« AnteriorContinuar »
" their travilles (not to be comended). And then Ben began to set up for “himselfe in the trade by which he got his subsistance and fame, of which “ I need not give any account. He got in time to have a rool. a yeare “ from the king, also a pension from the cittie, and the like from many of the “nobilitie and some of the gentry, wch was well pay'd, for love or fere of his “ railing in verse, or prose, or boeth. My lord told me, he told him he was “ (in his long retyrement and sicknes, when he saw him, which was often) “ much afflickted, that hee had profained the scripture in his playes, and “ lamented it with horror: yet that, at that time of his long retyrement, “his pension (so much as came in) was giuen to a woman that gouern’d “him (with whome he liu'd and dyed nere the Abie in Westminster;) and " that nether he nor she tooke much care for next weike: and wood be “ sure not to want wine: of wch he usually tooke too much before he went " to bed, if not oftener and soner. My lord tells me, he knowes not, but " thinks he was born in Westminster. The question may be put to Mr. “ Wood very easily upon what grounds he is positive as to his being born “ their; he is a friendly man, and will resolve it. So much for braue Ben. “ You will not think the rest so tedyous as I doe this.
“ ffor y' 2 and 3 que of Mr. Hill, and Bilingsley, I do neither know “nor can learn any thing worth teling you.
“ for y' two remaining que of Mr. Warner', and Mr. Harriott this: “ Mr. Warner did long and constantly lodg nere the water stares, or “ market, in Woolstable. Woolstable is a place not far from Charing“ Crosse, and nerer to Northumberland-house. My lord of Winchester “ tells me, he knew him, and that he fayde, he first found out the cercula“tion of the blood, and discouer'd it to Dr. Haruie (who said that 'twas he “ (himselfe) that found it) for which he is so memorally famose. Warner “had a pension of 401. a yeare from that Earle of Northumberland that lay “ so long a prisner in the Towre, and som allowance from Sr. Tho. “ Aylesbury, and with whom he usually spent his suiner in Windsor Park, " and was welcom, for he was harmles and quet. His winter was spent at E 2
Of this great mathematician, fee « Wood's Ath. Ox.” Vol. I. col. 461.
“the Woolftable, where he dyed in the time of the parlement of 1640, “ of which or whome, he was no louer.
“ Mr. Herriott", my lord tells me, he knew also: That he was a more “ gentile man than Warner. That he had 120l. a yeare pension from the “ said Earle, who was a louer of ther studyes) and his lodging in Syon“ house, where he thinks, or believes, he dyed.
“ This is all I know or can learne for your friend; which I wish may be “ worth the time and trouble of reading it. Nou'. 22, 80.
. “ J. W. “I forgot to tell, that I heard the sermon preacht for the Lady Danvers, “ and have it: but thanke your ffriend”.”.
A life of temperance, fobriety, and cheerfulness, is not seldom rewarded with length of days, with an healthful, honourable, and happy old ageo. Isaac Walton retained to the last a constitution unbroken by disease, with the full possession of his mental powers. In a letter to Mr. Cotton from London, April 29, 1676, he writes; “Though I be more than a hundred miles from you, and in the eighty-third year of my age; yet I will forget both, and next month begin a pilgrimage to beg your pardon." He had written“ The Life of Dr. Sanderson,” when he was in his eighty-fifth year. We find him active with his pen, after this period, at a time when, “silvered o'er with age,” he had a just claim to a writ of ease. On the ninetieth anniversary of his birth-day, he declares himself in his will to be ·
m Of Mr. Thomas Hariot, or Harriot, see « Wood's Ath. Ox. Vol. I. col. 459. The opinions which have been entertained concerning the infidel principles of Hariot, are sufficiently confuted by the inscription on his monument, erected by his executors, Sir Thomas Aylesbury and Robert Sidney, Viscount Lisle, in which he is expressly called, “Veritatis Indagator studiosillimus, Dei triniunius Cultor piiffimus.”'
