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THE MISCELLANEOUS WORKS, IN PROSE AND VERSE, OF GEORGE HARDINGE, Esq. M. A. F.S.A.
SENIOR JUSTICE OF THE COUNTIES OF BRECON, GLAMORGAN, AND RADNOR. 3 vols. 8vo.
NorwITHSTANDING we have already presented our readers with a memoir of this gentleman, (see Vol. II.) yet we gladly recur to the work now before us, as it contains full and authentic materials for a complete life. Indeed his biographer, in addition to his own resources, has been assisted by the family ; both the brother, and nephew of the deceased having readily furnished all the information in their power.
As we have already stated the particulars of Mr. Hardinge's birth, and education, it only remains to record the manner of his death, accompanied by a very favourable sketch of his character, which has been partly suggested by many amiable qualities, and partly by the partiality of Mr. Nichols' friendship. “In the latter end of March, 1816, Mr. Justice Hardinge set out on the business of the circuit. In some letters, previous to his quitting home, he told his friends, that he was suffering from a heavy cold; which, to use his own words, had not separated his nose from the fire:' but he was first taken seriously ill at Ross.
66 The immediate cause of his decease was an inflammation of the pleura ; and it is probable that his personal exposure to the Easterly winds then prevalent was the inducing cause of the unfortunate attack. He had also suffered much by a fall from his horse (being partial to that exercise, he often took long journeys on horseback, attended only by his valet), which was supposed to have hastened his death.
“ On his journey to Cardiff, he increased his cold in that degree that he could not act in his judicial capacity. Yet he
went on his Circuit, through Brecon, to Presteigne; where, on his arrival, he was attended by a physician: but the disorder had become a confirmed pleurisy, and was at such a height that relief from bleeding was ineffectual. It was tried; but the fever was at this time very great, and he complained of it.
“ He died at Presteigne, April 26, 1816, in the 72d year of his age; leaving behind him the character of possessing, rather than profiting by, great talents.
“ From his father, he enjoyed a very good hereditary estate; and with his wife, who still survives him, he obtained a very handsome dower. Either or both of these circumstances, united with a strong love for independence, might have rendered him less anxious for advancement.
“ Mr. Hardinge seems to have had some forebodings of the melancholy event which took him from his friends and the world.
" In one of his latest letters to Lady Knowles, he says, • I despair of taking leave of Davies, until the undertaker is waiting for me.' He had proposed to visit at Kingsland the shrine of Dr. Davies. His remains passed through Kingsland, to be interred with those of his family at Kingston-uponThames.
“ A melancholy association with the recollection of the intended visit to the tomb of his last favoured hero of Taste and Virtue is formed in the mind : and painful moral feelings of regret arise, which teach us more forcibly to remember that, man proposes, but God disposes.
“ Mr. Hardinge was rather short of stature, but very handsome, with a countenance expressive of the good qualities he possessed. His temper was admirable, and his perseverance in the cause of those he protected most extraordinary and exemplary. 66 When we consider that few live to the advanced
Mr. Hardinge attained without sustaining a loss in some material faculty, we shall more highly prize the rare gifts he enjoyed, both mentally and bodily; for, excepting the wrinkles and grey hairs which hoary time by its iron grasp will leave on the
strongest, his life may be said to have been mental youth, and his death a short interruption and passage to that blessed state of perfection which his goodness and philanthropy sought after while on earth.
66 As a Christian, Mr, Hardinge, in all circumstances, and in every part of his life, appears to have been a steady believer; and, at times, pious and devout in the extreme.
“ In the character of a Judge he was irreproachable; and his various charges for many years, at the different assizes in Wales, are admirable.
“ In that respectable function, one of the latest acts of his life was the sifting to the bottom the grounds upon which all judges before his time had charged juries in cases of childmurder. Some excellent notes for a charge were prepared by the benevolent judge in April, 1816, not many days before his decease; but he did not live to deliver it.
“ Mr. Hardinge's ideas on this subject were fully confirmed by the unquestionable concurrent opinions of several professional gentlemen of first-rate eminence: and that this important subject had long before excited his attention, will appear from a letter addressed in 1805 to Dr. Horsley, then Bishop of St. Asaph.
“ Mr. Hardinge had brilliant talents, and a power of showing them so as to afford to his companions and correspondents the greatest gratification.
“ The talent of society he possessed in an eminent degree; and the rank which he held among the wits of this day, and the illustrious personages by whom he was admitted into faa miliarity, sufficiently evince how much, in conversation at least, he must have displayed the gentleman and the scholar.
