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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE AND REVEREND
FATHER IN GOD, GEORGE,
LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, AND PRELATE OF THE
MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE GARTER.
MY LORD, Did some years past, present you with a plain relation of
the life of Mr. Richard Hooker, that humble man, to whose memory princes, and the most learned of this nation, have paid a reverence at the mention of his name.---And now, with Mr. Hooker's, I present you also the life of that pattern of primitive piety, Mr. George Herbert; and, with his, the life of Dr. Donne, and your friend Sir Henry Wotton, all reprinted.--- The two first were written under your roof; for
Dr. George Morley, distinguished by his unshaken loyalty and attachment to Charles I.. was, at the Restoration, first made Dean of Christ-church, and then Bishop of Worcester. In 1662 he was translated to the fee of Winchester. Though nominated one of the Assembly of Divines, he never did them the honour, nor himself the injury, to fit among them. During his absence from his native country, he endeared himself to several learned foreigners, particularly to Andrew Rivettus, Heinsius, Salmasius, and Bochart. He constantly attended the young exiled King ; but not being permitted to follow him into Scotland, he retired to Antwerp, where for about three or four years he read the service of the Church of England twice every day, catechized once a week, and administered the communion once a month to all the English in the town who could come to it, regularly and strictly observing all the parochial duties of a clergyman, as he did afterwards at Breda for four years together. Walker, in his History of the Sufferings of the Clergy, having quoted Anthony Wood's character of this prelate, concludes with this exclamation : “ O that but a single portion of « his spirit might always rest on the established clergy!” He died in 1684.
(Le Neve, Fuller, and Wood.)
which reason, if they were worth it, you might justly challenge a Dedication: And indeed, so you might of Dr. Donne's and Sir Henry Wotton's; because, if I had been fit for this undertaking, it would not have been by acquired learning or study, but by the advantage of forty years friendihip, and thereby with hearing and discoursing with your Lordship, that hath enabled me to make the relation of these Lives passable (if they prove so) in an eloquent and captious age.
And indeed, my Lord, though these relations be wellmeant sacrifices to the memory of these worthy men, yet I have so little confidence in my performance, that I beg pardon for superscribing your name to them, and desire all that know your Lordship, to apprehend this not as a Dedication (at least by which you
any addition of honour), but rather as an humble, and a more public acknowledgment of your long continued, and your now daily favours to,
Your most affectionate
And most humble servant,
IZAAK WALTON. TO THE READER.
TH 'HOUGH the several introdu&tions to these several lives have partly
declared the reasons how, and why I undertook them, yet since they are come to be reviewed, and augmented, and reprinted, and the four are now become one book ", I desire leave to inform you that shall become my reader, that when I sometime look back upon my education and mean abilities, it is not without some little wonder at myself, that I am come to be publicly in print °. And though I have in those introductions declared some of the accidental reasons that occasioned me to be so, yet let me add this to what is there faid, that by my undertaking to collect some notes for Sir Henry Wotton's writing the Life of Dr. Donne", and by Sir Henry's dying before he performed it, I became like those men that enter easily into a law-suit or a quarrel, and having begun, cannot make a fair retreat and be
• He had not then written the life of Bishop Sanderson.
• In the preceding Epistle Dedicatory, our author modestly resigns all claim to “ acquired learning or study."
Sir Henry Wotton addressed the following letter to Mr. Isaac Walton, who had requested him to perform his promise of writing the life of Dr. Donne.
“ MY WORTHY FRIEND, “ I am not able to yield any reason, no not so much as may satisfie myself, why a most “ingenuous letter of yours hath lain so long by me (as it were in lavender) without an answer, “ save this only, the pleasure I have taken in your style and conceptions, together with a “ meditation of the subject you propound, may seem to have cast me into a gentle flumber. “ But, being now awaked, I do herein return you most hearty thanks for the kind prosecu“tion of your first motion, touching a just office due to the memory of our ever-memorable “ friend; to whose good fame, though it be needless to add any thing (and, my age con“ fidered, almost hopeless from my pen), yet I will endeavour to perform my promise, if it
quiet, when they desire it.—And really, after such a manner, I became engaged into a necessity of writing the life of Dr. Donne, contrary to my first intentions; and that begot a like necessity of writing the life of his and my ever honoured friend, Sir Henry Wotton.
