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even these bones' are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place; yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them. Had Gray written often thus it had been vain to blame, and useless to praise him.


Of Mason's book Walpole wrote:-'I prefer it to all the biography I ever saw.... Never was a book which people pretended to expect so much with impatience less devoured-at least in London.' Letters, vi. 199.

It is in the May list of books in Gent. Mag. 1775, p. 244—1 vol. 4to, price 15s. Eighty copies-all the booksellers had-were at once sold in Cambridge. Mitford, iv. 221. Boswell wrote on May 10:-'The second edition is come out.' Letters to Temple, p. 192. On July 31 not half of it was sold. Walpole's Letters, vi. 231 n. The third edition appeared in 1807. The work included the poems (many previously unpublished) as well as the letters of Gray.

Mason, writes Mitford, 'altered, abridged and transposed the materials according to his own judgement; so that there is scarcely one genuine letter by Gray in the whole of Mason's volume.' Mitford, v. Preface, p. 8. Sending Walpole two letters by Gray in French, he wrote:-'I fancy, if they are not accurate, a few corrections of your pen would make them so; or, perhaps, if one letter was made out of them both, that would be a sufficient specimen of his excellence with respect to writing in a foreign language.' Walpole's Letters, v. 479.

Johnson said of the book :-'I forced myself to read it, only because it was a common topic of conversation. I found it mighty dull; and, as to the style, it is fit for the second table.' Boswell's Johnson, iii. 31. See also ib. i. 29, ii. 164; John. Letters, i. 317; Walpole's Letters, viii. 3.

'Notwithstanding the extraordinary merits of Gray's matter, he has the double stiffness of an imitator and of a college recluse.' MACKINTOSH, Life, ii. 221.


GRAY, 51. On June 12, 1750, Gray sent it to Walpole, by whom 'it was shewn about in manuscript.' Copies must have been taken against the author's will. The stanzas,' he wrote, 'were never meant to be made still more public.' Gray's Letters, i. 204, 221; Mason, ii. 74. On Feb. 11, 1750-1, he wrote to Walpole that the editors of The Magazine of Magazines were printing it under the title of Reflections in a Country Churchyard. He continued:-'I am obliged to desire you would make Dodsley print it immediately. The title must be-Elegy, written in a Country Churchyard.' Gray's Letters, i. 208. According to Mason the original title was Stanzas written, &c. 'I persuaded Gray,' he writes, 'to call it an Elegy.' Mason, i. 120. elegy see ante, HAMMOND, 8.


It was printed for R. Dodsley and sold by M. Cooper. The editor [Walpole] writes:-'It came into my hands by accident.' The poem is not printed in quatrains, but continuously. The first line of each quatrain is indented. [Horace Walpole's statement of course is not true.]

In Gent. Mag. Feb. 1751, p. 95, under the heading of 'Poetry, Plays and Entertainment,' are the following entries :

'17. The modern fine lady. 6d. Dodsley. We have not had an opportunity to read this poem, but have heard a very great character of it.

18. An elegy wrote in a Country Churchyard. 6d. Cooper.' There is no further mention of the Elegy.

On Ash-Wednesday (1751) Gray wrote:-'Nurse Dodsley has given it a pinch or two in the cradle, that (I doubt) it will bear the marks of as long as it lives.' Letters, i. 209. On March 3 he wrote:'I do not expect any more editions, as I have appeared in more magazines than one.' Ib. p. 211. For the 'pinches' see ib.

It appeared in The Magazine of Magazines for Feb. 1751, p. 160; The London Magazine for March, and The Grand Magazine of Magazines for April'; also in two portions in The True Briton, March 6, and April 17. N. & Q. 5 S. viii. 212. See also ib. 5 S. vii. 142, 469; 6 S. iv. 16. Magazines usually appeared at the end of the month.


Bentley was the son of the great scholar. His cousin, Richard Cumberland, calls him (Memoirs, 1807, i. 23) 'the humble designer of drawings to ornament a thin folio of a meagre collection of odes by Gray, the most costive of poets, edited at the Walpolian press.'

Walpole wrote on June 13, 1751:- Mr. Bentley is drawing vignettes for Gray's Odes; what a valuable MS. I shall have!' Letters, ii. 257. On Aug. 28, 1752, he wrote:-'The Poemata-Grayo-Bentleiana, or Gray's Odes, are in great forwardness.' Ib. p. 307. In Short Notes of my Life he says of the book :-'I published it.' Ib. Preface, p. 67. It was not printed by him.

