William Richards Castle William Roscoe Thayer.

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amazingly. Some were left in stage-coaches, dereliets whose misMoa was
ended atter they had beguiled the weary hoors of a joamey; some were
lost in garrets and some bamed in house fires ; others, doubtless, mined
hy immersion in the streams of which the author loved to write ; until
today nobody knows how many have outlived the passage of the years."
Acknowledged by all lovers of English literature today as one of the
classics of the English language, its constantly increasing value is due more
to the desire of collectors of '* first editions " of the English classics to
possess a copy, than to the generally *' poor but honest angler."

This library contains two copies of the '* First Walton," one perfect
and one imperfect. The first copies that left the press are distinguish-
able by several misprints which do not appear in later impressions. One
of the most sought for of these misprints is that using *' contention " in-
stead of ^' contentment " in the last two lines of the verses by Sir Harry

** And if ConteDtment be a straager, then
I '11 ne'er look fat it, bat in Heaxen •gain."

The first edition was embellished by six very pretty engravings of the
trout, pike, carp, tench, perch, and barbd, which were inserted in the
text. The engraver is to this day unknown. They have been attributed
to Pierre Lombart, a Frenchman and a noted engraver, resident in Eng^
land at that time, and engaged in illustrating books ; Faithome and
Vaughn have also been mentioned as possible candidates for the honor.
The latter is known to have been employed by Harriot on other work.
It has always been the belief of collectors that these plates were engraved
on silver, but that fact has never been proved and still remains a dis-
puted fact in regard to this wonderful little book. The same plates were
used for the first four editions ; they were reSngraved in reverse by a
less artistic hand for the fifth edition.

The charm of Walton's honest writing never grows stale ; one takes
him up with as much pleasure in this twentieth century as in the days of
his first appearance. As has been charmingly said of him, *^ The com-
panion of our boyhood, the delight of our mature years, when shall we
look upon his like again ? " Fishers have increased and fishing books
have multiplied, but where is the fisher blest with such a '^ heavenly
memory " as our Izaak, and where is the fishing book so rich in honor
and renown as his ?

The second edition appeared in 1655 ; it was much enlarged, having
been almost rewritten, and contained some 117 pages more ; four more
plates, the bream, the eel, the leach, and bull-head, having been added.

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The Making of an Angling Library. [December,

Commendatory verses by seven appreciative writers are given for the
first time in this edition. Copies of this second edition, thoagh not
bringing the same high price as the first, are much more rarely met with.
A litUe more than a hundred years after its appearance, John Hawkins
(afterwards Sir John) states in bis Life of WaUan^ in his edition of
The Compleat Angler ^ first issued in 1760, ^' The second I have never
been able to see.'' This scarcity has continued to the present day, and
while it is always possible for any one to find a ^' First Walton " who is
willing to pay a price for it, he would have to search for a considerable
time to find a good copy of the second edition. The third edition first
appeared in 1661. It contained but few and unimportant changes. This
edition again appeared in 1664 with a new title-page, and dated 1664.
The latter date is much scarcer than that of 1661. The fourth edition
appeared in 1668. '^ It is a mere paginary reprint of the third, with the
exception of the ' errata ' which are here corrected in the work."

The fifth edition was issued in 1676 and was called The Universal
Anglevy made so, by Three Books of Fishing. The First written by
Mr. Izaak Walton ; the Second by Charles Cotton^ Fsq. ; the Third
by Col. EobeH Venables. This is the fifth edition of Walton, the first of
Cotton, and the fourth of Venables. Twenty pages were added to this
edition and further improvements were introduced. This was the last
edition published in the author's lifetime. ^* The union of Walton and
Cotton has been perpetuated in all subsequent reprints, but Venables's
treatise, which, though meritorious, belongs to another order of composi-
tion, has been excluded." Such is the history of the *' First Five." The
angler's library that is built with these for a comer-stone, is certainly
founded upon one of the firmest rocks of English literature. Grood copies
of all five are in the library.

