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From CHAPTER VIII
If this direction to catch a pike do you no good, yet I am certain this direction how to roast him when he is caught is choicely good, for I have tried it; and it is somewhat the better for not being common. But with my direction you must take this caution, that your pike must not be a small one; that is, it must be more than half a yard, and should be bigger. [10
First open your pike at the gills, and if need be cut also a little slit towards the belly. Out of these take his guts, and keep his liver, which you are to shred very small with thyme, sweet marjoram, and winter-savory. To these put some pickled oysters, and some anchovies, two or three, (both these last whole, for the anchovies will melt, and the oysters should not). To these you must add also a pound [20 of sweet butter, which you are to mix with the herbs that are shred; and let them all be well salted (if the pike be more than a yard long, then you may put into these herbs more than a pound; or if he be less, then less butter will suffice). These being thus mixed, with a blade or two of mace, must be put into the pike's belly, and then his belly sewed up. Then you are to thrust the spit through his mouth out at his [30 tail; and then take four, or five, or six split sticks or very thin laths, and a convenient quantity of tape or filetting. These laths are to be tied round about the pike's body, from his head to his tail, and the tape tied somewhat thick to prevent his breaking or falling off from the spit. Let him be roasted very leisurely, and often basted with claret wine and anchovies and butter mixed together, and [40 also with what moisture falls from him
into the pan. When you have roasted him sufficiently you are to hold under him, when you unwind or cut the tape that ties him, such a dish as you purpose to eat him out of; and let him fall into it with the sauce that is roasted in his belly; and by this means the pike will be kept unbroken and complete. Then to the sauce which was within him, and also [50 that sauce in the pan, you are to add a fit quantity of the best butter, and to
squeeze the juice of three or four oranges.
JEREMY TAYLOR (1613–1667)
From HOLY DYING
It is a mighty change that is made by the death of every person, and it is visible to us who are alive. Reckon but from the sprightfulness of youth and the fair cheeks and full eyes of childhood, from the vigorousness and strong flexure of the joints of five-and-twenty, to the hollowness and dead paleness, to the loathsomeness and horror of a three days' burial, and we shall perceive the [10 distance to be very great and very strange. But so have I seen a rose newly springing from the clefts of its hood, and at first it was fair as the morning, and full with the dew of heaven as a lamb's fleece; but when a ruder breath had forced open its virgin modesty and dismantled its too youthful and unripe retirements, it began to put on darkness and to decline to softness and the symptoms of a sickly [20 age: it bowed the head and broke its stalk, and at night, having lost some of its leaves and all its beauty, it fell into the portion of weeds and outworn faces. The same is the portion of every man and every woman: the heritage of worms and serpents, rottenness and cold dishonor, and our beauty so changed that our acquaintance quickly know us not; and that change mingled with so much [30 horror, or else meets so with our fears and weak discoursings, that they who six hours ago tended upon us, either with charitable or ambitious services, cannot without regret stay in the room alone where the body lies stripped of its life and honor. I have read of a fair young German gentleman, who, living, often refused to be pictured, but put off the
importunity of his friends' desire by [40 giving way that, after a few days' burial, they might send a painter to his vault, and, if they saw cause for it, draw the image of his death unto the life. They did so, and found his face half eaten, and his midriff and backbone full of serpents; and so he stands pictured among his armed ancestors. So does the fairest beauty change, and it will be as bad for you and me; and then what servants [50 shall we have to wait upon us in the grave? what friends to visit us? what officious people to cleanse away the moist and unwholesome cloud reflected upon our faces from the sides of the weeping vaults, which are the longest weepers for our funeral?
