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of the canker of honour, envy, so behave thyself, that opinion may be satisfied in this, that thou seekest merit, and not fame: and that thou attributest thy preferment rather to providence, than thy own virtue. Honour is a due debt to the observer; and who ever envied the payment of a debt? A just advancement is a providential act; and who ever envied the act of providence?
Let states that aim at greatness, beware lest new gentry multiply too fast, or grow too glorious. Where there is too great a disproportion betwixt the gentry and the common subject, the one grows insolent, the other slavish. When the body of the gentry grows too glorious for a corslet, then the heads of the vulgar wax too heavy for the helmet.
Century 3. Chap 9.
Gaze not on beauty too much, lest it blast thee; nor too long, lest it blind thee; nor too near, lest it burn thee. If thou like it, it deceives thee; if thou love it, it disturbs thee; if thou lust after it, it
destroys thee. If virtue accompany it, it is the heart's paradise. If vice associate it, it is the soul's purgatory. It is the wise man's bonfire, and the fool's furnace.
These are a few specimens only of the great number of excellent maxims to be found in this little book. It well deserves to be reprinted.
ISAAC WALTON was born in 1593, at London, where he followed the trade of a sempster. But on account of the dangers of the times, and having probably acquired a decent competence, he retired in 1643 from business and from London; and afterwards lived sometimes at Stafford, but for the most part in the families of eminent clergymen, by whom he was much respected and beloved. He died in 1683, in his ninetieth year, exhibiting a striking proof how much calm pursuits, with a mind pure and at ease, contribute to prolong the period of human existence.
Walton is celebrated as a biographer, and particularly as an angler.
1. His first work was a Life of Dr. Donne,
dean of St. Paul's, undertaken at the request of sir Henry Wotton. It was published in 1640, prefixed to a collection of Donne's Sermons in folio.
2. On the death of sir Henry Wotton in 1639, Walton published a collection of his works, entitled Reliquia Wottoniana, with his life prefixed.
3. His next Life was that of the celebrated Hooker, which he undertook at the request of his friend Dr. Gilbert Sheldon, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury.
4. While under the roof of his friend and patron, Morley, bishop of Winchester, he wrote the Life of Mr. George Herbert. The above were collected and published in a small octavo volume, in 1675, with a dedication to Winchester.
5. In 1677, he published several pieces of Dr. Robert Sanderson, bishop of Lincoln, together with a sermon of Hooker, in an octavo volume, with a life of the bishop prefixed.
6. But the work by which he is probably most known, is, "The complete Angler, or Contemplative Man's Recreation;" published in 1653, 12mo, adorned with cuts of most of the fish mentioned in it. This is written in
the form of dialogue. The first is between an angler, a huntsman, and a falconer, of whom the latter thus speaks in praise of his favourite recreation.
And first for the element I used to trade in, which is the air, an element of more worth than weight, an element that doubtless exceeds both the earth and water; for though I sometimes deal in both, yet the air is most properly mine. I and my hawks use that, and it yields us most recreation. It stops not the high soaring of my noble, generous falcon. In it she ascends to such a height as the dull eyes of beasts and fish are not able to reach to; their bodies are too gross for such high elevations. In the air, my troops of hawks soar up on high, and when they are lost in the sight of men, then they attend upon and converse with the Gods. Therefore I think my eagle is so justly styled Jove's servant in ordinary; and that very falcon, that I am now going to see, deserves no meaner a title, for she usually in her flight endangers herself, like the son of Dædalus, to have her wings scorched by the sun's heat, she flies so near it. But her mettle makes her careless of danger; for then she heeds nothing, but makes her nimble pinions cut the fluid air, and so makes her highway over the steepest mountains and deepest rivers, and in her glorious career looks with con