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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Page 208

Izaak Walton. (1593–1683) (continued)
    Good company and good discourse are the very sinews of virtue.
          The Complete Angler. Part i. Chap. ii.
    An excellent angler, and now with God.
          The Complete Angler. Part i. Chap. iv.
    Old-fashioned poetry, but choicely good.
          The Complete Angler. Part i. Chap. iv.
    No man can lose what he never had.
          The Complete Angler. Part i. Chap. v.
    We may say of angling as Dr. Boteler 1 said of strawberries: “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did;” and so, if I might be judge, God never did make a more calm, quiet, innocent recreation than angling.
          The Complete Angler. Part i. Chap. v.
    Thus use your frog: put your hook—I mean the arming wire—through his mouth and out at his gills, and then with a fine needle and silk sew the upper part of his leg with only one stitch to the arming wire of your hook, or tie the frog’s leg above the upper joint to the armed wire; and in so doing use him as though you loved him.
          The Complete Angler. Part i. Chap. 8.
    This dish of meat is too good for any but anglers, or very honest men.
          The Complete Angler. Part i. Chap. 8.
    Health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of,—a blessing that money cannot buy.
          The Complete Angler. Part i. Chap. 21.
    And upon all that are lovers of virtue, and dare trust in his Providence, and be quiet and go a-angling.
          The Complete Angler. Part i. Chap. 21.
    But God, who is able to prevail, wrestled with him; marked him for his own. 2
          Life of Donne.
    The great secretary of Nature,—Sir Francis Bacon. 3
          Life of Herbert.
Note 1.
William Butler, styled by Dr. Fuller in his “Worthies” (Suffolk) the “Æsculapius of our age.” He died in 1621. This first appeared in the second edition of “The Angler,” 1655. Roger Williams, in his “Key into the Language of America,” 1643, p. 98, says: “One of the chiefest doctors of England was wont to say, that God could have made, but God never did make, a better berry.” [back]
Note 2.
Melancholy marked him for her own.—Thomas Gray: The Epitaph. [back]
Note 3.
Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates are secretaries of Nature.—Howell:
Letters, book ii. letter xi. [back]