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Shall on an ivory table be,
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing,
Walton appears to be well acquainted with the writings of Montaigne, whose essays were excellently translated by his friend Cotton. In many respects, particularly in the artlessness of his character, our author resembles Montaigne, but he had less of whim and eccentricity. Montaigne informs us of his good nature, but the kind-heartedness of honest Isaac ouzes from him unconsciously from every pore. Of the tenderness of his natural disposition, it is impossible to doubt; and yet it is curious and almost ludicrous to note how the love of his art, and the force of habit, occasionally hoodwink his humanity. He zealously hopes that all others may be utterly exterminated, and shortly after censuring those who fish at improper seasons, he observes :
“ But the poor fish have enemies enough beside such unnatural fishermen, as, namely, the otters that I spake of, the cormorant, the bittern, the ospray, the sea-gull, the hern, the king-fisher, the gorara, the puet, the swan, goose, ducks, and the craber, which some call the water-rat: against all which, any honest man may make a just quarrel; but I will not, I will leave them to be quarrelled with, and killed by others; for I am not of a cruel nature, I love to kill nothing but fish.”
And his mode of preparing a live bait, still more strikingly illustrates our observation :
“ Put your hook into his mouth, which you may easily do from the middle of April till August, and then the frog's mouth grows up, and he continues so for at least six months without eating, but is sustained, none, but he whose name is Wonderful, knows how: I say, put your hook, I mean the arming wire, through his mouth, and out at his gills, and then with a fine needle and silk sow the upper part of his leg, with only one stitch to the arming wire of your hook; or tie the frog's leg above the upper joint to the armed wire, and in so doing, use him as though you loved him; that is, harm him as little as you may possibly, that he may live the longer."
The second part of this book is by another hand, the lively Mr. Charles Cotton, who, being more expert in the art of flyfishing than his friend and a father,” as he affectionately terms Isaac Walton, has continued the work, in imitation of the style of the first part, with great felicity and effect. The fishing scene on the Dove is admirably lively and natural; and the fishing-house built for the accommodation of his friend and himself, on the banks of that river, and ornamented with the conjoined cyphers of their names, is a monument of elegant sensibility and friendship, honourable to them both. A wit defined angling to be a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other; and if, in our notice of this amusing volume, we may seem to have approached the opposite extreme, and to have shewn more respect to rural recreations than they may truly claim, be it remembered, that our observations have regarded them in a general point of view, as indicative of national character, rather than as, in themselves, objects of serious pursuit; and that we commend the work before us, for its style, its variety of information, and, above all, for its faithful portraiture of its amiable author, rather than from any desire to make proselytes to the fraternity of the angle. We close the volume with a conviction, in which we feel assured most of its readers will concur,
Minervam non minus in sylvis errare, quam Dianam.
END OF VOL. VI,
PRINTED BY D. S. MAURICE, FENCHURCH STREET.
INDEX TO VOL. VI.
Addison, 133. 150.
Charles IX. 306. 310. 312.
Chatel, John, 317.
Churchyard, Thomas, 339.
Clarkson, Mr. 269.
Cloyne, Bishop of, 103.
Coke, Sir Edward, 154. 159.
Coligny, Admiral, 306. 308.
CORYATE, THOMAS, his Crudities review-
Cotton, the Jesuit, 327.
Courtenay, de, 314.
Cranmer, 285. 299.
Crichton, the admirable, 180.
CUDWORTH, RALPH, his Intellectual Sys-
tem of the Universe reviewed, 49-61.
DEFOE, DANIEL, his History of the
Plague reviewed, 1-20, 338.
Denbigh, Earl of, 259.
Digby, Lady Venetia, 67.
Digges, Sir Dudley, 224.
Edward VI. 284.
Edwin, King of Northumbria, 96.
Elizabeth, Queen, 154. 306. 324.
Essex, Earl of, 220.
Eugene, Prince, 254.
EVERETT, JOHN, his Life reviewed,
Feltham, Owen, 62.
Francis II. 306.
Gabrielle d'Estrees, 316. 319. 321.
Hannes, Dr. Edward, 257.
More, Dr. Henry, 134.
La Fond, 314.
gionum Indiarum Descriptio reviewed,