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“ been precipitated, after I knew my danger, I should “ scarcely have dared to trust my own feelings : the “ necessity for instant preparation might have made * me dread the delusive tendency of sudden confi“ dence, but I have lived long enough since to re“ view my grounds for confidence, and I have un“ speakable comfort in assuring those I love, that I “ am daily more reconciled to leaving the world now, “ rather than at a later period.”
Many parts of his behaviour excited the most tender admiration ; but none more, than his quick and minute recollection upon all interesting points, under circumstances the most awful, and to him the most unexpected. Nothing was forgotten, which could tend to improve the folorn condition, or to soothe the various sufferings of those, who, in losing him, were soon to be deprived of their most valuable blessing
He sent for his eldest son, a youth of twelve years, with whom he conversed in language so tender, and so impressive, that it will probably have a very beneficial influence on his maturer life.
In a few days after this affecting interview, Rose who had himself felt an affection truly filial for his incomparable friend Cowper, expressed a strong
desire to embrace once more his second child, the godson, and the namesake of the beloved poet. Their meeting was tender, and even joyous, for the affectionate gaiety of Rose's heart adhered to him under all his sufferings, and in the intervals between his severer fits of bodily anguish, the native pleasantry of his spirit continued to animate his conversation. How much the feelings of the parent were agitated by the presence of a child so singularly endeared to him, we may conceive from his not obtaining any portion of sleep through the night, that followed their meeting
But all the earthly pains and pleasures of this interesting invalide were now hastily advancing to their close.
On the fourth day after his reception of the little Cowper ; Rose, observing that his pulse had sunk considerably, said to Dr. Frazer, who attended him: You think, Sir, it will soon be over ?"- "Yes! (replied his liberal, friendly, and sympathetic physician) you have not now long to suffer.”—“ I thank you, Sir, I am sincerely glad to hear it.”—“ I do believe you to be sincere in saying “ so; I am sure I do not alarm, but relieve you ; “ God bless you, my dear Sir. Be assured we shall meet again.”- " I feel confident, we shall meet again,” the dying sufferer replied with grateful energy; and tenderly added—“ Farewell, my dear Sir, in this world !”
This passed in the evening of the twentieth. The affectionate father spoke chearfully, once again, to his children, and desired to see a little sweetmeat distributed to them as an expression of kindness from him, before they retired for the night.
After ten o'clock his sufferings became more oppressive from encreasing expectoration. He then recommended his parting soul to God, and before twelve he expired without a struggle.
Thus perished in his thirty-eighth year, the man, whom Cowper had early encouraged to advance in every laudable pursuit, with a most lively hope, that his natural and acquired abilities would lead him to great professional eminence :—a hope invariably cherished by many of his friends, till they beheld it sink in the calamitous failure and extinction of health, and life.
Cowper's cordial esteem and tender solicitude for the prosperity of his young friend, have been ex tensively displayed in the Letters addressed to him, and may be manifested still farther by the following
billet, with which the poet introduced him soon after their first acquaintance, to one of his most tried and most faithful friends.
TO JOSEPH HILL, Esqr.
Weston-Underwood, Dec. 2, 1788. MY DEAR FRIEND,
I told you lately, that I had an ambition to introduce to your acquaintance my valuable friend, Mr. Rose. He is now before you. You will find him a person of genteel manners and agreeable conversation. As to his other virtues and good qualities, which are many, and such as are not often found in men of his years, I consign them over to your own discernment, perfectly sure, that none of them will escape you. I give you joy of each other, and remain, my dear old friend, most truly yours,
The gratitude and veneration of Rose towards the poet of Weston were like the feelings of an excellent son to a most affectionate and illustrious father. Whenever the talents and reputation of Cow per were mentioned in his presence, his eyes used to sparkle with a fond enthusiastic delight.
An ardent love of literature had ever been a
characteristic of Rose, and he gave a signal proof of it in the closing scene of his life, He had been requested to revise the collected works, and life of Goldsmith, published in 1801. In the course of his three weeks confinement to the bed of death, he corrected some inaccuracies in that interesting publication, and sent his corrections with the expressive farewell of a dying man to the publishers.
Had his days been as healthy and extensive as friendship wished them to be, his active spirit would probably have produced in his professional vacations various works of elegant literature. One of his literary projects was to revise and improve the translation of Sallust published by his father. I have his interleaved copy of this book, with a brief commencement of what he intended. He said a little before his death, “ that he meant to prefix to it a me“ moir of Dr. Rose. This, (he added) will now be “ done by a friend, who in speaking of my father, “ may give perhaps some account of his son.”
The continuance of human faculties is too precarious, especially in the evening of life, to authorize any great promises, but with the favour of Heaven, I may yet hope to render more justice, in a season of more leisure, to the social, and to the studi