• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Preface
 Main
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Fell fern : a country book for boys ; with tales about fishing, etc. ; interspersed with historical episodes, and romantic legends.
Title: Fell fern
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002113/00001
 Material Information
Title: Fell fern a country book for boys ; with tales about fishing, etc. ; interspersed with historical episodes, and romantic legends
Physical Description: 173, 1, 2 p. : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Searle, January, 1815-1889
Ramsay, W. F ( Publisher )
Pratt, J. S ( Printer )
Publisher: W.F. Ramsay
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: J.S. Pratt
Publication Date: 1851
 Subjects
Subject: Country life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1851
Genre: Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
General Note: Publisher's advertisements, 2 p. following text.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002113
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002237259
oclc - 45568760
notis - ALH7743
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front page i
        Front page ii
        Front page iii
        Front page iv
    Frontispiece
        Front page v
    Title Page
        Front page vi
        Front page vii
    Dedication
        Front page viii
        Front page ix
    Preface
        Front page x
        Front page xi
    Main
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
    Advertising
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    Back Cover
        Page 178
        Page 179
    Spine
        Page 180
Full Text












































I I
,~
~ I--, rc-
ft ~I r ~
17~. rT~'P j:
1~ r: r~

~~ ~* "J

I
.. ,-

If Ir;1~~ liTf



ttr/a
!1 SIci :B.Cr8~ r
r ii ~
-
~ "-t

Irj ,
r~~ 3- ~~~i~~~Lrr~IZ~P~Z~3 ~UC~UII-V,~
I ~.
;h -I
1 -5
ri
~;LC;-;~~iI g~J~ -~i~
C~lr~-~





C/fYi a1 *


The Baldwin Library
University
B FI da


A


I 1 111 1 I


I


L















FELL FERN.

















4,

I' ,















0


AA


r










FELL FERN:


A COUNTRY BOOK FOR BOYS;


WITH TALES ABOUT FISHING, ETC.

INTERSPERSED WITH HISTORICAL EPISODES,

AND ROMANTIC LEGENDS.



BY JANUARY SEARLE,
AUTHOR OF CHAPTERS IN THE HISTORY OF A LIFE,n go SKETCHBS OF COUrNTr
SCENERY," "L LEAVES FROM SHERWOOD FOREST," LIFE, CHARACTER
AND GENIUS OF XBRNEIZR ELLIOTT," "L LIFS AT HOME
AND ABROAD," ETC., ETC.




LONDON:

W. F. RAMSAY, 20, PATERNOSTER ROW.


MDOOOLI


C~ ~VI~WWW\IWYINWIMM-- -------------- --





















DEDICATION,






TO MY SON LOUIS HENRY,


AND


HIS SCHOOLFELLOWS.













PREFACE.




IN looking through a pile of dingy and forgotten MSS., a few
weeks ago, I chanced to stumble upon the tale and episodes
which are now presented to the reader. They were written
for the most part nine or ten years back, whilst I was living in
the rich and beautiful valley of the Trent; and if I mistake not,
they smell of the country, and reflect some little of the old
sunshine, and genial features of nature. At all events I
thought so when I dug them up from the debris in which they
were deposited; and hence I have printed them, in the hope
that they will give pleasure and instruction to many a good and
deserving boy; for I love boys, although I do not pretend to
Parleyism, nor design to steal any portion of good old Peter's
laurels. My own brave little son likes the book, and perhaps
that is some guarantee that others will like it. As they please,
however.

J. S.
Chrietmam, 1850.















FELL FERN.




TOM STARWOOD was a very clever lad, who lived
with his parents at Fell Fern,-a good, substantial
manor-house, which was built in the time of Eliza-
beth. It was situate just on the slope of a great
cliff, and there was as glorious a view of valley
scenery from the windows, as any to be found in
all Derbyshire. I well remember what an en-
chanted landscape it seemed to me, when I first
beheld it from the beautiful oriel window which
opens towards the east. There were pleasant
meadows, looking so warm and sunny, with happy
flocks feeding in them, and dark trees scattered
around them, and dim, shadowy woods in the far
distance. And there, too, were corn-fields waving
B






FELL FERN.


in the gentle breeze; and, a little to the left, was
a sweet, primitive-looking village, with its tall
white spire shooting up into the great blue hea-
vens. And then, as if Nature had designed this
quiet and dreamy spot for her own special abode
in the sultry summer-tide, she had caused a long,
winding stream to run through the whole of it.
Such, then, was the scenery around Fell Fern;
and Tom Starwood had caught somewhat of its
spirit and inspiration. Indeed it could not well
have been otherwise with such an imaginative,
mercurial fellow, as our friend Tom was, and with
such a kind and sensible mother as he had, who
was always pointing out something new and inte-
resting to him in their long evening walks together,
and cultivating within him a deep love of truth,
goodness, and beauty.
Now all Tom's days, before he was ten years
old, were spent in this happy valley. His father,
who was a farmer, loved him very much, and de-
lighted to see him bustling about the crew-yard,
amongst the cattle, or climbing the great corn-
stacks after sparrows' nests; or driving up with his
long whip-which John, the husbandman, had made
him, of willow and pack-thread-the brawny hogs
which lay sleeping and grunting in the sun, with





FELL FERN.


their snouts half-covered in straw. And Tom de-
lighted in these amusements too, as much as his
father; but there were others which he liked
better than these; such as going with shaggy old
Rover to the hill-tops, and down into the valleys
a-shepherding; or lying under the great knotted
blackthorn, in the Fell Meadow-as it was called,
-whilst Mary Merrywood, the milk-girl, sat on
her three-legged stool, milking the cows. And
then Tom loved the white froth which boiled in
the bucket; and he loved Mary's laughing eyes
and rosy cheeks, too,-because she always let him
skim a handful of this froth, and sang to him so
many sweet pastorals about the loves of shepherds,
and ploughmen, and milkmaids, who lived in the
earliest times of England, before Kit Marlowe wrote,
or merry old Chaucer had set his quaint, rich
thoughts, and glowing imagery, in the magic num-
bers of song; pastorals which were not very old,
either, but which some healthy-minded country
poet had-in Mary's grandfather's days-made out
of the loose traditions which had floated down to
him of those times. And our young friend, Tom,
listened to these songs with deep attention-and
with no little joy and wonder-as he lay on the
flowery grass, with his eyes fixed upon the sky,


11






FELL FERN.


pondering in his little mind what all these things
might mean.
But Tom's chief amusement was angling in that
same sunny stream, which we have spoken of, and
which sang so merrily in the valley below Fell
Fern. It abounded with all sorts of fish, from the
little minnow, to the spotted trout, and the great
ravenous pike. In a fine morning, Tom might be
found before the sun was an hour high, brushing
the dew from the green meadow-grass, with his
rod in his hand; now stopping to pluck the tinct
petals of the golden cowslip; now bounding for-
ward, in excess of joy, towards the stream; and
now suddenly standing, with his hand over his
brow, looking upwards to get a sight of some
heaven-soaring lark, whose song was filling the air
with music; and then, when the last sound seemed
to melt away in the blue heights above, Tom
would wander on, full of sweet thoughts, until he
was arrested by some new object.
Well, the stream was about a mile from Fell
Fern, and not quite half a mile from the village;
and Tom's favourite spot for angling was under the
shade of three tall elms, at whose roots grew a
thick underwood of brambles and honeysuckles.
These elms Tom called "The Three Sisters," and


12





FELL FERN.


here it was he used to guile away the long summer
hours, with faithful old Rover, the shaggy sheep-
dog, for a companion.
Now you must know that Tom was a very expert
angler for his years, and that he caught large quan-
tities of "float-fish," such as roach, dace, miller's
thumbs, and sometimes perch-for perch are a
very bold fish, and will seize any bait when they
are hungry-but he did not understand the art of
taking a trout or a pike.
One day Tom grew tired of fishing, and thought
he would lay down his rod, and take a ramble with
Rover down the stream, and look for rats, snakes,
birds' nests, or any other diversion which might
happen. So he baited his hook with a fine, large
lob-worm, and just at the root of the Sisters," in
a deep hole, he dropped it, and set off.
The day was bright and fine, and many a roll
had Tom and Rover on the grass, as they went
along, and many a time was poor Rover obliged to
cross the water, and beat the rushes on the other
side, for his master's pleasure, whilst both looked
out very eagerly for sport. At last Tom saw a
large snake with her head just peeping out of the
water, and her red fiery eyes burning like diamonds
in the sun. Tom was not long before he called


13






FELL FERN.


the dog to him you may depend upon it. Rover,
Rover," cried he, pointing to the spot where the
snake lay; and Rover came, pricking his ears, and
wagging his bushy tail. "Seize it, seize it !" he
continued, urging on the old dog, who ran barking
down to the water side, ready to dart in after the
first thing that should stir; for he could not see the
snake, because he was aged, and his eyes were
getting dim. At last the snake lifted up her crest
and looked wildly about her, and then with a loud
hiss, shot across the stream, whilst Rover plunged
in after her. The snake, finding herself pressed,
dived instantly, and the gallant old dog followed
her. And now there was a deep pause, and Tom
stood mute and breathless, waiting for the issue.
In a few moments Rover's shaggy back appeared
above the water, but his head was still under, and
he seemed to be struggling very hard. At last
he rose with one part of the snake in his mouth,
and at least two feet of the creature's body coiled
tightly about his neck. Tom shouted for joy; and
Rover no sooner got on the bank side, than he
applied his great hairy paws to the snake with such
vigour, and shook the part he held in his mouth
with so much fury, that he soon released himself
from the uncomfortable hug of the reptile, and


14





FELL FERN.


killed it. And now Tom gazed upon the beautiful
dead creature as it lay quivering in the grass, with
strange and quite new feelings. He felt proud
that he had killed it, and yet there were sadness
and sorrow about his heart, for the creature was, as
we have said, very beautiful, and Tom had been
taught to love beauty. Its graceful body was
coloured with green, velvet-black, and gold. And
then its strange, wild, glorious eyes! They seemed
to be looking at him, and upbraiding him. Tom
was about to leave the snake, and Rover stood
barking over her when her mouth opened as by a
convulsive movement, and Tom was startled to see
four or five young ones come out of it, and twist
their bodies about the grass blades. But so it was;
and they were doubtless playing about her when
Rover frightened her up, and she took them in her
mouth to protect them. Tom could not bear to
see this; so he called Rover off, and went back to
the Three Sisters" with a heavy heart.
When he got there he found a little old man in
a snuff-coloured coat, and great fur cap, sitting by
the bank side, an angling. Rover barked at the
stranger, who turned him round and shewed a very
good-natured face, with a broad pleasant smile
upon it.


15







"A fine morning it is !" said the old man, "and
a lucky one; for I have taken a brace of trout
already, young gentleman, sitting behind this
bramble bush."
I wish I may be half as lucky," said Tom, as he
ran to his rod, and drew up the line. Dear me,"
he cried, as he looked at the hook, "the bait is
gone, and the fish with it. I will try again, however,
and perhaps I shall be more fortunate next time."
"Is that rod yours, young sir," asked the little
man with the pleasant face, "and the bag of fish,
under the long grass there, by the tree that is
furthermost ?"
"Yes, they are both mine," answered Tom;
wondering how the little man knew where he had
hidden his fish bag.
And did you catch the fish that are there by
the skill of your own hand ?" asked the little man.
"Yes," said Tom, all by myself; nobody was
with me but Rover."
And a brave boy it is truly, and a brave dog it
is that he has," rejoined the pleasant old man; but
when I came hither, I saw neither the boy nor the
dog. What were ye doing together ?"
I was tired of fishing," said Tom; so I took
Rover for a hunt."


