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support them. You have youth: you have many kind well-intentioned people belonging to you; many acquaintance of your own, or families that will wish to serve you. Consider how many have had the same, or greater cause for dejection, with none of these resources before their eyes. Adieu ! I sincerely wish your happiness. P. S. I have just heard that a friend of mine is struck with a paralytic disorder, in which state it is likely he may live incapable of assisting himself, in the hands of servants or relations that only gape after his spoils, perhaps for years to come: think how many things may befal a man far worse than poverty or death.*
II. M. R. G. R.A.Y TO M R. NIC HOLLS.
AND so you have a garden of your own,t and you plant and transplant, and are dirty and amused Are not you ashamed of yourself? Why, I have no such thing, you monster, nor ever shall be either dirty or amused as long as I live. My gardens are in the windows, like those of a lodger up three pair of stairs in Petticoat-lane, or Camomile-street, and they go to bed regularly under the same roof that I do. Dear, how charming it must be to walk out in one's own garding, and sit on a bench in the open air, with a fountain and leaden statue, and a rolling stone, and an arbour: have a care of sore throats though, and the agoe.
* This letter was written a year or two before the time when this series of letters should commence; but as it was not communicated to me before the last Section was printed off, and has a connexion with that which follows it, I chose to begin this Section with it; the date not appearing to be very material, and the pathetic and friendly turn of it strongly pleading for its insertion.
# Mr. No. by having pursued the advice of his correspondent, we find was now possessed of that competency which he wished him. Happy, not only in having so sage an adviser, but in his own good sense which prompted him to follow such advice. The gaiety, whim, and humour of this letter contrast prettily with the gravity and serious reflection of the former.
However, be it known to you, though I have no garden, I have sold my estate and got a thousand guineas,” and fourscore pounds a year for my old aunt, and a twenty pound prize in the lottery, and Lord knows what arrears in the treasury, and am a rich fellow enough, go to ; and a fellow that hath had losses, and one that hath two gowns, and every thing handsome about him, and in a few days shall have new window-curtains: are you avized of that? Ay, and a new mattress to lie upon.
My Ode has been rehearsed again and again, f and the scholars have got scraps by heart: I expect to see it torn piece-meal in the North-Briton before it is born. If you will come you shall see it, and sing in it amidst a chorus from Salisbury and Gloucester music meeting, great names there, and all well versed in Judas Maccabaeus. I wish it were once over; for then I immediately go for a few days to London, and so with Mr. Brown to Aston, though I fear it will rain the whole summer, and Skiddaw will be invisible and inaccessible to mortals.
I have got De la Landes' Voyage through Italy, in eight volumes; he is a member of the academy of sciences, and pretty good to read. I have read too an octavo volume of Shenstone's Letters: poor man he was always wishing for money, for fame, and other distinctions; and his whole philosophy consisted in living against his will in retirement, and in a place which his taste had adorned; but which he only enjoyed when people of note came to see and commend it: his correspondence is about nothing else but this place and his own writings, with two or three neighbouring clergymen who wrote verses too.
* Consisting of houses on the west side of Hand-alley, London: Mrs. Olliffe was the aunt here mentioned, who had a share in this estate, and for whom he procured this annuity. She died in 1771, a few months before her nephew.
f Ode for Music on the Duke of Grafton's Installation. See Poems. His reason for writing it is given in the next letter.
I have just found the beginning of a letter, which somebody had dropped : I should rather call it first thoughts for the beginning of a letter; for there are many scratches and corrections. As I cannot use it myself (having got a beginning already of my own), I send it for your use on some great occasion.
“ DEAR SIR,
“After so long silence, the hopes of pardon, and prospect of forgiveness might seem entirely extinct, or at least very remote, was I not truly sensible of your goodness and candour, which is the only asylum that my negligence can fly to, since every apology would prove insufficient to counterbalance it, or alleviate my fault: how then shall my deficiency presume to make so bold an attempt, or be able to suffer the hardships of so rough a campaign o’ &c. &c. &c.
