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BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.



No. I. APRIL 1817. Vol. I.



ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

MEMOIR OF THE LATE FRANCIS HORNER, ESQ. M. P.

Of the many eminent and good men whom Great Britain may proudly boast of having produced,—who have dedicated their lives to the service of the state,—and have ministered to the improvement and the happiness of their countrymen, not less by the exercise of splendid talents in the public councils of the nation, than by the bright example they have afforded in private life, of inflexible integrity, and the practice of every amiable virtue,—there is certainly not one whose death has excited a deeper or more universal regret, than that of Mr Francis Horner. To the nation at large, as well as to those fortunate, though now afflicted, individuals, who were attached to him by the dearer ties of consanguinity and friendship, the loss of this excellent man is indeed irreparable.

Statesmen beheld in him an example ever to be admired, and ever to be emulated, of great parts, and still greater worth, wholly and sincerely devoted to the attainment of the noblest of objects,—our country's good, and the general improvement of mankind. It was their delight to contemplate, in this highly-gifted individual, a combination almost without a parallel,—of every virtue, and every acquirement, which can dignify and adorn the character of a public man;—a powerful understanding,—various and profound knowledge,—a sound and penetrating judgment,—original and enlightened views,—a correct and elegant taste,—an impressive yet modest eloquence,—a fervent but chastened zeal,—never-failing discretion,—a high and independent feeling,—and, above all, a most unimpeachable honour. Where now, alas! shall good men search for, or searching find, a union so inestimable of intellectual and moral excellence, to cheer their hopes, and confirm their virtuous purposes, in these times of political difficulty and of relaxing principle.

Splendid, however, as these his public virtues were, the knowledge of them served only to enhance the pleasure, which it was the peculiar happiness of his relations and friends to enjoy, from the contemplation of his private worth. Dutiful, affectionate, and social; gentle, cheerful, and unassuming; full of kindness and full of charity; he was the joy and pride of his family, dear to every friend, and a perfect pattern of goodness in all the relations of domestic life. For these sorrowing individuals, this only consolation now remains,—silently to dwell on the remembrance of his numerous virtues, and to fix the love of them for ever on their hearts.

Of the exalted estimation in which Mr Horner's character was universally held, no testimony can be more gratifying or more unequivocal, than the tone of deep and feeling regret with which his death was announced in all the public prints; and the strain of unexampled eulogy which was poured forth on his high attainments, and his generous nature, in the House of Commons, by political opponents as well as by private friends, on the melancholy occasion of moving for a new writ for the borough which he represented in Parliament.

The following paragraph, admirable alike for its elegance and its truth, appeared in the Morning Chronicle of Friday, the 28th of February 1817.