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Printed at London by Richard Johnes,
I am content to bend my pen,
In rurall ryme to paynte
And of thy hevy playnt;
And wyll denie in hermonie
Contention for to make;
To pricke do undertake.
To set in partes the learned must,
That art can rightly use,
That my good wyll refuse.
Thou toldest me of his vertuous lyfe
A tale both long and wyse,
In many an enterprise.
How styll by friendship he dyd seeke
His foes his friends to make;
PERHAPS there does not exist in the circle of English Literature a rarer book than this which I am about to describe. It is quoted no where but by Isaac Walton, in his Complete Angler, where it is ascribed to Jo. Davors, esq. Of this person I can no where find any account. He has even escaped the indefatigable penetration and industry of Ritson. The book is so rare that Sir John Hawkins confesses he could never procure a sight of it.
My friend Mr. Douce had given me the opportunity of describing it, when I afterwards found a less perfect copy in the British Museum.
“ THE SECRETS OF ANGLING.
The choicest tooles, baits and seasons for the taking of any fisii
, in pond or river, practised, and familiarly opened in three Bookes. By J. D. Esquire.
Augmented with many approved experiments, by W. Lauson.
London. Printed by T. H. for John Harison, and are to be sold by Francis Coles, at his Shop in the Old Bayly. 1652."
As I never heard of any other copies than that of Mr. Douce, and one belonging to the Museum, and as I know the book has eluded the diligent researches of some of our most acute and persevering collectors, I think the following specimen will be acceptable, at least to the lovers of the Art of Angling :
TO KNOW EACH FISHES HAUNT.
Now that the Angler may the better know
Here shall he learn how every sort doth seeke
Carp, Eele, and Tench do love a muddy ground,
The Chub delights in stream or shady tree,
The Salmon swift the rivers sweet doth like,
The prickled Pearch in every hollow creek
Pearch, Tròut, and Salmon love clean waters all,
Of spreading poplar, oake, or willow green,
The mighty Luce great waters haunts alway,
And in the chiefest pooles thereof doth rest,
Where he is soonest found, and taken best.
The Peele, the Mullet, and the Suants good
But here experience doth my skill exceed,
So that by use and practice may be known,
So then it shall be needlesse to declare
be still discovered more and more; Let him that list no pain nor trouble spare To seek them out as I have done before,
And then it shall not discontent his minde
This curious tract has been ascribed to the pen of the celebrated Dr. Donne. See Sir John Hawkins's edition of Walton's Complete Angler, 1775. p. 153, note. At the end of this volume is a sort of Appendix, having the signature of R. R. This Sir John supposes to mean R. Roe. It should seem, that scarce as it really is, there were two editions of this work.
THIS old English Poet is slightly mentioned by Ritson, in his Catalogue of English Poets, and somewhat more at length by Mr. Bridges, in his improved edition of Philips's Theatrum Poetarum. Mr. Ellis had probably not seen any of his per