Page images

quette of his rank, on every occafion where it obstructed him in the acquisition of knowlege, or the activity of exertion. Mr. Howard returned through Germany and Holland, and arrived safe in England early in 1787.'

• After his return, he took a short repose, and then went over to Ireland, and visited most of the county gaols and charter schools, and came back by Scotland. In 1788 he renewed his visit to Ireland, and completed his survey of its gaols, hospitals, and schools,'.

The great variety of matter collected in these journies was methodized and put to the press in 1789. It com poses a quarto vo"lume, beautifully printed, and decorated with a number of fine

plates, which, as usual, are presented to the public; and so eager were the purchasers of books to partake of the donation, that all the copies were almost immediately bought up. The title is, An Account of the principal Lazarettos in Europe, with various Papers relative to the Plague; together with further Observations on fome foreign Prisons and Hopitals ; with additional Remarks on the prefent State of those in Great Britain and Ireland *.'

• Mr. Howard remained but a short time at home after the printing of this work. In the conclusion of it he had delared bis intention “ again to quit his native country, for the purpose of revisiting Ruflia, Turkey, and some other countries, and extending his tour in the east.”.

In the beginning of July 1789 he arrived in Holland. Thence he proceeded through the north of Germany, Pruflia, Courland, and Livonia, to St. Petersburgh. From this capital he went to Moscow.'

• From Moscow he took his course to the very extremity of European Russia, extended as it now is to the shores of the Black-sea, where long dreary tracts of desert are terminated by some of those new establishments, which have cost such immense profusion of blood and treasure to cwo vait empires, now become neighbours and perpetual foes.

Here, at the distance of 1,500 miles from his native land, he fell a victim to disease, the ravages of which, among unpitied multitudes, he was exerting every effort to restrain. Finis vita nobis luEluofus, amicis triftis, extransis etiam ignotisque non fine

The winter being far advanced on the taking of Bender, the commander of the Rullian army at that place gave permission to many of the officers to visit their friends at Cherson, as the severity of the season would not admit of a continuance of hoftilities againit the Turks. Cherson, in consequence, became much crowded, and the inhabitants testified their joy for the success of the Russians by balls and masquerades. Several of the oficers, of the inhabitants of Cherson, and of the gentry in the neighbourhood, who attended these balls, were almost immediately afterwards attacked with fevers; and it was Mr. Howard's idea, that the infe&tion had

cura !!

* Of this work an account will be found in the ist volume of our New Scries, p. 134. 248.


been brought by the officers from Bender. Amongst the number who caught this contagion was a young lady who resided about fixteen miles from Cherson. When she had been ill fome liccle time, Mr. Howard was earnestly requested to visit her. He saw her first on Sunday, December 27. He visited her again in the middle of the week, and a third time on the Sunday following, January 3. On that day he found her sweating very profusely; and, being unwilling to check this by uncovering her arm, he passed his under the bed-clothes to feel her pulse. While he was doing this, the effluvia from her body were very offensive to him, and it was always his own opinion that he then caught the fever. She died on the following day. Mr. Howard was much affected by her death, as he had factered himself with hopes of her amendment. From January 3d to the 8th he scarcely went out* ; but on that day he went to dine with Admiral Montgwinoff, who lived about a mile and a half from his lodgings. He Itaid later than usual; and when he returned, found himself unwell, and thought he had fomething of the gout Aying about him. He immediately took some fal volatile in a little tea, and thought himself better till three or four on Saturday morning, when, feeling not so well, he repeated the fal volatile. He got up in the morning, and walked out; but finding himself worse, soon returned and took an emetic. On the followa ing night he had a violent attack of fever, when he had recourse to his favourite remedy, James's powder, which he regularly took every two or four hours till Sunday the 17th. For though Prince Potemkin sent his own physician to him, immediately on his being acquainted with his illness, yet his own prescriptions were never interfered with during this time. On the 12th he had a kind of fit, in which he suddenly fell down, his face became black, his breathing difficult, and he remained in sensible for haif an hour. On the 17th he had another similar fit. On the 18th he was seized with hiccupping, which continued on the next day, when he took some musk draughts by direction of the physician. About seven o'clock on Wednesday morning, the 20th of January, he had another fis, and died in about an hour after. He was perfectly senfible during his illness, except in the fits, till within a very few hours of his death. This event he all along expected to take place; and he often said, that he had no other wish for life than as it gave him the means of relieving his fellow-creatures.'

