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19xx6,28,5

HARVIPT COLLEGE

APR 12 1918

LIBRARY

Castle fund

The Notes in the following pages are, first, those of the Author's Edition in 1746; these are without any signature: so likewise are the Notes to the Ode on the Highland Superstitions, which are taken from the Edinburgh publication of that piece. The remaining Notes are either selected from the Editions of Langhorne and Mrs. Barbauld, or are original Notes of the present Editor; and all these are distinguished by the initials of their respective names.

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THE

LIFE OF COLLINS,

BY DR. JOHNSON.

WILLIAM COLLINS was born at Chichester, on the 25th day of December, 1721. His father was a hatter of good reputation. He was in 1733, as Dr. Warton* has kindly informed me, admitted scholar of Winchester College, where he was educated by Dr. Burton. His English exercises were better than his Latin.

He first courted the notice of the public by some verses "To a Lady Weeping," published in The Gentleman's Magazine.'

* I cannot here pass over the names of these excellent men, without a grateful acknowledgment of my lasting obligation to them. They were my only Schoolmasters in the Latin and Greek languages; and to them I am indebted for my education in Winchester College, during seven years, till the Election in 1764, when I left school; and more fortunate than my master Warton, or his schoolfellow Collins, I succeeded to New College in the year following.-C.

b

In 1740, he stood first in the list of the scholars to be received in succession at New College; but un

happily there was no vacancy. This was the original

misfortune of his life. He became a commoner of Queen's College, probably with a scanty maintenance; but was, in about half a year, elected a demy of Magdalen College, where he continued till he had taken a bachelor's degree, and then suddenly left the university; for what reason I know not that he told.

He now (about 1744) came to London a literary adventurer, with many projects in his head, and very little money in his pockets. He designed many works; but his great fault was irresolution; or the frequent calls of immediate necessity broke his scheme, and suffered him to pursue no settled purpose. A man doubtful of his dinner, or trembling at a creditor, is not much disposed to abstracted meditation, or remote inquiries. He published proposals for a History of the Revival of Learning; and I have heard him speak with great kindness of Leo the Tenth, and with keen resentment of his tasteless successor. But probably not

*The immediate successor of Leo X. was Adrian VI., who died in about a year. He is not the Pope reproached here for his want of taste. but Clement VII., who came next. He was, like Leo X., of the House of Medici; and the world was disappointed in that he did not patronize literature and the fine arts, after the example of his relation and other princes of that munificent family. Collins and Dr. Johnson were both of that condition and adventure, which might easily induce them to feel and express some keen dislike of such a character.-C.

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