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So angling was given the character of the soothing, the quiet pursuit, ideal pastime for gentle, above all for patient, folk: and nothing can ever persuade people to the contrary, To be an angler, no matter what the branch of angling, you must be of an exceedingly patient disposition, just content to sit for hours on the bank or in a boat, waiting for a nibble--this is the notion.
There are branches in angling of which this picture of a fisher is a true likeness, as good of many a fisher to-day as it was of Walton or Wottonof Cotton, one is not quite so sure, for about him there is a suggestion of the high spirit and dash of cavalier youth that does not quite accord with these qualities. But there are other ways of angling which we really cannot honestly associate with this contemplative calm that Wotton would seem to have claimed for the whole art. Can we claim it for salmon fishing? It is indeed doubtful whether the salmon angler is usually of the Wotton temperament. Going over in thought keen salmon fishers we know, are patience and calm and gentleness exactly the qualities in them that stand out? Sir Herbert Maxwell's angling stories are glorious. There is one he can tell about an original named Brownie of the Tyne which one cannot forget: how Brownie would house and button away his prodigiously long Piccadilly weepers under his coat whilst he was angling; but once when he was engaged with a lively salmon, one of them escaped, was caught in the revolving handle of the reel, and wound up tightly to his cheek. The salmon in the end was killed, but the whisker
had to be shorn off close ere man and fish were fairly parted. People who have felt the grand rush and vibration of a running salmon, and who know what it is by accident to touch the line then, can appreciate the awful plight of that man. But as to the patience question, Sir Herbert Maxwell can tell a still richer tale of Randolph Churchill as salmon angler; of how, crost by the gillie and smashed by the great salmon, he flung away his rod in a towering rage. Patience, peace and contemplation-one sometimes wonders whether, after all, they are characteristic of any style of ily-fishing for salmon or trout, outside the region of tradition. In dry-fly fishing for trout in chalk and limestone waters patience hardly comes in, save in the large sense of suffering. This fishing is in truth just a passion among those who practise it very keenly. It absorbs and rules them. It is "moderator of passions" in this--being itself a master passion it makes the man forget for the time all other passions. "A divertion of sadnesse," Wotton also called angling; the dry-fly is this so far as all outside cares and sadness go, for its own are often so poignant, and so imminent nearly always, that it will not let us for a moment brood on any other. The anxieties of this style of angling-driving a hair-fine cast with one little floating fly at the tip to a fastidious trout-for good or ill, are not to be denied.
At this time of year, with mayfly out on most of the dry-fly streams and the largest and daintiest trout conscious of it more or less, the angler. to say the truth, is often the reverse of the ideal of “calm and sweet peace" which was in Wotton's thoughts. Rule out that spirit of competition or rivalry which unhappily infects some of us at times, the little imp that tickles a man with cheap pleasure now and then because he has got a brace or two of good fish on a hard day when others have nothing, or that tantalizes him when it is the others who have trout and he none: rule this wretched thing out utterly, unpeople the great Godlike world of the June river of all rival or competitor, be an angler self-poised and independent-there yet remains so much to keep the fisher at high tension. The rise of good trout at the mayfly is so uncertain: it may not take place at all, the trout preferring the nymphs of the fly under water as they mount to the surface: it may be fast and furious, great trout in all directions sucking down the mayflies with earnestness for a short half-hour and then turning back to the nymphs. In that half-hour who, knowing the sure close of the thing is a matter of minutes—that it is now or never --can be lukewarm? And how, if at the end of that half-hour of crowded life the man has not the trout, can there be the resignation, the patience and serenity which people associate
The Saturday Review.
with Wordsworth's blameless sport? No, it is more than doubtful whether "our wonderful recreation," as the Foreign Secretary describes it, is the sure way to serenity, at least not this of the floating fly. Passion rather than patience seems to be the feature of it. Only, once he has the trout, and the rise is done, he can relax, and forgetting rod and line steep himself in the dreaming glory of things; stand on the bridge of the Test where the river widens and boils through the trembling la sher by the mill. The great hawthorn at the edge, one sheet of bloom and its scent the very aura of May, is not whiter than that rush of spray. It is life and strength to stand here in the full daytime when cirro-stratus is spreading its filmy cloud forms, wisp and stipple and fleece, over an immense sky; or in the evening when Venus burns in the afterglow and Antares fiekering red is up in the south.
