MR. GIBBON'S will is dated October 1, 1791, just before I left Lausanne; he distinguishes me, as usual, in the most flattering manner:
'I constitute and appoint the Right Honourable John Lord Sheffield, Edward Darell, Esquire, and John Thomas Batt, Esquire, to be the Executors of this my last Will and Testament; and as the execution of this trust will not be attended with much difficulty or trouble, I shall indulge these gentlemen, in the pleasure of this last disinterested service, without wronging my feelings, or oppressing my heir, by too light or too weighty a testimony of my gratitude. My obligations to the long and active friendship of Lord Sheffield, I could never sufficiently repay.'
He then observes that the Right Hononourable Lady Eliot of Port Eliot, is his nearest relation on the father's side; but that her three sons are in such prosperous circumstances, that he may well be excused for making the two children of his late uncle, Sir Stanier Porten, his heirs; they being in a very different situation. He bequeaths annuities to two old servants, three thousand pounds, and his furniture, plate, etc., at Lausanne, to Mr. Wilhelm de Severy; one hundred guineas to the poor of Lausanne, and fifty guineas each to the following persons: — Lady Sheffield and daughters, Maria and Louisa, Madame and Mademoiselle de Severy, the Count de Schomberg, Mademoiselle la Chanoinesse de Polier, and M. le Ministre Le Vade, for the purchase of some token which may remind them of a sincere friend.
The Remains of Mr. Gibbon were deposited in Lord Sheffield's Family Burial-Place, in Fletching, Sussex ; whereon is inscribed the following Epitaph, written at my request by a distinguished scholar, the Reverend Dr. Parr: —
CRITICUS ACRI INGENIO ET MULTIPLICI DOCTRINA ORNATUS
IDEMQUE HISTORICORUM QUI FORTUNAM IMPERII ROMANI
VEL LABENTIS ET INCLINATI VEL EVERSI ET FUNDITUS DELETI
OMNIIUM FACILE PRINCEPS
CUIUS IN MORIBUS ERAT MODERATIO ANIMI
CUM LIBERALI QUADAM SPECIE CONIUNCTA IN SERMONE
MUILTA GRAVITATI COMITAS SUAVITER ADSPERSA
CONCINNUM ORBE VERBORUM
ET SUMMO ARTIFICIO DISTINCTUM
RECONDITAE EXQUISITAEQUE SENTENTIAE
ET IN MONUMENTIS RERUM POLITICARUM OBSERVANDIS
ACUTA ET PERSPICAX PRUDENTIA
VIXIT ANNOS LVI MENS. VII DIES XXVIII
DECESSIT XVII CAL. FEB. ANNO SACRO MDCCLXXXXIV
ET IN HOC MAUSOLEO SEPULTUS EST
EX VOLUNTATE IOHANNIS DOMINI SHEFFIELD
QUI AMICO BENE MERENTI ET CONVICTORI HUMANISSIMO
H. TAB. P. C.