The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man’s recreation, Izaak Walton’s enduring, endearing meditation on fishing and life, was first published in 1653. In the 358 years since, it has been out of print only once, and no book, apart from the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, has been more often re-printed in English.
“O Sir, doubt not but that Angling is an Art: is it not an Art to deceive a Trout with an artificial Flie? A Trout! That is more sharp-sighted than any Hawk.., and more watchful and more timorous than your high-mettled Merlin is bold? …. doubt not therefore, Sir, but that Angling is an Art, and an art worth your learning: the Question is rather, whether you are capable of learning it?”
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