66 In conversation indeed he had few equals; as he had an astonishing flow and choice of words, and an animated delivery of them, such as few persons possess. He delighted in pleasantries, and always afforded to his auditors an abundance of inirth and entertainment, as well as information.
66 His passion for the Muses commenced in infancy; and continued to the close of life.
" The correspondence of Mr. Hardinge was most extensive. His Letters were extraordinary, from their wit, fancy, and gaiety. They seemed to be the productions of a youth of twenty, rather than a man upwards of sixty years of age. Of his various compositions his Letters were pre-eminent.
“ Notwithstanding his talents and acquirements, he had a rare humility for an author, being ready at all times to adopt the suggestions of his friends, in preference to his own expressions. Of this he gave a striking proof, in permitting me to
. expunge some unpleasant reflections on a deceased comment-, ator on Shakspeare, for whom I had a great respect, and whom he had treated somewhat too cavalierly.
« On the suggestion of a gentleman on whose judgment he had great reliance, he destroyed one of his early productions, on which he had bestowed much labour.
“ Mr. Hardinge, like the generality of mankind, was not without his failings. Men of genius are often negligent in concerns they deem trivial. Anxious as he was that his own literary productions should be preserved, his inattention to their preservation is much to be lamented.
“ Those who were in habits of intimacy with him must have experienced the frequency with which he requested the loan of books; and sometimes the difficulty of recovering them from what he called “the Chaos of his library.'
66 But, whatever were his merits or his defects, they were greatly overbalanced by his active benevolence. By ardent zeal and perseverance he obtained immense sums by subscription, for such persons as he thought worthy of his protection. This activity of friendship, almost always successful, was the principal feature in his character. It was wholly disinterested; it was noble and ought to be held forth to general example.”
We lament exceedingly that the circumscribed limits of our review will not afford space sufficient to enter into a detailed account of the various productions contained in these three volumes. We willingly, however, bear testimony to that high sense of delicacy, which induced his worthy biographer to suppress the papers reflecting on Mr. Malone, and his literary labours.
the Admiralty, and died suddenly in A.
1762, while walking in his garden, at
his seat (Moor Park) in the county of ANSON, Right Honourable Thomas, Hertford. At the very period when Lord Viscount Anson, of Shugborough this melancholy event took place, a and Orgrave, in the county of Stafford, patent was actually making out for the Baron Soberton, of Soberton, in Hamp- express purpose of creating his lordship shire, LL.D.
a viscount, with remainder to his sister's Lord Viscount Anson, born February son, George Adams, Esq., of Orgrave, 17, 1767, was great-nephew to that in Staffordshire. bold and fortunate circumnavigator, who, This gentleman and his issue, in purafter taking an immense Spanish gal- suance of a will of another uncle, by leon, loaded with treasure, returned to license under royal sign manual, dated England with wealth sufficient to enrich April 30, 1773, were authorised to take both himself and the gallant crew, in the and assume the arms of Anson. After sole remaining ship.
this he represented, first, the borough of While Commodore George Anson, Saltash, and afterwards the City of Lichhe married Eliza, daughter of Philip, field, in several parliaments. In 1763 Earl of Hardwicke, Lord High Chan- Mr. Anson married Mary, daughter of cellor of Great Britain. He was soon George Venables Vernon, first Lord appointed one of the Lords Commis- Vernon, by whom he had issue. sioners of the Admiralty; he next Thomas Anson, Esq., his eldest son, undertook a cruise as an admiral, and, on the demise of his father, succeeded in 1747, proved victorious against a to the family estates, and on September French fleet, commanded by M. Jon- 14, 1794, married Anne Margaret, quire, an officer of considerable talents second daughter of Thomas William and address, whose flag was flying on Coke, of Holkham, in the county of board the Invincible. On ascending Norfolk, Esq., descended, by the female the quarter-deck, and presenting his side, from the famous Lord Chief sword to the English admiral, he paid Justice of the same name, by whom he him the following eloquent compliment : has had a very numerous issue. By “ Monsieur, vous avez vaincu l'Invin- letters patent, dated February 17, 1806, “ cible, et la gloire vous suit.”
when Mr. Fox came again into power, Immediately after this he was created His Majesty, on the intervention of that Baron of Soberton; in 1751 he was statesman, was most graciously pleased nominated first Lord Commissioner of to extend to him the ancient honours