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In this year, 1662, he was, by death, deprived of the solace and comfort of a good wife, as appears by the following monumental inscription in the chapel of Our Lady, in the cathedral church of Worcester :



M. S.

so much as could dye of
who was a Woman of remarkable Prudence,

and of the Primitive Piety;
her great and general knowledge
being adorned with such true Humility,
and blessed with so much Christian Meekness,
as made her worthy of a more memorable Monument.

She dyed (alas that she is dead !)
the 17th of April, 1662, Aged 52.

Study to be like her,

Living, while in London, in the parish of St Dunstan in the West, whereof 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 Henry Wotton (of whom mention will be made hereafter) requested Walton to collect materials for a Life of the Doctor, which it seems Sir Henry had undertaken to write :t but Sir Henry dying before he had completed the life, Walton undertook it himself; and, in the year 1640, finished and published it, with a Collection of the Doctor's Sermons, in folio. “As soon as the book came out, a complete copy was sent as a present to Walton, by Mr John Donne, the Doctor's son, afterwards Doctor of Laws ; and one of the blank leaves contained his letter to Mr Walton : the letter is yet extant, and in print, and is a handsome and grateful acknowledgment of the honour done to the memory of his father.

Doctor King, afterward Bishop of Chichester, in a letter to the author, thus expresses himself concerning this Life“ I am glad that the general demonstration of his (Doctor Donne's] worth was so fairly preserved, and represented to the world by

* Verses of Walton at the end of Dr Donne's Life. + See Reliquiæ Wottoniana, octavo, 1685, p. 360.

In Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, vol. i. lib. vi. p. 24. In the year 1714, the very book, with the original manuscript letter, was in the hands of the Rev. Mr Borradale, rector of Market-Deeping, in the county of Lincoln.

your pen, in the history of his life ; indeed, so well, that, beside others, the best critic of our later time, Mr John Hales, of Eaton, affirmed to me, he had not seen a life written with more advantage to the subject, or reputation to the writer, than that of Doctor Donne.” *

Sir Henry Wotton dying in 1639, Walton was importuned by Bishop King to undertake the writing his life also ; and, as it should seem by a circumstance mentioned in the margin, it was finished about 1644. + Notwithstanding which, the earliest copy I have yet been able to meet with is that prefixed to a collection of Sir Henry's Remains, undoubtedly made by Walton himself, entitled Reliquiæ Wottonianæ, and by him, in 1651, dedicated to Lady Mary Wotton and her three daughters ; though in a subsequent edition, in 1685, he has recommended them to the patronage of a more remote relation of the author, namely, Philip, Earl of Chesterfield.

The precepts of angling, - meaning thereby the rules and directions for taking tish 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 his 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 the year 1653 published, in a very elegant manner, his Complete Angler, or Contemplative Man's Recreation, in small duodecimo, 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 Evelyn; and also that the plates were of steel.

And let no man imagine, that a work on such a subject must necessarily be unentertaining, or trifling, or even uninstructive ; for the contrary will most evidently appear, from a perusal of this excellent piece, which, whether we consider the elegant simplicity of the style, the ease and unaffected humour of the dialogue, the lovely scenes which it delineates, the enchanting pastoral poetry which it contains, or the fine morality it so


• Bishop King's Letter to Walton before the Collection of the Lives, ia 1670.

+ It is certain that Hooker's Life was written about 1664; and Walton says, in his Epistle before the Lives, that “ there was an interval of twenty years between the writing of Hooker's Life and Wotton's," which fixes the date of the latter to 1644.

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sweetly inculcates, has hardly its fellow in any of the modern languages.

The truth is, that there are few subjects so barren as not to afford matter of delight, and even of instruction, if ingeniously treated : Montaigne has written an essay on Coaches, and another on Thumbs ; and our own nation has produced many men, who, from a peculiar felicity in their turn of thinking, and manner of writing, have adorned, and even dignified, themes the most dry and unpromising. Many would think that time ill employed which was spent in composing a treatise on the art of shooting in the long bow: and how few lovers of horticulture would expect entertainment from a discourse of Salads ! and yet the Tocophilus of Roger Ascham, and the Acetaria of Mr Evelyn, have been admired and commended by the best judges of literature.

But that the reader may determine for himself, how much our author has contributed to the improvement of piscatory science, and how far his work may be said to be an original, it will be necessary for him to take a view of the state of angling at the time when he wrote ; and that he may be the better able to do this, he will consider, that, till the time of the Reformation, although the clergy, as well regular as secular, on account of their leisure, and because the canon law forbade them the use of the sanguinary recreations of hunting, hawking, and fowling, were the great proficients in angling, yet none of its precepts were committed to writing ; and that, from the time of the introduction of printing into this kingdom, to that of the first publication of Walton's book, in 1653, an interval of more than one hundred and fifty years, only five books on this subject had been given to the world ; of the four latest, some mention is made in the margin ;* but the first of that number,

* A Booke of fishing with hooke and line, and of all other instruments thereunto belonging. Another of sundrie engines and traps to take polecats, buzzards, rats, mice, and all other kinds of vermine and beasts whatsoever, most profitable for all warriners, and such as delight in this kind of sport and pastime, made by L. M. 4to. London, 1590, 1596, 1600.