This discourse will be useful if we consider and practise by the following rules and considerations respectively. [60
1. All the rich and all the covetous men in the world will perceive, and all the world will perceive for them, that it is but an ill recompense for all their cares that by this time all that shall be left will be this, that the neighbors shall say, "He died a rich man;" and yet his wealth will not profit him in the grave, but hugely swell the sad accounts of doomsday. And he that kills the Lord's [70 people with unjust or ambitious wars, for an unrewarding interest shall have this character, that he threw away all the days of his life that one year might be reckoned with his name, and computed by his reign or consulship; and many men. by great labors and affronts, many indignities and crimes, labor only for a pompous epitaph and a loud title upon their marble; whilst those into whose [80 possessions their heirs or kindred are. entered are forgotten, and lie unregarded as their ashes, and without concernment or relation, as the turf upon the face of their grave. A man may read a sermon, the best and most passionate that ever man preached, if he shall but enter into the sepulchres of kings. In the same Escurial where the Spanish princes live in greatness and power, and decree [90 war or peace, they have wisely placed a cemetery, where their ashes and their glory shall sleep till time shall be no
more; and where our kings have been crowned their ancestors lie interred, and they must walk over their grandsire's head to take his crown. There is an acre sown with royal seed, the copy of the greatest change, from rich to naked, from ceiled roofs to arched coffins, from [100 living like gods to die like men. There is enough to cool the flames of lust, to abate the heights of pride, to appease the itch of covetous desires, to sully and dash out the dissembling colors of a lustful, artificial, and imaginary beauty. There the warlike and the peaceful, the fortunate and the miserable, the beloved and the despised princes mingle their dust, and pay down their symbol of mortality, [110 and tell all the world that when we die our ashes shall be equal to kings', and our accounts easier, and our pains or our crowns shall be less. To my apprehension, it is a sad record which is left by Athenaeus concerning Ninus, the great Assyrian monarch, whose life and death are summed up in these words: "Ninus the Assyrian had an ocean of gold and other riches more than the sand in [120 the Caspian Sea; he never saw the stars, and perhaps he never desired it; he never stirred up the holy fire among the Magi, nor touched his god with the sacred rod according to the laws; he never offered sacrifice, nor worshipped the deity, nor administered justice, nor spake to his people, nor numbered them; but he was most valiant to eat and drink, and having mingled his wines, he threw the rest [130 upon the stones. This man is dead; behold his sepulchre; and now hear where Ninus is. Sometimes I was Ninus, and drew the breath of a living man, but now am nothing but clay. I have nothing but what I did eat, and what I served to myself in lust; that was and is all my portion. The wealth with which I was esteemed blessed, my enemies, meeting together, shall bear away, as the mad [140 Thyades carry a raw goat. I am gone to hell; and when I went thither I neither carried gold, nor horse, nor silver chariot. I that wore a mitre am now a little heap of dust." I know not anything that can better represent the evil condition of a wicked man or a changing greatness.
From the greatest secular dignity to dust and ashes his nature bears him; and from thence to hell his sins carry him, [150 and there he shall be for ever under the dominion of chains and devils, wrath and an intolerable calamity. This is the reward of an unsanctified condition, and a greatness ill-gotten or ill-administered.
2. Let no man extend his thoughts, or let his hopes wander towards future and far-distant events and accidental contingencies. This day is mine and yours, but ye know not what shall be on [160 the morrow; and every morning creeps out of a dark cloud, leaving behind it an ignorance and silence deep as midnight and undiscerned as are the phantasms that make a chrisom-child to smile; so that we cannot discern what comes hereafter, unless we had a light from heaven brighter than the vision of an angel, even the spirit of prophecy. Without revelation we cannot tell whether we [170 shall eat tomorrow, or whether a squinancy shall choke us; and it is written in the unrevealed folds of divine predestination that many who are this day alive shall tomorrow be laid upon the cold earth, and the women shall weep over their shroud, and dress them for their funeral. St. James, in his Epistle, notes the folly of some men his contemporaries, who were so impatient of the event [180 of tomorrow, or the accidents of next year, or the good or evils of old age, that they would consult astrologers and witches, oracles and devils, what should befall them the next calends-what should be the event of such a voyage-what God had written in his book concerning the success of battles, the election of emperors, the heirs of families, the price of merchandise, the return of the Tyrian [190 fleet, the rate of Sidonian carpets; and as they were taught by the crafty and lying demons, so they would expect the issue; and oftentimes by disposing their affairs in order towards such events, really did produce some little accidents according to their expectation, and that made them trust the oracles in greater things, and in all. Against this he opposes his counsel that we should not search [200 after forbidden records, much less by
uncertain significations; for whatsoever natural causes or civil counsels may be is disposed to happen by the order of rescinded by a peculiar decree of Providence, or be prevented by the death of the interested persons; who, while their hopes are full, and their causes conjoined, and the work brought forward, and the sickle put into the harvest, [210 and the first-fruits offered and ready to be eaten, even then, if they put forth their hand to an event that stands but at the door, at that door their body may be carried forth to burial before the expedition shall enter into fruition. When Richilda, had feasted the emperor Henry III, the widow of Albert, earl of Ebersberg, Welpho for some lands formerly pos- [220 and petitioned in behalf of her nephew sessed by the earl her husband, just as the emperor held out his hand to signify fell under them, and Richilda, falling his consent, the chamber floor suddenly upon the edge of a bathing-vessel, was bruised to death, and stayed not to see her nephew sleep in those lands which the emperor was reaching forth to her, and placed at the door of restitution.
3. As our hopes must be confined, so [230 must our designs: let us not project long deep that the intrigues of a design shall designs, crafty plots, and diggings so never be unfolded till our grandchildren have forgotten our virtues or our vices. The work of our soul is cut short, facile, portions of our shorter life; and as we sweet, and plain, and fitted to the small must not trouble our inquiry, so neither must we intricate our labor and pur- [240 poses with what we shall never enjoy. This rule does not forbid us to plant orchards, fruit, for by such provisions they do somewhich shall feed our nephews with their thing towards an imaginary immortality, projects are reproved which discompose and do charity to their relatives; but such designs: such which, by casting our labors our present duty by long and future to events at distance, make us less to [250 door. It is fit for a man to work for his remember our death standing at the day's wages, or to contrive for the hire of a week, or to lay a train to make provisions for such a time as is within our
eye, and in our duty, and within the usual periods of man's life, for whatsoever is made necessary is also made prudent; but while we plot and busy ourselves in the toils of an ambitious war, [260 or the levies of a great estate, night enters in upon us, and tells all the world how like fools we lived and how deceived and miserably we died. Seneca tells of Senecio Cornelius, a man crafty in getting, and tenacious in holding, a great estate, and one who was as diligent in the care of his body as of his money, curious of his health as of his possessions, that he all day long attended upon his sick and [270 dying friend; but when he went away was quickly comforted, supped merrily, went to bed cheerfully, and on a sudden being surprised by a squinancy, scarce drew his breath until the morning, but by that time died, being snatched from the torrent of his fortune, and the swelling tide of wealth, and a likely hope bigger than the necessities of ten men. This accident was much noted then in [280 Rome, because it happened in so great a fortune, and in the midst of wealthy designs; and presently it made wise men to consider how imprudent a person he is who disposes of ten years to come when he is not lord of tomorrow.
5. Since we stay not here, being people but of a day's abode, and our age is like that of a fly, and contemporary with a gourd, we must look somewhere else [290 for an abiding city, a place in another country to fix our house in, whose walls and foundation is God, where we must find rest, or else be restless forever. For whatsoever ease we can have or fancy here is shortly to be changed into sadness or tediousness; it goes away too soon like the periods of our life, or stays too long like the sorrows of a sinner; its own weariness, or a contrary disturbance, [300 is its load; or it is eased by its revolution into vanity and forgetfulness; and where either there is sorrow or an end of joy, there can be no true felicity; which, because it must be had by some instrument, and in some period of our duration, we must carry up our affections to the
mansion prepared for us above, where eternity is the measure, felicity is the state, angels are the company, the Lamb is [310 the light, and God is the portion and inheritance.
JOHN MILTON (1608-1674)
Hence, loathed Melancholy,
Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born In Stygian cave forlorn,
'Mongst horrid shapes and shrieks and sights unholy!
Find out some uncouth cell, Where brooding darkness spreads his jealous wings,
And the night-raven sings;
There under ebon shades and lowbrowed rocks,
As ragged as thy locks,
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell. 10
Quips and cranks and wanton wiles,
2 more wisely.
To live with her, and live with thee,
Whilst the landskip1 round it measures: 70
To the tanned haycock in the mead.
Basks at the fire his hairy strength,
Where throngs of knights and barons bold,
Sometimes, with secure delight,
Till the livelong daylight' fail: