« AnteriorContinuar »
that stole out of the edis of a hill; and how, when it was over, one of the party read old lzaak Walton's scene With the Milk-maid, while I lay on the grass and built castles in a bright pile of clouds until I fell asleep."
The remainder of this elegant essay Mr. Irving devotes to the character of an old Cheshire angler; he concludes, "I could not refrain from drawing this picture of this worthy ' brother of the angle,' who has made me more than ever in love with the theory, though I fear I shall never be adroit in the practice of his art."
This is precisely the treatment of our author which agrees with our own views; it requires not so much the love of angling, as a relish for the general charms of nature, to render any person of true taste delighted with his pages. We have consequently spared no effort to illustrate the literary and rural beauties of the work: our numerous topographical views, with those other subjects which have been suggested to the various artists as the result of a long intimacy with these fascinating pages, it is hoped, can leave but little to be desired on this point, whilst the great pains which have been taken to ensure correct delineations of the FISH, (the whole having been painted from nature expressly for this edition), may add to the character of the work as connected with a popular branch of natural history :—truly may it be said (after allowing the painter, in each instance, due praise,) that the "graver," also,
———— " Had a strife
With nature to outdo the life!"
The important and classical addition of the specific and generic characters, will speak for itself to proceed from a most competent quarter.
The Notes,* consistently with our view of the work, " in it's more important character of a BriTish Classic," are devoted chiefly to the illustration of it's literary merits, and though we should deem it a sort of profanation to place them on the same page with the text, we have most zealously endeavoured to render them worthy of a distinct perusal.
The frequent occurrence of eminent names throughout the work, naturally leads us to reflect that the chief argument used by Walton in recommending his art,—the "love and practice" of it by persons of science and learning,—is of the most permanent kind. The most ardent anglers of the present day, will be found in the higher walks of genius and knowledge; a host in himself, as it regards our purpose, it were superflous to covet authorities, in addition to that of the, now, in these enlightened days, illustrious President of the Royal Society!
* From a conviction that the character and writings of Walton require a fuller exposition, than the form of an appendix is capable of supplying, a distinct work, to be entitled Waltoniana, is in preparation. It will comprise very copious Lives of Walton and Cotton, founded on those of Zouch and Oldys, and a variety of literary and graphic illustration, both of the "Angler" and the "Lives," and in a uniform style with the present volume, will also complete the whole of the known works of Walton.
Again, for the honour of our author let us not forget that the brilliant Wit, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, is known to have declared that he never desired a better companion for a post-chaise, than this same angler, or Contemplative Man's Recreation.
To a theme so pleasing, it requires much resolution to fix the necessary bounds; if space were allowed, we could greatly swell our collection of laudatory extracts, even from popular authors: but the reader will here be relieved by the perusal of our author's Will; a composition illustrating equally his own benevolent character and the peculiar nature of his connexions.
August the ninth, one thousand sii hundred eighty-three.
In tbr /3ame of «oo, amen. I IZAAK WALTON the because of a very long and very true friendship with some of the Roman church. And for my worldly Estate (which I have neither, got by falsehood, or flattery, or the extreme cruelty of the law of this nation) I do hereby give and bequeath it as followeth: First, I give my son in law, Doctor Hawkins, and to his wife, to them I give all my title and right of or in a part of, a house and shop in Pater-noster-row, in London, which I hold by lease from the Lord Bishop of London for about fifty years to come. And I do also give to them all my right and title of or to a house in Chancertilane, London, wherein Mrs. Greinwood now dwelleth, in which is now about sixteen years to come: I give these two leases to them, they saving my executor from all damage concerning the same. And I give to my son, Izaah, all my right and title to a lease of Norington Farme, which I hold from the Lord Bishop of Winton; and I do also give him all my right and title to a farm or land near to Stafford, which I bought of Mr. Walter Noell; I say, I give it to him and his heirs for ever; but upon the condition following, namely: if my sou shall not marry before he shall be of the age of forty and one years, or, being married, shall dye before the said age, and leave no son to inherit the said farme or land ; or if his son or sons shall not live to attain the age of twenty and one years, to dispose otherways of it; then I give the said farme or land to the towne or corporation of Stafford, in which I was borne, for the good and benefit of some of the said towne, as I shall direct, and as followeth: (but first note, that it is at this present time rented for twenty-one pound ten shillings a year, and is like to hold the said rent, if care be taken to keep the barn and housing in repair;) and I would have, and do give ten pound of the said rent, to bind out yearly, two boys, the sons of honest and poor parents, to be apprentices to some tradesmen or handycraft-men, to the intent the said boys may the better afterward get their own living. And I do also give five pound yearly, out of the said rent, to be given to some maid-servant, that hath attained the age of twenty and one year, not less, and dwelt long in one service, or to some honest poor man's daughter, that hath attained to that age, to be paid her at or on the day of her marriage: and this being done, ray will is, that what rent shall remain of the said farme or land, shall be disposed of as followeth: first I do give twenty shillings yearly, to be spent by the Major of Stafford, and those that shall collect the said rent, and dispose of it as I have, and shall hereafter direct; and that what money or rent shall remain undisposed of, shall he imployed to buy coals for some poor people, that shall most need them, in the said towne; the said coals to be delivered the first weeke in January, or in every first weeke in February; I say then, because I take that time to be the hardest and most pinching times with poor people; and God reward those that shall do this without partialitie, and with honesty, and a good conscience. And if the said Major and others of the said towne of Stafford, shall prove, so negligent, or dishonest, as not to imploy the rent by me given as intended and exprest in this my will, which God forbid, then I give the said rents and profits of the said farme or land to the towne and chief magistrates, or governors of Eclesltall, to be disposed of by them in such manner as I have ordered the disposal of it by the towne of Stafford, the said farme or land being near the towne of Ecleshall. And I give to my son-in-law, Doctor Hawkins, whom I love as my own son, and to my daughter, his wife, and my son Izaak, to each of them a ring, with these words or motto, " Love "my memory, I. W. obiit. "to the Lord
elder, of Winchester, being this present day, in the ninetyeth year of my age, and in perfect memory, for which praised be God, but considering how suddainly I may be deprived of boih, do therefore make this my last Will and Testament as followeth: And first, I do declare my belief to be, that there is only one God, who hath made the whole world, and me and all mankind, to whom I shall give an account of all my actions, which are not to be justified, but I hope pardoned, for the merits of my Saviour Jesus; and because the profession of Christianity does, at this time, seem to be subdivided into Papist and Protestante, I take it, at least, to be convenient to declare my belief to be, in all points of faith, as the Church of England now professeth : and this I do the rather.
Bishop of Winton a ring, with this motto, " A mite for a million, "I. W. obiit. "and to the friends here
after named, I give to each of them a ring with this motto, " A friend's farewell, I. W. obiit. "and my
will is, the said rings be delivered within forty days after my death: and that the price or value of all the said rings shall be thirteen shillings and fourpence a-piece. I give to Doctor Hawkins, Doctor Donne's Sermons, which I have heard preached, and read with much content. To my son Izaak, I give Doctor Sibbs his Soul's Conflict; and to my daughter his Bruised Reed, desiring them to read them so as to be well acquainted with them. And I also give unto her all my books at Winchester and Droxford, and whatever in those two places are, or I can call mine, except a trunk of linnen, which I give to my son Izaak; but if he do not live to e