16


FELL FERN.





FELL FERN.


And what animal less than an otter, and bigger
than a whale did ye two kill ?" inquired the old
gentleman, as he quietly rose, and landed a fine
trout.
"That is a beauty!" cried Tom, in raptures;
wondering, at the same time, why the old gentle-
man was not as delighted with it as he was.
"A fine animal it was that ye two killed, I'll
warrant me," said the little man, baiting his hook
and casting it again into the stream, without
taking any further notice either of Tom's exclama-
tion, or the trout he had caught; but squatted
himself down behind the bramble bush, and looked
as pleasant as a May-day.
Well, you are a strange little man," said Tom;
at which the other turned his broad, good-natured
face to him, and giggled soundly, as though the
remark had tickled him.
So you hunted down an otter, and killed him;
taking neither his skin nor carcass, in proof of your
exploit, but leaving him to rot in the sunshine,
did you ?" asked the facetious old man.
"I did not say so," said Tom. You have some
queer fancies." And the little old man laughed
again. But," continued Tom, "though I did not
hunt down an otter, nor kill a whale, I caused old


17






FELL FERN.


Rover here to kill a snake, which was so beautiful
that I am sorry I ever left my rod to destroy her."
A snake eh ? What, a rattle-snake ? the bite
of whose teeth, turneth a hale man into such sore
corruption that the worms perish which eat of his
flesh. Verily thy dog and thee are brave mates !"
Now Tom was somewhat nettled at these re-
marks of the quaint little stranger, and so he said
to him boldly:
I am a boy, but not a fool; and I have done
you no harm, that you should make game of me in
this manner. I don't want to talk to you if you
will be so witty"-and now the old man laughed
outright, and Tom got angry, and was going to
leave the spot.
"Stay, young sir, stay, I beg you," cried the
little man; "it is my way to be merry. The day
is fine, and the stream deep, and plenty of fish
there be in the stream. It is not good to be sad,
nor witty at another's expense. I take thee not
for a fool, or I had held my tongue; nor for a wise
boy, or I had not bantered thee; but for a teach-
able, brave lad, wanting experience only to make
thee wise. But first let me land that trout, which,
cunning as he is, has been caught by one more
cunning than he, and hangs now at the end of thy


18





FELL FERN.


line. Here, he is a fine fellow, isn't he ?" he added,
taking the trout from the hook, and presenting it
to Tom, who thought the little man was a queer
chap indeed. "But," quoth the little gentleman,
baiting the hook and throwing it into the hole
again, "this is not the fish you have lost, and
although good Izaac Walton says, 'no man ever
lost a fish that he never caught,' yet thou hast lost
a trout which thine eyes never saw."
How so ?" said Tom, puzzled, and not knowing
what to think of the little man."
"Even thus," he answered. When I came
here to fish, I found a rod of good hazel wood, the
metal of whose ferrols was brass, with a brave line
of silk attached, lying on the bank, and the float of
the line darting here and therQ under the water;
by which I knew that a trout was caught at his
breakfast, to make an eating for some angler that
deserved it not, for his lazy way of fishing-for
laziness is a vice that breeds poverty, and deserves
not bread;-and so I drew up the line, and took
off the fish; for a trout it was, and a fine one truly.
And now, seeing thy youth, and the sharpness of
thy wit, and the bravery of thy spirit, I return thee
the fish that thou mayst eat of it, and not forget
the lesson I give thee." So saying, the old man


19






FELL FERN.


went to his bag, and took out a noble trout, and
gave it to Tom, who by this time began to think
more highly of the stranger fisherman, and to be
reconciled to his company.
The remaining part of that day was spent in all
sorts of innocent merriment; and underneath the
branches of the tall sister elms, did Tom, and the
little man, and the dog Rover, sit while the sun
was at his height-excellent friends, all of them.
And there they ate their food with a hearty relish;
and drank too, of a flagon of cool drink which the
little man pulled from his bag, the name of which
Tom could not learn, although he enquired con-
cerning it of the stranger, who answered: "The
drink is good, and intoxicates not; so drink thy
fill; for as good old Izaac Walton says: 'it is too
good for any but honest anglers."' And then the
little man pulled out of his pocket a tobacco pouch,
and a pipe curiously wrought in metal, which he
filled and smoked with great relish-telling Tom
all sorts of things about the habits and haunts of
fish-the baits with which they are best taken;
and rehearsing many bits of natural history about
flowers and herbs, birds and reptiles, which he had
gathered in his walks by rivers, lakes, streams, and
ponds. And when the old man had ended these


20






FELL FERN. 21

sayings, he set about humming a pleasant song, for
the good humour of his heart would gush out,-
and at last he struck up a gleesome tune, to the
following verses:


THE ANGLER'S LIFE.

An angler's life is the life for me,
Heigho! trolladdie lee!
And merry good men all anglers be,
Heigho! trolladdie lee!

With politics they meddle them not,
Hiegho! trolladdie lee !
The world forgetting, by it forgot,
Heigho! trolladdie lee I

Early and late do they brush the dew,
Heigho! trolladdie lee !
Whether skies be cloudy, or be blue,
Heigho! trolladdie lee!

O'er fields so fair, and meadows so gay,
Heigho! trolladdie lee !
The angler wends his pleasant way,
Heigho! trolladdie lee !






FELL FERN.


The violet blue and cowslip pale,
Heigho! trolladdie lee!
Oh! for him they scent the healthy gale,
Heigho trolladdie lee !


And wood-birds in the shadowy trees,
Heigho! trolladdie lee!
Make melody sweet, his ears to please,
Heigho trolladdie lee !

Old pastures green, by the river side,
Heigho! trolladdie lee!
With the quiet flocks that in them bide
Heigho trolladdie lee!

To the happy Angler ever seem,
Heigho! trolladdie lee !
With health, and beauty, and joy, to teem,
Heigho trolladdie lee!

And then the river all bounding free,
Heigho! trolladdie lee!
With its shaggy sides of reeds that be,
Heigho trolladdie lee!

And the playful fish, and the timid and lone,
Heigho trolladdie lee!
And the sly old eel that lives under the stone,
Heigho trolladdie lee!


22





FELL FERN.


With merry good songs, and stout good cheer,
Heigho! trolladdie lee!
Are the Angler's joy through the livelong year,
Heigho! trolladdie lee!

Now when the little old man had finished his
song, he began to ask Tom where he lived, and
many other questions about the people in the
neighbourhood, and especially what sort of accom-
modations there were at the hostelry of the village;
to all which questions Tom answered very properly,
and with good discretion.
I have a mind to stop hereabouts for a time,"
said the little man, and spend this last quarter of
the moon in fishing, and making merry. So when
the evening gets dusk, and we are tired of the
angle, I should like thee and thy honest dog Rover
to accompany me to the village. But I trust the
alehouse is of a fair fame for three things: first;
the wholesomeness of its ale: second, the good
behaviour of the landlord, and the good temper of
his wife: third, the cleanliness of the rooms.
Now you see, young sir, that an alehouse cannot be
too comfortable for an angler. A garden before it,
full of rosemary, thyme, sweet peas, roses and
honeysuckles; with a little snug parlour window
opening into it; good provisions, good people, and


23






FELL FERN.


good beds, that' smell of lavender,' as Izaac Wal-
ton says, and all which Izaac Walton loved: these
things, my pretty young gentleman, are they that
should welcome every honest angler; not forgetting
a great, broad, kind-looking, old oak bench, in the
front of the cottage, under a cover of honeysuckles,
for the tired fisher, if he wills the same, to lie down
upon and smoke his pipe in luxurious contentment."
And the little man blew great clouds from his
curious metal pipe, as he finished these sayings,
and laid him down on one arm, with his legs
stretched out on the grass, as if he really were upon
that very bench he had just talked of, smothered in
honeysuckles.
Tom stared at the little man wide-eyed, and was
delighted with his picture of a village alehouse;
and could not help thinking that he understood all
that was good and pleasant in a fisherman's life.
But Tom had no idea of so merry a fellow lodging
in an alehouse; so he said: "My father has a good
house up at Fell Fern, and there is a nice garden
about it, and a large orchard too; and the roses
and honeysuckles do really climb to the top of the
sitting-room windows, and creep all over the door.
We have plenty of good things in the pantry, and
beer in the cellar; and if you will go home with


24







me, father and mother will make you welcome, I'm
sure."
"A brave proposal, truly," said the little man,
which I like much, but cannot accept. Always
keep thy heart open, like a nobleman's hall, my
little man! for generosity and hospitality are great
virtues; and thou wilt make an honest angler, to
whose hooks the fish will come and be caught for
love."
The pleasant little man then rose, and went to
his rod, whistling a merry tune, and Tom went to
his also; and while they were thus fishing, Rover
was heard to growl and become very restive, as he
lay with his cold black snout between his front
paws. There's somebody coming, thought Tom,
though he could see nobody. At last the dog
barked outright, and rushed over the bank. He
soon returned, however, wagging his tail, and look-
ing quite glad.
"Hallo Tom! Tom !" cried a voice, which our
young friend knew to be that of his father.
"Here I am, father," said Tom, as the old gen-
tleman's head appeared over the bank; "and have
got a capital companion too," he continued, be-
sides Rover, as you shall soon see."
"I thought you were lost," said his father, as he
C


25


FELL FERN.








came up. "What fish have you caught ? and
where is the companion you talk about ?"
Here he is, sir !" said the little man, coming
out of the brambles, and walking up to the old
gentleman, with that everlasting smile on his face,
and holding out his hand to the honest farmer;
" Merry I am, truly," he continued, "as thy son
saith; for why should a man be sad when the sun
shines, and the birds sing, and the fish bite?
Harmless merriment attunes the soul into good
humour, and makes a grave man the wiser there-
for; and with such merriment have thy son and I
been merry all the day."
"1 am glad of it," said the farmer, shaking the
pleasant little man by the hand; but come you
must be tired; what say you to a crust of bread
and cheese with me at my house. It's getting on
towards night."
A right honest proposal," quoth the little man,
"which likes me much, and which I shall gladly
accept. And a generous trunk art thou of a
generous branch; for it is not long since thy son
made me the same offer, which coming from a lad,
I could not agree to."
"Oh you might have done, though," said the
good farmer; "Tom knows what he's about; and,


26


FELL FERN.





FELL FERN.


moreover, he knows that whoever is kind to him is
welcome at Fell Fern."
"Then the bargain is made," said the little
man; and we will treat you to a supper of such
fish, as honest men only should eat, even trout."
With that he drew up his line, and began to
arrange his tackle for departure, whilst Tom with
a light heart followed his example. As they passed
over the meadows they indulged in many a joke,
and much laughter, and were as happy as children
on a holiday. It was a fine, calm evening, and the
sky was tinged with all the glorious hues of sun-
set-purple, azure, and gold, blended harmoniously
together, in floods of light, which were made more
beautiful by the contrast of sober and dusky clouds
which hung all over the Eastern heavens. The
birds were singing their last songs, and the sheep
were lying down at rest ; and as they drew near
the house, they heard Mary Merrywood singing
one of her songs, as she milked the cows, under the
old elm tree which we have before spoken of.
The little old man was delighted with the pastoral
beauty of the country, and said he had seen nothing
to equal it in all his travels. At last they came
up to Fell Fern. The grounds and gardens were
walled all round, and an iron gate, mounted on


27








two stone pillars-with eagles on the capitols--
led up to the front door, along an avenue of old
elm trees. The door was very curiously carved,
and the steps were worn with age. But you should
have seen the hall, and have heard the quaint re-
marks of the little man, as he entered, and gazed
upon the swords, shields, pistols, and arrows, which
hung around the walls. But what struck him
most, was the effigy of a dog upon a marble pedes-
tal, which stood in the middle of the hall; and
Tom's father promised to tell him the history of it
during the evening. Then the little man, who was
always thinking of the honour of his craft, recom-
mended that Tom should henceforth be put into
possession of nets, lines, and rods of every descrip-
tion, to hang by the old pistols, guns, and armoury.
With that Tom's father walked into an adjoining
parlour-covered all over with tapestry-laughing
merrily at the little man's conceit; and presently
Mrs. Starwood came in, and welcomed the stranger
with so much real hospitality, that his face looked
like a flower in the sunshine, it was so very plea-
sant and smiling.
At length the bell was rung, and the supper
appeared; and the great mahogany table groaned
with the weight of beef, ham, and the fine trout


28


FELL FERN.






