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THE Life of Hooker, written by Isaac Walton, was first published, separately, in the year 1665 (which is the date in the title page), or rather at the latter end of the year 1664. It is here printed, as are the Lives of Donne, Wotton, and Herbert, from the fourth edition of the year 1675. Dr. Zouch informs us that he has thought it,
expedient to deviate from the edition of 1675 in the Life of Mr. Hooker, by adopting that which was last revised by Walton, and is prefixed to Hooker's Works printed at London in 1723, and at Oxford in 1793, yet without admitting those passages which Mr. Strype has introduced into the text.” It is to be regretted that in this deviation so much deference was paid to Mr. Strype's example. For the copy which he prefixed to Hooker's Works in 1723, was no other than the first edition of 1665, or rather perhaps, that which was prefixed to Hooker's Works in 1666, and wanted therefore, the numerous improvements which were introduced by the Author in his subsequent revisions. In the present edition, the additions introduced by Mr. Strype are retained. They tend considerably to illustrate Hooker's opinions respecting some important points of doctrine; and to exhibit in its true colours the character of that saint-like man.
To the Right Honourable and Reverend Father in
Lord Bishop of Winchester, and Prelate of the
Nlost Noble Order of the Gurter.
MY LORD, I DID, some years past, present you with a plain relation of the life of Mr. Richard Hooker, 'that humble man, to whose inemory princes and the most learned of this nation have paid a reverence at the mention of his name.-And, now, with Mr. Hooker's I present you also the Life of that pattern of primitive piety, Mr. George Herbert; and, with his, the Life of Dr. Doune, and your friend Sir Henry Wotton, all reprinted.—The two first were written under your roof; for which reason, if they were worth it, you might justly challenge a dedication : and indeed, so you night of Dre Donne’s, and Sir Henry Wotton's: because, if I had been tit for this undertaking, it would not have been by acquired learning or study; but by the advantage of forty years friendship, and thereby with hearing and discoursing with your Lordship, that hath enabled me to make the relation of these lives passable (if they prove so) in an eloquent and captious age.
And indeed, my Lord, though these relations be well-meant sacrifices to the memory of these worthy men; yet, I have so little confidence in my performance, that I beg pardon for superscribing your name to them; and desire all that know your Lord
ship, to apprehend this not as a dedication, (at least by which you receive any addition of honour;) but rather, as an humble, and a more public acknowledgment of your loug.continued, and your now daily favours to,
Your most affectionate
most humble servant,
THOUGH the several Introductions to these several Lives have partly declared the reasons how and why I undertook them; yet, since they are come to be reviewed, and augmented, and reprinted; and the four are now become one book; I desire leave to inforın you that shall become my reader, that whefi I sometime look back upon my education and mean abilities, it is not without some little wonder at myself, that I am come to be pub. licly in print. And though I have in those Intro ductions declared some of the accidental reason's thať occasioned me to be so; yet, let me and this to what is there said: that, by my undertaking to collect some potes for Sir Henry Wotton's writing the Life of Dr. Donne, and by Sir Henry's dying before he performed it, I became like those men' that enter easily into a law-suit, or a quarrel, and having bégun, cannot make a fair retreat and be quiet, when they desire it.-And really, after such a manner I became engaged, into a necessity of writing the Life of Dr. Donne, contrary to my first intentions: and that begot a like necessity of writing the Life of his and my ever-honoured friend, Sir Henry Wotton.
And having writ these two lives, I lay quiet twenty years, without a thought of either troubling myself or others, by any new engagement in this