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est peu qui se depouillent avec des gens de lettres de leur grandeur, vraie ou pretendue, jusqu'au point de l'oublier tout-a-fait. C'est ce qu'on apperçoit sur tout dans les conversations, où l'on n'est pas de leur avis. Il semble qu'a mesure que l'homme d'esprit s'eclipse, l'homme de qualité se montre; et paroisse exiger la deference dont l'homme d'esprit avoit commencé par dispenser. Aussi le commerce intime des grands avec les gens de lettres ne finit que trop souvent par quelque rupture eclatante; rupture qui vient presque tou jours de l'oubli des regards reciproques auxquelles on a manqué de part ou d'autre, peut etre même des deux côtés."* However, I think a man of letters ought to have other reasons besides this for breaking such a connexion after it has been once formed.

I have now given the reader the best account in my power of what our Author's unfinished lyrical ideas consisted : I believe they are all that he in any sort committed to paper, and probably those which he immediately alluded to in the preceding letter.



August, 21, 1755. I THANK you for your intelligence about-Herculaneum, which was the first news I received of it. I have since turned over Monsignor Baiardi's book, I where I have learned how many grains of modern wheat the Roman Congius, in the capitol, holds, and how many thou

* Essai sur la Societé des Grands avec les Gens de Lettres ; “Melanges de Litterature et Philosophie,” tom. 2d, p. 134.

+ Now auditor of excise. His friendship with Mr. Gray commenced at college, and continued till the death of the latter. # I believe the book here ridiculed was published by the aut

of the King of Naples. But afterward, on finding how ill qualified the author was to execute the task, the business of describing the antiquities found at Herculaneum was put into other hands; who have certainly, as far as they bave gone, performed it much better.

sandth parts of an inch the Greek foot consisted of more (or less, for I forget which) than our own. He proves also by many affecting examples, that an antiquary may be mistaken : that, for any thing any body knows, this place under ground might be some other place and not Herculaneum ; but nevertheless, that he can shew for certain, that it was this place and no other place; that it is hard to say which of the several Hercules's was the founder; therefore in the third volume) he promises to give us the memoirs of them all; and after that, if we do not know what to think of the matter, he will tell us. There is a great deal of wit too, and satire and verses, in the book, which is intended chiefly for the information of the French King, who will be greatly edified without doubt.

I am much obliged to you also for Voltaire's performance ; it is very unequal, as he is apt to be in all but his dramas, and looks like the work of a man that will admire his retreat and his Leman-Lake no longer than till he finds an opportunity to leave it ;* however, though there be many parts which I do not like, yet it is in several places'excellent and every where above mediocrity. As you have the politeness to pretend impatience, and desire I would communicate, and all that, I annex a piece of the prophecy;f which must be true at least, as it was wrote so many



after the events.

* I do not recollect the title of this poem, but it was a small one which M. de Voltaire wrote when he first settled at Ferney. By the long residence he has since made there, it appears that either our Author was mistaken in his conjecture, or that an opportunity of leaving it had not yet bappened.

† The second antistrophe and epode, with a few lines of the third strophe of his Ode, entitled the Bard, were here inserted.



Pembroke-ball, March 25, 1756. Though I had no reasonable excuse for myself before I received your last letter, yet since that time I have had a pretty good one; having been taken up in quarrelling with Peter-house,* and in removing myself from thence to Pembroke. This may be looked upon as a sort of era in a life so barren of events as mine ; yet I shall treat it in Voltaire's manner, and only tell you that I left my lodgings because the rooms were noisy, and the people of the house uncivil. This is all I would choose to have said about it; but if you in private should be curious enough to enter into a particular detail of facts and minute circumstances, the bearer, who was witness to them, will probably satisfy you. All I shall say more is, that I am for the present extremely well lodged here, and quiet as in the Grand Chartreuse ; and that every body (even Dr. Long himself) are as civil as they could be to Mary of Valenst in person.

With regard to any advice I can give you about your being physician to the hospital, I frankly own it ought to give way to a much better judge, especially so disinterested a one as Dr. Heberden. I love refusals no more than you do. But as to your fears of effluvia, I maintain that one sick rich patient has more of pestilence and putrefaction about him than a whole ward of sick poor.

The similitude between the Italian republics and


The reason of Mr. Gray's changing his college, which is here only glanced at, was in few words this : two or three young men of fortune, who lived in the same staircase, had for some time intentionally disturbed him with their riots, and carried their ill behaviour so far as frequently to awaken him at midnight. After having borne with their insults longer than might reasonably have been expected even from a man of less warmth of temper, Mr. Gray complained to the governing part of the society; and not thinking that his remonstrance was sufficiently attended to, quitted the college. The slight manner in which he mentions this affair, when writing to one of his most intimate friends, certainly does honour to the placability of his disposition.

+ Foundress of the college.

those of ancient Greece has ofteri struck me, as it does you. I do not wonder that Sully's Memoirs have highly entertained

but cannot agree


in thinking him or his master two of the best men in the world. The King was indeed one of the best natured men that ever lived; but it is owing only to chance that his intended marriage with Madame d'Estreés, or with the Marquise de Verneuil, did not involve him and the kingdom in the most inextricable confusion; and his design upon the princess of Condé (in his old age) was worse still. As to the minister, his base application to Concini, after the murder of Henry, has quite ruined him in my esteem, and destroyed all the merit of that honest surly pride for which I honoured him before; yet I own that as kings and ministers go, they were both extraordinary men. Pray look at the end of Birch's State Papers of Sir J. Edmonds, for the character of the French court at that time; it is written by Sir George Carew.

You should have received Mason's present* last Saturday. I desire you to tell me your critical opinion of the new odes, and also whether you have found out two lines which he has inserted in his third to a friend which are superlative.f We do not expect the world, which is just going to be invaded, will bestow much attention on them; if you hear any thing, you will tell us.

* The four odes which I had just published separately.

+ I should leave the reader to guess (if he thought it worth his while) what this couplet was, which is here commended so much beyond its merit, did not the Ode conclude with a compliment to Mr. Gray, in which part he might probably look for it, as those lines were written with the greater care. To secure, therefore, my friend from any imputation of vanity, whatever becomes of myself, I shall here insert the passage.

While through the west, where sinks the crimson Day,
Meek Twilight slowly sails, and waves her banners gray.



June 14, 1756.

Though I allow abundance for your kindness and partiality to me, I am yet much pleased with the good opinion you seem to have of the Bard: I have not, however, done a word more than the little you have seen, having been in a very listless, unpleasant, and inutile : state of mind for this long time, for which I shall beg you to prescribe me somewhat strengthening and agglutinant, lest it turn to a confirmed phthisis.

I recommend two little French books to you, one called Memoires de M. de la Porte; it has all the air of simplicity and truth, and contains some few very extraordinary facts relating to Anne of Austria and Cardinal Mazarine.' The other is in two small volumes, " Memoires de Madame Staal.” The facts are no great matter, but the manner and vivacity make them interesting. She was a sort of confidante to the late Duchess of Maine, and imprisoned a long time on her account during the regency. I ought before now to have thanked


for offer, which I mean soon to accept, for a reason which to be sure can be none to you and Mrs. Wharton; and. therefore I think it my duty to give you notice of it. I have told you already of my mental ailments; and it is a very possible thing also that I may be bodily ill again in town, which I would not choose to be in a dirty inconvenient lodging, where, perhaps, my nurse might stifle me with a pillow; and therefore it is no wonder if I prefer your house: but I tell you of this in time, that if either of you are frightened at the thoughts of a sick body, you may make a handsome excuse and save your. selves this trouble. You are not, however, to imagine

your kind

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