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In offering this edition of Walton's Lives to the public it need only be observed, that it is founded upon the one which Mr. Major, with his usual taste in embellishing the Text of Walton, put forth some years back.
The Notes which were then collected at the end of the work, are now brought to the foot of the page, with some few alterations and additions. It is hoped that this volume, while it may assume the character of a Library Book, is thus rendered, in itself, a complete pocket companion to the admirer of the exquisite simplicity of the pure old English Author and the incomparable men he commemorates.
The collation of the text is thus referred to in the former edition;
“Life of Dr. Donne, originally prefixed to the first volume " of his Sermons, 1640, Fol. Second Edition, alone, 1658, “12mo. Life of Sir Henry Wotton, attached to the Reliquiæ “Wattonianæ, 1651, 12mo., other editions, 1654, 1672, 1685. “ Life of Richard Hooker, First Edition, 1665, small oc"tavo; Second ditto, attached to the Ecclesiastical Polity, "1666, Folio. Life of George Herbert, First Edition with “his Letters, 1670, 12mo.; the Memoir was afterwards at
tached to his Temple, Poems, &c. in the edition of 1679.
ENGLISH PUBLISHER'S ADVERTISEMENT.
Life of Dr. Robert Sanderson, the first separate edition “ by Walton, was printed in Octavo, in 1678, together with “ several of the Prelate's Tracts, Cases of Conscience, a “Sermon by Hooker, and two Letters on the subject of the 5- Memoir. Of Collections of the first four of these Lives, - there were four editions; the first of which was published “ in 1670, and the last in 1675, both in Octavo. The latter “ of these has been used for revising the text of the follow-- ing pages; and the Publisher has been kindly favoured by 56 Mr. William Upcott of the London Institution with the “ use of a Presentation copy of it, having all the typogra“phical errors corrected by Walton's own pen ; whilst upon “the fly-leaf is written,
“ The Publisher has also to acknowledge the kindness of “ Francis Martin, Esq. Windsor Herald, and Joseph Hasle“ wood, Esq. ; the former for the favour of a copy of Walton's “ first edition of his collected Memoirs, and the latter for " that of the original impression of the Life of Sir Henry 66 Wotton."
In addition to the above it is necessary only to state that the complete Life of Walton by Zouch has been prefixed to the present Edition by the American Publisher.
I PRESENT not to the reader the history of a wise statesman, an adventurous soldier, or a profound philosopher. Yet I trust, that he will experience no small degree of satisfaction from contem. plating the virtues of a private citizen; who, though he arrogates not to himself the splendour of high descent, or the pride of superfluous wealth, deserves our approbation and regard. ISAAC, or, as he usually wrote his name, IZAAK WALTON, adorned with a guileless simplicity of manners, claims from every good man the tribute of applause. It was his ambition (and surely a more honourable ambition cannot be excited in the human breast) to commend to the reverence of posterity the merits of those excel. lent persons, whose comprehensive learning and exalted piety will ever endear them to our memories.
The important end of historical knowledge is a prudent appli. cation of it to ourselves, with a view to regulate and amend our own conduct. As the examples of men strictly and faithfully discharging their professional duties, must obviously tend to invigorate our efforts to excel in moral worth, the virtuous char. acters, which are so happily delineated in the following pages, cannot fail, if considered with serious attention, of producing the most beneficial and lasting impressions on the mind.
The life of the author of this biographical collection was little diversified with events. He was born of a respectable family, on
the ninth day of August, 1593, in the parish of St. Mary's, in the town of Stafford. Of his father no particular tradition is extant. From his mother he derived an hereditary attachment to the Protestant religion, as professed in the church of England. She was the daughter of Edmund Cranmer, Archdeacon of Canter. bury, sister to Mr. George Cranmer, the pupil and friend of Mr. Richard Hooker, and niece to that first and brightest ornament of the Reformation, Dr. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canter. bury. No vestiges of the place or manner of his education have been discovered ; nor have we any authentic information concerning his first engagements in a mercantile life. It has indeed been suggested, that he was one of those industrious young men, whom the munificence of Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the Royal Exchange, had placed in the shops which were erected in the upper buildings of his celebrated Burse. However this may be, he soon improved his fortune by his honesty, his frugali. ty, and his diligence. His occupation, according to the tradition still preserved in his family, was that of a wholesale linen-draper, or Hamburgh merchant.
The writers of the Life of Milton have, with the most scrupu. lous attention, regularly marked out the different houses successively inhabited by the poet, “as if it was an injury to neglect any place, that he honoured by his presence.” The various parts of London, in which Izaak Walton resided, have been recorded with the same precision. It is sufficient to intimate, that he was for some years an inhabitant of St. Dunstan's in the West. With Dr. John Donne, then vicar of that parish, of whose sermons he was a constant hearer, he contracted a friendship, which remained uninterrupted to their separation by death. This his parishioner attended him in his last sickness, and was present at the time that he consigned his sermons and numerous papers to the care of Dr. Henry King, who was promoted to the see of Chichester in 1641.
He married Anne, the daughter of Thomas Ken, Esq. of Furnival's Inn; a gentleman, whose family, of an ancient extraction, was united by alliance with several noble houses, and had possessed a very plentiful fortune for many generations, having been known by the name of the Kens of Ken-Place, in Somersetshire. She was the sister of Thomas Ken, afterward the deprived Bishop