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MEMOIR OF THE LATE FRANCIS HOR
NER, ESQ. M. P.
most unimpeachable honour. Where now, alas ! shall good men search for,
or searching find, a union so inestimOf the many eminent and good men able of intellectual and moral excels whom Great Britain may proudly lence, to cheer their hopes, and conboast of having produced,—who have firm their virtuous purposes, in these dedicated their lives to the service of times of political difficulty and of rethe state,--and have ministered to the laxing principle. improvementand the happiness of their Splendid, however, as these his pubcountrymen, not less by the exercise lic virtues were, the knowledge of of splendid talents in the public coun them served only to enhance the pleacils of the nation, than by the bright sure, which it was the peculiar happiexample they have afforded in private ness of his relations and friends to enlife, of inflexible integrity, and the joy, from the contemplation of his pripractice of every amiable virtue, there vate worth. Dutiful, effectionate, and is certainly not one whose death has social; gentle, cheerful, and unassumexcited a deeper or more universal re- ing; full of kindness and full of charigret, than that of Mr Francis Hor- ty; he was the joy and pride of his
To the nation at large, as well family, dear to every friend, and a peras to those fortunate, though now af. fect pattern of goodness in all the reflicted, individuals, who were attached lations of domestic life. For these sorto him by the dearer ties of consan- rowing individuals, this only consolaguinity and friendship, the loss of this tion now remains,--silently to dwell excellent man is indeed irreparable. on the remembrance of his numerous
Statesmen beheld in him an exam- virtues, and to fix the love of them ple ever to be admired, and ever to be for ever on their hearts. emulated, of great parts, and still great
Of the exalted estimation in whichi er worth, wholly and sincerely devoted Mr Horner's character was univers to the attainment of the noblest of sally held, no testimony can be more objects,--our country's good, and the gratifying or more unequivocal, than general improvement of mankind. It the tone of deep 'and feeling regret was their delight to contemplate, in with which his death was announced this highly-gifted individual, a coin in all the public prints; and the strain bination almost without a parallel,-of of unexampled eulogy which was every virtue, and every acquirement, poured forth on his high attainments, which can dignify and adorn the char- and his generous nature, in the House acter of a public man ;-a powerful of Commons, by political opponents as understanding, -various and profound well as by private friends, on the meknowledge, a sound and penetrating lancholy occasion of moving for a new judgment,-original and enlightened writ for the borough which he repreviews, -a correct and elegant taste, sented in Parliament. an impressive yet modest eloquence, The following paragraph, admirable a fervent but chastened zeal,---never- alike for its elegance and its truth, failing discretion,-a high and inde- appeared in the Morning Chronicle of pendent feeling, -and, above all, a Friday, the 28th of February 1817.
“ It is with deep concern we have I am authorised in saying that the to announce the death of Francis Hora
course is not wholly unprecedented. ner, Esq. Member of Parliament for My lamented friend, of whom I St Mawes. This melancholy event never can speak without feelings of the took place at Pisa on the 8th instant. deepest regret, had been rendered inWe have had seldom to lament a capable for some time past, in consegreater loss, or to bewail a mere irre- quence of the bad state of his health, parable calainity: With an is flexible of applying himself to the labours of integrity, and ardent attachment to his profession, or to the discharge of liberty, Mr Florner, conjoined a tem- his parliamentary duties.
He was peranocava discretion mõt‘always found. .prevailed upon to try the effects of a to accompany these virtues. The:res: : milder and more genial climate—the pect in which he was held, and the bope was vain, and the attempt fruitdeference with which he was listened less : he sunk beneath the slow but to in the House of Commons, is a destructive effect of a lingering disstriking proof of the effect of moral ease, which baffled the power of mequalities in a popular assembly. With- dicine and the influence of climate ; out the adventitious aids of station or but under the pressure of increasing fortune, he had acquired a weight and infirmity, under the infliction of a deinfluence in Parliament, which few bilitating and exhausting malady, he men, whose lives were passed in op- preserved undiminished the serenity position, have been able to obtain ; and of his amiable temper, and the comfor this consideration he was infinitely posure, the vigour, and firmness of his less indebted to his eloquence and excellent and enlightened understandtalents, eminent as they were, than to ing: I may, perhaps, be permitted; the opinion universally entertained of without penetrating too far into the his public and private rectitude. His more sequestered paths of private life, understanding was strong and com to allude to those mild virtues--those prehensive, his knowledge extensive domestic charities, which embellished and accurate, his judgment sound and while they dignified his private charclear, his conduct plain and direct. acter. I may be permitted to observe, His eloquence, like his character, was that, as a son and as a brother, he was grave and forcible, without a particle eminently dutiful and affectionate; of vanity or presumption, free from but I am aware that these qualities, rancour and personality, but full of however amiable, can hardly, with deep and generous indignation against strict propriety, be addressed to the fraud, hypocrisy, or injustice.-He consideration of Parliament. When, was a warm, zealous, and affectionate however, they are blended, interwoven, friend-high-minded and disinterested and incorporated in the character of á in his conduct-firm and decided in public man, they become a species of his opinions--modest and unassuming public property, and, by their influin his manners. To his private friends ence and example, essentially augment his death is a calamity they can never the general stock of public virtue. cease to deplore. To the public it is a “ For his qualifications as a public loss not easily to be repaired, and, in man I can confidently appeal to a wider times like these, most severely to be circle-to that learned profession of felt.”
