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Page xiv. Sir Henry Wotton.
“My next and last example shall be that undervaluer of money, the late Provost of Eton College, Sir Henry Wotton, a man with whom I have often fished and conversed; a man, whose foreign employments in the service of this nation, and whose experience, learning, wit, and cheerfulness, made his company to be esteemed one of the delights of mankind.”—(Complete Angler. P.I. Ch. I.)
In Sir Henry Wotton's verses, written by him as he sat fishing on the bank of a river, he probably alludes to Walton himself, who often accompanied him in his innocent amusement:
“There stood my friend with patient skill,
That this amiable and excellent person set a high value on the conversation of his humble friend, appears from the following letter:
“My worthy FRIEND, “Since I last saw you, I have been confined to my chamber by a quotidian fever, I thank God, of more contumacy than malignity. It had once left me, as I thought, but it was only to fetch more company, returning with a surcrew of those splenetic vapors, that are called hypocondrical; of which most say the cure is good company, and I desire no better physician than yourself. I have in one of those fits endeavoured to make it more easy by composing a short hymn; and since I have apparelled my best thoughts so lightly as in verse, I hope I shall be pardoned a second vanity, if I communicated it with such a friend as yourself; to whom I wish a cheerful spirit, and a thankful heart to value it, as one of the greatest blessings of our good God; in whose dear
love I leave you, remaining
“Your poor friend to serve you,
(Reliquia Wottoniana, p. 361. 4th edit.)
Page xx. Reliquiæ Wottoniana.
A contemporary writer has thus delineated the characters of Dr. Donne and Sir Henry Wotton.— “To speak it in a word, the Trojan Horse was not fuller of heroic Grecians, than King James's reign was full of men excellent in all kinds of learning. And here I desire the reader's leave to remember two of my old acquaintance: the one was Mr. John Donne, who, leaving Oxford, lived at the Inns of Court, not dissolute, but very neat; a great visitor of ladies, a great writer of conceited verses, until such time as King James, taking notice of the pregnancy of his wit, was a means that he took him to the study of divinity, and, thereupon proceeding Doctor, was made Dean of St. Paul's, and became so rare a preacher, that he was not only commended, but even admired by all that heard him. The other was Henry Wotton (mine old acquaintance also, as having been fellow pupils and chamber-fellows in Oxford divers years together.) This gentleman was employed by King James in embassage to Venice : and indeed the kingdom afforded not a fitter man for matching the capaciousness of the Italian wits; a man of so able dexterity with his pen, that he hath done himself much wrong, and the kingdom more, in leaving no more of his writings behind him.” (Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle of the Kings of England, London, 1684.)
Page liii. His affection for sacred music, &c.
“He that at midnight, when the very laborer sleeps securely, should hear, as I have often done, the sweet descants, the natural rising and falling, the doubling and redoubling of the nightingale's voice, might well be lifted above earth, and say, Lord, what music hast thou provided for the saints in heaven, when thou affordest bad men such music upon earth P”— (Complete Angler, P.I. Ch. I.)
Page 3. George, Lord Bishop of Winchester.
Dr. George Morley, distinguished by his unshaken loyalty and attachment to Charles I. was, at the Restoration, first made Dean of Christ-church, and