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TO THE EDITION OF
THE COMPLETE ANGLER,
PUBLISHED IN THE
FRONTISPIECE - PORTRAIT OF WALTON.
3 80 82
90 98 102 122 124 130 142 149 154 156 160 167 168 172 173 174 181 183 186 214 252
IN ALL, TWENTY-EIGHT WOODCUTS AND PLATES,
The excellent Lord Verulam has noted it as one of the great deficiencies of biographical history, that it is, for the most part, confined to the actions of kings, princes, and great personages, who are necessarily few ; while the memory of less conspicuous, though good men, has been no better preserved than by vague reports and barren elogies.
It is not, therefore, to be wondered at, if little care has been taken to perpetuate the remembrance of the person who is the subject of the present inquiry; and, indeed, there are many circumstances that seem to account for such an omission ; for neither was he distinguished by his rank, or eminent for his learning, or remarkable for the performance of any public service; but as he ever affected a retired life, so was he noted only for an ingenious, humble, good man.
However, to so eminent a degree did he possess the qualities above ascribed to him, as to afford a very justifiable reason for endeavouring to impress upon the minds of mankind, by a collection of many scattered passages concerning him, a due sense of their value and importance.
Isaac, or, as he used to write it, Izaak Walton, was born at Stafford, in the month of August, 1593. The Oxford Antiquary, who has thus fixed the place and year of his nativity, has left us no memorials of his family, nor even hinted where or how he was educated ; but has only told us, that before the year 1643, Walton was settled, and followed the trade of a sempster, in London.*
* Athen Oxon. vol. i. 305.