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dear miss Talbot, that I cannot forbear writing you some account of myself. I am tolerably well; and my spirits, though low, are very composed. With the deepest feeling of my owo unspeakable loss of one of the dearest and most invaluable blessings of my life, I am to the highest degree thankful to the Divine goodness for removing her from the multiplied and aggravated sufferings, which, in a longer struggle with such a distemper, must have been unavoidable. The calm and peaceable sorrow of tenderness and affection, sweetly alleviated by the joyful assurance of her happiness, is a delightful sentiment compared with what I have suffered for these last two or three months.
A few days before her death, she was seized with a sudden hóarseness and cough, which seemed the effect of a cold, and from which bleeding relieved her; but there remained an oppression from phlegm which was extremely troublesome. to her.
On the ninth, this sympo tom increased; and she appeared heavy and sleepy, which was attributed to an opiate she had taken the night before. I staid with her till she went to bed, with an intention of going afterwards into her room; but I was told she was asleep. I went away about nine. In less than an hour, she waked; and after the struggle of scarcely a minute, it pleased God to remove her pious soul from its mortal sufferings to that Heaven for which her life had been an uninterrupted preparation. Never surely was there a lovelier pattern of evangelical goodness, decorated by all the ornaments of a highly improved understanding, and recommended by a sweetness of temper, an elegance and a politeness of manners, of a peculiar and more engaging kind than in any other character I ever knew,
I am just returned from seeing all that was mortal of my angelic friend deposited in the earth. I do not mean that I went in ceremony, which would have been too strong a trial for my spirits; but privately with two other of her intimate friends. I felt it would be a comfort to me, on that most solemn occasion, to thank Al. mighty God for delivering her from her sufferings, and to implore his assistance in preparing myself to follow her. Little, alas ! infinitely too little, have I yet profited by the blessing of such an example. God grant that her memory, which I hope will ever survive in my heart, may produce a happier effect!
Adieu, my dear friend! God bless you ! and conduct us both to that happy assembly, where the spirits of the just shall dread no future separation! And may we both remember this awful truth, that we can hope to die the death of the righteous only by resembling their lives.
Deal, June 3, 1778. Our two letters I believe, my dear Mrs. Vesey, met each other on the road: and it is pleasant to think that perhaps at the same instant they conveyed to us our affectionate remembrance of each other. I have been about ten days settled in my little quiet abode; and very thankful I am for such a habitation, I had the : happiness you kindly wished me of finding my friends, I thank God, very well. Amidst all the gratitude which I owe, and which I can never sufficiently pay, to Heaven, for the greater number of those who still survive, I feel much dejection at missing those who once
used to welcome my return, and now welcome it no more! But they, I trust, are at peace. And this thought would give me unabated comfort, if the same arguments that convince the understanding, and awe the mind to resignation, could subdue the fond affections of the heart, which retains its weak regrets,
“Sol perche troppo sente, e poco crede." Yet perhaps the evil would be worse, if the objects of our tenderness could be replaced, and new engagements make us entirely forget those that are suspended by the stroke of death. The world would then hold us in everlasting chains, and we should lose one powerful motive for looking forward to the prospect of a better. Every infliction of Providence in this world, is graciously designed to animate our endeavours for that where sorrow shall be no more. In the mean time, let me comfort myself in the thought that the survivers are the only mourners; and that the spirits of the friends who are at present removed from their society, are possessed of a degree of happiness infinitely superior to all that the fondest affection of the families to whom they were so dear, could procure for them in a world like this..
My mind, at present too much disposed to sinking, particularly felt, what at any time would have given me pain, your seeming to raise a doubt of your coming to England. But I will hope it was only a transient cloud passing over your own mind. Public affairs do indeed carry a threatening appearance : but you
and I remember when the danger was as great, or perhaps greater ; when a rebel army was in the midst of the kingdom, and an invasion alarmed the extremities. That storm, God be thanked, blew happily over; and the same gracious
Providence may avert the present impending calamities, Qur national provocations against Heaven are very great; but there are, I trust, in the walks of private life, so many who proceed uniformly in a course of duty, that the proportion, one may hope, is much greater than that which would once have averted the stroke of Divine vengeance from a devoted city.
Write to me soon; and cheer my heart and spirits by the hopes of our meeting next year.
I am &c.
LETTERS TO AND FROM DR. HORNE,
AFTERWARDS BISHOP OF NORWICH.
LETTER I. Dr. Horne to Dr, Adam Smith*.-On the life, death,
and philosophy, of David Hume, esq. Sir,
You have been lately employed in embalming a philosopher; his body, I believe I must say: for concerning the other part of him, neither you nor he seems to have entertained an idea, sleeping or waking. Else, it surely might have claimed a little of your care and attention; and one would think, the belief of the soul's existence and immortality could do no harm, if it did no good, in a “ Theory of Moral Sentiments.” But every gentleman understands his own business best.
Will you do an unknown correspondent the honour, sir, to accept a few plain remarks, in a free, easy way, upon the curious letter to Mr. Strahan, in which this memorable operation of embalming is performed ? Our philosopher's account of his own life, shall likewise be considered as we go along.
Trust me, good doctor, I am no bigot, enthusiast, nor enemy
human learning. I have made many a hearty meal, in private, upon Cicero and Virgil, as well as Mr. Hume. Few persons, though perhaps, as Mr.
* Author of “ Theory of Moral Sentiments," “ Inquiry into the nature and causes of the Wealth of Nations,” &c.