Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Which end is the worm?

Izaak Walton (The Compleat Angler), history's most famous fisherman, died on this day in 1683.

"Angling or float fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other." -- Samuel Johnson.

Johnson died on December 13, 1784. (See entry.) On this date in 1750, he wrote:

"Every funeral may justly be considered as a summons to prepare for that state, into which it shews us that we must sometime enter; and the summons is more loud and piercing, as the even of which it warns us is at less distance. To neglect at any time preparation for death, is to sleep on our post at a siege, but to omit it in old age, is to sleep at an attack."
Rambler #78 (December 15, 1750)