Gray wrote to Dodsley:-'I desire it may be understood (which is the truth) that the verses are only explanatory to the drawings, and suffered by me to come out thus only for that reason.' He wished the title to be Designs by Mr. R. Bentley for six poems of Mr. T. Gray. Letters, i. 230. Walpole objected to it, and it was not pressed. Walpole's Letters, ii. 322. In Gent. Mag. March, 1753, p. 150, is 'Poems by Mr. Gray; with designs by Mr. Bentley, 4to. 10s. 6d. Dodsley.' There is no review of the book. At the Fraser Library Sale in 1901 Designs by R. Bentley for Six Poems by Gray, the poet's own copy, containing MS. Ode to Poesy, extra stanza to The Elegy, &c., sold for £400. The Athenaeum, May 4, 1901, p. 567.

For Gray's Stanzas to Mr. Bentley see Mitford, i. 153.


Ante, DRYDEN, 26; Savage, 172 n2. It was offered Gray through Mason, by the Duke of Devonshire, who, as Lord Chamberlain, had the appointment. Mason, ii. 135. Gray wrote to Mason on Dec. 19, 1757:-Though I very well know the bland, emollient, saponaceous qualities both of sack and silver, yet, if any great man would say to me, "I make you rat-catcher to his Majesty, with a salary of £300 a year, and two butts of the best Malaga; and, though it has been usual to catch a mouse or two, for form's sake, in public once a year, yet to you, Sir, we shall not stand upon these things," I cannot say I should jump at it; nay, if they would drop the very name of the office, and call me Sinecure to the King's Majesty, I should still feel a little awkward, and think everybody I saw smelt a rat about me.' He concludes :-'There are poets little enough to envy even a poet-laureate.' Gray's Letters, i. 372. Mason converted this passage into the following:-'I hope you couched my refusal to Lord John Cavendish in as respectful terms as possible, and with all due acknowledgment to the Duke.' Mason, ii. 135.

Cibber died on Dec. 11, 1757. William Whitehead succeeded him the same month. Gent. Mag. 1757, pp. 578-9. 'Cibber's familiar style,' said Johnson, 'was better than that which Whitehead has assumed. Grand nonsense is insupportable.' Boswell's Johnson, i. 402.


'Johnson attacked Gray, calling him "a dull fellow." BOSWELL. "I understand he was reserved, and might appear dull in company; but surely he was not dull in poetry." JOHNSON. "Sir, he was dull in company, dull in his closet, dull every where. He was dull in a new way, and that made many people think him GREAT. He was a mechanical poet. . . . No, Sir, there are but two good stanzas in Gray's poetry, which are in his Elegy." He then repeated the stanza "For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey," &c. He added, "The other stanza I forget." Boswell's Johnson, ii. 327. Johnson, in the fourth edition of his Dictionary, quotes the last line of the Elegy under bosom. For his parody of the poem see John. Misc. i. 191, and for a parody of his criticism see Boswell's Johnson, iv. 392; John. Letters, ii. 315.

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Gray, in 1748, wrote of Johnson's two poems in Dodsley's Coll. i. 101, iii. 150:-'London is to me one of those few imitations that have

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[Johnson's two versions of a chorus in the Medea (11. 193–206)—the one a serious attempt to render the passage according to his conception of versification, the other a parody on Gray's style, as he conceived it-afford an illustration, as Mr. Tovey points out [Gray's Poems, Pitt Press, 1894, Introd. pp. 12-15], of the difference between Johnson's verse, which approaches closely to the prose of his age, and Gray's style re-creating, as it were, a distinct poetic diction. See also John. Misc. i. 191.]

all the ease and all the spirit of an original. The same man's verses on the opening of Garrick's theatre are far from bad.' Letters, i. 183.

For Gray's exclaiming, when he saw 'Johnson's large uncouth figure rolling before them :-"Look, look, Bonstetten, the great bear! There goes Ursa Major," see Boswell's Johnson, v. 384 n.

Dr. John Gregory wrote to Beattie in 1766:-'Gray told me with a good deal of acrimony that his Churchyard Elegy owed its popularity entirely to the subject, and that the public would have received it as well if it had been written in prose.' Forbes's Beattie, 1824, p. 44.

