« 上一頁繼續 »
THOMAS GRAY, the son of
1 Mr. Philip Gray, a scrivener of London, was born in Cornhill, November 26, 1716. His grammatical education he received at Eaton under Mr. Antrobus, his mother's brother; and when he left school, in 1734, entered a penfioner at Peterhouse in Cambridge.
The transition from the school to the college is, to most young scholars, the time from which they date their years of manhood, liberty, and happiness ; but
Gray seems to have been very little delighted with academical gratifications ; he liked at Cambridge neither the mode of life nor the fashion of study, and lived sullenly on to the time when his attendance on lectures was no longer required. As he intended to profess the Common Law, he took no degree.
When he had been at Cambridge about five years, Mr. Horace Walpole, whose friendship he had gained at Eaton, invited him to travel with him as his companion. They wandered through France into Italy; and Gray's Letters contain a very pleasing account of many parts of their journey. But unequal friendships are easily diffolved: at Florence they quarrelled, and parted; and
Mr. Walpole is now content to have it told that it was by his fault. If we look however without prejudice on the world, we shall find that men, whose consciousness of their own merit sets. them above the compliances of servility, are apt enough in their associatimi with superiors to watch their own dignity with troublesome and pun&tilious jealousy, and in the fervour of independance to exact that attention which they refuse to pay. ’art they did, whatever was the quarrel, and the rest of their travels was doubilefs more unpleasant ta them both. Gray continued his journey in a manner suitable to his own little fortune, with only an occasional servant.
He returned to England in September 1741, and in about two months afterwards buried his father; who had, by an injudicious waste of money upon a new house, so much lessened his fortune, that Gray thought himself too poor to study the law. He therefore retired to Cambridge, where he soon after became Bachelor of Civil Law; and where, without liking the place or its inhabitants, or pretending to like them, he passed, except a short refidence at London, the rest of his life.
About this time he was deprived of Mr. West, the son of a chancellor of Ireland, a friend on whom he appears to have set a high value, and who deserved his esteem by the powers which