As previously stated, many reprints of this famous book have been
made, from absolutely facsimile copies of the '^ First Walton," of which
there are several, to magnificent volumes in folio, embellished with pic-
tures by the greatest artists. It would seem that it were impossible for
anything new in regard to such a well-known book to be discovered, yet
it was the gpreat good fortune of the owner of this library to find, in
1910, in the catalogue of a well-known book auctioneer in Boston, a
small Walton and Cotton published by Septimus Prowett in London, in
1826. It is a small d2mo in its original violet unlettered cloth binding.
Printed on thin paper, this copy seems to be unique. Diligent inquiry,
both in this country and abroad, has failed to find another copy or even
the knowledge of its existence. It is not known or mentioned by any of
the bibliographers of Walton, or to any of the collectors of Walton whom
the owner has been able to find. B. B. Marston, the editor of The Fish-

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1915.] 7^ Making of an Angling Library. 267

ing Oazette of London, and undoubtedly the greatest Hying authority on
Walton, has been most interested in this previously unknown edition, and
in The Fishing Oazette of Dee. 30, 1911, he jokingly refers to it as
follows : ^* So angling collectors, since you now know it, don't part with
your copy of Walton by Prowett Oh, Prowett ! if you were now within
hearing, yon 'd tell us, no doubt, yon just made one for Fearing." This
little Yolnme, of course, after the '^ First Five," is one of the chief
treasures of the library.

Scarce and interesting copies of Walton, some of which are indeed
unique, are also to be found in the collection, a few of which may be
mentioned on account of their rarity or interest as being unique copies.
The copy of the first John Hawkins edition of 1760 is absolutely uncut
and is in original or contemporary binding. It is the only copy in this
condition of which the owner has seen or heard. The first Major edition
(London, 1823) is a large-paper copy with the prints on India paper.
This copy belonged to Bedford, the celebrated binder, was bound by him,
and contains an autograph letter presenting it to him from John Major,
the publisher. The year 1836 brought out the celebrated, so-called
^< Pickering " edition, two large 8vo volames, printed by William Pick-
ering, and edited by Sir Harry Nicolas. This was issued in two editions,
one with plain plates, and one on large paper with the plates on India
paper. The latter is the edition usually chosen by extra illustrators for
their labors. The library contains copies of both, also a copy extended to
four volumes. The library is also the possessor of the full set of the ac-
tual drawings by Thomas Stothard, R.A., for this edition, done in color
(with the exception of the '^ Front View " of the fishing house ; in its
place there is an unpublished drawing), for which he made a special ex-
pedition to Dovedale.

One of the scarcest and most difficult Waltons to obtain is the German
translation of ''Ephemera's" edition (Edward Fitz Gibbon), by I. F.
Shumacher, and published by P. Salomon & Co. (Hamburg, 1859), the
only translation of T?ie Oompleat Angler into a foreign language. Most
of the copies of this German edition were destroyed by fire, and the book
was never reprinted. The owner was over fifteen years in obtaining a

The one hundredth edition of T?ie Compleat Angler is the Lea and
Dove edition published in London in 1888. It is in two large volumes,
folioy and is the largest Walt4>n issued up to the present time. The edi-
tor, R B. Marston, has given us the most carefully edited and scholarly
edition of Walton thus far published. Alongside of this, the largest Wal-
ton published, you will find for the sake of comparison, The Compleat
Angler, published by Henry Frowde in London, 1900. It is known as

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268 The Making of an Angling Library. [D^oenbtsr,

the ''thumb edition/' being 2x1} inches in use. It is the smallest
Walten known and also the snaUest book in the ceUeedon.

In special or aniqiie copies of Walton, the library has several worthy
of note, -^one, a copy of the large-pi^r second Bagsler edition (1815),
extended to two volumes by the insertion of over 170 old ongraTiiigSy old
portraits, colored views, sepia drawings, aad c<^ored drawing^. The
original drawings in sepia are of portraits unattainable otherwise, and
are all from authentic sources. They were done especially for this copy
by Mr. J. £. Wheeler, a celebrated Punch artist Most interesting is a
copy of £Uiot Stock's facsimile reprint of the first edition (London,
1896), with a preface by Richard Le Gallienne. The copy is unique,
Le 6allienne*s manuscript preface, and with corrected proofs by Le Oal-
lioine of same, consisting of ten pages, being inserted, and signed at end;
together with Le Gallienne's correepondence with Elliot Stock concern-
ing this preface, eight h%hly interesting autograph letters of his, making
arrangements, stipulating ae to his fee, etc.

