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contribute those "Instructions how to angle for a trout or grayling in a clear stream," which Cotton, he himself tells us, wrote in about ten days, and sent back to his friend. In the same year in which the joint Compleat Angler appeared, Cotton had finished building the little fishing-house which still stands among its trees, in a bend of the Dove, sacred to anglers and ancient friendship. Mr. New's illustrations make unnecessary any more modern description than Cotton's own (Part II., Chap. III.) and indeed the place is to this day so pleasant that one may still say of it in Walton's words that "the pleasantness of the river, mountains and meadows about it, cannot be described; unless Sir Philip Sidney, or Mr. Cotton's father were alive again to do it."

Cotton survived his old friend but four years, dying of a fever on some date uncertain during 1687, but said to be February 13.

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He is entirely remembered to-day by his association with Walton, and his translation of Montaigne, which have carried down to us the tradition of his handsome person and courtly manners, but which have hardly won due recognition for his poetry. Without declaring it, with Sir Aston Cockayne, "the nihil ultra of the English tongue,' we may still feel that it has charms and excellencies, real if modest, which make forgetfulness of it unjust, and which justify Cotton's long-neglected claim to a recognised place among English poets, a claim which a new edition of his poems might establish; though it is to be feared, that he would shine best in a judicious selection. His bane was fluency, and not seldom we have to plod through deserts of mediocre verse before we reach any poetry worth while. But the poetry is there, and when with Cotton the moment of literary projection did come, the product had a charming inevitability, and is marked by a rare excellence of simplicity, to which Coleridge has paid a tribute in the Biographia Literaria. The following verses from the "Contentation," one of the several poems "directed" to Walton, may be taken as an example:

'Tis contentation that alone

Can make us happy here below,
And when this little life is gone,
Will lift us up to heav'n too.

A very little satisfies

An honest and a grateful heart;
And who would more than will suffice,
Does covet more than is his part.

That man is happy in his share,
Who is warm clad, and cleanly fed;
Whose necessaries bound his care,

And bonest labour makes his bed.

Who free from debt, and clear from crimes,
Honours those laws that others fear;
Who ill of princes, in worst times,
Will neither speak himself nor hear.

Who from the busy world retires
To be more useful to it still,
And to no greater good aspires,
But only the eschewing ill.

Who with his angle and his books
Can think the longest day well spent,
And praises God when back he looks,
And finds that all was innocent.

This man is happier far than he,
Whom public business oft betrays,
Through labyrinths of policy

To crooked and forbidden ways.

The world is full of beaten roads,
But yet so slippery withall,
That where one walks secure, 'tis odds
A hundred and a hundred fall.

Untrodden paths are then the best,
Where the frequented are unsure,
And he comes soonest to his rest,
Whose journey has been most secure.

It is content alone that makes

Our pilgrimage a pleasure here, And who buys sorrow cheapest, takes An ill commodity too dear.

Nor was Cotton's muse always so mild, as this manly rebuke of Waller, censure so well-deserved, will show :

To Poet E. W., occasioned for his writing a Panegyric
on Oliver Cromwell

From whence, vile Poet, didst thou glean the wit,
And words for such a vitious poem fit?

Where couldst thou paper find was not too white,
Or ink that could be black enough to write?
What servile devil tempted thee to be

A flatterer of thine own slavery?

To kiss thy bondage and extol the deed,

At once that made thy prince and country bleed?
I wonder much thy false heart did not dread,
And shame to write what all men blush to read;
Thus with a base ingratitude to rear
Trophies unto thy master's murtherer?
Who called thee coward-much mistook
The characters of thy pedantic look;
Thou hast at once abused thyself and us,
He's stout that dares to flatter a tyranne thus.
Put up thy pen and ink, muzzle thy muse,
Adulterate bag fit for the common stews,
No good man's library; writ thou hast,
Treason in rhyme, has all thy works defaced;
Such is thy fault, that when I think to find
A punishment of the severest kind

For thy offence, my malice cannot_name
A greater, than once to commit the same.
Where was thy reason then, when thou began
To write against the sense of God and man?
Within thy guilty breast despair took place,
Thou wouldst despairing die despite of grace,
At once thou'rt judge and malefactor shown,
Each sentence in thy poem is thine own.
Then what thou hast pronounced go execute,
Hang up thyself, and say I bid thee do it,
Fear not thy memory, that cannot die,
This panegyric is thy elegy,

Which shall be when or wheresoever read,
A living poem to upbraid the dead.

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Cotton's Literary Work

[This list is reprinted from Mr. R. B. Marston's "Lea and Dove" edition]

1649 An Elegy upon the Death of Henry, Lord Hastings.

1651 Verses prefixed to Edmund Prestwich's translation to the Hippolitus of Seneca.

1651 Verses on the Execution of James, Earl of Derby.

1654 Verses in which he castigates Waller for writing a panegyric on the


1664 Scarronides, or Virgil Travestie, being the first book of Virgil's Æneis, in English burlesque. 8vo.

1667 A Translation of The Moral Philosophy of the Stoics, from the French of Du Vaix.

Some verses on the Poems of his friend, Alexander Brome. 1670 Scarronides, second edition.

Translation of Gerard's History of the Life of the Duke of Espernon, dedicated to Dr. Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury.

1671 A Translation of Corneille's Tragedy, Les Horaces.

Voyage to Ireland, in Burlesque.

1670 Translation of the Commentaries of Blaise de Montluc, Marshal of France.


The Compleat Gamester. (Attributed to him.)

The Fair One of Tunis, a novel, translated from the French.

1675 Burlesque upon Burlesque; or the Scoffer Scoffd.

The Planter's Manual, being instructions for cultivating all sorts of fruit trees. 8vo.

1676 The Second Part of The Compleat Angler; Being Instructions how to Angle for a Trout or Grayling in a clear Stream.

1681 The Wonders of the Peak. A description in verse of the natural wonders of the Peak District in Derbyshire.

1685 Translation of the Essays of Montaigne.

1687 Was engaged in translating the Memoirs of the Sieur de Pontis at the time of his death, in February 1687. This work was published in 1694, by his son, Beresford Cotton. In 1689 Poems on Several Occasions, a collection of some of his poems, was published.

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