Imágenes de páginas

a precipice, not a torrent, not a cliff, but is pregnant with religion and poetry. There are certain scenes that would awe an atheist into belief, without the help of other argument. One need not have a very fantastic imagination to see spirits there at noonday. You have Death perpetually before your eyes, only so far removed, as to compose the mind without frightening it.'

In turning from these exquisite fragments of description to the poetry of Gray, the difference will be found to consist chiefly in the rhyme and measure in loftiness of sentiment and vividness of expression, the prose is equal to the verse.

Hymn to Adversity.

Daughter of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge, and torturing hour,
The bad affright, afflict the best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain,
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple tyrants vainly groan

With pangs unfelt before, unpitied, and alone.
When first thy sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, designed,
To thee he gave the heavenly birth,

And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern rugged nurse, thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore :
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,

And from her own she learned to melt at others' wo.

Scared at thy frown terrific, fly

Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,

Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
And leave us leisure to be good.
Light they disperse, and with them go

The summer friend, the flattering foe;

By vain Prosperity received,

To her they vow their truth, and are again believed.

Wisdom, in sable garb arrayed,

Immersed in rapturous thought profound,

And Melancholy, silent maid,

With leaden eye, that loves the ground,

Still on thy solemn steps attend :

Warm Charity, the general friend,

With Justice, to herself severe,

And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.

Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,

Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand! Not in thy gorgon terrors clad,

Nor circled with the vengeful band (As by the impious thou art seen),

With thundering voice, and threatening mien,
With screaming Horror's funeral cry,

Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.

Thy form benign, oh goddess! wear,
Thy milder influence impart,

Thy philosophic train be there,

To soften, not to wound, my heart. The generous spark extinct revive; Teach me to love and to forgive; Exact my own defects to scan,

What others are, to feel, and know myself a man.

Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.

Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the watery glade,

Where grateful science still adores
Her Henry's* holy shade;

* King Henry VI., founder of the college.


And ye, that from the stately brow
Of Windsor's heights the expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey;
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among
Wanders the hoary Thames along

Ilis silver-winding way!

Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
Ah, fields beloved in vain!

Where once my careless childhood strayed,
A stranger yet to pain:

I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,

As, waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to soothe,
And, redolent of joy and youth,

To breathe a second spring.

Say, Father Thames, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race,
Disporting on thy margent green,

The paths of pleasure trace,
Who foremost now delight to cleave
With pliant arm thy glassy wave?
The captive linnet which inthral?
What idle progeny succeed

To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Or urge the flying ball?

While some on earnest business bent
Their murmuring labours ply

'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty;

Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry :
Still as they run, they look behind;
They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.

Gay hope is theirs, by fancy fed,

Less pleasing when possessed; The tear forgot as soon as shed, The sunshine of the breast. Theirs buxom health of rosy hue, Wild wit, invention ever new, And lively cheer of vigour born;

The thoughtless day, the easy night,
The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly the approach of morn.

Alas! regardless of their doom,
The little victims play;

No sense have they of ills to come,
Nor care beyond to day;
Yet see how all around 'em wait
The ministers of human fate,
And black Misfortune's baleful train.

Ah! show them where in ambush stand,
To seize their prey, the murth'rous band;
Ah, tell them they are men!

These shall the fury passions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,

And shame that skulks behind;
Or pining love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart;

And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim-visaged comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,

And grinning Infamy.

The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness' altered eye,

That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
And keen Remorse with blood defiled,
And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest wo.

Lo! in the vale of years beneath
A grisly troop are seen,

The painful family of Death,

More hideous than their queen:

This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo! Poverty, to fill the band,

That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And slow-consuming Age.

To each his sufferings: all are men,
Condemned alike to groan;
The tender for another's pain,

The unfeeling for his own.

Yet, ah! why should they know their fate, Since sorrow never comes too late,

And happiness too swiftly flies?

Thought would destroy their paradise. No more; where ignorance is bliss, "Tis folly to be wise.

[The Bard.-A Pindaric Ode.]

[This ode is founded on a tradition current in Wales, that Edward I., when he completed the conquest of that country, ordered all the bards that fell into his hands to be put to death.]

Ruin seize thee, ruthless king,
Confusion on thy banners wait;

Though fanned by conquest's crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle state.
Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail,
Nor e'en thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears!'
Such were the sounds, that o'er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side

He wound with toilsome march his long array.
Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance;
To arms!' cried Mortimer,3 and couched his quiver-
ing lance.

