1755 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Seward

William Mason to Thomas Gray, 26 November 1755; Correspondence of Thomas Gray and William Mason ed. John Mitford (1853) 37-39.



It is not true that I again make interest to be transported into Ireland, and yet I believe too it will be my fate; I am totally passive in the whole affair, and shall remain so. The only step I ever took which could be called active, was to write a letter to Mr. Bonfoy, simply to inquire whether it was true that the Marquis [of Hartington, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland] intended to take me next, which he has now answered in the affirmative; but, as Lowth is still to continue first chaplain, the time when is uncertain, and cannot be these two years, in which space, you know, a man may die or do a hundred pretty things. But I hear, since I came to these parts, that Seward the critic is very anxious about taking my place, and has made offers of making over to me a great living in the Peak [Eyam], if he may go in my stead (here too I preserve my passivity), it being totally indifferent to me whether they thrust me into the Devil's A— or an Irish bog. Yet, though I say I am indifferent to both these, I will in my present circumstances embrace either. The world has nothing to give me, or however she gives it, does not matter a rush, and yet I own I would have something more of her too, merely because I have not philosophy, or a better thing, economy, to make what I have a competency.