LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
William Roscoe to Lord Holland, [September? 1806]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“I well know the poignancy of domestic grief is, on this occasion, enhanced by the consideration of the public loss of such a man, at such a juncture of time—a man in whom the nation seemed at length to have reposed its hopes and its confidence, and who was pre-eminently qualified, both by his talents and his disposition, to relieve her from the complicated evils in which she has, by a long course of misconduct, been involved. In this point of view, there have been few, if any, instances, where the sudden loss of great talents may be considered as so strikingly untimely and unfortunate. But although this must be the first and natural impression on such an event, yet a due reflection will induce us to moderate our anxiety, and convince us that the expressions, ‘untimely and unfortunate,’ apply only to our own narrow conceptions and bounded views, and that, under the direction of Providence, the most alarming evils may not only be averted, but may become the instruments of good. Without this consoling hope, our present prospects would be dark indeed.


“Among the many great and striking endowments of Mr. Fox, there is one in particular to which I cannot help adverting, and which I trust will still continue to animate all those who have admired him in public, or loved him in private life. I mean that deep and intimate feeling for human nature, which has generally been estranged from the bosom of statesmen, but which was with him a part of his existence, ever actuating him to alleviate the evils, to vindicate the rights, to soften the calamities, and to increase, by every means in his power, the happiness of mankind. In this respect he is not lost to us. As long as our language remains, the powerful effusions of his mind will continue to improve and enlighten his countrymen, and to diffuse a milder and more benevolent spirit, not only in the recesses of private life, but in the direction of nations and the intercourse of states.

“This, my dear Lord, is his great and lasting praise; and if we are not wanting to ourselves in pursuing the track which his genius and his virtues have pointed out to us, we may yet, in some degree, recompense ourselves for the great but inevitable loss which, in the common course of nature, we must, at one time or other, have had to sustain.

“The preservation of his speeches, in their best and most authentic form, is a sacred duty, which, I doubt not, will be most religiously observed.
It is here that he still lives and breathes; nor is there a single question essential to the great interests of mankind, but we can still resort to these invaluable records, as to his living self, for those liberal ideas, those extensive views, those impartial estimates of public conduct, those bold vindications of natural and political rights, those humane suggestions on behalf of all who suffer from injustice or oppression, which seem to have been the spontaneous result of his generous spirit and exalted mind, and which will secure to him the love and admiration of all future times.”