FELL FERN.


which Tom and the pleasant little gentleman had
caught that day. And there were all sorts of cus-
tards, creams, and jellies, and two great silver tan-
kards, full of ale, which sparkled like the flashing
of rubies.
When supper was over, they all sat with their
comfortable elbows leaning upon the large table,
whilst the candles shewed how very happy they
were.
Presently a rosy-looking servant-girl came in,
with the two large tankards replenished with ale;
"a beverage," as the little man said, "which never
drank so pleasantly as from the rim of a silver
cup;" and with the tankards she brought a bundle
of long clay pipes, and a leaden box full of the
precious weed.
The little man, however, preferred his own pipe
and tobacco; for he was very particular in his
smoking, and told Tom how he had seen the
tobacco-plant growing in foreign countries, and
described the manner of cultivating it, and the
process it underwent before it was ready for the
market. And there they sat until past midnight,
listening to the tales of the little man, who was
born, as he said, under the influences of the con-
stellation called Pisces, with a rod in his right


29






FELL FERN.


hand." He had travelled over land and sea, and
fished all the brooks and rivers which he met with
in his wanderings. He had even been out in an
open boat, upon the great Banks of Newfoundland,
fishing for cod. And he told how, when in Ame-
rica, he had crossed the Valley of the Mississippi,
with his angle in his hand, and his bag of provender
over his shoulder. He related, likewise, many
wonderful things which he had seen in that rich
and fertile valley, which, as he said, was large
enough to grow food for all the world; of the
settlers, their manners and customs; of the birds,
beasts, fishes, and insects, which he found there.
Then he described the metallic wealth of the
valley, and said he had picked up large pieces of
gold ore in the dry beds of torrents, and had
brought home specimens of lead ore, containing
75 per cent of the metal. He gave an account,
likewise, of the monstrous barrows which lie scat-
tered all along the valley, and run, indeed, through
Central America, north and south of the entire
continent. He had seen, likewise, many ruined
cities, built by a dead and forgotten people, who lived
in America long before the red man appeared upon
the soil, and had preserved the relics of earthen
vessels which he had discovered amongst them.


30






FELL FERN.


But what was most attractive to our friend Tom
was a tale he told about an Indian wigwam, which
he fell upon one night about sundown. How the
Indians welcomed him, and gave him a steak of
the buffalo to eat, and a hut to shelter him,-with
a buffalo's hide for a bed. How the chief and the
warriors got round him in a circle, and smoked the
pipe of peace with him, one after another. How
he gave them all the fish he had caught that day
in the Red River, along with some fish-hooks, and a
knife; and how, in the morning, they shook him
by the hand, and commended him to the Great
Spirit.
Never in his life had Tom felt so happy as he
did that night; and he wished in his heart that he
were in those wild lands, amongst such stirring
adventures as those which the little man had
related. And whilst these thoughts were passing
in his mind, the little man lifted up his laughing,
inquisitive eyes, and said-
Well, young sir, and what do you think of
this ? Are not the tales interesting, and pleasant
to talk about, in this comfortable room ?"
Very !" said Tom. I wish I had been with
you. Then I should have something to talk
about."


31






FELL FERN.


That is true," said the little man, "and I like
thy spirit. But all men are not born unto travel;
and few to travel for the pleasure of fishing; and
fewer to persevere in the fishing, when the plea-
sure is damped by dangers, and the sufferings of
privation pain to the body."
And then he told Tom of the great forests
through which he had passed,-sometimes with an
Indian guide, but much oftener with a pocket-
compass to direct his course. How many times he
had climbed to rest in the branches of the mighty
hickory and maple trees, for fear of the wild beasts,
which he heard roaring around him all the night.
He had travelled, alone, also, over the wide and
boundless prairies, and seen huge serpents flashing
through the long dry grass; and once, at night,
when he had climbed a tree-which stood, with a
few others, upon the vast plain, surrounded by a
little knot of bushes and underwood-he saw a
troop of lean and hungry wolves gallop past him
in the dim, shadowy moonlight. And then he
described the huge, shapeless rocks, and the deep,
dark precipices which he had seen, with the cata-
racts tumbling over them far down into the depths
below-so far that the dash of their fall was heard
only like the distant sound of the sea-waves on a


32







rocky shore. He related, too, his travels about the
Canadian lakes; and startled Tom when he said
he had been under the Falls of Niagara, covered
with an oil-skin dress, and stood safely upon a
shelf of rock, whilst the mighty river poured its
eternal floods over his head. Then he had visited
the Falls of the Mohawk River; and had sailed up
the magnificent Hudson, where he had beheld
stately trees lashed together, with a hut and people
upon them, drifting over from the back-woods,
towards New York, where the timber was to be
sold.
He likewise described the river, bounded by two
ranges of mountains, with the Alleganies in the dis-
tance. These mountains, he said, were covered
with forests, whilst waterfalls here and there,
rolled down them into the river. Gentlemen's seats,
every now and then, peeped from the mountain
tops through the trees; whilst sheep and cattle
were seen grazing around them, in the clearings.
There were also many islands, he said, in the river,
which were mostly the abode of fishermen, who
had bought them of the government, and lived
there all the summer months, until they were
driven into the cities by the bitter cold, snow
storms, and icy winds of winter. And on one of


33


FELL FERN.






FELL FERN.


these islands, the little man had spent three weeks
with an old Dutchman, named Van Rancellor, and
his family. Then he described the beauty of those
long summer days, the glory of the dark woods, the
sparkling of the sunny waters; the merry songs,
quips, jokes, and tales which he and the old Dutch-
man discussed together; the fish that they caught;
the pleasant evenings they enjoyed in the island
shanty, over their pipes, and juleps; the good
nature of the Dutchman's frow; and, above all, the
gleamy wings of the fire-flies as they flew through
the dim evening air, and the dark trees; and the
ceaseless croaking of the frogs, which, go where
you would, was always the same, and made the
little man think that the whole island, river, and
continent was alive with them.
And so the night wore away pleasantly; and the
good farmer and his wife declared that they had
not spent such happy hours for a very long time.
And now," said the little man, tell me, I pray
you, before we go to bed, what is the history of
the Dog on the Pedestal, which stands in the
entrance hall."
So the old farmer drew three or four long pulls
at his pipe, and began to tell the


34






FELL FERN.


STORY OF THE DOG ON THE PEDESTAL.

You must know," said he, that my ancestors
were people of considerable note, and that this
house has been the family residence ever since the
days of good Queen Bess. Now, in the long wars
between the parliament and King Charles I.,
Thomas Richard Starwood, who was then the
owner of this estate, served in the king's army as
colonel of a regiment. He was a brave and active
man, and was a zealous loyalist, as you may sup-
pose; and the king shewed him many personal
favours, and was much attached to him. After the
king was executed my ancestor retired to his estate
with a sad heart, thinking the monarchy was
destroyed for ever. But when Charles II. came
down from Scotland, resolved to fight his way up
to London, Thomas joined him with a troop of
horse, and was present at the fatal battle of Wor-
cester, where he helped to cover the king's flight,
and enabled him to elude his pursuers. It was upon
this occasion that he fell in with the dog on the
pedestal.' For on the night of the battle, when it
was quite dark, several of the king's followers got
separated from him in the Boscobel Woods, and


35






FELL FERN.


my ancestor was of the number. After wandering
about for some time, and whilst he was meditating
which way to turn, he saw a light glimmering
through the trees, and thither he turned his
charger's head, dashing through the thick under-
wood and heavy boughs which whizzed and snapped
as he rode past them. At length he came to the
cottage, from which the light proceeded, and he
knocked with the hilt of his sword against the old
oak door. Now, this cottage was the home of a
poor woodman, who had buried himself and his
dame in the woods, and was ignorant of what was
passing in the great world beyond him. So he
opened his door, and asked what the stranger
wanted, whilst a great dog rushed out and would
have seized the horse's throat if the woodman had
not called him off. My ancestor told the man he
wanted rest and lodging for the night, which were
hospitably promised by the woodman. So Thomas
Richard got off from his horse, and relieving him
from his heavy accoutrements, the noble beast was
turned into the wood to graze until morning,
Then the dame stirred the embers on the hearth,
whilst the woodman fetched a great bundle of
sticks, which were soon burning and crackling
with a merry flame, and a generous heat. Whilst


36







they were seated by the fire, my ancestor told his
host about the battle, and who he was, and how he
had followed the king, and been separated from
him in the forest. The good people were terrified
nearly out of their wits at this news, and lifted
up their eyes and hands to heaven, and thanked
God that he had preserved them from the calami-
ties of the war. Then they set before their guest
some oaten bread, and part of a haunch of venison
-for the woods abounded with deer-and gave him
a cup of barley mead to drink. The great dog came
and stretched his hairy limbs on the hearth stone
before the fire; and Thomas Richard was en-
amoured of the dog, he was so handsome, and of
such a noble bearing! So he asked the woodman
if he would part with it-but the good man shook
his head, and stroked the shaggy mane of the dog,
and said he was the only companion he had save
his dame, and that he was a faithful and true
friend, who had caught him many a stag in his day,
and so he could not sell him. But our ancestor
who would have bought a dog on his way to the
scaffold, pressed the poor man with his entreaties,
and offered him a purse of gold for the noble ani-
mal; and so after much more pressing, he agreed
to let Thomas Richard have him. The night was


37


FELL FERN.






