallow; for just as you shall observe the Swallow to be most evenings in Summer, ever in motion, making short and quick turns when he flies to catch flies in the air, by which he lives, so does the Bleak at the top of the water. Ausonius would have him called Bleak,
from his whitish colour: his back is of a pleasant sad or sea-water-green, his belly white and shining as the mountain-snow; and doubtless, though he have the fortune, which virtue has in poor people, to be neglected, yet the Bleak ought to be much valued, though we want Allam.ot-sa.lt, and the skill that the Italians have to turn them into Anchovies. This fish may be caught with a Pater-noster line, that is, six or eight very small hooks tied along the line, one half a foot above the other: I have seen five caught thus at one time, and the bait has been Gentles, than which none is better.
Or this fish may be caught with a fine small artificial fly, which is to be of a very sad, brown colour, and very small, and the hook answerable. There is no better sport than whipping for Bleaks in a boat, or on a bank in the swift water in a Summer's evening, with a hazle top about five or six foot long, and a line twice the length of the
rod: I have heard Sir Henry fVotton say, that there be many that in Italy will catch Swallows so, or especially Martins, this Bird-Angler standing on the top of a steeple to do it, and with a line twice so long as I have spoken of: and let me tell you, Scholar, that both Martins and Bleaks be most excellent meat.
And let me tell you, that I have known a Hern that did constantly frequent one place, caught with a hook baited with a big Minnow or a small Gudgeon. The line and hook must be strong, and tied to some loose staff, so big as she cannot fly away with it, a line not exceeding two yards.
Is of nothing; or, that which is nothing worth.
Piscatob. My purpose was to give you some directions concerning Roach and Dace, and some other inferior fish, which make the Angler excellent sport, for you know there is more pleasure in hunting the Hare than in eating her: but I will forbear at this time to say any more, because you see yonder come our brother Peter and honest Coridon: but I will promise you, that as you and I fish and walk tomorrow towards London, if I have now forgotten any thing that I can then remember, I will not keep it from you.
Well met, Gentlemen, this is lucky that we meet so just together at this very door. Come Hostess, where are you? Is supper ready? Come, first give us drink, and be as quick as you can, for I believe we are all very hungry. Well brother Peter and Coridon, to you both; come drink, and then tell me what luck of fish: we two have caught but ten Trouts, of which my Scholar caught three; look, here's eight, and a brace we gave away; we have had a most pleasant day for fishing and talking, and are returned home both weary and hungry, and now meat and rest will be pleasant.
Pet. And Coridon and I have had not an unpleasant day, and yet I have caught but five Trouts: for indeed we went to a good honest ale-house, and there we played at Shovel-board half the day; all the time that it rained we were there, and as merry as they that fished, and I am glad we are now with a dry house over our heads, for hark how it rains and blows. Come Hostess, give us more ale, and our supper with what haste you may: and when we have supped let us have your song, Piscator, and the catch that your Scholar promised us, or else Coridon will be dogged.
Pise. Nay, I will not be worse than my word, you shall not want my song, and I hope I shall be perfect in it.
Ven. And I hope the like for my catch, which I have ready too, and therefore let's go merrily to supper, and then have a gentle touch at singing and drinking; but the last with moderation.
Cor. Come, now for your song, for we have fed heartily. Come Hostess, lay a few more sticks on the fire, and now sing when you will.
Pise. Well then, here's to you, Coridon; and now for my song.
Oh! the gallant fisher s life,
Are but toys,
In a morning up we rise,
Then we go
To and fro,
With our knacks
At our backs,
To such streams
As the Thames,
When we please to walk abroad
Where in a brook
With a hook,
Or a lake.
Fish we take,
There we sit,
For a bit, Till we fish entangle. K e