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Piscator. Much good do your heart: and I thank you for that friendly word: and now, Sir, my service to you in a cup of More Land's ale; for you are now in the More Lands, but within a spit and a stride of the Peak. Fill my friend his glass.
Viator. Believe me you have good ale in the More Lands, far better than that at Ashbourn.
PlSCATOR. That it may soon be; for Ashbourn has (which is a kind of riddle) always in it the best malt and the worst ale in England. Come, take away, and bring us some pipes, and a bottle of ale: and go to your own suppers. Are you for this diet, Sir?
Viator. Yes, Sir, I am for one pipe of tobacco; and I perceive yours is very good by the smell.
PlSCATOR. The best I can get in London, I assure you. But, Sir, now you have thus far complied with rny designs, as to take a troublesome journey into an ill country, only to satisfy me; how long may I hope to enjoy you?
Viator. Why, truly, Sir, as long as I conveniently can; and longer, I think, you would not have me.
PlSCATOR. Not to your inconvenience by any means, Sir: but I see you are weary, and therefore I will presently wait on you to your chamber, where, take counsel of your pillow; and, tomorrow, resolve me. Here, take the lights; and pray follow them, Sir. Here you are like to lie; and now I have showed you your lodging, I beseech you, command anything you want, and so I wish you good rest.
Viator. Good-night, Sir.
PISCATOR. Good-morrow, Sir: what! up and drest, so early?
Viator. Yes, Sir, I have been drest this half hour : for I rested so well, and have so great a mind either to take, or to see a Trout taken in your fine river,* that I could no longer lie a-bed.
Piscator. I am glad to see you so brisk this morning, and so eager for sport: though I must tell you this day proves so calm, and the sun rises so bright, as promises no great success to the angler: but, however, we'll try, and, one way or other, we shall, sure, do something. What will you have to your breakfast, or what will you drink this morning?
Viator. For breakfast I never eat any, and for drink am very indifferent; but if you please to call for a glass of ale, I'm for you: and let it be quickly, if you please, for I long to see the little fishing-house you spoke of, and to be at my lesson.
Piscator. Well, Sir, you see the ale is come without
* Cotton's beautiful description of this recollection.
Oh my beloved nymph ! fair Dove;
river must here be brought to the reader's
And in it all thy wanton fry
Playing at liberty:
The all of treachery
calling; for though I do not know yours, my people know my diet, which is always one glass so soon as I am drest, and no more, till dinner: and so my servants have served you.
Viator. My thanks. And now, if you please, let us look out, this fine morning.
PlSCATOR. With all my heart. Boy, take the key of my fishing-house, and carry down those two angle-rods in the hall window thither, with my fish-pannier, pouch, and landing-net; and stay you there till we come. Come, Sir, we'll walk after, where, by the way, I expect you shall raise all the exceptions against our country you can.
Viator. Nay, Sir, do not think me so ill-natured, nor so uncivil : I only made a little bold with it last night to divert you, and was only in jest.
Piscator. You were then in as good earnest as I am now with you: but had you been really angry at it, I could not blame you; for, to say the truth, it is not very taking at first sight. But look you, Sir, now you are abroad, does not the sun shine as bright here as in Essex, Middlesex, or Kent, or any of your Southern countries?
Viator. 'Tis a delicate morning, indeed, and I now think this a marvellous pretty place.
PlSCATOR. Whether you think so or no, you cannot oblige me more than to say so: and those of my friends who know my humour, and are so kind as to comply with it, usually flatter me that way. But look you, Sir, now you are at the brink of the hill, how do you like my river; the vale it winds through, like a snake; and the situation of my little fishing-house ? *
Viator. Trust me, 'tis all very fine; and the house seems, at this distance, a neat building.
PlSCATOR. Good enough for that purpose. And here is a bowling-green too, close by it; so, though I am myself no very good bowler, I am not totally devoted to my own pleasure, but that I have also some regard to other men's. And now, Sir, you are come to the door; pray walk in, and there we will sit, and talk as long as you please.
* Cotton, in his " Epistle to John Bradshaw, Esq.," printed in his Posthumous Poeins, thus alludes to his Fishing-house :—
My River still through the same channel glides