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Ben Jonson alludes to this epitaph in his lines prefixed to the First Folio:
My Shakespeare rise; I will not lodge thee by
Page 98.-70. Chalkhill.-See Introduction.
Page 99-101.-The Angler's Song.-In the first edition this song is signed "W.B."-apparently William Basse.
Page 102.-Waltham.-The town of Waltham Abbey lies on the river, and the cross (an Eleanor Cross) stands on the main road, a little over a mile to the West.
Page 105.-when you are put to an extremity for worms.-Cf. Erasmus Colloquies, that entitled "Venatio."-N.
Page 110.-our Topsel.-In his History of Serpents. Walton's own note.
Page 110.-Aldrovandus.-Ulysses Aldrovandus, born at Bologna, 1527, professor of physic and philosophy. He travelled extensively in search of minerals, plants, animals, birds, fishes, &c.; and expended all his means in procuring figures for his plates from the best specimens. He died blind and utterly poor in a hospital at Bologna. He wrote a hundred and twenty books, and one De Piscibus, published at Bologna, edited by J. C. Uteruerius and M. Ant. Bernia, 1638, and at Frankfort, 1640. His great work, On Birds and Insects, in six large folio volumes, was published during his life, and continued on his plan after his death. The passage in the text occurs in his Serpentum et Draconum Historia, 1640. Walton is quoting at second hand.-B.
Page 111.-to answer this very description. This description is marked as a quotation in the first edition; but the author quoted from is not given. It is not Lord Bacon, though Walton says in a footnote: "View Sir Fra. Bacon, Exper. 728 and 90 (the last a mistake of his printer, for 29, i. e., 729), in his Natural History." B.
Page 112.- -So slow Bootes underneath him sees
View Gerh. Herbal and
Camden. Walton's own note.
These verses occur in the sixth day of the first week of Du Bartas, by Sylvester, 1608, p. 182.
Page 114.-Lessius.-Leonard Lessius, born near Antwerp, a Jesuit, first Professor of Philosophy at Douay, afterwards of Divinity at Louvain. He wrote De Justitia et De Jure; De Potestate Summi Pontificis; A Treatise on the Existence of the Deity, and on the Soul's Immortality; and another, which was translated by Timothy] S[mith], with the title Hygiasticon; or the Right Course of Preserving Life and Health unto Extreme Old Age, Camb., 1634, 12mo. He died in 1623, at the age of 69.-H. & B.
Page 117.-Mr. Thomas Barker. Author of The Art of Angling.
Page 125. Ch. Harvie.-See previous note on Writers of Commendatory Verses.
Page 125.-Dr. Boteler.-The person here named I take to be Dr. William Butler, an eminent physician of Walton's time, styled by Fuller, in his Worthies, Suffolk, 87, "the Esculapius of his age." He invented a medical drink, called "Dr. Butler's Ale," which, if not now, was a very few years ago sold at certain houses in London, which had his head for a sign. One of these was in Ivy Lane, and another in an alley from Coleman Street to Basinghall Street. He was a great humourist.-H. Dr. Butler was born at Ipswich, about 1535, and educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge. He died Jan. 29, 1618, and was buried at St. Mary's Church, Cambridge.-N.
Page 127.-The Angler's Song.-First printed in third edition, and no doubt written by Walton himself. Sir Harris Nicolas has pointed out that "the allusion to 'Kenna,' which probably referred to the maiden name of his wife Ken,' is not to be found in the third, or fourth edition, in both of which the word "Chlora " is substituted for it, which, with the substitution of one vowel for another, formed the anagram of his first wife's name-Rachel."
Page 127.-Like Hermit Poor.-A very popular old song, frequently alluded to in the literature of the day, mentioned by Pepys (Feb. 12, 1666-7), Butler (in Hudibras, Part I., canto ii. 1169), and Phineas Fletcher, who paraphasing the 42nd psalm, says that it may be sung to the tune of "Like Hermit Poor." There are two slightly varying versions of it, but the version to which Walton alluded was probably that set to music by Nicholas Laneare, a favourite ballad composer of the day, published in a collection of Select Musical Ayres and Dialogues (1653), and here printed.
