Page:Historical account of Lisbon college.djvu/90

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Allen would jocosely observe, within the sound of Bow Bells, a circumstance on which he not a little prided himself, maintaining that from her he had learned the most correct pronunciation of the English language which those only are said to speak with a perfect accent who are born within the sound of the bells of Bow Church, to whom strictly belongs the vulgar name of "Cockney."

He was admitted into the College in the year 1744, at the age of fourteen. Here he showed early signs of those abilities, quickness of apprehension, and accuracy of judgment which afterwards distinguished him. He had the good fortune to have for his instructors during his studies Dr. Gerard Barnard and Preston, both men of distinguished erudition. This advantage was to Allen, at a later period, a frequent subject of self-congratulation, and to it he humbly attributed all the brilliant success with which his literary exertions were uniformly attended. His studies were interrupted for a short time by the terrible earthquake of 1755. Soon after he was ordained priest, and said his first Mass in a tent which, in consequence of the damage sustained by the College Church in the recent calamity, had been erected in the garden for the purposes of divine worship.

Having finished his Course of Studies, Father Allen, though not appointed to any particular office, was elected into the body of Superiors. The Council was moved to this choice as well by the consideration of his singular talents, as on account of the influence which he, even then, possessed amongst the first personages of the country. Of Portuguese extraction and having spent his childhood under the eye of the Portuguese Ambassador the Conde de S. Lourenço, he had from the time of his first entrance into the College received much attention from the family of that nobleman and its numerous connections, and during his studies he had occasionally been permitted to spend his vacations among them. His pleasant manners, cheerful disposition, readiness of wit, and fluency of expression made him a great favourite in