On a rock, whose haughty brow

Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood, Robed in the sable garb of wo,

With haggard eyes the poet stood (Loose his beard, and hoary hair

Streamed, like a meteor, to the troubled air);
And with a master's hand, and prophet's fire,
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre.
"Hark, how each giant oak, and desert cave,

Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
O'er thee, oh king! their hundred arms they wave,
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe;
Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.

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'Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,

That hushed the stormy main :

Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed: Mountains, ye mourn in vain

Modred, whose magic song

Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topped head.
On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,

Smeared with gore, and ghastly pale:
Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail;
The famished eagle2 screams, and passes by.
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,

Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,
Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,
Ye died amidst your dying country's cries-
No more I weep. They do not sleep.

On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,

I see them sit; they linger yet,
Avengers of their native land:

With me in dreadful harmony they join,

And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.' 'Weave the warp, and weave the woof,

The winding-sheet of Edward's race.
Give ample room, and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace.
Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-echo with affright,

The shrieks of death through Berkeley's roof that ring,
Shrieks of an agonising king!

She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,

That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate, From thee be born,5 who o'er thy country hangs The scourge of Heaven! What terrors round him


Amazement in his van, with Flight combined,
And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.
Mighty victor, mighty lord,

Low6 on his funeral couch he lies

No pitying heart, no eye afford

A tear to grace his obsequies.

Is the sable warrior7 fled?

Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm, that in thy noontide beam were born?
Gone to salute the rising morn.

Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm,

In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;

Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm; Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, That, hushed in grim repose, expects his evening prey. Fill high the sparkling bowl,9

The rich repast prepare;

Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast:
Close by the regal chair

Fell Thirst and Famine scowl

A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.

1 The shores of Caernarvonshire, opposite to the Isle of Anglesey.

2 Camden and others observe, that eagles used annually to build their eyry among the rocks of Snowdon, which from thence (as some think) were named by the Welsh Craigianeryri, or the crags of the eagles. At this day, I am told, the highest point of Snowdon is called the eagle's nest. That bird is certainly no stranger to this island, as the Scots and the people of Cumberland, Westmoreland, &c., can testify; it has even built its nest in the Peak of Derbyshire.-(See Willoughby's Ornithology, published by Ray).

3 Edward II., cruelly butchered in Berkeley Castle. 4 Isabel of France, Edward II.'s adulterous queen.

5 Alluding to the triumphs of Edward III. in France.

6 Alluding to the death of that king, abandoned by his children, and even robbed in his last moments by his courtiers and his mistress.

7 Edward, the Black Prince, dead some time before his father. 8 Magnificence of Richard II.'s reign. See Froissart, and other contemporary writers.

9 Richard II. (as we are told by Archbishop Scroop, and the


Heard ye the din of battle bray,1

Lance to lance, and horse to horse? Long years of havoc urge their destined course, And through the kindred squadrons mow their way. Ye Towers of Julius,2 London's lasting shame,

With many a foul and midnight murder fed,
Revere his consort's faith,3 his father's fame,
And spare the meek usurper's holy head!
Above, below, the rose of snow,6

Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:
The bristled boar7 in infant gore

Wallows beneath the thorny shade.

Now, brothers, bending o'er the accursed loom, Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

"Edward, lo! to sudden fate

(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun).
Half of thy hearts we consecrate.
(The web is wove. The work is done)."
Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn

Leave me unblessed, unpitied, here to mourn:
In yon bright tract, that fires the western skies,
They melt, they vanish from my eyes.

But oh! what solemn scenes, on Snowdon's height
Descending slow, their glittering skirts unroll?
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight;

Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul! No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail.

All hail, ye genuine kings!10 Britannia's issue hail!

Girt with many a baron bold,

Sublime their starry fronts they rear;

And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old,
In bearded majesty appear.

In the midst a form divine!

Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-line;

Her lion-port,11 her awe-commanding face,
Attempered sweet to virgin-grace.

What strings symphonious tremble in the air,
What strains of vocal transport round her play!
Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, 12 hear!
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay.


confederate lords in their manifesto, by Thomas of Walsingham, and all the older writers) was starved to death. story of his assassination by Sir Piers, of Exon, is of much later date.

1 Ruinous civil wars of York and Lancaster.

2 Henry VI., George, Duke of Clarence, Edward V., Richard, Duke of York, &c., believed to be murdered secretly in the Tower of London. The oldest part of that structure is vulgarly attributed to Julius Cæsar.

3 Margaret of Anjou, a woman of heroic spirit, who struggled hard to save her husband and her crown.

4 Henry V. 5 Henry VI., very near been canonised. The line of Lancaster had no right of inheritance to the

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8 Eleanor of Castile died a few years after the conquest of Wales. The heroic proof she gave of her affection for her lord

is well-known. The monuments of his regret and sorrow for the loss of her, are still to be seen at Northampton, Geddington, Waltham, and other places.

