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• he was as vain as any of his readers ; thirdly, • men are very prone to believe what they do
not understand; fourthly, they will believe any
thing at all, provided they are under no obliga• tion to believe it; fifthly, they love to take a • new road, even when that road leads nowhere; • sixthly, he was reckoned a fine writer, and
seems always to mean more than he said. • Would you have any more reasons ? An inter« val of above forty years has pretty well destroy• ed the charm. A dead lord ranks with com• moners; vanity is no longer interested in the • matter; for a new road is become an old one.'
66 As a writer he had this peculiarity, that he did not write his pieces first rudely, and then correct them, but laboured every line as it arose in the train of composition; and he had a notion not very peculiar, that he could not write but at certain times, or at happy moments; a fantastic foppery, to which my kindness for a man of learning and of virtue wishes him to have been superior."
TN THE NAME OF GOD, Amen. I THOMAS
Gray, of Pembroke-hall, in the university of Cambridge, being of sound mind, and in good health of body, yet ignorant how long these blessings may be indulged me, Do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following: First, I do desire that my body may be deposited
* All the preceding Editions of Gray's Works having contained this Copy of his Will, I have been induced to adopt it, and thereby avoid the charge of imperfection; though, in fact, I see no part of it that so tar distinguishes it from the most ordinary legal document of the kind, as to make it an article of curiosity to any reader.
in the vault made by my late dear mother in the church-yard of Stoke-Pogeis, near Slough, in Buckinghamshire, near her remains, in a coffin of seasoned oak, neither lined por covered, and (unless it be very inconvenient) I could wish that one of my Executors may see me laid in the grave, and distribute among such honest and industrious poor persons in the said parish as he thinks fit, the sum of ten pounds in charity. Next, I give to George Williamson, Esq. my second cousin by the father's side, now of Calcutta in Bengal, the sum of five hundred pounds, Reduced Bank Annuities, now standing in my name, I give to Anna Lady Goring, also my second cousin by the father's side, of the county of Sussex, five hundred pounds, Reduced Bank Annuities, and a pair of large blue and white old Japan china jars. Item, I give to Mary Antrobus, of Cambridge, spinster, my second cousin by the mother's side, all that my freehold estate and house in the parish of St. Michael, Cornhill, London, now let at the yearly rent of sixty-five
pounds, and in the occupation of Mr. Nortgeth, perfumer, provided that she pay out of the said rent, by half-yearly payments, to Mrs. Jane Olliffe, my aunt, of Cambridge, widow, the sum of Twenty pounds per annum, during her natural life; and after the decease of the said Jane Olliffe, I give the said estate to the said Mary Antrobus, To Have and To Hold, to her, her heirs and assigns for ever. Further, I bequeath to the said Mary Antrobus the sum of six hundred pounds, New South-Sea Annuities, now standing in the joint names of Jane Olliffe and Thomas Gray, but charged with the payment of five pounds per annum, to Graves Stokeley, of Stoke-Pogeis, in the county of Bucks; which sum of six hundred pounds, after the decease of the said annuitant, does (by the will of Anne Rogers, my late aunt) belong solely and entirely to me; together with all overplus of interest in the meantime accruing. Further, if at the time of my decease there shall be any arrear of salary due to me from his Majesty's treasury, I give all such arrears to the said Mary Antrobus. Item, I give to Mrs. Dorothy Çomyns, of Cambridge, my other second cousin by the mother's side, the sums of six hundred pounds, Old South-Sea Annuities; of three hundred pounds, Four per Cent. Bank Annuities Consolidated; and of two hundred pounds Three per Cent. Bank Annuities Consolidated; all now standing in my name. I give to Richard Stonehewer, Esq. one of his Majesty's Commissioners of Excise, the sum of five hundred pounds, Reduced Bank Annuities; and I beg his acceptance of one of my diamond rings. I give to Dr. Thomas Wharton, of Old Park, in the bishopric of Durham, five hundred pounds, Reduced Bank Annuities; and desire him also to accept of one of my diamond rings. I give to my servant, Stephen Hempstead, the sum of fifty pounds, Reduced Bank Annuities; and if he continues in my service to the time of my death, I also give him all my wearing apparel and linen. I give to my two cousins above-mentioned, Mary Antrobus and Dorothy Comyns, all my plate, watches,