Like Hermit poor in pensive place obscure,
I mean to spend my days of endless doubt:
Where none but Love shall ever find me out.
A Gown of grey my body shall attire:
My Staff, of broken hope whereon I'll stay:
The Couch is framed whereon my limbs I'll lay:
My food shall be of care and sorrow made:
My Drink, naught else but tears fall'n from mine eyes:
The flames may serve which from my heart arise:
The old music is printed by Major and Dr. Bethune. Nicolas quotes a very similar poem by Thomas Lodge, through whom, he suggests, it probably came from Italy to England.
Page 128.-Bryan.-Probably a favourite dog.-H.
Page 128.-Shawford Brook.—Shawford-brook is the name of that part of the river Sow that runs through the land which Walton bequeathed to the Corporation of Stafford to find coals for the poor. The right of fishery attaches to the little estate. Shawford, or Shallowford, is a liberty in the parish of St. Mary, Stafford, though five miles distant from the town. The messuage there described in Walton's will, is now divided into two tenements. It is a poor cottage, thatched and old. Shawford-brook winds beautifully through a narrow vale, and deserved Walton's commendation.-E.
This note still applies, no changes have been made at the cottage. But it must be noted that there is also a Shawford a little below Winchester on the Itchen.
Page 129. our late English Gusman.-A reference to a notorious highwayman. of the day, whose exploits had been celebrated in a book entitled The English Gusman; or the History of that Unparalleled Thief, James Hind, written by G. F. (George Fidge) (1652). The original Gusman was the hero of a famous Spanish book, The Life of Gusman d'Alfarache, by Matheo Aleman.
Page 130.-Beggar's Bush.-This was, of course, written by John Fletcher, not Ben Jonson.
Page 130.-Frank Davison's song.-Francis Davison was the editor of the famous Poetical Rhapsody (1602), in which this song bears the signature “A.W.” a frequent contributor who has not been identified with certainty. See Mr. Bullen's introduction to his edition of the Poetical Rhapsody.
Page 132.-hares change sexes.-An old fable among country-folk and sportsMen and women have been supposed to change sexes in the same way.
Pliny (Hist. Nat., vii. 4) gravely says: "The change of females into males is not fabulous. We find in the Annals, that in the consulate of Licinius Crassus and Crassus Longinus, a boy, living under the parental roof, was turned into a virgin, and by order of the Augurs abandoned on a desert island. Licinius Mucianus declared that he saw in Argos, one Arescon, who had borne the name of Arescusa, and had been married, but getting a beard and virility, took a wife. He saw also a boy of the same kind at Smyrna. I myself saw in Africa, L. Cossicius, a citizen of Thyrsdris, who was changed into a man on his (her?) marriage-day." The reader may remember how Tiresias was turned into a woman by striking two copulating snakes, and back again into a man seven years afterwards by the same process; and how he lost his sight from the revenge of Juno, by deciding a delicate nuptial question between her and Jupiter, ten to one against the goddess. Montaigne also asserts that he saw a man who had once been a woman.-B.
Page 132.-Gaspar Peucerus.-Gaspar Peucer was Melancthon's son-in-law, and editor of his works. He was himself an eminent physician and naturalist, and wrote many medical works, with a treatise on monies, weights, and measures. suffered an imprisonment of ten years, during which time he wrote his thoughts on the margin of books with an ink made of burnt crusts and wine. He died 1602, aged seventy-seven. Walton quotes him through Casaubon, and this whole paragraph was added to the fifth edition.-B.
Page 132.—a people that once a year turn wolves.-The literature and the science of lycanthropy has increased greatly during the last few years. One of the most fascinating books on the subject is Mr. Baring Gould's Book of the Were-wolves, in which, among others, he gives an account of the most famous of the loups-garoux, the Maréchal de Retz, said to be the original of Blue Beard, from the purple tinge given to his beard by his frequent baths in blood.
