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come if a lay-fellowship could be obtained, and with this view he became a candidate at Oriel College, but was there unsuccessful.

He has recorded his disappointment in the following lines, which, in March, 1797, were published in the “ Gentleman's Magazine,” but appear to have been written soon after his failure. They do not evidence much regret for the loss of the bar as a profession. Retirement and opportunity to indulge his fondness for literature had been from childhood, then were, and through life continued to be, the chief objects of his desire.



Farewell, vain hopes of Fellows' easy days ;
Of morning vacant to the dreams of books,
In old or modern language, prose or rhyme ;
Of evenings spent in social glee with wine,
And quiet slumbers, undisturb’d, at night.
What now remains ? the curate's thankless toil !
To pour into the ear of stupid clown
Good precept ill received ; to leave the down
And easy swell of a luxurious bed
For miry ways and prayer by sick man's couch ;
Or, worse than all ! perchance to taste the cup
Sour and unsavory, of domestic cares.
There are two roads along this mortal vale ;
Easy the one and pleasant, but the end
Those who have seen it seldom praise ; unsmooth
And difficult the other, yet the few,
Who toil with patient biding to the end,
Pronounce it good. Me, studious of the first,
Fate, that oft judges better than ourselves,
Hath driven into the hard and dusty path ;

And I must go to school, and learn of thee,
Thou hairy doctor in philosophy,
In Crowe's * grave song to worthy honour raised,
Sager than those whom pictured Stoa heard.

The summer and autumn of this year, 1794, he spent in a tour through North Wales with his college friend, Wilkes, afterwards rector of Enville, in Staffordshire; and in a visit to Dublin, at the house of Mr. Ormsby, whose wife was one of his mother's oldest friends. During this visit he formed an attachment to his host's youngest daughter; his prudence however deterred him from giving the object of his affection the slightest intimation or sign of his attachment, until his own course of life was decided on.

The following letters to his friend Price, the son of his old master at Birmingham school, give some account of his life during the period that elapsed between his leaving college and determining the important point, the choice of a profession.


Cannock, February 12, 1795. MY DEAR PRICE, I was very much obliged to you for your very entertaining letter, maugre the ill grace with which you seem to have set about writing it-only that you might be beforehand with Wilkes !

* Alluding to some lines addressed to an Ass by the author of “ Lewesdon Hill."

I had better, as you say, be kept out of the way of temptation-so that I will not accept your offer of sending me Fletcher's catalogue. Still, however, I have some commissions to trouble you with in the way of book-buying. The first time you take a lounge at Cook's shop, be so good as to purchase for me a Greek Testament, of the same edition as those in your chapel, and to inquire the price of Brunck's “ Sophocles,” and the complete edition of "Rousseau's Works.” You see that although a poor man, and not about to increase my worldly riches by becoming a curate, I still suffer my thoughts at least to rove beyond the Bible.

Of Apollonius Rhodius there is an English translation by Fawkes; but it is no better (to borrow Don Quixote's simile) than the wrong side of a piece of tapestry. I agree with you, that there are many exquisite passages in the “ Argon;” nothing, indeed, can be more exquisite in its way than the whole description of Medea's passion for Jason, in the third book. I do not recollect the difficulties you allude to. Perhaps you do not read it in a good edition, and are misled by a bad Latin translation. That of the learned Shavius of Magdalen is in general pretty faithful and perspicuous, but in one or two passages I think he has mistaken the sense of the original. In the fourth book, line 267, in that remarkable passage about Egypt, 'Hepin should be construed caligo instead of nigra, which makes it nonsense; the same mistake is repeated a few lines after.

At present I derive more assistance from the learned Shavius of Wolverhampton, who serves this curacy for me till I take orders: he resides here. I should much like to accompany you in your intended Caledonian expedition, if I were at liberty; but there is no chance of it. If anything in the course of my reading occurs relating to that country, that I think will be of use to you, I will certainly mark it, and mention it to you when we meet, which I hope will be in your next vacation,

Yours truly,


Be so good as to pay for the Greek Testament, and to let me know how much I am in


debt for our last account. As there is no secure way of conveyance from Oxford to this place, I will wait for the Greek Testament till you come down to Birmingham.

I have been favoured with a letter from Wilkes, for which I intend you to thank him; I should have liked it better if it had not smelt so strongly of his salacious imagination.

Aubry, the French refugee, whom you have met at my rooms, is going to publish a Latin poem by subscription. If you and Wilkes will give him your names and four shillings each, I shall think you do me a favour. Farewell.




Dublin, October 29, 1795. DEAR PRICE, If I may judge by my own feelings of the pleasure I should have in hearing from you, this letter will not be unwelcome to you. I believe it is four months since I wrote to you last, and, as I have received no answer, I cannot help flattering myself that your silence is more owing to your want of knowing where I am, than to neglect or forgetful

I have been two months in this country indulging in a riot of my affections,” to use the lofty expression of Waters, which has been the more delicious, as they were contrasted by the long preceding period of sickness and pain. The meeting, after a long absence, with friends whom I tenderly love, the recovery of my health and spirits, and the pleasure you know I take in rambling, and in which you have so often participated with me, have contributed to make the time I have spent in this country one of the pleasantest parts of my life. Still, I have not forgotten Oxford; and my imagination often returns to the scenes I have passed through there; and I frequently regret the evenings spent over a college fireside, sometimes with you and Wilkes, sometimes with Birch, &c. I long to know how they all are, and you cannot at present confer a greater favour on me than by informing me how they

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