FELL FERN.


now far spent, and the woodman and his dame
would fain have made our ancestor lie down upon
the rushes which served them for a bed, but he
would not. Then the good man pulled off his black,
russet frock, and would have given it to Thomas
to lie upon; but he wrapped himself up in his
cloak, and made a pillow of his napsack and laid
him down on the floor, with his feet against the
fire. It was a long while before he fell asleep, for
his mind was distressed with thoughts about the
fallen fortunes of the king, and with anxieties
about his personal safety. He fell asleep at last
however; and in the morning, after thanking his
hos, and hostess for their hospitality, he departed
leading his horse by the bridle, and the dog-
whose name was Lion-by a cord. The woodman
was his guide out of the wood, and directed him
along some bye paths which led to the great road.
Now Lion and our kinsman were soon excellent
friends, and the dog did not long need to be led
by the cord, but followed at his pleasure.
When Thomas had advanced some few miles
upon the road, he was overtaken by a soldier of the
king's army, who said that the hopes of the loyalists
were at an end, and that the king himself had fled
no one knew whither, although there was a hot


38





FELL FERN.


pursuit after him. Thomas knew all this before,
and could have told the soldier that the king was
probably not far off; for it was arranged during the
flight, after the battle, to carry the king to White
Ladies-the seat of Mr. Giffard,-about twenty-six
miles from Worcester; and Thomas would gladly
have sought his master there, and have defended
him to the last drop of his blood; but he recollected
that the king had already about sixty horse with
him; and that if he arrived safely at White Ladies,
he must of necessity send them all away directly,
in order to ensure his own safety. He thought it
best, therefore, not to go near the place, but to ride
back into Derbyshire as fast as possible, and await
the issue. So Thomas and the soldier trotted on
together, discoursing upon the uncertainty of war,
and the gallant bravery of the king's troops, in the
late battle. At night-fall they came to a village,
and rode up to an alehouse, for refreshment and
rest. Now the landlord was a tall, raw-boned,
surly fellow, who was disaffected to the king, and
was very loth to entertain them, for he saw by their
colours that they were of the king's party. Our
travellers, however, made themselves as comfortable
as they could, and called for ale, and what proven-
der there might be in the larder; which, after


39





FELL FERN.


much delay they were served with, by a blue-eyed
young Saxon Nief, whom this grim fellow had
bought when she was only twelve years old, and
kept to wait upon his customers. For slavery, you
must know, was not abolished in England, until
after the Restoration of Charles II. Well, the
two soldiers drank their ale, and after supper, re-
galed themselves with a pipe, whilst the dog, as his
custom was, laid down before the hearth fire. Pre-
sently the surly landlord came in, and flinging his
brawny limbs upon the settle, regarded the stran-
gers with sconful and suspicious looks. Thomas
Richard asked him to drink, but the man answered
in a brutal tone, that he did not mean to drink
'with king's-men.
"'Marry!' said our ancestor; 'It is an honour
thou art not worthy of, thou coarse old bear! and
if thou got thy deserts, thou would'st have the scab-
bard of my sword about thy ears.'
"'Troth !' cried the man, rising with a deep
oath; 'Thou art a beggarly braggart !' and seizing
an old rusty weapon from the chimney wall, he
added; 'draw thy sword, and threaten me not with
thy scabbard. I'll put thy boasting to the proof;'
and the man stood upon his defence.
"Now Lion eyed the red-visaged landlord with


40





FELL FERN.


deep resentment, as he lay upon the hearth, and
evinced his anger by sundry growls, but he did not
attempt to stir, although he kept a sharp look out
upon the movements of the enraged tavern-keeper.
The soldier, who sat opposite Richard, knit his black
brows, and awaited our kinsman's reply. But
Thomas laughed out lustily, at the savage expres-
sion of the man's face, and asked him if he thought
he would fight with a churl. At these words, the
man made a sudden lunge at Thomas as he sat on
the bench, and in an instant the dog was upon his
back, and brought the fellow's unwieldy carcase to
the ground. And there he lay, swearing and
groaning, in the jaws of the dog, who, if he had not
been called off, would certainly have worried the
crest-fallen landlord to death. Thus the brave dog
saved his master's life; for nothing could have pre-
vented the tavern-keeper's sword from passing
through Thomas's body, had not the dog, at the
very moment the lunge was made, have seized the
fellow by the neck, and so turned the direction of
his hand.
Well, the landlord rose up, sorely lacerated,
and vowing the deepest revenge, he staggered out
of the room.
"'A sweet fellow, that, I take it,' said Thomas
D


41






FELL FERN.


to his companion, 'and he has got his des-
serts.'
"'Very true,' said the soldier, 'but what shall
we do? This fellow will be back, bye and bye,
with all the village at his heels, and we shall have
to fight them in real earnest.'
"'Oh, never fear him a doit,' said Thomas. Let
us be merry, and he may go hang.' So saying, he
called to the pretty nief-drawer, who had stood
trembling in an outer room during the fray, without
daring to move, or to speak a word.
"' Where is your master ? my pretty maiden !'
said Thomas, as she came up to the bench to fill
the empty cup.
"' Oh, sir, he is gone for his mates, and will
be back before long-and then there will be
murder done. I pray you, gentlemen, get your
horses and ride off, for my master,' said she, look-
ing timorously around her, 'is a very bad man, and
uses me cruelly.'
"'Art thou his servant, or his slave?' asked
Thomas.
"'Oh both,' she replied, whilst her eyes
streamed with tears, but pray be gone, gentle-
men, if you love your lives.'
"' 0, for that matter,' said Thomas, 'we would


42





FELL FERN.


sell them dearly enough, I promise you; but,' he
added, turning to the soldier, I have a mind even to
depart, and carry this maiden away with me, if she
is willing to go. What say you, comrade ? wilt
thou be true ?'
"' Aye, marry, sir!' said the soldier, 'to my
life's blood will I."
"'And thou, poor maiden! wilt thou trust thy-
self with me ?'
"' Oh, it is useless, sir,' she replied, 'else I would
go any where to get rid of my cruel master; but
he would fetch me back again, and I should only
fare the worse for leaving him.'
"' He must be fleet of steed, and braver than I
take him to be, too,' said Thomas,' if he can do
that. Dost thou know these parts well enough to
guide us out of the main road for a time, until the
night is past, and these fellows are tired of following
us.'
'" Oh yes! every lane and by-path--but I fear'
-she said.
"' No more, no more !' said Thomas, 'I will be
thy true knight, and conduct thee where thou wilt
be as free as the winds. Shew us the sheds where
that gruff savage has tied our horses.' And with
that they all went into the court-yard, to the sheds.


43





FELL FERN.


"The poor neif then mounted behind Thomas,
and pointed out a gate which led into a dark lane,
down which they gallopped at a merry, round speed,
with faithful old Lion at their heels.
"They rode very fast for several hours, until
they came to a river over which they must ferry.-
Now the ferryman lived on the other side, and they
had to shout long and lustily before the old man
heard them. At last he put off in his barge, and
when they were getting into it, Lion growled;
then they listened, and heard the clank of horses,
and the indistinct voices of men, as though they
were encouraging some bloodhounds in the chase.
They said nothing, however; but when they landed
on the opposite side, Thomas gave the old ferry-
man, whose long grey beard shook in the wind, a
piece of gold, and bade him not stir if any other
parties should hail him that night. The weather-
beaten old man promised, and our friends were soon
far away from the river. Then they crossed a wild
heath covered all over with bushes, and by the
morning light they arrived at a goodly town, which,
when our ancestor inquired the name of, he remem-
bered was the residence of an old friend and com-
panion at arms. Here they rested for the day, and
at night set off again on their journey: and after


44





FELL FERN.


three other days' travel, they arrived at Fell
Fern.
Thomas Richard entertained the faithful soldier
for a whole year, and as he was a poor man he
settled a pension on him for life. The poor neif
was here safe from her pursuers, and she lived to
a good old age in the service of the family, and
her bones lie in the village churchyard in the
valley. As for the dog Lion, he was beloved
by everybody; and Thomas Richard would have
him always by his side, and he lived like a
king upon the very fat of the land. When
the poor creature died, Thomas is said to have
grieved for him as if he had been a bosom friend;
and in honour of his memory he caused the marble
effigy to be carved which you saw in the hall.
So ends the history."
The little man was much pleased with this tale,
and said he should like to stay another night at
the Fell, when he would give them all particulars
about Charles' escape from the battle of Wor-
cester, which he had read many years ago in the
Boscobel Tracts. The good farmer was very glad
to accede to this proposal, and so the slippers and
candles were brought; and after a hearty good
shake of the hand they separated for the night,


45






FELL FERN.


the little man promising to have a day's fishing
with Tom on the morrow.
The next morning Tom woke at six o'clock,
and found the glorious sunlight streaming through
his chamber windows, and the sky very blue and
beautiful. So he rose and dressed directly, and
hurried down stairs, into the garden, where he
found the little man in his great fur cap, whistling
a merry tune under a sycamore tree upon the
lawn, and mending his tackle for the day's sport,
Presently the bell rang for breakfast, and by seven
o'clock the good old farmer, Tom, and the little
man, were on their way to the brook. Then the
little man gave Tom the necessary directions how
to take a trout both by day and night; and how
to fish for a pike both by trimmers and trolling.
Tom therefore, set about preparing his lines, and
before long he had caught a large trout all by
himself; and then he set a trimmer in a clear spot,
away from the weeds of the brook, where there
was a swift current, after which he returned, and
began to fish for another trout; whilst the little
man and the good old farmer were trying their
skill at this delightful sport. The old farmer how-
ever, was soon tired of it, and went away to look
after his affairs, promising to return at lunch time,


46





FELL FERN.


and he kept his word; for it was hardly eleven
o'clock when he came back laden with a great
flacket of ale, and a basket of bread and cheese,
and beef and ham sandwiches. You should have
seen how they did eat! For nothing whets the
appetite like exercise in the fresh morning air;
and it was surprising how fast the good things
disappeared on this occasion.
When they had finished their repast, the little
man said:
Well, good friends! as we and the fish have
ceased to bite, I think we cannot do better than enjoy
ourselves under the shade of this tree, after the
example of our great master, Isaac Walton, who
knew better than any body else what enjoyment
was, and has woven up all the beautiful landscapes
which he ever beheld in his book on fishing. So,
master Tom, if you will listen, I will read to you
some fine things out of Isaac's book, and then you
will know how he passed his time, when the fish
were weary of being caught."
"I should like to hear that very much," said
Tom.
To be sure," joined the farmer. "Let us hear
good Walton by all means. I used to read him
when I was a boy."


47





FELL FERN.


Whereupon the little man pulled a dingy
leather case out of his pocket, from- which he
took Walton's Complete Angler," and "Now,"
said he, "you shall see a trout caught-and
eaten in print; which shall make you long to eat
your own in reality. You must understand that
Isaac and his friend Venator are fishing when the
scene opens; and here it is :"

A PICTURE FROM ISAAC WALTON.

VEN.-Trust me, master, I see it is a harder
matter to catch a trout than a chub; for I have
put on patience and followed for these two hours,
and not seen a fish stir, neither at your minnow
nor your worm.
Pisc.-Well, scholar, you must endure worse
luck some time, or you will never make a good
angler. But what say you now? there's a trout
now, and a good one too, if I can but hold him,
and two or three turns more will tire him. Now
you see he lies still, and the sleight is to land him:
reach me that landing net: so, sir, now he is mine
own, what say you now ? is not this worth all my
labour, and all your patience ?


48





FELL FERN.


VEN.-On my word, master, this is a galliit
trout: what shall we do with him ?
Pisc.-Marry, e'en eat him to supper: we'll go
to my hostess from whence we came; she told me,
as I was going out of the door, that my brother
Peter, a good angler and a cheerful companion, had
sent word he would lodge there to-night, and bring
a friend with him. My hostess has two beds, and
I know you and I may have the best. We'll
rejoice with my brother Peter and his friend, tell
tales, or sing ballads, or make a catch, or find some
harmless sport to content us, and pass away a little
time without offence to God or man.
VEN.-A match, good master; let's go to that
house; for the linen looks white, and smells of
lavender, and I long to lie on a pair of sheets that
smell so: let's be going, good master, for I'm
hungry again with fishing.
PIsc.-Nay, stay awhile, good scholar; I caught
my last trout with a worm; now I will put on my
minnow, and try a quarter of an hour about yonder
trees for another, and so walk towards our lodging.
Look you, scholar, there about we shall have a
bite presently or not at all. Have with ybu, sir!
o' my word, I have hold of him. Oh, it is a logger-
headed chub; come, hang him on that willow


49





FELL FERN.


twig, and let's be going. But let us turn out of
the way a little, good scholar, towards yonder high
honeysuckle hedge; there we'll sit and sing whilst
this shower falls so gently upon the teeming earth,
and gives yet a sweeter smell to the lovely flowers
that adorn these verdant meadows.
Look, under that broad beech tree, I sat down
when I was last this way a fishing; and the birds
in the adjoining grove seemed to have a friendly
contention with an echo, whose dead voice seemed
to live in a hollow tree, near to the brow of that
primrose hill. There I sat viewing the silver
streams glide silently towards their centre, the tem-
pestuous sea; yet sometimes opposed by rugged
roots and pebble-stones, which broke their waves,
and turned them into foam. And sometimes I
beguiled time by viewing the harmless lambs, some
leaping securely in the cool shade, whilst others
sported themselves in the cheerful sun; and saw
others craving comfort from the swollen udders of
their bleating dams. As I thus sat, these and
other sights had so fully possessed my soul with
content, that I thought, as the Poet has happily
expressed it,
I was for that time lifted above earth,
And possessed joys not promised in my birth."


