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Verses to Mr. Izaak Walton

To the Reader e g -
The Introduction . . . . - -
THE LIFE of MR. Richard HookER

Appendix -
George Cranmer's Letter - - - e

Verses to Mr. Izaak Walton
The Introduction
THE LIFE of MR. GEORGE HERBERT

Epistle Dedicatory
The Preface e -
THE LIFE of DR, Rob ERT SANDERSON

NoTES

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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. Is AAc, or, as he usually wrote his name, IzAAK WALTo N 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

in the upper buildings of his celebrated Burse. However this may be, he soon improved his fortune by his honesty, his frugality, 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 scrupulous attention, regularly marked out the different houses successively inhabited by the poet, “as if it was an injury to neglect any place, that he honored 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 of Bath and Wells. If there be a name to which I have been accus

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tomed from my earliest youth to look up with reverential awe, it is that of this amiable prelate. The primitive innocence of his life, the suavity of his disposition, his taste for poetry and music, his acquirements as a polite scholar, his eloquence in the pulpit (for he was pronounced by James the Second to be the first preacher among the Protestant divines), these endearing qualities ensure to him our esteem and affection. But what principally commands our veneration, is that invincible inflexibility of temper, which rendered him superior to every secular consideration. When from a strict adherence to the dictates of conscience he found himself reduced to a private station, he dignified that station by the magnanimity of his demeanour, by a humble and serene patience, by an ardent but unaffected piety. In 1643, Mr. Walton, having declined business, retired to a small estate in Staffordshire, not far from the town of Stafford. His loyalty made him obnoxious to the ruling powers; and we are assured by himself, that he was a sufferer during the time of the civil wars. In 1643 the Covenanters came back into England, marching with the Covenant gloriously upon their pikes and in their hats, with this motto, “For the Crown and Covenant of both Kingdoms.” “This,” he adds, “I saw, and suffered by it. But when I look back upon the ruin of families, the bloodshed, the decay of common honesty, and how the former piety and plain dealing of this now sinful nation is turned into cruelty and cunning ; when I consider this, I praise God, that he prevented me from being of that party, which helped to bring in

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