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made this communication to Dr. Sanderson or to Dr. Morley ; but it is obvious that Walton heard of it from the latter, because Sanderson was dead when Walton wrote his memoir, and he expressly says that his informant was then living.
In 1646, Francis Quarles's “ Shepherd's Eclogues” were printed by John and Richard Marriott, with an Address to the Reader dated on the 25th of November, 1645, and signed “ John Marriott;” but no one who is acquainted with Walton's style, and especially with “ The Complete Angler,” can doubt that this Address proceeded from his pen. As Quarles had been secretary to Walton's friend Archbishop Usher, and as he was a zealous royalist," and apparently an angler,12 he was perhaps personally known to Walton. It is however certain that Walton was then well acquainted with the Marriotts, and nothing is more probable than that they should have requested him to write the prefatory matter to a posthumous work, which was to appear upon their responsibility. The internal evidence that the Address was written by Walton is so strong, that it will be inserted without the slightest fear of its not being attributed to the real author
- To the Reader,
lamented death, composed, reviewed, and corrected these Eclogues; yet, he left no epistle to the reader, but only a title, and a ank leaf for that purpose.
Whether he meant some allegorical exposition of the Shepherd's names, or their Eclogues, is doubtful: but 'tis certain, that as they are, they appear a perfect pattern of the author: whose person, and mind, were both lovely, and his conversation such
, as distilled pleasure, knowledge, and virtue, into his friends and acquaintance. 'Tis confest these Eclogues are not so wholly divine as many of his published Meditations, which speak“ his affections to be set upon things
11 Biographia Britannica, edit. 1760, art. Quarles. 12 See several verses in his Eclogues. 13 It is said in the Biographia Britannica that Quarles died on the 8th September, 1644; but according to the following statement in Smith's Obituary, Additional MS. 886, in the British Museum, he died on the 19th of that month :—“Mr. Francis Quarles, a famous poet, died 19th September, 1644."
that are above," and yet even such men have their intermitted hours, and (as their company gives occasion) commixtures of heavenly and earthly thoughts. You are therefore requested to fancy him cast by fortune into the company of some yet unknown shepherds, and you have a liberty to believe 'twas by this following accident.
“He in a summer's morning (about that hour when the great eye of heaven first opens itself to give light to us mortals,) walking a gentle pace towards a brook (whose spring-head was not far distant from his peaceful habitation,) fitted with angle, lines, and flies; flies proper for that season (being the fruitful month of May), intending all diligence to beguile the timorous trout (with which the watery element abounded), observed a more than common concourse of Shepherds, all bending their unwearied steps towards a pleasant meadow within his present prospect, and had his eyes made more happy to behold the two fair Shepherdesses, Amaryllis and Aminta, strewing the foot-paths with lilies and ladysmocks, so newly gathered by their fair hands, that they yet smelt more sweet than the mcrning, and immediately met (attended with Clora, Clorinda, and many other wood-nymphs) the fair and virtuous Parthenia; who, after a courteous salutation and inquiry of his intended journey, told him the neighbour Shepherds of that part of Arcadia had dedicated that day to be kept holy to the honour of their god Pan; and that they had designed her mistress of a love-feast, which was to be kept that present day, in an arbour built that morning for that purpose. She told him also that Orpheus would be there and bring his harp, Pan his pipe, and Tityrus his oaten reed, to make music at this feast; she therefore persuaded him, not to lose, but change that day's pleasure ; before he could return an answer they were unawares entered into a living moving lane, made of Shepherds and Pilgrims, who had that morning measured many miles to be the eye-witnesses of that day's pleasure. This lane led them into a large arbour, whose walls were made of the yielding willow and smooth beech boughs, and covered over with sycamore leaves and honey-suckles. I might now tell in what manner (after her first entrance into this arbour) Philoclea (Philoclea, the fair Arcadian Shepherdess,) crowned her temples with a garland, with what flowers, and by whom it was made; I might tell
what guests (besides Astrea and Adonis) were at this feast; and who (besides Mercury) waited at the table, this I might tell : but may not, cannot express what music the Godsand Wood-Nymphs made within; and the linnets, larks, and nightingales about this arbour during this holy day; which began in harmless mirth, and (for Bacchus and his gang were absent) ended in love and
which Pan (for he only can do it) continue in Arcadia, and restore to the disturbed island of Britannia, and grant that each honest Shepherd may again sit under his own vine and fig-tree, and feed his own flock, and with love enjoy the fruits of peace, and be more thankful.
Reader, at this time and place, the author contracted a friendship with certain single-hearted Shepherds, with whom (as he returned from his river recreations) he often rested himself; and, whilst in the calm evening their flocks fed about them, heard their discourse, which (with the Shepherd's names) is presented in these Eclogues.
A friend of the author's wished me to tell thee so; this 23rd of November, 1645.
“Jo : MARRIOT."
About the year 1646, Walton again married. His second wife was Anne, the daughter of Thomas Ken, an attorney in the Court of Common Pleas, by (his first wife) Jane, daughter of Rowland Hughes, of Essenden, in Hertfordshire, but the exact date of his marriage has not been discovered. The family of Ken16 is of considerable anti
14 The record of the license for their marriage cannot be found, and the registers of Cripplegate and of St. Andrew's, Holborn, having been searched without success, there is no clue to the place where it was celebrated.
