Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Izaak Walton

Good company and good discourse are the very sinews of virtue.
Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler, 1653

Izaak Walton died on this day in 1683. Walton’s The Compleat Angler offers all that any gentleman-piscator needs — not just tips and techniques but philosophy and verse. The lines below are from Walton’s "The Angler’s Song," :

As inward love breeds outward talk,
The hound some praise, and some the hawk;
Some, better pleased with private sport,
Use tennis; some a mistress court;
But these delights I neither wish
Nor envy, while I freely fish.

Walton is also revered for his biographies of, among others, George Herbert and John Donne. Walton knew Donne and, judging by Donne's "The Bait," the two may have spent a few lazy afternoons together:

Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks....

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