which he was a distinguished ornaIn the House of Commons, on Mon- ment to this House, where his exerday, March 3d, 1817, Lord Mor- tions will be long remembered with Peth rose, and spoke as follows: mingled feelings of regret and admi“ I rise to move that the speaker do ration. It is not necessary for me to issue his writ for a new member to enter into the detail of his graver serve in Parliament for the borough of studies and occupations. I may be St Mawes, in the room of the late allowed to say generally, that he raisFrancis Horner, Esq.
ed the edifice of his fair fame upon a “ In making this motion, I trust it good and solid foundation--upon the will not appear presumptuous or offi- firm basis of conscientious principle. cious, if I address a few words to the He was ardent in the pursuit of truth ; House upon this melancholy occasion. he was inflexible in his adherence to I am aware that it is rather an unusual the great principles of justice and of course; but, without endeavouring to right. Whenever he delivered in this institute a parallel with other instances, House the ideas of his clear and intel
ligent mind, he employed that chaste, hope I shall stand acquitted, but for: simple, but at the same time, nervous having paid so imperfect and inadeand impressive style of oratory which quate a tribute to the memory of my seemed admirably adapted to the elu- departed friend.” cidation and discussion of important Mr CANNING.--" Of all theinstances business : it seemed to combine the wherein the same course has been aforce and precision of legal argument dopted, as that which my Noble Friend with the acquirements and knowledge has pursued with so much feeling and of a statesman.
good taste on this occasion, I do not “Of his political opinions it is not remember one more likely than the necessary for me to enter into any de present to conciliate the general approtailed statement; they are sufficiently bation and sympathy of the House. known, and do not require from me “I, Sir, had not the happiness (a hapany comment or illustration. I am piness now counterbalanced by a proconfident that his political opponents portionate excess of sorrow and regret) will admit, that he never courted po to be acquainted personally, in private pularity by any unbecoming or un- life, with the distinguished and amiworthy means; they will have the able individual whose loss we have to candour to allow, that the expression deplore. I knew him only within the of his political opinions, however firm, walls of the House of Commons. And manly, and decided, was untinctured even here, from the circumstance of with moroseness, and unembittered my absence during the last two seswith any personal animosity or rancor- sions, I had not the good fortune to ous reflection. From these feelings he witness the later and more matured was effectually exempted by the opera, exhibition of his talents; which (as I tion of those qualities which formed am informed, and can well believe) at the grace and the charm of his private once kept the promise of his earlier life.
years, and opened still wider expecta« But successful as his exertions tions of future excellence. were, both in this House and in the “ But I had seen enough of him to Courts of Law, considering the con- share in those expectations, and to be tracted span of his life, they can only sensible of what this House and the be looked upon as the harbingers of his country have lost by his being so prematurer fame, as the presages and the maturely taken from us. anticipations of a more exalted reputa “ He had, indeed, qualifications emi. tion. But his career was prematurely nently caloulated to obtain and to dea closed. That his loss to his family serve success. His sound principles and his friends is irreparable, can be his enlarged views_his various and readily conceived; but I may add, that accurate knowledge the even tenor to this House and the country it is a of his manly and temperate eloquence loss of no ordinary magnitude; in these -the genuineness of his warmth, when times it will be severely felt. In these into warmth he was betrayed-and, times, however, when the structure of above all, the singular modesty with the constitution is undergoing close which he bore his faculties, and which and rigorous investigation, on the part shed a grace and lustre over them all ; of some with the view of exposing its these qualifications, added to the known defects, on the part of others with that blamelessness and purity of his private of displaying its beauties and perfec- character, did not more endear him to tions, we may derive some consolation his friends, than they commanded the from the reflection, that a man not respect of those to whom he was oppossessed of the advantages of heredi- posed in adverse politics; they ensurtary rank or of very ample fortune, ed to every effort of his abilities an atwas enabled, by the exertion of his tentive and favouring audience; and own honourable industry-by the suc secured for him, as the result of all, a cessful cultivation of his native talents, solid and unenvied reputation. to vindicate to himself a station and “ I cannot conclude, sir, without ademinence in society, which the proud- verting to a topic in the latter part of est and wealthiest might envy and ad- the speech of my Noble Friend, upon mire.
