Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/161

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BIRRELL

choly hours, and for whose supposed heterodoxy the dying man displayed so tender a solicitude, wrote to Burke in the strain of a timid suitor proposing for the hand of a proud heiress, to know whether Burke would be so good as to ac- cept 1,000?. at once, instead of waiting for the writer's death. Burke felt no hesitation in obliging so old a friend.

Garrick, who, tho fond of money, was as generous-hearted a fellow as ever brought down a house, lent Burke 1,000?. Sir Joshua Reyn- olds, who had been reckoned stingy, by his will left BurKe 2,000/., and forgave him another 2,000?. which he had lent him. The Marquis of Rockingham, by his will, directed all Burke's bonds held by him to be canceled. They amounted to 30,000?. Burke's patrimonial estate was sold by him for 4,000?. ; and I have seen it stated that he had received altogether from family sources as much as 20,000?.

And yet he was always poor, and was glad at the last to accept pensions from the Crown in order that he might not leave his wife a beg- gar. This good lady survived her illustrious husband twelve years, and seemed, as his widow, to have some success in paying his bills, for at her death all remaining demands were found to be discharged.

Had Burke been a moralist of the caliber of Charles James Fox, he might have amassed a fortune large enough to keep up half a dozen Beaconsfields, by simply doing what all his pred-

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