9 It was the common belief of the Welsh nation, that King Arthur was still alive in Fairy Land, and should return again to reign over Britain.

10 Both Merlin and Taliessin had prophesied, that the Welsh should regain their sovereignty over this island, which seemed to be accomplished in the house of Tudor.

11 Speed, relating an audience given by Queen Elizabeth to Paul Dzialinski, ambassador of Poland, says, And thus she, lion-like, rising, daunted the malipert orator no less with her stately port and majestical deporture, than with the tartnesse of her princelie checkes.'

19 Taliessin, chief of the bards, flourished in the sixth cen

Bright Rapture calls, and soaring as she sings,
Waves in the eye of Heaven her many-coloured wings.

The verse adorn again

Fierce War, and faithful Love,

And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction dressed.
In buskined1 measures move
Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain,

With Horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast.
A voice2 as of the cherub-choir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear;

And distant warblings3 lessen on my ear,
That, lost in long futurity, expire.

Fond, impious man, think'st thou yon sanguine cloud, Raised by thy breath, has quenched the orb of day? To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,

And warms the nations with redoubled ray. Enough for me: with joy I see

The different doom our Fates assign. Be thine Despair, and sceptred Care;

To triumph, and to die, are mine.'

He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height, Deep in the roaring tide he plunged to endless night.

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Stoke Pogeis Church, and Tomb of Gray.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herds wind slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

tury. His works are still preserved, and his memory held in
high veneration among his countrymen.
1 Shakspeare.
2 Milton.

3 The succession of poets after Milton's time.



Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,

The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,

Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their team a-field! How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,

Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile The short and simple annals of the poor. The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike the inevitable hour:-

The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,

If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,

Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid

Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Or waked to ecstacy the living lyre.

But knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repressed their noble rage,

And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem, of purest ray serene,

The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,

And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,

Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
The applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,

And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind;
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
Along the cool sequestered vale of life

They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. Yet even these bones from insult to protect, Some frail memorial still erected nigh,

With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked, Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned,
Left the warin precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Even from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of the unhonoured dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate;
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,

Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
There at the foot of yonder nodding beech

That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woful, wan, like one forlorn,

Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love. One morn I missed him on the 'customed hill, Along the heath and near his favourite tree; Another came; nor yet beside the rill,

Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; The next, with dirges due in sad array

Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne: Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.'


Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth,

A Youth, to Fortune and to Fame unknown;
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy marked him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send :
He gave to Misery all he had, a tear,

He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose), The bosom of his Father and his God.

The Alliance between Government and Education; a Fragment.

As sickly plants betray a niggard earth,
Whose barren bosom starves her generous birth,
Nor genial warmth, nor genial juice retains
Their roots to feed, and fill their verdant veins :
And, as in climes where Winter holds his reign,
The soil, though fertile, will not teem in vain,
Forbids her germs to swell, her shades to rise,
Nor trusts her blossoms to the churlish skies:
To draw mankind in vain the vital airs,
Unformed, unfriended by those kindly cares,
That health and vigour to the soul impart,
Spread the young thought, and warm the opening heart.
So fond instruction on the growing powers

Of nature idly lavishes her stores,
If equal justice, with unclouded face,
Smile not indulgent on the rising race,

And scatter with a free, though frugal hand,
Light golden showers of plenty o'er the land;
But tyranny has fixed her empire there,
To check their tender hopes with chilling fear,
And blast the blooming promise of the year.

The spacious animated scene survey,
From where the rolling orb that gives the day,
His sable sons with nearer course surrounds,
To either pole, and life's remotest bounds.
How rude soe'er the exterior form we find,
Howe'er opinion tinge the varied mind,
Alike to all the kind impartial Heaven
The sparks of truth and happiness has given:
With sense to feel, with memory to retain,
They follow pleasure, and they fly from pain;
Their judgment mends the plan their fancy draws,
The event presages, and explores the cause;
The soft returns of gratitude they know,
By fraud elude, by force repel the foe;
While mutual wishes mutual woes endear,
The social smile and sympathetic tear.