'Soon after its publication,' said Mason, 'I remember sitting with Mr. Gray in his College apartment; he expressed to me his surprise at the rapidity of its sale. I replied :

"Sunt lacrymae rerum, et mentem mortalia tangunt

[Aeneid i. 462]. He paused awhile, and, taking his pen, wrote the line on a printed copy of it lying on his table. "This," said he, "shall be its future motto." "Pity," cried I, "that Dr. Young's Night Thoughts have preoccupied it." "So," replied he, "indeed it is." Mitford, i. Preface, p. 26.

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'Gray's Elegy will be read as long as any work of Shakespeare, despite of its moping owl and the tin-kettle of an epitaph tied to its tail. It is the first poem that ever touched my heart, and it strikes it now just in the same place. Homer, Shakespeare, Milton and Dante, the four giants who lived before our last Deluge of poetry, have left the ivy growing on the churchyard wall.' LANDOR, Works, 1874, i. 426. See also Imag. Conver. ed. Crump, iii. 381.

'Tennyson, speaking of the Elegy, quoted :-" The paths of glory lead but to the grave"; and said :-"These divine truisms make me weep." Allingham MSS.

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'Gray (he said) in his limited sphere is great, and has a wonderful ear.' Life of Tennyson, ii. 288.

'This turn for style imparts to our poetry a stamp of high distinction, and sometimes it doubles the force of a poet not by nature of the very highest order such as Gray.' MATTHEW ARNOLD, Celtic Literature, 1867, p. 138.


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'It seems to me strange that and', should go on pouring out poem after poem, as if such haste could prosper with any but firstrate men and I suppose they hardly reckon themselves with the very first. I feel sure that Gray's Elegy, pieced and patched together so laboriously by a man of almost as little genius as abundant taste, will outlive all these hasty abortions. And yet there are plenty of faults in that Elegy too, resulting from the very elaboration which yet makes it live.' E. FITZGERALD, Letters, ii. 209.

In FitzGerald's Letters to Fanny Kemble, p. 151, we find 'Browning, Swinburne, & Co.' See also ib. pp. 154, 187.


EORGE LYTTELTON, the son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton

of Hagley in Worcestershire, was born in 17092. He was educated at Eton 3, where he was so much distinguished that his exercises were recommended as models to his school-fellows.

2 From Eton he went to Christ-church, where he retained the same reputation of superiority, and displayed his abilities to the publick in a poem on Blenheim 5.


He was a very early writer, both in verse and prose. His Progress of Love and his Persian Letters' were both written when he was very young; and, indeed, the character of a young man is very visible in both. The Verses cant of shepherds and flocks, and crooks dressed with flowers; and the Letters have something of that indistinct and headstrong ardour for liberty which a man of genius always catches when he enters the world, and always suffers to cool as he passes forward',

See Appendix BB.

2 His mother and Gilbert West's mother were sisters. Ante, WEST,

2 n. 3.

3 In his Persian Letters he describes the education of 'several young noblemen' by a learned clergyman. 'They are accustomed to tremble at a rod, to tell lies in excuse of trifling faults, to betray their companions, to be spies and cowards.' Works, 1775, p. 185.

He matriculated on Feb. 11, 1725-6, but took no degree. Alumni Oxon.

5 Post, LYTTELTON, 31. It is the Palace of Blenheim, and Marlborough 'in these retreats,' and the widowed Duchess that he celebrates. Eng. Poets, lxiv. 267. He wrote the poem in 1727. Works, 1775, p. 639.

The Progress of Love, in Four Eclogues. Eng. Poets, lxiv. 251; post, LYTTELTON, 31. It was first published in 1732.

'Letters from a Persian in Eng

land to his Friend at Ispahan, Works, p. 91; Gent. Mag. 1735, p. 167. Montesquieu's Lettres persanes, published in 1721, were avowedly imitated by Lyttelton (see Warton's Essay on Pope, ii. 386), and by Goldsmith in his Citizen of the World (1760).

8 Ante, POPE, 313.

9 Ante, AKENSIDE, 3. Lyttelton advocates reform of Parliament and an unrestrained press in public matters. He maintains that Cromwell showed 'solid good sense' in wishing to have the title of King. Works, pp. 106, 189, 211, 213. He lived to draw the protest against the repeal of the American Stamp Act. Walpole's Letters, iv. 491.

In his Persian Letters, many of which are written on the most important subjects in ethics, politics and philosophy, he hath condescended to introduce two or three novels.' FIELDING, Works, 1806, v. 424. For

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