In the preceding abstract, we have been under the necessity of omitting many important particulars : but they will be perused with more pleasure and effect, in connection with the numerous observations and reflections which accompany them. These are so pertinent and judicious, that we should scarcely think our duty discharged without making some extracts from them, were we not persuaded that the work itself will be uni

• * There seems some mistake here, as there is a full report in his memorandums, of a visit to the hospitals in Cherson, dated J2nuary 6.' The above particulars were given by Mr. H.'s servant.

Y 2

versally versally read. One passage from Dr. Aikin's masterly portrait of Mr. Howard's character we must quote, because it may serve to obviate a misapprehension which seems to have been commonly entertained concerning him :

• Mr. Howard pofleffed the rare quality of being able, for any length of time, to bend all the powers and faculties of his mind to one point, unseduced by every allurement which curiosity or any other affection might throw in his way, and unsusceptible of that fatiety and disgurt which are so apt to steal upon a protracted purfuit. Though by his early travels he had shewn himself not indife ferent to those objects of taste and information which strike the cul. tivated mind in a foreign country, yet in the tours expressly for the purpose of examining prisons and hospitals, he appears to have had eyes and ears for nothing else ; at least he suffered no other object to detain him or draw him afide*. Impreffed with the idea of the importance of his defigns, and the uncertainty of human life, he was impatient to get as much done as possible within the allotted limits. And in this disposition consisted that enthusiasm by which the public supposed him actoated; for otherwise, his cool and Heady temper gave no idea of the character usually diftinguished by that appellation. He followed his plans, indeed, with wonderful vigour and constancy, but by no means with that heat and eager. ness, that in Hamed and exalted imagination, which denote the enthufiaft. Hence, he was not liable to catch at partial representa. tions, to view facts through fallacious mediums, and to fall into those mistakes which are so frequent in the researches of the man of fancy and warm feeling. Some persons, who only knew him by his extraordinary actions, were ready enough to bestow upon him that sneer of contempt, which men of cold hearts and selfish dispo. fitions are fo apt to apply to whatever has the shew of high sensibi. Jity. While others, who had a slight acquaintance with him, and faw occasional features of phlegm, and perhaps harshness, were disposed to question his feeling altogether, and to attribute his exerjions either merely to a sense of duty, or to habit and humour. But both these were erroneous conclufions. He felt as a man should feel; but not so as to mislead him, either in the estimate he formed of objects of utility, or in his reasonings concerning the means by which they were to be brought into effect. The reformation of abuses, and the relief of misery, were the two great purposes which he kept in view in all his undertakings; and I have equally seen the tear of sensibility start into his eyes on recalling fome of the distressful scenes to which he had been witness, and the spirit of in. dignation flash from them on relating instances of baseness and oppression. Still, however, his contancy of mind and self-collection never deserted him. He was never agitated, never off his guard; and the unspeakable advantages of such a temper in the scenes in which he was engaged, need not be dwelt upon.

* · He mentioned being once prevailed upon in Italy, to go and hear some extraordinarily fine music; but, finding his thoughts too much occupied by it, he would never repeat the indulgence.'

• His whole course of action was such a trial of intrepidity and fortitude, that it may seem altogether fuperfluous to speak of his poffeffion of these qualities. He had them, indeed, both from nature and principle. His nerves were firm; and his convi&tion of marching in the path of duty made him fearless of consequences. Nor was it only on great occasions that this strength of mind was shown. It raised him above false fame, and that awe which makes a coward of many a brave man in the presence of a superior, No one ever less " feared the face of man," than he. No one he. fitated less in speaking bold truths, or avowing obnoxious opinions. His courage was equally paflive and active. He was prepared to make every facrifice that a regard to strict veracity, or rigorous duty, could enjoin; and it cannot be doubted, that, had he lived in an age when asserting his civil and religious righis would have subjected him to martyrdom, not a more willing martyr would ever have ascended the scaffold, or embraced the stake.'