It appears by a variety of evidence, that the person meant by these initials was one Leonard Mascall, an author who wrote on planting and grafting, and also on cattle. Vide infra, chap. ix.

Approved Experiments touching Fish and Fruit, to be regarded by the Lovers of Angling, by Mr John Taverner, in quarto, 1600.

The Secrets of Angling, a poem, in three books, by J. D. (Davors, ] Esq. octavo, 1613. Mention is made of this book, in a

note on a passage in the ensuing dialogues: and there is reason to think that it is the foundation of a treatise, entitled The whole Art of Anyling, published in quarto,

as well on account of its quaintness as antiquity, and because it is not a little characteristic of the age when it was written, deserves to be particularly distinguished. This tract, entitled The Treatyse of Pysshynge with an Angle, makes part of a book, like many others of that early time, without a title ; but which, by the colophon, appears to have been printed at Westminster, by Wynkyn de Worde, 1496, in a small folio, containing a treatise On Hawking ; another, On Hunting, in verse, the latter taken, as it seems, from a tract, on that subject, written by old Sir Tristram, an ancient forester, cited in the Forest Laws of Manwood, chap. iv. in sundry places ; a book wherein is determined the Lygnage of Cote Armures; the above mentioned treatise Offishing; and the method of Blasynge of Armes.

The book printed by Wynkyn de Worde is, in truth, a republication of one known to the curious by the name of the Book of St Alban's, it appearing by the colophon to have been printed there, in 1486, and, as it seems, with Caxton's letter.* Wynkyn de Worde's impression has the addition of the treatise Of Fishing; of which only it concerns us to speak.

The several tracts contained in the above mentioned two impressions of the same book, were compiled by Dame Julyans (or Juliana) Berners, Bernes, or Barnes, prioress of the nunnery of Sopwell

, near St Alban’s ; a lady of a noble family, and celebrated for her learning and accomplishments, by Leland, Bale, Pits, Bishop Tanner, and others. And the reason for her publishing it, in the manner it appears in, she gives us in the following words : " And for by cause that this present treatyse sholde not come to the hondys of eche ydle persone whyche wolde desire it, yf it were enprynted allone by itself and put in a lytyll plauntlet ; therefore I have compylyd it in a greter uolume, of dyuerse bokys concernynge to gentyll and noble men, to the entent that the forsayd ydle persones whyche sholde haue but lytyll mesure in the sayd 1656, by the well known Gervase Markham, as part of his Country Contentments, or Husbandman's Recreations, since he confesses, that the substance of his book was originally in rhyme. Of Markham's book, a specimen is given in chap. i.

Barker's Art of Angling, printed in 12mo. in 1651, and again in 4to. in 1653. A third edition was published in 1659, under the title of Barker's Delight, or the Art of Angling. For an account of this book and its author, vide infra. - J. S. H.

• Vide Biographica Britannica, art. Caxton, note L. wherein the author, Mr Oldys, has given a copious account of the book, and a character of the lady who compiled it.

troye it.”


dysporte of fysshynge, sholde not by this meane utterly dys

And as to the treatise itself, it must be deemed a great typographical curiosity, as well for the wooden sculpture which in the original immediately follows the title, as for the orthography and the character in which it is printed. And, with respect to the subject matter thereof, it begins, — With a comparison of fishing with the diversions of hunting, hawking, and fowling, - which, the authoress shews, are attended with great inconveniences and disappointments ; whereas in fishing, if his sport fail him, “the angler," says she, “atte the leest, hath his holsom walke, and mery at his ease, a swete ayre of the swete sauoure of the mede floures, that makyth him hungry; he hereth the melodyous armony of fowles ; he seeth the yonge swannes, heerons, duckes, cotes, and many other fowles, wyth theyr brodes; whyche me semyth better than alle the noyse of houndys, the blastes of hornys, and the serye of foulis, that hunters, fawkeners, and fowlers can make. And if the angler take fysshe; surely, thenne, is there noo man merier than he is in his spyryte."

At the beginning of the directions, “ How the angler is to make his harnays, or tackle,” he is thus instructed to provide a rod : “ And how ye shall make your rodde craftly, here I shall teche you. Ve shall kytte betweene Myghelmas and Candylmas, a fayr staffe, of a fadom and an halfe longe, and arme-grete, of hasyll, wyllowe, or aspe ; and bethe hym in an hote ouyn, and sette him euyn ; thenne, lete hym cole and drye a moneth. Take thenne and frette* hym faste with a coekeshote corde; and bynde hym to a fourme, or an euyn square grete tree. Take, thenne, a plummer's wire, that is euen and streyte, and sharpe at the one ende ; and hete the sharpe ende in a charcole føre till it be whyte, and brenne the staffe therwyth thorugh, euer streyte in the pythe at bothe endes, till they mete : and after that brenne him in the nether end wyth a byrde brochet and with other broches, eche gretter than other, and euer the grettest the laste; so that ye make your hole, aye, tapre were. Thenne lete hym lye styll, and kele two dayes; unfrette & hym thenne, and lete hym: drye in an hous roof, in the smoke, till he be thrugh drye. In the same season, take a fayr yerde of green hasyls, and bethe


* i. e. Tie it about: the substantive plural, frets of a lute, is formed of this verb. + A bird spit.

* Untie it.

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