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for this purpose was the Lea, which has it source above Ware in Hertfordshire, and falls into the Thames a little below Blackwall; unless we will suppose that the vicinity of the New River to the place of his babitation might sometimes tempt him out with his friends, honest Nat. and R. Roe, whose loss he so pathetically mentions, to spend an afternoon there. In 1662 he was by death deprived of the solace and comfort of a good wife, as appears by a monumental inscription in the cathedral church of Worcester.
Living, while in London, in the parish of St. Dunstan in the West, of which Dr. John Donne, dean of St. Paul's, was vicar, he became of course a frequent hearer of that excellent preacher, and at length, as he himself expresses it, his convert. Upon his decease, in 1631, sir H. Wotton requested Walton to collect materials for a life of the doctor, which sir Henry had undertaken to write ; but, sir Henry dying before he had completed the life, Walton undertook it himself; and in 1640 fioished and published it, with a collection of the doctor's sermons, in folio. Sir H. Wotton dying in 1639, Walton was importuned by King to undertake the writing of his life also ; and it was finished about 1644. The precepts of angling, that is, the rules and directions for taking fish with a hook and line, till Walton's time, having hardly ever been reduced to writing, were propagated from age to age chiefly by tradition ; but Walton, whose benevolent and communicative temper appears in almost every line of bis writings, unwilling to conceal from the world those assistances which his long practice and experience enabled him, perhaps the best of any man of his time, to give, in 1653 published in a very elegant manner his “Complete Angler, or Contemplative Man's Recreation," in small 12mo, adorned with exquisite cuts of most of the fish mentioned in it. The artist who engraved them has been so modest as to conceal his name; but there is great reason to suppose they are the work of Lombart, who is mentioned in the " Sculptura” of Mr. Evelyo; and also that the plates were of steel. 6. The Complete Angler” came into the world attended with encomiastic verses by several writers of that day. What reception in general the book met with may be naturally inferred from the dates of the subsequent editions; the second came abroad in 1655; the third in 1664; the fourth in 1668, and the fifth and last in 1676, Sir John Hawkins had traced the several variations which the author from time to time made in these subsequent editions, as well by adding new facts and discoveries as by enlarging on the more entertaining parts of the dialogue. The third and fourth editions of his book have several entire new chapters; and the fifth, the last of the editions published in his life-time, contains no less than eight chapters more than the first, and twenty pages more than the fourth. Nos having the advantage of a learned education, it may seem unaccountable that Walton so frequently cites authors that have written only in Latin, as Gesner, Cardan, Aldrovandius, Rondeletius, and even Albertus Magnus; but it may be observed, that the voluminous history of animals, of which the first of these was author, is in effect translated into English by Mr. Edward Topsel, a learned divine, chaplain, as it seems, in the church of St. Botolph, Al, dersgate, to Dr. Neile, dean of Westminster : the translation was published in 1658, and, containing in it numberless particulars concerning frogs, serpents, caterpillars, and other animals, though not of fish, extracted from the other writers above-named, and others, with their names to the respective facts, it furnished Walton with a great variety of intelligence, of which in the later editions of his book he has carefully availed himself: it was therefore through the medium of this translation alone that he was evabled to cite the other authors mentioned above ; vouching the authority of the original writers, as he elsewhere does sir Francis Bacon, whenever occasion occurs to mention his natural history, or any other of his works. Pliny was translated to his hand by Dr. Philemon Holland; as were also Janus Dubravius “ de Piscinis & Piscium natura," and Lebault's “ Maison Rustique," so often referred to by him in the course of his work. Nor did the reputation of The Complete Angler” subsist only in the opinions of those for whose use it was more peculiarly calculated; but even the learned, either from the known character of the author, or those internal evidences of judgment and veracity contained in it, considered it as a work of merit, and for various purposes referred to its authority. Dr. Thomas Fuller, in his “ Worthies," whenever he has occasion to speak of fish, uses his very words. Dr. Plot, in his "History of Staffordshire,” bas, on the authority of our author, related two of the instances of the voracity of the pike, and confirmed them by two other signal ones, that had theu lately fallen out in that county. These are testimonies in favour of Walton's authority in matters respecting fish and fishing; and it will hardly be thought a diminution of that of Fuller to say, that he was acquainted with, and a friend of, the person whom he thus implicitly cominends. About two years after the restoration, Walton wrote the life of Mr. Richard Hooker, author of the “ Ecclesiastical Polity :" he was enjoined to undertake this work by his friend Dr. Gilbert Sheldon, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, who, by the way, was an angler. Bishop King, in a letter to the aythor, says of this life, “ I have often seen Mr. Hooker with my father, who was afterwards bishop of London, from whom, and others at that time, I have heard of the most material passages which you relate in the history of his life.” Sir William Dugdale, speaking of the three posthumous books of the “ Ecclesiastical Polity,” refers the reader “to that seasonable historical discourse lately com, piled and published, with great judgment and integrity, by that much-deserving person Mr. Isaac Walton."
The life of Mr. George Herbert, as it stands the fourth and last in the volume in which that and the three former are collected, seems to have been written the next after Hooker's : it was first published in 1670. Walton professes himself to have been a stranger to the person of Herbert; and though he assures us his life of him was a free-will offering, it abounds with curious information, and is ng way inferior to any of the former. Two of these lives, viz. those of Hooker and Herbert, we are told, were written under the root of Walton's good friend and patron Dr. George Morley, bishop of Winchester; which seems to agree with Wood's account, that, “after his quitting Landon, he lived mostly in the families of the eminent clergy of that time;" and none who consider the inoffensiveness of his manners and the pains he took in celebrating the lives and actions of good men, can doubt bis being much beloved by them.
