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Engraved from an original Picture by Elmer in the Posefsion of the Publisher
Published by T. Goden 107. St. Martin's Lane, Charing Cross.
THE NINTH EDITION.
THE English language does not, perhaps, contain a book of more general and undivided popularity than THE COMPLETE ANGLER; it is praised and loved by persons of all conditions; and, so far from being confined to those who are devoted to the sport of which it mainly treats, it is a favourite with many men who never handled an Angling-rod in their lives. As a literary production it is a phenomenon, a work entirely sui generis, such as was never before produced, and such as we shall probably never see again. Lucid and interesting treatises have been very frequently written upon recreative sports, but, although the authors have had all the excitement which an ardent attachment to the respective subjects could supply, none of them have been made to extend beyond the circle for whose instruction or amusement they were undertaken, nor have they in any instance filled so independent a station in literature, as The Complete Angler has done.
It would probably never have occurred to any mind, but one so chastely and purely constituted as that of old Izaak Walton, to make instructions in the Art of Angling a vehicle for inculcating the doctrines of rational piety and the purest morality: and yet this he has done. His book comprises a course of Moral Philosophy, and while its principles are laid down in the most convincing manner, they are enforced with an irresistible gentleness. The agreeable simplicity of the style, its colloquial ease, and the innocent mirth which pervades it, form a combination of the useful and the agreeable, which is equally rich and
If that axiom of the Epicurean School be true, that it is the business of man on earth to pursue happiness, then is Izaak Walton the first of philosophers, and the best, because he improves upon that system by adding to it the benevolent principles of the Christian Religion. He leads his readers and disciples to the purest gratification, but he never fails to prove to them, chemin faisant, that it can only be attained by the exercise of patience and humility. He persuades to the paths of virtue, by shewing that they are those of pleasantness and peace; and, in this respect alone, his illustrations are "worth a thousand homilies."