50





FELL FERN.


As I left this place, and entered into the next
field, a second pleasure entertained me; it was a
handsome milkmaid that had yet not attained so
much age and wisdom as to load her mind with
any fears of many things that will never be, as too
many men too often do: but she cast away all
care, and sang like a nightingale; her voice was
good, and the ditty fitted for it was that smooth
song which was made by Kit Marlowe, now at
least fifty years ago; and the milkmaid's mother
sang an answer to it, which was made by Sir
Walter Raleigh in his younger days.
They were old-fashioned poetry, but choicely
good; I think much better than the strong lines
that are now in fashion in this critical age. Look
yonder! on my word, yonder they both be a milk-
ing again! I will give her the chub, and persuade
them to sing those two songs to us.
God speed you, good woman! I have been a
fishing; and am going to Bleak Hall to my bed,
and having caught more fish than will sup myself
and my friend, I will bestow this upon you and
your daughter, for I use to sell none.
MILK W.-May God requite you sir, and we'll
eat it cheerfully; and if you come this way a fish-
ing two months hence, a grace of God, I'll give


51





FELL FERN.


you a syllabub of new verjuice in a new made
haycock for it, and my Maudlin shall sing you one
of her best ballads; for she and I both love all
anglers, they be such honest, civil, quiet men; in
the meanwhile will you drink a draught of rich
cow's milk ? You shall have it fresh.
PIsc.-No, I thank you. But I pray do us a
courtesy that shall stand you and your daughter
in nothing, and yet we will think ourselves still
something in your debt: It is but to sing as a
song that was sung by your daughter, when I last
passed over this meadow about eight or nine days
since.
MILK W.-What song was it, I pray ? Waslit
"Come, shepherds, deck your herds ?" or, "As at
noon Dulcina rested ?" or, Pheleda flouts me ?" or,
"Chevy Chase?" or, "Johnny Armstrong?" or,
"Troy Town ?"
PIsc.-No, it is none of these: It is a song
that your daughter sung the first part, and you
sung the answer to it.
MILK W.-Oh, I have it now. I learned the
first part in my golden age, when I was about the
age of my poor daughter; and the latter part,
which indeed fits me best now, but two or three
years ago, when the cares of the world began to


52





FELL FERN.


53


take hold of me: but you shall, God willing, hear
them both, and sung as well as we can, for we
both love anglers. Come, Maudlin, sing the first
part to the gentlemen with a merry heart, and
I'll sing the second when you have done.


THE MILKMAID'S SONG.

"Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That allies, groves, or hills, or field,
Or woods, and steepy mountains yield.

Where we will sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed our flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls,
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And then a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Slippers lined choicely for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.






54 FELL FERN.
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps, and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat,
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on our ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight, each May morning;
if these delights thy mind may move,
Here live with me and be my love.

VEN.-Trust me, master, it is a choice song,
and sweetly sung by honest Maudlin. I now see
it is not without cause, that our good Queen Eliza--
beth did so often wish herself a milkmaid all the
month of May, because they are not troubled with
fears and cares, but sing sweetly all the day, and
sleep securely all the night: and without doubt,
honest, innocent, pretty Maudlin does so. I'll be-
stow Sir Thomas Overbury's milkmaid's wish upon
her, "That she may die in the spring, and being
dead, may have good store of flowers stuck round
about her winding-sheet."





FELL FERN.


THE MILKMAID S MOTHER'S ANSWER.

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee, and be thy love.

But time drives flocks from field to fold
When rivers rage, and rocks grow cold;
Then Philomel becometh dumb,
And age complains of care to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields.
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw, and ivy buds,
Thy coral clasps, and amber studs,
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee, and be thy love.

Why should we talk of dainties then,
Of better meat than's fit for men?


55






FELL FERN.


These are but vain; that's only good
Which God hath blest, and sent for food.

But could youth last, and love still breed,
Had joys no date, nor age no need;
Then those delights my mind might move
To live with thee, and be thy love.


MOTHER.--Well, I have done my song; but
stay, honest anglers, for I will make Maudlin to
sing you one short song more. Maudlin, sing that
song that you sung last night, when young Coridon
the shepherd played so purely on his oaten pipe, to
you and your cousin Betty.
MAUD.-I will, mother.


I married a wife of late,
The more's my unhappy fate:
I married her for love,
As my fancy did me move,
And not for a worldly estate.

But oh the green sickness
Soon changed her likeness;
And all her beauty did fail;
But 'tis not so,


56





FELL FERN.


With those that go,
Through frost and snow,
As all men know,
And carry the milking pail.

PIsc.-Well sung, good woman; I thank you.
I'll give you another dish of fish one of these days,
and then beg another song of you. Come, scholar,
let Maudlin alone; do not you offer to spoil her
voice. Look, yonder comes mine hostess, to call
us to supper. How now! is my brother Peter
come ?
HosT.-Yes, and a friend with him. They are
both glad to hear that you are in these parts, and
long to see you, and long to be at supper, for they
be very hungry.

There," said the little man to Tom, as he paused
to take breath, "what do you think of that, young
gentleman ? Don't you love fishing, and the county
all the more for such a rich description of
them ?"
I do so," said Tom. "But how do they get
on at supper ?"
You shall hear," said the little man, delighted
to see the interest Tom took in his reading. "Here
E


57







they are altogether, at Bleak Hall, and Piscator
greets his brother Peter right merrily.-Hearken!
Pisc.-Well met, brother Peter: I heard you
and a friend would lodge here to-night, and that
hath made me bring my friend to lodge here too.
My friend is one that would fain be a brother of
the angle; he hath been an angler but this day,
and I have taught him how to catch a chub by
daping with a grass-hopper, and the chub he caught
was a lusty one, of nineteen inches long. But,
pray, brother Peter, who is your companion ?
PETER.-Brother Piscator, my friend is an hon-
est country-man, and his name is Coridon, and he
is a downright witty companion, that is met here
purposely to be pleasant, and eat a trout. I have
not yet wetted my line since we met together, but
I hope to fit him with a trout for his breakfast, for
I'll be early up.
Pisc.-Nay, brother, you shall not stay so long:
for look you, here is a trout will fill six reasonable
bellies. Come, hostess, dress it presently, and get
us what other meat the house will afford, and give
us some of your best barley-wine, the good liquor
that our honest forefathers did use to drink of;
the drink which preserved their health, and made
them live so long, and to do so many good deeds.


58


FETLL FERN.





FELL FERN.


PETER.-O' my word, this trout is perfect in
season. Come, I thank you, and here is a hearty
draught to you, and to all the brothers of the angle,
whosoever they be, and to thy young brother's good
fortune to-morrow. I will furnish him with a rod,
if you will furnish him with the rest of the tackling:
we will set him up and make him a fisher.
PIsc.-'Tis enough, let's to supper. Come, my
friend Coridon, this trout looks lovely, it was
twenty-two inches when it was taken, and the belly
of it looked, one part of it, as yellow as a marigold,
and part of it as white as a lily; and yet, methinks
it looks better in this good sauce.
CoR.-Indeed, honest friend, it looks well, and
tastes well; I thank you for it, and so doth my
friend Peter, or else he is to blame.
PETER-Yes, and so I do; we all thank you;
and when we have supped, I will get my friend
Coridon to sing you a song for requital.
CoR.-I will sing a song, if any body else will
sing another; else, to be plain with you, I will sing
none. I am none of those that sing for meat, but
for company. I say, "'tis merry in hall, when men
sing all."
PIsc.-I'll promise you I'll sing a song, in praise
of angling.


59






FELL FERN.


CoR.-And then mine shall be the praise of a
countryman's life. What will the rest sing of?
PETER.-I will promise you I will sing another
song in praise of angling, to-morrow night; for we
will not part till then, but fish to-morrow, and sup
together, and the next day every man leave fishing,
and fall to his business.
VEN.-'Tis a match; and I will provide you with
a song, or a catch against then too, which shall give
some addition of mirth to the company; for we
will be civil and merry as beggars.
PIsc.-'Tis a match, my masters; let's e'en say
grace, and turn to the fire, drink the other cup to
whet our whistles, and so sing away all sad thoughts.
Come on my masters, who begins ? I think it is
best to draw cuts, and avoid contention. It is a
match. Look! the shortest cut falls to Coridon.
CoR.-Well, then, I will begin, for I hate con-
tention.

CORIDON'S SONG.

Of, the sweet contentment
The countryman doeth find!
Heigh, trolie, lollie loe!
Heigh, torolie, lollie lee!


60






FELL FERN.


That quiet contemplation
Possesseth all my mind:
Then come away,
And wend along with me.

For courts are full of flattery,
As hath too oft been tried;
Heigh, trolie, lollie loe, &c.
The city full of wantonness,
And both are full of pride:
Then come away, &c.

But oh I the honest countryman
Speaks truly from his heart,
Heigh, trollie, lollie loe, &c.
His pride is in his tillage,
His horses and his cart:
Then come away, &c.

Our clothing is good sheep skins,
Grey russet for our wives,
Heigh, trollie, lollie loe, &c.
'Tis warmth, and not gay clothing
That doeth prolong our lives;
Then come away, &c.

The ploughman, tho' he labour hard
Yet on the holiday,
Heigh, trollie, lollie loe, &c.
No emperor so merrily
Doeth pass his time away:
Then come away, &c.


61






FELL FERN.


To recompense our tillage,
The heavens afford us showers;
Heigh, trollie, lollie loe, &c.
And for our sweet refreshments
The earth affords us bowers:
Then come away, &c.

The cuckoo, and the nightingale
Full merrily do sing
Heigh, trollie, lollie loe, &c.
And with their pleasant roundelays
Bid welcome to the spring:
Then come away, &c.

This is not half the happiness
The countryman enjoys;
Heigh, trollie, lollie loe, &c.
Tho' others think they have as much,
Yet he that says so lies.
Then come away,
Turn, countryman, with me.

PIsc.-Well sung, Coridon; this song was sung
with metal, and it was choicely fitted to the occa-
sion. I shall love you for it as long as I know you.
I would you were a brother of the angle; for a
companion that is cheerful, and free from swearing,
and scurrilous discourse is worth gold. I love
such merit as does not make friends ashamed to
look upon one another next morning; nor men


62





FELL FERN.


that cannot well bear it, to repent the money they
spend when they be warmed with drink: and take
this for a rule, you may pick out such times, and
such companies, that you may make yourselves
merrier for a little than a great deal of money; for
it is the company and not the charge, that makes
the feast; and such a companion you prove; I
thank you for it.
But I will not compliment you out of the debt
I owe you; and, therefore, I will begin my song,
and wish it may be as well liked.


THE ANGLER'S SONG.

As inward love breathes outward talk,
The hound some praise, and some the hawk;
Some better pleased with private sport
Use tennis; some a mistress court:
But these delights I neither wish
Nor envy, while I freely fish.

Who hunts, doeth oft in danger ride;
Who hawks, lures oft both far and wide;
Who uses games, shall often prove
A loser; but who falls in love
Is fettered in fond Cupid's snare:
My angle breeds me no such care.


63






FELL FERN.


