1788 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Russell

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 58 (August 1788) 752-53.



At the Hot Wells, Bristol, of a consumption, in his 26th year, the Rev. Tho. Russell, fellow of New College, Oxford. He was eminently conspicuous for his great learning and abilities. Besides an accurate knowledge of the learned languages, he understood almost every language now spoken in Europe. He was the author of two letters in this Magazine, under the signature of A. S. vol. LII. p. 574, and vol. LIII. p. 124, on the Poetry of Moscou Jordi, and the Provencal Language, in which he displayed no small fund of critical acumen. Mr. Warton was more indebted to him than to all his other advocates who stood forth in defence of his History against the anonymous Author of the Observations. His happy talents for conversation, and his polite and agreeable manners, procured him a very numerous acquaintance; by whom his loss will be sensibly felt and long regretted. The following lines, which he wrote on the death of a friend, may in some measure be applied to himself:

To a friend so sincere, to a comrade so gay,
Who brought cares on himself, to drive our cares away,
Who lov'd still to laugh, yet ne'er wish'd to offend,
And, a friend to mankind, found mankind not a friend;
To a spirit so rare let us ever be just,
Nor forget him (poor fellow) though laid in the dust.
Then haste with your myrtles to hang on his shrine;
With odours enrich it, bedew it with wine:
Ne'er cease on his turf early roses to bloom,
And green be the laurel that waves o'er his tomb.