Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

them any thing in his life; but that is their own, as well as his praise. He lived with them as a brother and a friend, and familiarized his wisdom into chit-chat, and instructed them more effectually by common conversation, than others could do by solemn precepts.

The nation, by their cominon sorrow, show what a judge and statesman they have lost. My name will be ever a proof to posterity, how warm and intrepid a friend he could be to one he thought fit to honour and reward with that dear and voluntary relation to him. His, distressed and melancholy family show what a master he was to them all. In all these various relations, he was superior to any person whom I ever knew or read of. The day before he died, he said to his son Jack, “ It is indifferent and equal as to myself, whether I die now, or seven years hence, but it will not be the same to you; for the sake of my children I could be pleased to remain longer with them.” The night he died, his servants offered him medicine, “ It is in vain," he answered; “ death annot be resisted; God's will be done, I am satisfied." He immediately fell into a calm sleep, continued three hours in it, then awakened, looked round him a few moments, and died without the least struggle or pain. His distemper was an inflammation on his lungs ; the natural cure of it is large bleeding, but on taking from him only eight ounces, he sunk so nincommonly much, that the doctor dared not proceed. On opening him, a Jarge polypus was found in his heart. From thence, probably, proceeded his not being able to lose blood. A polypus, say physicians, is the effect of care and intenseness of

thought; if that is so, no man ever did more to cause it. He sacrificed his life for the good of others; and who will not envy a death so glorious ? He lived enough to make himself beloved whilst living, and revered and lamented by good men of every party and denomination, now he is gone. He lived to perfect his temper to a love of goodness, and adorn it with every Christian, as well as natural grace, that can make virtue either divine or amiable ! he lived to obtain the best fame; he lived enough for himself, but not enough for his friends and his country. I am, madam, yours, &c.

LETTER XX.

DR. THOMAS RUNDLE TO MRS. SANDYS.

MADAM,

March 15, 1736-7. I know not to what my promise of waiting may come, because I have little reason to expect that a power of performing it will long be in me. I am seized again with my disorder most violently; how that will end, God only knows; and what he thinks most proper, will be most acceptable to me. Life is, and ought now to be, indifferent to me; I am a guest that have been nobly entertained; when the feast is over I will rise satisfied, and thank the great master for his generosity. I have lived to see the best friend in the world die before me e; and am of no service any longer in the world. The ruffle which my concern bath given me, has relaxed and dissolved my whole frame, and turned the hu

mours again from a more painful into a more dangerous channel. But I submit, be the consequence what it will, to the disposal of him who is equally good and wise.

Lord Talbot is well, may God preserve him so ! There is not a more amiable or worthy man living; may his happiness be equal to his merit; my fonddess for him desires no more. When I am dead, he will not want me: my loss, added to what be hath already, dear youth, sustained, will be as a drop thrown into the ocean. Oh! that it was in my power to make binı as happy as I wish him, and then nothing in life should ever give him one moment's uneasiness! the whole family is well also. Lady Talbot hath an excellent understanding *, and a most sprightly entertaining wit, capable of making a considerable figure in public life, and giving cheerfulness, familiarized into easy chit-chat, to retirement, and the speculations round an even. ing's table.

Jack will soon enter into his profession, and, I question not, succeed in it by his abilities, industry, and virtues, though he is not nourished and sheltered, and encouraged, by the example and instruction and recommendation of his great father. Georget will steal into every one's esteem in a more silent way; will be beloved rather than shine with the eclat of noisy applause. He will spend this life in doing good in the most amiable not the most showish way; he will have the dignity and generosity and character of his grandfather, secured from that only overflowing of his good qualities, which one wished had been prevented, to make him the most engaging of all characters. I love them all. I cannot flatter them to their faces; but I love to praise them. If I speak fondly with esteem of them even to their faces, it is only to warm them to be what I say ; and show them the virtues which are blossoming in their hearts, that must be ripened by their own care. Public news I do not attend to : I am weaned from my concern in the tumults and ambitions and scramble of life." If I do well, you will see me; if I die, you will remember me. Among the many who have highly valued you, none have done so more than myself, because none knew you better; and it will be always your singular advantage to improve on your acquaintance, and grow daily more beloved by a nearer intimacy. If in any of those you love, you see any thing you wish otherwise, you will bave the friendly freedom and courage that becomes virtue and independence, to say it with spirit and dexterity; and even venture to offend, to serve those you love. Without it, friendship is but flattery and treachery; with it, deservedly honoured with that divine character of being the medicine of life. This hint you will treasure up unmentioned, till you shall find you have an occasion to use it. Believe me, madam, yours most sincerely.

* This lady was the daughter and sole heir of Adam de Car. donnel, secretary at war in the reign of queen Anne. She was married in February 1733-34, at the age of fifteen. She resided at Barrington until her death, in 1786. A very elegant monu, meut, by Nollekens, is lately erected to her memory in the church of that parish.

* George Talbot, D. D. vicar of Guiting, in Gloucestershire.

LETTER XXI.

DR. THOMAS RUNDLE TO MRS. SANDYS.

MADAM,

April 9, 1737. I would not answer your kind letter, till I could give you an assurance that my disorder is stopped by bark, &c.; but though I am relieved from this threatening illness, I cannot boast that I am a sound man again. My health resembles very much the season; one hour is sunshine; and the next, clouds deform the sky, and all is ruffed and blustering. But I am and ought to be contented. My life is not of general importance to a whole nation, as was that of my friend. His resembled the sun, which warms and enlightens half the earth at once; mine perhaps may be compared to a lamp, which serves to disperse the gloom of a single room; but when it is broken and extingnished, another will immediately supply its place, and the loss be of no consequence: but even this comparison, I feel, is vanity, and carries with it more praise than I can claim. I purpose to see you next month, though my friends will not be at Barrington till I am in Ireland; I will not leave this country without seeing one I most value in it.

Lord and lady Talbot are well, and so is their girl: she is a delightful child, and promises to have as much beauty and good temper as ever met together. But the first is a flower that may be blasted and spared; the other alone is sufficient to, and can aloné make life happy.

« НазадПродовжити »