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speak of his death with the feeling, but manly composure, which becomes the dignified regret it ought to inspire.—To say any thing to you at this moment, in the fresh hour of your unburthened sorrows--to depict, to dwell upon the great traits of his character--must be unnecessary, and almost insulting. His image still livos before your eyes—his virtues are in your hearts-his loss is your despair. I have seen in a public print, what are stated to have been his last words--and they are truly stated. They were these—“ I die happy.” Then, turning to the more immediate objects of his private af. fections, he added, “ but, I pity you.” Gentlemen, this statement is precisely true. But, oh! if the solemn fleeting hour had allowed of such considerations, and if the nnassuming nature of his dignified mind had not withheld him, which of you will allow his title to have said, not only to the sharers of his domestic love, hanging in mute despair upon his couch—“ I pity you;' hut pro. phetically to have added, “I pity England--I pity Eu. rope—I pity human nature”? He died in the spirit of peace; tranquil in his own expiring heart, and cherish. ing to the last, with a parental solicitude, the consoling hope, that he should be able to give established tranqui. lity to harassed, contending nations. Let us trust that, that stroke of death which has borne him from us, may not have left the peace of the world, and the civilised charities of man, as orphans upon the earth.
From this afflicting consideration I pass to one com. paratively insignificant-yet it is the question we are met this day to consider-namely, the pretensions of those who have the presumption to aspire to succeed him. An honourable friend has proposed me as a person worthy of that proud distinction: and I cannot deny but that it is an object of ambition--unmixed, I think, with one unworthy motivevery near my heart.
Having, thus avowed my ambition, or my presumption, as some have been pleased to call it, I have now to speak of my pretensions. Egotism is always offensive; and I am happy that my honourable friend, who has proposed me, has left me little or nothing to say on this head. He has stated—and I avow and adopt his statementthat my claim to your favour rests on the fact, that I have, step by step, followed Mr. Fox through the whole
course of his political career, and, to the best of my poor abilities, supported him in every one of those mea. sures, and in the maintenance of every one of those prin. ciples, which originally recommended him to, and so long continued him in, your confidence and esteem. And to that I may fairly add, that he never for a moment was Jeft unattended by my most fond and faithful friendship. It is true, there have been occasions upon which I have differed with him-painful recollection of the most pain. ful moments of my political life!-Nor were there wante ing those who endeavoured to represent those differences as a departure from the homage which his superior mind, thougħ unclaimed by him, was entitled to, and the alles giance of friendship which our hearts all swore to him; but never was the genuine and confiding texture of his sout more manifest than on such occasions--he knew that nothing on carth could detaeh me from him and he resented insinuations against the sincerity and inte. grity of a friend, which he would not have noticed, had they been pointed against himself. He scorned the suspicion that I could for one moinent desert a friend whose exile from power I felt it more glorious to share, than all the honours and emoluments that government and kings are able to bestow. With such a man, to have battled in the cause of genuine liberty~with such a man, to have struggled against the inroads of" oppression and corruption—with such an example before me, to have to boast that I never in my life gave one vote in parliament that was not on the side of freedom, is the congratula. tion that attends the retrospect of my public life. His friendship was the pride and honour of iny days. I nerer, for one moment, regretted to share with him the dilliculties, the calumnies, and sometimes even the dans gers, that attended an honourable course. reviewing my past political life, were the option possible that I should retread the path, I solemnly and delibe. rately dectare, that I would prefer to pursue the same course--to bear up under the same pressure to abide Buy the same principles--and remain by his side, an exile from power, distinction, and emolument, rather than be at this moment a splendid example of successful servility, or prosperous apostacy--though clothed with power, honour, and titles, gorged with sinecures, and lord of
hoards, obtained from the plunder of the people! If I have missed the opportunity of obtaining all the support I might perhaps have had, on the present occasion, from a very scrupulous delicacy, which I think became, and was incumbent upon me—but which, I by no means con. ceive to have been a fit rule for others—I cannot repent it. In so doing, I acted on the feelings upon which I am sensible that all those would have acted who loved Mr. Fox as I did. I felt within myself that while the slightest aspiration might still quiver on those lips, that were the copious channels of eloquence, wisdom, and benevolence—that while one drop of life's blood might still warm that heart, which throbbed only for the good of mankind I could not, I ought not to have acted otherwise than I did.
There is in true friendship this advantage, that the inferior mind looks to the presiding intellect, as its guide and landmark while living, and to the engraven memory of his principles, as a rule of conduct after his death. Yet further still, unmixed with idle superstition, there may be gained a salutary lesson from contemplating what would be grateful to the mind of the departed, were he conscious of what is passing here. I do solemnly believe, that could such a consideration have entered into Mr. Fox's last moments—there is nothing his wasted spirits would so have deprecated, as a contest of the nature which I now deprecate and relinquish.--Above all, he would be most sorely afflicted, should that concord and harmony which he was so anxious should prevail among the present administration, be disturbed by a friend of his, and that by a contest to succeed to his situation.
The hour is not far distant, when an awful knell shall tell you, that the unburied remains of your revered patriot are passing through your streets to that sepulchral home where your kings--your heroes--your sages--and your poets, will be honoured by an association with his mortal remains. At that hour, when the sad solemnity shall take place in a private way, as more suited to the simple dignity of his character, than the splendid gaudi. ness of publie pageantry ;--when you, all of you, will be self-marshalled in reverential sorrow-mute, and reflect. ing on your mighty loss-at that moment, shall the disa gusting contest of an election-wrangle break the solem
nity of such a scene? Is it fitting that any man should overlook the crisis, and risk the monstrous and disgusting contest?-Is it fitting that I should be that man?
XXV. Monody to the memory of Mr. Garrick.
Ir dying excellence deserves a tear,
The gen’ral voice, the meed of mournful verse,
Amid the arts, which seek ingenuous fame,
The patient sculptor owns an humbler part,
Content with slow and tim'rous stroke to trace
Whether the song heroic woes rehearse,
Such is their meed; their honours thus secure,
The grace of action, the adapted mien,