Page images
PDF
EPUB

uncle were dead, and a distant relation of the royal family had usurped the throne.) Sophonisba was accordingly married to Syphax; and Massinissa, enraged at the affront, became a friend to the Romans. They drove the Carthaginians before them out of Spain, and carried the war into Africa, dẹfeated Syphax, and took him prisoner; upon which Cirtha (his capital) opened her gates to Lælius and Massinissa. The rest of the affair, the marriage, and the sending of poison, every body knows. This is partly taken from Livy, and partly from Appian.

SECTION THE FOURTH.

I. MR. GRAY TO MR. WHARTON.

MY DEAR WHARTON,

It is a long time since I ought to have returned you my thanks for the pleasure of your letter, I should say, the prodigy of your letter, for such a thing has not happened above twice within the last age to mortal man, and no one here can conceive what it may portend. Mr. Trollope, I suppose, has told you how I was employed a part of the time; how, by my own indefatigable application for these ten years past, and by the care and vigilance of that worthy magistrate the Man-inBlew,* (who, I'll assure you, has not spared his labour, nor could have done more for his own son) I am got half way to the Top of Jurisprudence, and bid as fair as another body to open

*Servant of the Vice-Chancellor's for the time being, usually known by the name of Blue-coat, whose business it is to attend Acts for Degrees.-Mason. It may perhaps hardly be necessary to say, that the word Blew is generally so spelt in Mr. Gray's manuscript Letters; it was the orthography of the time.-Ed.

ti. e. Batchelor of Civil Law.-Mason.

a case of impotency with all decency and circumspection you see my ambition: I do not doubt but some thirty years hence I shall convince the world, and you, that I am a very pretty young fellow, and may come to shine in a profession, perhaps the noblest in the world, next to manmidwifery. As for yours; if your distemper and you can but agree about going to London, I may reasonably expect, in a much shorter time, to see you in your three cornered villa, doing the honours of a well furnished table with as much dignity, as rich a mien, and as capacious a belly as Dr. Mead. Methinks I see Dr. Askew at the lower end of it, lost in admiration of your goodly person and parts, cramming down his envy (for it will rise) with the wing of a pheasant, and drowning it in neat Burgundy. But not to tempt your asthma too much with such a prospect, I should think you might be almost as happy as this, even in the country: but you know best; and I should be sorry to say any thing that might stop you in the career of glory. Far be it from me to hamper the wheels of your gilded chariot. on, Sir Thomas; and when you die (for even physicians must die) may the faculty in Warwick Lane erect your statue in Sir John Cutler's own

niche.

Go

As to Cambridge, it is as it was, for all the world; and the people are as they were, and Mr. Trollope is as he was, that is, half-ill, halfwell; I wish with all my heart they were all

better, but what can one do? There is no news, only I think I heard a whisper, as if the ViceChancellor should be with child; (but I beg you not to mention this, for I may come into trouble about it;) there is some suspicion that the Professor of Mathematics had a hand in the thing. Dr. Dickens says the University will be obliged to keep it, as it was got in Magistratu.

I was going to tell you how sorry I am for your illness, but, I hope, it is too late to be sorry now; I can only say that I really was very sorry may you live a hundred Christmases, and eat as many collars of brawn stuck with rosemary. Adieu. I am sincerely yours,

Dec. 27, 1742, Cambridge.

T. GRAY.

Wont you come to the jubilee? Dr. Long* is to dance a saraband and hornpipe, of his own

* See Life of Dr. Long, in Nichols' Ed. of J. Taylor's Tracts, p. liv.—lviii. there is a copy of verses by R. Long, Master of Pembroke, on the death of Fred. P. of Wales, the last in the volume. The English Poems collected from the Oxford and Cambridge verses on the death of Fred. P. of Wales. Edinb. 1751. beginning,

Yes! I will weep for thy untimely fate,

Oh! much lov'd Prince! that part I can perform.
To take my portion of the general grief,
Although by seventy winters' freezing blasts,
All chill'd my blood, and damp'd poetic fire.

In this volume, among the Oxford contributors, are

invention, without lifting either foot once from the

ground.*

II. MR. GRAY TO MR. WHARTON.

MY DEAR WHARTON,

THIS is only to entreat you would order mes gens to clean out the apartments, spread the carpets, air the beds, put up the tapestry, unpaper the frames, &c.; fit to receive a great potentate, who comes down in the flying coach, drawn by green dragons, on Friday, the 10th instant. As the ways are bad, and the dragons a little out of repair, (for they don't actually fly, but only go, like a lame ostrich, something between a hop and a trot,) it will probably be late when he lands, so he would not choose to be known, and desires there may be no bells nor bonfires; but as per

S. Spence, J. Musgrave, J. Heskin, B. Kennicott, R. Louth; among the Cambridge, F. Neville, Erasm. Darwin, R, Cumberland, and R. Long.-Ed.

*If the Reader will be at the trouble to collate this Letter with Letter I. Sect. IV. of Mason's Edition, he will perceive the numerous verbal alterations, and transpositions introduced by the Editor of that volume. They are far too numerous and too important, .to be merely the effect of a negligent transcription.-Ed.

« PreviousContinue »