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a confiderable merchant; but his father, Mr. Philip Gray, exercised the trade of a money-scrivener; and being of an indolent difpofition, he did not add to his paternal fortune. He neglected not, however, the education of his fon, whom he fent to Eton school; where he contracted an intimacy with Mr. Horace Walpole, who is at present so diftinguished in the republic of letters; and with Mr. Richard Weft, a young gentleman of uncommon ability, whose father was Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

From Eton Mr. Gray, in the year 1734, removed to Cambridge, and was admitted a penfioner of St. Peter's College. Mr. Weft went to study in ChriftChurch



Church College at Oxford; and these ingenious friends now commenced an epiftolary correfpondence, which, though not unworthy of their years, and of the


hopes conceived of them, they little imagined was, one day, to be laid before the public.

They were not long in their respective universities, when they turned their attention to the study of the law. For, with that view, they found themselves in London in the year 1738. Mr. Weft took chambers in the Inner Temple; but Mr. Gray being invited by Mr. Walpole to accompany him in his travels, delayed, for a time, his application to B 2 a fcience,

a science, which, furely, did not fuit either his temper or his genius.

The improvement he received from vifiting France and Italy, was doubtless very great. But the pleasure arifing from his travels, was painfully interrupted by the disagreement which arose between him and Mr. Walpole. Their difpofitions were different. The pensive and philofophical turn of the former, did not well agree with the gaiety and liveliness of the latter. They had fet out in the end of the year 1739, and they parted at Reggio in the year 1741. Many years, however, did not pass till a reconciliation was produced between them,



them, by the intervention and offices of a lady, who had a friendship for both.

On Mr. Gray's return to London,* he found his father altogether wasted with the fevere attacks of the gout, to which he had long been fubject. Two months after he loft him, and fucceeded to a scanty patrimony. The intention he had formed, of studying the law as a profeffion, began now to be (haken. But his friends urging him to maintain his original purpose, and the delicacy of his nature inducing him not to give them uneafinefs, by too fudden a declaration of the ftate of his mind, he went to Cambridge, and took his

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Bachelor's degree in the Civil Law. The time he had paffed in his travels, the intense labour required by the study of the Common Law, and, above all, the narrowness of his fortune, eftranged him from a defign, which perhaps he had never entertained with affection or ardour; and the anxiety excited by this undecifiveness as to the scheme of life he should follow, was now embittered by the fickness of Mr. Weft, who had fome time languished in a consumption; and who, in June 1742, in the twentyfixth year of his age, fell an unfufpecting victim to this distemper,

A fhort time before this cruel event, Mr. Gray had gone to vifit his mother,

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