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WRITTEN BY THE LATE DR. LAURENCE*.
SATURDAY, July the 8th, 1797, sometime in the evening, at his seat near Beaconsfield, after a long and painful illness, which he bore with a pious fortitude worthy of his character, died, in the sixtyeighth year of his age, the Right Honourable EDMUND BURKE.
* Soon after this gentleman's decease, appeared the following anonymous character of him:
To the formidable catalogue of eminent deceased characters, who have successively been snatched from society within the last few years, is now to be added the VOL, I,
His end was suited to the simple greatness of mind which he displayed through life, every way unaffected, without levity, without ostentation, full of natural grace and dignity. He appeared neither to wish nor to dread, but patiently and placidly
name of FRENCH LAURENCE, LL.D. and member of parliament for Peterborough, who fell the victim of rapid and unexpected decline. He expired on Monday, February the 27th, 1809, in the vigour of his days, and the maturity of his talents.
Distinguished as a civilian, a political philosopher, a poet, and a senator, his death must, without partiality to him individually, be considered as a public bereavement. By the operation of a vigorous intellect, combined with persevering application, Dr. Laurence soon rose into high professional estimation. He became, at length, politically known by the active part which he took, during 1784, in favour of Mr. Fox's memorably contested elec. tion for Westminster. His career in the Senate was highly respectable. His sentiments, which he not unfrequently delivered in the House of Commons, were the result of deep thought, couched in striking and nervous language, and were always respectfully received. If he seldom attempted to enliven legislative discussions with the scintillations of wit, it was because he felt the gravity of the senatorial character to be utterly incompatibie with ostentatious displays of this kind.
Estimated as a poet and wit, however, the Rolliad and Probationary Odes, of which the Preface and Notes to
to await the appointed hour of his dissolution. He had been listening to some Essays of Addison's, in which he ever took delight; he had recommended himself, in many affectionate messages, to the remembrance of those absent friends whom he had never ceased to love; he had con
the former were chiefly from his pen, have established his reputation beyond the chances of mutability. He was likewise the writer of several election ballads, which reflect credit on his genius ; and of various little
poems, inserted in the Poetical Register, which sufficiently evince the extent and versatility of his talents.
As one of the executors of the late Edmund Burke, it became the province of Dr. Laurence, in discharge of the trust so reposed in him, to superintend the posthumous publications, together with the other literary property, of his illustrious friend. Amongst these works, the conducting of the original Annual Register, in the composi. tion of which Dr. Laurence had long assisted, came, on the death of Mr. Burke, entirely under his direction. Of the volumes immediately subsequent, the Prefaces, and some portions of the History of Europe, were written by Dr. Laurence. It is greatly to be regretted, that his other avocations, multifarious and embarrassing, prevented him from extending his credit as an author. From him, and only him, was eventually to be expected the Life of Burke.
Endeared to his friends by his virtues, valued by the Public for his writings, and esteemed by lis compatriots
versed some time with his accustomed force of thought and expression on the awful situation of his country, for the welfare of which his heart was interested to the very last beat; he had given with steady composure some private directions, in contemplation of his approaching death; when, as his attendants were conveying him to his bed, he sunk down, and, after a short struggle, passed quietly and without a groan to eternal rest in that Mercy which he had just declared he had long sought with unfeigned humiliation, and to which he looked with a trembling hope!
Of his talents and acquirements in general, it is unnecessary to speak. They were long the glory of his country, and
as a senator, he is exempted from the common oblivion of men; as one whose talents, and whose virtues, will linger some time longer in recollection. Considered with reference to his political views and feelings, Dr. Laurence was one of those who seem to have been happily removed from those public evils which are evidently impending. He partook of pobler views, and lived in better times. He was one of the last great men of the Old School !
the admiration of Europe; they might have been (had it so consisted with the inscrutable counsels of divine Providence !) the salvation of both. ; If not the most accomplished orator, yet the most eloquent man of his age; perhaps, second to none in any age : he had still more wisdom than eloquence. He diligently collected it from the wise of all times : but, what he had so obtained, he enriched from the vast treasury of his own observation; and his intellect, active, vigorous, comprehensive, trained in the discipline of true philosophy, to whatever subject he applied it, penetrated at once through the surface into the essential forms of things.
With a fancy singularly vivid, he least of all men, in his time, indulged in splendid theories. With more ample materials of every kind than any of his cotemporaries, he was the least in his own skill to innovate. A statesman of the most enlarged views-in all his policy he was strictly practical; and in his practice he always regarded, with holy reverence, the institu