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motive to these exertions I am competent to judge, and can affirm, without a doubt, that it was the same which actuated him throughout, an ardent desire to employ his faculties in the way, whatever it might be, in which he could most contribute to the good of his country and the general interests of mankind.
With regard to his politics, I feel a great unwillingness to be wholly silent on the subject; and at the same time much difficulty in treating it with propriety, when I consider to whom I am addressing myself: I am sensible that those principles upon which in any other place I should not hesitate to pronounce an unqualified eulogium may be thought by some, perhaps by the majority of this house, rather to stand in need of apology and exculpation than to form a proper subject for panegyric: but even in this view I may be allowed to offer a few words in favour of my departed friend. I believe few, if any of us, are so infatuated with the extreme notions of philosophy, as not to feel a partial veneration for the principles, some leaning even to the prejudices, of the ancestors, especially if they were of any note, from whom we are respectively descended. Such biases are always, as I suspect, favourable to the cause of patriotism and public virtue: I am sure, at least, that in Athens and Rome they were so considered. No man had ever less of family pride, in the bad sense, than the Duke of Bedford; but he had a great and just respect for his ancestors. Now, if upon the principle to which I have alluded, it was in Rome thought excusable in one of the Claudii to have, in conformity with the general manners of their race, something too much of an aristocratical pride and haughtiness, surely in this country it is not unpardonable in a Russell to be zealously attached to the rights of the subject, and peculiarly tenacious of the popular parts of our constitution. It is excusable, at least, in one who numbers among his ancestors the great Earl of Bedford, the patron of Pym, and the friend of Hampden; not to be wondered at, if a descendant of Lord Russell should feel more than common horror for arbitrary power, and a quick, perhaps even a jealous, discernment of any approach or tendency in the system of government to that dreaded evil. But whatever may be our differences in regard to principles, I trust there is no member of this house who is not liberal enough to do justice to upright conduct even in a political adversary. Whatever, therefore, may be thought of those principles to which I have alluded, the political conduct of my much lamented friend must be allowed by all to have been manly, consistent, and sincere.
It now remains for me to touch upon the last melancholy scene in which this excellent man was to be exhibited: and to all those who admire his character, let it be some consolation that his exit was in every respect conformable to his past life. I have already noticed that prosperity could not corrupt him: he had now to undergo a trial of an opposite nature. But in every instance he was alike true to his character; and in moments of extreme bodily pain and approaching dissolution, when it might be expected that a
man's every feeling would be concentrated in his personal sufferings—his every thought occupied by the awful event impending—even in these moments he put by all selfish considerations; kindness to his friends was the sentiment still uppermost in his mind, and he employed himself to the last hour of his life in making the most considerate arrangements for the happiness and comfort of those who were to survive him. While in the enjoyment of prosperity he had learned and practised all those milder virtues which adversity alone is supposed capable of teaching; and in the hour of pain and approaching death had the calmness and serenity which are thought to belong exclusively to health and of a mind at ease. If I have taken an unusual, and possibly an irregular, course upon this extraordinary occasion, I am confident the house will pardon me. They will forgive something, no doubt, to warmth of private friendship, to sentiments of gratitude, which I must feel, and, whenever I have an opportunity, must express, to the latest hour of my life. But the consideration of public utility, to which I have so much adverted as the ruling principle in the mind of my friend, will weigh far more with them. They will in their wisdom acknowledge, that to celebrate and perpetuate the memory of great and meritorious individuals, is, in effect, an essential service to the community. It was not, therefore, for the purpose of performing the pious office of friendship, by fondly strewing flowers upon his tomb, that I have drawn your attention to the Duke of Bedford: the motive that actuates me is one more suitable to what were his views. It is, that this great character
may be strongly impressed upon the minds of all who hear me ;—that they may see it—that they may feel it—that they may discourse of it to their children, and hold it up to the imitation of pos- -terity. If he could now be sensible to what passes here below, sure I am, that nothing could give him so much satisfaction as to find that we are endeavouring to make his memory and example, as he took care his life should be, useful to mankind.
I will conclude with applying to the present occasion a beautiful passage from the speech of a very young orator*. It may be thought, perhaps, to savour too much of the sanguine views of youth to stand the test of a rigid philosophical inquiry: but it is at least cheering and consolatory, and that in this instance it may be exemplified is, I am confident, the sincere wish of every man who hears me :—" Crime," says he, " is a curse only to the period in which it is successful; but Virtue, whether fortunate or otherwise, blesses not only its own age, but remotest posterity, and is as beneficial by its example as by its immediate effects." Rt. Hon. c. J. Fox.
THE VENERABLE BEDE.
The great and justest boast of this monastery (Lindisfarm) is the venerable Beda, who was educated and spent his whole life there. An account of his writings is an account of the Eng
• Essay on the progressive Improvement of Mankind; an oration delivered in the chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, December 17, 1798, by the Honourable William Lamb.
lish learning in that age, taken in its most advantageous view. Many of his works remain, and he wrote both in prose and verse, and upon all sorts of subjects. His theology forms the most considerable part of his writings. He wrote comments upon almost the whole Scripture, and several Homilies on the principal festivals of the church. Both the comments and sermons are generally allegorical in the construction of the text, and simply moral in the application. In these discourses several things seem strained and fanciful; but herein he followed entirely the manner of the earlier fathers, from whom the greatest part of his divinity is not so much imitated as extracted. The systematic and logical method, which seems to have been first introduced into theology by John of Damascus, and which was afterwards known by the name of school divinity, was not then in use, at least in the Western Church; though soon after it made an amazing progress. In this scheme the allegorical gave way to the literal explication; the imagination had less scope; and the affections were less touched. But it prevailed by an appearance more solid and philosophical; by an order more scientific; and by a readiness of application, either for the solution or the exciting of doubts and difficulties.
They also cultivated in this monastery the study of natural philosophy and astronomy. There remains of Beda one entire book, and some scattered essays on these subjects. This book, de Rerum Naturd, is concise and methodical, and contains no very contemptible abstract of the