And having writ these two lives, I lay quiet twenty years, without a thought of either troubling myself or others, by any new engagement in this kind; for I thought I knew my unfitness. But, about that time, Dr. Gauden (then Lord Bishop of Exeter) published the life of Mr. Richard Hooker (so he called it), with so many dangerous mistakes, both of him
“ were but even for this cause, that in saying somewhat of the life of fo deserving a man, I
may perchance over-live mine own.
“ That which you add of Dr. King (now made Dean of Rochester, and by that translated “ into my native foil) is a great spur unto me; with whom I hope shortly to confer about “ it in my passage towards Boughton Malherb (which was my genial air), and invite him to « a friendship with that family, where his predecessor was familiarly acquainted. I shall “ write to you at large by the next messenger (being at present a little in business), and then “ I shall set down certain general heads, wherein I desire information by your loving dili
gence, hoping shortly to have your own ever-welcome company in this approaching time « of the fly and the cork. And so I rest your very hearty poor friend to serve you.
« H. WOTTON." (Reliquie Wottoniana, p.360. edit. 3.)
• Dr. John Gauden, born at Mayland in Essex, educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, was Dean of Bocking, and Master of the Temple, in the beginning of the reign of Charles I. In 1660 he was made Bishop of Exeter, and from thence promoted to Worcester in 1662, in which year he died, aged 57 years. “Cum Gilbertus Cantuariensis Majestatem ejus certiorem “ feciffet Gaudenum vitâ functum esse, “non dubito” regerit Rex, “ quin facile erit reperire “ hominem co longe digniorem, qui in ejus locum fufficiatur.”
(Vita Johannis Barwick, p. 251.) Whatever credit may be due to the animadversions of several writers on the conduct of Dr. Gauden, it will be only an act of justice to intimate, that the editor of the works of Mr. Richard Hooker, and the author of the Memoirs of the Life of Bishop Brownrigs, and of many other very valuable writings, deserves much of posterity. His way of preaching is said to have been most admirable and edifying. The King, when he nominated him to the see of Exeter, bore this testimony to his merit, by obicrving, “ That he upon all occafions had
and his books, that discoursing of them with his Grace Gilbert, that now is Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, he enjoined me to examine some circumstances, and then rectify the Bishop's mistakes, by giving the world a fuller and truer account of Mr. Hooker and his books than that bishop had done; and I know I have done so. And let me tell the reader, that till his Grace had laid this injunction upon me, I could not admit a thought of
any fitness in me to undertake it; but when he twice enjoined me to it, I then declined my own, and trusted his, judgment, and submitted to his commands; concluding, that if I did not, I could not forbear accusing myself of disobedience, and indeed of ingratitude, for his many favours. Thus I became engaged into the third life.
For the life of that great example of holiness, Mr. George Herbert, I profess it to be so far a free-will offering, that it was writ chiefly to please myself, but yet not without some respect to posterity: For though he was not a man that the next age can forget, yet many of his particular acts and virtues might have been neglected, or lost, if I had not collected and presented them to the imitation of those that shall succeed us : For I humbly conceive writing to be both a safer and truer preserver of men's virtuous actions than tradition; especially as it is managed in this age. And I am also to tell the reader, that though this life of Mr. Herbert was not by me writ in haste, yet I intended it a review before it should be made public; but that was not allowed me, by reason of my
absence from London when it was printing : so that the reader may find in it some mistakes, some double expressions, and some not very proper, and some that might have been contracted, and some faults that are not justly chargeable
“ taken worthy pains in the pulpit and at the press to rescue his Majesty and the church of *** England from all the mistakes and heterodox opinions of several and different factions ; “ as also from the facrilegious hands of those false brethren, whose scandalous conversation “ was consummate in devouring church-lands, and then with impudence to make facrilege “ lawful.” (Wood's Ath. Ox. vol. ii. col. 208.)—It must be owned, that he was one of the Assembly of Divines in 1643, and that he took the covenant; to which, however, he made some scruples and objections, so that his name was soon struck out of the list. He abandoned the cause of the Parliament as soon as they relinquished their first avowed principles of reforming only, instead of extirpating monarchy and episcopacy.