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way to immortality is to get you nominated one's successor: age and diseases vanish at your name; fevers turn to radical heat, and fistulas to issues: it is a judgment that waits on your insatiable avarice. You could not let the poor old man die at his ease, when he was about it; and all his family (I suppose) are cursing you for it. I wrote to Lord * * * * on his recovery; and he an
swers me very cheerfully, as if his illness had been but slight, and the pleurisy were no more than a hole in one's stocking. He got it (he says) not by scampering, racketing, and riding post, as I had supposed; but by going with ladies to Vauxhall. He is the picture (and pray so tell him, if you see him) of an old alderman that I knew, who, after living forty years on the fat of the land (not milk and honey, but arrack, punch, and venison), and losing his great toe with a mortification, said to the last, that he owed it to two grapes, which he eat one day after dinner. He felt them lie cold at his stomach the minute they were down.
Mr. Montagu (as I guess, at your instigation) has earnestly desired me to write some lines to be put on a monument, which he means to erect at Bellisle.* It is a task I do not love, knowing Sir William Williams so slightly as I did : but he is so friendly a person, and his affliction seemed to me so real, that I could not refuse
im. I have sent him the following verses, which I neither like myself, nor will he, I doubt: however, I have shewed him that I wished to oblige him. Tell me your real opinion.
XLIII. M.R. GRAY TO DR. WHARTON. - Cambridge, Dec. 4, 1762. I FEEL very ungrateful every day that I continue si
lent; and yet now that I take my pen in hand I have only time to tell you, that of all the places which I saw on my return from you, Hardwicke pleased me the most.” One would think that Mary, queen of Scots, was but just walked down into the park with her guard for half an hour; her gallery, her room of audience, her antichamber, with the very canopies, chair of state, footstool, lit de repos, oratory, carpets, and hangings, just as she left them: a little tattered indeed, but the more venerable; and all preserved with religious care, and papered up in winter. When I arrived in London I found Professor Turners had been dead above a fortnight; and being cockered and spirited up by some friends (though it was rather the latest) I got my name suggested to Lord Bute. You may easily imagine who undertook it, and indeed he did it with zeal. I received my answer very soon, which was what you may easily imagine, but joined with great professions of his desire to serve me on future occasions, and many more fine words that I pass over, not out of modesty, but for another reason; so you see I have made my fortune like Sir Francis Wronghead. This nothing is a profound secret, and no one here suspects it even now. To-day I hear Mr. E. Delaval S has got it, but we are not yet certain; next to myself I wished for him. You see we have made a peace. I shall be silent about it, because if I say anything anti-ministerial, you. will tell me you know the reason; and if I approve it, you will think I have my expectations still. All I know is, that the Duke of Newcastle and Lord Hardwicke both say it is an excellent peace, and only Mr. Pitt calls it inglorious and insidious.
* See Epitaph II. in the collection of poems.
* A seat of the Duke of Devonshire, in Derbyshire. t Professor of modern languages in the University of Cambridge. # This person was the late Sir Henry Erskine. As this was the only application Mr. Gray ever made to ministry, I thought it necessary to insert his own account of it. The place in question was given to the tutor of Sir James Lowther. $ Fellow of Pembroke-hall and of the Royal Society.
XLI V. M. R. G. It A Y TO MR. MASON.
Doctissime Domine, anne tibi arrident complimenta?". If
* William Taylor Howe, Esq. of Stondon-place, near Chipping-ongar, in Essex, an honorary fellow of Pembroke-hall, was now on his travels in Italy, where he had made an acquaintance with the celebrated Count Algarotti, and had recommended to him Mr.Gray's Poems and my Dramas. After the perusal he received a letter from the Count, written in that style of superlative panegyric peculiar to Italians. A copy of this letter Mr. Howe had just now sent to our common friend Mr. Brown, then president of the College; and also another of the Count's, addressed to Sig". Paradisi, a Tuscan poet; in which, after explaining the arguments of my two dramatic poems, he advises him to translate them; but principally Caractacus.-This anecdote not only explains the above paragraph, but the subse. quent letter. The Latin, at the beginning of the letter, alludes to a similar expression which a fellow of a college had made use of to a foreigner who dined in the College-hall. Having occasion to ask him if he would eat any cabbage to his boiled beef, he said, “Anne tibi arrident herbae 7”
t This relates to the ruin of a small Gothic chapel near the north-west end of the cathedral at York, not noticed by Drake in his Eboracum. When Mr. Gray made me a visit at that place the summer before, he was much struck with the beautiful proportion of the windows in it, which induced me to get Mr. Paul Sandby to make a drawing of it; and also to endeavour, in a letter to Mr. Gray, to explain to what foundation it belonged. As his answer contains some excellent general remarks on Gothic building, I thought proper to publish it, though the particular matter which occasioned them was not of any great consequence.
