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How deepest Wounds are given by praise;—
Who hath his Life from Rumours freed;
Who God doth late and early pray
This man is freed from servile [b]ands
[VARIATIONS. 1. 'or taught'-BCE F.-4. And silly truth his highest skill'-A D. It is highest skill' also in B C E F.— 5.6 Master'-E.-7. Untied to the world with care'-A. 'with care' also in B C E F, and in E F the line begins, 'Not ty'd unto'—. 8. All the copies but Rel. Wotton. have 'vulgar breath'-, but . they vary in the commencement of the line. Thus; 'Of princes grace'-A C. 'Of Princes Loue'-B. 'Of princes ear'—E F.— In C, the third stanza is omitted altogether; and in A B E F, the third and fourth stanzas are transposed. In D, the same transposition was intended; but lines 7, 8, 13, and 14 are accidentally omitted.-9. 'Who envieth none whome chance'-A B. 'whom' also in F. In D, the line runs, 'Whoe envieth not that shame'. 10. The punctuation and reading are adopted from the other copies, except that A D F have 'Or vice;' and D,
' and neuer'-. In Rel. Wotton. it stands thus:- Nor Vice
hath ever understood;'-. 11. How swordes give sleighter wounds than prayse'-A. 'How desperate woundes are giuen with prayse'-B. 'That.... with'-D E. 'with' also in F.12. Not rules'-E.-13. 'humors'-A E. 'rumour'-B. 'humor'-C. The text is doubtless right. The words were frequently confused.-15. 'fauours doth not'-C.-16. ' accusers great-all but F and Rel. Wotton.-17. 'Who late & early doth God pray'-C.-18. 'to send'-B C D. His graces more then gifts to lend'-E.-20. 'well-chosen book'-all but Rel. Wotton.-21. 'This man is free from servile bandes'-A B C D. 'free.... band'-E. It is 'bands' in Rel. Wotton. 1651 and 1654; but in ed. 1672 is misprinted 'hands'-. 23. 'though' omitted in B.-' land'-E.]
[THIS piece is inserted in Walton's Angler, (pp. 60, 61, ed. 1655,) with some introductory remarks, which I shall quote at length. "My next and last example shall be that undervaluer of money,* the late Provost of Eton Colledg, Sir Henry Wotton, (a man with whom I have often fish'd and convers'd) a man whose forraign Imployments in the service of this Nation, and whose experience, learning, wit, and
See Walton's Lives, pp. 159, 177, ed. 1796. A curious anecdote to the same effect occurs in Walton's Letter to Fulman about John Hales (Fulman's MSS. C. C. C. Oxford, vol. xii. fol. 80):-" he [Hales] was not good at any continuance to get or saue mony for him selfe; yet he vndertoke to doe it for his freind Sr H: Wotton, who was a neclecter of mony, and Mr Ha. told me he had got 3007. together at the time of his deth, a some to which Sr H. had long beine a stranger, and wood euer haue beine if he had manag'd his owne mony-buissines: it was hapily got together to bury him, and inable him to doe some offices of honor, and Justice, and gratitude, and charitie."-Wotton's saying about Angling is more briefly given in his Life; p. 164.
cheerfulnesse, made his company to bee esteemed one of the delights of mankind; this man,-whose very approbation of Angling were sufficient to convince any modest Censurer of it, this man was also a most dear lover, and a frequent practicer of the Art of Angling; of which he would say, 'Twas an Imployment for his idle time, which was [then] not idly spent; for angling was, after tedious Study, A rest to his mind, a cheerer of his spirits, a divertion of sadnesse, a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a Moderator of passions, a procurer of contentednesse; and, that it begot habits of peace and patience in those that profest and practic'd it. [Indeed, my friend, you will find angling to be like the vertue of Humility, which has a calmness of spirit, and a world of other blessings attending upon it.]*—Sir, This was the saying of that Learned man; and I do easily believe that peace, and patience, and a calme content did cohabit in the cheerful heart of Sir Henry Wotton, because I know, that when hee was beyond seventy yeares of age, hee made this discription of a part of the present pleasure that possest him, as he sate quietly in a Summers evening on a bank a fishing; it is a description of the Spring, which, because it glides as soft and sweetly from his pen, as that River does now by which it was then made, I shall repeat [it] unto you." After reciting the Poem, Piscator adds, "These were the thoughts that then possest the undisturbed mind of Sir Henry Wotton." From this passage we can ascertain the date of the piece with sufficient exactness; for Wotton died in his seventy-second year. Mr. Dyce is therefore correct when he says, that it "was probably composed during his later years;" but the extracts from Walton's Life of him, and from the Epistle Dedicatory before the Complete Angler, on
* The words within brackets are added from the third edit, of the Angler, where, a little above, we have a diverter of sadnesse,' and towards the end of the quotation, as that river does at this time'. The extract is printed from the second ed. (1655.)
which he founds his opinion, might perhaps have been dispensed with, when we had this decisive evidence in the Complete Angler itself.
The Variations are from three copies; A that in the Complete Angler, as above: B=MS. Rawl. Poet. 147, p. 47. C Archbishop Sancroft's MS. (Tann. 465, fol. 61, v.) In both the MSS. it is entitled, “ On the Spring," and signed "Sr H. Wotton."]
ND now all Nature seem'd in Love;
There stood my Friend,* with patient Skill,
 With the swift Pilgrims daubed nest:
The showres were short, the weather mild,
Jone takes her neat-rub'd Pale, and now
The Fields and Gardens were beset  With Tulip, Crocus, Violet :
The biographers of Izaak Walton are doubtless right in treating this as a reference to him. Zouch, p. xiii. ed. 1796. Nicolas, pp. xxxv. 79.