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You ask after my Chronology. It was begun, as I told you, almost two years ago, when I was in the midst of Diogenes Laertius and his philosophers, as a prooemium to their works. My intention in forming this table was not so much for public events, though these too have a column assigned them, but rather in a literary way to compare the time of all great men, their writings, and their transactions. I have brought it from the thirtieth Olympiad, where it begins, to the hundred and thirteenth; that is, three hundred and thirty two years.* My only modern assistants were Marsham, Dodwell, and Bentley.

I have since that read Pausanias and Athenæus all through, and Eschylus again. I am now in Pindar and Lysias; for I take verse and prose together like bread and cheese.



Cambridge, August 8, 1749.

I PROMISED Dr. Keene long since to give you an account of our magnificences here;† but the newspapers and he himself in person, have got the start of my indolence, so that by this time you are well acquainted with all the events that

This laborious work was formed much in the manner of the President Henault's "Histoire de France." Every page consisted of nine columns; one for the Olympiad, the next for the Archons, the third for the public affairs of Greece, the three next for the philosophers, and the three last for poets, historians, and orators. I do not find it carried further than the date above-mentioned.

The Duke of Newcastle's installation as chancellor of the university.

adorned that week of wonders. Thus much I may venture to tell you, because it is probable nobody else has done it, that our friend * *'s zeal and eloquence surpassed all power of description. Vesuvio in an eruption was not more violent than his utterance, nor (since I am at my mountains) Pelion, with all its pine-trees in a storm of wind, more impetuous than his action; and yet the Senate-House still stands, and (I thank God) we are all safe and well at your service. I was ready to sink for him, and scarce dared to look about me, when I was sure it was all over; but soon found I might have spared my confusion; all people joined to applaud him. Every thing was quite right; and I dare swear, not three people here but think him a model of oratory; for all the Duke's little court came with a resolution to be pleased; and when the tone was once given, the university who ever wait for the judgment of their betters, struck into it with an admirable harmony: for the rest of the performances, they were just what they usually are. Every one, while it lasted, was very gay and busy in the morning, and very owlish and very tipsy at night: I make no exceptions from the Chancellor to Blue-Coat. Mason's Ode was the only entertainment that had any tolerable elegance; and, for my own part, I think it (with some little abatements) uncommonly well on such an occasion. Pray let me know your sentiments; for doubtless you have seen it. The author of it grows apace into my good graces, as I know him more; he is very ingenious, with great good nature and simplicity; a little vain, but in so harmless and so comical a way, that it does not offend

one at all; a little ambitious, but withal so ignorant in the world and its ways, that this does not hurt him in one's opinion; so sincere and so undisguised, that no mind, with a spark of generosity, would ever think of hurting him, he lies so open to injury; but so indolent, that if he cannot overcome this habit, all his good qualities will signify nothing at all. After all, I like him so well, I could wish you knew him.



Cambridge, Nov. 7. 1749.

THE unhappy news I have just received from you equally surprises and afflicts me.* I have lost a person I loved very much, and have been used to from my infancy; but am much more concerned for your loss, the circumstances of which I forbear to dwell upon, as you must be too sensible of them yourself; and will, I fear more and more need a consolation that no one can give, except He who has preserved her to you so many years, and at last, when it was his pleasure, has taken her from us to himself: and perhaps, if we reflect upon what she felt in this life, we may look upon this as an instance of his goodness both to her, and to those that loved her. She might have

The death of his aunt, Mrs. Mary Antrobus, who died the 5th of November, and was buried in a vault in Stoke churchyard, near the chancel door, in which also his mother and himself (according to the direction in his will) were afterwards buried.

languished many years before our eyes in a continual increase of pain, and totally helpless; she might have long wished to end her misery without being able to attain it; or perhaps even lost all sense, and yet continued to breathe; a sad spectacle to such as must have felt more for her than she could have done for herself. However you may deplore your own loss, yet think that she is at last easy and happy; and has now more occasion to pity us than we her. I hope, and beg, you will support yourself with that resignation we owe to Him who gave us our being for our good, prives us of it for the same reason. come to you directly, but you you desire I should or not; if you do, I beg I may know it, for there is nothing to hinder me, and I am in very good health.

and who deI would have

do not say




Stoke, August 9, 1750.

ARISTOTLE says (one may write Greek to you without scandal) that Οἱ τόποι οὐ διαλύουσι τὴν φιλίαν ἁπλῶς, ἀλλὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν ἐὰν δέ χρόνιος ἡ ἀπουσία γένηται καὶ τῆς φιλίας δοκεῖ λήθην ποιεῖν. ὅθεν εἴρηται

Πολλὰς δὴ φιλίας ἀπροσηγορία διέλυσεν.

But Aristotle may say whatever he pleases, I do not find myself at all the worse for it. I could indeed wish to refresh my 'Evέpya a little at Durham by the sight of you, but when is there a probabi

lity of my being so happy? It concerned me greatly when I heard the other day that your asthma continued at times to afflict you, and that you were often obliged to go into the country to breathe; you cannot oblige me more than by giving me an account both of the state of your body and mind: I hope the latter is able to keep you cheerful and easy in spite of the frailties of its companion. As to my own, it can neither do one nor the other; and I have the mortification to find my spiritual part the most infirm thing about me. You have doubtless heard of the loss I have had in Dr. Middleton, whose house was the only easy place one could find to converse in at Cambridge: for my part I find a friend so uncommon a thing, that I cannot help regretting even an old acquaintance, which is an indifferent likeness of it; and though I do not approve the spirit of his books, methinks 'tis pity the world should lose so rare a thing as a good writer.*

My studies cannot furnish a recommendation of many new books to you. There is a defence “de l'Esprit des Loix," by Montesquieu himself; it has some lively things in it, but is very short, and his adversary appears to be so mean a bigot that he deserved no answer. There are three vols. in 4to. of "Histoire du Cabinet du Roy, by Messrs. Buffons and d'Aubenton;" the first is a man of character, but I am told has hurt it by this work. It is all a sort of introduction to natural history; the weak part of it is a love of system which runs through it; the most contrary thing in the world


* Mr. Gray used to say, that good writing not only required great parts, but very best of those parts.

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