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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Here Begynnyth the Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle
By Juliana Berners (b. 1388?)
SALOMON in his parablys sayth that a glad spyryte makyth a flourynge aege, that is a fayre aege and a longe. And syth it is soo: I aske this questyon, whiche ben the meanes and the causes that enduce a man in to a mery spyryte: Truly to my beste dyscrecon it seemeth good dysportes and honest gamys in whom a man Joyeth without any repentaunce after.  1
  Thenne folowyth it yt gode dysportes and honest games ben cause of mannys fayr aege and longe life. And therefore now woll I chose of foure good disportes and honest gamys, that is to wyte: of huntynge: hawkynge: fysshynge: and foulynge. The best to my symple dyscrecon whyche is fysshynge: called Anglynge wyth a rodde: and a lyne and an hoke. And thereof to treate as my symple wytte may suffyce: both for the said reason of Salomon and also for the reason that phisyk makyth in this wyse. Si tibi deficiant medici tibi fiant: hec tria mens leta labor et moderata dieta. Ye shall vnderstonde that this is for to saye, Yf a man lacke leche or medicyne he shall make thre thynges his leche and medycyne: and he shall nede neuer no moo. The fyrste of theym is a mery thought. The seconde is labour not outrageo. The thyrd is dyete mesurable….  2
  Here folowyth the order made to all those whiche shall haue the vnderstondynge of this forsayd treatyse & vse it for theyr pleasures.  3
  Ye that can angle & take fysshe to your pleasures as this forsayd treatyse techyth & shewyth you: I charge & requyre you in the name of alle noble men that ye fysshe not in noo poore mannes seuerall water: as his ponde: stewe: or other necessary thynges to kepe fysshe in wythout his lycence & good wyll. Nor that ye vse not to breke noo mannys gynnys lyenge in theyr weares & in other places dve vuto theym. Ne to take the fysshe awaye that is taken in theym. For after a fysshe is taken in a mannys gynne yf the gynne be layed in the comyn waters: or elles in suche waters as he hireth, it is his owne propre goodes. And yf ye take it awaye ye robbe hym: whyche is a ryght shamfull dede to ony noble man to do yt that theuys & brybours done: whyche are punysshed for theyr evyll dedes by the necke & other wyse whan they maye be aspyed & taken. And also yf ye do in lyke manere as this treatise shewyth you: ye shal haue no nede to take of other menys: whiles ye shal haue ynough of your owne takyng yf ye lyste to labour therfore. Whyche shall be to you a very pleasure to se the fayr bryght shynynge scalyd fysshes dysceyved by your crafty meanes & drawen vpon londe. Also that ye breke noo mannys heggys in goynge abowte your dysportes: ne opyn noo mannes gates but that ye shytte theym agayn. Also ye shall not vse this forsayd crafty dysporte for no covety senes to thencreasynge & sparynge of your money oonly, but pryncypally for your solace & to cause the helthe of your body, and specyally of your soule. For whanne ye purpoos to goo on your disportes in fysshyng ye woll not desyre gretly many persones wyth you, whiche myghte lette you of your game. And thenne ye maye serue God deuowtly in sayenge affectuously youre custumable prayer. And thus doynge ye shall eschewe & voyde many vices, as ydylnes whyche is pryncypall cause to enduce man to many other vyces, as it is ryght well knowen.  4
  Also ye shall not be to rauenous in takyng of your sayd game as to moche at one tyme: whyche ye maye lyghtly doo, yf ye doo in euery poynt as this present treatyse shewyth you in euery poynt, whyche lyghtly be occasyon to dystroye your owne dysportes & other mennys also. As whan ye haue a suffycyent mese ye sholde coveyte nomore as at that tyme. Also ye shall besye yourselfe to nouryssh the game in all that ye maye: & to dystroye all such thynges as ben devourers of it. And all those that done after this rule shall haue the blessynge of god & saynt Petyr, whyche be theym graunte that wyth his precyous blood vs boughte.  5
  And for by cause that this present treatyse sholde not come to the hondys of eche ydle persone whyche wolde desire it yf it were enpryntyd allone by itself & put in a lytyll plaunflet therfore I have compylyd it in a greter volume of dyverse bokys concernynge to gentyll & noble men to the entent that the forsayd ydle persones whyche sholde have but lytyll mesure in the sayd dysporte of fyshyng sholde not by this meane utterly dystroye it.

Reprinted by Thomas White, Crane Court

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