« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
have been safely conveyed in a piece of Parchment no bigger then your hand, though several skins are not sufficient to do it in this wiser Age. I say, Sir, if you take us Anglers tobe such simple men as I have lpoken of, then both my self, and those of my profession will be glad tobe so understood. Butifbysimplicitie you meant to exprefle any general defect in the understanding of those that professe and practise Angling, I hope to make it appear to you, that there is so much contrary reason (if you have but the patience to hear it) as may remove all the anticipations that Time or Discourse may have possefTd you with, against that Ancient and laudable Art.
Viat. Why (Sir) is Angling of Antiquitie, and an Art, and an art not easilylearn'd?
Pise. Yes(Sir:) and I doubt not but that if you and I were to con
verse together but til night, I should leave you possefPd with the same happie thoughts that now possesse me; not onely for the Antiquitie of it, but that it deserves commendations; and that 'tis an Art; and worthy the knowledge and practice of a wisse, and a serious man.
Fiat. Sir, I pray lpeak of them what you mail think fit; for wee have yet five miles to walk before wee shall come to the Thatcht house. And, Sir, though my infirmities are many, yet I dare promise you, that both my patience and attention will indure to hear what you will say till wee come thither: and if you please to begin in order with the antiquity, when that is done, you shall not want my attention to the commendations and accommodations of it: and lastly, if you shall convince me that 'tis an Art, and an Art worth learn
ing, I shall beg I may become your Scholer, both to wait upon you, and to be instructed in the At i* self.
Pise. Oh Sir, 'tis not to be questioned, but that it is an art, and an art worth your Learning: the question wil rather be, whetheryoube capable oflearning it? For he that learns it, must not onely bring an enquiring,searching,anddiscerning wit; but he must bring also tiiatpatience you talk ofjand a love and propensity to the art itself: but having once got and practised it, then doubt not but the Art will (both for the pleasure and profit of it) prove like to Vertue, a reward to it
Fiat. Sir, I am now become so ful of expectation, that I long much to have you proceed in your discourse: And first,I pray Sir,let me hear concerning the antiquity of it.
Pise. Sir, I wil preface no longer, but proceed in order as you desireme: Andfirst for the Antiquity oi Angling,!shall not say much; bus; onely this; Some say, it is as ancij. Da. entzsDeucalionsFloud: andothers jer Mar (w^ich I like better) fay, that Belus (who was theinventerof godly and vertuous Recreations) was the Inventer of it: and some others say, (for former times have had their Difquisitionsaboutit) that&tf^one of the sons of Adam, taught it to his sons, and that by them it was derived to Posterity. O thers say, that he left it engraven on those Pillars which hee erected to preserve the knowledgof the Mathematicks,Mw Jick, and the rest of those precious Arts, which by Gods appointment or allowance, and his noble industry were thereby preserved from perishing in Noah's Floud.
These (my worthy Friend) have been the opinions of fomemen,that
pospossibly may have endeavoured to make itmoreancientthen may well be warranted. Butformy part,I shall content my seisin tellingyou, ThatAnglingis much more ancient then the incarnation of our Saviour: ^ ^ a For both in the Prophet Amos, and before himin >£,(whichlastBook ChaPis judged to be written by MosesJ mention is made ofjijh-hooks, which must imply Anglers in those times.
B ut (my worthy friend) as I would rather prove my self to be a Gentleman, by being learned and humble, valiant and inoffensive, vertuous and communicable, then by a fond ostentation of riches-, or (wanting these Vertues my self) boast that these were in my Ancestors; [And yet 1 confesse, that where a noble and ancientDescentandsuch Meritsmeet inanyman, itisadouble dignilication of that person: ] and so, if this Antiquitie of Angling (which, foe my part, I have not forc'd) stiaL,