Say, then, through ages by what fate confined, To different climes seem different souls assigned? Here measured laws and philosophic ease Fix and improve the polished arts of peace. There industry and gain their vigils keep, Command the winds, and tame the unwilling deep. Here force and hardy deeds of blood prevail; There languid pleasure sighs in every gale. Oft o'er the trembling nations from afar Has Scythia breathed the living cloud of war; And, where the deluge burst, with sweepy sway, Their arms, their kings, their gods were rolled


As oft have issued, host impelling host,

The blue-eyed myriads from the Baltic coast,
The prostrate south to the destroyer yields
Her boasted titles, and her golden fields;
With grim delight the brood of winter view
A brighter day, and heavens of azure hue,
Scent the new fragrance of the breathing rose,
And quaff the pendent vintage as it grows.
Proud of the yoke, and pliant to the rod,
Why yet does Asia dread a monarch's nod,
While European freedom still withstands
The encroaching tide that drowns her lessening lands,
And sees far off, with an indignant groan,
Her native plains and empires once her own?
Can opener skies and suns of fiercer flame
O'erpower the fire that animates our frame;
As lamps, that shed at eve a cheerful ray,
Fade and expire beneath the eye of day?
Need we the influence of the northern star
To string our nerves and steel our hearts to war?
And where the face of nature laughs around,
Must sickening virtue fly the tainted ground?
Unmanly thought! what seasons can control,
What fancied zone can circumscribe the soul,
Who, conscious of the source from whence she springs,
By reason's light, on resolution's wings,
Spite of her frail companion, dauntless goes
O'er Lybia's deserts and through Zembla's snows?
She bids each slumbering energy awake,
Another touch, another temper take,
Suspends the inferior laws that rule our clay;
The stubborn elements confess her sway;
Their little wants, their low desires, refine,
And raise the mortal to a height divine.

Not but the human fabric from the birth
Imbibes a flavour of its parent earth.
As various tracts enforce a various toil,
The manners speak the idiom of their soil.
An iron race the mountain-cliffs maintain,
Foes to the gentle genius of the plain;
For where unwearied sinews must be found,
With side-long plough to quell the flinty ground,

To turn the torrent's swift-descending flood,
To brave the savage rushing from the wood,
What wonder, if to patient valour trained,
They guard with spirit what by strength they gained?
And while their rocky ramparts round they see,
The rough abode of want and liberty,

(As lawless force from confidence will grow),
Insult the plenty of the vales below?
What wonder, in the sultry climes that spread,
Where Nile, redundant o'er his summer bed,
From his broad bosom life and verdure flings,
And broods o'er Egypt with his watery wings,
If with adventurous oar and ready sail,
The dusky people drive before the gale;
Or on frail floats to neighbouring cities ride,
That rise and glitter o'er the ambient tide.


WILLIAM MASON, the friend and literary executor of Gray, long survived the connection which did him so much honour, but he appeared early as a poet. He was the son of the Rev. Mr Mason, vicar of St. Trinity, Yorkshire, where he was born in 1725. At Pembroke college, Cambridge, he became acquainted with Gray, who assisted him in obtaining his degree of M. A. His first literary production was an attack on the Jacobitism of Oxford, to which Thomas Warton replied in his 'Triumph of Isis.' In 1753 appeared his tragedy of Elfrida, 'written,' says Southey, on an artificial model, and in a gorgeous diction, because he thought Shakspeare had precluded all hope of excellence in any other form of drama.' The model of Mason was the Greek drama, and he introduced into his play the classic accompaniment of the chorus. A second drama, Caractacus, is of a higher cast than Elfrida:' more noble and spirited in language, and of more sustained dignity in scenes, situations, and character. Mason also wrote a series of odes on Independence, Memory, Melancholy, and The Fall of Tyranny, in which his gorgeousness of diction swells into extravagance and bombast. His other poetical works are his English Garden, a long descriptive poem in blank verse, extended over four books, and an ode on the Commemoration of the British Revolution, in which he asserts those Whig principles which he steadfastly maintained during the trying period of the American war. As in his dramas Mason had made an innovation on the established taste of the times, he ventured, with equal success, to depart from the practice of English authors, in writing the life of his friend Gray. Instead of presenting a continuous narrative, in which the biographer alone is visible, he incorporated the journals and letters of the poet in chronological order, thus making the subject of the memoir in some degree his own biographer, and enabling the reader to judge more fully and correctly of his situation, thoughts, and feelings. The plan was afterwards adopted by Boswell in his Life of Johnson, and has been sanctioned by subsequent usage, in all cases where the subject is of importance enough to demand copious information and minute personal details. The circumstances of Mason's life are soon related. After his career at college, he entered into orders, and was appointed one of the royal chaplains. He held the living of Ashton, and was precentor of York cathedral. When politics ran high, he took an active part on the side of the Whigs, but was respected by all parties. He died in 1797.

Mason's poetry cannot be said to be popular, even with poetical readers. His greatest want is simplicity, yet at times his rich diction has a fine effect. In his English Garden,' though verbose and lan

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