One of the handsomest editions of Walton is the ^' Winchester " edi-
tion, published in London in 1902, in two quarto vdames. It is edited
by George A. B. Dewar, and has an essay by Sir Edward Grey, with
etchings by William Strang and D. Y. Cameron. This copy has been
extended to four with specially printed title-pages and illustrated by the
addition of 114 extra illustrations. The illustrations consist of the com-
plete series of 31 original pen-and-ink drawings by Strang and Cameron,
which are reproduced in the book as head- and tail-pieces ; also an extra
set of the 30 full-page etchings, proofs signed by the artist (anpnblished
thus), and complete set, in proof state on India paper, of the beautiful
plates and vignettes to Pickering's 1836 edition of The Angler^ men-
tioned above.

After the various editions of The Angler naturally come other books
by Walton, or books concerning him and his books. A little 12mo vol-
ume in original old brown calf, uncut, has on its title-page the initials
*' I. W." and throughout the book are fifteen manuscript corrections and
additions in the same precious autograph. It is a first edition of ^' The
Life of Dr. Sanderson, by Izaak Walton, London, 1678," and was a pre-
sentation copy from him to *' Jn. Merewether," whose autograph appears
on the bottom margin of the title-page.

The first bibliography of The Angler was The Chronicle of The Corn-
pleat Angler^ by Thomas Westwood (London, 1864). The library owns
two copies of this, one, the ordinary edition, the other, one of twenty-five
copies printed on large paper. This was a presentation copy to Rev. H.
N. Ellacombe, the author of Shakespeare as an Angler, and also has
inserted two signed antograph letters to him from Westwood, a list of the

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Of which only three copiea are known. Fearing Collection.

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1915.] Ths Mahing of an Angling Library. 269

Tairioot editioM of Wattim's Lwes^ ia his astagrAph, and a dip off

Aniosg tiie^ autographs in ^ tolkxtiQa the fint plaea is easily held
by a holograph doeamont of lutak Walton, elefiaa lines ngnnd with his
full signature, and dated << Octo*r 23, 1676/' a beaitfilnl azaoipb of Izaak
Walton's handwriting and a very rare antograph, as he nurely signed hb
name in full- Another beautiful specinsen ie twenty-five lines in Walton's
autograph signed '' Is. W.," being Sir Henry Wotton's ode to spring
quoted in The Compleat Angler. Charks Cotton is represented by three
lines signed ^* C — C« - ton/' a earious fenn of Cotton's signature.

Of much greater rarity than the above are seventeen Itnee signed
'* Bobert Venables." The owner knows of no other example in a Wal-
tonian eolleetion. Venables was the author of Part III of the fifth edi-
tion of The CompUat Angler, Of great interest eko is the origbal pro-
bate copy of Isaak Walton's wiU, dated August 9, 1683, foeanlifiaUy
written on a sheet of vellum, nearly three feet square, and with the
greater portion of the old seal still attached to it. This tveasure, mounted
in a silver frame with glass front and back, ooeupies a prominent place
in the library.

The earliest manuscript in the ooUection is undoubtedly a copy of the
work of BartholomsMis GlaaviUe, J)e proprteiatibue rerum^ — oonaem-
ing the nature of things. It was written early in 1300. This pmrtly vol-
ume was formerly owned by the University oi the Sorbonne in Paris,
and was Isaned to the students and scholars ol Paris for a stipulated sum
of money per day. The weric is in Latin and was the encyclopedia of the
Middle Ages. It contains one diapter on fish and fish-ponds. This is the
eailiesi material on Che subject in the library.

Of almost equal date is a manuscript of Pietro de Crescenze, Buralium
eotnmodorumj — ^* oi rural affairs." This work was {Hreduced repeatedly
by all the eariy printers, and, indeed, the earliest printed book in the
coUectien is the first edition oi Crescentins, printed by Johan Schuszler
in 147L Another eariy edition of the same work in the library is one
printed in 1474 by the edebrated John of Westphalia, at Louvain, the
beautiful old seat of learning in Belgium, only recently destr«^ed by the
'^cultured' Germans." This work was very popular in the Middle Ages
and was translated into Italian, French, and German, and a copy of
each is in the eolleetion. Cresoenze wrote on fish-ponds and on how to
make small ponds and inland lakes profitable.

The library owns no less than fifteen Ineunakula. First in value, nat-
urally, cones the Treatyee an the Art off)fs$hing with an Angle, from the
Book of St. Albans, by the legendary Dame Juliana Bemers, and printed
by the celebrated Wynkyn de Worde at Westminster in 1496. This is

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270 The Making of an Angling Library. [December,

the first book that treats of angling in the English language. The first
printed book to contain an illustration of an angler using a float was the
DycdogiM Creaturarum MoralvcattUf printed at Goada in 1480; the
library contains copies of the 1482 and 1484 editions.