This was the sermon preached by Dr. Donne, in the parish church of Chelsey, at the funeral of Lady Danvers, the mother of Mr. George Herbert. See “ Walton's Life of Mr. Herbert,” p. 331. Annexed to this extract, in Mr. Aubrey's MSS. in the Ashmolean Museum, are these words: “ This account I received from Mr. Isaac Walton (who wrote Dr. Donne’s life, &c.) Decemb. 2, 1680, he being then eighty-seven years of age. This is his own hand-writing, J. A.”
or Eft etiam quieté et puré et eleganter actæ Ætatis placida ac lenis Senectus.” Cic. de Senectute.--"Non cani, non rugx, repenté auctoritatem arripere poffunt: Sed honesté acta fuperior ætas fructus capit auctoritatis.” 15.
of perfect memory. In the very year in which he died, he prefixed a Preface to a work edited by him: “ Thealma and Clearchus, a Pastoral History, in smooth and easy Verse; written long since by John Chalkhill, Esq. an Acquaintant and Friend of Edmund Spenser.” Flatman, who is known both as a poet and a painter, hath in such true colours delineated the character of his much-esteemed friend, that it would be injurious not to transcribe the following lines:
TO MY WORTHY FRIEND MR. ISAAC WALTON, ON THE PUBLICATION OF THIS POEM.
« Long had the bright Thealma lay obscure:
Well spoken of by late.pofterity,
The classic reader, when he recollects the story of Phidias, will easily acknowledge the propriety of the encomium pafled on Mr. Walton, who
secured immortal fame to himself, while he conferred it upon others. That divine artist, having finished his famous statue of Minerva, with the most consummate exquisiteness of skill, afterward impressed his own image fo deeply on her buckler, that it could not be effaced without destroying the whole work.
The beauties of “ Thealma and Clearchus,” and the character of the author, are not unaptly described in the editor's own language. He intimates in the Preface, that “the reader will find what the title declares, a Pastoral History, in smooth and easy verse; and will in it find many hopes and fears finely painted and feelingly expressed. And he will find the first so often disappointed, when fullest of defire and expectation; and the latter so often, so strangely, and so unexpectedly relieved by an unforeseen Providence, as may beget in him wonder and amazement.” He adds, that “ the reader must here also meet with passions heightened by easy and fit descriptions of joy and sorrow; and find also such various events and rewards of innocent truth and undissembled honesty, as is like to leave in him (if he be a good-natured reader) more sympathizing and virtuous impressions than ten times so much time spent in impertinent, critical, and needless disputes about religion.” Mr. Chalkhill died before he had perfected even the fable of his poem. He was a man generally known in his time, and as well beloved; for he was humble and obliging in his behaviour, a gentleman, a scholar, very innocent and prudent; and indeed his whole life was useful, quiet, and virtuous'. So amiable were the manners, so truly excellent the character of all those, whom Isaac Walton honoured with his regard.
P In a volume, entitled “ The Muses Library, London, 1737,” are inserted extracts from this poem, viz. “ The Arcadian Golden Age,” “ A Description of the Priestesses of Diana,” “ The Image of Jealousy," " A Description of the Power of the Witch Orandra, together with her Cave.”
Dr. Johnson has revived the celebrity of Mr. Chalkhill, by an elegant translation of the following lines:
When Leoniceni, one of the most profound scholars in Italy, in the fifteenth century, was asked by what art he had, through a period of ninety years, preserved a sound memory, perfect senses, an upright body, and a vigorous health, he answered, “ by innocence, serenity of mind, and temperance.” Isaac Walton, having uniformly enjoyed that happy tranquillity, which is the natural concomitant of virtue, came to the grave in a. full age, “ like as a shock of corn cometh in his season."
“ So would I live, such gradual death to find,
He died during the time of the great frost, on the 15th day of December,
“ Where we may
(See WALTON'S COMPLETE ANGLER, P. I. Ch. 16.)
“ Nunc per gramina fufi
(Dr. JOHNSON'S WORKS, Vol. I. p. 190.)