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During the years 1799, and 1800, we find Dr. Geddes ardently prosecuting his great work, the translation of the Bible; but not without experiencing some pecuniary difficulties, out of which he was delivered by the generous exertions of his friends.
We are now approaching the conclusion of Dr. „Geddes's life, and are called to notice the decline of his
health, which was shaken by the hard treatment which he experienced, and not a little accelerated by the un
“ Here, for a moment, let me pause,
And think on the mysterious laws
expected death of Lord Petre. For the loss of such a friend, who can doubt the sincerity and poignancy of his sorrow? The elegant Latin elegy which he composed, weak and infirm in bed, on the melancholy occasion, is an evidence of the grateful feelings and distress of his mind. His remaining associates, however, were kind and consoling; and the speech of Mr. Timothy Brown, of Chiswell-street, on hearing that Dr. Geddes, 'by the death of Lord Petre, had sustained a diminution in his revenue, is at once creditable to his heart, and honourable to the English character in the active walks of life:-“ Providence,” said he, “ has given me wealth, but it has given Dr. Geddes talents: it is in his power to benefit the world by the exercise of those talents; and the little that I am called upon to perform is to encourage him in doing all the good of which such talents are capable. The liberal spirit of the late Lord Petre, however, descending to his noble heir, precluded the exercise of Mr. Brown's generosity.
It did not prove necessary that the stream of kindness should flow for any length of time to recruit the finances of Dr. Geddes. The existence of an incurable disorder was at length imparted by him to some professional men; who, while they sympathized with him in the excessive pain which he endured, were convinced that their skill would be unavailing. Its disease made a rapid progress; and that he himself was aware of the nearness of his dissolution is evident, from his elegy, Ad Umbram Gilberti Wakefield*, which was the last
* Wakefield died September 9th, 1801.
piece that ever proceeded from his pen. It thus concludes:
“ Nec ventura dies distat, qua stamine vitæ
Truncato, celeri te pede, Amice, sequar.
Paulatim emoriar--sed satis-umbra, vale!” -. This elegy was written October 12, 1801, and Dr.
Geddes died February 26, 1802, in the sixty-fifth year of his age; the rites of his own communion having been regularly administered to him, and received with great consolation on his part, by M. St. Martin, a Catholic clergyman, and confidential friend.
" Forman quidem ipsam, et tanquam faciem honesti viden
quæ si oculis cerneretur mirabiles amores (ut ait Plato') ex
citaret sapientiæ." - Tull. ** You see the very shape and countenance, as it were, of Virtue,
which, if it could be made the object of sight, would (as Plato says) excite in us a wonderful love of wisdom.”
Every day augments my admiration of LAVATER; he has not an hour's leisure, and the door of his closet is inever shut. Hither throng beggars asking charity, the afflicted, who seek consolation, travellers, who though they want neither, at least contribute to occupy his time. Besides, he visits the sick, not only of his own parish, but likewise of many others. This evening, after writing several letters, he took his hat, and requested me to accompany him. “ I should like to see where he is going to," thought I, and followed him.
We went out of one street into another, and, at length, through the gate of the town. We arrived at a small village, and entered-a-cottage. “.[s Anna yet alive" demanded Lavater, of an old-woman who came to meet us. “She scarcely breathes," replied she, with a flood of tears, and opened the door of a chamber, where I beheld, in a'bed, an aged and emaciated woman, whose wan and livid countenance bespoke the near approach of death. Two boys and two girls stood round the bed and wept. The moment they saw Lavater, they ran and kissed his hands. He approached the patient, and asked her how she did. "I am dying! I am dying!" she replied, but was unable to say more. Her eyes were fixed on her bosom, which heaved with inward convul. sion. Lavater sat down beside her, and began to prepare her for her departure. * Thy hour is come,” said he; “thy Saviour awaits thee:--be not afraid of the grave! Not thou, but only thy mortal body, will be deposited in it. In the moment when thy eyes are closed to the light of this life, the glorious morning of an eternal and better life will shine upon thee. "Be thankful to God that thou hast attained a good old age, and hast seen thy children and grand children grow up, matured in honesty and virtue. They will for ever -bless-thy memory,and will once more embrace thee with saptures in the mansions of the blessed. There, there, we shall all form but one happy family.” These last words he uttered in a tremulous voice, and wiped his eyes. He then prayed, blessed the dying sinner preparatory to her exit, and took his leave. He kissed the ehildren, told them not to weep, and, at his departure, gave them some money. The dejection of my heart
was very great, and even the pure evening air-could searcely restore me to a free respiration..... - ". Whence do you derive-such-strength and patience?" said I to Lavater, in: admiration at his indefatigable activity. “My dear friend," replied he, smiling," it is in the power of every one to perform a great deal, if he will; and the more he does, the more ability and inclination he will find for active exertion."
« Believe not, my friends, that Lavater, who does so much good to the poor, is himself possessed of great riches. No, on the contrary, his income is very small; but, from the sale of his printed works and manuscripts, he acquires a considerable sum, for the relief of his indigent brethern. I have myself bought two of his ma muscripts; one is entitled, " An. Hundred Secret Phyo siognomical Rules;" with the motto, -". Never ridicule misery, or the means of alleviating it;%.' and the other is “ A Monument for Travellers." For the latter he would not take the money himself, but ordered me to pay it to a poor Frenchman, who had re. quested relief of him.
THE POET BAGGESEN, AND SOPHIA HALLER; OR, THE
"A change so swift what heart did ever feel?" - DRYDEN. :
... The poet Baggesen will soon be married. This match has been brought about in a truly romantic manner. I wrote to you that Becker had gone with him to Lausanne, from which place, with Count