The earliest known treatise on fishing is a work in Flemish printed at
Antwerp in 1492. A single copy only of this work is known to exist; it
is in the library of Alfred Draiison, who had a literal translation made
of it, and twenty-five copies made for private distribation in 1872. The
library possesses one of the twenty-five copies, also the original manu-
scripts of the translation, together with the corrected proof-eheets, and
revised proofs.

As regards fishing, probably the earliest mention of the subject occurs
in Magna Carta. The library owns a copy of this, published iu 1556,
which formerly belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots. It is in the original
binding, showing the Tudor rose and crown. Books from Queen Mary's
library are exceedingly rare, the late Queen Victoria, even, never having
been able to obtain one.

In 1651 was published a small volume called The Art of Angling^ by
Thomas Barker. It is so scarce that this library does not own a copy.
A reprint of it was published in 1820. Of this reprint 100 copies were
printed, also four copies on straw-colored paper, and one copy on vellum.
The library has one of the ordinary edition, two of the straw-colored
copies, and the vellum one. Anent this book and these copies, an inter-
esting story illustrating the smallness of the world may be told. In one
of the straw-colored copies, which belonged to Thomas Gosden, the cele-
brated English 19th-century sportsman, bibliopole, and binder of angling
books, and which was bound by him, is the note in his autograph:
** There is also one reprint on vellum, which I have. T. Gosden." Is it
not strange that after nearly one hundred years these two little volumes
should come together on one shelf, never again to be separated ? This
Barker was a cook, who, devoted to fishing, wrote his experiences. In his
second edition, published in 1653, in the epistle dedicatory, he boasts of
his skill, and declares he takes as much pleasure in the dressing of fish
as in the taking of them, '< and to show how I can perform it, to furnish
any Lord's table, onely with trouts, as it is famished with flesh, for 16
or 20 dishes. And I have a desire to preserve their health (with help of
God) to go dry in their boots and shoes in angling, for age taketh the
pleasure from me."

The subject of fish cookery was one that oocnined a good deal of atten-
tion in the old days when the Church ruled the State and the eating of
fish was compulsory upon rich and poor alike. There are over 100 books
in the library on fish cookery, the oldest being a very scarce edition of

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1915.] The Making of an Afigling Library. 271

]}e ffaneata Voluptate, published in Bologna in 14d9. It contains 13
pages on the ^* oookery of fish." Among these books on fish cookery in
English, French, German, and Italian, is one small, canons volume enti-
tled, *^ Fish far Cats ; hj Dog." It was published without a place or
date and is a collection of recipes from old cook-books. The author,
under the pseudonym of '' Dog," says that be wishes to ^ alleviate, in the
smallest measures, the agonies of Lent in 1868."

In 1758 there was published a book called The Anglers. It was pub-
lished anonymously, and consisted of eight dialogues in verse. The first
edition is very scarce, and even as far back as 1820 was so little known
that the whole eight cantos were deliberately reprinted by Thomas O.
Lathy without any acknowledgment whatever and called The Angler.
** This book is one of the worst cases of literary pla^arism known. It
was palmed off on Grosden, the sporting bookseller, whose portrait by A.
Cooper, R. A., is prefixed. He paid £30 for the copyright and also printed
a single copy on vellum, at an expense of £10 for the vellum alone, as
he himself states in a manuscript note to a sales catalogue." Besides this
copy on vellum, 20 copies were printed in quarto, in addition to the ordi-
nary edition. The library owns the single copy on vellum, most expen-
sively bound by Groeden himself and with his bookplate and manuscript
notes ; also a copy of the quarto edition, and of the ordinary one ; also a
copy of the original work of 1758. The original edition of 1758 has by
now been conclusively attributed to Dr. Thomas Scott, a dissenting
minister of Ipswich.