15 By his first wife, above named, Thomas Ken had three children, viz. Anne, who was born about 1610 ; Jane, who married John Symons; and Thomas, who is called “eldest son by the first wife” in the pedigree
hic his father entered in the Herald's Visitation of London in 1634, and who was buried at Cripplegate in February, 1636. Mr. Ken married, secondly, Martha, daughter of Jon Chalkhill, of Kingsbury, in Middlesex, by whom (who died in March, 1641,) he had John Ken, born in June, 1627, who died unmarried in 1651; Jon, born in July, 1632, became treasurer to the East India Company, married Rose, sister of Sir Thomas Vernon of Coleman Street, and was living in 1683; Martha, born in June, 1628; Mary, born in February, 1630, who appears to have died before 1638; Margaret, born in March, 1631 ; Elizabeth, born in April, 1635; another Mary, born in August, 1638,
quity in Somersetshire, and has attained celebrity by having produced Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, a prelate distinguished for his learning, piety, and virtues.
Anne Ken could not have been less than five-and thirty when she gave her hand to Izaak Walton, who was seventeen years her senior, he having then attained the mature age of about fifty-three. Of her personal attractions nothing is known, but her talents and acquirements were of a very superior order. She was eminently prudent, possessed very extensive information, and was of “the primitive piety,” merits, which her husband states were 66 * adorned with true humility and much Christian meek
Walton's marriage tended materially to increase his happiness, and the fifteen or sixteen years of their union seem to have been passed in the enjoyment of every comfort.
According to Anthony Wood,16 who was well acquainted with Walton, and might be supposed to have been accurately informed of the fact, he continued“ in Chancery Lane till about 1643 (at which time he found it dangerous
and died in December 1639; Martin, born in March, 1641; and Thomas, born at Berkhamstead in July, 1637, who became Bishop of Bath. Of Margaret, Elizabeth, and Martin Ken, nothing more has been discovered. So particular an account of the children of Thomas Ken is rendered necessary for the purpose of correcting an error which Mr. Bowles, the latest biographer of Bishop Ken, has committed by stating that he was the issue of his father's first wife, and consequently that he was brother of the whole blood to Mrs. Walton. This mistake is the more remarkable, because Mr. Bowles professes to correct the statement of Hawkins, the grand-nephew and executor of the bishop, who says in his memoir of the prelate, printed only two years after his death, that he was “the youngest son of Thomas Ken, of Furnival's Inn, by Martha, his wife.” A more experienced genealogist than Mr. Bowles might, however, have been misled by finding that in the pedigree registered by his father in 1634, a Thomas Ken is expressly stated to have been his “ eldest son by the first wife,” but a comparison of dates at once shows that the bishop was a different person. The birth of Bishop Ken is proved by the certificate of his admission to Winchester College in January, 1651, when he was thirteen years old, to have taken place about 1637, whereas if he had been the Thomas who is mentioned in the Herald's Visitation of 1634, he must in 1651 have been at least twenty-five, because John Ken, his half brother, and the issue of his father's second marriage, was baptized on the 7th of January, 1627. The certificate of the burial in February, 1636, of the Thomas Ken who was living in 1634 (which has only lately been obtained), places the point beyond dispute.
16 Athen. Oxon. by Bliss, I. 698.
for honest men to be there), he left that city, and lived sometimes at Stafford and elsewhere, but mostly in the families of the eminent clergymen of England, of whom he was much beloved.” The part of this statement which fixes Walton's removal from London to the year 1643 has been proved erroneous, because he did not leave Chancery Lane until about August, 1644; and as he was certainly in London in January, 1645, and in December, 1647, and, as will be afterwards shown, was living there in 1650, it is extremely doubtful when, if ever, he retired to Stafford. Very little has been discovered respecting him between 1645 and 1650; and it does not appear that he printed any thing in that period; but it has been confidently stated by many writers that Walton sought seclusion and safety during the civil wars, in a cottage of his own near to his native town of Stafford, where he indulged in his favourite pursuits of literature and angling. Disgusted with public events, and grieved to the heart at the murder of his sovereign, the destruction of the episcopal church, and the dispersion and distress of its conscientious ministers, among the most eminent of whom were many of his dearest friends, he probably refrained from reflecting upon events which he could only bitterly deplore; but it is nearly certain that he did not leave London, excepting for temporary and occasional visits to Stafford, until after the Restoration.
Mr. Bowles, in his life of Bishop Ken," has not only assumed that Dr. Morley was Walton's guest, at his cottage in Staffordshire, from April, 1648, until the first week in May, 1649,18 but he has exercised the poetical talents for which he is justly celebrated, by imagining a dialogue to have taken place between Morley and Walton and his wife during Morley's visit. It is always painful to destroy the fabrics of genius; but biography is not a proper field for flights of poesy; and however pleasing might be such an episode in the life of Walton, as his having afforded shelter to the venerable Morley in his
17 Life of Ken, vol. i. p. 139. Mr. Bowles' authority for stating that Morley took shelter with Walton in Staffordshire, after his ejection from Oxford, appears to have been derived from traditional information only. Ibid. p. 93-95.
18 Vol. i. p. 99, et seq.