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ought not to add to the importance of any
acts, they will be more or less readily believed by different persons, according to their consciousness of what they have done themselves, or conception of what they would do in such a situation.
Occasional difficulties in his affairs did not prevent his philosophic mind from enjoying very great happiness in the exercise of the kindest affections to his friends and family. No man, indeed, could be a warmer friend, a more indulgent master, a more affectionate father, and a fonder husband; no one was, in all his actions, more influenced by his private connections, unless duty interfered.
His desire of extending the means of beneficial conduct made him bestow attention on practical medicine, and he frequently made up prescriptions. He once, in an attempt of this sort, involved himself in very great unhappiness for several hours. Mrs. Burke having been indisposed, her husband undertook to make up a draught ordered by the physician; but unfortunately mis
taking one phial for another, he gave her laudanum. The mistake being immediately discovered by examining the other phial, efficacious antidotes were applied; and the lady, after undergoing much torture from the conflicting operation, to the inexpressible terror and horror of her husband, at length recovered.
Burke lost, in his eminent friend Sir Joshua Reynolds, almost the last of the literary and convivial associates of his early years. Sir Joshua had always regarded Burke as the first of men, and was in turn loved, esteemed, and respected by his illustrious friend. He had assisted him when embarrassed, and, by his will, after cancelling a bond for 20001. bequeathed him 20001. more. The orator and painter were so often together, and the fulness of Burke's mind ran in such abundance, force, and clearness, that Sir Joshua must have remembered many of his ideas, and even expressions. At the opening of the Royal Academy, Jan. 2, 1769, Sir Joshua, the Pre
sident, delivered a discourse on the object of the institution and the principles of painting. At the annual distribution of prizes, he also thereafter delivered an oration on similar subjects. The ingenuity of the reflections, the extent of the knowledge, and the elegance of the composition, made them supposed by some to be the productions of genius more exclusively devoted to literary efforts than Sir Joshua's. They were, at one time, imputed to Dr. Johnson. Admitting the just and philosophical view exhibited by Mr. Courtenay of the influence of that great man's intellectual exertions on literary composition, readers had no evidence that he actually assisted the painter in composing his essays. From his intercourse with Johnson it was probable that he derived knowledge and principles which may have been transfused into his discourses. But neither testimony, nor the internal evidence of the works themselves, are in favour of the supposition that they were written by Johnson. Mr. M'Cormick thinks they must have been written by Burke; and internal evidence is
certainly much more in favour of his hypothesis than of the former. Burke was much more conversant in the fine arts than his friend Johnson. But there is the testimony of Mr. Malone, who had every opportunity, as the constant companion of Sir Joshua, to be informed of the truth during Sir Joshua's life; and as his executor, from the perusal of papers after his death, who had the best means (if any one could have them) of not being deceived himself, and could have no motive to deceive others, positively asserts that they were the composition of Sir Joshua himself. Agreeing, therefore, in the probability, a priori, of Mr. M'Cormick's supposition, I think it overturned in fact by the evidence of Mr. Malone. Burke was one of the chief mourners at his friend's funeral.. An account of the procession was drawn up by Mr. Burke and Mr. Malone.. The following sketch of his character, composed by Burke, was also published. His illness was long, but borne with a mild and cheerful fortitude, without the least mixture of any thing irritable or querulous, agreeably to the placid