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generally regarded as the standard. The few illustrative Notes appended to the volumes are selected from the same edition, and from the beautiful edition published by Major, London, 1824.

It is proposed, should there appear to be a demand for it, to insert “ The Complete Angler," as a companion, in a subsequent part of the series. The next volume will contain selections from the Discourses of “that apostolic prelate and constant martyr of Jesus Christ, Master Hugh Latimer, sometime Bishop of Worcester.”


Boston, SEPTEMBER 20, 1832.






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 contemplating the virtues of a private citizen ; who, though he arrogates not to himself the splendor 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 honorable ambition cannot be excited in the human breast) to commend to the reverence of posterity the merits of those excellent persons,

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whose comprehensive learning and exalted piety will ever endear them to our memories.

The important end of historical knowledge is a prudent application 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 characters, 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 Canterbury, 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 Canterbury. 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

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