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“THERE are no colors in the fairest sky
So fair as these. The feather whence the pen
Was shaped that traced the lives of these good men,
Dropped from an angel's wing With moistened eye
We read of faith and purest charity
In statesman, priest, and humble citizen.
O, could we copy their mild virtues, then
What joy to live, what blessedness to die
Methinks their very names shine still and bright
Apart — like glow-worms in the woods of spring,
Or lonely tapers shooting far a light
That guides and cheers—or seen, like stars on high,
Satellites burning in a lucid ring
Around meek Walton's heavenly memory.”



No one, it is believed, will be disposed to dispute the claims of “Izaak Walton's Lives,” to a place in the Library of Old English Prose Writers. They are admitted at an early stage of the series, from the circumstance that these delightful pieces of biography are very little known in this country. Whilst that charming pastoral, “The Complete Angler,” is familiar to every one who pretends to any acquaintance with old English literature, the “Lives” are in comparatively few hands. The Editor will consider himself amply compensated for any care he may have expended upon the publication of these volumes, if thereby he shall contribute in any degree to their being more widely known and more justly appreciated.

The present edition, so far as the text is concerned, is an exact copy of Zouch's, which is

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Verses to Mr. Izaak Walton
To the Reader o g -
The Introduction e - - - - -

The LIFE of MR. Rich ARD HookER
Appendix -
George Cranmer's Letter - - - e

Verses to Mr. Izaak Walton
The Introduction -

Epistle Dedicatory
The Preface - - -



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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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