Of recreation there is none
So free as fishing is alone;
All other pastimes do no less
Than mind and body both possess;
My hand alone my work can do,
So I can frolic, and study too.

I care not, I, to fish in seas,
Fresh rivers best my mind do please;
Whose sweet calm course I contemplate,
And seek in life to imitate:
In civil bounds I fain would keep,
And for my past offences weep.

And when the timorous trout I wait
To take, and he devours my bait,
How poor a thing sometimes 1 find
Will captivate a greedy mind:
And when none bite, I praise the wise,
Whom vain allurements ne'er surprise.

But yet, though while I fish, I fast,
I make good fortune my repast,
And thereunto my friends invite
In whom I more than that delight;
Who is more welcome to my dish
Than to my angle was my fish.

As well content no prize to take,
As use of taken prize to make :





FELL FERN.


For so our Lord was pleased when
He fishers made, fishers of men :
Where, which is in no other game
A man may fish and praise his name.

The first men that our Saviour dear
Did choose to wait upon him here,
Blest fishers were, and fish the last
Food was, that he on earth did taste
I therefore strive to follow those
Whom he to follow him hath chose.

CoR.-Well sung, brother; you have paid your
debt in good coin. We anglers are all beholden
to the good man that made this song. Come.
hostess, give us more ale, and let's drink to him
And now let's every one go to bed, that we may
rise early; but first let us pay our reckoning; for
I will have nothing to hinder me in the morning;
for my purpose is to prevent the sun rising.

And here the little man stopped, shut his book,
and packing it in his leather case, said: Enough
reading we've had for this time; so now I should
like to 'whet my whistle,' and smoke a pipe, and
then we will turn to our fishing again."
With that, Tom ran to the flacket of ale, and


65







poured out a bumper for the little man to drink,
who accepted it with his usual good-natured
smile; and after the good farmer had likewise
whetted his whistle, they fell to talking over their
pipes.
"I like that passage you just read from Father
Walton," said the old farmer, it's so natural and
true to country life. And how beautifully he
describes the landscape after a shower-the sweet
smells that come from the earth-the lovely
flowers that adorn the verdant meadows; the
harmless lambs-the pretty milkmaid and her
mother. Why you may see all this any day in
our own fields."
"To be sure," said the little man," and that is
the reason why Master Isaac is so pleasant a com-
panion."
"I should like to know a little more about
Isaac Walton," said Tom; he must have been a
mighty fine fellow !"
No mistake about that," said the little man.
"He was, as it were, the father of the art of fish-
ing, and has left behind him, in the book from
which I have been reading, many directions for
taking the different sorts of fish which inhabit the
streams and rivers of England, as well as many


66


FELL FERN.





FELL FERN.


beautiful thoughts and grave maxims that make
one wiser and better for the reading.
He was born at Stafford, in the year 1593, and
when he grew up to be a man he went to London,
and established himself there as a sempster; first
in the Royal Bourse, in Cornhill, and then, as his
business increased, he took a house on the north
side of Fleet Street, two doors west of the end of
Chancery Lane, as his biographer says, which
abutted on a message known by the sign of 'The
Harrow,' where he carried on the trade of a linen-
draper. In 1632, our good friend married, and he
was fortunate enough to possess a wife who not
only added to his income, but was of such a
pleasant disposition, and of so discreet a mind, that
she made him very happy, and gladdened his fire-
side with smiles and comfort.
"Isaac continued in London until 1643, occa-
sionally relieving his mind from the anxiety of
business by angling in the river Lea, which has its
source above Ware, in Hertfordshire, and falls into
the Thames a little below Blackwall. His com-
panions at these times were' honest R. and Nat
Roe'-for Walton loved none but honest men-
and we may depend upon it that those three merry
and good friends enjoyed themselves by the side of


67








that venerable stream, with a delight which none
but good men know; for Isaac was such an
amiable, pleasant soul, and so full of innocent
mirth, and of wit too, which made every body
laugh and injured nobody.
"I have often thought of a passage which occurs
in the introduction to the Complete Angler, where
Isaac speaks of these two friends in a very sorrow-
ful manner. He is defending the pleasant charac-
ter of his book and says, 'I am the willinger to
justify the pleasant part of it, because, though it is
known I can be serious at seasonable times, yet the
whole discourse is, or rather was, a picture of my
own disposition, especially in such days and times
as I have laid aside business, and gone a fishing
with honest Nat. and R. Roe; but they are gone,
and with them most of my pleasant hours, even
as a shadow that passeth away and returns not.'
But as I have said, in 1643, Walton, who was
a loyal, peaceable man, and had no sympathy with
anything save truth, beauty, and happiness--left
London for the country-for you must know that
this busy capital was then torn by that confusion
of battle and strife which accompanied the down-
fall of Charles I., and the establishment of the
Protectorate, or Commonwealth, at the head of


68


FELL FERN.





FELL FERN.


which was the famous Oliver Cromwell, whose
name is associated with so many romantic scenes
in England, that when I was a boy, I thought old
Oliver did nothing else but carry on crusades
against dusky monasteries and moated castles.
"Well, when our friend Izaac got into the
country he was in his natural element, as I may
say, for he loved every thing that is treasured in
the quiet recesses of Nature, and made friends
with trees, and birds, and streams, and forgot all
that was going on in the tempestuous civil strife
beyond him. He made his home for the most part
with clergymen, and at their fine old manses he was
always a welcome guest, because of his good heart
and his wise and cultivated mind. His introduc-
tion to these gentlemen was doubtless facilitated
by his wife's connections, for she was sister to good
old Doctor Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells-but
it does not matter how he got his introductions-
it is quite enough to know that he did them great
honour, and was beloved by all who knew him.
Walton was a man who seemed formed for hap-
piness. His was a brave, joyous spirit, that could
exult in the midst of storms, and make its own
sunshine. His very portrait tells you all about
him. Who, that ever saw it, could help loving the


69






FELL FERN.


man through this his painted memory ? What a
sweet, benevolent smile lives in his features-and
then his soft, pleasant eyes, and bushy eyebrows-
his thoughtful brow, his long hair, and that exqui-
site mouth, which seems formed only to speak kind
and gentle words-are they not all eloquent of the
inward serenity and virtue, for which he was so
remarkable, through a long, long life. Walton has
always been a favourite of mine; and I admire
him most for the manner in which he spent his
time, when he was driven, as it were, out of London
into the country, where we left him a few sen-
tences back. And what do you think he did
there ? Why he took his rod, and went from stream
to stream a-fishing-keeping alive the sympathies
of his heart, by communing with the beautiful
creation. He had learned to live for happiness
and God-a secret of all others worth the know-
ing-which he did know, and practise, too. Just
fancy, now, a good old man haunting the deep
woods and peaceful waters-musing there, in sweet
thoughts and dreams, with the violet winds blowing
about his forehead, and the blue heavens over his
head, while thousands of his fellow-countrymen
were engaged in the work of blood. There is
something great and good in all this; it shews a


70





FELL FERN.


mind at peace, a mind that loves repose and beauty,
and will not be disturbed by the madness of men.
There is no doubt that Walton lamented the
discords which prevailed in his country; but as he
could not prevent them he would not share them;
and so he went a-fishing, to soothe, and solace, and
make glad his heart.
"In that book of his, styled the 'Complete
Angler,' we seem, as we luxuriate in the pages, to
be his companion, and not his reader. We follow
him wherever he goes, like an old familiar friend,
whom we love and honour. Now we walk with
him along the dusty road, towards some river that
he is about to fish, and call with him at the
'Thatched House in Hodsden,' to drink our morn-
ing draught; or we listen to the learned discourses
of a falconer and an otter hunter, whom we have
overtaken on the road, and enjoy the erudition of
our friend Walton, and the pains he takes to set up
his piscatory art above that matter of hawking and
hunting, which our companions have extolled so
highly. And then we follow good old Isaac and
the hunter to a sweet sparkling stream, shaded
here and there with willows, and tall elms, and
alder bushes, where we meet a company of merry
hunters, with a pack of hounds, in full cry after a


71






FELL FERN.


cunning old bitch otter, which they have started
from the bankside, while she was making her
breakfast upon a large old trout; and we feel all
the excitement of the hunt, and behold the long
trail of the otter as she swims under the deep
water, with the dogs yelping after her, and the
huntsman on horseback, riding here and there,
encouraging the dogs in the pursuit, while old
Isaac and his companions are running after them
a-foot, with all the vigour and bounding spirits of
youth; and now the otter appears above water,
with her long, sharp, whiskered snout, and small,
piercing eyes, for a moment's breathing; and be-
hold the dogs are upon her; and one Sweet-lips,'
a fierce, long-backed fellow, has seized her by the
neck; and now as many as can get near her are
pulling her ashore. Then we go to the place where
she kennelledd,' and discover her five young ones,
and hear Walton beg one of them to train in the
catching of fish; and after all the sport is over, we
willingly accept the invitation of a merry, red-faced
huntsman, to go to an honest ale-house, and drink
a cup of good barley-wine, and sing 'Old Rose,'
and rejoice together.
"And then how glad we feel, when Walton
agrees, the next morning, to take his companion,


72





FELL FERN.


the hunter, along with him a-fishing; and with
what pleasure do we follow them along the flowery
bank, and listen to their pleasant conversation
about "otters, fence-months. and the different
animals-inclusive of those unnatural fishermen
who take fish in spawning-time-which are ene-
mies to the finny tribe; such as the cormorant, the
bittern, the osprey, the sea-gull, the heron, the
kingfisher, the gorara, the puet, the swan, goose,
duck, and the craber, which some call the water-
rat." And how we love old Walton for two
especial things in the conversation.
First, because he says, touching those animals I
have mentioned, which are enemies unto fish, that
'any honest man may make a just quarrel' with
them; and then, with much quaintness and sim-
plicity he adds-' but I will not: I will leave them
to be quarrelled with and killed by others; for I
am not of a cruel nature-I love to kill nothing
but fish.'
But it is this second matter we love most, which
is a manly argument against loose discourse. But
I will tell you what he says, in his own words. The
hunter asks him, as he walks along, what he thinks
of the landlord and the company they were with
the day before; and this is Walton's answer:-
F


73






FELL FERN.


"And now, to your question concerning your
host, to speak truly, he is not to me a good com-
panion; for most of his conceits were either Scrip-
ture jests, or lascivious jests, for which I count no
man witty. But a companion that feasts the
company with wit and mirth, and leaves out the
sin which is usually mixed with them, he is the
man; and, indeed, such a companion should have
his charges borne; and to such company I hope to
bring you this night; for at Trout Hall, not far from
this place, where I purpose to lodge to-night, there
is usually an angler that proves good company.
And, let me tell you, good company and good dis-
course are the very sinews of virtue. But for such
discourse as we heard last night, it infects others:
the very boys will learn to talk and swear, as they
heard mine host, and another of the company that
shall be nameless. I am sorry the other is a gen-
tleman-for less religion will not save their souls
than a beggar's-I think more will be required at
the last great day. Well, you know what example
is able to do; and I know what the poet says in
the like case, which is worthy to be noted by all
parents and people of civility :-
S---many a one
Owes to his country his religion;


74







And in another would as strongly grow,
Had but his nurse or mother taught him so.'

"This is reason put into verse, and worthy the
consideration of a wise man. But of this no more;
for though I love civility, yet I hate severe cen-
sures. I'll to my own art, and I doubt not but at
yonder tree I shall catch a chub: and then we'll
turn to an honest, cleanly hostess, that I know right
well, rest ourselves there, and dress it for our din-
ner.
Well, our friend ends this good-natured homily,
and we see him and his companion prepare their
lines, and begin to fish under the shadow of that
old tree which hangs over the river, and which
Walton had just declared to be 'a likely place' for
a chub. And there, with all the cunning of a man
who knows his craft, we behold honest Isaac point
out a goodly fish, with a white spot on his tail,'
which he declares he means to take; and we watch
him as he gets behind the tree, and softly drops his
bait over the head of the fish, while his companion
stands holding his breath beside him, with his rod
and line flung over his shoulder; and presently we
see the chub rise, and hear his jaws smack as he
seizes the bait, and we laugh with joy as good


75


FELL FERN.






