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was exceeding averse from giving advice. His mind and habits were of a practical turn; and as he shrunk from responsibility, and was diffident of his own opinion, he was rather willing to follow in the path marked out by others, than to suggest the line which should be pursued. He was also more and more engaged in managing his father's affairs, some of which were of a perplexing nature: and his desire to be useful made him take an active part in some public charities, particularly in the the Magdalen, and in Bridewell and Bethlem Hospitals. In private charity, too, and in affording assistance to friends who were in distress, he was ready to be employed, and an expression which he used in a letter to his father, when he wished to relieve a person in embarrassed circumstances, may serve to show his general feeling upon such a subject: “'Tis very plain, (at least to my feelings,) that if such a man wants a few guineas, one ought to lend them; but the doubt with me is, at what precise number one ought to stop; if I had 100,0001. this doubt would be resolved.” His kind and active friendship on such occasions may perhaps be yet better described by a few words from the pen of his brother-in law, Mr. Charles Hanbury, a young man of brilliant talents and extraordinary attainments, and of the most amiable and affectionate disposition, who, while these were in their full bloom, was snatched away from the friends who tenderly loved him, and the society which he
was calculated to adorn. In a season of deep distress, he thus writes to one of his brothers. is impossible for me to describe the attention and affection of my dear Bowdler on this occasion. It would require the eloquence of an angel to do him justice. This affliction is, indeed, a fiery furnace, and burneth away all our dross; the little gold we have remains unhurt.”
To the characters of a dutiful son and a kind
a friend, were now to be added those of an affectionate husband, and a watchful parent and head of a family. In January, 1778, he married Harrietta, eldest daughter of John Hanbury, Esq., viceconsul of the English factory at Hamburg, by Elizabeth Harrietta, sister of Thomas Lawrence, M. D., some time president of the College of Physicians in London, and the intimate friend of Dr. Johnson. By this marriage Mr. Bowdler had ten children, four of whom were cut off in infancy, and of the remaining six, two who will be noticed hereafter, died, ante ora parentum, leaving a pleasing remembrance of whatsoever is
pure and of good report. Of her, who was for nearly five and forty years the kind companion, the loving and obedient wife, and faithful friend, it were an easy task to speak; and delightful it were to tell of her simplicity and sincerity, her Christian faith and humble piety, her calm unrepining submission, her entire forgetfulness of self, and controul over her
and lovely own wishes and desires; of her maternal solicitude and unvaried kindness ; of her ready charity to the poor, and active interest in the welfare of her friends. But the pen of the writer is checked by a fear, lest he offend the modesty he would pourtray, and a true description appear unfaithful and exaggerated to her whom he would most desire to please. Let him be permitted to breathe a prayer, that the life which has been mercifully prolonged to this day, may still be continued free from sorrow and from pain; and let him clothe his wishes for himself in the beautiful words of the poet, whose tenderness and chaste simplicity can never be too familiar: “ Me let the pleasing office long engage To rock the cradle of declining age; With lenient hand extend a mother's breath, Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death; Explore each thought, explain the asking eye, And keep awhile one parent from the sky.”
Mr. Bowdler's principles and moral conduct, at the time of his marriage, are thus described in a letter to Mrs.B., by the pen of one who knew him well, and would speak nothing but what he knew.
“ There is one thing which I must talk about a little, and that thing is your husband. All his acquaintance have undoubtedly spoken to you much in his favour, for all that know him esteem him. His sisters have, also, no doubt, sung his praises pretty sufficiently, and yet I think I am better qualified to speak of him than any body else, for in order to judge properly of a man, one should have a general acquaintance with the sex, which a woman cannot possibly have, for we are as totally disguised when we are in the company of women, as we are at a masquerade. I know him thoroughly, more so, indeed, than I know any man living; but during the time that I have been at college and elsewhere, I may safely say that I have been sufficiently acquainted with above a thousand men, to know their general character and way of life better than any woman could possibly have known it. After all this, I must say, that without any exception whatever, he is the best young man I
I ever knew.
He is one that the whole world could not tempt to do what he thought dishonourable. He has a warmth of heart and feelings which are seldom to be met with, and if (which I don't doubt) he is as much superior to other men as a lover, as he is in the character of a friend, you are most fortunate. Thiş I am confident is the case, though I don't assert it, because it is impossible for me to know it, and I will tell you nothing which I am not sure is truth. Of one thing I am sure, which is, that his heart is thoroughly yours. This I am sure, for he says so, and he is incapable of disguising his sentiments. I cannot leave this favourite subject without adding that, among all the young men I ever knew in my life, I never saw one (and I say it absolutely without exception) who possesses in such a degree those virtues which should render a man most dear to a woman of delicacy. I must tell you, in plain terms, that I never was so happy at any piece of news in my life, as I was at hearing of an event which will contribute so much to his happiness."
Some notice having been taken of Mr. Bowdler's younger friends, it may not be improper to mention the decease of a very different person, the Right Rev. Robert Gordon, who died in November 1779, at a very advanced age. Mr. Bowdler attended him with the unremitting kindness which was due to his father's old and intimate friend; and “ never," said he, “was I witness to such piety, " resignation, benevolence, and true politeness. He was a truly primitive bishop, a tender husband, a warm friend, and a fine gentleman ; and so pleasing in his manners, and unexceptionable in his conduct, that in spite of the inconveniences and insults to which his character and the times exposed him, he lived unmolested and respected by all who knew him."
Mr. Gordon was the last in the succession of English non-juring bishops, which had been continued from the Revolution. At that time the archbishop of Canterbury, with several of the bishops, and a large body of the clergy, refused, from conscientious scruples, to take the oaths of allegiance to King William, and were, therefore, expelled from their benefices. The succession, however, was preserved by consecrations performed by Bishops Lloyd, Turner, and White, and Dr. Hickes and Mr. Wagstaffe, together with several other persons distinguished for their learning and private worth, were advanced to the episcopate. It will often happen, that where a difference of opinion takes place between those who