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DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD,
The element of Fire is the grand instrument of the Almighty in the accomplishment of some of bis purposes towards man in various parts of his widely-extended creation. Indescribable is its utility in the great laboratory of Nature. But, when it exceeds proper bounds, its ravages are awful, and apparently interminable. The Burning of Carthage and the Fire of London were spectacles of overwhelming sublimity. How interesting the description of Ovid, when the madness and folly of Phaëton had kindled up one general conflagration! But why refer to Heathen Mythology? The destruction of the world by the element of Fire is the subject of Prophecy in the Sacred Writings. The too near approach of a Comet, or the eruption of the vast mass of combustible materials concealed in the bowels of the earth, are the probable means of accomplishment. Its Creator will become its DESTROYER-then, indeed, will be the end of the World
But who of woman born may paint the hour
At Putney, William Pitt, the celebrated Premier, breathed his last, January 230, 1806, in the 47th year of his age. He was the second son of the eloquent Earl of Chatham, who bestowed much pains on his education, and then sent him to Cambridge. Bred to the Bar, he went once or twice on the Western Circuit. In 1781 he became Member of the House of Commons, and was a strenuous advocate for the reform of Parliament. In Dec. 1783, and when only twentyfour years
age, he was constituted Prime MiniSTER! He distinguished himself in 1788, during the Regency occasioned by the first indisposition of his Majesty. But it was in the commencement and progress of the war against Revolutionary France that Mr. Pitt took a very conspicuous part, and the failure of some of his favourite plans respecting this contest is thought to have facilitated his retirement. He resigned his post in February, 1801, carrying with him the gratitude of the party which had supported him, and by which he was denominated “the Pilot who had weathered the storm!” This was said with reference to his domestic politics, by which he was supposed to have prevented a revolution in this country.
The Peace of Amiens soon followed, under the Addington ministry ;-but, alas ! war quickly reared its head, and raged with its accustomed fury. Mr. Pitt, on some points, joined the Opposition; but, in 1804, he again took his post at the Treasury. He engaged the two great military Powers of Russia and Austria in a new confederacy against France; but the battle
of Austerlitz put an end to his hopes and expectations! This is reported to have affected him much, as well as a parliamentary attack on his intimate associate Lord Melville. And, in the opinion of some persons, both these events accelerated his death. An hereditary gout was making its ravages on his constitution. In the autumn of 1805 bis health rapidly declined, and during the month of December he visited Bath ; but the waters of that celebrated place had no beneficial effect on a frame reduced to extreme debility. His return (so weak as to be four days on the road) was soon followed by his dissolution. His tutor and friend, the Bishop of Lincoln, attended him in his last moments, and published an interesting account of the melancholy event. Among other things, Mr. Pitt assured the Bishop that it had ever been his wish to act rightly, but that he was very sensible of many errors and failures, declaring that he was perfectly resigned to the will of God-felt no enmity towards any, and died in peace with all mankind ! He was interred in Westminster Abbey; and, what is remarkable, his great rival, Charles James Fox, was before the expiration of the year buried near him. These illustrious antagonists lie within a few yards of each other their once eloquent tongues being now sealed np by the mysterious silence of the dead.
Drop upon Fox's Grave the tear,
The solemn echo seems to cry
Dr. Aikin has summed up the character of William Pitt in these words :-“ He died in possession of the esteem and attachment of a large portion of his countrymen; and his political consequence was proved by the entire dissolution, at his death, of the ministry of which he was the head, and the necessary admission of a party against whom strong prejudices were known to prevail. His remains were honoured with a public funeral, and a sum was voted for the payment of his debts. He will live in memory as a distinguished Orator, an able Financier, and a man of uncommon talents – whether he is also to be ranked amoug great and enlightened Statesmen, impartial history must decide.” It was, indeed, his singular lot to have warm friends and inveterate enemies; the former of whom hailed him as the Saviour, whilst the latter reprobated him as the Destroyer of his Country. A monument has been raised to his memory both in Guildhall and in Westminster Abbey.
Roehampton is only a hamlet in the parish of Putney, abounding with handsome villas ; indeed, round the Common are mansions of the nobility and gentry. Here is a neat Chapel, having over its altar
ROBERT WOOD, ESQ.
an exquisite Painting of the Lord's Supper. The eye dwells with pleasure upon a well-executed representation of this benevolent and social ordinance of our common Christianity.
Between the roads which lead to Wandsworth and Wimbledon is the villa of the late Robert Wood, Esq. so much celebrated as a Classical Traveller. Its varied pleasure-grounds command a prospect of the British metropolis, together with the adjacent country. Mr. Wood was a native of Ireland, and visited Greece, that far-famed spot, which gave birth to Heroes and Legislators, to Philosophers and Poets, in long and luminous succession.
Yes—to the remnants of thy splendour past
He afterwards became Under-Secretary of State, and died in 1771, at no advanced age. His Essay on the Original Genius of HOMER may be read with pleasure; it displays considerable ingenuity.
But it would be unpardonable in me not to mention that this mansion is still more celebrated for having had the HISTORIAN of The Decline and Fall of the