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abated of his diligence, to seek her where the search was attended with artificial perplexities, and where, at last, the pursuer would grasp the shadow for the substance.
While he was at Magdalen College, he applied himself chiefly to the cultivation of poetry, and wrote the epistle to Sir Thomas Hanmer, and the Oriental Eclogues, which, in the year 1742, were first published under the title of Persian Eclogues.—The success of these poems was far from being equal to their merit; but to a novice in the pursuit of fame, the least encouragement is sufficient : if he does not at once acquire that reputation to which his merit intitles him, he embraces the encomiums
of the few, forgives the many, and in-
With prospects such as thefe, probably, Mr. Collins indulged his fancy, when, in the year 1743, after having taken the degree of a batchelor of arts, he left the university, and removed to London.
To a man of small fortune, a liberal spirit, and uncertain dependencies, the metropolis is a very dangerous place. Mr. Collins had not been long in town before he became an instance of the truth of this obfervation.--His pecuniary resources were exhausted, and to restore them by the exertion of ge
nius and learning, though he wanted not the power, he had neither steadiness nor industry. His necessities, indeed, sometimes carried him as far as a scheme, or a title page for a book ; but, whether it were the power of diffipation, or the genius of repose that interfered, he could proceed no farther.Several books were projected, which he was very able to execute; and he became, in idea, an historian, a critic, and a dramatick poet by turns. At one time he determined to write an history of the revival of Letters ; at another to translate and comment upon Aristotle's Poetics; then he turned his thoughts to the Drama, and proceeded so far towards a tragedy-as to become acquainted with the manager.
Under this unaccountable dislipation, he suffered the greatest inconveniences. Day succeeded day, for the support of which he had made no provision, and in which he was to subsist either by the long-repeated contributions of a friend, or the generosity of a casual acquaintance.--Yet indolence triumphed at once over want and shame; and neither the anxieties of poverty, nor the heart-burning of dependence had power to animate resolution to perseverance.
As there is a degree of depravity into which if a man falls, he becomes incapable of attending to any of the ordinary means that recall men to virtue, fo there are some circumstances of indigence so extremely degrading, that
they destroy the influences of shame itself; and most spirits are apt to sink, under their oppression, into a sullen and unambitious despondence.
However this might be with regard to Mr. Collins, we find that, in the year 1746, he had spirit and resolution enough to publish his Odes descriptive and allegorical. Mr. Millar, a bookfeller in the strand, and a favourer of genius, when once it has made its way to fame, published them on the AUTHOR'S ACCOUNT.-He happened, indeed, to be in the right not to publish them on his own ; for the sale was by no means successful; and hence it was that the author, conceiving a juft indig. nation against a blind and tasteless age,