poor Kenna, departed his daughter near him, on her knees — the Prebendaries, Hawkins and Ken, in their stalls ; * or, on their return to the palace, blessing God over their daily meal, not more sumptuous, possibly, than that in poor Isaak’s cottage. Thus, in prosperity and adversity, Walton and Morley walked in the house of God as friends, “and took sweet counsel together,” till the curtain of life dropped.

Morley had built a new episcopal palace at Winchester, in the place of Wolseley House.

Old Isaak, with whom he had partaken adversity and prosperity, equally his friend in all changes and chances, through storm or sunshine, I have called his brother, and he was endeared the more as the prospects of this world narrowed, when the view of their common resting place drew nearer. Whilst Piscator lived, nothing can be conceived more innocent, blameless, or happy, than his life, in this city of ancient piety.

By the side of Itchin, let us think we see the “ Angler," with his rod and gray hairs, musing on past times, on his present tranquil lot, and of the summer hastening away. Duly as morning comes, thus we may conceive he goes forth intent on his “ contemplative and solitary recreation."

Among the boys at College, there is generally some favourite old man, with whom they are in habits of conversing, when they occasionally meet him in their walk to “Hills," and who, in return, regards with feelings of sympathy, their respectful but light-hearted familiarities. Such I remember old Crowe, the father of the late Public Orator Crowe — such I remember poor Tom Warton*

* Ken was made Prebendary of Winchester by Morley 1669.

* Tom Warton was familiar with the whole school, and equally respected and beloved. He was ready to give any boy a task who asked him, but always enquired how many faults, for fear his brother, the Head-master, should detect them. One boy would have one fault, another two, and sometimes one more ambitious would desire none! I remember a boy bringing up a very good exercise, when the old Master said, smilingly, “Who made this task! Tell my brother to give you half-a-crown, or I shall flog him!As we are now speaking of PISCATOR Walton, I hope I may be pardoned for relating an anecdote on that subject. A verse-subject- Piscator—was given by the Master. The day before a kind of altercation had taken place between a Minor Canon and one of the Prebendaries. The Prebendary had forbidden the Minor Canon, named Norman, fishing in his Preserve! Some high words, it was reported, had passed; and, it was also said, a stone flung. The circumstance was told Tom Warton, and he thus recorded it in verse :

Infelix Norman captabat arundine pisces;

Tum Rivers saxum conjiciebat ei.
“Cur saxum jacis," exclamat tum Norman, “in undis,

“Si propius venias, te dabo præcipitem !" Poor Norman might well be called infelix, for he died confined a lunatic. I have spoken of his father in the poem of “ Banwell-hill, or Days departed;" and I shall here endeavour to translate the verse;

and such, I please myself in thinking, was this tranquil and delightful old man, looking on the sports of the juniors with a smile - remembering the days of his youth — familiar with the elder boys, as they grow up, and pass into the crowd of life. After a day's tranquil recreation, he retires to the home of his friend, mild, but remembering those days and scenes which he has himself so beautifully described among the river-scenes in his own “Contemplative Man's Recreation.”

Arrived at the household of simplicity and love in a palace, surely it would be natural to imagine, when Charles the Second was often a visitor, that, in his “merry mood,” he might sometimes accost the old man, “Odd's fish! honest Piscator, you wear your old age bonnily!”* But we would rather imagine the interesting family assembled piously at night, Ken singing with his evening hymn, adapted to old Tallis's melody, probably that very air to which it is now sung - and so welcoming

“peaceful evening in!”

Unhappy Norman fish'd for trout, one day,

When Rivers flung a stone at him, they say:
“Why do you fling a stone," said Norman, “why?

I'll fling you in yourself, if you come nigh!" The reader may perhaps recollect Warton's translation of an epitaph on an organist ::

Organa namque loqui fecerat ipse quasi.
He made the organ for to speak —

Eke, even, as it were! * From his introduction to Charles the Second at Winchester, Ken afterwards became Bishop of Bath and Wells.

This is no picture of imagination. Ken always sung his morning and evening hymn. Isaak, we know, concluded the long and tranquil evening of his days in this beloved society, between Winchester and Farnham palace. He occasionally varied his abode, and died at the Prebendary-house of his son-in-law. We have spoken of Kenna, buried soon after the Restoration in Worcester Cathedral, and transcribed her epitaph, as first written in the PRAYER-BOOK, which had been Isaak's companion in his own poor cottage, and in Morley's palace.

Over his bed in the Bishop's palace, at Farnham, he had a small collection of his choice books, and drawings, probably by his son. He died in 1683 at the great age of ninety-three, one year before his honoured friend, in religious peace and hope, and with piety sincere as unostentatious.

His "will" records his gratitude to his early and latest friend, bequeathing “a ring to the Bishop of Winchester, with the words

"A MITE FOR A MILLION." The next year, full of days, died his long-tried, and generous, and warm-hearted friend, Morley, dying 1684, aged eighty-seven. Both were buried in the same Cathedral.

On looking back on the varied events of life — on the scenes of sorrow and of sunshine-on their unvarying friendship, in stations so different and that unvaried friendship, through so many years as they went “hand in hand down the hill” together;

when we remember, moreover, their warm but unaffected piety, and the hallowed pile where their bones rest - we may add, with a sigh, “ They were lovely in their lives, and in their death they were not divided.” As the first humble recorder of these circumstances, I have dwelt on them the longer, because they are so materially connected with my subject, are most interesting in themselves, and the origin of this singular friendship would probably have been for ever unknown, if I had not taken up the pen to record the life of Bishop Ken, though such an example of gratitude and friendship deserves a far more lasting memorial and monument than I am conscious I could raise to ISAAK WALTON and Bishop MORLEY, the patron and the brotherin-law of the apostolic Ken.*

* Morley and Ken, with Hammond-Sherlock— Lowth, and ten thousand more — were examples of public school piety, though Sherlock has been noted in the Edinburgh Review as having been privately educated! With the same accuracy Ben Jonson, educated at Westminster under Camden, is said to have been privately educated.

« VorigeDoorgaan »