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and not unacquainted with letters or with life, undertook to persuade Lyttelton, as he had persuaded himself, that he was master of the secret of punctuation; and, as fear begets credulity, he was employed, I know not at what price, to point the pages of Henry the Second. The book was at last pointed and printed, and sent into the world. Lyttelton took money for bis copy, of which, when he had paid the pointer, he probably gave the rest away; for he was very liberal to the indigent.
When time brought the history to a third edition, Reid was either dead or discarded; and the superintendence of typography and punctuation was committed to a man originally a comb-maker, but then known by the style of doctor. Something uncommon was probably expected, and something uncommon was at last done; for to the doctor's edition is appended, what the world had bardly seen before, a list of errors in nineteen pages.
But to politics and literature there must be an end. Lord Lyttelton had never the appearance of a strong or of a healthy man; he had a slender, uncompacted frame, and a meagre face; he lasted however sixty years, and was then seized with his last illness. Of his death, a very affecting and instructive account has been given by his physician, which will spare me the task of his moral character:
“On Sunday evening the symptoms of his lordship's disorder, which for a week past had alarmed us, put on a fatal appearance, and his lordship believed himself to be a dying
From this time he suffered by restlessness rather than pain; though his nerves were apparently much fluttered, his mental faculties never seemed stronger, when he was thoroughly awake.
“ His lordship's bilious and hepatic complaints seemed alone not equal to the expected mournful event; his long want of sleep, whether the consequence of the irritation in the bowels, or, which is more probable, of causes of a dif ferent kind, accounts for his loss of strength, and for his death, very sufficiently.
“Though his lordship wished his approaching dissolution not to be lingering, he waited for it with resignation. He said, 'It is a folly, a keeping me in misery, now to attempt
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to prolong life;' yet he was easily persuaded, for the satisfaction of others, to do or take any thing thought proper for him.' On Saturday he had been remarkably better, and we were not without some hopes of his recovery.
“On Sunday, about eleven in the forenoon, his lordship sent for me, and said he felt a great hurry, and wished to have a little conversation with me, in order to divert it. He then proceeded to open the fountain of that heart, from whence goodness had so long flowed, as from a copious spring. Doctor,' said he, ‘ you shall be my confessor: when I first set out in the world, I had friends who endeavoured to shake my belief in the Christian religion. I saw difficulties which staggered me; but I kept my mind open to conviction. The evidences and doctrines of Christianity, studied with attention, made me a most firm and persuaded believer of the Christian religion. I have made it the rule of my life, and it is the ground of my future hopes. I have erred and sinned; but have repented, and never indulged any vicious babit. In politics, and public life, I have made public good the rule of my conduct. I never gave counsels which I did not at the time think the best. I have seen that I was sometimes in the wrong; but I did not err designedly. I have endeavoured, in private life, to do all the good in my power, and never for a moment could indulge malicious or unjust designs upon any person whatsoever.'
“At another time he said, 'I must leave my soul, in the same state it was in before this illness; I find this a very inconvenient time for solicitude about any thing.'
“On the evening, when the symptoms of death came on, he said, 'I shall die; but it will not be your fault.' When lord and lady Valentia came to see his lordship, he gave them his solemn benediction, and said, “Be good, bė vir. tuous, my lord; you must come to this.' Thus he continued giving his dying benediction to all around him. On Monday morning a lucid interval gave some small hopes, but these vanished in the evening; and he continued dying, but with very little uneasiness, till Tuesday morning, August 22, when, between seven and eight o'clock, he expired, almost without a groan,"
His lordship was buried at Hagley; and the following inscription is cut on the side of his lady's monument:
This unadorned stone was placed liere
GEORGE LORD LYTTELTON,
Lord Lyttelton's poems are the works of a man of literature and judgment, devoting part of his time to versification. They have nothing to be despised, and little to be admired. Of his Progress of Love, it is sufficient blame to say that it is pastoral. His blank verse in Blenheim has neither much force nor much elegance. His little perform. ances, whether songs or epigrams, are sometimes sprightly, and sometimes insipid. His epistolary pieces have a smooth equabiliig, which cannol much tire, because they are short, but which seldom elevates or surprises. But from this censure ought to be excepted his Advice to Be. linda, which, though for the most part written when he was very young, contains much truth and much prudence, very elegantly and vigorously expressed, and shews a mind attentive to life, and a power of poetry which cultivation might have raised to excellence.