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scrapes, and after four or five years escaped from prosecution for a riot in a methodist chapel by going to sea, where he obtained a position on an armed transport. His wife returned to Ashburton, where William Gifford was soon afterwards born. He was taught reading by a schoolmistress, and learnt old ballads from his mother. In 1764 the father returned with 100l. prize-money won at the Havannah. He sold his little property, and set up in business as a glazier. The son was sent to the Ashburton free school, under Hugh Smerdon. Three years later the father died of drink, leaving his widow, with an infant son. She tried to carry on the business, was plundered by her assistants, and died in a year. Her goods were seized by a creditor, ‘C.,’ who was also William's godfather. The infant was sent to the almshouse, and ‘bound to a husbandman.’ William Gifford, when his own prospects improved, did his best to help his brother. The boy was sent to sea, but died soon afterwards. Meanwhile the godfather, C., under the pressure of Ashburton sentiment, which held that he had sufficiently paid himself, sent William Gifford to school, where he began to show taste for arithmetic. C. soon tired of the expense, and sent Gifford to work on a farm. The boy had suffered a permanent injury from an accidental blow on the chest, and was incapable of the labour of ploughing. The godfather then tried to export him to Newfoundland, but he was rejected by an employer on account of his puny frame. He was therefore when about thirteen placed in a small Brixham coaster. He stayed in it for a year, acquired a love of the sea, and had a narrow escape from drowning. At Christmas 1770 his godfather took him back to Ashburton, the Brixham fishermen having spread reports of the child's neglected condition, and again roused Ashburton opinion. He was once more sent to school, and now began to make rapid progress. He helped the master in teaching other pupils, and aspired to succeed to the mastership, Smerdon being now infirm. The godfather, however, insisted upon binding him apprentice to a shoemaker, his indentures being dated 1 Jan. 1772. Gifford's new master was an ignorant dissenter, whose whole reading was confined to the ‘Exeter Controversy.’ Gifford procured a black-letter romance, a few loose magazines, and a Thomas à Kempis. He had also a ‘Treatise on Algebra,’ and managed by stealth to read ‘Fenning's Introduction,’ belonging to his master's son, from which he got the necessary preparation. He beat out pieces of leather, and worked his problems on them with a blunted awl. He also composed a few rhymes of a satirical kind, and sometimes made sixpence in an evening by reciting them. His master unluckily discovered his occupations and his little store of books, which had been increased by his earnings. He was deprived of his treasures, and ordered to desist from writing. His ambition was crushed by the death of his schoolmaster and the election of another person. He fell into gloom, from which he was roused by the kind attentions of a ‘young woman of his own class.’ William Cookesley, a surgeon in the town, had heard of Gifford's doggerel. He talked to the author, gave him good advice, and got up a subscription to buy the remainder of his term of apprenticeship, and enable him to educate himself. His last eighteen months were thus remitted, his master receiving 6l., and he was enabled to study at the school to considerable purpose. The subscribers paid for another year's schooling, and in 1779 the master (Thomas Smerdon) thought him fit for the university. Cookesley, through a friend, Thomas Taylor of Denbury, procured him a bible clerkship at Exeter College, Oxford. This, with occasional help from friends, would, it was thought, enable him to get a degree. He matriculated 16 Feb. 1779, and graduated B.A. 10 Oct. 1782. He had begun to translate Juvenal. With the help of Cookesley he sent out proposals (1 Jan. 1781) for publishing the whole by subscription. Cookesley died on 15 Jan. following. Gifford was greatly depressed by the loss of his patron, and found himself unable to continue his translation. He sought relief in the study of other languages, and the college authorities enabled him to take a few pupils. As his spirits revived he again took up the Juvenal, but found it so bad that he resolved to abandon the attempt, and returned as far as he could subscriptions already received. He was corresponding with a Devonshire clergyman, William Peters, to whom he sent letters under cover to Lord Grosvenor. He accidentally omitted Peters's name upon a letter, which was thereupon read by Grosvenor. Grosvenor became interested, and sent for Gifford, who candidly stated that he had ‘no prospects.’ Grosvenor hereupon said that he would be responsible for Gifford's ‘present support and future establishment,’ and until other prospects offered invited the young man to reside with him. Gifford accepted the invitation, became the permanent friend of Grosvenor, and member of his family, acting also as travelling tutor to his son. Two tours upon the continent occupied ‘many years.’

At Grosvenor's house Gifford proceeded with his ‘Juvenal,’ which, however, did not