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well deserves. To confess the truth, it was chiefly to prevent his remains from falling into the hands of any one still less qualified to do him justice, that I have unwillingly ventured to undertake the publication of them myself.
Mr. Shenstone was the eldest son of a plain uneducated country gentleman in SHROPsHIRE, who farmed his own estate. The father, sensible of his son's extraordinary capacity, resolved to give him a learned education, and sent him a commoner to PEMBRoke College in Oxfor D, designing him for the church : but tho' he had the most aweful notions of the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, he never could be persuaded to enter into orders. In his private opinions he adhered to no particular seót, and hated all religious disputes. But whatever were his own sentiments, he always shewed great tenderness to those, who differed from him. Tenderness, indeed, in every sense of the word, was his peculiar characteristic ; his friends, his domestics, his poor neighbours, all daily experienced his benevolent turn of mind. Indeed, this virtue in him was often carried to such excess, that it sometimes-bordered upon weakweakness : yet if he was convinced that any of those ranked amongst the number of his friends, had treated him ungenerously, he was not easily reconciled. He used a maxim, however, on such occasions, which is worthy of being observed and imitated; “I never (said he) will be a revengeful enemy; but I cannot, it is not in my nature, to be half a friend.” He was in his temper quite unsuspicious; but if suspicion was once awakened in him, it was not laid asleep
again without difficulty. He was no deconomist; the generosity of his temper prevented him from paying a proper regard to the use of money: he exceeded therefore the bounds of his paternal fortune, which before he died was confiderably encumbered. But when one recollects the perfect paradise he had raised around him, the hospitality with which he lived, his great indulgence to his servants, his charities to the indigent, and all done with an estate not more than three hundred pounds' a year, one should rather be led to wonder that he left any thing behind him, than to blame his want of oeconomy. He left however more than sufficient to pay all his debts; and by his • A 2 will
His person, as to height, was above the middle stature, but largely and rather inelegantfly formed: his face seemed plain till you con"versed with him, and then it grew very pleafing. In his dress he was negligent, even to a fault; though when young, at the university, he was accounted a Brau. He wore his own hair, which was quite grey very early, in a particular manner; not from any affe&ation offingularity, but from a maxim he had laid down, that
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His charaćter as a writer will be distinguished by fimplicity with elegance, and genius with correótness. He had a sublimity equal to the highest attempts; yet from the indolence of his temper, he chose rather to amuse himself in culling flowers at the foot of the mount, than to take the trouble of climbing the more arduous steeps of PARNAssus. But whenever he was disposed to rise, his steps, tho’ natural, were noble, and always well supported. In the tenderness of elegiac poetry he hath not been excelled; in the fimplicity of pastoral, one may venture to say he had very few equals. Of great sensibility himself, he never failed to engage the hearts of his readers; and amidst the nicest attention to the harmony of his numbers, he always took care to express with propriety the sentiments of an elegant mind. In all his writings, his greatness