In 1670, these lives were collected and published in octavo, with a dedication to the above bishop of Winchester, and a preface, containing the motives for writing them ; this preface is followed by a copy of verses, by his intimate friend and adopted son, Charles Cotton, of Beresford in Staffordshire, esq. the author of the second part of the “ Complete Avgler.” The “ Complete Angler” having, in the space of twenty-three years, gone through four editions, Walton, in 1676, and in the eighty-third year of his age, was preparing a fifth, with additions, for the press; when Cotton wrote a second part of that work.
Cotton submitted the manuscript to Walton's perusal, whọ returned it with his approbation, and a few marginal strictures; and in that year they were published together. Cotton's book had the title of “The Complete Angler; being instructions how to angle for a trout or grayling, in a clear stream, Part II." and it has ever since been received as a second part of Walton's book. In the title-page is a cipher, composed of the initial letters of both their names; which cipher, Cotton tells us, he had caused to be cut in stone, and set up over a fishing-house that he had erected near bis dwelling, on the bank of the little river Dove, which divides the counties of Stafford and Derby.
Cotton's book is a judicious supplement to Walton's ; for, it must not be concealed, that Walton, though he was $o expert an angler, knew but little of Ay-fishing; and indeed he is so ingenuous as to confess, that the greater part of what he has said on that subject was communicated to him by Mr. Thomas Barker, and not the result of his own experience *. And of Cotton it must be said, that, living in a country where fly-fishing was, and is, almost the only practice, he had not only the means of acquiring, but actually possessed, more skill in the art, as also in the method of making fies, than most men of his time. His book is in fact a continuation of Walton's, not only as it teaches at large that branch of the art of angling which Walton had but slightly treated on, but as it takes up Venator, Walton's piscatory discipline, just where his master had left him.
Walton was now in his eighty-third year, an age, which, to use bis own words, "might have procured him a writ of case t, and secured him from all farther trouble in that
* This Mr. Barker was a good.hu. Westminster. A few years after the moured gossiping old inan, and seems first publication of Walton's book, viz. to have been a cook; for be says, “he in 1659, he published a bouk, entitled had been admitted into the most am- “ Barker's Delight, or the Art of Arbassadors kitchens that had come to gling.” And, for that singular vein of England for forty years, and drest dish humour that runs through it, a most for them;" for which he says, “he diverting book it is. was duly paid by the Lord Protector." + A discharge froin the office of a He spent a great deal of time, and, it judge, or the state and degree of a seems, money 100, in fishing ; and, in serjeant at law. Dugdale, Orig. Jurid. the later part of his life, dwelt in an alms-house near the Gatehouse, at
kind;" wben he undertook to write the life of bishop Sana derson, which was published, togetber with several of the bishop's pieces, and a sermon of Hooker's, 1677, in 8vo. It was not till long after that period when the faculties of men begin to decline, that Walton undertook to write this life; yet, far froin being deficient in any of those excellences that distinguish the former lives, it abounds with the evidences of a vigorous imagination, a sound judgment, and a memory unimpaired; and for the nervous sentiments and pious simplicity displayed in it, let the concluding paragraph, pointed out by Dr. Samuel Johnson, be considered as a specimen : “Thus this pattern of meekness and primitive innocence, changed this for a better life. It is now too late to wish that mine may be like his, for I am in the eighty-fifth year of my age, and God knows it hath not; but I most humbly beseech Almighty God that my death may: and I do earnestly beg, that, if any reader shall receive any satisfaction from this very plain and as true relation, he will be so charitable as to say, Amen!". Such were the persons, whose virtues Walton was laudably employed in celebrating; and it is observable, that not only these, but the rest of Walton's friends *, were eminent royalists; and that he himself was in great repute for his attachment to the royal cause will appear by a relation which sir John Hawkins has quoted from Ashmole's “ History of the Garter."
Besides the works of Walton above-mentioned, there are extant, of his writing, verses on the death of Dr. Donne, beginning, “ Our Donne is dead;" verses to his reverend friend the author of the “Synagogue,” printed together with Herbert's “Temple;” verses before Alexander Brome's “ Poems," 1646, and before Cartwright's “ Plays and Poems," 1651. He wrote also the lines onder an engraving of Dr. Donne, before his “ Poems,” 1635.
Dr. Henry King, bishop of Chichester, in a letter to Walton, dated in Nov. 1664, says, that he had done much for sir Henby Savile, his contemporary and familiar friend; which fact connects very well with what the late Mr. Des Maizeaux, some years since, related to Mr. Oldys, that
* To the number of his intimate Edwin Sandys, sir Edward Bysh, Mr. friends, we find Abp. Usher, Abp. Shel- Crapmer, Dr. Hammond, Mr. Chil. don, Bp. Morton, Bp. King, Bp. Bar. lingworth, Michael Drayton, and ibat low, Dr. Fuller, Dr. Price, Dr. Wood- celebrated scholar and critic Mr. John ford, Dr. Featly, Dr. Holdsworth, sir Hales of Eton.