FELL FERN.


old Isaac lands him safely on the grass. And now
we follow him and his friend to the alehouse, where
there is 'a cleanly room, lavender in the windows,
and twenty ballads stuck about the walls:' and we
drink with them, and eat the chub, with a zest and
pleasure that there really is not in any eating or
drinking in the world.
Ah! that is a fine old book of Isaac's, which
enchants you with the country and all the wondrous
beauties it contains. It is just the sort of book
that one loves to read on a cold, wet night, when
the rain patters against the windows, and the great
winds sweep over the house top, and rush through
the cracks of the old oak door. It revives one's
love for life, and the sunny days of summer; and
we long to visit the green fields, and saunter along
the river's bank, and exult over the brightness and
glory which Nature has scattered over all her
works. How often have I read Walton's sweet
description of pastoral scenery, on a winter's night
-when the snow was knee deep, and the old frost
king was busy in building his fairy palaces, and
clothing the mighty trees with a drapery of fretted
ice-until spring seemed to come back again with all
her loveliness and smiles. There is, as I have said,
a magic in the book-but it is the magic of truth.


76





FELL FERN.


Wherever Walton is fishing, he has only to
turn himself about, and with a few quiet, homely
touches, he presents before you a living and vital
picture, which startles you with its repose and
beauty. And then it is so pleasant to hear Walton
instructing his companion in the art of fishing-to
follow these two merry and good men to 'Trout
Hall,' and enjoy the company of brother Peter'
and honest Coridon-to see with what hearty zest
they eat their fish, and drink of the hostess' 'best
barley wine, the good liquor that our honest fore-
fathers did use to drink of; the drink which pre-
served their health, and made them live so long,
and to do so many good deeds '-to hear them sing
about contentment, angling, and the like-oh it is
glorious fun indeed, which does one's very heart
good!
And what can be more delightful than sitting
with our friend Isaac and his friend, under some
'high honeysuckle hedge,' whilst a sudden shower
falls so gently upon the teeming earth, and gives
yet a sweeter smell to the lovely flowers that
adorn these verdant meadows.' And then the
picture of the milkmaid and her mother, who were
such capital singers, how beautiful it is; and how
glad we are to hear Isaac promise to give them a


77









great chub, and make them sing those two choice
songs for us, which I have quoted. Then we all
rise together, and go to the woman, and bestow
the fish upon her daughter, and hear them sing the
songs; and the good mother says they both love
all anglers, they be such honest, civil, quiet men;'
and she promises us, moreover, that if we 'come
this way a fishing two months hence,' she will
give us a syllabub of new verjuice, in a new-made
haycock,' for that gift of the fish. And then, as
we are going, Walton's friend-who cannot help
being in love with the rosy-cheeked milkmaid-
praises her voice and her song, calling them
'choice,' and declares the song to have been
'sweetly sung by honest Maudlin.' And then,
turning to Walton, he says :-' I now see it was
not without cause that our Queen Elizabeth did so
often wish herself a milkmaid all the month of
May, because they are not troubled with fears and
cares, but sing sweetly all the day, and sleep
securely all night: and, without doubt, honest,
innocent, pretty Maudlin does so.' And we laugh
a sly laugh in our hearts as he turns to the blush-
ing milkgirl, and bestows the poetical wish of Sir
Thomas Overbury's milkmaid upon her,-' that she
may die in the spring; and, being dead, may have


78


FELL FERN.





FELL FERN.


good store of flowers stuck round about her wind-
ing-sheet.'
With what a deep joy do we dwell upon these
quiet pictures--especially upon that beautiful one
which I have just borrowed from Walton's best
gallery-where we see an old patriarchal country,
with its rich pastures, rivers, and trees, and 'honest
Maudlin' on the stump of an aged tree, milking
her cows, while the mother and the anglers are
talking together; and then, how our lips water at
the promised syllabubb of new verjuice in a new-
made haycock !' And by and bye, the scene is
changed, and we are quietly sitting under the
shadow of some willow by the stream, with our fish
spread out upon the grass, and our rods and baskets
beside us, to hear old Isaac tell his quaint tales
about the gipsies aud beggars which he has met
with in his fishing rambles--how a chief of the
gipsies once divided twenty shillings among four of
the elders, so that he got his share of the money
and an odd shilling beside, and yet the other three
received each their proper share. Thus the first
had six shillings and eightpence, which is the third
part of twenty shillings; the second had five
shillings, which is the fourth part; the third had
four shillings, which is the fifth part; and the


79






FELL FERN.


fourth had three shillings and fourpence, which is the
sixth part;-all which parts added together make
nineteen shillings-so that the chief, as I have
said, pocketed the odd shilling, and yet gave each
man his share of the twenty shillings, according to
the rules of practice. And then we listen to
Walton as he describes the wrangling of a company
of beggars, and their learned talk about sundry
particulars connected with their profession, and
their logical reasoning upon such like propositions
as this-' Whether it was easier to rip or unrip a
cloak ?'-how 'one beggar affirmed it was all one,'
but that was denied by asking her, if doing and
undoing were all one ? Then another said, 'twas
easiest to unrip a cloak; for that was to let it
alone: but she was answered, by asking her, 'how
she unripped it if she let it alone ?' and she con-
fessed herself mistaken.
It is the pleasantest of all imaginable things to
wander about thus, with good old Izaak, from
stream to stream and county to county, with his
true pupil and friend, listening to their merry
speeches and songs; and not the least pleasant is
it to hear Walton's poetical history of the art of
fishing, which he says, is as ancient as Deucalion's
flood,' and that fish-hooks are mentioned in the


80





FELL FERN.


prophet Amos,' and 'in the book of Job,' which
he adds, must imply anglers in those times :' and
he tells you that 'Almighty God is said to have
spoken to a fish, but never to a beast;' and that
Jesus Christ chose fishermen for his apostles. And'
you are delighted with this discourse upon fishing,
and feel the truth of what he says about the calm,
quiet, peaceable disposition, which, sitting by the
banks of rivers, and musing there, doth awaken in
the heart.
"Ah! in truth there is a pleasure in all this,
which-unlike most other pleasures upon this
earth-you may enjoy at any time, in sun or storm
-only taking care to keep your mind incorrupt,
and an honest heart in your bosom; for the beau-
tiful and good live only for the virtuous. *
Walton, however, did not spend his whole life in
fishing, nor yet in writing that sweet book about
which I have said so much. Oh, no! Walton
was no idle man, although he loved all innocent
pleasures and recreations. He wrote several
works, mostly biographies of eminent divines, whose
virtues and talents endeared them to his heart.
He was a poet also; for how could he well be
otherwise with that glorious soul of his, which was
always yearning after beauty, and delighting in


81








making others happy? A greater poet was
Walton, no doubt, than he has discovered himself in
his writings; for a heart like his-which was so
finely strung that it had but to be touched to make
it overflow with melody-must have been per-
petually alive with the sweetest thoughts and
feelings.
"Thus Walton's life passed away in pleasantness
and peace, although his lot was cast in tempestuous
times. He found-as all may find who follow his
example-that whatever may be the discords of
men, God has provided for us in his fair creation
joys ample enough to make the largest heart
happy.
His last will and testament proves what a kind,
thoughtful old man he was to the last-for when
he made that testament he was ninety years of
age. He left money to buy coals for the poor,
'to be delivered the first week in January, or in
every first week in February,' because he took
'that time to be the hardest and most pinching
time with poor people;' and he willed a certain
sum 'to bind out yearly two boys, the sons of
honest and poor parents, to be apprentices to some
tradesmanor some handy-craft man,' with five pound
yearly 'to be given to some maid-servant that hath


82


FELL FERN.





FELL FERN.


attained the age of twenty and one years, not less,
and dwelt long in one service, or to some honest
poor man's daughter, that hath attained to that
age, to be paid her at or on the day of her mar-
riage ;'-for all such things as these let one into the
secrets of a man's heart, and show us what he
really is. And you have seen what Walton was-
for the good old man is now no more. His grey
hairs have long since been garnered in the tomb.
He died aged ninety years, and was buried in Prior
Silksteed's Chapel, in Winchester Cathedral, an
ever memorable old man, whose name, for the
owner's sake, is sweeter than violets; for

Only the virtues of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.'

"And now, master Tom," said the little man,
"I have given you a full account of Isaac Walton,
and I recommend you 'forthwith to get his
book.' "
"That I will," replied Tom. "Father, I will
have my money-box broken open to-day, and Robin
shall go to Derby, and fetch it."
Very well," said his father; "as you please,
Tom."


83






FELL FERN.


In the afternoon it came on cloudy, and there
was rain in the wind's eye. So the little man said
he would have a spell at fly-fishing. Whereupon
he set off down the stream with Tom, whilst the
farmer went away again to look after his stock.-
Now Tom had never seen any fly-fishing before, for
the little man had hitherto fished with bottom-
lines. You may depend upon it, therefore, he was
very inquisitive about all that concerned the art,
especially the making of artificial flies, which puz-
zled him a good deal. So the little man told him he
would let him into the whole secret before he left;
and tell him what materials he must use, and how
he must judge what fly would be best for parti-
cular days and seasons.
At last the little man struck a trout, and you
should have heard how he chuckled when he landed
him upon the grass.
We'll have this fellow broiled for tea," said
he; and as it is coming on wet, I think we had
better return, gather up our traps, and steer for
Fell Fern.
"I'm not afraid of the rain," said Tom.
"Neither am I," said the little man; "but
mothers are very chary of only sons, and I would
not willingly offend her. So let us depart."


84





FELL FERN.


When they arrived at the Fell, it began to rain
in torrents, and Tom secretly rejoiced that he was
within doors.
Presently the farmer came in, wet through,
calling loudly for his slippers, and his tea. He
was not long in changing his clothes, and soon
appeared at the tea-table, where his wife, and
Tom, and the little man had seated themselves.-
A rare tea it was, I assure you: for, besides the
trout, there were lots of hot cakes, and rashers of
ham, and plum-bread, and preserves. And then
the cream in the large china cream-jug !-not milk,
mind you, but real cream,-so thick, you could
almost cut it with a knife. And didn't it improve
the taste of the tea !
By-and-bye,when tea was over, Tom got the little
man to shew him how to make artificial flies. So
the said little man went to his bag, and pulled out
a large pocket-book, full of such odd-looking
materials, of so great a variety of colour, that Tom
knew not what to make of them.
This is very curious stuft-is it not ?" said the
little man.
It is that," answered Tom; what is it made
of ?"
"Partridge-feathers, foxes' tails, the down of


85





FELL FERN.


swans, camels' hair, rabbits' down, silks, and a
score of other things," said the little man; "and
now let me shew you how I turn them into
flies."
So he took a hook, and soon made the body,
wings, and attennae of the fly, much to Tom's
surprise and delight.
By this time the farmer had ordered the silver
cup to be filled with ale, and the pipes and tobacco
to be brought in."
Come, sir," said the farmer to the little man,
"sit down and fill your pipe, and tell us how
Charles escaped after the battle of Worcester."
Oh, yes !" exclaimed Tom; do, if you please.
I long to hear about it."
Then the little man quietly filled his pipe, and
began to tell the tale of


KING CHARLES' ESCAPE AFTER THE BATTLE OF
WORCESTER.

