The Science of Fowling.
By R. H.
London, Printed for H. Rhodes, at the Star, the Corner of Bride Lane, Fleet-street. 1696.
The School of Recreation.
Printed for Henry Rodes near Bride lane in Fleet streete.
The preface to the Reader.
Reader, in this small Book you will find such Variety of Recreations, that nothing of the nature ever appeared so like Accomplish’d in any one Volume, of what Largeness soever: For besides my own Experience in these acceptable and delightful Particulars, reduced under proper Heads, easy to be understood, and put in practice; I have taken the Opinions of those whose Ingenuity had led them to these Exercises in Particular or General, and are approved for the Performance of them in the exactest manner, whose judicious Approbations the more embolden’d me to a Publication of them: In which you will not only find Pleasure, and keep up a Healthful Constitution in moderately pursuing them, but in most or all of them find considerable Profit and Advantage, when you can spare leisure Hours from your Devotions, or to unbend your Cares after the tiresome Drudgery of weighty Temporal Matters; Not that I think it is proper so eagerly to pursue them, as if you made them rather a Business than a Recreation; for though in themselves they are harmless, yet a continual or insatiate Prosecution of any Thing, not only lessens the Pleasure, but may render it hurtful, if not to your self, yet in giving Offence to others, who will be apt to reflect upon such as seem to doat upon them, and wholly neglect their other Affairs.
We find the Taste of Honey is delicious and desirable, yet Nature over-burthened with too great a Quantity, Surfeits, and begets a loathing of it. Wherefore to Conclude, I commend them as they are, viz. Suitable Recreations for the Gentry of England, and others, wherein to please and delight themselves. And so not doubting this Work will be accepted, as it was well meant to serve my Country-Men, I take leave to subscribe myself, Kind Reader,
Your most humble
and obliging Servant,
Hunting, being a Recreation that challenges the sublime Epithets of Royal, Artificial, Manly, and Warlike, for its Stateliness, Cunning, and Indurance, claims above all other Sports the Precedency; and therefore I was induced to place it at the Head to usher in the rest.