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with no other book than an English Testament, such as chil. dren carry to the school : when his friend took it into his hand, out of curiosity to see what companion a man of letters had chosen, “I have but one book,” said Collins, “but that is the best."
‘Such was the fate of Collins, with whom I once delighted to converse, and whom I yet remember with ten. derness.
He was visited at Chichester, in his last illness, by his learned friends Dr. Warton and his brother; to whom he spoke with disapprobation of his Oriental Eclogues, as not sufficiently expressive of Asiatic manners, and called them his Irish Eclogues. He shewed them, at the same time, an ode inscribed to Mr. John Hume, on the Superstitions of the Highlands; which they thought superior to his other works.
* His disorder was not alienation of mind, but general laxity and feebleness, a deficiency rather of his vital than intellectual powers. What he spoke wanted neither judgment nor spirit; but a few minutes exhausted him, so that he was forced to rest upon the couch, till a short cessation restored his powers, and he was again able to talk with his former vigour.
* The approaches of this dreadful malady he began to feel soon after his uncle's death; and, with the usual weakness of men so diseased, eagerly snatched that temporary relief with which the table and the bottle flatter and seduce. But his health continually declined, and he grew more and more burthensome to himself.
* To what I have formerly said of his writings may be added, that his diction was often harsh, unskilfully laboured, and injudiciously selected. He affected the obsolete when it was not worthy of revival; and he puts his words out of the common order, seeming to think, with some later can. didates for fame, that not to write prose is certainly to write poetry. His lines commonly are of slow motion, clogged and impeded with clusters of consonants. As men are often esteemed who cannot be loved, so the poetry of Collins may sometimes extort praise, when it gives little pleasure.'
Mr. Collins's first production is added here from the "Poetical Calendar.'
TO MISS AURELIA C-R,
Lament not Hannah's happy state:
And seize the treasure you regret.
And softly whispers to your charms,
You 'll find your sister in his arms.' A monument has been erected by public subscription to Collins. He is represented as just recovered from a wild fit of phrensy, to which he was subject, and in a calm and reclining posture, seeking refuge from his misfortunes in the consolations of the Gospel, while his lyre and one of the first of his poems lie neglected on the ground, &c. The whole was executed by Flaxman, at that time lately returned from Rome: the following most excellent epitaph was written by Mr. Hayley.
Ye who the merits of the dead revere,
WRITTEN BY SCOTT, OP AMWELL, ON HIS RETURN
PROM CHICHESTER, WHERE HE HAD IN VAIN ATIEMPTED TO FIND THE BURIAL-PLACE OF COLLINS.
To view the beauties of my native land,
O'er many a pleasing, distant scene, I rove;
Or trace the rill, or penetrate the grove.
To fair Cicestria's lonely walls I stray ;
Anxious my tribute of respect to pay. O'er the dim pavement of the solemn fane,
Midst the rude stones that crowd the adjoining space, The sacred spot I seek: but seek in vain
In vain I ask--for none can point the place. What boots the eye whose quick observant glance
Marks every nobler, every fairer form? What, the skill'd ear that sound's sweet charms entrance,
And the fond breast with generous passion warm? What boots the power each image portray,
The power with force each feeling to express? How vain the hope that through life's little day,
The soul with thought of future fame can bless. While Folly frequent boasts th' insculptured tomb,
By Flattery's pen inscribed with purchased praise; While rustic Labour's undistinguish'd doom
Fond Friendship’s hand records in humble phrase ; Of Genius oft and Learning worse the lot,
For them no care, to them no honour shewn: Alive neglected, and when dead forgot,
E'en COLLINS slumbers in a grave unknown.
SELIM; OR, THE SHEPHERD'S MORAL.
Scene-A Valley near Bagdat. l'ime-The Morning. • Ye Persian maids! attend your poet's lays, And hear how shepherds pass their golden days. Not all are blest, whom Fortune's hand sustains With wealth in courts; nor all that haunt the plains: Well may your hearts believe the truths I tell ; 'Tis virtue makes the bliss where'er we dwell.'
Thus Selim sung, by sacred Truth inspired; Nor praise, but such as Truth bestow'd, desired : Wise in himself, his meaning songs convey'd Informing morals to the shepherd maid ; Or taught the swains that surest bliss to find, What groves nor streams bestow-a virtuous mind.
When sweet and blushing, like a virgin bride,
Ye Persian dames, he said, to you belong-
Yet think not these, all beauteons as they are,
• Blest were the days when Wisdom held her reign,
"O haste, fair maids ! ye Virtues, come away,
Lost to our fields, for so the Fates ordain,