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agrees the title of a copy in MS. Ashm. 38. "Doctor Donns valadiction to the worlde."
2. But in the third and succeeding editions of the Angler, the most important clause underwent an alteration; for we now read; "and, some say, written by SIR HARRY WOTTON, Who, I told you, was an excellent Angler.” (p. 251, 3rd edit.) Headley (ii. 24, ed. 1787,) and Campbell (p. 157, second ed.) have therefore printed it as Wotton's, without any sign of doubt; and though we have nothing more than this to shew for it, his claim may very possibly be just.
3. In Sir H. Nicolas's noble reprint of Walton, we find a note upon the poem ;-" These verses are also said to have been written by SIR WALTER RALEIGH, when a prisoner in the Tower, shortly before his execution. Walton expresses himself doubtful as to the author." (p. 311.) This tradition, which really seems to haunt us, has done Raleigh little service. It has nearly deprived him, as we have seen, of one poem, which I believe he really wrote; and there can be no doubt that it is a mistake in this case also. He may have written the piece at some other time; but I do not know on what authority it is ascribed to him at all.
4. A fourth claimant is added from Wit's Interpreter (1671, p. 269,) where the poem is said to be "By SIR KENELME DIGBY." On this authority, Ellis inserted a part of it in his Collection under Digby's name (iii. 179, ed. 1811).
A singular title is prefixed to an anonymous copy of it in Sancroft's Collection (MS. Tann. 465, fol. 59); “ An Hermite in an Arbour, wth a prayer booke in his hand, his foote spurning a globe, thus speaketh." I have given no regular list of variations; for Walton's text (here taken from ed. 1655) is in general far superior to any of the others.]
AREWELL, ye gilded follies, pleasing
Farewell, ye honour'd rags, ye glorious bubbles!
Fame's but a hollow eccho; Gold pure clay;
Fame, Honour, Beauty, State, Train, Blood, and
Are but the fading Blossoms of the earth.
I would be great,—but that the Sun doth still
* I. e. mine, as it is spelt in MS. Sancr. where the line begins, Diggs most'-(It was' man' in the preceding line). In Wit's Interpr. Dig out the bowels',
Still trampled on by each unworthy Asse:
Would the world now adopt me for her heir;
* "An angel is a piece of coin, value ten shillings. The words to vie angels' are a metonymy, and signify to compare wealth."-HAWKINS;—a very insufficient explanation. His parallel of "dropping angels," from the Beggar's Daughter of Bethnal Green (Percy, ii. 165, ed. 1767,) is more to the point. "To vie," used as an active verb, meant-to stake, or hazard, -implying an antagonist who could "revie" by putting down a larger stake. Hence the expression was transferred from games of chance to va. rious other kinds of contest. (See Gifford's Jonson, i. 106.) This meaning seems to have been passing out of general use in the middle of the seventeenth century; for a line of Bp. King's, which stands thus in the MS. copy of his Poems," Vyes Rages with the boyling flood"—was altered in the edition (1657) to “ Out-vies in rage," &c. (King's Poems, p. 25, 1843 so also a copy in Tixall Poetry, p. 313). In Wit's Interpreter, the above passage is printed, "Could I buy Angels”—a sufficient proof of the inaccuracy of that copy.
+ 'in all' - Complete Angler, eds. 2 and 3,—the only old editions which I have at hand. It is altered in the modern copies.
Welcome, pure thoughts! welcome, ye silent Groves!
And if Contentment be a stranger then,
In Sancroft's MS. these lines run thus
"Here dwell noe heating loues, noe palsy feares,
From this and several other passages, it would seem that the text which Sancroft copied underwent a revisal from the author, before it fell into Walton's hands. In most instances, the changes were for the better; bat perhaps not in this.
[ASCRIBED TO SIR WALTER Raleigh.]
[FROM MS. Ashm. 781, p. 163. It has been printed before in the Oxford edition of Raleigh's Works, apparently from the same MS. and with the title, "Moral Advice," viii. 732. I suspect that it was written against him, not by him.]
ATER thy plants with grace devine, and hope to live for aye;
Rawe is the reason that doth lye* within an Atheists head,
Then to thy Sauiour Christe incline; in him make stedfast stay:
Which saith the soule of man doth dye, when that the boddies dead.
S WA: RALEIGH.
The first and seventh words of this line might conceal a secret mark of ownership, like that of Dyer's,-" Dy er thou let his name be known," which, however, did not save that piece from the younger Donne. (See Malone's Shakesp. by Bosw. ii. 220, 581-2.) But this vile pun (if it is one) is more likely to have been the work of an enemy. Who would make such an execrable jest on his own name?