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In order to fill up a few remaining pages, I subjoin a Letter from the Gentleman's Magazine (Nov. 1803. p. 1016.) in defence of some passages inserted in Dr. Zouch's edition of Walton's Lives, with two or three smaller matters relating to that and his other publications.
Sept. 2. In the Monthly Magazine for May, 1803, pp. 299, 300, is a letter subscribed Orthophilus, in which are contained some strictures on three passages in Mr. Zi's edition of Walton's Lives, ed. 1796, 4to.
1. In Walton's Lives, p. 270, is the following note on the character given by I. W. of Mr. Hooker's writings : “ This character of Mr. Hooker's works is confirmed by the approbation of our best writers. Is it not then painful to read in a modern author, whose learning and critical knowledge deserve every encomium, of a malicious observation of Hooker, and as remote from truth as it is from charity ?”——(See Memoir of Gilbert Wakefield, p. 132.)
If Mr. Wakefield, the author here meant, when he quoted the observation of Mr. Hooker, had left it to stand or fall on it's own authority, no possible objection could have arisen. But to affix to it the epithet malicious, to pronounce it
equally remote from truth and charity, was surely unnecessary and unreasonable. Several of Mr. Wakefield's writings are truly excellent. As a Latin critic, he may be classed next to Bentley. * His Silva Critica, and his noble edition of Lucretius, will endear his name to every lover of ancient literature. Orthophilus ingenuously acknowledges, that he will not justify the epithet malicious as applied to Hooker. In what milder terms, then, could the editor of Walton's Lives express his opinion of it, than by saying it was painful to him to observe it? Mr. Richard Hooker was so gentle, so innocent, so angelical in his life and conversation, that we cannot contemplate his character but with every sentiment of respect and veneration. To ascribe malevolence to such a man-but I forbear.
On receiving the following note from Mr. Wakefield, it was intimated to him that, on the appearance of a second edition, the obnoxious passage should be omitted. +
“Mr. Wakefield felt much concern at incurring a mixture of reprehension from a man like Mr. Zouch, proclaimed by his writings to be so intelligent and virtuous. Perhaps however Hooker, in the warm defence of a cause, without personal
* This is, surely, very extravagant praise.—(F. W.)
+ This has, accordingly, been done in the late 8vo edition, I. 416. note (i).
malignity may be guilty of a remark intrinsically malicious in it's aspect and tendency; and that question still remains to be decided.”
In the meantime Mr. W. (who was for many years of his life a devoted fisherman, but unwittingly in unbelief') wishes Mr. Zouch to consider how much is connected with that pastime, as followed by Walton and commended by Mr. Z.-no less than the most exquisite torture * of numberless animals in process of time impaled on a hook, each of whom “in mortal sufferance feels a pang as great as when a giant dies.” Let Mr. Z., under this consideration, represent to himself the whole course of Walton's life; and consider, whether his barbarities would not counterpoise those of all the Popish inquisitors that have yet existed: for to a benevolent heart man or maggot makes no difference, Matt. x. 29. Animus meminisse horret, luctuque refugit.” Such caution should be used by frail man in his censures on his neighbour.
Hackney, April 28, 1796.”
2. Archbishop Laud is mentioned in Walton's Lives, p. 434. ; where it is remarked, in a note,
* Those, who have read the correspondence of Mr. Wakefield with Mr. Fox on learned subjects, will not fail to remember that it opens with an intercession in favour of land-animals. -(F. W.)