which I most entirely concur with “ I ought to apologize to the House, him. It would not be seemly to mix not, I trust, for having introduced the with the mournful subject of our presubject to their notice, for of that I sent contemplation any thing of a con
troversial nature ; but when, for the tigable industry, and stern integrity, second time within a short course of must be a severe public loss; but no years, the name of an obscure borough man, who has not had the happiness is brought before us as vacated by the the blessing, I might say—to have loss of conspicuous talents and charac- known him as a friend ; who has not ter,* it may be permitted to me, with witnessed the many virtues and enmy avowed and notorious opinions on dearing qualities that characterized him the subject of Parliamentary Constitu- in the circle of his acquaintance, can tion, to state, without offence, that it adequately conceive the irreparable is at least some consolation for the im- chasm in private life this lamentable puted theoretical defects of that con event has made. stitution, that in practice it works so “In my conscience, I believe, there well. A system of representation can never lived the man, of whom it could not be wholly vicious, and altogether more truly be said, that, whenever he inadequate to its purposes, which sends was found in public life, he was reto this House a succession of such men spected and admired—whenever he was as those whom we have now in our known in private life, he was most af remembrance, here to develope the ta- fectionately beloved. lents with which God has endowed “ I will no longer try the patience them, and to attain that eminence in of the House: I was anxious, indeed, the view of their country, from which that they should bear with me for a they may be one day called to aid her few moments, whilst I endeavoured, counsels, and to sustain her greatness not to add my tribute to the regard and her glory.”
and veneration in which his memory Mr MANNERS Sutton.--" I know ought, and assuredly will be held; not whether I ought, even for a mo
but whilst I endeavoured, however ment, to intrude myself on the House: feebly, to discharge a debt of gratiI am utterly incapable of adding any tude, and do a justice to my own feelthing to what has been so well, so ings.” feelingly, and so truly stated on this Mr Wynn said, “ that his Noble melancholy occasion ; and yet I hope, Friend (Lord Morpeth), and his Right without the appearance of presump- Hon. Friend who had last spoken (Mr tion, I may be permitted to say, from M. Sutton), had expressed themselves the bottom of my heart, I share in concerning their departed friend with every sentiment that has been ex that feeling of affection and esteem pressed.
which did them so much honour, and “ It was my good fortune, some few which was heightened by their habits years back, to live in habits of great in- of intimacy, and their opportunities of timacy and friendship with Mr Hor- observing his character ; but the vira ner: change of circumstances, my tues by which he was distinguished quitting the profession to which we were not confined within the circle of both belonged, broke in upon those his acquaintance, or concealed from habits of intercourse ; but I hope and the view of the world. Every one who believe I may flatter myself the feeling saw Mr Horner had the means of was mutual. For myself, at least, I judging of his temper, his mildness, can most honestly say, that no change and his personal virtues; for they were of circumstances-no difference of po seen by all. He carried with him to litics--no interruption to our habits public life, and into the duties and the of intercourse, even in the slightest business of his public station, all that degree diminished the respect, the re- gentleness of disposition, all that amegard, and the affection I most sincerely nity of feeling, which adorned his prientertained for him.
vate life, and endeared him to his pri“This House can well appreciate the vate friends. Amidst the heats and heavy loss we have sustained in him contests of the House, amidst the veas a public man. In these times, in- hemence of political discussion, amidst deed in all times, so perfect a combi- the greatest conflicts of opinion and nation of commanding talents, indefa- opposition of judgment, he maintained
the same mildness and serenity of dis* Mr Windham, who represented St position and temper. No eagerness of Mawes in 1806, died member for Higham debate, no warmth of feeling, no enFerrers in 1810.
thusiasm for his own opinions, or con