by this very Archbishop: they are truly Saxon; only that the arches are pointed, though very obtusely. It is the south transept (not the north) that is the oldest part of the minster now above ground: it is said to have been begun by Geffrey Plantagenet, who died about thirty years after Roger, and left it unfinished. His successor, Walter Grey, completed it; so we do not exactly know to which of these two prelates we are to ascribe any certain part of it. Grey lived a long time, and was archbishop from 1216 to 1255 (thirty-nine Henry III.); and in this reign it was, that the beauty of the Gothic architecture began to appear. The chapter-house is in all probability his work, and (I should suppose) built in his latter days; whereas what he did of the south transept might be performed soon after his accession. It is in the second order of this building, that the round arches appear including a row of pointed ones (which you mention, and which I also observed), similar to those in St. Sepulchre's chapel, though far inferior in the proportions and neatness of workmanship. The same thing is repeated in the north transept; but this is only an imitation of the other, done for the sake of regularity; for this part of the building is no older than Archbishop Romaine, who came to the see in 1285, and died 1295.
All the buildings of Henry the Second's time (under whom Roger lived and died, 1185) are of a clumsy and heavy proportion, with a few rude and awkward ornaments; and this style continues to the beginning of Henry the Third's reign, though with a little improvement, as in the nave of Fountain's abbey, &c. then all at once come in the tall peaked arches, the light clustered columns, the capitals of curling foliage, the fretted tabernacles and vaultings, and a profusion of statues, &c. that constitute the good Gothic style; together with decreasing and flying buttresses, and pinnacles, on the outside. Nor must you conclude any thing from Roger's own tomb, which has (I remember) a wide surbased arch scalloped ornaments, &c. for this can be no - older than the nave itself, which was built by Archbishop Melton after the year 1315, one hundred and thirty years after Roger's death. - *. I have compared Helvetius and Elfrida, as you desired me,” and find thirteen parallel passages; five of
* As the plagiarism to which Mr. Gray here alludes, is but little known, and, I think, for its singularity, is somewhat curious, I shall beg the reader's patiences while I dilate upon it; though I am aware it will stretch this note to an unconscionable length. M. Helvetius, in the third chapter of his third Essay de l’Es. prit, which treats of the Extent of Memory, means to prove that this faculty, in the extreme, is not necessary to constitute a great genius. For this purpose he examines whether the greatness of the very different talents of Locke and of Milton ought to be considered as the effect of their possessing this talent in an extraordinary degree. He then proceeds as follows: “As the last example of the small extent of memory necessary to a fine imagination, I shall give in a note the translation of a piece of English poetry; which, with the preceding, will, I believe, prove to those who would decompose the works of illustrious men, that a great genius does not necessarily suppose a great memory.” I now set down that note with references to Elfrida underneath it, and I choose to give it in the English translation printed in 1759, that the parallel passages may be the more obvious at first sight. . “A young virgin, awaked and guided by Love, goes before the appearance of Aurora to a valley, where she waits for the coming of her lover, who, at the rising of the sun, is to offer a sacrifice to the gods. Her soul, in the soft situation in which she is placed by the hopes of approaching happiness, indulges, while waiting for him, the pleasure of contemplating the beauties of nature, and the rising of that luminary that was to bring the object of her tenderness. She expresses herself thus: * Already the sun gilds the tops of those antique oaks, and the waves of those falling torrents that roar among the rocks shine with his beams; already I perceive the summit of those shaggy mountains whence arise the vaults which, half-concealed in the air, offer a formidable retreat to the solitary who there retires.” Night folds up her veil. Ye wanton fires, that mislead the wandering traveller, retire" to the quagmires and marshy fens; and thou sun, lord of the heavens, who fillest the air with reviving heat, who sowest with dewy pearls the flowers of these meadows, and givest colours to the varied beauties of nature, receive my first homage," and hasten thy course. Thy appearance proclaims that of my lover. Freed from the pious cares that detain him still at the
a How nobly does this venerable wood,