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COMMENDATORY VERSES." 

TO MY DEAR BROTHER-IN-LAW, t MR IZAAK WALTON, UPON HIS "COMPLETE ANGLER."

And such is this discourse: there s none so low.
Or highly learn'd, to whom hence may not flow
Pleasure and information : both which are
Taught us with so much art, that I might swear
Safely, the choicest critic cannot tell,
Whether your matchless judgment most excel
In Angling or its praise: where commendation
First charms, then makes an art a recreation.

'Twas so to me; who so the cheerful spring
Pictur'd in every meadow, heard birds sing
Sonnets in every grove, saw fishes play
In the cool crystal streams, like lambs in May:
And they may play, till Anglers read this Book;
But after, 'tis a wise fish 'scapes a hook.

Jo. Floud, Mr. of Arts.*

TO THE READER OF "THE COMPLETE ANGLER."

FIRST mark the Title well: my Friend that gave it
Has made it good; this book deserves to have it.

Variation.] a mirth.—rtd edit, as in text in 3d edit.

* None of the verses occur in the first, but they are all to be found in the second edition, excepting the two last by Dr Duport, which were inserted for the first time in the [fifth edition.

t In the fi/th edition, the words "in-law" are omitted ; but as they correctly explain the writer's relationship, they are here adopted.

X Some account of this person, who was the brother of Walton's first wife, and of his family, will be found in the Life of Walton, at the commencement of the volume.

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Erasmus in his learned Colloquies
Has mixt some toys,s that by varieties
He might entice all readers: for in him

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For he that views it with judicious looks
Shall find it full of art, baits, lines, and hooks.

The world the river is; both you and I,
And all mankind, are either fish or fry.
If we pretend to reason, first or last,
His baits will tempt us, and his hooks hold fast.
Pleasure or profit, either prose or rhyme,
If not at first, will doubtless take's in time.

Here sits, in secret, blest Theology,
Waited upon by grave Philosophy,
Both natural and moral; History,
Deck'd and adora'd with flowers of Poetry,
The matter and expression striving which
Shall most excel in worth, yet not seem rich.
There is no danger in his baits; that hook
Will prove the safest, that is surest took.

Nor are we caught alone, but, which is best,
We shall be wholesome, and be toothsome drest;
Drest to be fed, not to be fed upon:
And danger of a surfeit here is none.
The solid food of serious contemplation
Is sauced, here, with such harmless recreation,
That an ingenuous and religious mind
Cannot inquire for more than it may find
Ready at once prepared, either t' excite,
Or satisfy, a curious appetite.

More praise is due: for 'tis both positive
And truth, which once was interrogative,
And utter'd by the poet, then, in jest—
"Et piscatorem piscis amare potest."

TO MY DEAR FRIEND, MR IZ. WALTON, IN PRAISE OF ANGLING, WHICH WE BOTH LOVE.

Down by this smooth stream's wandering side/
Adora'd and perfumed with the pride
Of Flora's wardrobe, where the shrill
Aerial choir7 express their skill,
First, in alternate melody,8
And, then, in chorus all agree.
Whilst * the charm'd fish, as eestasied
With sounds, to his own throat denied,

VARIATIOns.

8 Down by this wand'ring stream's smooth side.—ad edit.

* In the second and third editions the initials C. H. only occur; the name was printed at length in the fifth edition for the first time. An account of Harvey will be found in a subsequent note

Ch. Harvie, Mr. of Arts."

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Scorns his dull element, and springs
I' the air, as if his fins were wings.

'Tis here that pleasures sweet and high
Prostrate to our embraces lie:
Such as to body, soul, or fame,1
Create no sickness, sin, or shame:
Roses, not fenc'd with pricks, grow here,
No sting to the honey-bag is near:
But, what's perhaps their prejudice,
They difficulty want and price.

An obvious rod, a twist of hair.
With s hook hid in an 8 insect, are
Engines of sport,4 would fit* the wish
Of th' Epicure, and6 fill his dish.

In this clear stream let fall a grub;
And, straight, take up a Dace or Chub.
I' the mud, your worm provokes a snig,*
Which being fast, if it prove big,t
The Gotham folly will be found
Discreet, ere ta'en she 7 must be drown'd.
The Tench, physician of the brook,
In yon8 dead hole expects your hook;
Which having first your pastime been,
Serves then" for meat or medicine.1
Ambush'd behind that root doth stay
A Pike, to catch, and be a prey.
The treacherous quill in this slow stream 5
Betrays the hunger of a Bream.'
And at8 that nimble ford, no doubt,
Your false fly cheats a speckled 4 Trout.

VARIATIONS.

1 name.—id edit. 'J And.—Ihid. 8 some.—Ihid.

• Emblems of skill.—Ihid. 9 feed.— Ihid. « or.—Ibid.

1 it — Ihid. 8 that.—Ibid. 9 next—Ihid.

1 The following lines here occur in the ad edition, but are omitted in all tho others:—

"And there the cunning Carp you may
Beguile with paste; if you'll out stay,
And watch in time, you'll have your wish,
For paste and patience catch this fish."

* These two lines are omitted in the ad edit. * in.—ad edit.
4 dappled.—Ibid.

