Last modified on 13 April 2014, at 10:13

Izaak Walton

Izaak Walton

Izaak Walton (August 9, 1593 – December 15, 1683) was an English writer, author of The Compleat Angler.

SourcedEdit

  • But God, who is able to prevail, wrestled with him, as the Angel did with Jacob, and marked him; marked him for his own; marked him with a blessing, a blessing of obedience to the motions of his blessed Spirit.
    • Life of Donne (1640).
  • For love is a flattering mischief, that hath denied aged and wise men a foresight of those evils that too often prove to be the children of that blind father; a passion, that carries us to commit errors with as much ease as whirlwinds move feathers, and begets in us an unwearied industry to the attainment of what we desire.
    • Life of Dr. Donne (1640).
  • The great secretary of Nature and all learning, Sir Francis Bacon.
    • Life of Herbert (1670).
  • God has two dwellings — one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 579.

The Compleat Angler (1653-1655)Edit

  • I have laid aside business, and gone a-fishing.
    • Epistle to the Reader.
  • Of which, if thou be a severe, sour-complexioned man, then I here disallow thee to be a competent judge.
    • Epistle to the Reader.
  • Angling may be said to be so like the mathematics that it can never be fully learnt.
    • Epistle to the Reader.
  • As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler.
    • Epistle to the Reader.
  • I shall stay him no longer than to wish him a rainy evening to read this following discourse; and that if he be an honest angler, the east wind may never blow when he goes a-fishing.
    • Epistle to the Reader.
  • As the Italians say, Good company in a journey makes the way to seem the shorter.
    • Part I, ch. 1.
  • I am, sir, a Brother of the Angle.
    • Part I, ch. 1.
  • It [angling] deserves commendations;… it is an art worthy the knowledge and practice of a wise man.
    • Part I, ch. 1.
  • Angling is somewhat like poetry, men are to be born so: I mean, with inclinations to it, though both may be heightened by discourse and practice
    • Part I, ch. 1.
  • Doubt not but angling will prove to be so pleasant that it will prove to be, like virtue, a reward to itself.
    • Part I, ch. 1. Compare: "Virtue is her own reward", John Dryden, Tyrannic Love, act iii, scene 1; "Virtue is to herself the best reward", Henry More, Cupid's Conflict; "Virtue is its own reward", Matthew Prior, Imitations of Horace, book iii. ode 2; John Gay, Epistle to Methuen; Home, Douglas, act iii, scene 1. "Virtue was sufficient of herself for happiness", Diogenes Laertius, Plato, xlii; "Ipsa quidem virtus sibimet pulcherrima merces" ("Virtue herself is her own fairest reward"), Silius Italicus (25?–99): Punica, lib. xiii. line 663.
  • Sir Henry Wotton was a most dear lover and a frequent practiser of the Art of Angling; of which he would say, "'T was an employment for his idle time, which was then not idly spent, a rest to his mind, a cheerer of his spirits, a diverter of sadness, a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a moderator of passions, a procurer of contentedness;" and "that it begat habits of peace and patience in those that professed and practised it."
    • Part I, ch. 1.
  • Rivers and the inhabitants of the watery element are made for wise men to contemplate, and for fools to pass by without consideration.
    • Part I, ch. 1.
  • You will find angling to be like the virtue of humility, which has a calmness of spirit and a world of other blessings attending upon it.
    • Part I, ch. 1.
  • I remember that a wise friend of mine did usually say, "That which is everybody's business is nobody's business."
    • Part I, ch. 2.
  • Good company and good discourse are the very sinews of virtue.
    • Part I, ch. 2.
  • An excellent angler, and now with God.
    • Part I, ch. 4.
  • Old-fashioned poetry, but choicely good.
    • Part I, ch. 4.
  • I love such mirth as does not make friends ashamed to look upon one another next morning.
    • Part I, ch. 5.
  • No man can lose what he never had.
    • Part I, ch. 5.
  • We may say of angling as Dr. Boteler said of strawberries: "Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did"; and so, if I might be judge, God never did make a more calm, quiet, innocent recreation than angling.
    • Part I, ch. 5. Referring to William Butler, styled by Dr. Fuller in his "Worthies" (Suffolk) the "Æsculapius of our age." He died in 1621. This first appeared in the second edition of "The Angler," 1655. Roger Williams, in his "Key into the Language of America," 1643, p. 98, says: "One of the chiefest doctors of England was wont to say, that God could have made, but God never did make, a better berry".
  • Thus use your frog...Put your hook through his mouth, and out at his gills;...and then with a fine needle and silk sew 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.
    • Part I, ch. 8.
  • This dish of meat is too good for any but anglers, or very honest men.
    • Part I, ch. 8.
  • Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God, and value it next to a good conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of; a blessing that money cannot buy.
    • Part I, ch. 21.
  • Let the blessing of St. Peter's Master be...upon all that are lovers of virtue, and dare trust in his Providence, and be quiet and go a-angling.
    • Part I, ch. 21.

AboutEdit

  • Oh, the gallant fisher's life!
    It is the best of any;
    'T is full of pleasure, void of strife,
    And 't is beloved by many.
    • John Chalkhill, The Angler; in 1683, the year in which he died, Walton prefixed a preface to a work edited by him: "Thealma and Clearchus, a Pastoral History, in smooth and easy verse; written long since by John Chalkhill Esq., an acquaintant and friend of Edmund Spenser." There is some speculation that Chalkhill was merely a pseudonym under which Walton wrote certain of his poems. See Thomas Zouch, Life of Walton (1830), p. 57: "Chalkhill,—a name unappropriated, a verbal phantom, a shadow of a shade. Chalkhill is no other than our old piscatory friend incognito".

External linksEdit

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