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and to the estimation in which he was held. In every part of the civilized world, which he traversed to reduce the sum of human misery, from the throne to the dungeon, his name was mentioned with respect, gratitude, and admiration. His modesty alone defeated various efforts which were made during his life, to erect this statue, which the public has now consecrated to his memory. He was born at Hackney, in the County of Middlesex, Sept. 2d, 1726. The early part of his life he spent in retirement, residing principally upon his paternal estate, at Cardington, in Bedfordshire; for which County he served the office of Sheriff, in the year 1773. He expired at Cherson, in Russian Tartary, on the 20th Jan. 1790, a victim to the perilous and benevolent attempt to ascertain the cause of, and find an efficacious remedy for the plague. He trod an open and unfrequented path to immortality, in the ardent and unremitted exercise of Christian charity. . May th’ tribute to his fame excite an emulation of his truly glorious achievements.
As the time and place of Howard's birth are specified in this epitaph, it only remains to speak of his parentage. His father was a reputable citizen of London, who kept a warehouse for carpeting and upholstery in Long Lane, Smithfield. He died while his son was yet a boy, but left him, and an only sister, provided with easy fortunes. Notwithstanding the sufficiency of his means, however, young Howard received no better instructions than are ordinarily given to the child of a tradesman: his guardians were men of business, and seem not to have entertained a higher destination for him, than that of being as good a man as his father had been, and after the same way. With these views they apprenticed him to a wholesale grocer, but various
circumstances fortunately prevented him from completing the service. His health, naturally delicate, was much affected by the confinement imposed upon him; the dull routine of his occupations, lightened by no variety, and endeared by no information, disgusted the activity of his mind, and after some remonstrances, he bought up his indentures, and set out for the Continent, where he made a tour of France and Italy. Returning to England, with health improved, but by no means confirmed, he fixed his abode at Stoke Newington, in the house of . Mrs. Lardeau. This lady had been an invalid for some years; and either from the force of habit, or the impulse of sympathy, was induced to make Mr. Howard's residence with her agreeable by all that assiduity of delicate attentions which a woman can always make so charming, and which those only who have felt its gratefulness can fully appreciate. That this conduct was disinterested, is stated in all the accounts, and it appears but natural that it should have been so: the widow was broken with infirmities, and double his age. With all these drawbacks, however, she captivated the heart of the young friend to the cause of humanity; he tendered his hand for her acceptance, and, after some little remonstrance, and partial hesitation, they were married during the year 1752. She had a small fortune, which he good-naturedly bestowed upon her sister—without a doubt, to the additional satisfaction of both parties. - - Of those early habits by which, in some instances, the character of future greatness has been prematurely indicated, there is nothing known in the case of John Howard. However strongly the propensities of his mind may have been indicated, or the bias of his actions declared, there was no one to take an interest in tracing the developement, and thus the story of his growing philanthropy is lost to the world. Nor is there much preserved that is distinctive of his habits in the first stage of manhood. We are only told that he read with deep attention, and used to mount his pony with a book in his hand, and diverge into a common, where the animal was suffered to graze about at its leisure, until he finished the volume. Moral and scientific subjects chiefly occupied his attention, and his attainments, if not profound, were various and respectable. He cultivated an aco
quaintance with the Royal Society, and was honoured with a Fellowship in it during the year 1755. After a cohabitation of three years his wife died, and he devoted a year to privacy and regret. But his mind had no sooner recovered its elasticity, than he projected an excursion, admirably distinctive of the virtues which characterised his subsequent travels. Lisbon had just been overwhelmed by the great earthquake; and Howard resolved to visit the scene of devastation, investigate its phenomena, and ascertain its effects. His friends employed all their influence to dissuade him from an undertaking full of perils, amongst which the liability of being taken by privateers, for we were then at war with France, was one of the most imminent. But Howard was at all times remarkable for the firmness with which he adhered to his resolutions; in the present case he turned an indifferent ear to remonstrances, and set personal convenience at defiance. He set sail in 1756, and was almost immediately captured. Being thrown into prison, he had to bear some of those hardships, and to witness most of those distresses, which it occupied so great a portion of his life to correct and alleviate. From the experience which this casualty involved, it may not be amiss to conjecture that he was first led to ingratiate himself with the endearments of philanthropy. His own words upon the point are, “Perhaps what I suffered on this occasion increased, if it did not call forth, my sympathy with the unhappy people whose cause is the subject of this work.” It is at least certain, that he made his first efforts in the cause immediately after his liberation, by laying an account of the misfortunes he became acquainted with before the Commissioners of sick and wounded. It is impossible to say that any good resulted from it: the representation, as we are told, was acknowledged with thanks, and that is more than similar aspirations always receive. He now settled at Brokenhurst, near Lymington, a retired but picturesque situation, and led the life of a studious country gentleman until the year 1758, when he married Harriet, the only daughter of Edward Leeds, Esq., a sergeant at law, who resid. ed at Croxton, in Cambridgeshire. Several years of domestic enjoyment succeeded; but those are intervals the most uninviting to treat upon, though the most engaging to experience. The