* Snig, a term more generally applied to the small nine-eyed eel, commonly found ahout the apron of an old weir, or in shallow parts of the river Lee, and forms the amusement of sniggling to youthful Anglers.—En. H.

t "If it prove big" alludes to one of the stories told of the Wise Men of Gotham, a facetious penny history much in circulation in the time of Walton. It is there related that the men of Gotham, upon a Good Friday, after due consultation, collected all their white herrings, red herrings, sprats, and salt fish, and cast the whole into a pond, in order to secure a sufficient store of fish for the next Lent. In due time upon dragging the pond, there was found only a very large eel, and it bcing. suspected the same must, by tfte size, have devoured the intended stock, it was concluded that such a voracious monster ought to be destroyed, and, as a death-warrant, it was determined that it should be put in another pond, in order that it might be drowned.—En. H.

When c you these creatures wisely choose
To practise on, which to your use
Owe their creation, and when
Fish from your arts do rescue men,'
To plot, delude, and circumvent,
Ensnare, and spoil, are innocent.
Here by these crystal streams you may
Preserve a conscience clear as they;
And when by sullen thoughts you find
Your harassed, not busied, mind
In sable melancholy clad,
Distemper'd, serious, turning sad;
Hence letch your cure, cast in your bait,
All anxious thoughts and cares will straight
Fly with such speed, they'll7 seem to be
Possest with the hydrophoby.
The water's calmness 8 in your breast,
And smoothness on your brow, shall rest.

Away with sports of charge and noise,
And give me cheap and silent joys,9
Such as Action's game pursue,
Their fate oft makes the tale1 seem true.
The sick or sullen hawk, to-day,
Flies not ; to-morrow, quite away.
Patience and purse to cards and dice
Too oft are made a sacrifice:
The daughter's dower, th' inheritance
O' th' son, depend on one mad chance.
The harms and mischiefs which th' abuse1
Of wine doth every day produce,
Make good the doctrine of the Turks,
That in each grape a devil lurks.
And by yon 8 fading sapless tree,
'Bout which the ivy twin'd you see,
His fate's foretold, who * fondly places
His bliss in woman's soft embraces.
All pleasures, but the Angler's, bring
I' the tail repentance, like a sting.

Then on these banks' let me sit8 down,
Free from the toilsome sword and gown;
And pity those that do 7 affect
To conquer nations and protect.
My reed affords such true8 content,
Delights so sweet and 9 innocent,

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As seldom fall unto1 the lot

Of sceptres, though they're justly got.

1649. Tho. Weaver, Mr. of Arts.*

TO THE READERS OF MY MOST INGENIOUS FRIEND'S
BOOK, "THE COMPLETE ANGLER."

He that both knew and writ the Lives of men,
Such as were once, but must not be again;
Witness his matchless Donne and Wotton, by
Whose aid he could their speculations try:

He that conversed with angels, such as were
Ouldsworth \ and Featly,t each a shining star
Showing the way to Bethlem; each a saint,
Compared to whom our zealots, now, but paint.

He that our pious and learn'd Morley § knew,
And from him suck'd wit and devotion too.

He that from these such excellencies fetch'd,
That he could tell how high and far they reach'd;
What learning this, what graces th' other had;
And in what several dress each soul was clad.

Reader, this He, this Fisherman, comes forth,

And in these Fisher's weeds would shroud his worth.

Now his mute harp is on a willow hung,

With which, when finely touch'd, and fitly strung,

He could friends' passions for these times allay,

Or chain his fellow-Anglers from their prey.

But now the music of his pen is still,

And he sits by a brook, watching a quill:

Variation.] 1 As falls but seldom to the lot.—ad edit.

* The son of Thomas Weaver, of Worcester. He entered of Christ's Church, Oxford, in 1633, being then seventeen years of age, and took his Master's degree in 164o, ahout which time he was made one of the Chaplains or petty Canons of the Cathedral. He was ejected by the Parliament in 1648, when " he shifted from place to place, and lived upon his wits." After the Restoration, he was made an exciseman at Liverpool, and was commonly called "Captain Weaver ;" but "prosecuting too much the crimes of poets," he died at Liverpool on the 3d of January 106a-3. His works are Songs and Potms of Love. 1654 '._Choice Drollery, with So«as and Sonnets, 1656. Wood's A then. Oxon.. by Bliss, vol. Hi. p. 6a3. No date occurs to the verses in the text in any earlier edition than the fifth.

t Dr Richard Holdsworth. See an account of him in the Fasti Oxon., by Bliss, p. 376; and in Ward's Lives of the G re sham Professors.—H.

( t Dr Daniel Fairclough, alias Featly, ahout whom see Athen. Oxon., by Bliss, vol. iii. p. 156.—H.

I Said by Hawkins to have been Dr George Morley. who became Bishop of Worcester in 166o; was translated to Winchester in 166a: and died in 1684, to whom Walton dedicated his Life of Hooker. A Life of this prelate will be found in Wood's Athen. Ox/m., by Bliss, vol. iv. p. 149. The only thing which renders it doubtful whether Bishop Morley was alluded to, is that it would seem, from the manner in which the person u mentioned, that he was not then, i.e., in 165o, living.

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