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they destroy the influences of shame itself; and most spirits are apt to fink, 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 bookseller 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 indignation against a blind and tasteless age,
burnt the remaining copies with his own hands.
ALLEGORICAL and abstracted poetry was above the taste of those times, as much, or more than it is of the present. It is in the lower walks, the plain and practical paths of the muses only that the generality of men can be entertained. The higher efforts of imagination are above their capacity; and it is no wonder therefore, if the Odes descriptive and allegorical met with few admirers.
UNDER these circumstances, so mortifying to every just expectation, when neither his wants were relieved, nor his reputation extended, he found some consolation in changing the scene, and
visiting his uncle, colonel Martin, who was, at that time, with our army in Flanders. Soon after his arrival, the colonel died, and left him a considerable fortune.
Here, then, we should hope to behold him happy; possessed of independence, and removed from every scene, and every monument of his former misery. But, fortune had delayed her favours till they were not worth receiving. His faculties had been so long harrassed by anxiety, diffipation, and distress, that he fell into a nervous disorder, which brought with it an unconquerable depression of spirits, and at length reduced the finest understanding to the most deplorable childishness. In the first sta
of his disorder he attempted to relieve himfelf by travel, and passed into France ; but the growing malady obliged him to return; and having continued, with short intervals *, in this pitiable state till the year 1756, he died in the arms of a sister at Colchester.
Mr. Collins was, in itature, fomewhat above the middle size; of a brown complexion, keen, expressive eyes, and a fixed, sedate aspect, which from intense thinking, had contracted an habitual frown. His proficiency in letters was greater than could have been ex
* It seems to have been in one of these intervals, that he was visited by an ingenious friend, who tells us, he found him with a book in his hand, and being asked what it was, he answered, that “ he had but cne book, but that was the beft.” It was the New Testament in English.
pected from his years. He was skilled in the learned languages, and acquainted with the Italian, French and Spanish.-It is observable that none of his poems bear the marks of an amorous disposition, and that he is one of those few poets, who have failed to Delphi, without touching at Cythera. The allusions of this kind that appear in his Oriental Eclogues were indispensable in that species of poetry; and it is very remarkable that in his Pasions, an ode for music, love is omitted, though it should have made a principal figure there.