(206) “The Poems of Mr. Gray: to which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life and Writings; by W, Mason, M A, York, 1775.” At the end of Mason’s work Mr. Cole wrote the following memorandum:— “I am by no means satisfied with this Life; it has too much the affectation of classical shortness to please me, More circumstances would have suited my taste better; besides, I think the biographer had a mind to revenge himself of the sneerings Mr. Gray put upon him, though he left him, I guess, above a thousand pounds, which is slightly hinted at only; yet Mr. Walpole was quite satisfied with the work when I made my objection.” A copy of Gray’s will is given in the Rev. J. Mitford’s very valuable edition of the poet’s works, published by Pickering, in four volumes, in 1836.-E.
The least I can do, dear Sir, in gratitude for the cargo of prints I have received to-day from you, is to send you a medicine. A pair of bootikins will set out to-morrow morning in the machine that goes from the Queen’s-head in Gray’s-inn-lane. To be certain, you had better send for them where the machine inns, lest they should neglect delivering them at Milton. My not losing a moment shows my zeal; but if you can bear a little pain, I should not press you to use them. I have suffered so dreadfully, that I constantly wear them to diminish the stock of gout in my constitution; but as your fit is very slight, and will not last, and as you are pretty sure by its beginning so late, that you will never have much; and s the gout certainly carries off other complaints, had not you better endure a little, when it is rather a remedy than a disease? I do not desire to be entirely delivered from the gout, for all reformations do but make room for some new grievance: and in my opinion a disorder that requires no physician, is preferable to any that does. However, I have put relief in your power, and you will judge for yourself. You must tie them as tight as you can bear, the flannel next to the flesh; and, when you take them off, it should be in bed: rub your feet with a warm cloth, and put on warm stockings, for fear of catching cold while the pores are open. It would kill any body but me, who am of adamant, to walk out in the dew in winter in my slippers in half an hour after pulling off the bootikins. A physician sent me word, good-naturedly, that there was danger of catching cold after the bootikins, unless one was careful. I thanked him, but told him my precaution was, never taking any. All the winter I pass five days in a week without walking out, and sit often by the fireside till seven in the evening. When I do go out, whatever the weather is, I go with both glasses of the coach down, and so I do at midnight out of the hottest room. I have not had a single cold, however slight, these two years.