The point of view, in which Mr. H.'s character ought chiefly to be held up as an object of imitation, is very properly ftated in the following passage :

To propose as a model, a character marked with such singola: rities, and, no doubt, with some foibles, would be equally

vain and injudicious; but his firm attachment to principle, high sense of honour, pure benevolence, unhaken constancy, and indefatigable perseverance, may properly be held up to the view of all persons occupying important stations, or engaged in useful enterprises, as qualities not less to be imitated than admired.'

With this sensible remark, we close our extracts from a work that has afforded us singular pleasure, as an accurate and finished delineation of a character, which will ever stand distinguished

Qui sui memores alios fecere merendo.

among those

Art. XIII. Abelard to Eloisa: a Poem. By Mr. Jerningham. 410. Pp. 15

is. 6d. Robson. 1792, o endeavour to write a counterpart to Pope's Epiltle from

Eloisa to Abelard is a bold attempt. Of that admired poem, Dr. Johnson, who was seldom lavish of praise, has said, that it may perhaps be with justice pronounced “ to have excelled every composition of the same kind,” In a happy union of dignity with tenderness, and of poetical ornament with the natural expression of passion, it perhaps still remains unrivalled. Much as we are inclined to admire the productions of Mr. Jerningham's muse, we cannot place this epistle on a level with that of Pope. Waving the comparison, however, we readily allow it a considerable Thare of merit. Y 3

The The supposed state of Abelard's mind, at the commencement of the poem, when, after a silence of three years, his smothered passion burst forth in tender lamentations, is strongly conceived, and poetically expressed. In the account of his past sufferings, Abelard introduces the persecution which he had suffered from the jealousy and bigotry of St. Bernard; through whose interest with the fee of Rome, a sentence of excommunication was passed on him for heresy. The ftate of humiliation and despair, into which his mind was thrown by this spiritual calamity, and the relief afforded him by the reversal of the sentence, are thus described :

• Now the pale outcait both of Heav'o and earth,
I curit the day thai glimmer'd on my birth:
Degraded-thunn'd- to infamy allied,
Amidst the ruins of my soul I cried,
No more my image to her thought adjoin'd
Shall share the beav'n of Eloisa's mind:
No more (I cried) my reprobared name
Shail from her lips iis daily honour claim,
No longer to the throne of God repair,
Porne on the wings of her triumphant pray’r.
Now frenzy urg'd my wild’ring steps to sove
Beneath the night of yon extensive grove:
Now urg'd along the mountain's top to range
(Despair ftill haunting me thro' ev'ry change)
To tread th' advent'rous path that coasts the brow
Which scowls tremendous o'er the vale below;
Then to the summit of yon rock I told,
That Moots its crags fantastically wild!
There ruth'd upon my view the hallow'd cross,
Cloath'd in the garb of venerable moss!
This wonted pledge of mercy and delight
Struck on my fading hope a dark’ning blight;
No more the saving all-atoning rood,
The grilly symbol of revenge it flood!
Lost in the extacy of trong despair,
With madd'oing hand 1 tore my rooted hair.-
'Twas then the seer of warm compassion came
To lull my tortures and dispe! my thame:
“ Difilt," the Priell of Charity began,
And own once more the dignity of man!
No longer Rome and Abelard are foes,
The thunders of the Vatican repose;
The holy church, by my remonftrance won,
Takes to her botom her still darling fon."
Hail to the tidings of that chearing voice
That bids the humbled Abelard rejoice!
That bids his image to her thought rejoin'd,
Suill share the heav'n of Eloila's mind.'

« PreviousContinue »