In the 17 th century in England, men's minds were much more turned
to religion than in the present, and many books were written on common
everyday subjects that were really religious works. Of this class of book,
the scarcest is A Booke of Angling or Fishing^ by Dr. Samuel Gardiner,
and published in London in 1606. Of this book only three copies are
known to exist, one in the Bodleian Library ; one formerly in the Huth
coUection, recently dispersed at auction, and its final purchaser not known;
the third in this library. The history of this copy it has been impossible
to trace. It was discovered by the buyer for a London bookseller in the
west of England with others of its kind, the majority of which are very
scarce. It may be called '^ Fishing Spiritualized,"

The English poets contain much of interest to the angler, as many
have written in praise or description of the sport. Among the earliest is
Michael Drayton, from whom, indeed, Walton may have obtained his
idea of the coUoquial form of The Compleat Angler^ in Drayton's 6th
" Nymphal." William Browne, in his Brittania^s FastoraU, writes so
charmingly of the angler that one feels he must have loved the art him-
self. Our friend Charles Cotton, of sainted memory, wrote Foems on

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272 The Making of an Angling Library. [Deoember,

Several Oooaeumi, in 1689^ vhidi are SUmI with bb lavonte »abjeet and

friend, aogUng and Walton. John Gay, in hia Sural Sp(ni$ (1713),

oiMues W9ll into our lia^ Thomaa Heyrick is anathar who wrota fre^

qaentljT on the aubject, and in one of his poems, A Findaresqtm Ode in

Fraiee of Angling^ he not only praiaes angling* but abases those who

do not angle, in vehemant fashion. Windsor Forest^ a poem by Ale^can-

der Pope, first published in 1713, contains the well-known lines beginning,

" In ceiusl tprieff • . .
The patient fisher takes his silent stand.''

James Iliemson, in his The SeaeanSf has a passage of nearly fifty lines
whieh shows the skill of the angler equally with that of the poet Many
were ihe lesser lights who bnrst forth into poetry in praise of angling,
and there aae aiao many Italian, a few French, a very few German,
many Latin, and a few Greek poems, that bear directiiy on oar subject.

The later and more modern classical authors have, many of them,
been admiriers of the art of angling, and many also anglers themaelyes.
The seventh part of Washington Irving's Sketch-Book contains his de-
lightful approoiatinn of the art, oalled *' The Angler." The library poa-
seasas a copy of the first edition in \he original seven parts with the
original paper covers bound in, and an autograph letter of Irving in-
serted. Sir Walter Scott in 1821 wrote a preface and notes for a new
edition of Richard Franck's Northern Mernoire^ whieh first appeared in
1694. In the library, by the side of tliis edition, rests Scott's original
manuscript. Another interesting manuscript is one of 39 pages, entitledi
My Firet Trout^ written by Charles Dudley Warner and dated May 6,

George Washington himself was a keen angler, and a little pamphlet
by Dr» George H. Moore, entitled Washington as an Angler^ has be^n
extra-ilhistrated for the library by the insertion of a manascript inscrip-
tion of presentation from the author," many portraits of Washington, and
a fine aotog^ph letter signed by George Washington. Our good Presi-
dent, Grover Cleveland, was a keen angler and fisherman. He wrote a
very clever little brochure entitled A Ikfenee of Fishermen, A very few
copies of this were privatsly printed for distribution among the author's
friends (not over twenty at moat were issued). The library has a copy,
presented by the author with a charming autograph letter, which is in-
serted. Other statesmen who were fishermen and who wrote on the sub-
ject were John Quincy Adama, De Witt Clinton, and Daniel Webster
The latter was a neted trout fisherman ; his writings on the subject were
entirely in the form of letters to various friends. Andrew' Limg, Weir
MitcheU, and Dr. van Dyke all loved the art, and presentation copies
of the books they wrote are among the library's treasures.

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1915.] The Making of an Angling Library. 273

The library is particularly rich in illustrated books, from what are prob-
ably the earliest known pictures of fish, in the Dyalogus, in 1480, men-
tioned aboYe (the library has framed a woodcut, contemporaneously col-
ored, from a religions history of the world published several years earlier
and said to be the earliest printed picture of fishing), to the most modem
work of the illustrator and engraver of the 20th century.

It would be possible to go on indefinitely, picking out books, here and
there, that are unique or scarce, for it has been the policy of the library
whenever possible to obtain a presentation copy of each book, and, where
that has not been possible, to insert, when tliey could be found, auto-
graph letters by each author, together with any interesting newspaper
clippings, such as notices of the book, obituary notices of the author, etc.
As regards the books published during the last six or seven years, many
of the authors have been kind enough, knowing the library by reputa-
tioUy to send complimentary autog^phed copies to it Only one author
has refused to put his autog^ph in his own book when requested by the
owner of the library; the majority have done more and have added

Online LibraryWilliam Richards Castle William Roscoe ThayerThe Harvard graduates' magazine → online text (page 37 of 103)