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of cool attention, which doth not always attend the higher gifts of the mind. Yet, difficult as nature herself seems to have rendered the task of regularity to genius, it is the fupreme confolation of dulnefs and of folly, to point with gothic triumph to thofe exceffes, which are the overflowings of faculties they never enjoyed. Perfectly unconscious that they are indebted to their stupidity for the confiftency of their conduct, they plume themselves on an imaginary virtue, which has its origin in what is really their difgrace.-Let fuch, if such dare approach the fhrine of COLLINS, withdraw to a refpectful diftance, and, should they behold the ruins of genius, or the weakness of an exalted mind, let them be taught to lament that nature has
has left the nobleft of her works im
Or fuch men of genius as have borne no public character, it feldom happens that any memoirs can be collected, of confequence enough to be recorded by the biographer. If their lives pass in obfcurity, they are generally too uniform to engage our attention; if they cultivate and obtain popularity, envy and malignity will mingle their poison with the draughts of praise; and through the industry of thofe unwearied fends, their reputation will be fo chequered, and their characters fo much disguised, that it fhall become difficult for the
hiftorian to separate truth from falsehood.
Of our exalted poet, whofe life, though far from being popular, did not altogether pass in privacy, we meet with few other accounts than fuch as the life of every man will afford, viz. when he was born, where he was educated, and where he died. Yet even these fimple memoirs of the man, will not be unacceptable to those who admire the poet : for we never receive pleasure without a defire to be acquainted with the fource from whence it fprings; a fpecies of curiofity, which, as it feems to be inftinctive, was, probably, given us for the noble end of gratitude; and, finally, to elevate the enquiries of the mind to that fountain of perfection from which all human excellence is derived.
CHICHESTER, a city in Suffex, had the honour of giving birth to the author of the following poems, about the year 1721. His father, who was a reputable tradesman in that city, intended him for the fervice of the church; and with this view, in the year 1733, he was admitted a fcholar of that illuftrious feminary of genius and learning, Winchefter college, where fo many distinguished men of letters, fo many excellent poets have received their claffical education. Here he had the good fortune to continue feven years under the care of the very learned Dr. Burton; and at the age of nineteen, in the year 1740, he had merit fufficient to procure a diftinguifhed place in the lift of those scholars, who are elected, upon A 3 the
the foundation of Winchester, to New College in Oxford. But as there were then no vacancies in that fociety, he was admitted a commoner of Queen's College in the fame university; where he continued till July 1741, when he was elected a demy of Magdalen College. During his refidence at Queen's, he was at once diftinguished for genius and indolence; his exercises, when he could be prevailed upon to write, bearing the visible characteristics of both. This remifs and inattentive habit might probably arise, in fome measure, from difappointment: he had, no doubt, indulged very high ideas of the academical mode of education, and when he found science within the fetters of logic and of Ariftotle, it was no wonder if he abated