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Fisherman's Luck Henry van Dyke

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"By Jupiter!" he exclaimed, "it was long in coming, but I have a colossal bite now."

"Have a care," said Cleopatra, laughing behind her sunshade, "or he will drag you into the water. You must give him line when he pulls hard."

"Not a denarius will I give!" rudely responded Antony. "I mean to have this halibut or Hades!"

At this moment the man under the boat, being out of breath, let the line go, and Antony, falling backward, drew up the salted herring.

"Take that fish off the hook, Palinurus," he proudly said. "It is not as large as I thought, but it looks like the oldest one that has been caught to-day."

Such, in effect, is the tale narrated by the veracious Plutarch. And if any careful critic wishes to verify my quotation from memory, he may compare it with the proper page of Langhorne's translation; I think it is in the second volume, near the end.

Sir Walter Scott, who once described himself as

    "No fisher,
    But a well-wisher
    To the game,"

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has an amusing passage of angling in the third chapter of REDGAUNTLET. Darsie Latimer is relating his adventures in Dumfriesshire. "By the way," says he, "old Cotton's instructions, by which I hoped to qualify myself for the gentle society of anglers, are not worth a farthing for this meridian. I learned this by mere accident, after I had waited four mortal hours. I shall never forget an impudent urchin, a cowherd, about twelve years old, without either brogue or bonnet, barelegged, with a very indifferent pair of breeches,--how the villain grinned in scorn at my landing-net, my plummet, and the gorgeous jury of flies which I had assembled to destroy all the fish in the river. I was induced at last to lend the rod to the sneering scoundrel, to see what he would make of it; and he not only half-filled my basket in an hour, but literally taught me to kill two trouts with my own hand."

Thus ancient and well-authenticated is the superstition of the angling powers of the barefooted country-boy,--in fiction.

Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, in that valuable but over-capitalized book, MY NOVEL, makes use of Fishing for Allegorical Purposes. The episode of John Burley and the One-eyed Perch not only points a Moral but adorns the Tale.

In the works of R. D. Blackmore, angling plays a less instructive but a pleasanter part. It is closely interwoven with love. There is a magical description of trout-fishing on a meadow-brook in ALICE LORRAINE. And who that has read LORNA DOONE, (pity for the man or woman that knows not the delight of that book!) can ever forget how young John Ridd dared his way up the gliddery water-slide, after loaches, and found Lorna in a fair green meadow adorned with flowers, at the top of the brook?

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Fisherman's Luck
Henry van Dyke

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