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51. To Mr. BEATTIE. Apology for not accepting the degree of Doctor offered him by the University of Aberdeen

52. To Dr. WHARTON. Buffon's Natural History. Memoirs of Petrarch. Mr. Walpole at Paris. Description of a fine lady


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53. To Dr. WHARTON. Tour in Kent. New Bath Guide. volume of Buffon

54. To Mr. MASON.

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On his wife's death

55. To Mr. BEATTIE. Thanks for a manuscript poem. Mr. Adam Fer-
guson's Essay on Civil Society. A compliment to Lord Gray
56. To Mr. BEATTIE. On the projected edition of our Author's Poems
in England and Scotland. Commendation of Mr. Beattie's Ode on
Lord Hay's birth-day

57. To Mr. BEATTIE. More concerning the Glasgow edition of his

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• 328

58. To the Duke of GRAFTON. Thanking him for his Professorship.
59. To Mr. NICHOLLS. Account of Mr. Brocket's death, and of his being
made his successor in the Professorship

60. To Mr. BEATTIE. On the same subject

329 330


Enumeration of such other literary pursuits of Mr. Gray as were not
sufficiently dilated upon in the preceding letters

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1. To Mr. NICHOLLS. On the death of his uncle, Governor Floyer, and advising him to take orders

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2. To Mr. NICHOLLS. Congratulating him upon his situation, and men-
tioning his own Ode on the Installation of the New Chancellor

3. To Mr. BEATTIE. His reason for writing that Ode
4. To Dr. WHARTON. A journal of his tour through Westmoreland,
Cumberland, and a part of Yorkshire

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5. To Dr. WHARTON. Description of Kirkstall-Abbey, and some other
places in Yorkshire

6. To Mr. NICHOLLS. Of Nettley-Abbey and Southampton
7. To Mr. BEATTIE. On the first part of his Minstrel, and his Essay on
the Immutability of Truth. Stricture on Mr. D. Hume
8. To Mr. How. On receiving three of Count Algarotti's Treatises, and
hinting an error which that author had fallen into, with regard to
the English taste of gardening

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9. To Mr. How. After perusing the whole of Count Algarotti's works
in the Leghorn edition, and his sentiments concerning them
10. To Mr. NICHOLLS. On the affection due to a mother. Description
of that part of Kent from whence the letter was written





11. To Mr. NICHOLLS. Character of Froissart and other old French historians. And of Isocrates


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12. To Dr. WHARTON. Of his tour, taken the year before, to Monmouth, &c. Intention of coming to Old Park. And of his ill state of health

Conclusion, with the particulars of Mr. Gray's death. His character
by another hand, and some annotations on it by the Editor

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4. Observations upon a dramatic performance, entitled Elfrida, from the pen of Mr. Mason



1. The little concern produced by public calamities. Some remarks upon the character of Mr. Pope

2. Description of true philosophy. Conduct of Mr. Ratcliffe at his exe

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3. Elegy written in a Country Church-yard first forwarded. specting a work in the press against Mr. Middleton

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5. Same subject continued


6. Mr. Lyttleton's Elegy and Mr. Walpole's Epistle from Florence considered-favourable views of the latter


7. Inquiries concerning a new work of his, containing a history of his own time


8. The Hymn to Adversity. Two publications of Dr. Middleton's noticed

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10. Review of the writers who contributed to Mr. Dodsley's Collection of Poems. A new ode

• 420

11. A visit intended


12. Acknowledges the receipt of two specimens of Erse Poetry: is anx ious to discover the author

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13. Complains of bodily indisposition, and begs to be supplied with literary amusement • 428 14. Thanks for a copy of Anecdotes of Painting: the Author's plan of an historical work

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16. Means recommended to secure his restoration to health. Inquiries relative to an old picture

15. Thanks for the Castle of Otranto. Remarks upon a pamphlet and Rousseau's Lettres de la Montague

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17. Prevailing opinions respecting the work entitled Historic Doubts. Algarotti's purchase of an excellent Holbein picture. Curious tapestry



18. Our Author's observations upon his own writings. Mr. Boswell's pamphlet


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19. Ludicrous title-page, with particular information contained in the work

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2. Continues to deplore his separation from his friend

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3. Mentions his return from Suffolk, and still pursues the subject of his regret


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EPITAPH II. On Sir William Williams

ELEGY written in a Country Church-yard

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· 490

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THE lives of men of letters seldom abound with incidents; and perhaps no life ever afforded fewer than that which I have undertaken to write. But I am far from mentioning this by way of previous apology, as is the trite custom of biographers. The respect which I owe to my deceased friend, to the public, and (let me add) to myself, prompts me to waive so impertinent a ceremonial. A reader of sense and taste never expects to find in the memoirs of a philosopher, or poet, the same species of entertainment, or information, which he would receive from those of a statesman or general: he expects, however, to be either informed or entertained; nor would he be disappointed, did the writer take care to dwell principally on such topics as characterize the man, and distinguish that peculiar part which he acted in the varied drama of society. But this rule, selfevidently right as it may seem, is seldom observed.


It was said, with almost as much truth as wit, of one of these writers, that, when he composed the Life of Lord Verulam, he forgot that he was a philosopher; and, therefore, it was to be feared, should he finish that of the Duke of Marlborough, he would forget that he was a general. I shall avoid a like fault. I will promise my reader that he shall, in the following pages, seldom behold Mr. Gray in any other light than that of a scholar and a poet: and though I am more solicitous to shew that he was a virtuous, a friendly, and an amiable man, than either; yet this solicitude becomes unnecessary from the very papers which he has bequeathed me, and which I here arrange for the purpose: since in these the qualities of his head and heart so constantly appear together, and the fertility of his fancy so intimately unites with the sympathetic tenderness of his soul, that were it in my intention, I should find it impossible to disjoin them.

His parents were reputable citizens of London. His grandfather a considerable merchant: but his father, Mr. Philip Gray, though he also followed business, was of an indolent and reserved temper; and therefore rather diminished than increased his paternal fortune. He had many children, of whom Thomas, the subject of these Memoirs, was the fifth born. All of them, except him, died in their infancy; and I have been told that he narrowly escaped suffocation, (owing to too great a fulness of blood which destroyed the rest) and would certainly have been cut off as early, had not his mother, with a courage remarkable for one of her sex, and withal so very tender a parent, ventured

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