Fishing in Troubled Waters

A Fisherman roiled the water pulling in his net. People complained but he said he must roil the water or have no fish to eat.

Some never understand the actions of others.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection (The Fisherman and Troubled Water)

A certain Fisherman having laid his nets in a river, took a long pole, and fell a-beating the water, to frighten the fish into his nets. One of the people who lived thereabout came and said to him, with surprise, “Why, what are you doing there, splashing and dashing the water about at that rate? You muddle the stream, and completely spoil our drink.” “Well,” replied the Fisherman, “all I know is, I must either spoil your drink, or have nothing to eat.”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

A fisher-man had order’d his net, for a draught, and still as he was gathering it up, he dash’d the water, to fright the fish into the bag. Some of the neighbourhood that look’d on, told him he did ill to muddle the water so, and spoil their drink. Well (says he) but I must either spoil your drink, or have nothing to eat my self.


There’s no engaging the mobile in a sedition till their heads are so muddled first with frights and visions, that they can neither see, hear, nor understand.

1001Piscator Aquam Verberans

Piscator in fluvio quodam piscabatur. Extensis autem retibus et fluxu comprehenso utrinque, funi alligato lapide, aquam verberabat ut pisces, fugientes incaute, in retia inciderent. Cum quidam vero ex iis qui circa locum habitabant id eum facere videret, increpabat utpote fluvium turbantem et claram aquam non sinentem bibere. Et is respondit, “Sed nisi sic fluvius perturbetur, me oportebit esurientem mori.”

Perry #026