III. M. R. G R A Y TO MR. BEA TTIE, Cambridge, July 16, 1769. THE late ceremony of the Duke of Grafton's installation has hindered me from acknowledging sooner the satisfaction your friendly compliment gave me: I thought myself bound in gratitude to his Grace, unasked, to take upon me the task of writing those verses which are usually set to music on this occasion.* I do not think them worth sending you, because they are by nature doomed to live but a single day; or, if their existence is prolonged beyond that date, it is only by means of newspaper parodies, and witless criticisms. This sort of abuse I had reason to expect, but did not think it worth while to avoid. Mr. Foulis is magnificent in his gratitude:* I cannot figure to myself how it can be worth his while to offer me such a present. You can judge better of it than I; and if he does not hurt himself by it, I would accept his Homer with many thanks. I have not got or even seen it. I could wish to subscribe to his new edition of Milton, and desire to be set down for two copies of the large paper; but you must inform me where and when I may pay the money. You have taught me to long for a second letter, and particularly for what you say will make the contents of it.f I have nothing to requite it with but plain and friendly truth, and that you shall have joined to a zeal for your fame, and a pleasure in your success. I am now setting forward on a journey towards the north of England; but it will not reach so far as I could wish. I must return hither before Michaelmas, and shall barely have time to visit a few places, and a few friends.
* In a short note which he wrote to Mr. Stonhewer, June 12, when at his request he sent him the Ode in manuscript for his Grace's perusal, he expresses this motive more fully. “I did not intend the Duke should have heard me till he could not help it. You are desired to make the best excuses you can to his Grace for the liberty I have taken of praising him to his face; but as somebody was necessarily to do this, I did not see why Gratitude should sit silent and leave it to Expectation to sing, who certainly would have sung, and that a gorge deployée, upon such an occasion.”
Aston, Oct. 18, 1769. I HoPE you got safe and well home after that troublesome night.] I long to hear you say so. For me I have continued well, been so favoured by the weather, that my walks have never once been hindered till yesterday (that is, a fortnight and three or four days, and a journey of more than three hundred miles). I am now at Aston for two days. To-morrow I go to Cambridge. Mason is not here, but Mr. Alderson receives me. According to my promise I send you the first sheet of my journal, to be continued without end. Sept. 30. A mile and a half from Brough, where we parted, on a hill lay a great army” encamped: to the left opened a fine valley with green meadows and hedgerows, a gentleman's house peeping forth from a grove of old trees. On a nearer approach appeared myriads of cattle and horses in the road itself, and in all the fields round me, a brisk stream hurrying cross the way, thousands of clean healthy people in their best partycoloured apparel : farmers and their families, esquires and their daughters, hastening up from the dales and down the fells from every quarter, glittering in the sun and pressing forward to join the throng. While the dark hills, on whose tops the mists were yet hanging, served as a contrast to this gay and moving scene, which continued for near two miles more along the road, and the crowd (coming towards it) reached on as far as Appleby. On the ascent of the hill above Appleby, the thick hanging wood, and the long reaches of the Eden, clear, rapid, and full as ever, winding below, with views of the castle and town, gave much employment to the
* When the Glasgow edition of Mr. Gray's Poems was sold off (which it was in a short time), Mr. Foulis finding himself a considerable gainer, mentioned to Mr. Beattie, that he wished to make Mr. Gray a present either of his Homer, in 4 vols. folio, or the Greek Historians, printed likewise at his press, in 29 vols. duodecimo. *
t His correspondent had intimated to him his intention of sending him his first book of the Minstrel. See the seventh letter of this series.
# Dr. Wharton, who had intended to accompany Mr. Gray to Keswick, was seized at Brough with a violent fit of his asthma, which obliged him to return home. This was the reason that Mr. Gray undertook to write the following journal of his tour for his friend's amusement. He sent it under different covers. I give it here in continuation. It may not be amiss, however, to hint to the reader, that if he expects to find elaborate and nicely-turned periods in this narration, he will be greatly disappointed. When Mr. Gray described places, he aimed only to be exact, clear, and intelligible; to convey peculiar, not general ideas, and to paint by the eye, not the fancy. There have been many accounts of the Westmoreland and Cumberland lakes, both before and since this was written, and all of them better calculated to please readers, who are fond of what they call fine writing : yet those who can content themselves with an elegant simplicity of narrative, will, I flatter myself, find this to their taste; they will perceive it was written with a view, rather to inform than surprise; and, if they make it their companion when they take the same tour, it will enhance their opinion of its intrinsic excellence; in this way I tried it myself before I resolved to print it.