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IN THE VAULT BENEATH ARE DEPOSITED,
IN HOPE OF A JOYFUL RESURRECTION,
THE REMAINS OF
SHIE DIED, UNMARRIED, NOV. V. MDCCXLIX.
IN THE SAME PIOUS CONFIDENCE,
HERE SLEEP THE REMAINS OF
WIDOW, THE CAREFUL TENDER MOTHER
OF MANY CHILDREN, ONE OF WHOM ALONE
HAD THE MISFORTUNE TO SURVIVE HER.
SHE DIED MARCH XI. MDCCLIII.
MR. GRAY TO MR, MASON.
Durham, Dec. 26, 1953.
A Little while before I received your melancholy letter, I had been informed by Mr. Charles Avison of one of the sad events you mention *. I know what it is to lose persons that one's eyes and heart have long
* The death of my Father, and of Dr. Marmaduke Pricket, a young Physician of my own age, with whom I was brought up from infancy, who died of the same infectious fever.
been used to; and I never desire to part with the remembrance of that loss, nor would wish
should, It is something that you had a little time to acquaint yourself with the idea before-hand; and that your Father suffered but little pain, the only thing that makes death terrible. After I have said this, I cannot help expressing my surprise at the disposition he has made of his affairs. I must (if you will suffer me to say so) call it great weakness; and yet perhaps your affliction for him is heightened by that very weakness; for I know it is possible to feel an additional sorrow for the faults of those we have loved, even where that fault has been greatly injurious to ourselves.---Let me desire you not to expose yourself to any further danger in the midst of that scene of sickness and death; but withdraw as soon as possible to some place at a little distance in the country; for I do not, in the least, like the simation you are in. I do not attempt to console you on the situation your fortune is left in; if it were far worse, the good opinion I have of
tells me, you will never the sooner do any thing mean or unworthy of yourself; and consequently I cannot pity you on this account, but I sincerely do on the new loss you have had of a good and friendly man, whose memory I honour. I have seen the scene you describe, and know how dreadful it is: I know too I am the better for it. We are all idle and thoughtless
things, and have no sense, no use in the world any longer than that sad impression lasts; the deeper it is engraved the better.
MR. GRAY TO DR. WHARTON.
Stoke, Sept. 18, 1754.
I am glad you enter into the spirit of StrawberryCastle; it has a purity and propriety of Gothicism in it (with very few exceptions) that I have not seen elsewhere. My Lord Radnor's vagaries I see did not keep you from doing justice to his situation, which far surpasses every thing near it; and I do not know a more laughing scene than that about Twickenham and Richmond. Dr. Akenside, I perceive, is no conjurer in architecture; especially when he talks of the ruins of Persepolis, which are no more Gothic than they are Chinese. The Egyptian style (see Dr. Pococke, not bis discourses, but his prints) was apparently the mother of the Greek; and there is such a similitude between the Egyptian and those Persian ruins, as gave Diodorus room to affirm, that the old buildings of Persia were certainly performed by Egyptian artists: As
to the other part of your friend's opinion, that the Gothic manner is the Saracen or Moorish, he has a great authority to support him, that of Sir ChristopherWren; and yet I cannot help thinking it undoubtedly wrong. The palaces in Spain I never saw but in description, which gives us little or no idea of things; but the Doge's palace at Venice I have seen, which is in the Arabesque manner: And the houses of Barbary you may see in Dr. Shaw's book, not to mention abundance of other Eastern buildings in Turkey, Persia, &c. that we have views of; and they seem plainly to be corruptions of the Greek architecture, broke into little parts indeed, and-covered with little ornaments, but in a taste very distinguishable from that which we call Gothic. There is one thing that runs through the Moorish buildings that an imitator would certainly have been first struck with, and would have tried to copy; and that is the cupolas which cover every thing, baths, apartments, and even kitchens; yet who ever saw a Gothic cupola? It is a thing plainly of Greek original. I do not see any thing but the slender spires that serve for steeples, which may perhaps be borrowed from the Saracen minarets on their mosques.
I take it ill you should say any thing against the Mole, it is a reflexion I see cast at the Thames. Do you think that rivers, which have lived in London and
its neighbourhood all their days, will run roaring and tumbling about like your tramontane torrents in the North? No, they only glide and whisper.
MR. GRAY TO DR. WHARTON.
Cambridge, March 9, 1755.
I Do not pretend to humble any one's pride; I love my own too well to attempt it. As to mortifying their vanity, it is too easy and too mean a task for me to delight in. You are very good in shewing so much sensibility on my account; but be assured my taste for praise is not like that of children for fruit; if there were nothing but medlars and black-berries in the world, I could be very well content to go without any
I dare say that Mason, though some years younger than I, was as little elevated with the approbation of Lord * and Lord *, as I am mortified by their silence.
With regard to publishing, I am not so much against the thing itself, as of publishing this Ode alone *. I
* His Ode on the Progress of Poetry.