George A. B. Deicar.
bad lent him a considerable sum of money; being thus his principal debtor, he at once took possession of the Doctor's effects. The library was sold, but this chair was retained by Bott, as being the most personal and precious relic of his friend, and taken to his house in Christchurch. Its descent through the families of Mowbray and Shaw-Lefevre is known step by step, and documents proving its identity accompany it.
this series are Arthur Symons to introduce Coleridge's Biographia Literaria; Hilaire Belloc to present Froude's Essays in Literature and History; Sir Oliver Lodge to introduce to the present generation of readers Huxley's essays on Man's Place in Nature: and the Rev. Stopford A. Brooke to edit and introduce selections of the best poems of Coleridge, under the title The Golden Book of Coleridge. Mr. Brooke was able to allow himself more space than the others, and
his introduction stretches into a delightful and well-considered essay of about 70 pages.
Complaint is made in The Athenæum of a device employed to advertise a recent book, which is a clear infringement upon the methods used by certain American publishers of the less reputable class. A country vicar was disturbed by the receipt of a postcard to the following effect:
The popularity of books of the quiet, reflective order is one of the most cheering signs of the times, and new volumes are always welcome. In "The Measure of Life” Frances Campbell groups thirty short sketches, studies and fantasies whose title suggest their quality. Whether transcripts of actual human experience like “The Turf-Cutter,” “The Scarcecrow," and "For as the Soul Doth Rule"; musings like "Borrowed Days and Strayed," "Palingenesis,” “Glastonbury Thorn,” “The Music of the Moon” and “Wind and the Silence"; echoes of quaint Celtic superstition, like "The Loch of the Little Souls," "The Ship of Heaven,” “GrainFinn" and "Hell-Shoon”; or fragments of Far-Eastern lore like "The Sarong of Trengam"-all are written with rare delicacy and grace and breathe love of nature and a sympathy with the ideal and imaginative which will give keen pleasure to readers of kindred fancy. E. P. Dutton & Co.
Eddington, Canterbury, 18 May, '06.
Revd. Sir, I feel it my duty to bring before your notice an extraordinary attack made upon you in chapter ii. page 15 of a recently published book entitled “Parsons and Pagans.” The book is published by Henry J. Drane, and the author's name is Vivian Hope. The matter may possibly have been brought to your notice, otherwise it seems to demand attention. Could not the law of libel be invoked!
(signed) E. FitzHerbert.
The publishers of Everyman's Library were fortunate in securing Mr. Birrell to edit “The Essays of Elia" for that series. Even in the brief introduction Mr. Birrell's happy faculty for saying clever things is manifest. For example, this: "His stutter saved him from the Universities, and he was thus enabled through life to preserve a romantic attachment for those seminaries of sound learning and true religion." Other fortunate selections of elitors in
Knowing that the postcard had been seen by his servants and the postman and anxious to learn the nature of the attack made upon him, the vicar bought the book, only to find that it was a cheaply written volume which made no reference whatever to him, except so far as he was one of the general class of “parsons.” The whole thing was a trick to sell a copy of the book. In the exposure of the trick, the author and publisher have probably had more advertising than they had counted upon.
No. 3242 August 25, 1906.
EDINBURGH REVIEW 451
MONTHLY REVIEW 465 Wild Wheat. Chapter XVIII. Farewells. By M. E. Francis (To be continued.)
LONGMAN'S MAGAZINE 475 Alcohol and Tobacco. By R. Brudenell Carter.
CORNHILL MAGAZINE 479 “ White Vi’lets,” By E. Garth Felix BLACKWOOD's MAGAZINE 493 The Unexpected. By Alice Meynell
OUTLOOK 504 Indiscriminate Friendship
SPECTATOR 506 Lectures on Child-Training
Punch 508 Le Grand Salut. By Florence Earle Coates
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