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the genuine spirit of benevolence and candour, is not altogether inapplicable to more recent times; and it has been reprinted as lately as 1795.
Besides the works of Walton above-mentioned, there are extant of, of his writing, verses on the death of Dr. Donne, beginning, "Our Donne is dead; " verses to his reverend friend the author of the "Synagogue," printed together with Herbert's "Temple ;" verses before "Alexander Brome's Poems," octavo, 1646, and before "Shirley's Poems," octavo 1646,-and before "Cartwright's Plays and Poems," octavo, 1651. He wrote also the following lines under an engraving of Dr. Donne, before his "Poems," published in 1635.
This was for youth, strength, mirth, and wit-that time
From youth's dross, mirth, and wit, -as thy pure mind
Witness this book, (thy emblem,) which begins
Dr. Henry King, Bishop of Chichester-in a letter to Walton dated in November, 1664, and in which is contained the judgment of Hales, of Eton, on the "Life of Dr. Donne," says that Walton had, in the "Life of Hooker," given a more short and significant account of the character of his time, and also of" Archbishop Whitgift," than he had received from any other pen, and that he had also done much for Sir Henry Savile, his contemporary and familiar friend; which fact does very well connect with what the late Mr. Des Maizeaux, some years since, related to a gentleman now deceased, from whom I had it, viz., that there were then several letters of Walton extant, in the Ashmolean Museum, relating to a "Life of Sir Henry Savile," which Walton had entertained thoughts of writing.
I also find, that he undertook to collect materials for a "Life of Hales." It seems, that Mr. Anthony Farringdon, minister of St. Mary Magdalen, Milk-street, London, had begun to write the life of this memorable person; but dying before he had completed it, his papers were sent to Walton, with a request from
1 Alluding to his age, viz. eighteen; when the picture was painted from which the print was taken.-H.
2 William Oldys, Esq. Norroy king-at-arms; Author of the "Life of Mr. Cotton," prefixed to the Second Part, in the former editions of this work.-H.
Mr. Fulman, who had proposed to himself to continue and finish it, that Walton would furnish him with such information as was to his purpose: Mr. Fulman did not live to complete his design. But a "Life of Mr. Hales," from other materials, was compiled by the late Mr. Des Maizeaux, and published by him in 1719, as a specimen of a new "Biographical Dictionary.'
A letter of Walton, to Marriot, his bookseller, upon this occasion, was sent me by the late Rev. Dr. Birch, containing the above facts; to which the Doctor added, that after the year 1719, Mr. Fulman's papers, came to the hands of Mr. Des Maizeaux, who intended, in some way or other, to avail himself of them but he never published a second edition of his "Life of Hales; "nor, for aught that I can hear, have they ever yet found their way into the world.
In 1683, when he was ninety years old, Walton published "Thealma and Clearchus ; a pastoral history, in smooth and easy verse, written long since by John Chalkhill, Esq.; an acquaintance and friend of Edmund Spenser: to this poem he wrote a preface, containing a very amiable character of the author.
He lived but a very little time after the publication of this poem; for, as Wood says, he ended his days on the 15th day of December, 1683, in the great frost, at Winchester, in the house of Dr. William Hawkins, a prebendary of the church there, where he lies buried.
In the cathedral of Winchester, in a chapel in the south aisle, called Prior Silksteed's chapel, on a large black flat marble stone, is this inscription to his memory; the poetry has very little to recommend it,
Here resteth the body of
Who dyed the 15th of December,
Alas! he's gone before,
Crown'd with eternal bliss,
The issue of Walton's marriage were,-a son, named Isaac ; and a daughter, named, after her mother, Anne. This son was placed in Christ Church College, Oxford; and, having taken his degree of Bachelor of Arts, travelled, together with his uncle, Bishop Ken, in 1674, into France and Italy. Of this son, mention is made in the remarkable will of Dr. Donne the younger, in 1662; whereby he bequeathed to the elder Walton all his father's writings, as also his common-place book, which, he says, may be of use to him if he makes him a scholar. Upon the return of the younger Walton, he prosecuted his studies; and having finished them entered into holy orders; became chaplain to Dr. Seth Ward, Bishop of Sarum; and by his favour, attained to the dignity of canon residentiary of that cathedral. Upon the decease of Bishop Ward, and the promotion of Dr. Gilbert Burnet to the vacant see, Mr. Walton was taken into the friendship and confidence of that prelate, and being a man of great temper and discretion, and much respected by the clergy of the diocese, became very useful to him in conducting the affairs of the chapter.
Old Isaac Walton having by his will bequeathed a farm and land near Stafford, of about the yearly value of 20%. to his son and his heirs for ever, upon condition, that if he should not marry before he should be of the age of forty-one, or being married should die before the said age, and leave no son that should attain the age of twenty-one, then the estate should go to the corporation of Stafford, for certain charitable purposes;
this son, upon reaching forty-one, without having married, informed the mayor of Stafford, that the estate, now almost double its former value, would upon his decease belong to the corporation.
He died, at the age of sixty-nine, on the 29th day of December, 1719; and lies interred in the cathedral church of Salisbury.
Anne, the daughter of old Isaac Walton, was married to Dr. William Hawkins; a divine and prebendary of Winchester; for whom Walton, in his will, expresses great affection, declaring that he loved him as his own son. He died the 17th day of July, 1691, aged fifty-eight, leaving issue-by his said wife-a daughter named Anne, and a son named William. The daughter was never married, but lived with her uncle, the canon, as his housekeeper, and the manager of his domestic concerns: she remained settled at Salisbury after his decease, till the 27th of November, 1728, when she died, and lies buried in the cathedral.
William, the son of Dr. Hawkins, and brother of the lastmentioned Anne, was bred to the study of the law. He wrote and published in 8vo. 1713, "A short account of the life of Bishop
Ken," with a small specimen, in order to a publication of his works at large; and, accordingly, in 1721, they were published, in four volumes, 8vo. From this account, some of the above particulars respecting the family connections of Walton are taken.
A few months before his death, Walton made his will, which appears, by the peculiarity of many expressions contained in it, as well as by the hand-to be of his own writing. As there is something characteristic in this last solemn act of his life,-it has been thought proper to adjoin an authentic copy thereof.
Upon a retrospect to the foregoing particulars, and a view of some others mentioned in a subsequent letter1 and in his will,it will appear that Walton possessed that essential ingredient to human felicity, mens sana in corpore sano; for in his eighty-third year he professes a resolution to begin a pilgrimage of more than a hundred miles into the country-at that time a most difficult and hazardous undertaking for an aged man-to visit his friend Cotton, and doubtless to enjoy his favourite diversion of angling in the delightful streams of the Dove, and on the ninetieth anniversary of his birth-day he, by his will, declares himself to be of perfect memory.
1 See his Letter to Charles Cotton, Esq.; prefixed to the second part.