Dr. Bethune has a long and learned note on the subject.
Page 135.-Yes, and hear and smell too. That fish hear, is confirmed by the authority of late writers: Swammerdam asserts it, and adds, "They have a wonderful labyrinth of ear for the purpose." Of Insects, London, 1758, p. 50. A clergyman, a friend of mine, assures me that at the Abbey of St. Bernard, near Antwerp, he saw trout come at the whistling of the feeder.-H.
I have read somewhere of a trout who was kept for a long time in a little spring pond, that answered to the name of "Tom." In the Ayr Observer there was mention made of an eel in a garden well, which came to be fed out of a spoon by the children on being called by his name, Rob Roy. Pickering's Anec. of Fish and Fishing, p. 138. Lucian (Syrian Goddess) says: "There is also an adjacent lake, very deep, in which many sacred fishes are kept; some of the largest have names given to them, and come when they are called." The solution of the question may be, that the instinct of fishes does not lead them to be alarmed by noises with which they have no concern; but that they soon learn to obey a sound when it is for their benefit.-B.
Page 135.-Sir Francis Bacon.-Walton quotes Bacon's Latin works through a translation by Rawley, 1635-38-57.-B.
Page 136.-Dr. Hakewill.-Dr. George Hakewill was born at Exeter in 1579, and was Rector of Exeter College, Oxford; he died at his living at Heanton, in Devonshire, in April 1649.
Page 140.-Salvian.-Hippolito Salviani, a physician of Rome, who died 1572, aged fifty-nine. Besides his Aquatilium Animalium Historia, Rom., 1554, fol., he wrote De Crisibus ad Galenam Censura, and a comedy (La Ruffiana), with poems in Italian.-B.
Page 140.-St. Ambrose on the grayling.-Dr. Bethune quotes the entire passage thus: "Neque te inhonoratum nostra prosecutione, thymalle, dimittam, cui a flore nomen incoluit; seu Ticini te fluminis, seu amani Atesis unda nutrierit flores. Denique sermo testatior, quod de eo cui gratam redolet suavitatem, dictum facete sit, Aut piscem olet aut florem; ita diem pronuntiatus est piscis odor essi qui floris. Quid specie tua gratius? Quid suavitate jucundius? Quid odore fragrantius? Quod mella fragrant, hoc tu tuo corpore spiras." Hexaëmeron, v. 2.'
Pages 149-150.-Gesner mentions a pike.-Walton quotes the story from Dr. Hakewill's Apologie of the Power and Providence of God. According to Dr. Bethune, the story, as found in Gesner, is, that a pike was taken in a pool near the capital of Sweden (ut tradit Conradus Celtis), in the year 1497, on which, under the skin, was discovered a ring of Cyprus brass, partly bright, having a Greek inscription round the rim, which was interpreted by Dalburgus, Bishop of Worms, to signify: "I am the fish first of all placed in this pond, by the hands of Frederic the Second, on the fifth of October, in the year of grace 1230; " which would make its age 267 years. Hakewill gives the inscription in Latin thus: Ego sum illa piscis huic stagno omnium primus impositus per mundi Rectoris Frederici Secundi manus, 5 Octobris,
Page 150.-Killingworth pond.-The old name for Kenilworth. In all probability this was the remains of the Lake constructed by the Earl of Leicester for Queen Elizabeth's visit to Kenilworth Castle.
Page 152.-Dubravius.—Janus Dubravius Scala, Bishop of Olmutz, in Moravia, in the sixteenth century, was born at Pilsen, in Bohemia; was sent ambassador into Sicily, and made President of the Chamber which tried the rebels of Smalcald. Besides the above book (the Latin title whereof is De Piscinis, et Piscum qui in eis alunter, naturis) he wrote in Latin a History of Bohemia; and an oration to Sigismund, King of Poland, exhorting him to make war on the Turks. He seems