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Don't tell me I am grown old, and peevish, and supercilious; name the geniuses of 1774, and I submit. The next Augustan age will dawn on the other side of the Atlantic. There will, perhaps, be a Thucydides at Boston, a Xenophon at New York, and, in time, a Virgil at Mexico, and a Newton at Peru. At last, some curious traveller from Lima will visit England, and give a description of the ruins of St. Paul's, like the editions of Baalbec and Palmyra. But am I not prophesying, contrary to my consummate prudence, and casting horoscopes of empires, like Rousseau ? Yes; well, I will go and dream of my visions.


STRAWBERRY Hill, August 3, 1775. In spite of all my modesty, I cannot help thinking I have a little something of the prophet about me. At least, we have not conquered America yet. I did not send you immediate word of our victory at Boston, because the success not only seemed very equivocal, but because the conquerors lost three to one more than the vanquished. The last do not pique themselves upon modern good breeding, but level only at the officers, of whom they have slain a vast number. We are a little disappointed, indeed, at their fighting at all, which was not in our calculation. We knew we could conquer America in Germany, and I doubt had better have gone thither now for that purpose, as it does not appear hitherto to be quite so feasible in America itself. However, we are determined to know the worst, and are sending away all the men and ammunition we can muster. The Congress, not asleep, neither, have appointed a generalissimo, Washington, allowed a very able officer, who distinguished himself in the last war. Well, we had better have gone on robbing the Indies ! it was a more lucrative trade.

WALPOLE'S RESIDENCE AT STRAWBERRY HILL. I SHALL now be expecting your nephew soon, and, I trust, with a perfectly good account of you. The next time he visits you,


may be able to send you a description of my Galleria. I have long been preparing it; and it is almost finished, with some prints, which, however, I doubt, will convey no very adequate idea of it. In the first place, they are but moderately executed : I could not afford to pay our principal engravers, whose prices are equal to, nay, far above,

those of former capital painters. In the next, as there is a solemnity in the house, of which the cuts will give you an idea, they cannot add the gay variety of the scene without, which is very different from every side, and almost from every chamber, and makes a most agreeable contrast, the house being placed almost in an elbow of the Thames, which surrounds half, and consequently beautifies three of the aspects. Then my little hill — and diminutive enough it is – gazes up to royal Richmond; and Twickenham on the left, and Kingstonwick on the right, are seen across bends of the river, which on each hand appears like a Lilliputian seaport. Swans, cows, sheep, coaches, post-chaises, carts, horsemen, and foot-passengers are continually in view. The fourth scene is a large common-field, a constant prospect of harvest and its stages, traversed under my windows by the great road to Hampton Court; in short, an animated view of the country. These moving pictures compensate the conventual gloom of the inside, which, however, when the sun shines, is gorgeous, as he appears all crimson, and gold, and azure through the painted glass. Now, to be quite fair, you must turn the perspective, and look at this vision through the diminishing end of the telescope ; for nothing is so small as the whole, and even Mount Richmond would not reach up to Fiesole's shoe-buckle. If your nephew is still with you, he will confirm the truth of all the pomp, and all the humility, of my description. I grieve that you would never come and cast an eye on it! But are even our visions pure from alloy? Does not some drawback always hang over them ? and, being visions, how rapidly must not they fleet away! Yes, yes ; our smiles and our tears are almost as transient as the lustre of the morning and the shadows of the evening, and almost as frequently interchanged. Our passions form airy balloons — we know not how to direct them; and the very inflammable matter that transports them often makes the bubble burst. Adieu!

DR. JOHNSON'S BIOGRAPHERS. I HAVE very lately been lent a volume of poems, composed and printed at Florence, in which another of our ex-heroines, Mrs. Piozzi, has a considerable share ; her associates, three of the English bards who assisted in the little garland which Ramsay the painter sent me. The present is a plump octavo; and, if you have not sent me a copy by your nephew, I should be glad if you could get one for me — not for the merit of the verses, which are moderate enough, and faint imitations of our good poets, but for a short, and sensible, and gen

teel preface by La Piozzi, from whom I have just seen a very clever letter to Mrs. Montagu, to disavow a jackanapes who has lately made a noise here, one Boswell, by anecdotes of Dr. Johnson. In a day or two we expect another collection by the same signora.

Two days ago appeared Madame Piozzi's Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson. I am lamentably disappointed — in her, I mean, not in him. I had conceived a favorable opinion of her capacity. But this new book is wretched; a high-varnished preface to a heap of rubbish, in a very vulgar style, and too void of method even for such a farrago. Her panegyric is loud in praise of her hero ; and almost every fact she relates disgraces him. She allows and proves he was arrogant, yet affirms he was not proud; as if arrogance were not the flower of pride. A man may be proud, and may conceal it; if he is arrogant, he declares he is proud. She, and all Johnson's disciples, seem to have taken his brutal contradictions for bon-mots. Some of his own works show that he had, at times, strong, excellent sense, and that he had the virtue of charity to a high degree, is indubitable ; but his friends (of whom he made woful choice) have taken care to let the world know that in behavior he was an ill-natured bear, and in opinions as senseless a bigot as an old washerwoman - a brave composition for a philosopher! Let me turn from such a Hottentot to his reverse

- to you; to you, the mild, benevolent, beneficent friend of mankind, and the true contented philosoph

in every stage. Your last resigned letter is an antidote to all Johnson's coarse, meditated, offensive apophthegms.


William Collins was born at Chichester, in 1721, was educated at Winchester and at Oxford

, and afterwards went to London to engage in literary pursuits. He knew Goldsmith, Thomson, and Johnson intimately, and was highly esteemed as a scholar ; but his poetry was not sopular, and was not even appreciated by his friends. He suffered all the miseries of poverty, but felt still more keenly the pangs of unmerited neglect. After some years he received a legacy of two thousand pounds from a maternal uncle; but the relief came too late; his spirits were broken, and his health impaired; he sank into a melancholy imbecility bordering on lunacy, and died in his thirty-ninth year.

The Odes of Collins, though never deeply touching human sympathies, nor astonishing es by strokes of genius, are yet so elevated in thought, so rich in imagery, so graceful in fancy, and so musical in rhythm, that they contend with those of Gray for the chief place among the minor poems of the language.

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When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she

The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Thronged around her magic cell ;
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possessed beyond the Muse's painting ;
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined ;
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round,
They snatched her instruments of sound;
And as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each — for madness ruled the hour -
Would prove his own expressive power.

First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewildered laid,
And back recoiled, he knew not why,
Even at the sound himself had made.

Next Anger rushed, his eyes on fire
In lightnings owned his secret stings;
In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept with hurried hand the strings.

With woful measures wan Despair,
Low, sullen sounds his grief beguiled ;
A solemn, strange, and mingled air ;
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.

But thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ?

Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail !

Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,

She called on Echo still through all the song;

And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close ;
And Hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hair :

And longer had she sung, but with a frown

Revenge impatient rose ;
He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down,

And, with a withering look,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,

And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe;

And ever and anon he beat

The doubling drum with furious heat;
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity at his side

Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild, unaltered mien, While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head.

Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fixed :

Sad proof of thy distressful state;
Of differing themes the veering song was mixed,
And now it courted Love, now, raving, called on Hate.

With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sat retired;
And from her wild, sequestered seat,

In notes by distance made more sweet,
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul;

And dashing soft from rocks around,

Bubbling runnels joined the sound;
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole ;

Or o'er some haunted stream with fond delay,
Round a holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.

But O, how altered was its sprightlier tone,
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,

Her bow across her shoulder flung,

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