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A stick and a string with a fly at one end and a fool at the other.
- Unattributed Author
The man that weds for greedy wealth,
He goes a fishing fair,
But often times he gets a frog,
Or very little share.
- Unattributed Author, Pepysian Garland
A rod twelve feet long and a ring of wire,
A winder and barrel, will help thy desire
In killing a Pike; but the forked stick,
With a slit and a bladder,--and that other fine trick,
Which our artists call snap, with a goose or a duck,--
Will kill two for one, if you have any luck;
The gentry of Shropshire do merrily smile,
To see a goose and a belt the fish to beguile;
When a Pike suns himselfe and a-frogging doth go,
The two-inched hook is better, I know,
Than the ord'nary snaring: but still I must cry,
When the Pike is at home, minde the cookery.
- Thomas Barker, The Art of Angling
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.
- William Basse (Bas), The Angler's Song,
also found in Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler
Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?
- Bible, Job (ch. XLI, v. 1-2)
Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
- Bible, John (ch. XXI, v. 3)
For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes that they had taken:
And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth, thou shalt catch men.
- Bible, Luke (ch. V, v. 9-10)
And angling too, that solitary vice,
What Izaak Walton sings or says:
The quaint, old, cruel coxcomb, in his gullet
Should have a hook, and a small trout to pull it.
- Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
Don Juan (canto XIII, st. 106)
Modesty is the only sure bait when you are fishing for praise.
- Gilbert Keith Chesterton
As the lone Angler, patient man,
At Mewry-Water, or the Banne,
Leaves off, against his placid wish,
Impaling worms to torture fish.
- George Colman ("The Younger")
Old Peter Grimes made fishing his employ;
His wife he cabined with him and his boy,
And seemed that life laborious to enjoy.
- George Crabbe, Peter Grimes
For angling-rod he took a sturdy oak;
For line, a cable that in storm ne'er broke;
His hook was such as heads the end of pole
To pluck down house ere fire consumes it whole;
This hook was bated with a dragon's tail,--
And then on rock he stood to bob for whale.
- Sir William D'Avenant,
Brittania Triumphans (p. 15)
Of all the world's enjoyments
That ever valued were,
There's none of our employments
With fishing can compare.
- Thomas Durfee (D'Urfey),
Pills to Purge Melancholy--Massaniello--Fisherman's Song
The biggest fish he ever caught were those that got away.
- Eugene Field, Our Biggest Fish
The end of fishing is not angling, but catching.
- Thomas Fuller (1), Gnomolia (no. 4497)
It is a silly fish that is caught twice with the same bait.
- Thomas Fuller (1), Gnomologia
Still he fishes that catches one.
- Thomas Fuller (1), Gnomologia (no. 4262)
When if or chance or hunger's powerful sway
Directs the roving trout this fatal way,
He greedily sucks in the twining bait,
And tugs and nibbles the fallacious meat.
Now, happy fisherman; now twitch the line!
How thy rod bends! behold, the prize is thine!
- John Gay, Rural Sports (canto I, l. 150)
They may the better fish in the water when it is troubled.
- Richard Grafton, Chronicles (I, 283)
There is only one theory about angling in which I have perfect confidence, and this is that the two words, least appropriate to any statement, about it, are the words "always" and "never."
- Lord Edward Grey (Grey of Fallodon, 1st Viscount),
Along a stream that raced and ran
Through tangled trees and over stones,
That long had heard the pipes o' Pan
And shared the joys that nature owns,
I met a fellow fisherman,
Who greeted me in cheerful tones.
. . . .
Foes think the bad in him they've guessed
And prate about the wrong they scan;
Friends that have seen him at his best
Believe they know his every plan;
I know him better than the rest,
I know him as a fisherman.
- Edgar Albert Guest, The Fisherman,
from "Just Folks"
There's nothing that builds up a toil-weary soul
Like a day on a stream,
Back on the banks of the old fishing hole
Where a fellow can dream.
There's nothing so good for a man as to flee
From the city and lie
Full length in the shade of a whispering tree
And gaze at the sky.
. . . .
It is good for the world that men hunger to go
To the banks of a stream,
And weary of sham and of pomp and of show
They have somewhere to dream.
For this life would be dreary and sordid and base
Did they not now and then
Seek refreshment and calm in God's wide, open space
And come back to be men.
- Edgar Albert Guest, The Fishing Cure,
from "A Heap o' Livin'"
La ligne, avec sa canne, est un long instrument,
Dont le plus mince bout tient un petit reptile,
Et dont l'autre est tenu par un grand imbecile.
- Jeanne Guyet,
French version of lines attributed to Samuel Johnson
The line with its rod is a long instrument whose lesser end holds a small reptile, while the other is held by a great fool.
[Fr., La ligne avec sa canne est un long instrument,
Dont le plus mince bout tient un petit reptile,
Et dont Pautre est tenu pau un grand imbecile.]
- allegedly by Jeanne Guyet
Soon after I embraced the sport of angling I became convinced that I should never be able to enjoy it if I had to rely on the cooperation of the fish.
- Sparse Grey Hackle (pseudonym of Alfred W. Miller),
Fishless Days, Angling Nights
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