"You must know," said he, "that whilst your
ancestor was buying the dog in the woodman's hut,
King Charles had arrived safely at White Ladies,
close to Tong Castle, a private house which be-





FELL FERN.


longed to Mr. Gifford, where he was accompanied
by many great nobles, and true, loyal gentle-
men.
"They had scarcely arrived, when a countryman
came and told them there were three thousand of
their horse, hard by Tong Castle, upon the heath,
all in disorder, under David Leslie, and some other
of the general officers; and the people of quality
that were with the king tried to persuade him to
put himself at their head, and fight his way back
to Scotland; but he said he could not trust men
who had once run away,-and so he refused to
lead them; and he was right; for not long after-
wards they were all routed by a troop of the
enemy's horse.
"But what was Charles to do, and where was
he to go to escape from Cromwell's spies ? This
was the question which they had to settle forth-
with, for there were people, already, in pursuit of
him. After devising many schemes, Charles at
last resolved to go in disguise to London, and
travel thither on foot. So he cut his hair very
short, and dressed himself in a countryman's habit,
with a pair of ordinary grey cloth breeches, a
leather doublet, and a green jerkin. He informed
nobody but Lord Wilmot where he intended to go,


87





FELL FERN.


because he knew not what they might be forced to
confess. He made an appointment with this
nobleman to meet him in London, in case they
escaped; and the rest of the nobles and officers who
were with him, went away and joined the army on
the heath before Tong Castle; but, as I said be-
fore, they had not marched northward above six
miles, before they were routed.
"As soon as the king was disguised, he took
with him a countryman named Richard Penderell,
whom Mr. Giffard had recommended as an honest
man. He was a Roman Catholic, and Charles
trusted him all the more, because he knew that
the Catholic gentlemen in the county had hiding
holes, for priests, which he hoped to use himself in
case of need.
Ie left White Ladies next morning, in broad
daylight, and entered the wood where your
ancestor was so hospitably entertained, along with
Richard Penderell. He set himself at the edge of
the wood, near the highway, that he might better
see who came after them, and whether there was
any search after the runaways. Presently he saw
a troop of horse coming by, the same which had
beaten the three thousand horse close to Tong
Castle.


88





FELL FERN.


"Well, he staid in this wood all day, without
meat or drink; and it rained all the while; at
which the king was glad; because he thought it
hindered the search after him. He talked a good
deal with Richard about the best way of getting
to London, and asked him what gentlemen he
knew upon the road; and when he found that
Richard knew no one of quality, he changed his
mind, and determined to get over the Severn into
Wales, and go to Swansea, or some other of the
sea towns, that he might sail thence to France.
So that night as soon as it was dark, Charles
and his guide took their journey on foot towards
the Severn, intending to pass over a ferry, half
way between Bridgenorth and Shrewsbury ;-Pen-
derill having obtained some bread and cheese from
one of his brothers on the way. About twelve or
one o'clock at night they came to a mill, and
although it was very dark, they could see the
miller sitting at the mill door, he being dressed in
white clothes and covered with flour, as is usual
with bread dressers. The miller, hearing some one
pass, called out, 'Who goes there ?' Upon which
Penderell answered, 'Neighbours going home.'
Whereupon the miller cried out: 'If you be
neighbours, stand; or I will knock you down.'
G


89






FELL FERN.


Instead of standing, however, they ran along a
lane up the hill as fast as they could, whilst the
miller shouted after them, 'Rogues! Rogues!'
Then a number of men, whom the king believed to
be soldiers, came out of the mill and ran in pursuit
of them. The lane was very deep and dirty, and
the king, afraid of being taken, ordered Richard to
leap over the wall and lie quietly there until
the pursuit was over; which they both did, for
about half an hour, when they went their way to
the village on the Severn, whither they were
bound. Now at this village lived a Mr. Woolfe,
whom Richard knew, and who had hiding-holes for
priests in his house; and it was to this gentleman
that they were now going. When they arrived at
the village, Charles sent Penderell on before, to
see how Mr. Woolffe was disposed in a matter of
this nature; and when Woolfe learned that it was
a gentleman escaped from the Battle of Worcester
whom he was required to shelter, lie said it was
so dangerous a thing to harbour any person that
was so known, that he would not venture his neck,
except for the king himself.
"Then Penderill rather hastily told him that
it was the king: upon which Woolffe replied that
he would risk all he had in the world to secure him.


90





FELL FERN.


So Richard returned, and told the king what he
had done, who was a good deal disturbed at it;
for he did not wish to be known, even to his
host. However, there was no helping it now;
so he came into the house by a back-way, where
he found Mr. Woolfe, an old gentleman, who told
him he was very sorry to see him there; be-
cause there were two companies of the militia
foot at that time in arms in the town, and kept
a guard at the ferry, to examine everybody that
came that way. He said, also, that he durst not
put the king into any of his hiding-holes, because
they had been discovered, and if any search were
made, they would be sure to be examined. He
advised the king, therefore, to go into his barn,
and lie amongst the hay and corn, which he did;
and as soon as it was dark, Mr. Woolfe, and his
son, who had been prisoner at Shrewsbury, and
was just returned home, took his majesty some
meat into the barn, and were so earnest in their
entreaties that he should not attempt to cross the
Severn, owing to the strict guard maintained upon
its banks-that the king was persuaded, and
straightway resolved to go back to Penderill's
house, and from thence to London.
Accordingly, when night set in, they began.


91






FELL FERN.


their dreary march; but when they arrived at the
mill, not wishing to be questioned again, they de-
termined to cross the river. Penderill, however,
could not swim; so the king ventured in first, and
finding the river fordable, he took hold of Richard's
hand, and they both got safely over.
"They then went to one of Penderill's brothers,
(his house not being far from White Ladies,)
who had been guide to my Lord Wilmot, and who,
they hoped, might by that time be come back
again: for my Lord Wilmot intended to go to
London, on his own horse. When they came to
the house, they inquired where my Lord Wilmot
was, and were informed that he was safely lodged
at Mr. Whitgraves, (at Mosely, not far from Wol-
verhampton,) a Roman Catholic. Then the king
asked what news? and was informed that one
Major Careless was in the house, who had served
in the king's army. So his majesty sent for him
into the house where he was, and consulted with
him what he should do the next day.
"The major said it was not safe to go into the
wood, nor to remain in the house; he advised his
majesty, therefore, to climb a great oak tree, in a
pretty plain place, where he could see all about
him, and offered to accompany him.





FELL FERN.


Accordingly the king and the major carried
enough food to last them a day-viz., bread, cheese,
and small beer, and got up into a great oak that
had been lopped some two or three years before,
and being grown out again very thick and bushy,
could not be seen through.
"Well, there they remained all the next day;
and they saw the soldiers galloping about the
plain, and rummaging the wood, searching for
escaped persons, although they could not be seen
themselves. But in the meantime the king had
sent Penderill's brother to inquire if Lord Wilmot
was still at Mr. Whitegrave's; and his lordship
returned answer that he was there, and quite safe,
advising the king to come to him.
So the following night he took Richard Pen-
derill along with him, and went there, a distance
of about seven miles.
Here he found the gentleman of the house, and
a grandmother of his, and Father Hodlestone, who
had then the care, as governor, of bringing up two
young gentlemen, Sir John Preston and his brother,
they being boys. The habit that the king came in
to Father Hodlestone, was a very greasy, old, grey,
steeple-crowned hat, with the brims turned up,
without lining or hat-band, the sweat appearing


93





FELL FERN.


two inches deep through it, round the band
place; a green cloth coat, thread-bare, even to the
threads being worn white; and breeches of the
same, with long knees down to the garter; with
an old sweaty leather doublet, a pair of white
flannel stockings next his legs, which the king said
were his boot stockings, their tops being cut off to
prevent their being discovered, and upon them a
pair of old green yarn stockings, all worn and
darned to the knees, with their feet cut off, which
last he said he had of Mr. Woolfe, who persuaded
him thereto, to hide his other white ones, for fear
of being observed. His shoes were old, all slashed
for the ease of his feet, and full of gravel, with
little rolls of paper between his toes, which he said
he was advised to to keep them from galling. He
had an old coarse shirt patched both at the neck
and hands, of that very coarse sort which in that
country go by the name of 'hoggin shirts.' He
had no gloves, but a long thorn stick, not very
strong, but crooked three or four ways, in his
hand. His hair was cut short up to his ears, and
his hands were coloured. A very curious figure
for a king to cut, wasn't it, Tom?
Well, the king was soon introduced to Lord
Wilmot, whom he sent away to Colonel Lane's,





FELL FERN.


some five or six miles off, to see what means could
be found to enable the king to get to London.
After some consultation it was arranged that the
king should go with the colonel's sister as her man
to Bristol, she having a cousin who lived close to
that city.
"The next night, therefore, the king went to
Colonel Lane's, where he changed his clothes, into
a little better habit, like a serving man, being a
kind of grey cloth suit: and the next day Mrs.
Lane and the king set off towards Bristol.
They had not got far, however, before the mare
the king rode on cast her shoe; so they were
forced to ride to a straggling village by the road
side, to get her shod. And as the king was hold-
ing his horse's foot, he asked the smith what news ?
who replied that there was no news that he was
aware, since the good news of beating the rogues
the Scots. The king then asked whether there
were none of the English taken that had joined the
Scots ? He answered that he did not hear that
that rogue Charles Stuart was taken yet, but some
of the others he said were taken, but not Charles
Stuart. The king told him that if that rogue
were taken he deserved to be hanged more than
all the rest for bringing in the Scots. Upon which


95





FELL FERN.


the smith said, 'You speak like a honest man, sir.'
So they parted, and after various adventures on the
road, they arrived at Mr. Norton's house, beyond
Bristol, passing through Stratford-upon-Avon, Long
Marson, and Cirencester.
As soon as the king got into the house, Mrs.
Lane called the butler, whose name was Pope, and
who had been a trooper in King Charles I's army,
and bade him take care of William Jackson, for
that was the name the king went by, telling him
that the said William had been lately sick of an
ague, and was still weak, and not quite recovered.
The butler did as he was desired, and took great
care of the king that night.
Next morning he arose pretty early, having a
good stomach, and went to the buttery-hatch to get
his breakfast. Here he found Pope, and two or
three other men, and they all fell to eating bread
and butter, to which Pope gave them good ale and
sack. Presently one of the men who was sitting
there gave so good an account of the battle of
Worcester, that the king concluded that he must
be one of Cromwell's soldiers. So he asked him
how he came to know so much about the battle ?
when the man answered that he was in the king's
regiment. Questioning him still further he found





FELL FERN.


he was one of his own guards. Then in order to
try whether the man knew him or not, he asked
what sort of a person he was? To which he
answered by describing exactly the king's clothes,
and horse; and presently added: He's at least
three fingers taller than you.' Whereupon the
king made haste to quit the buttery, for fear he
should be discovered.
Pope and the king went into the hall together;
and as they came in Mrs. Norton was going out;
so the king was put upon his manners, and he im-
mediately pulled off his hat, and stood whilst she
passed by. Pope looked him very earnestly in the
face, but said nothing at that time.
"About half an hour afterwards, as the king
was going to the chamber where he lay, Mr.
Lascells, who had come with the party from Colonel
Lane's, came to him, and in a little trouble said,
'What shall we do ? I am afraid Pope knows you;
for he says very positively to me that it is you, but
I have denied it.' Upon which the king inquired,
'Is he an honest man ?' and the other answering
that he would trust his life with him, Pope was
sent for, and the king told him who he was, and
that he would trust him as an old acquaintance, for
he had served Tom Jermyn, a groom of the king's


97




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs