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Title: Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History
Author: Horne, Charles F. (Charles Francis), 1870-1942 [Editor]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History" ***

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[Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected, all
other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has
been maintained.

Captions marked with [TN] have been added while producing this file.]



[Illustration: The Berlin Conference.]



GREAT MEN AND FAMOUS WOMEN


_A Series of Pen and Pencil Sketches of_

THE LIVES OF MORE THAN 200 OF THE MOST PROMINENT PERSONAGES IN HISTORY


VOL. IV.



Copyright, 1894, BY SELMAR HESS

edited by Charles F. Horne

[Illustration: Publisher's arm.]

New-York: Selmar Hess Publisher


Copyright, 1894, by SELMAR HESS.



CONTENTS OF VOLUME IV.


  SUBJECT                         AUTHOR                          PAGE

  JOHN ADAMS,                 _Edwin Williams_,                    251
  Letter from Adams to a friend
    on the "Destiny of America,"                                   252
  LOUIS AGASSIZ,              _Asa Gray_,                          350
  PRINCE VON BISMARCK,        _Prince Outisky_,                    385
  SIMON BOLIVAR,              _Hon. John P. St. John_,             306
  EDMUND BURKE,               _Dr. Heinrich Geffcken_,             226
  JEAN FRANÇOIS CHAMPOLLION,  _Georg Ebers_,                       311
  GROVER CLEVELAND,           _Clarence Cook_,                     403
  GEORGES CUVIER,             _John Stoughton, D.D._,              287
  CHARLES DARWIN,             _Arch. Geikie, LL.D., F.R.S._,       355
  BENJAMIN DISRAELI,          _Harriet Prescott Spofford_,         370
  BENJAMIN FRANKLIN,                                               231
  LÉON GAMBETTA,                                                   363
  WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE,    _Justin McCarthy_,                   377
  HORACE GREELEY,             _Noah Brooks_,                       345
  ALEXANDER HAMILTON,                                              265
  PATRICK HENRY,              _General Bradley T. Johnson_,        236
  ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT,     _Louis Agassiz_,                     292
  ANDREW JACKSON,             _Thomas Wentworth Higginson_,        317
  THOMAS JEFFERSON,           _Hon. John B. Henderson_,            256
  ABRAHAM LINCOLN,            _Terence Vincent Powderly_,          338
  WILLIAM MCKINLEY,           _Rossiter Johnson_,                  398
  MARIA THERESA,              _Anna C. Brackett_,                  221
  COUNT DE MIRABEAU,          _Charles S. Hathaway_,               273
  ISAAC NEWTON,               _John Stoughton, D.D._,              211
  DANIEL O'CONNELL,           _Justin McCarthy_,                   300
  CHARLES STEWART PARNELL,    _Thomas Davidson_,                   395
  JEAN HENRI PESTALOZZI,      _Harriet Martineau_,                 282
  PETER THE GREAT,                                                 215
  MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE,                                          278
  WILLIAM HENRY SEWARD,       _Hon. Charles E. Fitch_,             332
  LOUIS ADOLPHE THIERS,                                            360
  GEORGE WASHINGTON,                                               242
  _Letter from Washington to his adopted
    daughter on the subject of "Love,"_                            250
  DANIEL WEBSTER,             _Rev. Dr. Tweedy_,                   326
  _Letter from Webster to his friend
    Brigham on the "Choice of a Profession,"_                      331
  WILLIAM III. OF ENGLAND,                                         205



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

VOLUME IV.


PHOTOGRAVURES


  ILLUSTRATION                           ARTIST               TO FACE PAGE

  THE BERLIN CONFERENCE,                 _Anton von Werner_  _Frontispiece_
  THE THIRD ESTATE TAKES REFUGE IN THE
    TENNIS COURT,                        _Étienne Lucien Mélingue_ 276
  PESTALOZZI, THE CHILDREN'S FRIEND,     _Konrad Grob_             286
  THE ENROLLMENT OF VOLUNTEERS, 1870,    _Alfred Paul de
                                           Richemont_              368
  BISMARCK BEFORE PARIS,                 _Ludwig Braun_            390



WOOD-ENGRAVINGS AND TYPOGRAVURES


  COUNCIL OF WAR AFTER THE LANDING OF WILLIAM OF
    ORANGE,                              _H. G. Glindoni_          208
  NEWTON ANALYZING THE RAY OF LIGHT,     _Loudan_                  212
  THE LIFE OF PETER THE GREAT SAVED AT
    THE FOOT OF THE ALTAR,               _Steuben_                 216
  BURKE, JOHNSON, AND THEIR FRIENDS,     _James E. Doyle_          228
  THE SURRENDER OF CORNWALLIS TO
    WASHINGTON,                          _Armand Dumaresq_         246
  ROBESPIERRE'S ARREST,                  _François Flameng_        280
  A. LINCOLN,                                                      340
  HAWARDEN CASTLE, THE HOME OF
    GLADSTONE,                           _G. Montbard_             378
  GLADSTONE'S FIRST HOME RULE BILL,                                382
  PROCLAMATION OF THE GERMAN EMPIRE AT
    VERSAILLES,                          _Anton von Werner_        386
  PARNELL TESTIFYING AGAINST THE
    "TIMES,"                             _Walter Wilson_           396
  PRESIDENT MCKINLEY TAKING THE OATH OF
    OFFICE,                              _A. de Thulstrup_         402
  THE CEREMONY AT GROVER CLEVELAND'S
    MARRIAGE,                            _A. de Thulstrup_         406



WILLIAM III. OF ENGLAND

(1650-1702)

[Illustration: William III. [TN]]


William, Prince of Orange, the third king of England of that name, born
November 14, 1650, was the posthumous son of William II., Prince of
Orange, and Mary Stuart, daughter of Charles I. of England. The fortunes
of his childhood did not promise that greatness which he attained. His
father had been thought to entertain designs hostile to the liberties of
the United Provinces, and the suspicions of the father produced distrust
of the son. When Cromwell dictated terms of peace to the Dutch in 1654,
one of the articles insisted on the perpetual exclusion of the Prince of
Orange from all the great offices formerly held by his family; and this
sentence of exclusion was confirmed, so far as Holland was concerned,
thirteen years after, by the enactment of the Perpetual Edict, by which
the office of Stadtholder of Holland was forever abolished. The
restoration of the Stuarts, however, was so far favorable to the
interests of the House of Orange, as to induce the princess-royal to
petition, on her son's behalf, that he might be invested with the
offices and dignities possessed by his ancestors. The provinces of
Zealand, Friesland, and Guelderland warmly espoused her cause: even the
States of Holland engaged to watch over his education, "that he might be
rendered capable of filling the posts held by his forefathers." They
formally adopted him as "a child of the state," and surrounded him with
such persons as were thought likely to educate him in a manner suited to
his station in a free government.

A storm broke upon Holland just as William was ripening into manhood;
and discord at home threatened to aggravate the misfortunes of the
country. The House of Orange had again become popular; and a loud cry
was raised for the instant abolition of the Perpetual Edict, and for
installing the young prince in all the offices enjoyed by his ancestors.
The Republican party, headed by the De Witts, prevented this; but they
were forced to yield to his being chosen captain-general and
high-admiral. Many persons hoped that William's military rank and
prospects would incline his uncle Charles II. to make common cause with
the friends of liberty and independence; but the English monarch was the
pensioner of the French king, and France and England jointly declared
war against the States, April 7, 1672. The Dutch made large
preparations; but new troops could not suddenly acquire discipline and
experience. The enemy meditated, and had nearly effected, the entire
conquest of the country; the populace became desperate; a total change
of government was demanded; the De Witts were brutally massacred, and
William was invested with the full powers of stadtholder. His fitness
for this high office was soon demonstrated by the vigor and the wisdom
of his measures. Maestricht was strongly garrisoned; the prince of
Orange, with a large army, advanced to the banks of the Issel; the Dutch
fleet cruised off the mouth of the Thames, to prevent the naval forces
of England and France from joining. The following year, 1763, Louis XIV.
took Maestricht; while the Prince of Orange, not having forces
sufficient to oppose the French army, employed himself in retaking other
towns from the enemy. New alliances were formed; and the prince's
masterly conduct not only stopped the progress of the French, but forced
them to evacuate the province of Utrecht. In 1674 the English Parliament
compelled Charles II. to make peace with Holland. The Dutch signed
separate treaties with the Bishop of Munster and the Elector of Cologne.
The gallantry of the prince had so endeared him to the States of
Holland, that the offices of stadtholder and captain-general were
declared hereditary in his male descendants. Meanwhile he continued to
display both courage and conduct in various military operations against
the French. The battle of Seneffe was desperately fought. After sunset,
the conflict was continued by the light of the moon; and darkness,
rather than the exhaustion of the combatants, put an end to the contest,
and left the victory undecided. The veteran Prince of Condé gave a
candid and generous testimonial to the merit of his young antagonist:
"The Prince of Orange," said he, "has in every point acted like an old
captain, except in venturing his life too much like a young soldier."

In 1675 the sovereignty of Guelderland and of the county of Zutphen was
offered to William, with the title of duke, which was asserted to have
been formerly vested in his family. Those who entertained a bad opinion
of him, and attributed whatever looked like greatness in his character
to ambition rather than patriotism, insinuated that he was himself the
main-spring of this manifest intrigue. He had at least prudence enough
to deliberate on the offer, and to submit it to the judgment of the
States of Holland, Zealand, and Utrecht. They viewed with jealousy the
aristocratic dignity, and he wisely refused it. This forbearance was
rewarded by the province of Utrecht, which adopted the precedent of
Holland, in voting the stadtholdership hereditary in the heirs-male of
his body.

The campaign of 1675 passed without any memorable event in the Low
Countries. In the following year hopes of peace were held out from the
meeting of a congress at Nimeguen; but the articles of peace were to be
determined rather by the events of the campaign than by the
deliberations of the negotiators. The French took Condé and several
other places; the Prince of Orange, bent on retaliation, sat down before
Maestricht, the siege of which he urged impetuously; but the masterly
movements of the enemy, and a scarcity of forage, frustrated his plans.
Aire had already been taken; the Duke of Orleans had made himself master
of Bouchain; Marshal Schomberg, to whom Louis had intrusted his army on
retiring to Versailles, was on the advance; and it was found expedient
to raise the siege of Maestricht. It was now predicted that the war in
Flanders would be unfortunate in its issue; but the Prince of Orange,
influenced by the mixed motives of honor, ambition, and animosity, kept
the Dutch Republic steady to the cause of its allies, and refused to
negotiate a separate peace with France. In October, 1677, he came to
England, and was graciously received by the king, his uncle. His
marriage with Mary, eldest daughter of the Duke of York, was the object
of his visit. That event gave general satisfaction at the time; the
consequences which arose from it were unsuspected by the most
far-sighted. At first the king was disinclined to the match, then
neutral; and at last favorable, in the hope of engaging William to fall
in with his designs, and listen to the separate proposals of the French
monarch. The prince, on his part, was pleased with the prospect, because
he expected that the King of England would, at length, find himself
obliged to declare against Louis, and because he imagined that the
English nation would be more strongly engaged in his interest, and would
adopt his views with respect to the war. In this he was disappointed,
though the Parliament was determined on forcing the king to renounce his
alliance with Louis. But the States had gained no advantage commensurate
with the expense and danger of the contest in which they were engaged,
and were inclined to conclude a separate treaty. Mutual discontent among
the allies led to the dissolution of the confederacy, and a peace
advantageous to France was concluded at Nimeguen in 1678; but causes of
animosity still subsisted. The Prince of Orange, independent of
political enmity, had now personal grounds of complaint against Louis,
who deeply resented the zeal with which William had espoused the
liberties of Europe and resisted his aggressions. He could neither bend
so haughty a spirit to concessions, nor warp his integrity even by the
suggestions of his dominant passion, ambition. But it was in the power
of the French monarch to punish this obstinacy, and by oppressing the
inhabitants of the principality of Orange, to take a mean revenge on an
innocent people for the imputed offences of their sovereign. In addition
to other injuries, when the Duchy of Luxembourg was invaded by the
French troops, the commanding officer had orders to expose to sale all
the lands, furniture, and effects of the Prince of Orange, although they
had been conferred on him by a formal decree of the States of the
country. Whether to preserve the appearance of justice, or merely as an
insult, Louis summoned the Prince to appear before his Privy Council in
1682, by the title of _Messire Guillaume Comte de Nassau_, living at The
Hague in Holland. In the emergency occasioned by the probability of the
Dutch frontier being attacked in 1683, the Prince of Orange exerted all
his influence to procure an augmentation of the troops of the republic;
but he had the mortification to experience an obstinate resistance in
several of the States, especially in that of Holland, headed by the city
of Amsterdam. His coolness and steadiness, qualities invaluable in a
statesman, at length prevailed, and he was enabled to carry his measures
with a high hand.

The accession of James II. to the throne of Great Britain, in 1685, was
hailed as an opportunity for drawing closer both the personal friendship
and the political alliance between the stadtholder of the one country
and the king of the other; but a totally different result took place.
The headstrong violence of James brought about a coalition of parties to
resist him; and many of the English nobility and gentry concurred in an
application to the Prince of Orange for assistance. At this crisis,
William acted with such circumspection as befitted his calculating
character. The nation was looking forward to the prince and princess as
its only resource against tyranny, civil and ecclesiastical. Were the
presumptive heir to concur in the offensive measures, he must partake
with the king of the popular hatred. Even the continental alliances,
which William was setting his whole soul to establish and improve, would
become objects of suspicion to the English, and Parliament might refuse
to furnish the necessary funds. Thus by one course he might risk the
loss of a succession which was awaiting him; by an opposite conduct, he
might profit by the king's indiscretion, and even forestall the time
when the throne was to be his in the course of nature. The birth of a
son and heir, in June, 1688, seemed to turn the scale in favor of James;
but the affections of his people were not to be recovered; it was even
asserted that the child was supposititious. This event, therefore,
confirmed William's previous choice of the side which he was to take;
and his measures were well and promptly concerted. A declaration was
dispersed throughout Great Britain, setting forth the grievances of the
kingdom, and announcing the immediate introduction of an armed force
from abroad, for the purpose of procuring the convocation of a free
parliament. In a short time, full four hundred transports were hired;
the army rapidly fell down the rivers and canals from Nimeguen; the
artillery, arms, stores, and horses were embarked; and, on October 21,
1668, the prince set sail from Helvoetsluys, with a fleet of near five
hundred vessels, and an army of more than fourteen thousand men. He was
compelled to put back by a storm; but, on a second attempt, he had a
prosperous voyage, while the king's fleet was wind-bound. He arrived at
Torbay on November 4th, and disembarked on the 5th, the anniversary of
the gunpowder treason. The remembrance of Monmouth's ill-fated rebellion
prevented the western people from joining him; but at length several
persons of consideration took up the cause, and an association was
formed for its support. At this last hour James expressed his
readiness to make concessions; but it was too late, they were looked on
only as tokens of fear; the confidence of the people in the king's
sincerity was gone forever. But, how much soever his conduct deserved
censure, his distresses entitled him to pity. One daughter was the wife
of his opponent; the other threw herself into the hands of the
insurgents. In the agony of his heart the father exclaimed, "God help
me! my own children have forsaken me!" He sent the queen and infant
prince to France. Public affairs were in the utmost confusion, and
seemed likely to remain so while he stayed in the island. After many of
those perplexing adventures and narrow escapes which generally befall
dethroned royalty, he at length succeeded in embarking for the
continent.

[Illustration: Council of war after the landing of William of Orange.]

The prince issued circular letters for the election of members to a
convention, which met January 22, 1689. It appeared at once that the
House of Commons, agreeably to the prevailing sentiments both of the
nation and of those in present authority, was chiefly chosen from among
the Whig party. The throne was declared vacant by the following vote:
"That King James the Second, having endeavored to subvert the
constitution of the kingdom by breaking the original contract between
king and people; and having, by the advice of Jesuits and other wicked
persons, violated the fundamental laws, and withdrawn himself out of the
kingdom, has abdicated the government, and that the throne is thereby
vacant." By the national consent, the vacancy was supplied by his
daughter Mary and her husband William jointly.

The Prince of Orange lost no time in apprising the States-General of his
accession to the British throne. He assured them of his persevering
endeavors to promote the well-being of his native country, which he was
so far from abandoning, that he intended to retain his high offices in
it. War with France was renewed early in 1689 by the States, supported
by the house of Austria and some of the German princes; nor was it
difficult for William to procure the concurrence of the English
Parliament, when the object was the humiliation of France and her
arbitrary sovereign. In the spring of 1689, James landed in Ireland with
a French force, and was received by the Catholics with marks of strong
attachment. Marshal Schomberg was sent to oppose him, but was able to
effect little during the campaign of that year. William, in the
meantime, had been successful in suppressing a Jacobite insurrection in
Scotland, and embarked for Ireland with a reinforcement in the summer of
1690. He immediately marched against James, who was strongly posted on
the River Boyne. Schomberg passed the river in person, and put himself
at the head of a corps of French Protestants. Pointing to the enemy, he
said, "Gentlemen, behold your persecutors!" With these words he advanced
to the attack, but was killed by a random shot from the French
regiments. The death of this general was near proving fatal to the
English army; but William retrieved the fortune of the day, and totally
dispersed the opposite force. In this engagement the Irish lost 1,500
men, and the English about one-third of that number.

Disturbances again took place among the Jacobites in the Scotch
Highlands. A simultaneous insurrection was planned in both kingdoms,
while a descent from the French coast was to have divided the attention
of the friends of government; but the defeat of the French fleet near
Cape La Hogue, in 1692, frustrated this combined attempt, and relieved
the nation from the dread of civil war. In 1691 the king had placed
himself at the head of the Grand Alliance against France, of which he
had been the prime mover; he was, therefore, absent on the continent
during the dangers to which his new kingdom was exposed. His repeated
losses in the following campaigns rather impaired than enhanced his
military renown, though they increased his already high reputation for
personal courage. The death of Queen Mary, which took place early in
1695, proved a severe calamity, both to the king and the nation. She had
been a vigilant guardian of her husband's interests, which were
constantly exposed to hazard by the conflicts of party and by the
disadvantages under which he labored as a foreigner. In 1696 a congress
was opened at Ryswick, to negotiate a general peace; and William did not
interpose any obstacles. In the following year the treaty was concluded.

The King of Spain's death led to the last event of great importance in
William's reign. The powers of Europe had arranged plans to prevent the
accumulation of the Spanish possessions in the houses of Bourbon and
Austria; but the French king violated all his solemn pledges, by
accepting the deceased monarch's will in favor of his own grandson, the
Duke of Anjou. In consequence of this breach of faith, preparations were
made by England and Holland for a renewal of war with France; but a fall
from his horse prevented William from further pursuing his military
career, and the glory of reducing Louis XIV. within the bounds of his
own kingdom was left to be earned by the generals of Queen Anne. The
king was nearly recovered from the lameness consequent on his fall, when
fever supervened; and he died March 8, 1702, in the fifty-second year of
his age and thirteenth of his reign.

The character of King William has been drawn with all the exaggeration
of panegyric and obloquy by opposing partisans. His native country owes
him a lasting debt of gratitude, as the second founder of its liberty
and independence; and his adopted country is bound to uphold his memory,
as its champion and deliverer from civil and religious thraldom. In
short, the attachment of the English nation to constitutional rights and
liberal government may be measured by its adherence to the principles
established at the Revolution of 1688 and its just estimate of that
sovereign and those statesmen who placed the liberties of Great Britain
on a solid and lasting foundation.



ISAAC NEWTON

By JOHN STOUGHTON, D.D.

(1642-1727)

[Illustration: Isaac Newton. [TN]]


As a literary philosopher, Bacon surpasses Newton; as an experimental
philosopher, Newton surpasses Bacon. Newton's works contain nothing in
point of style and illustration comparable to Bacon's essays; Bacon's
works contain nothing in point of scientific discovery and mathematical
calculation comparable to Newton's "Optics" and "Principia."

Newton has been the great glory of the Royal Society; and the Royal
Society is justly proud of its most illustrious ornament. He joined it
in January, 1674, when he was excused the ordinary payment of a shilling
a week, "on account of his low circumstances as he represented." In 1703
he was elected to the presidential chair, which he continued to occupy
until his death, in 1727. Characteristic mementoes of him are preserved
among the Royal Society's treasures. There is a solar dial made by the
boy Isaac, when, instead of studying his grammar and learning Virgil and
Horace, he was busy making windmills and water-clocks. We fancy we see
him going along the road to Grantham on a market day with the old
servant whom his mother sent to take care of him, and then stopping by
the wayside to watch the motions of a water-wheel, reflecting upon the
mechanical principles involved in the simplest contrivances. It is
pleasant, with our knowledge of what he afterward became, to sit down on
the green bank by the river side, and to speculate upon the ignorance of
the old servant who accompanied him, and of the farmers they saluted by
the way, as to the illustrious destiny which awaited the widow's son who
lived in the manor house of Woolsthorpe. The reflecting telescope,
preserved along with the dial, was made by Newton in his thirtieth year,
and reminds us of the deep mathematical studies he was then pursuing at
Cambridge. The autograph MS. of the "Principia," also in the possession
of the Royal Society, gives increased vividness to the picture of this
extraordinary person in his study, solving mysterious problems, and
suggesting others still more mysterious; and then the lock of silvery
hair adds the last touch to fancy's picture--like a stroke of the pencil
which, when a portrait is nearly complete, gives life and expression to
the whole.

Newton was portly but not tall, his silvery locks were abundant without
any baldness, and his eyes were sparkling and piercing, though perhaps
they failed to indicate the profound genius which through them looked
into the secrets of the universe. Wonderful humility blended with his
intellectual greatness. To other men he seemed a spirit of higher rank,
having almost superhuman faculties of mental vision, wont to soar into
regions which the vulture's eye hath never seen; to himself he was but a
boy playing with the shells on the seashore, while the ocean lay
undiscovered before him. Others were taken up with what Newton
accomplished, Newton was taken up with what remained to be done. So it
is ever with the highest genius; the broader the range of view, the
wider the horizon of mystery. He who understands more than others is
conscious beyond others of what still remains to be understood.

Isaac Newton was born at Woolsthorpe, in Lincolnshire, on December 25,
1642, one year after the death of Galileo, and just as England was being
plunged into the confusion and miseries of civil war. Strange to say, as
a lad, at first he was inattentive to study; but being struck a severe
blow by a school-fellow, he strangely retaliated by determining to get
above him in the class, which he accomplished, and ere long became head
of the school. His play hours were employed in mechanical contrivances,
and a windmill in the course of erection on the Grantham road was an
object of intense curiosity and a source of immense instruction. He soon
had a windmill of his own, at the top of the house in which he lived. He
had also a water-clock in his bedroom, and a mechanical carriage in the
parlor, in which he could wheel himself. Paper kites and paper lanterns
were his favorite toys. In the yard of the house he traced on a wall the
movements of the sun by means of fixed pins; the contrivance received
the name of "Isaac's dial," and was a standard of time to the country
people in the neighborhood.

[Illustration: Newton analysing the ray of light.]

He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, June 5, 1660, just as England was
astir with restoration festivities, and he soon devoted himself to
mathematical studies. Euclid he took in at a glance, and afterward
proceeded to master Descartes's geometry. Isaac Barrow, then Lucasian
Professor of Mathematics, became his friend and tutor; and the pupil
repaid the master's kind attention by services rendered to him in
connection with his optical lectures. In 1669, Newton succeeded Barrow
in his professorship. He rose to eminence in the university, and in 1688
was chosen its representative in the Convention parliament. In 1695 he
was appointed Warden of the Mint, and was promoted to the Mastership in
1699. After his appointment to a government office he left Cambridge to
reside in London, and occupied for a time a house in Jermyn Street. From
1710 till two years before his death he lived close to Leicester Square.
Next door to Orange Street Chapel there stands an old house which has
seen a good many changes, and is identified as the abode of Sir Isaac,
who had been knighted by Queen Anne in 1705. We visited it many years
ago. The part of the house most intimately associated with his name is
the little observatory perched on the roof. We were permitted to ascend
into that spot, to see it desecrated by its present use, for there we
found a shoemaker busy at his toil. A glass cupola probably crowned
the observatory in Newton's time, and evidently there was a window in
each of the four walls. So here he looked out on the London of nearly a
century and a half ago, hardly less crowded and smoky about the
neighborhood than now. Overhead, where Newton turned his eyes with most
interest, we know it was just the same; the same beautiful stars shining
out on a cold winter's night, the same planets sailing along the same
blue ocean, the same moon throwing its light over the same old city.
What observations, keen and searching, what calculations, intricate and
profound, what speculations, far-reaching and sublime, must there have
been, when one of the most gifted of mortals from that spot looked out
upon the heavens, and in thought went forth on voyages of discovery into
the distant regions of the universe! At the calm, still hour of
midnight, Sirius watching over the city of sleepers, Jupiter carrying
his brilliant lamp along his ancient pathway, every one of the
luminaries in the place appointed by Him who calleth them all by their
names--there stood the thoughtful man, with his reflecting telescope,
occupied with thoughts which we common mortals in vain endeavor to
conjecture.

The first department in the field which Newton explored with
characteristic success was the study of optics. Philosophers were busy
with inquiries into the nature of light. It had been long believed that
every colored ray is equally refracted when passing through a lens.
Newton determined to analyze the prismatic hues. He made a hole in a
window-shutter, and darkening the room, let in a portion of light, which
he passed through a prism. The _white_ sunbeam formed a circular image
on the opposite wall, but the _prismatic colors_ formed an image five
times as long as it was broad. He was curious to know how this came to
pass. Satisfied that the length of the image in the latter case did not
arise from any irregularity in his glass, or from any differences in the
incidence of light from different parts of the sun's disk, or from any
curvature in the direction of the rays, he concluded, after thorough
reflection, that light is not _homogeneous_, but that it consists of
rays of diverse refrangibility. The red hue he saw was less refracted
than the orange, the orange less refracted than the yellow, and the
violet more than any of the rest. These important conclusions he applied
in the construction of the first reflecting telescope ever used in the
survey of the heavens, and an instrument is preserved in Trinity College
Library bearing the inscription, "Invented by Sir Isaac Newton, and made
with his own hands, 1671."

At the request of the Royal Society, he published in the "Transactions"
an account of his optical discoveries, and proved that white light is a
compound of seven prismatic colors.

Everybody is familiar with the story of Newton's watching the apple fall
from the tree. The tradition is fondly cherished on the spot where the
philosopher is said to have been struck by the fact. The _law_ by which
the apple falls, not the _reason_ which underlies the law, formed the
subject of Newton's reflections, and led to the grandest of modern
discoveries. The unknown cause of the apple's descent is the unknown
cause of the planet's motion. That was the truth, simple and grand,
which he brought to light and inculcated on the world. He undertook long
calculations which he expected would prove this theory, but they failed
to give the desired result. He consequently for a time desisted from the
inquiry and turned his attention to other subjects. The error in
Newton's first calculation arose from his taking the radius of the earth
according to the received notion that a degree measured sixty miles,
whereas Picard had determined it to be sixty-nine and a half miles. This
was mentioned at a meeting of the Royal Society in 1682, at which Newton
was present. "It immediately struck him that the value of the earth's
radius was the erroneous element in his first calculation. With a
feverish interest in this result, little imagined by those present, he
hurried home, resumed his calculation with the new value, and having
proceeded some way in it, was so overpowered by nervous agitation at its
anticipated result, that he was unable to go on, and requested a friend
to finish it for him, when it came out, _exactly establishing the
inverse square_ as the true measure of the moon's gravitation, and thus
furnishing the key to the whole system." Hence proceeded Newton's
immortal work, the "Principia."

The sublimest conclusion which Newton drew from his cautious and
successful investigations of the laws of nature is put, with his
characteristic humility, in the form of a query: "These things being
rightly described, does it not appear from the phenomena that there is a
Being incorporeal, living, intelligent, omnipresent, who, in infinite
space (as it were in His sensory), sees the things themselves
intimately, and thoroughly perceives them, and comprehends them wholly
by their immediate presence to Himself?"

Newton spent his last days in Kensington. "I was, Sunday night," says
his nephew, "March 7, 1725, at Kensington, with Sir Isaac Newton in his
lodgings, just after he was come out of a fit of the gout, which he had
in both of his feet for the first time, in the eighty-third year of his
age. He was better after it, and had his health clearer and memory
stronger than I had known them for some years." A year later the same
diarist says: "April 15, 1726. I passed the whole day with Sir Isaac
Newton, at his lodgings, Orbell's Buildings, Kensington, which was the
last time I saw him." The house was lately in existence, situated in
what is called Bullingham Place, retaining, when we visited it, a
mansion-like aspect, with a large garden and tall trees. There he died,
March 20, 1727, having on the previous day been able to read the
newspaper and to hold a long conversation with Dr. Mead.

His body was laid in state in the Jerusalem Chamber, and then buried in
Westminster Abbey.



PETER THE GREAT

(1672-1725)

[Illustration: Peter the Great. [TN]]


At the close of the sixteenth century, the dominions of Russia, or
Muscovy, as it was then more generally called, were far thrown back from
the more civilized nations of southern Europe, by the intervention of
Lithuania, Livonia, and other provinces now incorporated in the Russian
empire, but then belonging either to Sweden or Poland. The Czar of
Muscovy, therefore, possessed no political weight in the affairs of
Europe, and little intercourse existed between the court of Moscow and
the more polished potentates whom it affected to despise as barbarians,
even for some time after the accession of the reigning dynasty, the
house of Romanoff, in 1613, and the establishment of a more regular
government than had previously been known. We only read occasionally of
embassies being sent to Moscow, in general for the purpose of arranging
commercial relations. From this state of insignificance, Peter, the
first Emperor of Russia, raised his country, by introducing into it the
arts of peace, by establishing a well-organized and disciplined army in
the place of a lawless body of tumultuous mutineers, by creating a navy,
where scarce a merchant vessel existed before, and, as the natural
result of these changes, by important conquests on both the Asiatic and
European frontiers of his hereditary dominions. For these services his
countrymen bestowed on him, yet living, the title of Great; and it is
well deserved, whether we look to the magnitude of those services, the
difficulty of carrying into effect his benevolent designs, which
included nothing less than the remodelling a whole people, or the grasp
of mind and the iron energy of will, which were necessary to conceive
such projects and to overcome the difficulties which beset them. It will
not vitiate his claim to the epithet that his manners were coarse and
boisterous, his amusements often ludicrous and revolting to a polished
taste; if that claim be questionable, it is because he who aspired to be
the reformer of others was unable to control the violence of his own
passions.

The Czar Alexis, Peter's father, was actuated by somewhat of the spirit
which so distinguished the son. He endeavored to introduce the European
discipline into his armies; he had it much at heart to turn the
attention of the Russians to maritime pursuits; and he added the fine
provinces of Plescow and Smolensko to his paternal dominions. At the
death of Alexis, in 1677, Peter was but five years old. His eldest
brother Theodore succeeded to the throne. Theodore died after a reign of
five years, and named Peter his successor, passing over the second
brother, Ivan, who was weak-minded. Their ambitious sister, Sophia,
stirred the strelitzi, or native militia, to revolt in favor of Ivan,
and Peter and his mother had to take refuge in the Troitski convent.
This retreat being discovered, they were driven for protection to the
church altar itself, where the religion or superstition of the wild
soldiery saved the intended victims. We pass in silence over the
remaining intrigues and insurrections which troubled the young czar's
minority. It was not until the close of the year 1689, in the eighteenth
year of his age, that he finally shook off the trammels of his ambitious
sister, and assumed in reality, as well as in name, the direction of the
state. How he had been qualified for this task by education does not
clearly appear; but even setting aside the stories which attribute to
his sister the detestable design of leading him into all sorts of
excess, and especially drunkenness, with the hope of ruining both his
constitution and intellect, it is probable that no pains whatever had
been taken to form his intellect or manners for the station which he was
to occupy. One of the few anecdotes told of his early life is, that
being struck by the appearance of a boat on the river Yausa, which runs
through Moscow, and noticing it to be of different construction from the
flat-bottomed vessels commonly in use, he was led to inquire into the
method of navigating it. It had been built for the Czar Alexis by a
Dutchman, who was still in Moscow. He was immediately sent for; he
rigged and repaired the boat, and under his guidance the young prince
learned how to sail her, and soon grew passionately fond of his new
amusement. He had five small vessels built at Plescow, on the lake
Peipus; and not satisfied with this fresh-water navigation, hired a ship
at Archangel, in which he made a voyage to the coast of Lapland. In
these expeditions his love of sailing was nourished into a passion which
lasted through life. He prided himself upon his practical skill as a
seaman; and both at this time and afterward exposed himself and his
friends to no small hazard by his rashness in following this favorite
pursuit.

[Illustration: The life of Peter the Great saved at the foot of the
altar.]

The first serious object of Peter's attention was to reform the army. In
this he was materially assisted by a Swiss gentleman named Lefort; at
whose suggestion he raised a company of fifty men, who were clothed and
disciplined in the European manner, the Russian army at that time being
little better than a tribe of Tartars. As soon as the little corps was
formed, Peter caused himself to be enrolled in it as a private soldier.
It is a remarkable trait in the character of the man, that he thought no
condescension degrading which forwarded any of his ends. In the army he
entered himself in the lowest rank, and performed successively the
duties of every other; in the navy he went still further, for he
insisted on performing the menial duties of the lowest cabin-boy, rising
step by step, till he was qualified to rate as an able seaman. Nor was
this done merely for the sake of singularity; he had resolved that
every officer of the sea or land service should enter in the lowest rank
of his profession, that he might obtain a practical knowledge of every
task or manoeuvre which it was his duty to see properly executed; and he
felt that his nobility might scarcely be brought to submit to what in
their eyes would be a degradation, except by the personal example of the
czar himself. Meanwhile he had not been negligent of the other arm of
war; for a number of Dutch and Venetian workmen were employed in
building gunboats and small ships of war at Voronitz, on the river Don,
intended to secure the command of the Sea of Azof, and to assist in
capturing the strong town of Azof, then held by the Turks. The
possession of this place was of great importance, from its situation at
the mouth of the Don, commanding access to the Mediterranean Sea. His
first military attempts were accordingly directed against it, and he
succeeded in taking it in 1696.

In the spring of the ensuing year, the empire being tranquil and the
young czar's authority apparently established on a safe footing, he
determined to travel into foreign countries, to view with his own eyes,
and become personally and practically familiar with the arts and
institutions of refined nations. There was a grotesqueness in his manner
of executing this design, which has tended, more probably than even its
real merit, to make it one of the common-places of history. Every child
knows how the Czar of Muscovy worked in the dock-yard of Saardam in
Holland, as a common carpenter. In most men this would have been
affectation; and perhaps there was some tinge of that weakness in the
earnestness with which Peter handled the axe, obeyed the officers of the
dock-yard, and in all points of outward manners and appearance, put
himself on a level with the shipwrights who were earning their daily
bread. It seems, however, to have been the turn of Peter's mind always
to begin at the beginning; a sound maxim, though here, perhaps, pushed
beyond reasonable bounds. And his abode and occupations in Holland
formed only part of an extensive plan. On quitting Russia he sent sixty
young Russians to Venice and Leghorn to learn ship-building and
navigation, and especially the construction and management of galleys
moved by oars, which were so much used by the Venetian republic. Others
he sent into Holland, with similar instructions; others into Germany, to
study the art of war, and make themselves well acquainted with the
discipline and tactics of the German troops. So that while his personal
labor at Saardam may have been stimulated in part by affectation of
singularity, in part, perhaps, by a love of bodily exertion common in
men of his busy and ardent temper, it would be unjust not to give him
credit for higher motives; such as the desire to become thoroughly
acquainted with the art of ship-building, which he thought so important,
and to set a good example of diligence to those whom he had sent out on
a similar voyage of education.

Peter remained nine months in Holland, the greatest part of which he
spent in the dock-yard of Saardam. He displayed unwearied zeal in
seeking out and endeavoring to comprehend everything of interest in
science and art, especially in visiting manufactories. In January, 1698,
he sailed for London in an English man-of-war, sent out expressly to
bring him over. His chief object was to perfect himself in the higher
branches of ship-building. With this view he occupied Mr. Evelyn's
house, adjoining the dock-yard of Deptford; and there remain in that
gentleman's journal some curious notices of the manners of the czar and
his household, which were of the least refined description. During his
stay he showed the same earnestness in inquiring into all things
connected with the maritime and commercial greatness of the country, as
before in Holland; and he took away nearly five hundred persons in his
suite, consisting of naval captains, pilots, gunners, surgeons, and
workmen in various trades, especially those connected with the naval
service. In England, without assuming his rank, he ceased to wear the
attire and adopt the habits of a common workman; and he had frequent
intercourse with William III., who is said to have conceived a strong
liking for him, notwithstanding the uncouthness of his manners. Kneller
painted a portrait of him for the king, which is said to have been a
good likeness.

He left London in April, 1698, and proceeded to Vienna, principally to
inspect the Austrian troops, then esteemed among the best in Europe. He
had intended to visit Italy; but his return was hastened by the tidings
of a dangerous insurrection having broken out, which, though suppressed,
seemed to render a longer absence from the seat of government
inexpedient. The insurgents were chiefly composed of the Russian
soldiery, abetted by a large party who thought everything Russian good,
and hated and dreaded the czar's innovating temper. Of those who had
taken up arms, many were slain in battle; the rest, with many persons of
more rank and consequence, suspected of being implicated in the revolt,
were retained in prison until the czar himself should decide their fate.
Numerous stories of his extravagant cruelties on this occasion have been
told, which may safely be passed over as unworthy of credit. It is
certain, however, that considerable severity was shown. This
insurrection led to the complete remodelling of the Russian army, on the
same plan which had already been partially adopted.

During the year 1699 the czar was chiefly occupied by civil reforms.
According to his own account, as published in his journal, he regulated
the press, caused translations to be published of various treatises on
military and mechanical science and history; he founded a school for the
navy; others for the study of the Latin, German, and other languages; he
encouraged his subjects to cultivate foreign trade, which before they
had absolutely been forbidden to do under pain of death; he altered the
Russian calendar, in which the year began on September 1st, to agree in
that point with the practice of other nations; he broke through the
Oriental custom of not suffering women to mix in general society; and he
paid sedulous attention to the improvement of his navy on the river Don.
We have the testimony of Mr. Deane, an English ship-builder, that the
czar had turned his manual labors to good account, who states in a
letter to England, that "the czar has set up a ship of sixty guns, where
he is both foreman and masterbuilder; and, not to flatter him, I'll
assure your lordship it will be the best ship among them, and it is all
from his own draught: how he framed her together, and how he made the
moulds, and in so short a time as he did, is really wonderful."

He introduced an improved breed of sheep from Saxony and Silesia;
despatched engineers to survey the different provinces of his extensive
empire; sent persons skilled in metallurgy to the various districts in
which mines were to be found; established manufactories of arms, tools,
stuffs; and encouraged foreigners skilled in the useful arts to settle
in Russia, and enrich it by the produce of their industry.

We cannot trace the progress of that protracted contest between Sweden
and Russia, in which the short-lived greatness of Sweden was broken: we
can only state the causes of the war and the important results to which
it led. Peter's principal motive for engaging in it was his leading wish
to make Russia a maritime and commercial nation. To this end it was
necessary that she should be possessed of ports, of which, however, she
had none but Archangel and Azof, both most inconveniently situated, as
well in respect of the Russian empire itself, as of the chief commercial
nations of Europe. On the waters of the Baltic Russia did not possess a
foot of coast. Both sides of the Baltic, both sides of the Gulf of
Finland, the country between the head of that gulf and the Lake Ladoga,
including both sides of the River Neva, and the western side of Lake
Ladoga itself, and the northern end of Lake Peipus, belonged to Sweden.
In the year 1700, Charles XII. being but eighteen years of age, Denmark,
Poland, and Russia, which had all of them suffered from the ambition of
Sweden, formed a league to repair their losses, presuming on the
weakness usually inherent in a minority. The object of Russia was the
restoration of the provinces of Ingria, Carelia, and Wiborg, the country
round the head of the Gulf of Finland, which formerly had belonged to
her; that of Poland, was the recovery of Livonia and Esthonia, the
greater part of which had been ceded by her to Charles XI. of Sweden.
Denmark was to obtain Holstein and Sleswick. But Denmark and Poland very
soon withdrew, and left Russia to encounter Sweden single-handed. To
this she was entirely unequal; her army, the bulk of it undisciplined,
and even the disciplined part unpractised in the field, was no match for
the veteran troops of Sweden, the terror of Germany. In the battle of
Narva, a town on the river which runs out of the Peipus Lake, fought
November 30, 1700, 9,000 Swedes defeated signally near forty thousand
Russians, strongly intrenched and with a numerous artillery. Had Charles
prosecuted his success with vigor, he might probably have delayed for
many years the rise of Russia; but whether from contempt or mistake he
devoted his whole attention to the war in Poland, and left the czar at
liberty to recruit and discipline his army, and improve the resources of
his kingdom. In these labors he was most diligent. His troops, practised
in frequent skirmishes with the Swedes quartered in Ingria and Livonia,
rapidly improved, and on the celebrated field of Pultowa broke forever
the power of Charles XII. This decisive action did not take place until
July 8, 1709. The interval was occupied by a series of small, but
important additions to the Russian territory. In 1701-2, great part of
Livonia and Ingria were subdued, including the banks of the Neva, where
on May 27, 1703, the city of St. Petersburg was founded. It was not till
1710 that the conquest of Courland, with the remainder of Livonia,
including the important harbors of Riga and Revel, gave to Russia that
free navigation of the Baltic Sea which Peter had longed for as the
greatest benefit which he could confer upon his country.

After the battle of Pultowa Charles fled to Turkey, where he continued
for some years, shut out from his own dominions, and intent chiefly on
spiriting the Porte to make war on Russia. In this he succeeded; but
hostilities were terminated almost at their beginning by the battle of
the Pruth, fought July 20, 1711, in which the Russian army, not
mustering more than forty thousand men, and surrounded by five times
that number of Turks, owed its preservation to Catherine, first the
mistress, at this time the wife, and finally the acknowledged partner
and successor of Peter on the throne of Russia. By her coolness and
prudence, while the czar, exhausted by fatigue, anxiety, and
self-reproach, was laboring under nervous convulsions, to which he was
liable throughout life, a treaty was concluded with the vizier in
command of the Turkish army, by which the Russians preserved indeed
life, liberty, and honor, but were obliged to resign Azof, to give up
the forts and burn the vessels built to command the sea bearing that
name, and to consent to other stipulations, which must have been very
bitter to the hitherto successful conqueror. Returning to the seat of
government, his foreign policy for the next few years was directed to
breaking down the power of Sweden, and securing his new metropolis by
prosecuting his conquests on the northern side of the Gulf of Finland.
Here he was entirely successful; and the whole of Finland itself, and of
the gulf, fell into his hands. These provinces were secured to Russia by
the peace of Nieustadt, in 1721. Upon this occasion the senate or state
assembly of Russia requested him to assume the title of Emperor of all
the Russias, with the adjunct of Great, and Father of his Country.

If our sketch of the latter years of Peter's life appears meagre and
unsatisfactory, it is to be recollected that the history of that life is
the history of a great empire, which it would be vain to condense within
our limits, were they greater than they are. Results are all that we are
competent to deal with. From the peace of Nieustadt, the exertions of
Peter, still unremitting, were directed more to consolidate and improve
the internal condition of the empire, by watching over the changes which
he had already made, than to effect farther conquests, or new
revolutions in policy or manners. He died February 8, 1725, leaving no
surviving male issue. Some time before he had caused the Empress
Catherine to be solemnly crowned and associated with him on the throne,
and to her he left the charge of fostering those schemes of civilization
which he had originated.



MARIA THERESA[1]

By ANNA C. BRACKETT

(1717-1780)

         [Footnote 1: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Maria Theresa. [TN]]


Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria, was born May 13, 1717, daughter
of Charles VI. of the house of Hapsburg--ruling Austria for more than
four hundred years--and of Elizabeth of Brunswick. From her father she
inherited the "deadly Hapsburg tenacity," and from her mother much good
sense and capacity for managing affairs, all of which stood her in good
stead. She was especially fortunate in three things: that she lived in
the time of Frederick the Great of Prussia, for thus she had given to
her a chance to know of what stuff she was made; that she did not marry
him, as was proposed by the great Eugene; and that she did not live to
see the beautiful head of her daughter, Marie Antoinette, fall under the
guillotine. Though the court of Charles VI. rivalled in ceremonial
observance that of Spain, the little archduchess was reared in almost
Spartan simplicity of dress and food. From Jesuit text-books she learned
her history and geography, and she spoke several languages, none of
which, however, could she ever write or spell quite correctly. But
chiefly she was taught the pre-eminent dignity and power of the
Hapsburgs, and the necessary indivisibility of the Austrian state. She
learned to hunt, to shoot, and to dance, and at suppers of state she and
her little sister were sometimes allowed to present to their stately
mother her gloves and fan when the emperor rose. She had an aversion to
business and great diffidence of her own capacity, and though the
emperor took her to the council of state at the time of the Polish
election, when she was only sixteen, he yet failed to give her any real
knowledge of the commonest forms of business. In this austere court,
never seeing a smile on her father's face, she grew up, "the prettiest
little maiden in the world," to a radiant woman, heir-expectant to the
throne by virtue of the Pragmatic Sanction, an order of state by means
of which the Emperor Charles VI. had undertaken to settle the Austrian
succession.

At nineteen she was "beautiful to soul and eye," tall and slight, with
brilliant complexion, sparkling gray eyes, and a profusion of golden
wavy hair. She had an aquiline nose,--strange to say for a Hapsburg, an
exceedingly lovely mouth,--and very beautiful hands and arms. Her voice
was sharp but musical, and her quick speech and animated gestures
betrayed an ardent and impetuous nature, though she never lost her high
and dignified bearing. Her anger was easily roused, but never lasted
long, especially when a fault had been committed against herself, and
when she knew that she had been too angry she tried to atone by
overflowing kindness. She needed only to be convinced that a thing was
wrong, to give it up. Whatever she did she did with her whole heart, and
gratitude was one of her strongest characteristics. Withal she kept a
constant and steadfast soul, and her nature was delicate and refined;
she was a worthy sister of Isabella of Castile. At nineteen, largely
through her own persistence, she escaped being made a sacrifice to the
political needs of Austria in being given to the heir of Philip V. of
Spain, and married the man of her choice, Francis Stephen, the grandson
of that Duke of Lorraine who, in 1683, together with John Sobieski, King
of Poland, had saved Vienna from the Turks. Her husband was of comely
person and suave manners, kind-hearted, though not strong nor brilliant.
To him she bore five sons and eleven daughters. She was looking forward
to the birth of her eldest son, when, at the age of twenty-three,
October 20, 1740, she was proclaimed by the heralds Sovereign
Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, for her father lay
dead in Vienna, and all the cares and anxieties of government had fallen
upon her shoulders. Austria was not one nation, but composed of many
differing and scattered peoples jealous of their ancient rights, among
whom there could be no sense of unity, and in his many disastrous wars
her father had lost several of its possessions. There was the depression
of defeat and mismanagement among the state-counsellors, there were only
$65,000 in the treasury, and an army of but 68,000 soldiers. The powers
that had given in their adhesion to the Pragmatic Sanction were tardily
and but half acknowledging her succession, and from France she could get
nothing but dissimulation and uncertainty. On November 1st the young
royal wife was joyfully and peacefully creating her husband Grand Master
of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and co-regent, and conferring upon
him the Bohemian electoral vote. In less than six weeks from that day
the Elector of Bavaria had laid formal claim to her throne, Frederick of
Prussia had marched his troops into Silesia, one of her finest
provinces, calling it his own, and the war of the Austrian Succession
was on for seven long years; for the high, heroic heart would not yield
one inch, and the sovereign ruler of Austria had met with fine Hapsburg
scorn the insulting proposition of the King of Prussia that he would
gladly support her right to the throne of her ancestors, provided she
would resign to his obliging majesty the whole of Silesia.

The aged counsellors who took it upon themselves to dictate to the young
and inexperienced ruler soon found out their mistake. The little girl
who had displayed an aversion for business was now a woman with talent
for its details, only eager for instruction in order to make up her own
mind. The army must be increased and improved, and the people aroused to
enthusiasm, if Frederick was to be checked. And it was not Frederick
alone that was to be feared, for a great coalition of European powers
was formed against her, and she had but England and Saxony to depend on
for help, while the enemy was already within her dominions. March 13,
1741, her son Joseph was born, and by September 11th the young mother
was in Hungary to urge its people to come to the aid of the threatened
country in its extremity. In deep mourning and still pale and delicate,
holding the little archduke in her arms, her appeal to the Hungarian
nobles roused them to lofty enthusiasm and gained their unswerving
devotion. She never forgot this, and when she lay dying, spoke of them
with grateful affection. The war went on with varying fortunes, but she
kept heart and hope, though by the end of 1741 the powers were plotting
the partition of Austria as a probable event. By 1743 the luck had
changed; the Austrian army had redeemed itself, and Maria Theresa was
fancying that she should be able to conquer Prussia. It was about this
time that she began greatly to rely on Kaunitz, who afterward became
Prime Minister, and who shaped for all the after-years of her reign the
policy of her rule. The old ministers left her by her father were not
able to meet the new difficulties, and the sovereign was often in great
anxiety amid conflicting and hesitating counsels, for it was nothing
less than the very existence of the country that was at stake. She was
thirty-one years old when the war came to an end by the peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle, the particulars of which were entrusted to Kaunitz
while he was ambassador at London. By that treaty Maria Theresa gained
the final guarantee of the Pragmatic Sanction, though she had to cede
two of her Italian duchies to the Spanish Bourbons, and Glatz and the
much-desired Silesia to the "bad neighbor," as she always called
Frederick. She was twenty-eight when she had the pleasure of seeing her
husband elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, gaining as his wife
the title of empress, and being thus often spoken of as the
empress-queen.

The war was over, but she knew full well that it was only for a short
time, and she spent the eight years of restless peace that followed, in
the most unremitting efforts to enable her country to endure the next
attack. She had proved that she could create heroes out of common men;
she was now to extort praise even from Frederick of Prussia for
"accomplishing designs worthy of a great man." A military academy was
created at Vienna; order and economy were brought into the treasury and
the army; she established camps of instruction and went herself to visit
them, recompensing brave officers, calling forth abilities and
emulation. The Department of Justice was disjoined from that of the
Police, a superior court was established, and the direction of the
finances given to a special council, reporting every week to the
empress. She often consulted men who were not in office upon matters of
policy, and thus got many valuable suggestions. Meantime Kaunitz was
ambassador at Paris, and had been bending all his efforts to secure a
French alliance, which seemed to him of so much importance that he even
induced his royal mistress to write to the Pompadour with a view to
securing the influence of Louis XV. in the impending war. This was not
the only time that Maria Theresa sacrificed the woman in her to the
ruler, for though above all breath of scandal, and devotedly attached to
husband and children, she never forgot that she was Austria, and must
maintain her inheritance. Then came on the Seven Years' War, in which
she had as allies almost all Europe, though at its close she had to give
up the last hope of ever regaining Silesia, which was as dear to her as
Calais to Mary of England, Frederick agreeing to vote for Joseph as
successor to his father as emperor. It was in this war, after the
victory of Kolin, that she founded the military order of Maria Theresa,
the beautiful cross of which is still the highest and most coveted
Austrian decoration. At the end of the war she was forty-six years old,
and it was only two years after, August 18, 1765, that she herself made
the shroud for her husband, and put on the mourning which was to last
for fifteen years. Ever after that she spent in seclusion the whole
month of August and the 18th of every other month, thus breaking the
routine of her busy days. I give in brief the account of one of these:
Rising at five or six, according to the season, prayer, dressing,
hearing mass, breakfast, work till nine on petitions and reports, a
second mass, a visit to her children, more work till dinner at one, and
again work. This she was apt to do in a sentinel-guarded arbor to which
she would go from the palace, carrying despatches and papers in a tray
slung by a cord round her neck. Vespers at six, an evening card-party,
supper, a walk at eight, and then sleep. After the death of Francis she
made her son Joseph joint-ruler, but soon found herself obliged to limit
his authority to the care of the army. At fifty the small-pox greatly
marred her beauty, though she was now at the age when the constant
beauty of soul of her life shone fair on the lofty face. When she was
fifty-three she bade good-by to the little fifteen-years-old Marie
Antoinette, going, as she hoped, to assure the alliance of France, never
to see her again. To her for the rest of Maria Theresa's life, as to the
other married daughters, went a courier every three weeks with letters,
which have been preserved, and may still be read for knowledge of the
mother and empress. At fifty-five Maria Theresa became a party to the
partition of Poland, and because this transaction is regarded as a blot
upon her character, I give in full the words which she sent to Kaunitz
when she returned to him the signed agreement. She was then fifty-five
years old, and keen memories of 1741 and of her young life must have
stirred the trembling pen as she wrote on it: "_Placet_, because so many
great and learned men wish it; but when I have been long dead, people
will see what must come from the violation of everything that until now
has been deemed holy and right." And then on a slip of paper sent with
the document stood these words: "When all my countries were attacked,
and I no longer knew where I might go quietly to lie in, I stood stiff
on my good right and the help of God. But in this affair, when not only
clear justice cries to Heaven against us, but also all fairness and
common-sense condemn us, I must confess that all the days of my life I
have never felt so troubled, and I am ashamed to show myself before the
people. Let the prince consider what an example we give to the world,
when, for a miserable slice of Poland or of Moldavia and Wallachia, we
risk the loss of our honor and reputation. I feel that I am alone, and
no longer in health and strength; and therefore, although not without my
greatest sorrow I allow matters to take their own course."

The heaviest burdens and greatest trials of her life were now over. The
fruit of her careful plans was beginning to be reaped in prosperity, and
a long period of tranquillity had come. She turned all her attention to
reforms: academies were established, among others one for the education
of the Magyar noble youth in Vienna, that these might become the more
surely incorporated with the Austrian system. The public schools were
reconstituted, the monasteries reformed, and no longer allowed to
furnish asylums for criminals. Priests were forbidden to be present at
the making of wills, and the Inquisition was suppressed. Through most
convincing efforts on the part of Kaunitz, the Jesuits had been finally
expelled from the country. Agriculture, trade, and commerce were
encouraged, though by the advice of England the navy was given up.
Inoculation for the small-pox was introduced, and a hospital for its
treatment, as well as a home for veteran soldiers, built in Vienna. When
she was sixty, the war of the Bavarian Succession was happily ended, in
opposition to the will of Joseph, by her most untiring efforts.
Servitude and the torture had been abolished; the taxes, on a better
basis, were bringing in large returns; a standing army had been created,
the monarchy lifted and strengthened, and the court and the people stood
together against oppression from the aristocracy. Austria had been
carried from the Middle Ages into modern times, and was no longer a
conglomeration but a nation.

Maria Theresa had reached the age of sixty-three when the brave
religious spirit, over which flattery had had no power, was waiting in
pain and anguish but not in fear the hour of its release. The generous
and open hand could no longer give; the heart so keenly sensitive to
criticism was to dread it no more; the eyes that, as she had written to
Marie Antoinette, had shed so many relieving tears were nevermore to
need that relief. "You are all so timid," she said, "I am not afraid of
death. I only pray to God to give me strength to the end." She did not
forget Poland, she gratefully remembered Hungary, and then, with the
cry, "To Thee! I am coming!" she sank back dead, in the arms of the son
whom, as a little baby, she had held up in her brave arms to plead for
the loyalty of the Hungarian nobles. The high imperial heart had ceased
to beat, the house of Hapsburg had come to an end, and Joseph II., of
the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine, was the sovereign ruler of Austria.

[Signature of the author.]



EDMUND BURKE[2]

By DR. HEINRICH GEFFCKEN

(1730-1797)

         [Footnote 2: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Edmund Burke. [TN]]


Edmund Burke, the great British politician, and one of the greatest
political philosophers that ever lived, was born at Dublin, January 1,
1730, as son of a petty attorney. Conformably to the wishes of his
father, he began to study law in London, but found it so little
attractive that, encouraged by eminent men, particularly by Johnson, he
turned to literary pursuits. His first work, "Vindication of Natural
Society" (1756), which at once won him fame, is a keen satire on
Bolingbroke, showing that the attacks of that writer upon revealed
religion might as well be turned against all social and political
institutions. His reputation was still enhanced by the "Philosophical
Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas on the Sublime and Beautiful"
(1757); and at the same time he showed, by publishing "Dodd's Annual
Register," that he was equally gifted for politics. As a preliminary for
practical activity in that domain, he became private secretary of Gerard
Hamilton, the lieutenant-general's assistant for Ireland, but soon found
that his chief's smart mediocrity only wanted to turn to advantage the
secretary's scantily rewarded talent. He returned to London (1764), and
at once entered upon the political career in which he was to play so
eminent a part.

The Grenville ministry was dismissed and replaced by an administration
of rather heterogeneous elements, under Lord Rockingham, not a great
statesman, but combining unblemished character and solid gifts with rank
and wealth. Burke became his private secretary and influential adviser,
being at the same time elected a member for Wendover. Matters then were
in a very critical state: while discontent was fast rising in America
and commerce trembling for its colonial trade, two parties were fiercely
opposed in Parliament. Pitt deemed it treason against the Constitution
and to the colonies to tax America without its consent. Grenville
declared it treason to crown and legislature to abandon that right.
Burke, though in principle more inclining to Pitt, advised a middle
course by redressing the grievances of the colonies, while maintaining
the dignity of the crown. The government proposed (January, 1766) to
repeal Grenville's Stamp Act, but to guard the constitutional rights of
the mother-country by a "Declaratory Act." In the debate on these bills
Burke made his maiden speech, which called forth universal admiration; a
friend wrote to him, "You have made us hear a new eloquence." The bills
passed, but the ministry, mined by both parties, soon afterward was
obliged to resign. Burke summed up its activity in an excellent
pamphlet, "A Short Account of a Late Short Administration," and now
entered into opposition against Lord Chatham's ministry, which he called
"a tessellated pavement without cement." On the other hand, he
victoriously refuted the attacks of the Grenvilles against Rockingham,
in his "Observations on the Present State of the Nation," exhibiting the
emptiness of his opponents' declamations on the declining wealth of the
country, and proving that its resources were fast increasing.

Burke rises still higher in the "Thoughts on the Causes of the Present
Discontents" (1770), a powerful plea for the British Constitution in its
development from 1688, and exhibiting the full maturity of his talent.
He denies that the prevailing discontents are due to some factious
libellers exciting the people, who have no interest in disorder, but are
only roused by the impatience of suffering. The discontents were real,
and their cause was a perversion of the true principles on which the
Constitution rested. As hitherto, business had gone alternately through
the hands of Whigs and Tories, the opposition controlling the
government; but now a court faction had sprung up called "the king's
friends," a double cabinet, acting as irresponsible wire-pullers behind
the scenes. These men deriving, like Janissaries, a kind of freedom from
the very condition of their servitude, were sitting in secondary, but
efficient, departments of office and in the household of the royal
family, so as to occupy the avenues to the throne and to forward or
frustrate the execution of any measure according to their own interests;
they endeavored to separate the crown from the administration, and to
divide the latter within itself. To this cabal it was owing that British
policy was brought into derision in those foreign countries which, a
while ago, trembled at the power of England's arms. Above all, they
tried to pervert the principles of Parliament by raising divisions among
the people, by influencing the elections, by separating representatives
from their constituents, and by undermining the control of the
legislature over the executive. They maintained that all political
connections were in their nature factious; but free commonwealths were
ever made by parties, _i.e._, bodies of men united for promoting by
their joint endeavors the national interest upon great leading
principles in which they were agreed; government by parties was the very
soul of representative institutions; it had raised England to her
present power and protected the liberty of the people; while the cant,
"measures not men," had always been the pretext for getting loose from
every honorable engagement.

Burke finds the remedy in restoring the Constitution to its original
principles; all patriots must form a firm combination against the cabal;
a just connection between representatives and constituents must be
re-established; Parliament ought not to meddle with the privileges of
the executive, but exercise real control upon the acting powers of the
state, and if necessary, not be afraid to resort to impeachment, "that
great guardian of the purity of the Constitution;" finally, if all means
fail, there must be an interposition of the body of the people
itself--"an unpleasant remedy but legal, when it is evident that nothing
else can hold the Constitution to its true principles."

He at the same time displayed a prominent activity in Parliament, where
soon all internal questions gave way to the great contest with America.
In 1771 he had accepted the place of an agent for New York, had become
intimately acquainted with Franklin, and won a deep insight into
American affairs. Of the six duties imposed by Townshend's Revenue Act
(1767) five had been repealed, the tea duty alone remained. December 18,
1773, the cargo of an East Indian tea-ship was thrown into the sea at
Boston, and the first armed conflict ensued. Court and government were
resolved to put down this rebellion; Burke, on the contrary, supported
in his great speech "On American Taxation" Rose-Fuller's motion (April,
1774) for suppressing the last duty. England had no right to tax the
colonies, nor had she ever pretended to do so before Grenville's Stamp
Act; that, as well as the most important duties of the Revenue Act, had
been repealed; the tea-duty was slight and it produced short of nothing,
the cost of collection devouring it to the bone; for the Americans
refused to buy imported tea, and they were right to do so; having
inherited English principles they resisted for the same reason for which
Hampden had resisted the payment of the trifling ship-money, because the
principle on which it was demanded would have made him a slave. It would
be a signal folly to maintain the shadow of a duty and to risk the loss
of an empire merely because the preamble of the Revenue Act said it was
expedient that a revenue should be raised in his majesty's dominions in
America.

[Illustration: Burke, Johnson and their friends.]

The blindness of the majority turned away from those wise counsels.
Parliament was dissolved. Burke, elected for Bristol, forthwith
introduced thirteen resolutions, which he defended in his celebrated
speech for "Conciliation with the Colonies" (March 22, 1775). As he had
told his constituents his aim was to reconcile British superiority with
American liberty, he proposed to remove the ground of the difference in
order to restore the former confidence of the colonies in the
mother-country. "Fighting is not the best way of gaining a people of
more than two millions, in which the fierce spirit of liberty is
probably stronger than in any other country, and that liberty is founded
upon English principles." Now, a fundamental point of our Constitution
is that the people have power of "granting their own money;" the
colonial assemblies have uncontested competence to raise taxes, and have
frequently granted them for imperial purposes; sometimes so liberally
that, in 1743, the Commons resolved to reimburse the expense; no method
for procuring a representation in Parliament of the colonies has
hitherto been advised, consequently no revenue by imposition has been
raised before the Stamp Act; we therefore ought to acknowledge that only
the general assemblies can grant "aids to his Majesty." To enforce the
reverse principle is not only unjust, but impossible, "when three
thousand miles of ocean lie between us and them. Seas roll and months
pass between the order and the execution. We may impoverish the
colonies and cripple our own most important trade, but it is
preposterous to make them unserviceable, in order to keep them
obedient." The motions were rejected; three years afterward, when it was
too late, Burke's opponent, Lord North, proposed a similar plan.

In 1780 Burke introduced his bill for "Economical reform in support of
several petitions to correct the gross abuses in the management of
public expenditure before laying fresh burdens upon the people." His
speech derives a particular interest from its defining the difference of
timely and gradual reformation from hasty and harsh, making clear work.
The former was an amicable and temperate arrangement with a friend in
power, leaving room for growth; the latter was imposing terms upon a
conquered enemy under a state of inflammation. In 1782 Lord North was
obliged to resign, and Rockingham became again premier, Burke
paymaster-general of the army. He now carried his economical reform,
abolishing sinecures, suppressing useless expenses, and cutting down
salaries, among which was his own.

After Rockingham's death and the overthrow of the short Shelburne
administration, Burke turned his activity to the misgovernment of India;
his speeches in support of Fox's East-India Bill (December 1, 1783), and
on the Nabob of Arcot's debts (February 15, 1783), show that he had
thoroughly mastered that intricate subject. He violently denounced the
oppression exercised by the company, a prelude to his campaign against
Warren Hastings, which he continued for eight years. His speech
justifying the impeachment of the governor-general, said Erskine,
"irresistibly carried away its brilliant audience by a superhuman
eloquence."

Burke in this contest was, as always, animated by the purest motives,
but his passion went too far in comparing Hastings to Verres, and did
not sufficiently allow for the difficult circumstances in which his
adversary was placed. Without the latter's unscrupulous energy, India
would have been lost. Hastings finally was acquitted, but Burke's
attacks nevertheless had the effect of uncovering and redressing the
prevailing abuses.

The last period of Burke's life is filled up by his great struggle
against the French revolution. Already in 1769 he had prophetically
asserted that the derangement of French finances must infallibly lead to
a violent convulsion, the influence of which upon France and even Europe
could be scarcely divined; now he directed the attention of the House
(February 4, 1790) to the dangers of the revolution, by which the French
had shown themselves "the ablest architects of ruin," pulling down all
their domestic institutions, making "a digest of anarchy" called "the
rights of men," and establishing a ferocious, tyrannical, and
atheistical democracy. It might be said that they had done service to
England, a rival, by reducing their country to impotence and expunging
it out of the system of Europe; but, by the vicinity of the two
countries, their present distemper might prove more contagious than the
gilded tyranny of Louis XIV. had been, and "much as it would afflict
him, he would abandon his best friends and join with his worst enemies
to oppose all violent exertions of the spirit of innovation, which by
tearing to pieces the contexture of the state prevented all real
reformation;" the last passage alluding to the apology of Fox, hitherto
his closest friend, for French proceedings.

These ideas Burke more fully developed in his famous "Reflections on the
Revolution in France" (1790); liberals maintained that by this work he
had deserted the cause of liberty; conservatives asserted that he had
become the stoutest champion of order combined with rational freedom. It
must be acknowledged that Burke erred by judging the state of France
before the revolution too favorably; if he justly appreciated the
pernicious influence of Rousseau, "that great professor and hero of
vanity," he ought to have discerned that a nation, the higher classes of
which were undermined by materialism and unbelief, while the masses
lived in deep misery, was incapable of a temperate reform; the follies
and terrors of the revolution were the children of the sins of the
"ancien régime." But how amply has history confirmed his judgment on the
revolution itself! While Fox admired the constitution of 1791 as "the
most astonishing and glorious edifice of liberty that ever was erected,"
Burke foresaid that this constitutional king would be torn from his
throne by the mob, that the wildest anarchy would put France in
confusion, and that after its exhaustion an unlimited military despotism
would be established.

This work, which produced a European sensation, receives its true light
by Burke's "Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs" (1791). His former
friends having sided with Fox, he refuted the reproach of having
abandoned his principles by an elaborate comparison of the English
revolution of 1688 with that of France. His later writings, among which
the "Thoughts on French Affairs" (1791) and "Thoughts on a Regicide
Peace" (1796) are the principal, were directed against the foreign
influence of the revolutionary system, "France being no more a state but
a faction, which must be destroyed or will destroy Europe." Here again
Burke was wrong; if France was a revolutionary crater, the safest way
was to let it burn out in itself, while the insane aggression of
continental powers only confirmed the reign of terror. Burke would go to
war for the idea of prescriptive right; Pitt declined to fight for the
French monarchy, and would make war only for the defence of English
interests.

Although Burke had the satisfaction of gaining the majority for his
views, he retired from Parliament in 1794; a pension which he obtained
he defended in the "Letter to a Noble Lord," a dignified plea, "pro
domo." One of his last works was "Thoughts and Details on Scarcity"
(1795). In a time when political economy was still in a state of
infancy, he held the most enlightened opinions on all questions relating
to it; his doctrines on prices, wages, rent, etc., are still worth
reading. Above all, he opposes indiscreet government tampering with the
trade of provisions. "Once habituated to get cheap bread, the people
will never be satisfied to get it otherwise, and on the first scarcity
they will turn and bite the hand that fed them."

Burke died July 8, 1797. His was a character of unblemished purity,
manly uprightness, and perfect disinterestedness. He was a conservative
of the truest and best kind, but in his later years went too far in
supporting existing institutions merely because they existed. Lacking
practical accommodation to circumstances, he would probably not have
been a great minister; neither was he a consummate parliamentary
tactician and debater, nevertheless he stands in the first ranks of
statesmen and orators. Lord Brougham goes too far in calling his
speeches spoken dissertations; they were carefully prepared set
speeches. In them, as in his writings, we admire the most varied
information, philosophical acuteness, penetrating sagacity, curious
felicity of expression, and an eloquence embracing the full range and
depth of the subject. Fox avowed that he had learned more from Burke
than from all other men and authors, and for the same reason his works
will remain a mine of political wisdom. The only drawback is that in his
eagerness he sometimes overstated his case, and, embittered by the
struggles of his later years, occasionally condescended to expressions
bordering upon scurrility.

[Signature of the author.]



BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

(1706-1790)

[Illustration: Benjamin Franklin. [TN]]


Though eminent qualities are generally necessary to the acquisition of
permanent fame, the life of Franklin affords signal proof that moderate
talents, judiciously directed, when aided by industry and perseverance,
will enable a man to render signal services to his country and his kind,
and give him a claim to the homage of posterity. He was the fifteenth
child of a tallow-chandler in Boston, where he was born January 17,
1706. His father at first intended to educate him for the church, but
finding that the expense was likely to exceed his means, he took the boy
home after he had acquired little more than the elements of learning, to
assist him in his own trade. The boy greatly disliked the nature of the
employment, and was very anxious to become a sailor. Fortunately for him
his friends controlled his inclinations; instead of going to sea he was
apprenticed to his eldest brother, James, who was a printer. Franklin
records in his Memoirs that though he had only at this time entered his
twelfth year he paid so much attention to his business that he soon
became proficient in all its details, and, by the quickness with which
he executed his work, obtained a little leisure, which he devoted to
study. His studious habits were noticed by a gentleman named Adams, who
had a large collection of books, which he placed at the disposal of
Franklin; among these were some volumes of poetry, which fired his
emulation, and he began to compose little pieces in verse. Two of these
were printed by his brother and sold as street-ballads, but they were,
as he informs us, wretched doggerel, and the ridicule thrown on them by
his father deterred him from similar attempts. But though he laid aside
poetry, he did not abandon his ambition to become a good English writer;
he studied the art of composition with great labor, being rewarded by
the consciousness of improvement.

Franklin's self-denial and power of control over his appetites were not
less remarkable than his industry. Having, at the age of sixteen, read a
work which recommended vegetable diet, he determined to adopt the
system, and undertook to provide for himself upon his brother's allowing
him one-half of the ordinary expenses of board. On this pittance he not
only supported himself, but contrived, by great abstemiousness, to save
a portion of it, which he devoted to the purchase of books. He soon had
an opportunity of testing his literary progress; in 1720 his brother
commenced the publication of a newspaper, the second which had appeared
in America, called the _New England Courant_. This paper, at a time when
periodicals were rare, attracted most of the literary men of Boston to
the house of the proprietor; their conversation, and particularly their
remarks on the authorship of the various articles contributed to the
paper, revived Franklin's literary ambition; he sent some communications
to the journal in a feigned hand; they were inserted, and he tells us
that "he had the exquisite pleasure to find that they met with
approbation, and that, in the various conjectures respecting the author,
no one was mentioned who did not enjoy a high reputation in the country
for talents and genius." He was thus encouraged to reveal his secret to
his brother, but he did not obtain the respect and fraternal indulgence
which he had anticipated. James Franklin was a man of violent temper; he
treated Benjamin with great harshness, and often proceeded to the
extremity of blows.

An article which appeared in the _Courant_ having given offence to the
authorities, James was thrown into prison for a month, and the
management of the paper devolved on Benjamin. He conducted it with great
spirit, but with questionable prudence, for he made it the vehicle of
sharp attacks on the principal persons in the colony. This gave such
offence that when James was liberated from prison, an arbitrary order
was issued that he should no longer print the paper called the _New
England Courant_. To evade this order it was arranged that Benjamin's
indentures should be cancelled in order that the paper might be
published in his name, but at the same time a secret contract was made
between the parties, by which James was entitled to his brother's
services during the unexpired period of apprenticeship. A fresh quarrel,
however, soon arose, and Benjamin separated from his brother, taking
what he has confessed to be an unfair advantage of the circumstance
that the contract could not be safely brought forward.

The circumstance produced an unfavorable impression on the minds of the
printers in Boston, and Franklin, finding it impossible to obtain
employment in his native town, resolved to seek it in New York. Aware
that his father would be opposed to this measure, he was compelled to
sell his books to raise money for defraying the expenses of his journey.
America was at this time very thinly inhabited; there were no public
conveyances on the roads, the inns were few, and their accommodations
miserable; but Franklin had accustomed himself to hard fare, and he did
not allow the inconvenience he endured to interfere with his enjoyment
of new scenery. On reaching New York he found that the printers there
had no occasion for his services, and he continued his journey to
Philadelphia. Having obtained employment in that city from a printer
named Keimer, Franklin continued to devote his leisure hours to
literature. The respectability of his appearance and the superior tone
of his conversation began soon to be remarked; they led to his being
introduced to several eminent men, and particularly to Sir William
Keith, the Governor of Pennsylvania, who frequently invited him to his
table. Keith urged Franklin to commence business on his own account, and
when the young man had ineffectually applied for assistance to his
father in Boston, he advised him to go to London and form a connection
with some of the great publishing houses, promising him letters of
credit and recommendation. Franklin sailed for London, but the promised
letters were never sent; and he found himself, on his arrival in
England, thrown entirely on his own resources.

Having soon obtained employment, he exhibited to his fellow-workmen an
edifying example of industry and temperance, by which many of them
profited. He also published a little work of a sceptical tendency, which
procured him introductions to some eminent men, but which he afterward
lamented as one of the greatest errors of his life. After remaining
about eighteen months in England, he returned to Philadelphia as a clerk
to Mr. Denham, and on the death of that gentleman went back once more to
his old employer, Keimer. About this time he established a debating
society, or club of persons of his own age, for the discussion of
subjects connected with morals, politics, and natural philosophy. These
discussions gradually assumed political importance, and had a great
effect in stimulating the public mind during the War of Independence.

Having quarrelled with Keimer, Franklin entered into partnership with a
young man named Meredith, and commenced publishing a paper in opposition
to one which had been started by his former employer. Meredith proving
negligent of business, Franklin was enabled by his friends to dissolve
the partnership, and to take the entire business into his own hands. His
steady adherence to habits of industry and economy had brought him
comparative wealth; and he now married Miss Read, whom he had met on his
first arrival in Philadelphia.

In 1732 Franklin began the publication of "Poor Richard's Almanac,"
which soon became celebrated for its important lessons of practical
morality. These were subsequently collected in a little volume, and are
still highly esteemed both in England and America. His high character
for probity and intelligence induced the citizens of Philadelphia to
intrust him with the management of public affairs; he was appointed
clerk of the general assembly, postmaster, and alderman, and was put by
the governor into the commission of the peace. All the hours he could
spare from business he now devoted to objects of local utility, and the
city of Philadelphia is indebted to him for some of its finest buildings
and best institutions. As his wealth increased he obtained leisure to
devote himself to the study of philosophy, and to take a leading part in
political life.

We shall first look at his philosophical labors, by which his name first
became known abroad. His attention was drawn to the subject of
electricity in 1746, by some experiments exhibited by Dr. Spence, who
had come to Boston from Scotland. These isolated experiments were made
with no regard to system, and led to no results. A glass tube, and some
other apparatus that had been sent to Franklin by a friend in London,
enabled him to repeat and verify these experiments. He soon began to
devise new forms of investigation for himself, and at length made the
great discovery, which may be said to be the foundation of electrical
science, that there is a positive and negative state of electricity. By
this fact he explained the phenomenon of the Leyden phial, which at that
time excited great attention in Europe, and had foiled the sagacity of
its principal philosophers. In the course of his investigations he was
led to suspect the identity of lightning and the electric fluid; and he
resolved to test this happy conjecture by a direct experiment. His
apparatus was simply a paper-kite with a key attached to the tail.
Having raised the kite during a thunder-storm, he watched the result
with great anxiety; after an interval of painful suspense, he saw the
filaments of the string exhibit by their motion signs of electrical
action; he drew in the kite, and, presenting his knuckles to the key,
received a strong spark, which of course decided the success of the
experiment. Repeated sparks were drawn from the key, a phial was
charged, a shock given, and the identity of lightning with the electric
fluid demonstrated beyond all possibility of doubt.

Franklin had from time to time transmitted accounts of his electrical
experiments to his friend, Mr. Collinson, in England, in order that they
should be laid before the Council of the Royal Society; but, as they
were not published in the "Transactions" of that learned body, Collinson
gave copies of the communications to Cave, for insertion in the
_Gentleman's Magazine_. Cave resolved to publish them in a separate
form, and the work, soon after its appearance, became generally
recognized as the text-book of electrical science. It was translated
into French, German, and Latin; the author's experiments were repeated,
and verified by the leading philosophers of France, Germany, and even
Russia; the Royal Society atoned for its former tardiness by a hearty
recognition of their value, and Franklin was elected a member of their
body without solicitation or expense. The universities of St. Andrews,
Edinburgh, and Oxford subsequently conferred upon him the honorary title
of Doctor of Laws.

We must pass more briefly over Franklin's political career. In 1753 he
was appointed Deputy Postmaster of the American colonies. The
post-office, which had previously supplied no revenue to the Government,
became very productive under his management, and yielded three times as
much as the post-office in Ireland. Nor was this the only service he
rendered to the Government. At the time of Braddock's unfortunate
expedition against the French and Indians, he provided conveyances for
the troops and stores at his own risk; he took a leading part in
obtaining a militia bill, and he proposed a plan for the union of the
several colonies in a common system of defence against the Indians.
These measures greatly increased his influence and popularity.

Pennsylvania was at this period a proprietary government, and the
proprietary body claimed exemption from taxation. In consequence of the
disputes to which these claims gave rise, he was sent to England by the
General Assembly, as agent for the provinces. He performed his duties
with such zeal and ability, that he was appointed agent for the
provinces of Massachusetts, Georgia, and Maryland; and, on his return to
America in 1762, received not only the thanks of the House of Assembly,
but a grant of £5,000. Previous to his return he made a short visit to
the continent, and was everywhere received with great honor, especially
at the court of Louis XV.

In the year 1764, the American colonies, alarmed at the system of
taxation with which they were menaced by the British, resolved that
Franklin should be sent to England, no longer as an agent, but as the
general representative of the States. In this character he arrived in
London about forty years after his first appearance in that city as a
distressed mechanic. His own mind was strongly impressed by the
contrast; he went to the printing-office where he had worked, introduced
himself to the men employed there, and joined in a little festival in
honor of printing. He officially presented to Mr. Grenville a petition
against the Stamp Act, but finding that the minister was not deterred
from his purpose, he zealously exerted himself to organize an opposition
to the measure. When it was proposed to repeal the bill in the following
year, Franklin was examined before the House of Commons; the effect of
his evidence was decisive, and the Stamp Act was repealed.

The quarrel with the colonies, however, grew more and more bitter; and
while Franklin's words were always of peace, he championed the American
cause with power and dignity. Attempts were made to win him over to the
side of the Government, by offers of high honors and liberal emoluments;
but threats and promises were alike unavailing to divert him from his
course. He lingered in England, hoping that some turn in public affairs
would avert the fatal necessity of war; but when the petition of the
American Congress was rejected, and Lord Chatham's plan of
reconciliation outvoted, he resolved to return home and share the
fortunes of his countrymen. His departure was hastened by the
intelligence that the ministers intended to arrest him on a charge of
fomenting rebellion in the colonies; he narrowly escaped this danger,
and on landing in America, he was elected a member of Congress.

Soon after the declaration of independence was issued, Dr. Franklin was
sent as ambassador to France, to solicit aid for the infant republic. On
his first arrival, in 1776, he was not officially received; but when the
intelligence of the English losses had given courage to the French
court, negotiations were formally commenced, and on February 7, 1778, he
had the honor of signing the first treaty between the United States and
a foreign power. He remained at the French court as ambassador until the
end of the war, when, as an American plenipotentiary, he signed the
treaty of Paris, by which Great Britain recognized the independence of
the United States. At the close of the negotiations (November, 1782), he
was anxious to be recalled; but his diplomatic services were too highly
valued to be spared, and he remained at Paris three years longer, during
which period he negotiated treaties with Sweden and with Prussia. His
residence in France was cheered by the enthusiasm with which he was
regarded by all classes, particularly persons of literature and science;
his departure from that city was lamented as a general loss to society.

Honors of every kind awaited him on his return to his native land; he
was appointed President of the State of Pennsylvania, and a member of
the Federal Convention, by which the American Constitution was framed.
But old age, and a painful disease, to which he had been long subject,
compelled him to retire into the bosom of his family. Notwithstanding
his sufferings, he preserved his affections and faculties unimpaired to
the last, and died tranquilly, April 17, 1790. The American Congress,
and the National Assembly of France, both went into mourning on
receiving the intelligence of his death.

Franklin's powers were useful rather than brilliant; his philosophical
discoveries were the result of patience and perseverance; with a warmer
imagination he would probably have been misled by speculative theory,
like so many of his contemporaries. His industry and his temperance were
the sources of his early success, and they nurtured in him that spirit
of independence which was the leading characteristic of his private and
public career.



PATRICK HENRY[3]

By GENERAL BRADLEY T. JOHNSON

(1736-1799)

         [Footnote 3: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Patrick Henry. [TN]]


Patrick Henry was born in Hanover County, Virginia, May 29, 1736; died
in Charlotte County, Virginia, June 6, 1799. He was the son of Colonel
John Henry, of Mount Brilliant, a Scotchman by birth, who was the nephew
of Dr. William Robertson, the historian. Henry received only the limited
education accessible in the rural locality in which he was born,
consisting of the rudiments of an English training and absolutely no
acquaintance with the classics. His early youth was spent on the
plantation, occupied with the amusements of his age and his epoch;
fishing and hunting gave him acquaintance with the fields, the streams,
and the forests, and the observation of nature, her changes, her forces,
and her moods. The habits thus formed evolved in part the great power of
introspection and analysis of the feelings of men which afterward gave
him such control of them.

At the age of fifteen he was placed in a country store as assistant
salesman, or clerk. After a year's experience, his father purchased a
small stock of goods for him, and set him up on his own account in
partnership with his brother William.

This adventure came to grief in a year, and then Henry, at the age of
eighteen, married Miss Shelton, the daughter of a neighboring farmer.

The young couple were settled on a farm by the joint efforts of their
parents, where they endeavored to win a subsistence with the assistance
of two or three servants. In two years he sold out and invested in
another mercantile undertaking. In a few years this ended in bankruptcy,
leaving him without a dollar and with a wife and an increasing family to
support. He was devoted to music, dancing, and amusement, and was
incapable of continuous physical or intellectual labor. He had devoted
himself to desultory reading of the best kind, and made himself
acquainted with the history of England, of Greece, and of Rome. He
therefore undertook to win a support by the profession and the practice
of the law, and after a brief pretence of preparation, by the generosity
of the bar at that period, was admitted to practice. The vigor of his
intellect, his powerful logic, and his acute analysis induced the
examining committee to sign his certificate.

That committee consisted of Mr. Lyons, then the leader of the Provincial
bar, afterward president-judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals of
Virginia; Mr. John Lewis, an eminent lawyer, and John Randolph,
afterward knighted and as Sir John Randolph, the king's Attorney General
for Virginia. Henry was twenty-four when admitted to the bar, and for
three years did nothing.

Under the law of Virginia the people, without regard to religious
belief, were bound to pay a tax of so many pounds of tobacco per poll
for the support of the clergy. The parson of each parish was entitled to
sixteen thousand pounds of tobacco per annum. When the price of tobacco
was low this imposition was borne not without grumbling. When short
crops or increased demand raised the price, the General Assembly of the
colony by law allowed the people the option to pay their poll-tax in
tobacco, or to commute it at the fixed price of 16_s._ and 8_d._ per
hundred. When the market price was above that the tax was paid in
currency; when it was below, in tobacco. When tobacco rose to 50_s._ per
hundred the parsons demanded tobacco for their salaries instead of
16_s._ 8_d._ per hundred. The King in council declared the Commutation
Act void, and the parsons brought suit for their salaries. The
defendants pleaded the Commutation Act in defence; to this plea the
plaintiffs demurred; and the court, as it was bound to do, gave judgment
for the plaintiff on the demurrer. The only question then left was the
_quantum_ of damages, to be assessed by a jury. The case selected for a
test was the case of the Rev. James Maury against the sheriff of Hanover
County and his sureties. It was set for trial at the December term of
the County Court of Hanover, 1763. Henry was retained for the defendant,
and made an argument so forcible, so conclusive, and so eloquent that it
has made his fame as "the greatest orator who ever lived," as Mr.
Jefferson wrote of him. He took the ground that allegiance and
protection in government are reciprocal, that the King of Great Britain
had failed to protect the people of Virginia in their rights as
Englishmen, and that therefore they owed no allegiance to him and he had
no right to declare laws made by them void, therefore his nullification
of the Commutation Act was void and of no effect. The jury found for the
plaintiff with one penny damages, and thus ended the attempt to rely
upon the power of the king to set aside laws made by Virginia for her
own government.

It was the first announcement in America of the radical revolutionary
doctrine that government is a matter of compact with the people, and
when the former breaks the agreement, the latter are absolved from
obedience to it.

The next year Henry removed to Louisa County and was employed by
Dandridge in the contested election case of Dandridge _v._ Littlepage
before the House of Burgesses for a seat in that body. When the Stamp
Act passed in 1765, Mr. William Johnson, member of the House of
Burgesses for Louisa County, resigned his place to make way for Henry,
who was elected to fill the vacancy.

This body consisted of some of the ablest and most illustrious Americans
who ever lived. George Washington, Peyton Randolph, Richard Bland,
Edmund Pendleton, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee were all members, and
Henry at the first session won a place in the front rank among them. In
May, 1765, he introduced a series of resolutions, reiterating and
enlarging the propositions of the parson's case, and declaring that the
people of Virginia are entitled to all the rights of British subjects,
and that they alone, through their General Assembly, "have the sole
right and power to lay taxes and impositions on this colony," and that
any attempt by any other authority "has a manifest tendency to destroy
British as well as American freedom." They were opposed by the old
members, but the eloquent logic of Henry, backed by Johnston, a member
from Fairfax, carried them by a close vote, the last one by a majority
of one.

In this debate, Henry in a passion of eloquence exclaimed, "Cæsar had
his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George III.----"
"Treason," cried the Speaker and the House----"may profit by their
example. If this be treason, make the most of it."

The next day, the House in a panic, reconsidered, rejected, and expunged
from the _Journal_ the last resolution, which asserted the sole right
of taxation in Virginia, and denied it to Parliament.

Henry continued a member of the House of Burgesses from Louisa County
until the close of the Revolution. He led Virginia in resistance to the
tax on tea, and in organizing armed resistance to the Mother Country by
all the colonies. He was among the first of the Americans who understood
that liberty could only be preserved by defending it by force.

He was sent as a deputy from Virginia to the first Continental Congress,
which met at Philadelphia in September, 1774. He at once took a
commanding influence in that body, and on its adjournment in October,
returned home.

In March, 1776, he attended the Convention of Virginia held in Richmond.
Here he moved that "this colony be immediately put in a state of
defence, and that a committee be appointed to prepare a plan for
embodying, assigning, and disciplining such a number of men as may be
sufficient for that purpose." Bland, Harrison, Pendleton, and Nicholas,
all vigorously opposed these resolutions as leading inevitably and
logically to revolution and separation; but Henry, in a storm of
patriotic, eloquent enthusiasm, carried everything, uttering those
deathless sentences, "Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand
we here idle. What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have?

"Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of
chains and slavery?

"Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as
for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

The resolutions were carried and Henry made chairman of the committee to
organize the colony. He proceeded with great vigor to form companies of
cavalry or infantry in every county. On April 20, 1775, Lord Dunmore,
the royal governor, seized the powder of the colony and placed it on the
armed schooner Magdalene. The country rose at once. Henry, as captain,
marched the independent company of Hanover on Williamsburgh, to compel
the governor to pay for or restore the powder. Five thousand armed men
were marching from the counties to reinforce him, when Lord Dunmore,
through the intercession of Peyton Randolph, paid Henry for the powder
and induced the volunteers from Hanover, Frederick, Berkeley, and other
counties to return to their homes. As soon as they had returned, Dunmore
issued a proclamation denouncing Henry and his comrades as traitors and
rebels.

Henry was elected by the Virginia Convention one of the deputies to the
second Continental Congress. He was also elected colonel of the first
Virginia Regiment, and "commander-in-chief of all the forces raised and
to be raised for the defence of the colony." Lord Dunmore having erected
a fortification south of Norfolk, at Great Bridge, Colonel Woodford,
with the second Virginia Regiment, was sent by the Committee of Safety
to drive him away, which he did promptly and well. Henry claimed the
right to command this expedition himself, but his claim was not admitted
by the committee, and his authority was disclaimed by Colonel Woodford.
Henry insisted upon having the question of rank between them decided,
and the committee decided in favor of Colonel Henry. Yet when brigadiers
were selected by Congress to command the troops of Virginia in the
Continental Army, Andrew Lewis was made brigadier, Henry colonel of the
first regiment. He promptly refused the Continental commission, and
resigned the one held in the service of Virginia. Henry's conduct was
justified in the opinion of his contemporaries and of posterity. He had
led the colony at the risk of life and fortune, he had organized and led
the first movement of troops against the royal authority, he had been
appointed commander-in-chief and colonel of the First Regiment, and then
had been superseded in command by another, without excuse or
justification. He was thus driven out of the military service by petty
intrigues and small jealousies of smaller men, and the country deprived
of his great abilities in the military field.

On May 15, 1776, the Virginia Convention instructed their deputies in
Congress "to declare the United Colonies free and independent States,"
and on June 29th adopted a form of State government and elected Mr.
Henry governor. During the winter of 1776-77 was the darkest period of
the revolution, and it has been charged that it was proposed to create
him dictator; but his friends have always denied this, and it seems with
truth, for he was re-elected governor, May 30th, 1777. He was a firm
supporter of General Washington through all the trials of that period,
and firmly stood by him against the intrigue in the army to supersede
him with Gates. He was again elected governor in the spring of 1778, and
the next year declined a re-election because in his opinion he was
ineligible. His wife, Miss Shelton, died in 1775, leaving him the father
of six children, and in 1777 he married Dorothea, daughter of Nathaniel
W. Dandridge.

After the expiration of his gubernatorial service he retired to his
estate in Henry County. He was elected to the General Assembly for that
County in 1780, and he continued to represent it until after the
revolution. He took the ground of amnesty to the Tories and the
resumption of commercial intercourse with Great Britain. In 1784, he
introduced and urged the passage of a bill to promote inter-marriages
with the Indians, which failed to pass from his being again elected
governor on November 17, 1784, for the term of three years.

He declined a re-election, and was appointed one of the deputies from
Virginia to the Constitutional Convention to meet in Philadelphia. The
order of appointment being George Washington, Patrick Henry, Edmund
Randolph, John Blair, James Madison, George Mason and George Wythe. He,
however, was too poor to perform the duties of the office and was
obliged to return to the practice of the law. He was sent as a member
from Prince Edward to the convention to consider the Federal
Constitution which had been framed at Philadelphia. The convention met
at Richmond, June 2, 1788.

It was composed of the most illustrious men that Virginia ever produced,
and was probably the ablest body that ever convened in any country in
any age. James Madison, John Marshall, James Monroe, Edmund Pendleton,
George Nicholas, George Mason, Jarvis, Grayson, and Henry, Lee, and
Randolph were among the members. Henry vigorously opposed the
ratification of the new constitution on the ground that it would
establish a government of the people in place of a government of the
States, and would create a consolidated government with omnipotent
power, without check or balance, and lead to a great and mighty empire
and an absolute despotism. The Federal party carried the ratification
under the lead of Madison and Marshall by a majority of ten.

In the ensuing General Assembly Henry opposed the election of Madison as
one of the first senators under the new constitution, and secured that
of Richard Henry Lee and Grayson to represent Virginia in the first
Congress. He also drafted and had passed resolutions calling upon
Congress to call a Constitutional Convention of the States to cure by
amendments the many defects in the Federal Constitution which were
indicated by the amendments proposed to it by Virginia. The Convention
was never called, but ten of the amendments were adopted by Congress and
ratified by the States.

He declined a re-election to the General Assembly in 1791, and retired
to private life. In November, 1791, he appeared before the Federal Court
in Richmond, for the defendant in the case of the British debts. The
question involved was the right of Virginia to confiscate, during the
war, debts due by her citizens to subjects of Great Britain. With Henry
was John Marshall, and in the argument Henry made the greatest legal
effort of his life.

In November, 1795, he was again elected Governor of Virginia, but
declined on account of his age. He was offered the mission to Spain by
Washington during his first term, and to France during his second--both
of which positions he declined. Alarmed at the position taken by the
Virginia resolutions of 1798, he became a candidate for, and was elected
to the General Assembly from Charlotte County in 1799. But the Virginia
Legislature was opposed to his views, and reiterated those set forth in
the resolution of 1798.

His health had been infirm for several years, and he died June 6, 1799.
The General Assembly passed resolutions recording their love and
veneration for his name and fame, and ordered a bust of him to be
procured and set up in one of the niches of the hall of the House of
Delegates. It is now in the capitol at Richmond.

[Signature of the author.]



GEORGE WASHINGTON

(1732-1799)

[Illustration: George Washington. [TN]]


George Washington was born at Bridge's Creek, in Westmoreland County,
Va., on February 22, 1732. The first of the family who settled in
Virginia came from Northampton, but their ancestors are believed to have
been from Lancashire, while the ancient stock of the family is traced to
the De Wessyngtons of Durham. George Washington's father, Augustine, who
died, after a sudden illness, in 1743, was twice married. At his death
he left two surviving sons by the first marriage, and by the second,
four sons (of whom George was the eldest) and a daughter. The mother of
George Washington survived to see her son President. Augustine
Washington left all his children in a state of comparative independence;
to his eldest son by the first marriage he left an estate (afterward
called Mount Vernon) of twenty-five hundred acres and shares in iron
works situated in Virginia and Maryland; to the second, an estate in
Westmoreland. Confiding in the prudence of his widow, he directed that
the proceeds of all the property of her children should be at her
disposal till they should respectively come of age; to George were left
the lands and mansion occupied by his father at his decease; to each of
the other sons, an estate of six or seven hundred acres; a suitable
provision was made for the daughter.

George Washington was indebted for all the education he received to one
of the common schools of the province, in which little was taught beyond
reading, writing, and accounts. He left it before he had completed his
sixteenth year; the last two years of his attendance had been devoted to
the study of geometry, trigonometry, and surveying. He had learned to
use logarithms. It is doubtful whether he ever received any instruction
in the grammar of his own language; and although, when the French
officers under Rochambeau were in America, he attempted to acquire their
language, it appears to have been without success. From his thirteenth
year he evinced a turn for mastering the forms of deeds, constructing
diagrams, and preparing tabular statements. His juvenile manuscripts
have been preserved; the handwriting is neat, but stiff. During the last
summer he was at school, he surveyed the fields adjoining the
school-house and the surrounding plantations, entering his measurements
and calculations in a respectable field-book. He compiled about the same
time, from various sources, "Rules of Behavior in Company and
Conversation." Some selections in rhyme appear in his manuscripts, but
the passages were evidently selected for the moral and religious
sentiments they express, not from any taste for poetry. When a boy he
was fond of forming his school-mates into companies, who paraded and
fought mimic battles, in which he always commanded one of the parties.
He cultivated with ardor all athletic exercises. His demeanor and
conduct at school are said to have won the deference of the other boys,
who were accustomed to make him the arbiter of their disputes.

From the time of his leaving school till the latter part of 1753,
Washington was unconsciously preparing himself for the great duties he
had afterward to discharge. An attempt made to have him entered in the
Royal Navy, in 1746, was frustrated by the interposition of his mother.
The winter of 1748-49 he passed at Mount Vernon, then the seat of his
brother Lawrence, in the study of mathematics and the exercise of
practical surveying. George was introduced about this time to the family
of Lord Fairfax, his brother having married the daughter of William
Fairfax, a member of the Colonial Council, and a distant relative of
that nobleman. The immense tracts of wild lands belonging to Lord
Fairfax, in the valley of the Alleghany Mountains, had never been
surveyed; he had formed a favorable estimate of the talents of young
Washington, and intrusted the task to him. His first essay was on some
lands situated on the south branch of the Potomac, seventy miles above
its junction with the main branch. Although performed in an almost
impenetrable country, while winter yet lingered in the valleys, by a
youth who had only a month before completed his sixteenth year, it gave
so much satisfaction that he soon after received a commission as public
surveyor, an appointment which gave authority to his surveys, and
enabled him to enter them in the county offices.

The next three years were devoted without intermission, except in the
winter months, to his profession. There were few surveyors in Virginia,
and the demand for their services was consequently great, and their
remuneration ample. Washington spent a considerable portion of these
three years among the Alleghanies. The exposures and hardships of the
wilderness could be endured only for a few weeks together, and he
recruited his strength by surveying, at intervals, tracts and farms in
the settled districts. Even at that early age his regular habits enabled
him to acquire some property; and his probity and business talent
obtained for him the confidence of the leading men of the colony.

At the time he attained his nineteenth year the frontiers were
threatened with Indian depredations and French encroachments. To meet
this danger the province was divided into military districts, to each of
which an adjutant-general with the rank of major was appointed. George
Washington was commissioned to one of these districts, with a salary of
£150 per annum. There were many provincial officers (his brother among
the number) in Virginia, who had served in the expedition against
Carthagena and in the West Indies. Under them he studied military
exercises and tactics, entering with alacrity and zeal into the duties
of his office. These pursuits were varied by a voyage to Barbadoes, and
a residence of some months in that colony, in company with his brother
Lawrence, who was sent there by his physicians to seek relief from a
pulmonary complaint. Fragments of the journal kept by George Washington
on this excursion have been preserved; they evince an interest in a wide
range of subjects, and habits of minute observation. At sea the log-book
was daily copied, and the application of his favorite mathematics to
navigation studied; in the island, the soil, agricultural products,
modes of culture, fruits, commerce, military force, fortifications,
manners of the inhabitants, municipal regulations and government, all
were noted in this journal. Lawrence Washington died in July, 1752,
leaving a wife and infant daughter, and upon George, although the
youngest executor, devolved the whole management of the property, in
which he had a residuary interest. The affairs of the estate were
extensive and complicated, and engrossed much of his time and thoughts
for several months. His public duties were not, however, neglected. Soon
after the arrival of Governor Dinwiddie the number of military divisions
was reduced to four and the northern division allotted to Washington. It
included several counties, which he had visited at stated intervals, to
train and instruct the military officers, inspect the men, arms, and
accoutrements, and establish a uniform system of manoeuvres and
discipline.

In 1753 the French in Canada pushed troops across the lakes, and at the
same time bodies of armed men ascended from New Orleans to form a
junction with them, and establish themselves on the upper waters of the
Ohio. Governor Dinwiddie resolved to send a commissioner to confer with
the French officer in command, and inquire by what authority he occupied
a territory claimed by the British. This charge required a man of
discretion, accustomed to travel in the woods, and familiar with Indian
manners. Washington was selected, notwithstanding his youth, as
possessed of these requisites. He set out from Williamsburg on October
31, 1753, and returned on January 16, 1754. He discovered that a
permanent settlement was contemplated by the French within the British
territory, and notwithstanding the vigilance of the garrison, he
contrived to bring back with him a plan of their fort on a branch of
French Creek, fifteen miles south of Lake Erie, and an accurate
description of its form, size, construction, cannon, and barracks.

In March, 1754, the military establishment of the colony was increased
to six companies. Colonel Fry, an Englishman of scientific acquirements
and gentlemanly manners, was placed at the head of them, and Washington
was appointed second in command. His first campaign was a trying but
useful school to him. He was pushed forward, with three small companies,
to occupy the outposts of the Ohio, in front of a superior French force,
and unsupported by his commanding officer. Relying upon his own
resources and the friendship of the Indians, Washington pushed boldly
on. On May 27th he encountered and defeated a detachment of the French
army under M. De Jumonville, who fell in the action. Soon after Colonel
Fry died suddenly, and the chief command devolved upon Washington.
Innis, the commander of the North Carolina troops, was, it is true,
placed over his head, but the new commander never took the field. An
ill-timed parsimony had occasioned disgust among the soldiers, but
Washington remained unshaken. Anticipating that a strong detachment
would be sent against him from Fort Duquesne as soon as Jumonville's
defeat was known there, he intrenched himself on the Great Meadows. The
advance of the French in force obliged him to retreat, but this
operation he performed in a manner that elicited a vote of thanks from
the House of Burgesses. In 1755 Colonel Washington acceded to the
request of General Braddock to take part in the campaign as one of his
military family, retaining his former rank. When privately consulted by
Braddock, "I urged him," wrote Washington, "in the warmest terms I was
able, to push forward, if he even did it with a small but chosen band,
with such artillery and light stores as were necessary, leaving the
heavy artillery and baggage to follow with the rear division by slow and
easy marches." This advice prevailed. Washington was, however, attacked
by a violent fever, in consequence of which he was only able to rejoin
the army on the evening before the battle of the Monongahela. In that
fatal affair he exposed himself with the most reckless bravery, and when
the soldiers were finally put to rout, hastened to the rear division to
order up horses and wagons for the wounded. The panic-stricken army
dispersed on all sides, and Washington retired to Mount Vernon, which
had now, by the death of his brother's daughter without issue, become
his own property. His bravery was universally admitted, and it was known
that latterly his prudent counsels had been disregarded.

In the autumn of the same year he was appointed to reorganize the
provincial troops. He retained the command of them till the close of the
campaign of 1758. The tardiness and irresolution of provincial
assemblies and governors compelled him to act during much of this time
upon the defensive; but to the necessity hence imposed upon him of
projecting a chain of defensive forts for the Ohio frontier, he was
indebted for that mastery of this kind of war, which afterward availed
him so much. Till 1758 the Virginia troops remained on the footing of
militia; and Washington having had ample opportunities to convince
himself of the utter worthlessness of a militia in time of war, in the
beginning of that year prevailed upon the Government to organize them on
the same footing as the royal forces. At the same time that Washington's
experience was extending, his sentiments of allegiance were weakened by
the reluctance with which the claims of the provincial officers were
admitted, and the unreserved preference uniformly given to the officers
of the regular army. At the close of 1758 he resigned his commission and
retired into private life.

On January 6, 1759, he married Mrs. Martha Custis, a young widow with
two children. "Mr. Custis," says Mr. Sparke, "had left large landed
estates, and £45,000 sterling in money. One-third of this property she
held in her own right; the other two-thirds being equally divided
between her two children." Washington had a considerable fortune of his
own at the time of his marriage, consisting of the estate at Mount
Vernon, and large tracts of land which he had selected during his
surveying expeditions and obtained grants of at different times. He now
devoted himself to the management of this extensive property, and to the
guardianship of Mrs. Washington's children, and till the commencement of
1763 was, in appearance at least, principally occupied with these
private matters. He found time, however, for public civil duties. He had
been elected a member of the House of Burgesses before he resigned his
commission, and although there were commonly two, and sometimes three
sessions in every year, he was punctual in his attendance from beginning
to end of each. During the period of his service in the Legislature he
frequently attended on such theatrical exhibitions as were then
presented in America, and lived on terms of intimacy with the most
eminent men of Virginia. At Mount Vernon he practised on a large scale
the hospitality for which the Southern planters have ever been
distinguished. His chief diversion in the country was the chase. He
exported the produce of his estates to London, Liverpool, and Bristol,
and imported everything required for his property, and domestic
establishment. His industry was equal to his enterprise; his day-books,
ledgers and letter-books were all kept by himself and he drew up his own
contracts and deeds. In the House of Burgesses he seldom spoke, but
nothing escaped his notice, and his opinion was eagerly sought and
followed. He assumed trusts at the solicitation of friends, and was much
in request as an arbitrator. He was, probably without being himself
aware of it, establishing a wide and strong influence, which no person
suspected till the time arrived for exercising it.

On March 4, 1773, Lord Dunmore prorogued the intractable House of
Burgesses. Washington had been a close observer of every previous
movement in his country, though it was not in his nature to play the
agitator. He had expressed his disapprobation of the Stamp Act in
unqualified terms. The non-importation agreement, drawn up by George
Mason in 1769, was presented to the members of the dissolved House of
Burgesses by Washington. In 1773 he supported the resolutions
instituting a committee of correspondence and recommending the
legislatures of the other colonies to do the same. He represented
Fairfax County in the Convention which met at Williamsburg, in August,
1774, and was appointed by it one of the six Virginian delegates to the
first General Congress. On his return from Congress he was virtually
placed in command of the Virginian Independent Companies. In the spring
of 1775 he devised a plan for the more complete military organization of
Virginia; and on June 15th of that year, he was elected
commander-in-chief of the continental army by Congress.

[Illustration: The surrender of Cornwallis to Washington.]

The portion of Washington's life which we have hitherto been passing in
review, may be considered as his probationary period--the time during
which he was training himself for the great business of his life. His
subsequent career naturally subdivides itself into two periods--that of
his military command and that of his presidency. In the former we have
Washington the soldier; in the latter, Washington the statesman. His
avocations from 1748 to 1775 were as good a school as can well be
conceived for acquiring the accomplishments of either character. His
early intimacy and connection with the Fairfax family had taught him to
look on society with the eyes of the class which takes a part in
government. His familiarity with applied mathematics and his experience
as a surveyor on the wild frontier lands, had made him master of that
most important branch of knowledge for a commander--the topography of
the country. His experience as a parade officer, as a partisan on the
frontier, and as the commander of considerable bodies of disciplined
troops, had taught him the principles both of the war of detail and the
war of large masses. On the other hand, his punctual habits of business,
his familiarity with the details both of agriculture and commerce, and
the experience he had acquired as trustee, arbitrator, and member of the
House of Burgesses, were so many preparatory studies for the duties of a
statesman. He commenced his great task of first liberating and then
governing a nation, with all the advantages of this varied experience,
in his forty-third year, an age at which the physical vigor is
undiminished, and the intellect fully ripe. He persevered in it, with a
brief interval of repose, for upward of twenty years, with almost
uniform success, and with an exemption from the faults of great leaders
unparalleled in history.

Washington was elected commander-in-chief on June 15, 1775; he resigned
his commission into the hands of the President of Congress on December
23, 1783. His intermediate record as a general, and as the steadfast and
undismayed leader of an apparently hopeless struggle, we pass over here.
It is the entire history of the American Revolution.

We must also pass briefly over the interval which separates the epoch of
Washington the soldier from that of Washington the statesman--the few
years which elapsed between the resignation of his command in 1783, and
his election as first President of the United States, in February, 1789.
It was for him no period of idleness. In addition to a liberal increase
of hospitality at Mount Vernon, and indefatigable attention to the
management of his large estates, he actively promoted in his own State,
plans of internal navigation, acts for encouraging education, and plans
for the civilization of the Indians. He also acted as delegate from
Virginia to the Convention which framed the first constitution of the
United States. We now turn to contemplate him as president.

Washington left Mount Vernon for New York, which was then the seat of
Congress, on April 16, 1789. His journey was a triumphal procession. He
took the oath of office on April 30th, with religious services,
processions, and other solemnities.

The new president's first step was to request elaborate reports from the
Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of War, and the
Commissioners of the Treasury. The reports he read, and condensed with
his own hand, particularly those of the Treasury board. The voluminous
official correspondence in the public archives, from the time of the
treaty of peace till the time he entered on the presidency, he read,
abridged, and studied, with the view of fixing in his mind every
important point that had been discussed, and the history of what had
been done.

His arrangements for the transaction of business and the reception of
visitors were characterized by the same spirit of order which had marked
him when a boy and when at the head of the army. Every Tuesday, between
the hours of three and four, he was prepared to receive such persons as
chose to call. Every Friday afternoon the rooms were open in like manner
for visits to Mrs. Washington. He accepted no invitations to dinner, but
invited to his own table foreign ministers, officers of the government,
and others, in such numbers as his domestic establishment could
accommodate. The rest of the week-days were devoted to business
appointments. No visits were received on Sunday, or promiscuous company
admitted; he attended church regularly, and the rest of that day was his
own.

The organization of the executive departments was decreed by act of
Congress during the first session. They were the Departments of Foreign
Affairs (afterward called the Department of State, and including both
foreign and domestic affairs), of the Treasury, and of War. It devolved
upon the president to select proper persons to fill the several offices.
Jefferson was appointed Secretary of State; Hamilton, Secretary of the
Treasury; and Knox, Secretary of War. Randolph had the post of
Attorney-General. Jay was made Chief-Justice. After making these
appointments he undertook a tour through the Eastern States, and
returned to be present at the opening of Congress, in January, 1790.

In his opening speech he recommended to the attention of the Legislature
a provision for the common defence; laws for naturalizing foreigners; a
uniform system of currency, weights, and measures; the encouragement of
agriculture, commerce, and manufactures; the promotion of science and
literature; and an effective system for the support of the public
credit. The last topic gave rise to protracted and vehement debates. At
last Hamilton's plan for funding all the domestic debts was carried by a
small majority in both Houses of Congress. The president suppressed his
sentiments on the subject while it was under debate in Congress, but he
approved the act for funding the public debt, and was from conviction a
decided friend to the measure. It now became apparent to the most
unreflecting that two great parties were in the process of formation,
the one jealous of anything that might encroach upon democratic
principles; the other distrustful of the power of institutions so simple
as those of the United States to preserve tranquillity and the cohesion
of the state. Jefferson was the head of the Democratic, Hamilton of what
was afterward called the Federalist party. Washington endeavored to
reconcile these ardent and incompatible spirits. His own views were more
in accordance with those of Hamilton; but he knew Jefferson's value as a
statesman, and he felt the importance of the president remaining
independent of either party. The two secretaries, however, continued to
diverge in their political course, and ultimately their differences
settled into personal enmity.

The president's term of office was drawing to a close, and an anxious
wish began to prevail that he should allow himself to be elected for a
second term. Jefferson, Hamilton, and Randolph--who did not exactly
coincide with either--all shared in this anxiety, and each wrote a long
letter to Washington, assigning reasons for his allowing himself to be
re-elected. He yielded; and on March 4, 1793, he took the oath of office
in the senate chamber.

The first question that came before the cabinet after the re-election,
rendered more decided the differences which already existed. The
European parties, of which the court of England and the French republic
were the representatives, were eager to draw the United States into the
vortex of their struggle. The president and his cabinet were unanimous
in their determination to preserve neutrality, but the aristocratic and
democratic sections of the cabinet could not refrain from displaying
their respective biases and their jealousy of each other. Foreign
affairs were mingled with domestic politics, and the Democratic and
Federalist parties became avowedly organized. Washington was for a time
allowed to keep aloof from the contest--not for a long time. A
circumstance insignificant in itself increased the bitterness of the
contest out of doors. Democratic societies had been formed on the model
of the Jacobin clubs of France. Washington regarded them with alarm, and
the unmeasured expression of his sentiments on this head subjected him
to a share in the attacks made upon the party accused of undue fondness
for England and English institutions.

Advices from the American minister in London representing that the
British cabinet was disposed to settle the differences between the two
countries amicably, Washington nominated Mr. Jay to the Senate as
Envoy-extraordinary to the court of Great Britain. The nomination,
though strenuously opposed by the Democratic party, was confirmed in the
Senate by a majority of two to one. The treaty negotiated by Jay was
received at the seat of government in March, 1795, soon after the
session of Congress closed. The president summoned the Senate to meet in
June to ratify it. The treaty was ratified. Before the treaty was signed
by the president it was surreptitiously published. It was vehemently
condemned, and public meetings against it were held to intimidate the
executive. The president, nevertheless, signed the treaty on August
18th. When Congress met in March, 1796, a resolution was carried by a
large majority in the House of Representatives, requesting the president
to lay before the house the instructions to Mr. Jay, the correspondence,
and other documents relating to the negotiations. Washington declined to
furnish the papers; a vehement debate ensued, but in the end the hostile
majority yielded to the exigency of the case and united in passing laws
for the fulfilment of the treaty.

The two houses of Congress met again in December. Washington had
published on September 15th his farewell address to the United States.
He now delivered his last speech to Congress, and took occasion to urge
upon that body the gradual increase of the navy, a provision for the
encouragement of agriculture and manufactures, the establishment of a
national university, and of a military academy. Little was done during
the session; public attention was engrossed by the presidential
election. Adams, the Federalist candidate, had the highest number of
votes; Jefferson, the Democratic candidate (who was consequently
declared vice-president), the next. Washington's commanding character
and isolation from party, had preserved this degree of strength to the
holders of his own political views. He was present as a spectator at
the installation of his successor, and immediately afterward returned to
Mount Vernon.

He survived till December 14, 1799, but except when summoned in May,
1798, to take the command of the provincial army, on the prospect of a
war with France, did not again engage in public business.

The character of Washington is one of simple and substantial greatness.
His passions were vehement but concentrated, and thoroughly under
control. An irresistible strength of will was combined with a singularly
well-balanced mind, with much sagacity, much benevolence, much love of
justice. Without possessing what may be called genius, Washington was
endowed with a rare quickness of perception and soundness of judgment,
and an eager desire of knowledge. His extremely methodical habits
enabled him to find time for everything, and were linked with a talent
for organization. During the War of Independence he was the defensive
force of America; wanting him, it would almost appear as if the
democratic mass must have resolved itself into its elements. To place
Washington as a warrior on a footing with the Cæsars, Napoleons, and
Wellingtons, would be absurd. He lost more battles than he gained. But
he kept an army together and kept up resistance to the enemy, under more
adverse circumstances than any other general ever did. His services as a
statesman were similar in kind. He upheld the organization of the
American state during the first eight years of its existence, amid the
storms of Jacobinical controversy, and gave it time to consolidate. No
other American but himself could have done this, for of all the American
leaders he was the only one whom men felt differed from themselves. The
rest were soldiers or civilians, Federalists or Democrats; but he was
Washington. The awe and reverence felt for him were blended with
affection for his kindly qualities, and except for a brief period toward
the close of his second presidential term, there has been but one
sentiment entertained toward him throughout the Union--that of
reverential love. His was one of those rare natures which greatness
follows without their striving for it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following extract is from a letter written by him to his adopted
daughter, Nellie Custis, on the subject of love:[4]

         [Footnote 4: Copied by kind permission of the publishers,
         Messrs. Harper & Bros., from Benson Lossing's "Mary and Martha
         Washington."]

"Love is said to be an involuntary passion, and it is therefore
contended that it cannot be resisted. This is true in part only, for
like all things else, when nourished and supplied plentifully with
aliment it is rapid in progress; but let these be withdrawn and it may
be stifled in its birth or much stunted in its growth. For example: a
woman (the same may be said of the other sex) all beautiful and
accomplished, will, while her hand and heart are undisposed of, turn the
heads and set the circle in which she moves on fire. Let her marry, and
what is the consequence? The madness ceases and all is quiet again. Why?
Not because there is any diminution in the charm of the lady, but
because there is an end of hope. Hence it follows that love may, and
therefore ought to be, under the guidance of reason, for although we
cannot avoid first impressions, we may assuredly place them under guard;
and my motives for treating on this subject are to show you, while you
remain Eleanor Parke Custis, spinster, and retain the resolution to love
with moderation, the propriety of adhering to the latter resolution, at
least until you have secured your game, or the way by which it may be
accomplished.

"When the fire is beginning to kindle, and your heart growing warm,
propound these questions to it: Who is this invader? Have I a competent
knowledge of him? Is he a man of good character; a man of sense? For, be
assured, a sensible woman can never be happy with a fool. What has been
his walk in life? Is he a gambler, a spendthrift, or drunkard? Is his
fortune sufficient to maintain me in the manner I have been accustomed
to live, and my sisters do live? and is he one to whom my friends can
have no reasonable objection? If these interrogatories can be
satisfactorily answered there will remain but one more to be asked;
that, however, is an important one: Have I sufficient ground to conclude
that his affections are engaged by me? Without this the heart of
sensibility will struggle against a passion that is not
reciprocated--delicacy, custom, or call it by what epithet you will,
having precluded all advances on your part. The declaration, without the
_most indirect_ invitation of yours, must proceed from the man, to
render it permanent and valuable, and nothing short of good sense, and
an easy, unaffected conduct can draw the line between prudery and
coquetry. It would be no great departure from truth to say that it
rarely happens otherwise than that a thorough-paced coquette dies in
celibacy, as a punishment for her attempts to mislead others by
encouraging looks, words, or actions, given for no other purpose than to
draw men on to make overtures that they may be rejected.... Every
blessing, among which a good husband when you want one, is bestowed on
you by yours affectionately."



JOHN ADAMS

By EDWIN WILLIAMS

(1735-1826)

[Illustration: John Adams. [TN]]


John Adams, the second president of the United States, was born on the
19th of October (old style), 1735, in that part of the town of Braintree
(near Boston), Massachusetts, which has since been incorporated by the
name of Quincy. He was the fourth in descent from Henry Adams, who fled
from persecution in Devonshire, England, and settled in Massachusetts
about the year 1630. Another of the ancestors of Mr. Adams was John
Alden, one of the Pilgrim founders of the Plymouth colony in 1620.
Receiving his early education in his native town, John Adams, in 1751,
was admitted a member of Harvard College, at Cambridge, where he
graduated in regular course four years afterward. On leaving college he
went to Worcester, for the purpose of studying law, and at the same time
to support himself, according to the usage at that time in New England,
by teaching in the grammar-school of that town. He studied law with
James Putnam, a barrister of eminence, by whom he was afterward
introduced to the acquaintance of Jeremy Gridley, then attorney-general
of the province, who proposed him to the court for admission to the bar
of Suffolk County, in 1758, and gave him access to his library, which
was then one of the best in America.

Mr. Adams commenced the practice of his profession in his native town,
and by travelling the circuits with the court, became well known in that
part of the country. In 1766, by the advice of Mr. Gridley, he removed
to Boston, where he soon distinguished himself at the bar by his
superior talents as counsel and advocate. At an earlier period of his
life his thoughts had begun to turn on general politics, and the
prospects of his country engaged his attention. Soon after leaving
college he wrote a letter to a friend, dated at Worcester, October 12,
1755, which evinces so remarkable a foresight that it is fortunate it
has been preserved. We make the following extracts: "Soon after the
Reformation a few people came over into this new world for conscience'
sake. Perhaps this apparently trivial incident may transfer the great
seat of empire into America. It looks likely to me, if we can remove the
turbulent Gallics, our people, according to the exactest computation,
will, in another century, become more numerous than England herself. The
only way to keep us from setting up for ourselves is to disunite us.
_Divide et impera_. Keep us in distinct colonies, and then some great
men in each colony, desiring the monarchy of the whole, will destroy
each other's influence, and keep the country in equilibrio. Be not
surprised that I am turned politician; the whole town is immersed in
politics. I sit and hear, and, after being led through a maze of sage
observations, I sometimes retire and, by laying things together, form
some reflections pleasing to myself. The produce of one of these
reveries you have read above." Mr. Webster observes: "It is remarkable
that the author of this prognostication should live to see fulfilled to
the letter what could have seemed to others, at the time, but the
extravagance of youthful fancy. His earliest political feelings were
thus strongly American, and from this ardent attachment to his native
soil he never departed."

In 1764 he married Abigail Smith, daughter of Rev. William Smith, of
Weymouth, and grand-daughter of Colonel Quincy, a lady of uncommon
endowments and excellent education. He had previously imbibed a
prejudice against the prevailing religious opinions of New England, and
became attached to speculations hostile to those opinions. Nor were his
views afterward changed. In his religious sentiments he accorded with
Dr. Bancroft, a Unitarian minister of Worcester, of whose printed
sermons he expressed his high approbation. In 1765 Mr. Adams published
an essay on canon and feudal law, the object of which was to show the
conspiracy between Church and State for the purpose of oppressing the
people.

In 1770 he was chosen a representative from the town of Boston, in the
Legislature of Massachusetts. The same year he was one of the counsel
who defended Captain Preston and the British soldiers who fired at his
order upon the inhabitants of Boston. Captain Preston was acquitted, and
Mr. Adams lost no favor with his fellow-citizens by engaging in this
trial. As a member of the Legislature he opposed the royal governor,
Hutchinson, in his measures, and also wrote against the British
Government in the newspapers. In 1774 he was elected a member of the
Massachusetts Council, and negatived by Governor Gage. In this and the
next year he wrote on the Whig side, the pamphlets called "Nov Anglus,"
in reply to essays, signed "Massachusitensis," in favor of the British
Government, by Sewall, the attorney-general. The same year he was
appointed a member of the Continental Congress, from Massachusetts, and
in that body, which met at Philadelphia, he became one of the most
efficient and able advocates of liberty. In the Congress which met in
May, 1775, he again took his seat, having been reappointed as a
delegate. In 1775 he seconded the nomination of Washington as
commander-in-chief of the army, and in July, 1776, he was the adviser
and great supporter of the Declaration of Independence. It was reported
by a committee composed of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin
Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston. During the same year
he, with Dr. Franklin and Edward Rutledge, was deputed to treat with
Lord Howe for the pacification of the colonies. He declined at this time
the offer of the office of Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court of
Massachusetts.

In December, 1777, Mr. Adams was appointed a commissioner to the court
of France; and with the exception of one short interval, during which he
aided in the framing of the Massachusetts State Constitution, he spent
the following eleven years in diplomatic services abroad. He arranged
the treaties of the United States with most foreign nations during that
time, was associated with Franklin and Jay in signing the treaty of
peace with England, and was our first English minister.

The services of Mr. Adams in the cause of his country, at home and
abroad, during the period to which we have referred, it is believed,
were not excelled by those of any other of the patriots of the
Revolution. In the language of one of his eulogists (Mr. J. E. Sprague,
of Massachusetts), "Not a hundred men in the country could have been
acquainted with any part of the labors of Mr. Adams--they appeared
anonymously, or under assumed titles; they were concealed in the secret
conclaves of Congress, or the more secret cabinets of princes. Such
services are never known to the public; or, if known, only in history,
when the actors of the day have passed from the stage, and the motives
for longer concealment cease to exist. As we ascend the mount of
history, and rise above the vapors of party prejudice, we shall all
acknowledge that we owe our independence more to John Adams than to any
other created being, and that he was the Great Leader of the American
Revolution."

When permission was given him to return from Europe, the Continental
Congress adopted the following resolution: "Resolved, That Congress
entertain a high sense of the services which Mr. Adams has rendered to
the United States, in the execution of the various important trusts
which they have from time to time committed to him; and that the thanks
of Congress be presented to him for the patriotism, perseverance,
integrity, and diligence with which he has ably and faithfully served
his country." Such was the testimonial of his country, expressed through
the national councils, at the termination of his revolutionary and
diplomatic career.

During the absence of Mr. Adams in Europe, the Constitution of the
United States had been formed and adopted. He highly approved of its
provisions, and on his return, when it was about to go into operation,
he was selected by the friends of the Constitution to be placed on the
ticket with Washington as a candidate for one of the two highest offices
in the gift of the people. He was consequently elected vice-president,
and on the assembling of the Senate he took his seat, as president of
that body, at New York, in April, 1789. Having been re-elected to that
office in 1792, he held it, and presided in the Senate with great
dignity, during the entire period of the administration of Washington,
whose confidence he enjoyed, and by whom he was consulted on important
questions. In his valedictory address to the Senate he remarks: "It is a
recollection of which nothing can ever deprive me, and it will be a
source of comfort to me through the remainder of my life that, on the
one hand, I have for eight years held the second situation under our
Constitution, in perfect and uninterrupted harmony with the first,
without envy in the one, or jealousy in the other, so, on the other
hand, I have never had the smallest misunderstanding with any member of
the Senate."

In 1790 Mr. Adams wrote his celebrated "Discourses on Davila;" they were
anonymously published at first, in the _Gazette of the United States_,
of Philadelphia, in a series of numbers; they may be considered as a
sequel to his "Defence of the American Constitutions." He was a decided
friend and patron of literature and the arts, and while in Europe,
having obtained much information on the subject of public institutions,
he contributed largely to the advancement of establishments in his
native State for the encouragement of arts, sciences, and letters.

On the retirement of General Washington from the presidency of the
United States, Mr. Adams was elected his successor, after a close and
spirited contest with two rivals for that high office; Mr. Jefferson
being supported by the Democratic or Republican party, while a portion
of the Federal party preferred Mr. Thomas Pinckney, of South Carolina,
who was placed on the ticket with Mr. Adams. The result was the election
of Mr. Adams as president, and in March, 1797, he entered upon his
duties in that office. He came to the presidency in a stormy time. In
the language of Colonel Knapp, "the French revolution had just reached
its highest point of settled delirium, after some of the paroxysms of
its fury had passed away. The people of the United States took sides,
some approving, others deprecating, the course pursued by France. Mr.
Adams wished to preserve a neutrality, but found this quite impossible.
A navy was raised with surprising promptitude, to prevent insolence and
to chastise aggression. It had the desired effect, and France was taught
that the Americans were friends in peace, but were not fearful of war
when it could not be averted. When the historian shall come to this page
of our history, he will do justice to the sagacity, to the spirit, and
to the integrity of Mr Adams, and will find that he had more reasons,
and good ones, for his conduct, than his friends or enemies ever gave
him."

In his course of public policy, when war with France was expected, he
was encouraged by addresses from all quarters, and by the approving
voice of Washington. He, however, gave dissatisfaction to many of his
own political party, in his final attempts to conciliate France, and in
his removal of two members of his cabinet toward the close of his
administration. Under these circumstances, notwithstanding Mr. Adams was
the candidate of the Federal party for re-election as president, and
received their faithful support, it is not strange that his opponents,
with the advantage in their favor of the superior popularity of Mr.
Jefferson, succeeded in defeating him. For this event, the
correspondence of Mr. Adams shows that he was prepared, and he left the
arduous duties of chief magistrate probably with less of disappointment
than his enemies expected.

Immediately after Mr. Jefferson had succeeded to the presidency, in
1801, Mr. Adams retired to his estate at Quincy, in Massachusetts, and
passed the remainder of his days in literary and scientific leisure,
though occasionally addressing various communications to the public. He
gave his support generally to the administration of Mr. Jefferson, and
the friendship between these distinguished men was revived by a
correspondence, and continued for several years previous to their death.
When the disputes with Great Britain eventuated in war, Mr. Adams avowed
his approbation of that measure, and in 1815 he saw the second treaty of
peace concluded with that nation, by a commission of which his son was
at the head, as he had been himself in that commission which formed the
treaty of 1783.

In 1816 the Republican party in Massachusetts, which had once vehemently
opposed him as president of the United States, paid him the compliment
of placing his name at the head of their list of presidential electors.
In 1820 he was chosen a member of the State Convention to revise the
constitution of Massachusetts, which body unanimously solicited him to
act as their president. This he declined on account of his age, but he
was complimented by a vote of the convention acknowledging his great
services, for a period of more than half a century, in the cause of his
country and of mankind.

The last years of the long life of Mr. Adams were peaceful and tranquil.
His mansion was always the abode of elegant hospitality, and he was
occasionally enlivened by visits from his distinguished son, whom, in
1825, he had the singular felicity of seeing elevated to the office of
President of the United States. At length, having lived to a good old
age, he expired, surrounded by his affectionate relatives, on July 4,
1826, the fiftieth anniversary of that independence which he had done so
much to achieve. A short time before his death, being asked to suggest a
toast for the customary celebration, he replied, "I will give
you--Independence forever." Mr. Jefferson died on the same day. A
similar coincidence occurred five years afterward, in the death of
President Monroe, July 4, 1831.

Mr. Adams was of middle stature and full person, and when elected
president, was bald on the top of his head. His countenance beamed with
intelligence, and moral as well as physical courage. His walk was firm
and dignified to a late period of his life. His manner was slow and
deliberate, unless he was excited, and when this happened he expressed
himself with great energy. He was ever a man of purest morals, and is
said to have been a firm believer in Christianity, not from habit and
example, but from diligent investigation of its proofs.



THOMAS JEFFERSON[5]

By HON. JOHN B. HENDERSON

(1743-1826)

         [Footnote 5: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Thomas Jefferson. [TN]]


Thomas Jefferson was born April 2, 1743, at Shadwell, Albemarle County,
Va. His father, Peter Jefferson, was a descendant of a Welsh family
which came to Virginia before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. The
father's income was derived from a large farm adjoining that of William
Randolph, whose daughter, Jane, he married in 1738. Monticello, the
future residence of his son Thomas, was a part of this farm. Peter
Jefferson was a leader among the men of his day and received expressions
of public confidence from the voters of his county. He died in 1759,
having directed that Thomas should complete his education in William and
Mary College at Williamsburg, then the capital of the colony.

Thomas entered the college and by assiduous application he soon built
upon the learning acquired in the public and private schools of his
county, an education quite liberal and advanced for that period.

He was tall, and in youth somewhat awkward in manner. What he lacked,
however, in personal grace was at once forgotten in the vivacity of his
conversation, made doubly charming by the extent and variety of his
learning. During his collegiate days he formed a close friendship with
Patrick Henry, John Marshall, and others who afterward became
distinguished in American history. He was always welcome in the house of
Governor Fauquier, from whom he learned much of the social, political,
and parliamentary life of the old world. It was here that he first met
George Wythe, a gifted and talented young lawyer, who afterward became
Chancellor of the State.

After leaving college he entered upon the study of the law in the office
of his friend Mr. Wythe, and with this and the management of his
father's estate he found himself abundantly occupied.

In 1767 he was admitted to the bar, and for several years devoted
himself to the practice of his profession. It is quite probable that, in
consequence of his inability to speak and his utter incapacity for
forensic controversy, his career at the bar would not have reached the
highest distinction. What he lacked, however, in the power of speech,
found ample compensation in the strength, beauty, and elegance of
expression which he commanded with the pen. This extraordinary talent
was destined soon to find abundant employment in defending the rights of
the people against the oppressive acts of the mother-country. Patrick
Henry had already argued the "Parsons' Cause" in December, 1763, and
Jefferson himself, as a college student at Williamsburg, had listened to
the impassioned speech of Henry in the Virginia House of Burgesses
against the Stamp Act of Parliament. But the fiery eloquence of his
friend Henry only fanned a flame that already burned in the breast of
Jefferson. Impulsive by nature, by education and training a democrat, he
naturally espoused the cause of his countrymen. The peculiar condition
of the colonies furnished the opportunity to Jefferson's wonderful
faculty for writing. The orator could not be heard by all the people of
the colonies; but the products of the pen could be carried to the most
secluded hamlet. And truly in Jefferson's hands the pen was "mightier
than the sword."

The first year after opening his law office, at the age of twenty-five,
he was elected a member of the House of Burgesses from Albemarle, his
native county, and on taking his seat the following May, the controversy
between the royal governor and the assembly at once began. Jefferson
prepared the resolutions in reply to the executive speech; and on the
third day of the session the passage of other resolutions, in the form
of a bill of rights, caused the governor to dissolve the assembly.
Jefferson was again elected to the House of Burgesses, and in 1774, was
elected a delegate to the State convention.

On account of illness he failed to reach the convention, but he prepared
and forwarded to its president a draft of instructions which he hoped
would be adopted for the guidance of those to be sent by the body as
delegates to the General Congress of the colonies. For this paper,
afterward published as "A Summary View of the Rights of British
America," the name of Jefferson was inserted in a bill of attainder
brought into the English Parliament.

After a short detention in the House of Burgesses, in which he drafted
the reply of Virginia to the "conciliatory proposition" of Lord North,
he proceeded to Philadelphia as a delegate to the General Congress, in
which he took his seat on June 21, 1775.

When Jefferson entered the Congress, conditions existing between the
mother country and the colonies had already reached the point of open
rebellion. It is true that the taxes had all been repealed except the
import tax on tea, but the repeals had been invariably accompanied with
the assertion of an unlimited right to tax without the consent of the
colonies. English troops had been quartered in Boston, and English
war-ships occupied its harbor. The right of deportation to, and trial
in, England for offences committed in America, was still claimed by both
king and Parliament. The battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill had now
been fought, and Washington had already been commissioned as
commander-in-chief of the colonial armies.

In this condition of affairs Massachusetts and Virginia, in which had
been most keenly felt the oppressive acts of the mother country, were
quite ready for open and avowed rebellion. But in many of the other
colonies the sense of loyalty and the ties of friendship were yet
sufficiently strong to induce the hope of continued union.

It was therefore not until June 7, 1776, that Virginia, through Richard
Henry Lee, introduced into Congress at Philadelphia the resolutions for
a final separation; and a few days thereafter a committee was appointed
to prepare the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was placed at the
head of this committee, his colleagues consisting of Adams, Franklin,
Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston. The declaration was prepared by
Jefferson, and when submitted to Dr. Franklin and John Adams for
criticism, some verbal amendments suggested by them were made. It was
then reported to Congress on June 28th, and after debate and other
slight amendments by the body itself, it was adopted and signed on July
4, 1776.

Whatever the merits or demerits of the paper, it is essentially the work
of Jefferson. It has been much criticised, both in its substance and its
form. It is quite certain, however, that since its promulgation there
has been, not only in the United States but abroad, a continually
increasing tendency to accept and apply its principles in the practical
affairs of government. As an eloquent arraignment of tyranny, a
denunciation of oppression and an inspiration to resistance, it stands
perhaps unequalled among the products of human intellect. As
appropriately said by another, the paper is "consecrated in the
affections of Americans and praise may seem as superfluous as censure
would be unavailing."

So soon as the colonies had become united in the cause of forcible
resistance, Jefferson returned to his own State to commence perhaps the
most useful and beneficent work of his life. He had again been elected
to Congress, but with the prescience of the seer, he chose the seemingly
less important place of representative to the Legislature of his State.
He took his seat on October 7, 1776. On the 11th of the same month he
asked leave to present a bill to establish courts of justice in the
State of Virginia; on the next day, to authorize tenants _en tail_ to
convey their estates in fee simple. This was immediately followed by
other bills for the utter overthrow of primogeniture and the whole law
of entails.

His reformatory spirit did not stop with these radical measures. He
found another danger in the conservatism and aristocratic tendencies of
the established church of the State. In his judgment the whole body of
law and custom inherited from England must be thoroughly exterminated,
to the end that English influence might be driven from the land. In his
judgment English institutions had been cunningly devised in the interest
of monarchy. Their purpose, he believed, was to create and maintain
distinctions in society, and to perpetuate and strengthen an
aristocratic caste as the ally and support of the crown. So long as they
existed there was constant danger of relapse from the high purposes of
the rebellion. In Jefferson's regard, they were inconsistent with the
principles of the revolution now proclaimed, and sooner or later would
be found its open or secret enemies.

For these reforms the old aristocracy of his State denounced him as a
Jacobin, and the established church denounced him as an infidel.

Jefferson continued to serve in the House of Delegates during the years
1777 and 1778, and in addition to the measures already named, he secured
laws to establish elementary and collegiate education in the State, and
to prohibit the further importation of slaves into Virginia. He also
sought to inaugurate a system of gradual emancipation; but slavery was
already so thoroughly engrafted on the social system of the people, that
even Jefferson, Wythe, and Mason could not dislodge it. Jefferson, in
1821, referring to his failure in this regard, said: "it was found that
the public mind would not yet bear the proposition, nor will it bear it,
even to this day; yet the day is not distant, when it must bear and
adopt it, or worse will, follow. Nothing is more certainly written in
the book of fate than that these people are to be free."

On retiring from the Legislature he was elected governor of the State.
The period of his service in this position was unfortunate for his fame.
He was essentially a civilian, neither having, nor pretending to have,
military skill or knowledge. The war had now been transferred to the
Southern States. Cornwallis had overrun Georgia and South Carolina,
defeated Gates at Camden, and was pushing north for the desolation of
Virginia. The State had already become impoverished by its liberal
contributions of money, men, and arms to the general cause, and was now
powerless for its own defence. The hated Benedict Arnold was able to
ascend the James River to Richmond, dispersing the Legislature and
burning the town. Tarleton afterward penetrated as far as
Charlottesville--Jefferson and the Legislature narrowly escaping
capture. Jefferson felt keenly the situation, and at the expiration of
his term retired to Monticello, humiliated and overwhelmed by unjust
criticism and undeserved censure. His gloom and melancholy were made
still more sad at this period, by the death of his wife, whom he had
married in 1772. But the privilege of neither obscurity nor rest was
reserved for him. The winter session of 1783 found him again in the
General Congress abolishing the English system of coinage and providing
for the government of the Northwestern territory, which had been ceded
to the confederation by Virginia.

In 1784 he was named as a minister plenipotentiary to Europe at large,
to assist Adams and Franklin in the negotiation of commercial treaties.
In 1785 he became minister to France in the place of Dr. Franklin, who
had resigned; and in March, 1790, in pursuance of a previous acceptance,
he entered the Cabinet of President Washington as Secretary of State.

Already the germs of two great conflicting parties had been sown. The
debates in the convention that framed the Constitution, and still more
manifestly the controversies in the State Conventions called to consider
the adoption of the instrument, had developed the differences, which, in
theory at least, have distinguished political parties ever since. The
colonies had been chiefly settled by Englishmen. No people are more
tenacious than they of preconceived opinions, or more averse to the
abandonment of ancient forms and customs. A strong attachment to the
institutions of England still remained with the people of the colonies.
With many of them the whole object of the revolution was political
separation from the mother country. They heartily desired independence
and freedom, and they had willingly risked their lives to secure them.
But the freedom they sought was the right, if they chose, to establish
and perpetuate those cherished institutions of the mother-country for
themselves. They would enjoy them still, and make them a lasting
inheritance for their posterity, but free from the power and dominion of
Europe.

Such persons had revolted not against England, but against England's
wrongful acts; not against the authority of law, but against the
perversion of law. To them the Declaration of Independence was a
splendid piece of rhetoric intended only to inflame the mind with a
sense of injury, and to nerve the heart to determined resistance. Like
the Marseillaise hymn, it was merely to be repeated on entering the
battle. Like the bugle blast, it served only to stimulate the soul and
shut out all other sounds while the contest lasted. Not so with
Jefferson and his followers. The Declaration of Independence truly
reflected their political sentiments. To them the revolution meant
something more than mere separation. It looked to the total repudiation
of the English system of government, and the substitution of the rule of
the people. They admitted the inefficiency of the articles of
confederation, and were willing to accept nationality in a modified
form. But to them the Constitution as framed in 1787 was armed with the
most dangerous powers. They accepted it merely as a choice of evils,
trusting by strict construction and future amendment to give it
eventually the form and mould of their own views.

The President, in selecting his ministers, sought to compromise these
antagonisms by giving the parties equal representation in his Cabinet.
Between two such men, however, as Jefferson, his Secretary of State, and
Alexander Hamilton, his Secretary of the Treasury, there could be no
permanent co-operation. So eager, indeed, was Jefferson to inaugurate
the controversy, that he really began the battle of strict construction
before his peculiar principles had been seriously invaded. Time has long
since demonstrated that, in his opposition to Hamilton's financial
measures, he was clearly wrong. The truth seems to be, that in this
branch of politics, Jefferson was without knowledge or practical skill.

In his discussions with the English minister touching violations of the
late treaty of peace, and in the controversy with Spain in respect to
the right of navigating the Mississippi River through her territory to
the Gulf, Jefferson displayed his usual ability.

The declaration of war by France, now a republic, against England,
precipitated upon the Government of the United States a number of
difficult and troublesome questions of international law. They were
especially irritating because of the personal feelings involved in their
discussion and settlement. A profound sense of gratitude to France for
assistance in the late revolutionary struggle, was felt by all classes
in America, while the Republicans were especially open and undisguised
in their expressions of sympathy for the French people. And but for the
imprudent conduct of the French minister, Genet, the supremacy of the
Federal party might have been seriously jeopardized in the beginning of
Washington's second term. The conduct of this functionary was so
insolent and exacting as to excite disgust for himself, and to cool in a
marked degree the zeal of the Republicans in their support of the new
republic.

While Jefferson's sympathy with France was perhaps too manifest, and
while his personal conduct in the Cabinet touching this question was not
altogether kind to the president, and in other respects liable to
criticism, his correspondence with the French Government, when finally
published, was found to have been based upon the highest principles of
international right and dictated by a proper sense of the dignity and
character of his own country.

Jefferson's proud nature had for several years, chafed under the
continued success of Federal measures. Washington had manifestly ignored
his counsel in the Cabinet, and favored Hamilton in the administration
of the Government. Jefferson was piqued and chagrined beyond further
endurance. He hated Hamilton with an intensity due only to an open enemy
of the country.

In this state of mind, on December 31, 1793, he resigned from the
Cabinet, and again sought the seclusion and quiet of his farm at
Monticello. But his pen was never idle. He was untiring in the
dissemination of his peculiar views of government. With emotions
intensified by strong convictions of right his contributions to the
political literature of the day were vigorous and peculiarly attractive.
He continued to be the acknowledged leader of the Republican party, and
was promptly named as its candidate for president in 1796, to succeed
General Washington, who had declined a third term. Between him and John
Adams, the candidate of the Federal party, the vote was very close,
Adams receiving 71 electoral votes and Jefferson 68. Under the
provisions of the Constitution as they existed at the time, Adams became
President and Jefferson Vice-President.

During Adams' term were passed the Alien and Sedition laws, as well as
others, unnecessary and of doubtful constitutionality, which proved to
be fatal and ruinous mistakes of the Federal party. Jefferson and
Madison's threats of State repudiation against Federal legislation, as
enunciated in the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions, furnished good
arguments, of course, for the continued existence of a truly national
party. But the seeds of decay had been sown. Adams was vain, impulsive,
rash, and violent. Jefferson was far more deliberate, with larger views
of statesmanship and a better knowledge of the people. He had abundant
cunning and the ready adaptation of partisan skill.

In a contest of four years between such leaders, it is not strange that
when the election of 1800 came on, Jefferson should receive 73 electoral
votes while Adams received but 65.

Although Jefferson was elected over Adams, he was not yet elected over
Aaron Burr, who had received an equal number of votes for president with
himself. In reality no vote had been intended for Burr as President--the
purpose being to elect Jefferson President and Burr Vice-President.

Under the constitutional provision already referred to, the election was
remitted to the House of Representatives. Finally, by the aid of
Hamilton, who only hated Jefferson less than he hated Burr, the
controversy was decided in favor of the former.

The moment Jefferson became president his whole character seemed to be
changed. Instead of the relentless partisan of the past, he became the
apostle of benevolence and charity. His inaugural address, in that
florid rhetoric of which he was master, enunciated principles of
government to which no friend of human liberty could object. The spirit
of conciliation breathed in every sentence. "Every difference of
opinion," he said, "is not a difference of principle. We have called by
different names brethren of the same principles. We are all
Republicans--we are all Federalists.... Let us then, with courage and
confidence, pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our
attachment to our Union and representative government."

The short-lived peace of Europe had re-established American commerce on
the ocean, and general prosperity pervaded all departments of business.
Indeed, the wise moderation of the president had brought the most
agreeable disappointment to his enemies. Federalists were not removed
from office for political reasons, and the country settled down into the
conviction that Republican success after all, might prove to be a
beneficent change.

As already stated, the Northwest territory, extending from the Ohio to
the Mississippi River, had formerly belonged to Virginia, and perhaps no
public man of his day so well understood as did Jefferson, the
importance and needs of that vast domain. Spain, as the owner of
Louisiana, held supreme control of New Orleans and the lower
Mississippi.

While Secretary of State under Washington, Jefferson would have been
content with the acquisition of the Island of New Orleans, and the free
navigation of the Mississippi River. Circumstances had now changed. He
was himself president. Spain had suddenly conveyed Louisiana to France,
and Napoleon was meditating the abrogation of the peace of Amiens and
the declaration of war against England. In such a war France could not
well retain her distant possessions against the superior naval power of
her old and grasping enemy. Napoleon had a property which in case of
war, he was likely to lose. He had resolved on war, and for that purpose
needed money, which, fortunately, the American Treasury could furnish at
once.

Instead of the Island of New Orleans the President's dream now embraced
the whole of the Louisiana purchase, extending from the Mississippi
River to the Pacific Ocean.

Livingston, of New York, the associate of Jefferson, in 1776, on the
Committee to frame the Declaration of Independence, was now Minister to
France, but he was unfortunately embarrassed by his committal to the
acquisition of New Orleans alone. Monroe's term, as Governor of
Virginia, had just expired. He had formerly served the country most
acceptably at the French court. He was the devoted friend, personally
and politically, of Jefferson. They were both committed to the "strict
construction" theory of the Constitution. This narrow view of the
instrument, on which their party had come into power, absolutely forbade
the acquisition of territory by purchase. But Louisiana was necessary
not only to the growth, but to the maintenance of the Union. It mattered
not that the professions of the Republican party had to be violated. The
prize outweighed the virtue of party consistency. Jefferson himself was
forced to admit the want of power, but having resolved on the act, he
said: "The less that is said about any constitutional difficulty the
better." Again he said: "It will be desirable for Congress to do what is
necessary in silence."

With these views he despatched Monroe to Paris. For obvious reasons
written instructions were avoided; but it is quite certain that
unlimited discretion to the Minister had resulted from a careful
comparison of views.

It was under these circumstances that in 1803 the vast domain known as
"The Louisiana Purchase" was obtained by the United States for the
paltry consideration of fifteen million dollars.

This of itself added immensely to Jefferson's popularity. Internal
taxation had been abolished. Rigid economy of administration had been
introduced. The public debt was in the course of rapid extinction. The
rigorous ceremonials of former administrations had given place to the
simplest forms, and the temples of power had been made accessible to the
humblest citizen. The country enjoyed great prosperity, and a spirit of
contentment pervaded the land.

Jefferson's second election, in 1804, was almost without opposition--his
vote being 162 to 14 for C. C. Pinckney, the Federal candidate.

The second term of the President was far less successful than the first.
A political exigency in France had forced the sale of Louisiana, and its
opportune purchase had given Jefferson unbounded popularity, and linked
his name with the future greatness of his country. But the impending
hostilities producing that exigency had now been declared. France and
England were again in open war, and each, to wound the other, had
recklessly trampled upon the rights of the United States. English orders
in council blockaded the ports of France, and Napoleon's Berlin decrees
equally closed those of England against neutral commerce. The right of
search was claimed by both powers, and offensively exercised by England.
Time had now brought its inevitable revenges. Jefferson was again
confronted by conditions in which he manifested more or less of weakness
and incapacity. In peace his statesmanship was always creditable, and at
times, truly magnificent. In the presence of war he was too often
vacillating and incompetent. The embargo on the commerce of his own
country, which he suggested, was hardly less injurious than the wrongs
of which he complained. The remedy was worse, if possible, than the
disease.

Aaron Burr, in contesting for the presidency in 1801, had forfeited the
confidence of his own party, and for killing Hamilton in a duel in 1804,
he had incurred the hatred of the Federalists, and lost the respect of
all parties. In his desperation he had organized an expedition to
proceed down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers with a view, as was
supposed, of invading Mexico, or segregating from the United States a
portion of its territory. He was arrested for treason and brought to
Richmond, where he was finally tried for a high misdemeanor in
organizing forces against Spain within the United States. In this
prosecution, as in the impeachment of Judge Chase of the Supreme Court,
executive encouragement and aid were offensively open and notorious.

When the embargo had almost ruined the commercial States of the Union,
it was modified by a non-intercourse act with France and England, to
take effect on March 4, 1809, the last day of Jefferson's term.

At the close of his second term Jefferson permanently retired from
office, and spent his remaining years at Monticello.

By a singular coincidence both he and John Adams died on July 4, 1826,
just fifty years after they had signed the Declaration of Independence.

The brief facts already recited clearly indicate the character of the
man. He was a bold and original thinker. With him mere precedent was
without weight. By nature he was a democrat, plain, simple, and
unostentatious. He not only believed in the capacity of the people for
self-government, but in their honest wish to govern aright. In the
struggle of the Revolution his devotion to the rights of the people
against English tyranny took the form of religious enthusiasm. In France
he witnessed the sufferings and misery of the down-trodden poor, whose
wild vengeance he believed to be justified by the long ages of
oppression and wrong under which they had groaned.

He distrusted power and naturally sought to restrict its exercise.
Hating monarchy, he feared to delegate large powers of government even
in republican forms. Hating an aristocracy, he encouraged the masses to
demand equality in civil, political, and social rights.

His political inconsistencies resulted from the usual impossibility of
reconciling theory and practice. When his opponents were in power, their
purposes, he thought, were accomplished through violations of the
constitution. An equally dangerous exercise of power by his friends
failed to excite his alarm. Feeling conscious within himself of an
honest purpose to subserve the good of the people and to perpetuate
their liberties, he found ready justification for every act having, in
his judgment, those ends in view.

America has produced no man so dear to the masses of its people as
Thomas Jefferson. He was an iconoclast, but the images broken by him
were the idols of a past age, and no longer deserved the worship of a
free people.

[Signature of the author.]



ALEXANDER HAMILTON

(1757-1804)

[Illustration: Alexander Hamilton. [TN]]


The parentage of Alexander Hamilton is given by his son and biographer
as of mingled Scottish and French ancestry--Scottish on the father's
side, Huguenot on the mother's. Students of the doctrine of temperaments
may find something to ponder over in such a fusion under the genial ray
of the southern sun. Given the key, they may unlock with it many
cabinets in the idiosyncrasy of the future Hamilton; Scottish
perseverance and integrity, French honor and susceptibility, tropical
fervor. Be that as it may, Alexander Hamilton first saw the light in the
West India island, St. Christopher, January 11, 1757. His father was a
trader or captain, sailing between the islands of the archipelago, whose
business brought him into relation with Nicholas Cruger, a wealthy
merchant of Santa Cruz, in intimate relation with New York, in whose
counting-house the son was placed at the age of twelve. He was a boy of
quick intellect, in advance of his years, and had already made much of
limited opportunities of instruction, as we may learn from an
exceedingly well-penned epistle, addressed thus early to a school-fellow
who had found his way to New York. In this remarkable letter, the boy
seems to have written with prophetic instinct. "To confess my weakness,
Ned," he says, "my ambition is prevalent, so that I contemn the
grovelling condition of a clerk or the like, to which my fortune
condemns me, and would willingly risk my life, though not my character,
to exalt my station.... I mean to prepare the way for futurity.... I
shall conclude by saying, I wish there was a war." This may be regarded
as a boyish rhapsody; but all boys are not given to such rhapsodies.

The clerk had his hours for study as well as for the counting-room, and
doubtless practised his pen in composition, for we hear of his writing
an account of a fearful hurricane which visited the island, a narrative
which appears to have been published, since it attracted the attention
of the governor. These evidences of talent determined his friends to
send him to New York to complete his education. He came, landing at
Boston in the autumn of 1772, and was received at New York by the
correspondents of Dr. Knox, a clergyman who had become interested in his
welfare in Santa Cruz. He was immediately introduced to the school of
Francis Barber, at Elizabethtown, where he enjoyed the society of the
Boudinots, Livingstons, and other influential people of the colony. He
studied early, and at the close of the year presented himself to Doctor
Witherspoon, at Princeton, with a request to be permitted to overleap
some of the usual collegiate terms according to his qualifications. As
this was contrary to the usage of the place, he entered King's College,
now Columbia, in New York, with the special privileges he desired. In
addition to the usual studies, he attended the anatomical course of
Clossey. Colonel Troup, at this time his room-fellow, testifies to his
earnest religious feeling, a very noticeable thing in a youth of his
powers. He wrote verses freely--among them doggerel burlesques of the
productions of the ministerial writers of the day.

The Revolution was now fairly getting under way, and in the opening
tumultuous scenes in New York, strong hands were wanted at the wheel.
Hamilton, at the age of seventeen, in 1774, did not hesitate in making
his decision. He entered the field against the dashing young president
of the college, Myles Cooper, of convivial memory, in a reply in Holt's
_Gazette_ to some Tory manifesto of that divine. About this time, after
the adjournment of Congress, at the close of the year, he also published
a pamphlet in vindication of the measures of Congress, against the
attacks of Seabury and Wilkins. The contest, however, was one which was
not to be decided by the pen alone. The old prerogative lawyers and
divines were not to be shaken out of their seats by the constitutional
arguments of such young counsellors as Hamilton and Jay. The hard hands
of the committee of mechanics were much more demonstrative. Myles
Cooper, Seabury, and their brethren very naturally suspected the logic,
and laughed at the novel measures of the day by which the popular party
in their restrictive, non-importation measures proposed to dispense with
the wisdom of Lords and Commons, and starve themselves into
independence. It is well sometimes to look at that side of the question,
too.

But all the pooh-poohing in the world over the best wine in the colony,
was not to stop the affair which had commenced. Volunteers were
drilling, men of sound heads and stout hearts were getting ready for
action. There were certain cannon to be removed from the Battery;
Hamilton was engaged in the duty with his comrades, "Hearts of oak" they
called themselves; a boat approached from the man-of-war Asia, in the
harbor; the citizens fired; the fire was returned from the ship, and one
of Hamilton's company was killed. The Liberty Boys spread the alarm and
gathered in a mob, threatening to attack the college and seize its
president, Myles Cooper. Hamilton, who was no friend to riot, little as
he was afraid of discussion or of force, interposed with a speech from
the college steps, while the president, roused from his bed, half naked,
took refuge on the shore, wandering over the island in the night to the
old Stuyvesant mansion, whence he was the next day finally removed from
America in his Majesty's vessel, the Kingfisher. The royal governor,
Tryon, took refuge in the Asia shortly after.

Hamilton now turned his attention in earnest to military affairs, making
choice of the artillery service, in which he gained some instruction
from a British soldier, and by aid of the popular leader, McDougal,
received from the convention the appointment of captain of the
Provincial Company of Artillery. He had only recently completed his
nineteenth year. It was early, but not so very early for a man of
genius; for the child in such cases is the father of the man, and youth
is an additional spur to exertion. But this was not all. The young
captain was engaged, not only in the gymnastics of drilling recruits,
but he was reading, thinking, and working out problems in political
economy for himself--and the future. Dr. Johnson said that he learned
little after eighteen; Hamilton would seem to have laid the foundation
at least, of all his knowledge before twenty. "His military books of
this period," says his son, "give an interesting exhibition of his train
of thought. In the pay-book of his company, amid various general
speculations and extracts from the ancients, chiefly relating to
politics and war, are intermingled tables of political arithmetic,
considerations on commerce, the value of the relative productions which
are its objects, the balance of trade, the progress of population, and
the principles on which depends the value of a circulating medium; and
among his papers there remains a carefully digested outline of a plan
for the political and commercial history of British America, compiled at
this time." There is the germ in all this of the Secretary of the
Treasury.

The battle of Long Island now ensued on the vain attempt to resist the
landing of Howe and his British troops, followed by the masterly retreat
of Washington, in which Hamilton brought up the rear. The subsequent
American proceedings in the evacuation of the city, the passage from the
island to Westchester, and the subsequent retreat before Cornwallis
through the Jerseys under Washington, if they had little of glory, at
least required their full share of military determination and endurance.
Hamilton was active throughout the campaign. At White Plains and on the
Raritan, at Trenton and Princeton, his artillery did good service. When
he entered Morristown, his original company of a hundred was reduced by
the accidents of war to twenty-five. Here, on March 1, 1777, leaving the
line of the army, he became attached to the staff of Washington as his
aid. This was the commencement of that half military, half civil
relation which identified Hamilton in joint labors and councils with the
Father of his Country.

Hamilton became, in fact, the right-hand man of Washington, not only
during the war, but throughout his subsequent political career, and no
better proof than this can be had at once of the sagacity of Washington
in selecting his instruments, and of the honor and worth of Hamilton in
so long and so successfully maintaining this distinguished position. In
the staff of the commander-in-chief, Hamilton, we are told, acquired the
title, "The Little Lion." His spirit and courage were shown in numerous
instances, particularly in the battle of Monmouth, where Lee exposed
bravery to such violent hazards, an affair out of which grew a duel
between that officer and Colonel John Laurens, one of Washington's aids,
in which Hamilton was the second of his friend and associate. Nor was
Hamilton's counsel less serviceable in interviews with the French
officers, and those frequent negotiations with the different portions of
the army, and with Congress, which were among the hardest necessities of
Washington's campaigns.

The relation of Hamilton to Washington, as a member of his military
family, was suddenly brought to a termination at head-quarters on the
Hudson, in February, 1781. The difference arose in a momentary
forgetfulness of temper on the part of Washington. For some purpose of
consultation he required the presence of Hamilton, who was detained from
keeping the appointment on the instant, for it appears to have been a
delay of but a few moments. Washington, however, was impatient, and
meeting Hamilton at the head of the stairs, angrily exclaimed, "Colonel
Hamilton, you have kept me waiting at the head of the stairs these ten
minutes; I must tell you, sir, you treat me with disrespect." Hamilton
firmly replied, "I am not conscious of it, sir; but since you have
thought it necessary to tell me so, we part." "Very well, sir," said
Washington, "if it be your choice," or something to that effect, and the
friends separated. Washington immediately opened the way for the
Secretary's continuance at his post, but, without any feeling of
asperity, the overture was declined. Hamilton, however, proffered his
services and counsel. With no other man than Washington, indeed, could
the subordinate relation have continued so long, and Hamilton had often
thought of renouncing it; but he saw in Washington the man for the
times, the great representative of a great cause, for which minor
considerations must be sacrificed. Writing at this moment to Schuyler,
he says, "The General is a very honest man; his competitors have slender
abilities and less integrity. His popularity has often been essential to
the safety of America, and is still of great importance to it. These
considerations have influenced my past conduct respecting him, and will
influence my future. I think it is necessary he should be supported."

Hamilton was now desirous to resume active service in the line, and
after some discussion as to rank, received the command of a New York
battalion of light infantry, which he led right manfully at the siege of
Yorktown. He was anxious to signalize himself at this crowning act of
the war by some distinguished exercise of bravery, and when, at an
advanced period of the approaches, a redoubt was to be stormed, he
eagerly solicited the forlorn hope from Washington. Advancing to the
charge with characteristic spirit, at the point of the bayonet, exposed
to a heavy fire, he struggled through the ditch, and surmounting the
defences, took the work in the most brilliant manner. He gallantly
arrested the slaughter at the first moment, and thus placed his humanity
upon a level with his bravery.

The war being now brought to an end, Hamilton turned his attention to
the law, and in a few months' ardent devotion--the devotion of Hamilton
was always ardent--at Albany to the study with the aid of his friend,
Colonel Troup, and the stimulus of his recent marriage, qualified
himself thoroughly for the practice of the profession. He was admitted
to the Supreme Court at its July term, 1782. About the same time, at the
solicitation of Robert Morris, the financier of Congress, he accepted
the appointment of receiver of the continental taxes in the State of New
York, with the understanding that his exertions were to be employed in
impressing upon the Legislature the wants and objects of the Government.
In pursuance of this, he urged resolutions which were unanimously
adopted in July, 1782, recommending the call of a convention for the
purpose of revising and amending the Articles of Confederation. He was
also elected by the Legislature of this year a member of Congress. He
bore an active part in its debates, and was greatly employed in its
important financial measures.

On the final departure of the British from New York, in 1783, Hamilton
became a resident of the city with his family, and devoted himself
assiduously to the practice of his profession. He was constantly,
however, looked to as a public man. We find him, in 1784, appealing to
the public under the signature of Phocion, in favor of more liberal and
enlightened views in regard to the loyalists of the late Revolution, and
their rights of property. In 1786 he is a member of the State Assembly,
and in September of the same year among the delegates of the five States
which, at the instance of Virginia, met at Annapolis to confer on the
commercial interests of the country; a too limited representation,
indeed, to achieve the objects in view, but the precursor of the great
Federal Convention at Philadelphia of the following year.

We have seen Hamilton's early studies of the theoretical workings of
government. His practical experience, in the army of Washington, of the
imperfections of Congress and the defects of the old confederation, was
not likely to let him forget the subject. Authority in government, rules
in legislation, financial measures, taxes, loans, and a bank, were
topics constantly before his mind. The Convention of 1787 gave him, at
length, the wished-for opportunity to enter upon a full discussion of
his plans in a cause and before an audience worthy of his powers.
Washington was the presiding officer, Franklin was in attendance; it was
a congregation of notables--Rufus King, Oliver Ellsworth, Roger Sherman,
William Livingston, Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris, John Dickinson,
Luther Martin, James Madison, George Wythe, John Rutledge, and others as
worthy. Much has been said of Hamilton's course in this Convention, and
of his advocacy of monarchical views. It is true that a plan of
government which he supported in a speech of length and eloquence,
provided several features, as the life tenure of the President and
senators, and the appointment of State officers by the General
Government, which, in the interpretation of some minds, as Patrick Henry
used to express it, "was an awful squinting toward monarchy;" but, on
the other hand, it should be remembered that the Convention was a
meeting for consultation, with closed doors, in a committee of the
whole, in which perfect freedom in the interchange of views was
desirable; that, in the view of our own day, other members displayed
heresies quite as obnoxious, and that in the final resolves of the
Constitution, Hamilton, with the others, yielded his prejudices, and
became the firm defender of the instrument as it was adopted, and
substantially now stands.

Remember the age of Hamilton at this time--twenty-nine; a greater
prodigy in the Convention at Philadelphia than the youth in the army of
Washington. To no one probably are we more indebted for the Constitution
than to Hamilton. The Convention which laid the instrument before the
country for its adoption had scarcely adjourned, when, in company with
Madison and Jay, he took up the pen in its explanation and defence, in
the celebrated series of papers, "The Federalist," originally published
in the New York _Daily Advertiser_. Hamilton began and closed the work.
Of its eighty-five papers much the greater portion, it is believed, were
written by him.

The discussion of the financial and military powers, the executive and
the judiciary, fell to his pen. In the New York Convention he was again
the efficient advocate of the adoption of the Constitution. In a
separate series of papers, signed Philo Publius, published in another
journal, Hamilton, assisted by his friends, met various objections, the
discussion of which would have marred the unity of "The Federalist,"
which was thus left a classical commentary upon the Constitution.

Having been thus instrumental in forming the Constitution, Hamilton was
destined to be one of the most active agents of its powers. When the new
government went into operation, under its provisions he was summoned by
Washington, to the discharge of one of the most onerous duties of the
department, in his appointment as Secretary of the Treasury. He
continued in office six years, marking his administration--for such it
was in his province--by his report and measures for the funding of the
public debt, the excise revenue system, which he was called upon to
assert in arms during the insurrection of Western Pennsylvania, and the
creation of a National Bank. His reports on these subjects, and on
manufactures, in which he advocated protection, are among the most
important contributions of their kind to our national archives. In
allusion to the financial measures of Hamilton, and their success at the
time in the welfare of the country, Daniel Webster, in a speech at New
York, half a century afterward, exclaimed: "He smote the rock of the
national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He
touched the dead corpse of the public, and it sprung upon its feet."

The measures of Hamilton, however, were not adopted without opposition.
Jefferson was their persistent opponent; local interests and State
pretensions arose to thwart the measures of Government, and gave birth
to the party feuds of Federalism and its opponents. A growing element of
disaffection was added to the political caldron in the relations with
England and the disturbing influences of the principles of the French
Revolution. Hamilton bore the brunt of much of this popular opposition,
which came to a crisis in the discussions attending the British Treaty
of Jay, in 1794, as he defended its provisions in the papers signed
"Camillus," while it was before the country, and advocated its leading
neutrality principles in "The Letters of Pacificus," published by him
the previous year. When France had wearied out all indulgence by her
aggressions on the high seas, and by her treatment of our ministers at
Paris, and Washington was again called to the field in anticipation of
an expected invasion, Hamilton was appointed second in command, and now
employed himself in the organization of the army. On the death of
Washington he became commander-in-chief. On the conclusion of a treaty
with France the army disbanded.

In the intervals of these public duties, Hamilton was actively employed
in his profession in the higher courts of the State. The late Chancellor
Kent afterward recalled his "clear, elegant, and fluent style and
commanding manner. He never made any argument in court without
displaying his habit of thinking and resorting at once to some
well-founded principle of law, and drawing his deductions logically from
his premises. Law was always treated by him as a science, founded on
established principles. His manners were gentle, affable, and kind. He
appeared to be frank, liberal, and courteous in all his professional
intercourse."

The last important trial in which Hamilton was engaged, the case of the
People against Harry Croswell, in the Supreme Court, a few months before
his untimely death, is memorable also for his maintenance of the right
of juries to determine the law as well as the fact in cases of libel.

The party politics of the time had been broken up in the simplicity of
their outline by the administration of John Adams. Aaron Burr was the
most prominent intriguer in the field. He had attained the
vice-presidency, and the choice hung for a while suspended between him
and Jefferson for the presidency. Between the two, Hamilton, who had
formed an unfavorable opinion of the character of Burr, preferred his
old antagonist, Jefferson, and cast his influence accordingly. When Burr
afterward sought the office of Governor of New York, in a contest with a
member of his own Republican party, in which he relied upon the support
of the Federalists, he was defeated by Hamilton, who made no secret of
his opposition. Smarting under the failure of his intrigue, Burr
determined to challenge the honest man who stood in his way to power. He
had no ground of personal offence bringing Hamilton within any
justifiable pretensions even of the lax code of the duellist. The
expressions which he called upon him to avow or disavow, were vague, and
were based upon the report of a person who specified neither time,
place, nor the words. It was a loose matter of hearsay which was
alleged--evidently a wanton provocation to a murderous duel. Burr
demanded so broad a retraction from Hamilton of all he might have said,
that compliance was impossible. It was an attempt to procure an
indorsement of his character at the cost of the moral character of the
indorser. Hamilton despised the manoeuvre, but perceiving that a meeting
was forced upon him, and unhappily determining, contrary to his better
judgment, that his usefulness would be destroyed in the public affairs
of the times if he avoided the contest, fell into the fatal snare.

He executed his will, in which he made provision for his family and
creditors, thinking tenderly of his wife, enjoining his children to bear
in mind she had been to them the most devoted and best of mothers. On
the night preceding the appointment he wrote a paper declaring his
intention to throw away his fire, and acquitting himself before the
world of the malice of the duellist, while he rested his conduct upon
his usefulness to his country. The next morning, July 11th, they met at
Weehawken; the weapons were pistols, the distance ten paces. The duel
was fought within a few feet of the shore, in a woodland scene beneath
the cliff opposite the present inhabited portion of New York, at a spot
now traversed or closely approached by the river road, but then readily
accessible only by water. Hamilton fell at the first fire, mortally
wounded, his pistol-shot striking at random a twig some seven feet above
the head of his antagonist. Burr fled, a wanderer over the earth.
Hamilton was carried across the river, supported by Pendleton and Dr.
Hosack, to the house of his friend, Mr. Bayard, at Greenwich. He was
there enabled to take farewell of his family, and receive the last
consolations of religion from the hands of Bishop Moore. He died on the
afternoon of Thursday, July 12, 1804.

The reception of the fatal news sent a thrill of horror through the
community. The brilliant, fiery youth of Hamilton, which had lighted his
countrymen to victory and a place among the nations--Hamilton, the
counsellor of Washington, the consummate statesman of the Constitution,
the reliance of the State, the hope of the future: visions such as these
were contrasted in the popular mind with his wretched fall. We perhaps
darken the shades of the picture, for time and proof have added to the
greatness of Hamilton, and Burr waited not for death to exhibit the
penury of his fame. But the men who knew the heart of Hamilton, who saw
in him the bulwark of the State, his contemporaries, wept his fate with
no common lamentation. New York gave her public honors to his grave.
Gouverneur Morris, with strenuous words, delivered the funeral oration
by the side of his bier, under the portico of old Trinity; and Mason,
the pulpit orator of his time, thundered his strong sentences at the
crime which had robbed the world of Hamilton.



COUNT DE MIRABEAU[6]

By CHARLES S. HATHAWAY

(1749-1791)

         [Footnote 6: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Mirabeau. [TN]]


Honoré Gabriel Riquetti, Count de Mirabeau, one of the most eminent
among the great authors, orators, and statesmen of France, was born on
March 9, 1749 on his father's estate at Bignon, near Nemours.

The earliest of Mirabeau's ancestors of whom there is any notable
record, was Jean Riquetti, a prominent merchant at Marseilles, who, in
1570, bought the château and estate of Mirabeau, near Pertuis, from the
well-known Provençal family of Barras and who, a few years later,
acquired the title of Esquire.

In 1685, one hundred and fifteen years after the purchase above
mentioned, Honoré Riquetti, lineal descendant of the Marseilles
merchant, obtained the title of Marquis de Mirabeau, and there was born
to this marquis a son, Jean Antoine Riquetti, who achieved a worthy
record as a soldier, but whose prominent place in history is due to the
fact that he was the grandfather of the great Mirabeau.

Victor Riquetti, son of this second Marquis de Mirabeau and father of
the great, the Count de Mirabeau, was in his early manhood an
indifferent soldier, but he afterward became distinguished as a writer
and leader in French politics. His wife (the mother of Count de
Mirabeau) was Marie Geneviève, daughter of M. de Vassan, a brigadier in
the French army, she being, also, the widow of the Marquis de
Saulyeboeuf. This union, entered into without a previous meeting between
the principals to the contract, and at a time when the Marquis de
Mirabeau was well started in his career as a politician, was not a happy
one. The new husband was more loyal to politics than to his wife, so
that, when their son, who was destined to achieve fame, was but thirteen
years old, there was a separation between the parents by mutual consent.

Thus, in outline, is indicated the ancestry of Mirabeau through a period
of nearly two centuries, and, meagre as the showing is, it is evident
that he was the scion of a long line of wealth and nobility, his
paternal ancestors having served with credit as soldiers, while his
father was eminent as a politician. There is a second group of facts
which bear interestingly upon the career under discussion. Mirabeau the
great was born at a time when more than two-thirds of France was in the
hands of privileged classes--the king, the nobility, and the clergy--and
at a time, too, when the structure founded upon years of feudalism and
absolutism was about to be shaken to its base by the magic of popular
public opinion.

Under such conditions, at such a time, and from such stock, occurred the
birth of Mirabeau the great; a coming into the world of a babe "scarce
half made up;" a child with a head so large that it was a dire
deformity, with one foot sadly twisted, and with a tongue that was tied;
in brief, an infant ogre born with teeth. So great was the chagrin of
the father that he made no effort to conceal his dislike for the
misshapen child. Hence, when at three years of age the little one was
left wretchedly pitted by a severe attack of small-pox, its fate was
listed. It must not, could not, bear the name of Mirabeau.

Accordingly, when the youngster was fourteen years old--after several
years of instruction under the private tutorship of Lachabeaussière,
_père_--he was entered under the fictitious name of "Pierre Buffière,"
at a private military school in Paris. Here, strong of limb, body, and
mind, industrious and aggressive, he remained for four years. Then his
father placed him in the Berry regiment of cavalry, which regiment had
been commanded, sixty-two years before, by his grandfather.

This event marked the end of a boyhood which had been clouded by an
almost entire absence of paternal favor, and wholly free from maternal
care--the mother's absence having been secured by the father, by a
_lettre de cachet_. In addition, that boyhood had been irritated and
embittered by a continuous and exasperating development of his natural
personal disfigurement. His enormous head grew less in harmony with his
torso, his lips and nose became thick and heavy, great moles revealed
themselves upon his cheeks, and in every way, physically, his growth was
a perpetual disappointment.

However, he was now (1767) the eighteen-year old "Pierre Buffière," a
lieutenant of cavalry, conscious of his exceptional mental strength and
somewhat vain thereof, and full of ambition and determination to win as
he wished and in spite of all of his many obstacles. Unfortunately, but
most naturally, considering his temperament, the first test of his will,
his passion, and his determination, resulted in his victory. He won the
affection of a young woman to whom his colonel had long been devoted,
and the scandal resulting therefrom caused the father to obtain a
_lettre de cachet_, by authority of which the indiscreet young man was
placed in confinement in the Isle of Rhé. Immediately the prisoner began
his first illustration of his ability to gain to his own purposes the
ability and influence of others--one of his strongest and most useful
characteristics. Within two months he had secured the esteem and
confidence of his jailer, so that that official soon made a most
favorable report, upon the strength of which Mirabeau was accepted as a
volunteer to accompany the French expedition sent (in 1769) to conquer
Corsica. So well did the young soldier conduct himself during this
campaign, that he was not only promoted to a captaincy in the dragoons,
but he effected a partial reconciliation with his father, returned to
Provence, was permitted to assume his true name and title, and was
presented at court. In June, 1772, he married, by his father's advice,
Marie Émile de Covet, only daughter of the Marquis de Marignane. She
came to him portionless, and he, impetuous, ambitious, and extravagant,
became, during the next two years, deeply involved in debt. The marriage
was a failure. Again the father utilized the _lettre de cachet_, and a
second time was Mirabeau a prisoner (August 23, 1774), this time in the
Château d'If, at Marseilles. Here it was that he wrote his first work of
which we have any exact knowledge, its title being: "Essai sur le
Despotisme."

In the following year he was transferred from the Château d'If to the
Castle of Joux, where he was less strictly confined. He had the freedom
of the place and frequent opportunities for visiting the near-by town of
Pontarlier. It was in this town that he first met Marie Thérèse, the
Marchioness de Monnier, the young and attractive wife of an aged
magistrate. A love affair was the result, and it culminated in August,
1776, in an elopement, first to Switzerland and then to Amsterdam. For
over nine months the fugitive pair lived together in the Dutch capital,
Mirabeau, under the assumed name of St. Mathieu, earning a livelihood as
a pamphleteer and by making translations for Holland publishers.
Meanwhile the tribunal of Pontarlier had condemned both
parties--Mirabeau to be beheaded and his companion (his "Sophie," as she
is most widely known) to imprisonment for life. On May 14, 1777, they
were arrested at Amsterdam, and Mirabeau was imprisoned by a _lettre de
cachet_ in the Castle of Vincennes, while Sophie was surrendered to the
Pontarlier authorities.

For three and a half years thereafter Mirabeau was in confinement, a
term which proved sufficient to temper his passion, and during which he
wrote his well-known "Letters to Sophie," the "Erotica Biblion," and "My
Conversion." He also wrote, during this time, his first worthy political
production, the "Lettres de Cachet." He was released from this
imprisonment on December 13, 1780, and at once sought out Sophie, to
quarrel with and leave her, and so, fortunately, end the most
disgraceful portion of his life.

Mirabeau, now thirty-one years old, and, according to the times, most
liberally experienced in the ways of the then turbulent world,
undertook, as his first task, the removal of the sentence of death which
still confronted him. Not only did he succeed in this, but, by his
plausibility and eloquence, he shifted the entire cost of the
proceedings to the shoulders of the complainant--the aged magistrate he
had so grossly wronged. His next venture was an effort before the
tribunal of Aix, to compel his wife to return to him. Here he failed, as
also he failed in an effort to compromise a suit pending between his
father and mother. Not only that, but by his pleadings his mother became
forever alienated from him, and by reason of his bitter attacks upon the
rulings of the court he was forced to leave Paris. Locating at
Amsterdam, he began his lasting and respectable relations with Madame de
Nehra, daughter of Zwier van Haren, a Dutch writer and politician. She
was a woman of education and refinement, who exercised a valuable
influence over his rapidly growing celebrity, bringing out his good
qualities, subduing his undesirable characteristics, and encouraging all
of his better ambitions. It was at her suggestion that he went to
England, after a brief stay in Holland, while she repaired to Paris. His
mission--which he accomplished--was to publish his "Considérations sur
l'Ordre de Cincinnatus" and his "Doutes sur la Liberté de l'Escaut;"
while her mission, also successful, was to establish peace between
Mirabeau and the authorities at the French capital.

During twenty years of the thirty-six years he had lived, Mirabeau had
been, either through his father's intervention or by his own acts, a
constant topic of consideration by the French authorities. On the other
hand, by virtue of his writings, his declared enmity to all forms of
tyranny and oppression, and his distaste for pretence, he had become a
popular idol. He was, as Carlyle puts it, "a swallower of formulas," and
it seems he had the ability to digest such food thus taken. Therefore,
upon his return to Paris in April, 1785, he made a series of attacks
upon agiotage, or stock jobbing, most effectively assaulting the
Compagnie des Eaux and the Banque de St. Charles. While such efforts
proved offensive to the government, it caused such an appreciation of
his ability that he was sent, in June, 1786, on a secret mission to
Berlin. He remained there for half a year, and during that time he
secured the material for his notable work, "Histoire Secrète de la Cour
de Berlin." Among other writings which he produced about this time were
his "Moses Mendelssohn, ou la Réforme politique des Juifs," and his
pamphlet "Dénonciation de l'Agiotage," aimed against the policy of
Calonne. Again he was in danger of the _lettre de cachet_, and so he
repaired to Brunswick, where he finished his work "De la Monarchie
Prussienne," which was published in 1788.

Up to 1789, Mirabeau had been a dramatic character, an individual
revelation of theatric passion, a figure-piece single and alone; but the
climax was at hand. The achievement of American independence had been an
object-lesson most potent. Louis and his queen, Marie Antoinette, could
not check the storm, and for the first time in one hundred and
seventy-three years, France was to have an assembly of the nation by its
representatives. The "third estate" was aroused and the States-General
was summoned. Mirabeau, having a deep-rooted desire to provide for
France a government in accord with the wishes and intent of a majority
of the people, and having been rejected by the noblesse of his own
district, presented himself to the "third estate," as a candidate. He
was elected both for Aix and for Marseilles, and he decided to sit for
Aix. Naturally an enthusiast, he was present (May 4, 1789) at the
opening of the States-General, but with excellent sagacity he entered
that body as an independent. To the end of his life, twenty-three months
later, he maintained that independence.

[Illustration: The Third Estate takes refuge in the tennis court.]

When, being shut out in the rain from the great hall of the Estates, the
"third estate" established themselves in the adjacent tennis-court, and
when, being ejected from there, they came together again and forced the
king to recognize them as the representatives of the nation; through all
these earlier and wiser stages of the great revolt, Mirabeau was the
leader and director. But when, on June 5, 1789, a resolution was passed
by the delegates declaring themselves--the people, the Commons of
France--to be the National Assembly, he spoke and worked bravely and
eloquently against abandoning the old order of things before formulating
an exact and sufficient policy as its successor. He declared the action
a hasty one, and finally avoided the issue in the only way possible, by
absenting himself when the vote was taken. And yet, eight days later, at
the close of the royal sitting, he bade the grand master of ceremonies:
"Go and tell your master we are here by the power of the people, and
that we are only to be driven out by that of the bayonet."

He advised the Assembly against the publication of pompous
proclamations, and classed the demonstration of the night of August 4th
as a theoretical display of liberty wholly without practical value. He
was opposed to mob-law, and in no sense was he dazzled by the fall of
the Bastille. He pleaded in favor of the royal right to veto, and
proclaimed that he was willing, even, to advocate a "restoration of the
king's legitimate authority as the only means of saving France."

He was a leader of magnificent power, enthusiastic in the advocacy and
support of his convictions; a statesman who would not speak, write or
do, in politics, anything not in accord with his estimate as to what was
right. True, he was accused of treason for speaking in support of the
king's right to proclaim war or peace, but three days thereafter he
defended himself against the charge, and with overwhelming success. He
was a leader who worked prodigiously. In addition to his duties as a
member of the Assembly, he was also publisher and editor of a paper
first called the _Journal des États-Généraux_, later the _Lettres à mes
Constituants_, and at last the _Courrier de Provence_. As clerk of the
Comité Diplomatique of the Assembly and because of his thorough
knowledge of foreign affairs, he was the constant adviser of Montmorin,
the foreign secretary. Thus, by his wise appreciation of the subject, he
established harmony between the Assembly and Montmorin, and so prevented
foreign intervention, at the same time maintaining the honor of France
abroad. But this bulwark to the nation's safety was about to topple and
fall, precipitated by its own decay. As in all things, Mirabeau had been
colossal in his excesses, and like them, the punishment was great. He
wished to live, but he did not fear death. Early in 1791 the structure
began to weaken, and realizing that the time was at hand, Mirabeau
carefully collected all of his writings, and after classifying them,
forwarded them to his firm friend and companion, Sir Gilbert Elliott, in
England. So far as he was able, he continued to contribute to the
guidance and protection of his country. He was patient and fearless, his
only regret taking the form of a pardonable conceit that, could he but
live, the Revolution could be controlled and guided, that the awful
Reign of Terror, so soon to follow, could be averted. The progress of
his decline was without hindrance, in spite of all that science could
devise. It is reported that, as he looked out from his sick-room, on the
day of his death, on the brilliant spring-time sun, he said: "If he is
not God, he is at least his cousin-german." Those were, it is said, his
last spoken words, although some time later when unable to articulate,
he feebly held a pen in his hand as he wrote the single word: "dormir."
And so, on April 2, 1791, he died. Thus ended the life of a wondrous
statesman; a singular career, of which Carlyle (in his "French
Revolution") says: "Strange lot! Forty years of that smouldering with
foul fire-damp and vapor enough; then victory over that;--and like a
burning mountain, he blazes heaven high; and for twenty-three
resplendent months pours out, in flame and molten fire-torrents, all
that is in him, the Pharos and the Wondersign of an amazed Europe;--and
then lies hollow, cold, forever."

[Signature of the author.]



MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE

(1758-1794)

[Illustration: Robespierre. [TN]]


Maximilien Isidore Robespierre, the leader of the most violent of those
theorizers who overthrew the French monarchy, the exponent of all that
deep-rooted hatred which the commoners of France, as the result of long
centuries of oppression, harbored against their king, nobles, and
clergy; Robespierre, who ruled the infant republic during her first bold
defiance of united Europe, yet whose name has become, even among his
countrymen, a symbol of horror, was born at Arras, in 1758. His father
was an advocate in the supreme council of Artois, and, ruined by his
dissipation, had left France long before the revolution. An orphan at
the age of nine, and without fortune, Maximilien was indebted to the
benevolent protection of the Bishop of Arras, M. de Conzié, for the
situation of bursar of the College of Louis XIV. We are assured that
from his infancy he manifested a cruel, reserved, and timid disposition,
and an ardent love of liberty and independence. After having passed
through his studies, and obtained the honor of being chosen by his
fellow-students to address Louis XVI., upon the entrance of that prince
into Paris, he returned to Arras, where, having become an advocate of
the council of Artois, he composed strictures against the magistrates of
that province. A daring enthusiast, in 1789 he was elected, on account
of his revolutionary principles, by the third estate of Artois, to a
seat in the Constituent Assembly. We shall not follow him in detail in
that assembly: we shall simply remark, that he spoke much without
obtaining any particular influence and evinced himself constantly the
enthusiastic champion of the people. Robespierre, in all his harangues,
appears to foresee events. The avowed enemy of royalty, we behold him on
the side of republicanism, of which he ventured to alter the name on the
day when the Assembly decreed the French government monarchical. We
behold him again, after the arrest of the king at Varennes, resuming his
projects for the destruction of that monarch, preparing the movements
which took place at the Champ-de-Mars, on July 14, 16, 17, 1791, and
attacking, on the 14th, in the Assembly, the principle of the
inviolability of the sovereign, in the hope of having him arraigned; but
at the end of the sitting, finding his opinion rejected, he began to
tremble for his temerity, and required that they should not provoke the
ruin of persons who had engaged in that affair.

If Robespierre was unable to distinguish himself among the orators of
the Constituent Assembly; if his principles appeared obnoxious to the
innovators acting from sentiment in 1789; if they often drew upon him
the indignation of his colleagues; they were the means of his acquiring
among the Jacobins that reputation and favor which, daily increasing,
rendered him at last the idol of the people and the ruler of the
government. He was called "The Incorruptible." The day of the closing of
the Assembly, the populace surrounded him on his coming out of the hall,
put a crown of oak upon his head, placed him in a carriage, and, taking
out the horses, dragged him to his house, exclaiming as they moved,
"Behold the friend of the people, the great defender of Liberty!"
Robespierre was fully sensible of the advantages which might result from
his alliance with the Jacobins. He devoted himself entirely to the
direction of a club bearing that name, and refused, in order to give up
his whole time to the objects they had in view, the office of accuser in
the criminal tribunal at Paris, to which he had been appointed. Until
his election to a seat in the Convention, he was never seen personally
to engage in those insurrections which produced the atrocious attack
upon the king, nor in the horrible massacres which, in 1792, covered
Paris with murder and blood, and the French name with eternal
opprobrium. He refused even to preside at the tribunal of August 10th,
because, as he said, "He had long since denounced and accused the
conspirators, whom this tribunal was ordained to judge." But he had
scarcely entered the Convention when he resolved to raise his faction
upon the ruins of all the others, and his power upon the destruction of
those factions which he might employ. To attain this end, he was seen at
first to strengthen the ties by which he had already been united to
Marat and Danton, and to avail himself particularly of the latter, in
order to overthrow the Girondins, who, from the fifth session, had
suspected his ambition, and accused him of aspiring to the dictatorship.
It was during this struggle that Louvet pronounced against him that very
eloquent harangue, which Madame Roland called the "Robespierreiad."
Assisted by his brother and by Danton, Robespierre, in the sitting of
November 5th, overpowered the Girondins, and went to the Jacobins to
enjoy the fruits of his victory, where Merlin de Thionville declared him
an eagle, and a barbarous reptile. From that moment he never ceased to
promote the death of Louis XVI., with an asperity and a perseverance
almost incredible. In short, until the fatal day of the martyrdom of
that amiable and unfortunate prince, he continually importuned the
tribune to pronounce upon him (according to the expression of one of his
colleagues) _des vociférations de cannibale_, and the most atrocious
prejudgments. It is almost superfluous to add, that he voted for his
death on the day of the nominal appeal to the nation.

Within any moderate limits, it would be impossible to give the details
of this monstrous proceeding. Of all the disorders which had occurred
during the stormy period which had seen him on the throne of France,
Louis was accused. He was assigned counsel; and MM. Tronchet, Lamoignon,
Malesherbes, and De Séze, with his approbation, undertook his defence.
Their exertions, though creditable to themselves, were of no avail; and
on January 16, 1793, after hearing them in his defence, and his solemn
denial of the crimes laid to his charge, and after a sitting of nearly
thirty-four hours, the punishment of death was awarded.

Constant in his hatred of the Girondins, Robespierre attacked them with
great vehemence until May 31st, when he obtained a complete triumph. His
most dangerous enemies among the men of that faction were outlawed, and
others arrested. The success of this day rendered him absolute ruler of
the Convention, and founded that tyrannical empire which only terminated
with his life.

[Illustration: Robespierre's arrest.]

Among the factions which had lent him their assistance, the Hebertistes
were the first that separated from his cause. This faction aspired to
sole dominion, but the good fortune or the address of Robespierre was
able at once to oppose to it the Jacobins and the Cordeliers, and it
sunk in March, 1794, under their united efforts. Danton, who had been
particularly serviceable on this occasion, whose energy had been of such
utility, who had aided him in sweeping away the other factions; Danton,
in short, whom he ought to have considered as the instrument of his
power, became a formidable enemy, after being for a length of time a
most devoted friend and faithful ally. The two parties were at issue;
one or the other must necessarily be overcome. The cunning of
Robespierre triumphed over the inconsiderate ardor of his rival, whom he
took pains to render unpopular by sending him to enrich himself in
Belgium. A few days afterward he was accused, arrested, and conveyed to
the scaffold with Desmoulins, La Croix, Fabre, and others. In the course
of the same month (April, 1794) he delivered over to the Revolutionary
Tribunal the remainder of the party of the Hebertistes, and that of the
Cordeliers, whom he degraded by the name of Atheists, and from that
moment to the period of his downfall he met no opposition. It was then
that his language assumed a different tone. "I must be," "it is
necessary," "I will," were his general expressions; and the Convention,
as he himself called it, was only his _machine à décrets_. What is
worthy of remark is, that France, groaning under the struggles of
different parties, should applaud the conduct of Robespierre, from an
idea that she would be less miserable under a single tyrant. His new
plan of religion, ridiculous as it was, gained him some adherents; but
it must be evident to every reflecting mind that Robespierre must have
conceived himself at the head of the government, since he, whose sole
object had hitherto been to destroy, attempted to rebuild. It is
impossible to conjecture how long his power might have continued, had
he spared his colleagues, and if he had not incited to resistance men
who, until then, had blindly executed his orders, and who desired
nothing more than to continue to serve and obey him; but in sacrificing
the leaders of the Revolutionary Government, Robespierre sought a
support in the moderate party. This policy ruined him; those whose
destruction he had meditated occasioned his downfall. Danger, however,
inspired him with courage. From June 10th, Ruamps and Bourdon de l'Oise,
in particular, had expressed some distrust of the Committee of Public
Safety, which produced a discussion in which Robespierre, speaking with
an air of despotism, had the good fortune to silence them. This was the
moment he should have chosen to overwhelm the party, which redoubled its
intrigues for his destruction; and at whose head Tallien rendered
himself remarkable. His friend, St. Just, advised him to strike the
first blow. Robespierre had passed several days in retirement, occupied
in projecting, at a moment when he ought to have acted. When he
reappeared on the 26th, at the Convention, his partisans abandoned him;
he in vain endeavored to regain the ground he had lost. Sensible of the
danger which threatened him, he called together his most intimate
friends on the night of the 26th. St. Just pressed him immediately to
act. He hesitated for twenty-four hours, and this delay was the sentence
of his death. The next day Billaud-Varennes removed the veil, and
Robespierre having rushed to the tribune to reply to him, the cries of
"Down with the tyrant!" drove him instantly from the assembly. A few
minutes after a decree was passed for his arrest, and that of St. Just,
Couthon, and Lebas. "The robbers triumph," he exclaimed, on turning to
the side of the conquerors. He was afterward conducted to the
Luxembourg, and in a little time removed from that palace and conveyed
to the tribune which had delivered him up. He for some instants
cherished the hopes of a triumph; the national guard, under the command
of Henriot, assembled in his defence. But the Convention having put him
out of the protection of the law, the Parisians abandoned him, and at
three o'clock in the morning he found himself with his accomplices in
the power of the officers of the Convention. At the moment he was about
to be seized he discharged a pistol at his head, which only fractured
his lower jaw; others say it was fired by Medal, one of the gendarmes,
who had stepped forward to arrest him, and against whom he defended
himself. He was immediately conducted to the Commune, from thence
conveyed to the Conciergerie, and executed on the same day, July 28,
1794.

His last moments presented a terrific scene; his mouth full of blood,
his eyes half closed, his head bound up with a bloody handkerchief, he
was thrown into the same cell which had been successively inhabited by
Hébert, Danton, and Chaumette. When he quitted the prison to meet his
punishment, the proscribed persons obstructing the passage, the jailer
cried out, "Make way for monsieur the incorruptible!" He was conveyed in
a cart between Henriot and Couthon; the people halted before the house,
two women danced before the wagon, and one of them exclaimed; "Your
sufferings intoxicate us with joy! You will descend to hell, accompanied
by the curses of all wives and mothers." The executioner, in order to
dispatch him, rudely tore away the bandage from his wound. He uttered a
cry of horror; his lower jaw separated itself from the upper. The blood
again flowed, and his head exhibited a spectacle of the most frightful
kind. He died at the age of thirty-six.

Robespierre was not a monster; his life attests it; nor was he solely
guilty of the atrocities which signalized his reign. By his downfall he
was loaded with all those iniquities which, had he triumphed, he would
have attributed to his opponents.



JEAN HENRI PESTALOZZI

By HARRIET MARTINEAU

(1746-1827)

[Illustration: Jean Henri Pestalozzi. [TN]]


Those of us who can look back forty years must well remember the fancy
that society took, on a sudden, to interrogate children. It is an odd
thing to recall now one of the strangest fashions of a period full of
wild fashions. After a long term of insular seclusion, through the war,
we welcomed all sorts of foreigners to our soil, and all manner of
foreign notions to our minds. The grand discovery of the benefit of
questioning children made great way in the country, and among some of
the best-hearted people in it. Wherever one went, among the educated
classes, one found the same thing going on. Children of all ages, but
especially the younger, were undergoing cross-examination from morning
till night. It was a terrible time for them. I have seen some fall into
a habit of tears when asked a question which they could not answer. I
have seen more fall into a habit of glib lying, under the teazing
constraint. I have seen tempers ruined for life by the constant
irritation, and most old people can probably say that they have seen
promising intellects frittered away; minds above the average at the
outset of life rendered incurably desultory, shallow, and conceited. If
there are readers of Wordsworth who are puzzled at this day about the
drift of his poem, called "Anecdote for Fathers, Showing how the
Practice of Lying May be Taught," let them remember that it was written
at a time when "the Pestalozzian system" was in vogue in England, and
throughout Europe; and then they will see what a good lesson it yields.
If, at this day, the image flits across our memories of some pale child,
with a fretful brow, red eyes, and a constant disposition to get out of
the room, or to hide behind the window curtains, when spoken to, we may
refer that image back to the days of the "Pestalozzian system," as it
was fashionably understood in this country.

It was a cruel injustice to Pestalozzi to render him responsible for all
this mischief. His mission was, not to craze children's brains and break
their hearts, but the very contrary. We, in fact, gave his name to a
mere reaction from a mistake of our own--to one kind of ignorance into
which we fell in our escape from another.

In our desire for popular education, early in the century, we had
supposed the thing to be done was to put certain facts into the
learner's mind--to lay them upon his memory, as it were. To quicken and
spread the process, we set children who had learned a thing one minute
to teach it to other children the next. This did not answer. We called
it "the Lancasterian system," and supposed the nation would be educated
in a trice. When we found, at the end of ten or twenty years, that boys
and girls left school after sitting nine years on the benches, unable to
do any good with book or pen, while they had lost their home-training in
the workshop, the field, or the dairy, we were ready for a reaction; and
to that reaction we most unjustly gave the name of "Pestalozzian
system."

The notion was that we had been all wrong in putting knowledge into
children's heads; and that the right way was to get ideas out of them.
Henceforth we were to develop faculties, and not impose knowledge. It
was a great day for us when the conception was formed, and began to
spread. Without it, education would never have advanced even as far as
it has. But we blundered over it sadly at first; and among our mistakes,
it was not the least that we christened our follies after Pestalozzi.
Every great step in social progress is taken in the name of some
representative man. It is the business of those who come after to
absolve those representatives from the disrepute of mistakes which were
none of theirs; and we may hope that Pestalozzi's memory has long been
clear from the charge of torturing on the rack of cross-examination the
generation of children whom he loved so well. What it was that he did
propose is best seen by looking at his life; for, if he was not a very
practical man in the sense of wisely conducted affairs, he was still
less of a theorist. He knew very well what he meant and what he wanted;
but he had no compact system to propose, grounded on any new theory of
the human faculties. The foremost man in the educational revolution of
modern times, he obeyed his instincts, and left it for incompetent
followers to make a scheme of doctrine out of what he said and did.

What were those instincts? And how did he use them?

We first see him as a very peculiar little boy, whose best friend was
his mother's maid, Barbara. His name is Italian, but he was a Swiss. His
ancestors had been citizens of Milan; but one of them, becoming
Protestant at the time of the Reformation, had to seek a Protestant
country to live in, and went to Zurich. The father of this little John
Henry was a physician. He died so early that he left a very bare
provision for his widow and their only son; and, aware of the prudence
that their circumstances would require, he recommended them, on his
death-bed, to the care of the trusty maid Barbara, who fully justified
the confidence. She carried them through with an appearance of
respectability on the smallest means, and nourished the pride of narrow
circumstances in the boy, in striving to avoid the opposite fault of
meanness. She told him that no Pestalozzi had ever eaten the bread of
dependence, and that his mother's self-denial raised him above the
degradation suffered by many another orphan in Zurich. These lessons and
Barbara's own character, account for much of the passionate advocacy of
the claims and the independence of the poor, and of the respect for
their virtue, which were the chief features of the whole life of the
man. From six years old, when his father died, he looked upon all
orphans with an interest compounded of fellow-feeling and of lofty pity
for their inferiority in independence. His great, but as yet
unconscious, desire was to help the whole class to independence.

It does not appear why he devoted himself, as he grew up, to the study
of languages. Probably he had no choice as to the course of his
training; but we find him, so early as the age of eighteen, leaving that
study and preparing himself with great zeal for the pulpit. His deeply
religious nature might well indicate this career; but he early failed in
it and gave it up. His first attempt to preach ended in mortification,
and it is not difficult to perceive why. His education must have been
defective, for, to the end of his long life, he spoke a jargon of German
or French, sometimes mixing the two; a kind of language which none but
his intimates could comprehend. His articulation was defective; his
countenance was so ugly as to be forbidding; and, during the latter part
of his life at least, his personal habits were worse than slovenly. The
failure in the pulpit is not wonderful; nor yet that in the law, which
he tried next. He turned again to his first pursuit, and published some
philological writings. While eager about a new method of teaching Latin,
he one day took up Rousseau's "Émile," and the book determined the whole
course of his life.

Insisting that the pursuit of learning was the most unnatural of human
occupations, he not only gave it up, but burned all his papers; not only
his notes, but manuscripts on Swiss law and Swiss history. He would live
henceforth as a son of the soil. He sold his small patrimony to buy a
bit of land to farm; married the daughter of a merchant of Zurich, and
began domestic life at two and twenty. His wife's connection gave him an
interest in a cotton manufactory; and he became well acquainted with two
classes of laborers at once. The discovery of their intellectual
degradation shocked him. Both the farm-laborers and the spinners were so
inferior to the poor of his imagination, that he was at once stimulated
and dismayed. He was thirty when he set about the sort of work which
made him the world's benefactor. He collected about fifty poor and
desolate children on his little estate, lived with them in a state of
hardship, taught them to work, and to think, and to read, and made
friends of them. In the absence of other assistants, he adopted the plan
of setting them to teach one another; a feature of his method which
recommended it where the Lancasterian system existed. Having no skill,
and no prudence in the management of affairs, he was soon ruined, and
the establishment was broken up.

This was the occasion of his giving us the book which made his name
famous all over Europe. To explain his views, and to get immediate means
of support, he wrote "Leonard and Gertrude," which might soon after be
seen on the tables of all benevolent and literary persons in all
countries. Its disclosure of continental peasant life was perhaps the
first charm to us; but it also changed the character of educational
effort in England as elsewhere. Perhaps this popularity gave the good
man honor in his own country.

After the Revolutionary War in Switzerland, the Canton of Unterwalden
was overrun with wretched children who seemed to belong to nobody. They
prowled about the burned hamlets, and infested town and country like
little wolves. The government asked Pestalozzi to take charge of some of
them, and offered him some little aid. It was a singular spectacle when
this uncouth man, then in the vigor of his years (it was in 1798),
entered the ruins of a ravaged convent, with his mob of one hundred and
fifty outcast children. He was all alone with them; and some of them
were sickly and stunted; many were fretful; and not a few ferocious, or
malicious, or impudent, or full of suspicion and falsehood. He lived and
labored among them, nursed them, taught them, and soon began to open
their minds and gain their hearts. In a little while their avidity for
knowledge astonished him. The facts of the case indicate that he had an
aptitude for communicating with children's minds that amounted to
genius. Our mistake, twenty years later, was in supposing that the
virtue lay in that part of the method which could be imitated.
Pestalozzi, conversing with young creatures who had never supposed that
anybody cared for them, surprised them by his interest in what they felt
and thought. His questions roused their faculties, and sent a glow
through their feelings; and their improvement transcended all precedent.
Reports of his conversation and his achievements set others to work; and
there was such an interrogation of children as was never dreamed of
before.

One question which Pestalozzi asked of this set of pupils is memorable.
They had seen Altdorf in flames. About those blackened ruins there were
again desolate children, living as they could. Pestalozzi sounded the
minds of his pupils as to doing something in the case. When they eagerly
desired to take in twenty among them, Pestalozzi asked them whether they
could bear the consequences. They must work harder even than now; they
must live yet more barely; they might have to share their dinners and
their clothes with strangers whom they might not like. He would not
allow a rash decision. He made them fully understand what they were
undertaking, and put off the settlement of the question. Still, the
pupils said, "Let them come!"

The ravage of the war swept away this institution; but Pestalozzi could
never again be overlooked. His special function was recognized at home
and abroad. His books were translated into many languages; and the
emperors and kings of Europe were eager to apply his wisdom to the
education of their people. He was summoned to Paris to join a
consultation on the interests of Switzerland, ordered by Napoleon. But
he made his escape from Paris at the first possible moment; he did not
want imperial patronage which interfered with his work at home; but he
would have nothing to do with politics. He desired to live with children
and the poor, to open their minds, and make them good and happy.

It seemed as if he had attained his utmost wishes when the town of
Yverdun offered him its castle and grounds for a school, with perfect
freedom as to the management. For a few years the promise of educational
advancement was truly splendid. Some of Pestalozzi's own pupils became
able and devoted assistants; and other young men of the highest
qualifications devoted themselves as apostles of his mission. Here and
there over Europe establishments arose where boys, and sometimes girls,
were trained at once in industry and intellectual progress. Those who
were in the gardens, or the harvest field, or the dairy at one time of
the day, were studying languages, mathematics, or music at other hours.
And where this direct imitation of the Swiss establishments was not
attempted, there was a visible improvement in methods of instruction. We
learned to see that books and education, books and teaching, are not the
same thing. Oral instruction came into use elsewhere than at mothers'
knees; and amid some gross abuses, "the Pestalozzian system" began to
work great good.

There is almost always some dreary chapter in the history of these
representative men. In Pestalozzi's there were several; but the
dreariest of all was the last.

There never was a movement which depended more entirely for success on
the personal qualifications of its agents. We need not look further than
the next street, or the next house, to see how one person differs from
another in the faculty of genuine intercourse with children's minds. The
smallness of the number of the well-endowed with this power, is the best
reason for the large use of books in schools; and Pestalozzi's genius
for companionship with inferior minds caused a too exclusive recourse to
oral instruction. Thus, when assistants came upon the scene, there was
diversity, disagreement, disappointment, and no little disorder. We need
not go into the painful story of warring tempers and incompatible
interests. The institution declined for some years, and then was broken
up--the government of the Canton warning the manager of the concern, who
acted in Pestalozzi's name, to leave the country.

[Illustration: Pestalozzi, the children's friend.]

It needs no explanation that Pestalozzi was in some respects weak. The
failure of all his establishments and his inability to keep out of debt
show this. His faculties of imagination and sympathy overpowered the
rest of his mind. He early seized a great truth--that of the claim of
every human being to the full development of his faculties, whatever
they may be; and the concentration of his strongest powers on this great
truth made him a social reformer of a high order. He was not a
philosopher; he was not a man of good sense, or temper, or practical
ability, generally speaking; though sense, temper, and ability appeared
to be all transcendent in the particular direction taken by his
genius. Among his inferiors--and particularly friendless children--he
was a prophet and apostle; among men he was a child, and sometimes a
perverse one.

He died at the age of eighty-one, preserving, in the midst of great
pain, his enthusiasm for justice, his special love for children and the
poor, and his strong religious sentiment. Two days before his death he
spoke long and nobly, while taking leave of his family and his
enterprises. His country, and we hope the world, has remembered his good
offices to society, and forgiven his foibles.



GEORGES CUVIER

By JOHN STOUGHTON, D.D.

(1769-1832)

[Illustration: Cuvier. [TN]]


Georges Chrétien Léopold Dagobert Cuvier was born at Montbéliard, a
place of manufacturing industry about forty miles from Besançon, now
within the French dominions, then a little principality pertaining to
the Duke of Wurtemberg. Young Cuvier was remarkable for his intelligence
and precocity; and an incident in his boyish days indicated the bent of
his genius, and the sphere of knowledge and discovery in which as a man
he was destined to excel. He found one day, among his father's books,
Buffon's work on natural history, and it suggested the idea of copying
and coloring the plates, after he had carefully studied the text. The
contents formed his chief reading for many years. The relatives of
Cuvier were poor. His father was a pensioned officer in a Swiss regiment
in the service of France. His mother was an affectionate, godly, wise
woman. To her early lessons in Latin, geography, and drawing, and to her
communications of religion, he always acknowledged himself much
indebted. He went to the public gymnasium at the age of ten, and
remained there for four years, bearing off prizes for learning and
athletics. Through the patronage of a Wurtemberg princess he was sent
to the university of Stuttgart, where he pursued a course of scientific
study, particularly in the division relating to natural history. There
he acquitted himself with distinction, not only in that special
department, but also in the most sacred branch of learning. "The young
Cuvier," said his examiners, "has shown just notions of Christianity
well adapted to his years," and "considerable skill" in reading the
Greek Testament.

Circumstances compelled him in early life to do something toward earning
a livelihood, and in 1794 he became tutor in a French Protestant family
living in the castle of Fiquainville, near Fécamp. In that little Norman
fishing-town he found much to gratify his curiosity; and he might often
be seen scouring the country after birds, butterflies, and other
insects; or prying into nooks and corners on the shore, after shell-fish
and other marine productions; while the treasures of the boundless sea
inspired wonder, with a longing to explore its depths and to become
acquainted with the forms of life hidden under its waters.

He appears to have continued in the family of Count d'Hericy for nearly
seven years. He was introduced to the _savants_ of Paris by his
researches, and accepted an invitation to remove thither in 1795. He
reached the French metropolis just after the horrors of the Revolution.
Papers written by him already on his favorite subject had brought him
into notice; and he found congenial employment in the Jardin des
Plantes--the home of his after-studies and the sphere of his scientific
exploits. There he worked and lectured, and obtained the office of
assistant to the aged professor of comparative anatomy. In the year of
his appointment, he made a mark in the study which he rendered so
famous, by a memoir on the Megalonyx, a fossil animal known by a few of
its bones, and which, contrary to received opinion, he boldly proved to
have been a gigantic sloth. This was the first of those able comparisons
of the fossil with the present world which revolutionized geology,
extended comparative anatomy, and absolutely created the science of
palæontology. He was also appointed to a professorship of natural
philosophy in the College of France; then he rose, step by step, under
the favor and patronage of Napoleon, who made him an inspector-general
of schools; secretary to the French Institute; councillor of the new
Imperial University, and organizer of reformed colleges in Italy,
Holland, and Germany, after the vast extension of the empire. Even at
Rome he was thus employed in 1813; and though a Protestant, he there won
the good opinion of the authorities. The conquest and banishment of the
great ruler of France did not spoil the fortunes of Cuvier; for, after
the restoration of Louis XVIII., he was confirmed by that monarch in the
office of state councillor, to which he had been appointed by the
emperor, and in 1819 he was made a baron of France.

Just before this he visited England, and was received with the highest
honors. Another visit followed in 1830. An amusing circumstance occurred
on one of these occasions, indicative of his wide-spread fame amid the
lower as well as the upper classes of society. When in London, owing to
the absence of his valet, he sent for a barber to shave him. When the
operation was finished he offered payment. "I am too much honored,"
replied the Gascon--for such the operator happened to be, "by having
shaved the greatest man of the age, to accept any recompense." M. Cuvier
allowed him the honor to the full extent, and engaged him to perform the
function repeatedly, for which, at length, he was willing to pocket
payment.

Cuvier's life must have been most laborious. The same year in which he
was made baron, he became president of the Committee of the Interior;
and the numerous and various affairs which there passed under his
review, and required his examination, were perfectly wonderful; together
with his scientific employments, they seem more than any mortal man
could accomplish. But by economy of time and distribution of labor,
concentration of thought, retentiveness of memory, and a profound
knowledge of principles in every department, he acquitted himself in a
manner which secured universal admiration.

Charles X., of France, and the King of Wurtemberg, vied with each other
in the honors they conferred on Cuvier; and on the accession of Louis
Philippe to the French throne the new sovereign continued the favors
shown by his predecessors, and in 1832 made the baron a French peer. But
his end was now drawing nigh. "Gentlemen," he said one day to his
hearers, in opening a new course of lectures, "these will be the objects
of our future investigations, if time, health, and strength shall be
given to me to continue and finish them with you." But an overwrought
brain the very next day produced paralysis, and the distinguished
statesman and philosopher died at the age of sixty-three, on May 13,
1832.

Down to the time of Cuvier, the classification of animal life had been
most imperfect and unsatisfactory. The basis adopted by Ray was open to
criticism. Comparative anatomy, rising into importance during the
eighteenth century, continued through that period in a state of infancy.
Linnæus and Buffon rendered valuable service; but all former students in
this branch of science were surpassed by Cuvier. A curious anecdote is
recorded of the ignorance of natural objects which continued even after
the opening of the present century. When the committee of the French
Academy were employed in preparing the well-known Academy dictionary,
Cuvier came one day into the room where they were holding a session.
"Glad to see you, M. Cuvier," said one of the forty; "we have just
finished a definition which we think quite satisfactory, but on which we
should like to have your opinion. We have been defining the word 'crab,'
and explained it thus: 'Crab, a small red fish, which walks backward.'"
"Perfect, gentlemen," said Cuvier; "only, if you will give me leave, I
will make one small observation in natural history. The crab is not a
fish, it is not red, and it does not walk backward. With these
exceptions your definition is excellent."

Cuvier was the first to give a really philosophical view of the animal
world in reference to the plan on which each animal is constructed.
There are, he says, four such plans--four forms on which animals appear
to have been modelled, and of which the ulterior divisions, with
whatever titles naturalists have decorated them, are only very slight
modifications, founded on the development or addition of some parts
which do not produce any essential change in the plan. These four great
branches of the animal world are the _vertebrata_, _mollusca_,
_articulata_, and _radiata_.

Comparative anatomy found in Cuvier a student who appreciated its
importance and revived its efficiency and honors. He saw more distinctly
than anyone before, that large classes of animals, when carefully
examined, are but modifications of a common type; that, for example,
there is after all a strong resemblance, when their skeletons are looked
at, between a man and a bird, and also a complete analogy between the
human skull and the head of a fish. It was in the pursuit after such
analogies that Cuvier was led into the track where he found the basis of
his new anatomical classifications.

For his wonderful volumes on fossil animals, Cuvier had made some
preparation by an essay, presented in 1810 to the Academy, on the
geology of the basin of Paris, a district singularly rich in fossil
remains. Montmartre and its vicinity, covered with buildings and crowded
with people, would not strike many observers as a promising field for
scientific exploration; but it is the peculiarity of genius to read
instruction where others can find only a blank, or a record of
commonplace character. Cuvier discovered in the geological construction
and the fossil remains of the Paris basin, elements for the solution of
the most critical scientific questions, relative not only to that
locality, but to the globe at large. Long before, he had begun to
treasure up facts, the collocation of which ultimately constituted his
marvellous additions to human knowledge. In 1800 he finds a few teeth,
in following years a few bones; and after many years' patience and skill
he ascertains and demonstrates the existence and place of a number of
tapir-like animals which he classed as _Lophiodon Paleotherium_ and
_Anoplotherium_, formerly abounding on the banks of the ponds which have
left their mud and marl in the tertiary strata of the Paris basin. His
anticipations seemed like prophecies, based, as they were, on a tooth or
a bone; but subsequent discoveries enabled him to verify them all, so
that they became parts of scientific and general knowledge. The effect
of these discoveries on the scientific world was prodigious.

"The great work of Cuvier," says Lord Brougham, "stands among those rare
monuments of human genius and labor, of which each department of
exertion can scarcely ever furnish more than one, eminent therefore
above all the other efforts made in the same kind. In the stricter
sciences, the 'Principia' of Newton, and in later times its continuation
and extension in La Place's 'Mécanique Céleste;' in intellectual
philosophy, Locke's celebrated work; in oratory, Demosthenes; in poetry,
Homer, leave all competitors behind by the common consent of mankind;
and Cuvier's researches in fossil osteology will probably be reckoned to
prefer an equal claim to distinction among the works on comparative
anatomy."

"If," says Cuvier, "you have but the extremity of a bone well preserved,
you may, by attention, consideration, and the aid of resources which
analogy furnishes to skill, determine all the rest as well as if you had
the entire skeleton submitted to you."

The great scientific value of the work lies in its comparative anatomy,
creating as it were (as we have said) the science of palæontology at a
leap; but there are in it also sundry other philosophical deductions in
geology, such as the following: that in the strata called primitive
there are no remains of life or organized existence;--that all organized
existences were not created at the same time, but at different times,
probably very remote from each other, vegetables before animals, the
mollusca and fishes before reptiles, and the latter before the
mammalia;--that the transition limestone exhibits remains of the lowest
forms of existence; and the chalk and clay conceal the remains of
fishes, reptiles, and quadrupeds, beings of a former order of things,
which have now disappeared;--that among fossil remains no vestige
appears of man or his works; that the fossil remains in the more recent
strata are those which approach nearest to the present type of the
corresponding living species; and that these strata show the former
prevalence of fresh water as well as sea-water.

The extraordinary sagacity of Cuvier, coupled with his extensive
knowledge, qualified him for the execution of this herculean task. His
power of geological classification sprang out of his zoölogical skill,
and he was a great pioneer in previously unexplored fields of research,
where relations between the organic and inorganic changes of the earth
were revealed to the eye of the philosopher. "His guiding ideas had been
formed, his facts had been studied, by the assistance of all the
sciences which could be made to bear upon them. In his geological labors
he seems to see some beautiful temple, not only firm and fair in itself,
but decorated with sculptures and painting, and rich in all that art and
labor, memory and imagination, can contribute to its beauty."

These remarks occur in connection with Whewell's sketch of the
contributions to science made by Cuvier: "I may observe, that he is
allowed by all to have established on an indestructible basis many of
the most important generalizations which zoölogy now contains; and the
principal defect which his critics have pointed out has been that he did
not generalize still more widely and boldly. It appears, therefore, that
he cannot but be placed among the great discoverers in the studies which
he pursued; and this being the case, those who look with pleasure on the
tendency of the thoughts of the greatest men to an intelligence far
higher than their own, must be gratified to find that he was an example
of this tendency, and that the acknowledgment of a creative purpose, as
well as a creative power, not only entered into his belief, but made an
indispensable and prominent part of his philosophy."

"Beauty, richness, abundance," says Cuvier, "have been the ways of the
Creator, no less than simplicity. We conceive nature to be simply a
production of the Almighty, regulated by a wisdom the laws of which can
only be discovered by observation."



ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT[7]

By LOUIS AGASSIZ

(1769-1859)

         [Footnote 7: Written at the time of the death of Baron Von
         Humboldt, and reprinted, by permission, from "Littell's Living
         Age."]

[Illustration: Humboldt. [TN]]


Humboldt--Alexander Von Humboldt, as he always called himself, though he
was christened with the names of Frederick Heinrich Alexander--was born
in 1769, on September 14th, in that memorable year which gave to the
world those philosophers, warriors, and statesmen who have changed the
face of science and the condition of affairs in our century. It was in
that year that Cuvier also and Schiller were born; and among the
warriors and statesmen, Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, and Canning
are children of 1769, and it is certainly a year of which we can say
that its children have revolutionized the world. Of the early life of
Humboldt I know nothing, and I find no records except that in his tenth
year he lost his father, who had been a major in the army during the
seven years' war, and afterward a chamberlain to the King of Prussia.
But his mother took excellent care of him, and watched over his early
education. The influence she had upon his life is evident from the fact
that, notwithstanding his yearning for the sight of foreign lands, he
did not begin to make active preparations for his travels during her
lifetime. In the winter of 1787-1788 he was sent to the University of
Frankfort on the Oder, to study finances. He was to be a statesman; he
was to enter high offices, for which there was a fair chance, owing to
his noble birth and the patronage he could expect at court. He remained,
however, but a short time there.

Not finding these studies to his taste, after a semestre's residence in
the university we find him again at Berlin, and there in intimate
friendship with Wildenow, then professor of botany, and who at that time
possessed the greatest herbarium in existence. Botany was the first
branch of natural science to which Humboldt paid especial attention. The
next year he went to Göttingen--being then a youth of twenty years; and
here he studied natural history with Blumenbach, and thus had an
opportunity of seeing the progress zoölogy was making in anticipation of
the great movement by which Cuvier placed zoölogy on a new foundation.

For it is an unquestionable fact that in first presenting a
classification of the animal kingdom based upon a knowledge of its
structure, Blumenbach in a measure anticipated Cuvier; though it is
only by an exaggeration of what Blumenbach did that an unfair writer of
later times has attempted to deprive Cuvier of the glory of having
accomplished this object upon the broadest possible basis. From
Göttingen he visited the Rhine, for the purpose of studying geology, and
in particular the basaltic formations of the Seven Mountains. At Mayence
he became acquainted with George Forster, who proposed to accompany him
on a journey to England. You may imagine what impression the
conversation of that active, impetuous and powerful man had upon the
youthful Humboldt. They went to Belgium and Holland, and thence to
England, where Forster introduced him to Sir Joseph Banks. Thus the
companions of Captain Cook in his first and second voyages round the
world, who were already venerable in years and eminent promoters of
physical science not yet established in the popular favor, were the
early guides of Humboldt in his aspirations for scientific distinction.
Yet Humboldt had a worldly career to accomplish. He was to be a
statesman, and this required that he should go to the Academy of
Commerce at Hamburg. He remained there five months, but could endure it
no longer, and he begged so hard that his mother allowed him to go to
Freyberg and study geology with Werner, with a view of obtaining a
situation in the Administration of Mines. See what combinations of
circumstances prepare him for his great career, as no other young man
ever was prepared. At Freyberg he received the private instruction of
Werner, the founder of modern geology, and he had as his fellow-student
no less a man than Leopold Von Buch, then a youth, to whom, at a later
period, Humboldt himself dedicated one of his works, inscribing it "to
the greatest geologist," as he was till the day of his recent death.
From Freyberg he made frequent excursions into the Hartz and
Fichtelgeberg and surrounding regions, and these excursions ended in the
publication of a small work upon the subterranean flora of Freyberg
("Flora Subterranea Fribergensis"), in which he described especially
those cryptogamous plants, or singular low and imperfect formations
which occur in the deep mines. But here ends his period of pupilage. In
1792 he was appointed an officer of the mines (Oberbergmeister). He went
to Beyreuth as director of the operations in those mines belonging to
the Frankish provinces of Prussia. Yet he was always wandering in every
direction, seeking for information and new subjects of study. He visited
Vienna, and there heard of the discoveries of Galvani, with which he
made himself familiar; went to Italy and Switzerland, where he became
acquainted with the then celebrated Professors Jurine and Pictet, and
with the illustrious Scarpa. He also went to Jena, formed an intimate
acquaintance with Schiller and Goethe, and also with Loder, with whom he
studied anatomy. From that time he began to make investigations of his
own, and these investigations were in a line which he has never
approached since, being experiments in physiology. He turned his
attention to the newly-discovered power by which he tested the activity
of organic substances; and it is plain, from his manner of treating the
subject, that he leaned to the idea that the chemical process going on
in the living body of animals furnished a clew to the phenomena of life,
if it was not life itself. This may be inferred from the title of the
book published in 1797--"Ueber die gereizte Muskel und Nervenfaser, mit
Vermuthungen über den chemischen Process des Lebens, in Thieren und
Pflanzen."

In these explanations of the phenomena we have the sources of the first
impulses in a direction which has been so beneficial in advancing the
true explanation of the secondary phenomena of life; but which, at the
same time, in its exaggeration as it prevails now has degenerated into
the materialism of modern investigators.

In that period of all-embracing activity, he began to study astronomy.
His attention was called to it by Baron Von Zach, who was a prominent
astronomer of the time, and who at that time was actively engaged upon
astronomical investigations in Germany. He showed Humboldt to what
extent astronomy would be useful to him, in his travels, in determining
the position of places, the altitude of mountains, etc.

So prepared, Humboldt now broods over his plans of foreign travel. He
has published his work on the muscular and nervous fibre at the age of
twenty-eight. He has lost his mother; and his mind is now inflamed with
an ungovernable passion for the sight of foreign and especially tropical
lands. He goes to Paris to make preparation by securing the best
astronomical, meteorological and surveying instruments. Evidently he
does not care where he shall go, for on a proposition of Lord Bristol to
visit Egypt he agrees to it. The war prevents the execution of this
plan, and he enters into negotiations to accompany the projected
expedition of Captain Baudin to Australia; but when Bonaparte, bent on
the conquest of Egypt, started with a scientific expedition, Humboldt
wishes to join it. He expects to be one of the scientific party, and to
reach Egypt by way of Barbary.

But all these plans failing, he goes to Spain with the view of exploring
that country, and finding perhaps some means of joining the French
expedition in Egypt from Spain. While in Madrid he is so well received
at the court--a young nobleman so well instructed has access
everywhere--and he receives such encouragement from persons in high
positions, that he turns his thoughts to an exploration of the Spanish
provinces of America. He receives permission not only to visit them, but
instructions are given to the officers of the colonies to receive him
everywhere and give him all facilities, to permit him to transport his
instruments, to make astronomical and other observations, and to collect
whatever he chooses; and all that only in consequence of the good
impression he has made when he appeared there, with no other
recommendation than that of a friend who happened to be at that time
Danish minister to the court of Madrid. But with these facilities
offered to him, he sails in June, 1799, from Corunna, whence he reaches
Teneriffe, makes short explorations of that island, ascending the peak,
and sailing straightway to America, where he lands in Cumana in the
month of July, and employs the first year and a half in the exploration
of the basin of the Orinoco and its connection with the Amazon. This was
a journey of itself, and completed a work of scientific importance,
establishing the fact that the two rivers were connected by an
uninterrupted course of water. He established for the first time the
fact that there was an extensive low plain, connected by water, which
circled the high table-land of Guiana. It was an important discovery in
physical geography, because it changed the ideas about water-courses and
about the distributions of mountains and plains in a manner which has
had the most extensive influence upon the progress of physical
geography. It may well be said that after this exploration of the
Orinoco, physical geography begins to appear as a part of science. From
Cumana he makes a short excursion to Havana, and hearing there of the
probable arrival of Baudin on the west coast of America, starts with the
intention of crossing at Panama. He arrives at Carthagena, but was
prevented by the advance of the season from crossing the Isthmus, and
changed his determination from want of precise information respecting
Baudin's locality. He determines to ascend the Magdalena River and visit
Santa Fé de Bogota, where, for several months, he explores the
construction of the mountains, and collects plants and animals; and, in
connection with his friend, Bonpland, who accompanied him from Paris, he
makes those immense botanical collections, which were afterward
published by Bonpland himself, and by Kunth after Bonpland had
determined on an expedition to South America. In the beginning of 1802
he reaches Quito, where, during four months, he turns his attention to
everything worth investigating, ascends the Chimborazo, to a height to
which no human foot had reached, anywhere; and, having completed this
survey and repeatedly crossed the Andes, he descends the southern slope
of the continent to the shore of the Pacific at Truxillo, and following
the arid coast of Peru, he visits finally Lima.

I will pass lightly over all the details of his journey, for they are
only incidents in that laborious exploration of the country which is
best appreciated by a consideration of the works which were published in
consequence of that immense accumulation of materials gathered during
those explorations. From Lima, or rather from Callao, he sails in 1802
for Guayaquil and Acapulco, and reaches Mexico in 1803, where he makes
as extensive explorations as he had made in Venezuela and the Andes, and
after a stay of about a year, and having put all his collections and
manuscripts in order, revisits Cuba for a short time, comes to the
United States, makes a hurried excursion to Philadelphia and Washington,
where he is welcomed by Jefferson, and finally returns with his faithful
companion Bonpland to France, accompanied by a young Spanish nobleman,
Don Carlo de Montufar, who had shared his travels since his visits to
Quito.

At thirty-six years of age Humboldt is again in Europe with collections
made in foreign lands, such as had never been brought together before.
But here we meet with a singular circumstance. The German nobleman, the
friend of the Prussian and Spanish courts, chooses Paris for his
residence, and remains there twenty-two years to work out the result of
his scientific labor; for since his return, with the exception of short
journeys to Italy, England and Germany, sometimes accompanying the King
of Prussia, sometimes alone, or accompanied by scientific friends, he is
entirely occupied in scientific labors and studies. So passes the time
to the year 1827, and no doubt he was induced to make this choice of a
residence by the extraordinary concourse of distinguished men in all
branches of science with whom he thought he could best discuss the
results of his own observations. I shall presently have something to say
about the works he completed during that most laborious period of his
life. I will only add now, that in 1827 he returned to Berlin
permanently, having been urged of late by the King of Prussia again and
again to return to his native land. And there he delivered a series of
lectures preparatory to the publication of "Cosmos;" for in substance,
even in form and arrangement, these lectures, of which the papers of the
day gave short accounts, are a sort of prologue to the "Cosmos," and a
preparation for its publication. In 1829, when he was sixty years of
age, he undertakes another great journey. He accepts the invitation of
the Emperor Nicholas to visit the Ural Mountains, with a view of
examining the gold mines, and localities where platina and diamonds had
been found, to determine their geological relation. He accomplished the
journey with Ehrenberg and Gustavus Rose, who published the result of
their mineralogical and geological survey, in a work of which he is the
sole author; while Humboldt published under the title of "Asiatic
Fragments of Geology and Climatology," his observations of the physical
and geographical features made during that journey. But he had hardly
returned to Berlin when in consequence of the revolution of 1830, he was
sent by the King of Prussia as extraordinary ambassador to France, to
honor the elevation of Louis Philippe to the throne. Humboldt had long
been a personal friend of the Orleans family, and he was selected
ambassador on that occasion on account of these personal relations. From
1830 to 1848 he lived alternately in Berlin and in Paris, spending
nearly half the time in Paris and half the time in Berlin, with
occasional visits to England and Denmark; publishing the results of his
investigations in Asia, making original investigations upon various
things and especially pressing the establishment of observatories, and
connected magnetic observations all over the globe, for which he
obtained the co-operation of the Russian government and that of the
government of England; and at that time those observations in Australia
and in the Russian empire to the borders of China, were established
which have led to such important results in our knowledge of terrestrial
magnetism. Since 1848 he has lived uninterruptedly in Berlin, where he
published on the anniversary of his eightieth year a new edition of
those charming first flowers of his pen; his "Views of Nature," the
first edition of which was published in Germany in 1808. This third
edition appeared with a series of new and remodelled annotations and
explanations; and that book in which he first presented his views of
nature, in which he drew those vivid pictures of the physiognomy of
plants and of their geographical distribution is now revived and brought
to the present state of science.

The "Views of Nature" is a work which Humboldt has always cherished, and
to which in his "Cosmos" he refers more frequently than to any other
work. It is no doubt because there he has expressed his deepest
thoughts, his most impressive views, and even foreshadowed those
intimate convictions which he never expressed, but which he desired to
record in such a manner that those that can read between the lines might
find them there; and certainly there we find them. His aspiration has
been to present to the world a picture of the physical world from which
he would exclude everything that relates to the turmoil of human
society, and to the ambitions of individual men. A life so full, so
rich, is worth explaining in every respect, and it is really instructive
to see with what devotion he pursues his work. As long as he is a
student he is really a student and learns faithfully, and learns
everything he can reach. And he continues so for twenty-three years. He
is not one of those who is impatient to show that he has something in
him, and with premature impatience utters his ideas, so that they become
insuperable barriers to his independent progress in later life. Slowly
and confident of his sure progress, he advances, and while he learns he
studies also independently of those who teach him. He makes his
experiments, and to make them with more independence he seeks for an
official position. During five years he is a business man, in a station
which gives him leisure. He is superintendent of the mines, but the
superintendent of the mines who can do much as he pleases; and while he
is thus officially engaged journeying and superintending, he prepares
himself for his independent researches. And yet it will be seen he is
thirty years of age before he enters upon his American travels--those
travels which will be said to have been the greatest undertaking ever
carried to a successful issue, if judged by the results; they have as
completely changed the basis of physical science as the revolution which
took place in France about the same time has changed the social
condition of that land. Having returned from these travels to Paris,
there begins in his life a period of concentrated critical studies. He
works his materials, and he works them with an ardor and devotion which
are untiring; and he is not anxious to appear to have done it all
himself. Oltmann is called to his aid to revise his astronomical
observations, and his barometrical measurements by which he has
determined the geographical position of seven hundred different points
and the altitude of more than four hundred and fifty of them.

The large collection of plants which Bonpland had begun to illustrate,
but of which his desire of seeing the tropics again has prevented the
completion he intrusts to Kunth. He has also brought home animals of
different classes, and distributes them among the most eminent
zoölogists of the day.

To Cuvier he intrusts the investigation of that remarkable batrachian,
the Aæolotel, the mode of development of which is still unknown, but
which remains in its adult state in a condition similar to that of the
tadpole of the frog during the earlier period of its life. Latreille
describes the insects, and Valenciennes the shells and the fishes; but
yet to show that he might have done the work himself, he publishes a
memoir on the anatomical structure of the organs of breathing in the
animals he has preserved, and another upon the tropical monkeys of
America, and another upon the electric properties of the electric eel.
But he was chiefly occupied with investigations in physical geography
and climatology. The first work upon that subject is a dissertation on
the geographical distribution of plants, published in 1817. Many
botanist travellers had observed that in different parts of the world
there are plants not found in others, and that there is a certain
arrangement in that distribution; but Humboldt was the first to see that
this distribution is connected with the temperature of the air as well
as with the altitudes of the surface on which they grow, and he
systematized his researches into a general exposition of the laws by
which the distribution of plants is regulated. Connected with this
subject he made those extensive investigations into the mean temperature
of a large number of places on the surface of the globe, which led to
the drawing of those isothermal lines so important in their influence in
shaping physical geography, and giving accuracy to the mode of
representing natural phenomena. Before Humboldt we had no graphic
representation of complex natural phenomena which made them easily
comprehensible, even to minds of moderate cultivation. He has done that
in a way which has circulated information more extensively, and brought
it to the apprehension more clearly than it could have been done by any
other means.

It is not too much to say that this mode of representing natural
phenomena has made it possible to introduce in our most elementary works
the broad generalizations derived from the investigations of Humboldt in
South America; and that every child in our schools has his mind fed from
the labors of Humboldt's brain, wherever geography is no longer taught
in the old routine.

       *       *       *       *       *

Humboldt was born near the court. He was brought up in connection with
courtiers and men in high positions of life. He was no doubt imbued with
the prejudices of his caste. He was a nobleman of high descent. And yet
the friend of kings was the bosom friend of Arago, and he was the man
who could, after his return from America, refuse the highest position at
the court of Berlin, that of the secretaryship of public instruction,
preferring to live in a modest way in Paris, in the society of all those
illustrious men, who then made Paris the centre of intellectual culture.
It was there where he became one of that Société d'Arceuil, composed of
all the great men of the day, to which the paper on "Isothermal Lines"
was presented, and by which it was printed, as all papers presented to
it were, for private distribution. But from his intimate relations,
especially to the court of Prussia, some insinuations have been made as
to the character of Humboldt. They are as unjust as they are severe in
expression. He was never a flatterer of those in power. He has shown it
by taking a prominent position, in 1848, at the head of those who
accompanied the victims of the revolution of that year to their last
place of rest. But while he expressed his independence in such a manner,
he had the kindliest feeling for all parties. He could not offend, even
by an expression, those with whom he had been associated in early life;
and I have no doubt that it is to that kindliness of feeling we must
ascribe his somewhat indiscriminate patronage of aspirants in science,
as well as men who were truly devoted to its highest aims. He may be
said to have been, especially in his latter years, the friend of every
cultivated man, wishing to lose no opportunity to do all the good of
which he was capable; for he had a degree of benevolence and generosity
which was unbounded. I can well say that there is not a man engaged in
scientific investigations in Europe, who has not received at his hands
marked tokens of his favor, and who is not under deep obligations to
him. May I be permitted to tell a circumstance which is personal to me
in that respect, and which shows what he was capable of doing while he
was forbidden an opportunity of telling it. I was only twenty-four years
of age when in Paris, whither I had gone with means given me by a
friend; but was at last about to resign my studies from want of ability
to meet my expenses. Professor Mitscherlich was then on a visit to
Paris, and I had seen him in the morning, when he asked me what was the
cause of my depressed feelings; and I told him that I had to go for I
had nothing left. The next morning as I was seated at breakfast in front
of the yard of the hotel where I lived, I saw the servant of Humboldt
approach. He handed me a note, saying there was no answer and
disappeared. I opened the note, and I see it now before me as distinctly
as if I held the paper in my hand. It said:--

"My friend, I hear that you intend leaving Paris in consequence of some
embarrassments. That shall not be. I wish you to remain here as long as
the object for which you came is not accomplished. I enclose you a check
of £50. It is a loan which you may repay when you can."

Some years afterward, when I could have repaid him, I wrote, asking for
the privilege of remaining forever in his debt, knowing that this
request would be more consonant to his feelings than the recovery of the
money, and I am now in his debt. What he has done for me, I know he has
done for many others; in silence and unknown to the world. I wish I
could go on to state something of his character, his conversational
powers, etc., but I feel that I am not in a condition to speak of them.
I would only say that his habits were very peculiar. He was an early
riser, and yet he was seen at late hours in the salons in different
parts of Paris. From the year 1830 to 1848, while in Paris, he had been
charged by the King of Prussia to send reports upon the condition of
things there. He had before prepared for the King of Prussia a report on
the political condition of the Spanish colonies in America, which no
doubt had its influence afterward upon the recognition of the
independence of those colonies. The importance of such reports to the
government of Prussia may be inferred from a perusal of his political
and statistical essays upon Mexico and Cuba. It is a circumstance worth
noticing, that above all great powers, Prussia has more distinguished,
scientific, and literary men among her diplomatists than any other
state. And so was Humboldt actually a diplomatist in Paris, though he
was placed in that position, not from choice, but in consequence of the
benevolence of the king, who wanted to give him an opportunity of being
in Paris as often and as long as he chose.

But from that time there were two men in him--the diplomatist, living in
the Hôtel des Princes, and the naturalist who roomed in the Rue de la
Harpe, in a modest apartment in the second story; where his scientific
friends had access to him every day before seven. After that he was
frequently seen working in the library of the Institute, until the time
when the grand seigneur made his appearance at the court or in the
salons of Paris.

The influence he has exerted upon the progress of science is
incalculable. I need only allude to the fact that the "Cosmos," bringing
every branch of natural science down to the comprehension of every class
of students, has been translated into the language of every civilized
nation of the world, and gone through several editions. With him ends a
great period in the history of science, a period to which Cuvier,
Laplace, Arago, Gay-Lussac and De Candolle, and Robert Brown belonged.



DANIEL O'CONNELL[8]

By JUSTIN MCCARTHY

(1775-1847)

         [Footnote 8: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: O'Connell. [TN]]


Daniel O'Connell, undoubtedly one of the greatest Irishmen that ever
lived, and according to Mr. Lecky perhaps the greatest political
agitator that the modern world has known, was born August 6, 1775, in
the county of Kerry, in Ireland. His parents were of good family, but
comparatively poor, his father being a second son. Later on, Daniel was
adopted by an uncle, through whom he came in for the property of
Darrynane, made famous by his name. He was sent when a boy--the fact is
worth noticing--to the first school kept openly by a Catholic priest
since the establishment of the penal laws. Afterward he became a student
in France--in St. Omer and in Douay, until the outbreak of the French
Revolution made it unsafe for him to remain longer in France--or at all
events until his family believed that it would not be safe for him to
remain there any longer. The excesses of the Revolution greatly shocked
and horrified the young O'Connell, and indeed the effect of that early
shock was felt by him all through his career. He became impressed with
an almost morbid detestation of all forms of blood-shedding; and for a
while after his return to Ireland he firmly believed himself to be a
Conservative in politics. But the system of administration which
prevailed in Great Britain and Ireland under Conservative governments
soon convinced him that he could have nothing to do with Conservatism,
and he very soon became--what he ever after continued to be--a Liberal
as regarded Imperial policy, and indeed something more than a
Liberal--what we should now call a Radical. He studied for the bar, and
was, to all appearance, little inclined for anything but law and field
sports. He was a keen sportsman, and, like another distinguished
Irishman, "all his life long he loved rivers, and poets who sang of
rivers." He made rapid way in his profession, and soon became one of the
foremost advocates in Ireland. He was a safe, shrewd, keen lawyer as
well as a great advocate--the two parts do not always go together. He
was a master of the art of cross-examination and he was a magnificent
speaker--his speeches were aflame with humor, and pathos, and passion.
His voice was one of immense power and sweetness and variety of tone.
Mr. Disraeli in one of his books, when praising to the highest the
superb voice of the great Sir Robert Peel, says that he had never heard
its superior "except indeed in the thrilling tones of O'Connell." The
Irish advocate had the advantage, too, of a commanding presence. He was
tall and moulded in almost herculean form, and he had eyes which were
often compared with those of Robert Burns--the light of genius was in
them. There is a full-length picture of him in the Reform Club, London,
which enables one to understand how stately and imposing his presence
must have been.

The career of O'Connell would appear to have been easily marked out for
him. He was the foremost advocate in Ireland; he was making a large
income; he had inherited a considerable property--what was there for him
but to go on and prosper; make money, hunt, shoot, fish, and be happy.
He could not indeed obtain any of the honors or dignities of his
profession. He could not even be a king's counsel, and wear a silk gown.
His religion cut him off from all such marks of distinction--for he was
a member of the Catholic Church. But no penal laws prevented him from
addressing juries and winning verdicts and attracting popular admiration
and making money. He was very happily married--a genuine love-match, it
would seem to have been, and the love lasted. Moreover he was strongly
and almost unreasonably opposed to all manner of agitation that bordered
on rebellion or even on sedition. He was positively unjust, he was
utterly unreasonable, in his estimate of the rebellion of 1798 and
Robert Emmet's abortive effort in 1803. He never did full justice even
to the brave men who were concerned in these movements. He had an
absolute detestation for all manner of secret societies. He knew too
well that they only ended in betrayal by some traitor who had contrived
to be admitted to their ranks. Under such conditions and with such views
what was there to induce the successful and prosperous advocate who
loved peace and who hated social disturbance, to mix himself up with
political affairs at a time when national politics meant for a patriotic
Irishman only social exclusion, danger, poverty, and even ruin?

O'Connell could not help himself. He had to walk, as Carlyle says of a
very different man, "his own wild road whither that led him."
O'Connell's wild road--the road that he had to walk, led him to the
leadership of two great national movements.

To understand what O'Connell fought against we must, of course,
understand O'Connell's time. It is not easy for an American reader to
understand it without some thought and without the endeavor to grasp the
reality of a state of things quite outside his own living experience.
When O'Connell began his career in politics the Act of Union had but
lately been passed. That Act of Union deprived Ireland of the more or
less independent Parliament which she had had for generations and even
for centuries. It was indeed a Parliament "more or less"
independent--less, perhaps, much rather than more. Still there had been
always a recognition of Irish nationality in the existence of any form
of Irish Parliament. The troubles between England and her American
colonies--between England and France--had led to the concession of what
we now know as Grattan's Parliament--the nearest form of Home Rule
Ireland had ever enjoyed since her conquest by the descendants of the
great Norman kings. But it was a Parliament of Protestants--no Catholic,
in a nation of which five-sixths were Catholics, could sit in the
National Parliament or even give a vote for a member of that National
Parliament. Grattan's Parliament was exclusively Protestant; but yet,
with all its imperfections, so nationalist was it in spirit that it was
willing, under Grattan's inspiration, to enable Roman Catholics to vote
for the election of members of the Irish House of Commons. But Grattan
and his friends were anxious to go much farther. They demanded a
complete political equality for the Roman Catholics. A society was
formed for the purpose of conducting the agitation. Its leaders were
almost all Protestants--many of them were Protestants from Ulster. The
stupid bigotry of George the Third bluntly refused Catholic
Emancipation; and the Society of United Irishmen became a rebellious
organization. The rebellion of 1798 broke out and was crushed after
terrible bloodshed. Then, when Ireland was wholly at the mercy of
England, Pitt brought in his proposal for an Act of Union. After much
resistance from all that was patriotic in Ireland and all that was
sympathetic in England, the Act of Union was carried--by fraud and force
and bribery and purchase. It has to be remembered with satisfaction that
some of the noblest Englishmen of the time were as strenuously opposed
to such a measure as Grattan himself. Pitt had made liberal promises
about Catholic Emancipation while he was striving to carry the Act of
Union, but when the Act was passed he dropped all talk about Catholic
Emancipation, and pleaded as his excuse that the king would not listen
to any further proposals on the subject. O'Connell's first political
speech was made in January, 1800, at a meeting of Catholics held in
Dublin to protest against the Act of Union.

Something else had to be done, however, before it could be possible in
Ireland to encounter the Act of Union with anything like a successful
constitutional agitation. The right had to be obtained for a Catholic to
sit in Parliament. The Catholic Association had been formed for the
purpose, and O'Connell became its recognized leader, and, more than
that, the recognized leader of the Irish people. Meanwhile there were
constant efforts made in Parliament for the emancipation of the
Catholics. Sir Robert Peel, who had begun his career as Chief Secretary
to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, had become Secretary of State for the
Home Department--and it may be well to mention to American readers that
the Irish Secretaryship is really a subordinate part of the Home Office.
Peel, as Home Secretary, was necessarily kept in constant touch with
everything going on in Ireland. He was greatly impressed by some of the
debates in the House of Commons. He was especially impressed by an
observation which Lord Brougham, then Mr. Brougham, made in a speech
supporting Catholic Emancipation, to the effect that not one of those
who spoke against emancipation had ventured even to suggest that things
could remain as they then were. Something will have to be done, Peel
said to himself. What is the something to be? The new king, George the
Fourth, in whose succession to the throne O'Connell and Thomas Moore and
the Irish people generally had had so much hope, was doggedly opposed to
the political relief of the Catholics.

Accident helped to bring about a settlement of the question. A sudden
vacancy occurred in the Parliamentary representation of the County of
Clare, owing to the fact that the former representative had accepted
office in the government, and had therefore to offer himself for
re-election. The leaders of the Catholic Association determined on the
bold policy of putting forward a candidate to contest the seat.
O'Connell, of course, was recognized by everyone as the man to fight the
battle. He willingly accepted the responsibility. Even moderate men,
partly sympathetic, shook their heads when they heard of this
determination. "O'Connell will end his life on the gallows" was the
confident prediction of some who passed among their neighbors for
sensible persons. The Viceroy of Ireland predicted that O'Connell would
take care to maintain good order in Clare during the election.
O'Connell's opponent predicted that O'Connell would not dare to come to
Clare in person; that he would not run the risk of confronting his
enemies. O'Connell ran the risk--he was not a man likely to be afraid of
risks. He went to Clare. The enthusiasm was wild, but the order was
perfect. O'Connell, the excluded Catholic, was elected by a majority of
more than two to one. The result set Peel thinking. What he thought we
have in his own words. Was it possible to take no account of "that
political and religious excitement which was quickening the pulse and
fluttering the bosom of the whole Catholic population--which had
inspired the serf of Clare with the resolution and the energy of a
freeman?" No, it was not possible. Peel soon made up his mind.

O'Connell presented himself at the bar of the House of Commons later on,
but not until after Peel and Wellington had crammed emancipation down
the king's throat and compelled him to accept it. Wellington seems to
have reasoned much in this way: "I know nothing about the question--Peel
knows all about it; Peel thinks it will be for the good of the king and
the country to pass Catholic Emancipation; the king, I am sure, does not
know any more about the matter than I do, and I am prepared to go with
Peel, and the king must come with us. Peel thinks there must be civil
war if we don't pass Catholic Emancipation, and I have had too much of
war in my time--and I don't propose to stand a civil war--not if I know
it." The king had, of course, to give way in the end, and Catholic
Emancipation was passed. It was passed rather ungraciously. It was
accompanied by a quite superfluous measure suppressing the Catholic
Association, which had in fact already dissolved itself, its work being
done, and invalidating the election of O'Connell. Perhaps, without these
sops to religious bigotry, an act for the emancipation of the Catholics
could not then have been carried through the Houses of Parliament.
O'Connell presented himself at the bar of the House of Commons and
claimed a right to take his seat. He was called upon to swear the old
oaths--what we may fairly call the anti-Catholic oaths. Of course he
refused. A new writ was ordered for Clare, and O'Connell was
triumphantly returned. The struggle was over.

The remainder of O'Connell's life was devoted mainly to the cause of
Repeal of the Union--in other words, the cause of Home Rule. He
organized the great system of monster meetings--vast out-of-door
gatherings, which he swayed as he pleased by the magic of his eloquence,
his humor, his passion, and the charm of his wonderful voice. No doubt
he sometimes used very strong language; no doubt some of the younger men
fully believed that he meant rebellion--that he had rebellion up his
sleeve if his demands were not conceded. The meetings were always held
on the Sunday; were indeed, regarded as, in a certain sense, religious
celebrations. The meeting of October 8, 1843, was to be held on the
historic ground of Clontarf, and it was expected to be the greatest of
all the assemblages, although some of them had drawn together a crowd of
nearly a quarter of a million of men. The Government issued a
proclamation prohibiting the meeting, and O'Connell bowed to the
prohibition. He sent messengers in every direction countermanding the
assembling of men, in order to prevent any chance of that disorder and
bloodshed which he had always shrunk from and abhorred. He and some of
his friends, Sir Charles Gavan Duffy among the rest, were put on their
trial on a charge of sedition. Most of them were found guilty and
sentenced to fine and imprisonment. They were confined in Richmond
Prison, Dublin. Their incarceration did not last long, and indeed, was
what might be called "internment" rather than actual imprisonment. A
majority of the law lords in the House of Peers, the final tribunal,
annulled the sentences on the ground that the jury had been unfairly
chosen--was packed, in fact. O'Connell and his colleagues were set free
after a few months; but the leader never recovered his former ascendency
over the political movement of Ireland. He was growing old; he had been
reckless of his great physical resources, he had been unsparing of his
strength; and undoubtedly, the younger men in the agitation fell away
from him when he had made it clear that he never meant, under any
conditions, to lead them into revolution. A number of his young and
brilliant followers set up a party of their own--the Young Ireland
Confederation--which after his death drifted into a generous, but
hopeless, rebellion. The Young Ireland movement, however, quickened and
established a national literature which had an immense effect on
subsequent political history in Ireland. The Irish famine of 1846 and
1847 was a terrible blow to O'Connell in his rapidly weakening health.
His last speech in the House of Commons was an appeal for a generous
help to Ireland, and a prediction, which proved only too true, that if
generous help were not given, one-fourth of Ireland's population must
perish by starvation. His physicians ordered him to the Continent, and
he passionately longed to reach Rome and die under the shadow of the
Vatican. He had during some of his years led a wild life, and he had
killed a man in a duel--a duel which was literally forced upon him, but
for which he always felt deeply penitent. His ultimate longing had come
to be a quiet death in the papal city. He was not graced so far. He died
in Genoa on May 15, 1847.

As a politician O'Connell was absolutely consistent. He was in favor of
liberty for Ireland, but he was in favor of liberty for every other
country. His definition of liberty was practical and not merely
declamatory. He was in favor of equal rights for all men before the law;
he was in favor of a free press, a free vote, and as nearly as possible
a manhood suffrage. He was in many ways far in advance of the English
liberals of his day. When the question of slavery in the West Indian
colonies was under discussion in Parliament, he went farther for
abolition than even the professed philanthropists and emancipationists,
the Clarksons and the Buxtons, were inclined to go. He was almost
fanatically opposed to the advocates of the slave system in the United
States, and he refused to receive any help in money from them to carry
on his Repeal agitation. He declined to endure any political dictation
from the Vatican, although he was a most devoted Roman Catholic. He
would take, he said, without question his religion from Rome, but not
his politics. There was no great cause of freedom upheld all through the
world in his time, but he clung to it and cleaved to it. The writer of
this article once talked to Mr. Gladstone about O'Connell, well knowing
that in early life Mr. Gladstone had been a great admirer of O'Connell's
abilities. Mr. Gladstone told many anecdotes of O'Connell's personal
energy in pursuit of any purpose which he believed to be just, and in
illustration of his wonderful mastery over even a thoroughly hostile
audience. When asked what he believed to be O'Connell's principal
characteristic, Mr. Gladstone paused for a while and thought the
question out, and then gravely and deliberately answered: "I should
think his greatest characteristic was a passion of philanthropy." A
passion of philanthropy! Is it possible to have a nobler epitaph
pronounced on one than that--and pronounced by such a man? No man in our
modern history was ever so bitterly and savagely denounced in England as
O'Connell. No words were too rough for him. He was commonly called in
English newspapers the "Big Beggarman." He was accused every day, of
making a fortune out of the contributions of a half-starving people. The
truth was that all and much more than all the money raised by the Irish
people, was spent on the agitation for repeal of the Union. The truth
was that O'Connell gave up his splendid practice at the bar, for the
sake of advocating the Irish national cause. The truth was that he spent
his own money and reduced his own property to all but pauperism, for the
sake of advancing the same cause. The truth was that he died poor,
leaving his children poor. But he had his reward. A man whom Mr.
Gladstone could describe as possessed above all other things by a
passion of philanthropy, may leave his memory safely in the charge of
those whose best interests he honestly strove to serve.

[Signature of the author.]



SIMON BOLIVAR[9]

By HON. JOHN P. ST. JOHN

(1783-1830)

         [Footnote 9: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Bolivar. [TN]]


So far as the world knew, the birth of Simon Bolivar at Caracas,
Venezuela, on July 24, 1783, was of no greater importance than that of
any other child. Perhaps but one person entertained the slightest
thought that he would ever be the hero of many battles and the liberator
of his countrymen; and that person was his mother. A mother, as a rule,
always in her imagination anticipates a brilliant future for her boy. If
Bolivar's mother was not an exception to this rule, surely her highest
anticipations were fully realized in the wonderful career of her son.

His father, Juan Vincente Bolivar y Ponte, and his mother, Maria
Concepcion Palacios y Sojo, were descendants of noble families in
Venezuela. Nothing unusual occurred in his school-boy days to
distinguish him from others of his age and rank. He was attentive to his
studies, warm-hearted, generous, and always a favorite among his
associates. When he had made sufficient advancement in his studies at
home, and had arrived at the proper age, he was sent to Madrid, where he
remained several years, during which time he completed his education.

Bolivar was now a full-grown man, and as a source of needed recreation
after years of hard study, he spent some time in visiting places of
special interest in the south of Europe. On his journey he stopped for a
time at the French capital, where he witnessed the closing scenes of the
French revolution. This was the hour of Napoleon's greatest glory. He
was the acknowledged military hero of the age. All France bowed at his
feet. Is it not probable that here was where Bolivar caught the
inspiration that led him to make an effort to be to his own country,
what Napoleon was to France? From Paris Bolivar returned to Madrid,
where, in 1801, he married the daughter of Don N. Toro, uncle of the
Marquis of Toro, in Caracas. He soon sailed with his young bride for his
native country, but it was only a little while until she fell a victim
to yellow fever. The sudden and unexpected death of his young wife, to
whom he was intensely devoted, so shattered his health and frustrated
his plans, that he wended his way back to Europe, where he remained
until 1809, when he returned through the United States to his own
country. His remembrance of the closing scenes of the French revolution,
and the realization as he passed through the United States of the
blessings of her free institutions, no doubt account in some measure for
the fact that, as soon as he reached Venezuela, he joined the movement
then crystallizing into an aggressive warfare for independence, and a
larger degree of freedom for his own countrymen.

In 1810 he received a colonel's commission from the revolutionary junta,
and was associated with Luis Lopez Mendez in a mission to the court of
Great Britain, which was rendered fruitless by England announcing her
position in relation to the troubles in Venezuela as one of strict
neutrality. On July 5, 1811, Venezuela formally declared her
independence from the mother-country. This brought on a clash of arms at
once.

The Spanish troops under Monteverde, owing to a lack of concert of
action on the part of the "patriots," forced Bolivar, with his little
band of volunteers, to abandon the important post of Puerto Cabello, and
flee to Curaçao, which was reached in safety, while Monteverde at the
head of the Spanish troops gained control of Venezuela.

Chafing under defeat, Bolivar, in September, 1812, repaired to
Carthagena, where a commission was given him to make war upon the
Spanish troops along the Magdalena River. Although his army numbered but
500 men, he succeeded in driving the enemy, not only from the country
along the Magdalena River, but entered Venezuela, and forced his way
westward to the important towns of Merida and Truxillo, where the people
gladly welcomed him and rallied to his support. Encouraged by his
success, and embittered by the brutalities of the enemy, as he pressed
forward he issued his noted proclamation of "War to the death."

He soon routed Monteverde's army at Lastoguanes, forcing him to take
refuge in Puerto Cabello, while Bolivar pushed forward, entering Caracas
in triumph August 4, 1813. But the tide of battle soon turned. The
Royalists concentrated all their available force, and a number of bloody
battles ensued, and finally Bolivar's men, inferior in numbers, were
badly defeated near Cura. The fall of Caracas soon followed, and before
the close of the year 1814 the Royalists were again in full possession
of Venezuela. Though defeated, Bolivar was not dismayed. He had great
faith in the righteousness of his cause, and his consciousness of this
fact seemed to give him that courage which never knows defeat.

He next went to Tunja, where the revolutionary congress was in session,
and notwithstanding the misfortunes of war and the bitter opposition of
a few personal enemies, his enthusiastic reception showed that he still
retained the confidence and respect of the people. He was soon given
command of an expedition against Santa Fé de Bogota, where Don
Cundinamarca had refused official recognition of the new union of the
provinces, which, without any conflict of arms, was crowned with success
by the surrender of the rebellious leaders. For this service Bolivar
received the special thanks of Congress. The Royalists having captured
Santa Martha, Bolivar was ordered to retake it, but failed in his
attempt.

In May, 1814, he resigned his commission, and went to Kingston, Jamaica,
where an attempt was made to assassinate him, which resulted, by a
mistake, in the murder of another. Later on he went to Aux Cayes, in
Hayti, where President Petion assisted him in organizing an expedition
which, though it succeeded in reaching the main-land in May, 1816,
eventually failed. But Bolivar's past experience had taught him not to
go wild over a victory, nor be discouraged by a defeat, so he returned
to Aux Cayes, where he secured reinforcements, and in December landed
his troops, first at Marguerite, and then at Barcelona. At this point a
provisional government was formed and all the available military force
was promptly organized, and placed in readiness to resist the invasion
of Morillo, who was at the head of a strong, well-disciplined army of
Royalists. The opposing forces met on February 16, 1817, and a desperate
battle, lasting three days, ensued, resulting in a complete rout of the
Royalists, who, while retreating in great disorder, were assailed with
such impetuosity by small bands of patriots, as to make their overthrow
complete.

Being now the undisputed commander-in-chief, Bolivar seemed
irresistible. Victory after victory crowned his efforts, until he
established his head-quarters at Angostura, on the Orinoco. From this
point, after a thorough reorganization of his forces, he pressed forward
over the Cordilleras, and effected a junction with the army headed by
General Santander, commander of the Republican forces in New Granada.
The armies thus united proved to be invincible. The entire march was
characterized by a succession of victories, ending in a complete
overthrow of the enemy on August 7, 1819, at Bojaca, which gave him full
possession, not only of Bogota, but of all New Granada. This brilliant
achievement attracted the attention of the civilized world then, and as
we read about it now, it forcibly reminds us, in its conception, the
skill and rapidity of its execution, and its results, of the wonderful
march of Sherman from Atlanta to the sea. Taking advantage of the great
prestige his marvellous victories had given him with the people, he
procured the passage of a fundamental law, December 17, 1819, uniting
Venezuela and New Granada under one government, to be known as the
Republic of Colombia, of which Bolivar was made president.

Bolivar was now at the head of the grandest army he had ever commanded.
The Royalists, under Morillo, having been beaten at several points,
induced Bolivar, at Truxillo on November 20, 1820, to consent to an
armistice for six months, which he did; no doubt with the hope that
meantime a treaty of peace might be effected and the war thus brought to
an end.

Subsequent events, however, gave strong reasons to believe that the
armistice was a mere ruse to gain time while Morillo could be recalled
and General Torre placed in command. Bolivar, no doubt incensed by this
apparent trick, determined, upon the expiration of the armistice, to
strike a blow that would not soon be forgotten; which he did at
Carabolo, by attacking and completely routing General Torre's command,
compelling the fleeing fragments to seek shelter in Puerto Cabello,
where two years after they surrendered to Paez. This practically closed
the war in Venezuela. On August 30, 1821, the constitution of Colombia
was adopted amid great rejoicing, with Bolivar as president and
Santander as vice-president. But there was more work to do, and no one
could do it so well as Bolivar. He determined that nowhere should the
Royalists have a foothold in the whole country. He attacked them at
Pichincha, in Ecuador, and after a desperate struggle they were forced
to retreat in disorder, while victorious Bolivar with his enthusiastic
followers triumphantly entered Quito, June 22, 1822. Next Lima was
taken, but owing to the dissensions among the Republican factions in
Peru, Bolivar was compelled to abandon the city, which was again
occupied by the Royalists, while he withdrew to Truxillo.

Having thoroughly reorganized his forces, and gotten everything in good
condition for an aggressive warfare, he again assaulted the Royalists
with unrelenting vigor, driving them before him, and finally
administering a crushing defeat on the plains of Junin, August 6th;
after which he returned to Lima, leaving Sucre, who had already
displayed great military skill and bravery, to complete the work. This
he did, by gaining a great victory at Ayacucho, which completely
dispersed the Royalists, reducing their possessions in Peru to the
Castles of Callao, which Rodil, after a little over a year's successful
resistance, was compelled to surrender.

Upper Peru having detached itself from Buenos Ayres, was organized as a
separate state under the name of Bolivia, in honor of the man who had
accomplished so much for its freedom, and who by the first Congress of
the new republic, which convened in August, 1825, was made perpetual
Protector, and requested to prepare for it a constitution.

The country having been freed from armed resistance on the part of the
Royalists, it next became Bolivar's duty to provide laws for the proper
government of the people. Time proved this to be a more difficult task
than meeting an open enemy on the field of battle. Many local leaders
had been developed during the struggle for independence, among whom no
little ill feeling was aroused by their scramble for recognition. Then
there were some who were jealous of Bolivar's great popularity and
influence with the people. They were busy in trying to turn public
opinion against him by telling the people that he would use his power to
add to, rather than lighten, their burdens. This feeling was intensified
when he presented his plan of government for Bolivia to Congress on May
25, 1826, accompanied by an address in which he doubted the wisdom of
extending the right of franchise indiscriminately to the people, and
showed clearly his preference for a centralization of power, by
proposing a president for life clothed with supreme executive powers,
including the right to name his successor. It was charged by his enemies
that this would be a monarchy in fact, and a republic only in name.

Meantime Paez, military commander in Venezuela, refused to recognize the
constituted authorities, and assumed an attitude of open rebellion. But
the presence in a short time of Bolivar, his old commander, followed by
a personal interview and a decree of general amnesty, resulted in a
complete restoration of peace and loyal adherence to the government.
Bolivar and Santander having been re-elected to the respective offices
of president and vice-president, Bolivar, before the time fixed by law
for him to take the oath of office, resigned the presidency of the
republic, with a view to retiring into private life, and thus refuting
the charges made against him by personal enemies, that he was simply
working in his own interest, and for his own personal aggrandizement.

But in response to Santander's earnest appeal, and a resolution of
Congress urging him to resume his position as president, Bolivar went to
Bogota, and there took upon himself the oath of office.

He soon issued three decrees: One granting general amnesty, another
calling a national convention at Ocana, and a third for the
establishment of constitutional order throughout Colombia. All eyes were
now turned to the national convention at Ocana, which was to assemble in
March, 1828. This was made the more important by the fact that it was to
determine whether Bolivar's plan for a strong centralized government,
backed up by ample military force, or a government controlled more
directly by the great body of the people, should prevail. The events of
the past year had served rather to strengthen Bolivar's position, and
the action of the convention seems to have crystallized it into law, for
a decree soon followed, dated August 27, 1828, giving to Bolivar supreme
power over Colombia, which he continued to exercise until his death,
which occurred at San Pedro, on December 17, 1830.

Thus closes the life of one of the most remarkable characters the world
has ever known. He possessed the intrepid courage and dash of a Sherman,
the unrelenting firmness of a Grant, and the tenderness of a Lincoln.
Local revolts against lawful authority always yielded to his personal
presence and counsel. We fail to find in his history a single act of
cruelty recorded against him. His proclamation of "War to the death,"
was a military necessity. The Royalists had shown no mercy to his
soldiers. They had refused to treat them as prisoners of war. They had
fired upon his flag of truce. They gave no quarter to revolutionists,
but put them to death wherever found. And there was but one alternative
left, and that was, unpleasant as it must have been to a man of such
kindly nature, to meet such brutalities by a threat of retaliation in
kind. The proclamation was not prompted by a spirit of cruelty, but
rather by a love for humanity. It had the effect which he no doubt
intended it should, and that was to secure the same treatment for his
soldiers when captured, that the civilized world acknowledged due to
prisoners of war. He was in no sense mercenary. He expended nine-tenths
of his fortune for his country's freedom, and when voted a million
dollars by Congress he promptly declined it. He was always magnanimous,
even to his bitterest enemies. He died comparatively poor. His remains
sleep at Caracas, the place of his birth. His soul is with God.
Monuments have been erected to his memory, one at Caracas and another at
Lima. But his life-work has erected a monument in the hearts of his
countrymen that will never perish. He sowed the seed for the harvest of
a better government and higher civilization for all Spanish America. The
influence of his example is not confined to his own country, but is felt
throughout the civilized world. To-day, among the brightest and best of
the world's good and great men, may justly be placed the name of Simon
Bolivar.

[Signature of the author.]



JEAN FRANÇOIS CHAMPOLLION[10]

By GEORG EBERS

(1790-1832)

         [Footnote 10: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: The pyramids of Gyzeh. [TN]]


The deciphering of hieroglyphics is one of the greatest achievements of
the human race in this century. Jean François Champollion was the man
who accomplished this great feat. He is surnamed "_le jeune_," the
younger, to distinguish him from his elder brother, Champollion Figeac,
whose life was one of paternal devotion and the most unselfish sacrifice
for his younger brother. Both were born in Figeac, in the south of
France, François on December 23, 1790. He made his home, however, in the
beautiful little town of Grenoble, situated on the hills near the valley
of the Isère. It was to this place that Champollion Figeac, who was here
engaged as director of the town library, and later on as professor of
Greek at the university, drew his twelve years younger brother François,
who, at the age of nine, went to live with his elder brother, filled
with the proudest hopes for the future, and grateful for the care and
devotion bestowed upon him.

At that time, naturally, all eyes were turned toward Egypt, where the
First Consul, Bonaparte, had led the army of the Republic, accompanied
by a host of celebrated men of science. The newly opened world of
monuments on the banks of the Nile excited the greatest interest in
everybody; but for few did it have as strong an attraction as for
Champollion Figeac, who had occupied himself long previously with the
study of the history and language of the ancient Egyptians. Furthermore,
he and his brother François came, so to say, into indirect contact with
the great expedition. For the famous mathematician Fourier, who had gone
out with it, became afterward prefect of Grenoble, and one of Figeac's
warmest and most intimate friends.

François, who, at the age of twelve, was already fully master of the
classic languages, had, surrounded by the rich collection of books
placed in his brother's care, drifted into a territory which is not
embraced in the usual high-school curriculum, viz., the Oriental
languages. While still at school, and during his leisure hours, he
mastered with wonderful energy, aided as it was by an almost phenomenal
power for acquiring knowledge, the Hebrew and most other Semitic
languages, as also Sanscrit and Persian. As, however, Egypt had the
greatest attraction for him, he also studied the Coptic dialect, the
language of the Egyptians during the early centuries after Christ, which
was written in Greek letters with some few others added. Withal, the
remarkable youth was cheerful and companionable, finding time even to
practise his poetic gifts; nor did his physical development suffer
through the severe exertion of his mind. His portrait, in the Louvre in
Paris, represents him in manhood with bronzed skin, easily allowing him
to be recognized as a native of the South of France. His nose is
slightly bent, his forehead lofty, his hair black and of great
abundance. The dark eyes, shaded by heavy brows, express
serenity--earnest and profound sincerity--while his well-formed mouth
gives evidence of winning manners and the friendliness of his nature.

At the age of seventeen he submitted his first work, a geography of
ancient Egypt, to the Academy of Grenoble, which, notwithstanding his
extreme youth, conferred upon him the degree of associate. Soon after he
followed a course of lectures at the Oriental College of Paris. With
youthful zeal he availed himself of the numerous educational advantages
at his disposal in this great city, and gained even then the notice of
the most prominent men of his profession. After two years' time, not
quite twenty years of age, he was called to a position at the University
of Grenoble.

When Napoleon rested in this town on his way from Elba to Paris, in
1815, he appointed the elder Champollion as his private secretary.

The close relationship into which this position brought Figeac to the
emperor, and his republican ideas after Napoleon's downfall--which ideas
were shared by his brother François--were circumstances which, in later
years, became great obstacles to their further advancement. They were
looked upon as characters dangerous to the state, and were deprived of
their positions, while the Institute of France even withheld from
François its protection.

The brothers were banished to their old homestead, Figeac, where they
found leisure in abundance to complete several unfinished works; and
when in 1818, through the influence of the Duke of Decazes, their
banishment was pronounced at an end, François had completed his great
work, "L'Égypte sous les Pharaons."

This work, of the utmost importance at the time, in the preparation of
which the Coptic sources were freely drawn upon, won François his lost
chair at the Grenoble University. After he had secured this post he was
encouraged to found a home of his own. Rose Blanc was the bride-elect,
with whom he was united in a most happy marriage until his death.

Since many years François had occupied himself with the monument which
gave promise to the possibility of deciphering hieroglyphics.

During the French expedition, as it happened, the talisman was found
which was to become the key to disclose the mystery of the language and
the written signs of the Ancient Egyptians--the tablet or the key of
Rosetta, a stone-plate made of black granite. Three inscriptions,
written in different signs, covered the originally rectangular surface
of the tablet. The uppermost one, considerably injured, showed the
hieroglyphics, which were familiar through the obelisks and other
Egyptian monuments; the second inscription was obscure; while the third
and lowest inscription, which had suffered but little injury, consisted
of Greek letters clear to every philologist. It proclaimed that the
tablet contained a decree of the Egyptian priesthood, in honor of the
fifth king of the house of the Ptolemies, and that this was written in
the holy language, in that of the people of Egypt, and in Greek, on the
same tablet. Here was, therefore, a somewhat extensive text in two of
the three modes of writing of the Egyptians of which Clemens of
Alexandria makes mention, with a Greek translation of the same. The
fortunes of war brought this extraordinary monument into the hands of
the English. It was placed in the British Museum, and care was taken
that copies of the three inscriptions should reach the various
Egyptologists, among them Champollion.

The demotic inscription--that is to say, the text in the writing of the
people, was one of the most inviting to decipher, because the signs
composing it seemed to be letters representing sound. This was
sedulously attempted by several scientists, and with the best results by
the great French Orientalist, De Sacy, and by the Swede, Akerblad. But
though the former by a mechanical method recognized correctly the
meaning of several groups, and though Akerblad had even ascertained most
of the signs of the demotic alphabet, still they were both incapable of
discerning the elements of which the demotic writing is composed.

The great English physician and naturalist, Thomas Young, who also
occupied himself with the three various texts, made better progress.
Taking advantage and making use of the parts that had been revealed to
him by demotic and hieroglyphic text, he succeeded, in a mechanical way,
and by intelligent comparisons in deciphering the names Ptolemaios and
Berenike, and in recognizing even the hieroglyphic signs for numbers.
Still the true nature of the Egyptian writing was not revealed to him
either. In their particulars his ascertainments are untrue, for in the
names he had in no way discovered the alphabetic signs of which they
were composed.

As to the remainder of the inscription he thought that it consisted of
such drawn signs or forms with symbolical significance as might be found
interpreted in the "Hieroglyphica of Horapollon."

That those groups of hieroglyphics surrounded by a frame (cartouche) are
the names of kings, had been contended long before by the Dane Zoëge,
Barthélemy, and others. The framed hieroglyphics on the tablet of
Rosetta could, as the Greek text taught, signify but the name of
Ptolemaios. Champollion also had originally held the same erroneous
opinion as Young and his predecessors. Though he succeeded in defining
several groups of characters of the people's writing, like Akerblad, by
comparison, he, even as late as 1821, in his essay on hieroglyphics,
entitled "De l'Écriture hiératique des Anciens Égyptiens," declares them
to be symbolical signs and figures.

But he knew of Young's successful comparisons with Greek names; and when
Mr. Bankes brought a small obelisk to England from the island of Philæ,
on which the framed group of hieroglyphics were bound to contain the
names of Ptolemaios and Cleopatra, because a Greek inscription at the
foot of the obelisk mentioned these royal names, a firm starting-point
was created by Champollion, from which he was to succeed in removing the
mass of obstacles which had stood in the way of all previous
explorations and researches.

He made his basis the supposition that the framed names were constructed
of alphabetic signs. The name Ptolemaios was known through the tablet of
Rosetta. If the second name on Bankes's obelisk were Cleopatra, a
comparison of the two names should confirm this. The first letter in the
name Ptolemaios being a "p" it should occur as fifth letter in
Cleopatra. And this was actually the case. The third letter in
Ptolemaios, the "o," was found again as the fourth one in Cleopatra. The
fourth sign in Ptolemaios, "l," a lion, occurred correctly as the second
one in Cleopatra. By further comparison every sign was correctly found,
and when Champollion had deciphered a group of signs which he took to be
Alexander, and again found every letter in its right place, he could
assure himself that hieroglyphics also were based on the phonetic
system.

He soon, with the aid of the letters discovered in the above-mentioned
groups, deciphered other well-known names of kings, and in this way
acquired a knowledge of the whole hieroglyphic alphabet. But the many
hundred forms and signs, of which the holy scriptures of the Egyptians
are composed, could not well be of an altogether alphabetic nature, and
a further study of the subject brought the explorer to the conclusion
that ideographs were interspersed among the alphabetical signs in order
to make the alphabetic words more comprehensive. For instance, after a
masculine proper name the picture of a man was drawn, and after every
word connected with the motion of walking, the picture of two pacing
legs. Besides this, he found that some sounds could be represented by
different hieroglyphics. With this the most important elements of
hieroglyphics were disclosed, and it was all accomplished in one year,
from 1821-22. When François, after a period of extraordinary mental
exertion, appeared before his brother one morning with all the proofs in
his hands, calling to him, "_Je tiens l'affaire; vois!_" (I have found
it; look here!) he fell to the floor fainting, worn out by the immense
exertions of the last few months.

It required some time for him to recover his health; but Figeac read, on
September 17, 1822, his brother's pamphlet at the Academy in Paris. It
appeared under the name of "Lettre à M. Dacier," and contained the
details of his discovery.

That day decided Champollion's future career. As early as the year
following he published his new work, "Précis du système hiéroglyphique,"
after which Louis Philippe of Orleans had the discovery officially
announced before the Oriental Association, and Louis XVIII. made it his
royal duty to lighten Champollion's future work.

The "Précis" embraces the foregoing results of his discovery, and
considering the short space of time in which all this was accomplished,
it appears marvellous that François could thus early determine the most
important elements of the hieroglyphic system in their minute details so
correctly. In 1824 the king sent him to Italy, where he profited
principally by the splendid collection of Egyptian antiquities in Turin.
In 1826 Charles X. appointed him director of the Egyptian Museum in the
Louvre, which Champollion founded by purchasing at Liverno the
celebrated "Salt Collection."

Soon after his return to France the king sent him on a mission to Egypt,
where he remained from August, 1828, till the end of 1829. The Italian
Rosellini joined him on the Nile.

His "Lettres écrites d'Égypte et de la Nubie" render his observations
and impressions and describe his life and adventures in Egypt, in a most
entertaining and instructive style. The many and various inscriptions,
copied there by him, are all quoted in his great work on monuments,
entitled, "Monuments de l'Égypte et de la Nubie," and in his posthumous
work, "Notices descriptives conformes aux manuscrits autographes rédigés
sur les lieux."

Soon after his return to Paris (in March, 1830), by which time his
health had commenced to fail, he was elected a Member of the Academy,
and in March, 1831, was appointed professor at the "College de France."
The solidity and instructiveness of his lectures brought the most
celebrated leaders in science to hear him, but there were destined to be
but few of the lectures, as he all too soon felt himself too weak to
continue them. On March 4, 1832, at his old homestead Figeac, a stroke
of apoplexy ended his active life of achievement.

His great discovery was at first vigorously attacked. Erring minds
declaring the system of the great Frenchman to be wrong, and submitting
others of their own, as the Russian Klaproth and the German Seyffarth,
disturbed Champollion's peace; still more bitterly, however, was he
pursued by the envy and hatred of his political opponents.

Even when the laurel already decorated his brow, they saw to it that the
thorns were not wanting in the wreath. Especially in England various
efforts were made to have, not him, but Thomas Young, recognized as the
discoverer of the science of deciphering hieroglyphics. But though Young
had succeeded previously to Champollion in deciphering some hieroglyphic
names in a mechanical way, yet the genial Englishman mistook, during the
whole course of his activity, the real character of hieroglyphic
writing. To Champollion, on the other hand, it was left to recognize
their nature and construction, so that science must acknowledge him to
be the discoverer of the true nature of the system of hieroglyphical
writing.

Shortly before his death it was vouchsafed him to proclaim to his loyal
brother, "_Voici ma carte pour la postérité_," pointing to the
manuscript of his "Egyptian Grammar," of which the last chapter was
still missing. It contains the germs from which all similar works have
sprung, which since have perfected and enlarged that of Champollion; it
showed the path in which all subsequent grammarians were to walk. The
results of Young's discoveries remain without influence upon the
progress of the science, and have found a place long since among old
relics.

François Champollion's work is the seed, which even at the present day
brings forth the richest fruits. When he died, at the age of forty-two,
he left the world not only his "Egyptian Grammar," but also pioneer
works in other branches of his science.

His "Panthéon Égyptien" (1823-25) dealt with Egyptian mythology; his
excellent knowledge of Coptic is clearly seen in many of his works; and
his "Egyptian Dictionary of Hieroglyphics" (1841-44) is, bearing in mind
the time when it was written, a work of marvellous accomplishment.

This dictionary, with several other works and manuscripts of his
literary estate, which the French Government had purchased for the sum
of fifty thousand francs, were faithfully and lovingly edited and
published after his death by his elder brother, Figeac. These posthumous
works bear witness not only to the overwhelming industry of this great
worker and explorer, but also to the loving unselfishness of his
brother, who sacrificed a great part of his time and activity in editing
and arranging the manuscripts of the departed. The "Grammar," the
"Monuments," the "Dictionary," were all published by Figeac. At "Père
Lachaise" Cemetery, in Paris, a weather-beaten obelisk and a broken
stone tablet indicate the spot where the remains of François Champollion
rest.

A monument which was erected in his honor at his native town, Figeac,
bears the well-chosen inscription which so frequently occurs among the
titles of the Pharaohs in hieroglyphics, "'_anch zete_," i.e.,
"everlasting." A beautiful sentence, which Chateaubriand addressed to
the faithful brother and co-worker of the great searcher, is also
inscribed on the statue of François Champollion, le jeune. It reads:
"Ses admirables travaux auront la durée des monuments qu'il nous a fait
connaître." (His admirable works will last as long as the monuments
which he has taught us to understand.)

[Signature of the author.]



ANDREW JACKSON[11]

By COLONEL THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON

(1767-1845)

         [Footnote 11: Reprinted from Harper's Magazine by permission.
         Copyright, 1884, by Harper & Bros.]

[Illustration: Andrew Jackson. [TN]]


Dr. Von Holst, the most philosophic of historians, when he passes from
the period of John Quincy Adams to that of his successor, is reluctantly
compelled to leave the realm of pure history for that of biography, and
to entitle a chapter "The Reign of Andrew Jackson." This change of
treatment could, indeed, hardly be helped. Under Adams all was
impersonal, methodical, a government of laws and not of men. With an
individuality quite as strong as that of Jackson--as the whole nation
learned ere his life ended--it had yet been the training of his earlier
career to suppress himself, and be simply a perfect official. His policy
aided the vast progress of the nation, but won no credit by the process.
Men saw with wonder the westward march of an expanding people, but
forgot to notice the sedate, passionless, orderly administration that
held the door open and kept the peace for all. In studying the time of
Adams, we think of the nation; in observing that of Jackson, we think of
Jackson himself. In him we see the first popular favorite of a nation
now well out of leading-strings, and particularly bent on going alone.
By so much as he differed from Adams, by so much the people liked him
better. His conquests had been those of war, always more dazzling than
those of peace; his temperament was of fire, always more attractive than
one of marble. He was helped by what he had done, and by what he had not
done. Even his absence of diplomatic training was almost counted for a
virtue, because all this training was necessarily European, and the
demand had ripened for a purely American product.

It had been quite essential to the self-respect of the new republic, at
the outset, that it should have at its head men who had coped with
European statesmen on their own soil and not been discomfited. This was
the case with each of the early successors of Washington, and in view of
his manifest superiority this advantage was not needed. Perhaps it was
in a different way a sign of self-respect that the new republic should
at last turn from this tradition, and take boldly from the ranks a
strong and ill-trained leader, to whom all European precedent--and,
indeed, all other precedent, counted for nothing. In Jackson, moreover,
there first appeared upon our national stage the since familiar figure
of the self-made man. Other presidents had sprung from a modest origin,
but nobody had made an especial point of it. Nobody had urged Washington
for office because he had been a surveyor's lad; nobody had voted for
Adams because stately old ladies designated him as "that cobbler's son."
But when Jackson came into office the people had just had almost a
surfeit of regular training in their chief magistrates. There was a
certain zest in the thought of a change, and the nation certainly had
it.

It must be remembered that Jackson was in many ways far above the
successive modern imitators who have posed in his image. He was narrow,
ignorant, violent, unreasonable; he punished his enemies and rewarded
his friends. But he was, on the other hand--and his worst opponents
hardly denied it--chaste, honest, truthful, and sincere. It was not
commonly charged upon him that he enriched himself at the public
expense, or that he deliberately invented falsehoods. And as he was for
a time more bitterly hated than anyone who ever occupied his high
office, we may be very sure that these things would have been charged
had it been possible. In this respect the contrast was enormous between
Jackson and his imitators, and it explains his prolonged influence. He
never was found out or exposed before the world, because there was
nothing to detect or unveil; his merits and demerits were as visible as
his long, narrow, firmly set features, or as the old military stock that
encircled his neck. There he was, always fully revealed; everybody could
see him; the people might take him or leave him--and they never left
him.

Moreover, there was, after the eight years of Monroe and the four years
of Adams, an immense popular demand for something piquant and even
amusing, and this quality they always had from Jackson. There was
nothing in the least melodramatic about him; he never posed or
attitudinized--it would have required too much patience; but he was
always piquant. There was formerly a good deal of discussion as to who
wrote the once famous "Jack Downing's" letters, but we might almost say
that they wrote themselves. Nobody was ever less of a humorist than
Andrew Jackson, and it was therefore the more essential that he should
be the cause of humor in others. It was simply inevitable that during
his progresses through the country there should be some amusing shadow
evoked, some Yankee parody of the man, such as came from two or three
quarters under the name of Jack Downing. The various records of Monroe's
famous tours are as tame as the speeches which these expeditions brought
forth, and John Quincy Adams never made any popular demonstrations to
chronicle; but wherever Jackson went there went the other Jack, the
crude first-fruits of what is now known through the world as "American
humor." Jack Downing was Mark Twain and Hosea Biglow and Artemus Ward in
one. The impetuous President enraged many and delighted many, but it is
something to know that under him a serious people first found that it
knew how to laugh.

The very extreme, the perfectly needless extreme, of political
foreboding that marked the advent of Jackson furnished a background of
lurid solemnity for all this light comedy. Samuel Breck records in his
diary that he conversed with Daniel Webster in Philadelphia, March 24,
1827, upon the prospects of the government. "Sir," said Mr. Webster, "if
General Jackson is elected, the government of our country will be
overthrown; the judiciary will be destroyed; Mr. Justice Johnson will be
made Chief-Justice in the room of Mr. Marshall, who must soon retire,
and then in half an hour Mr. Joseph Washington and Mr. Justice Story
will resign. A majority will be left with Mr. Johnson, and every
constitutional decision hitherto made will be reversed." As a matter of
fact, none of these results followed. Mr. Justice Johnson never became
Chief-Justice; Mr. Marshall retained that office till his death in 1835;
Story and Washington also died in office; the judiciary was not
overthrown, nor the government destroyed. But the very ecstasy of these
fears stimulated the excitement of the public mind. No matter how
extravagant the supporters of Jackson might be, they could hardly go
farther in that direction than did the Websters in the other.

But it was not the fault of the Jackson party if anybody went beyond
them in exaggeration. An English traveller, William E. Alexander, going
in a stage-coach from Baltimore to Washington in 1831, records the
exuberant conversation of six editors, with whom he was shut up for
hours. "The gentlemen of the press," he says, "talked of 'going the
whole hog' for one another, of being 'up to the hub' (nave) for General
Jackson, 'who was all brimstone but the head, and that was aqua-fortis,'
and swore if anyone abused him he ought to be 'set straddle on an
iceberg, and shot through with a streak of lightning.'" Somewhere
between the dignified despair of Daniel Webster, and the adulatory slang
of these gentry we must look for the actual truth about Jackson's
administration. The fears of the statesman were not wholly groundless,
for it is always hard to count in advance upon the tendency of high
office to make men more reasonable. The enthusiasm of the editors had a
certain foundation; at any rate it was a part of their profession to
like stirring times, and they had now the promise of them. After four
years of Adams, preceded by eight years of Monroe, any party of editors
in America, assembled in a stage-coach, would have showered epithets of
endearment on the man who gave such promise in the way of lively items.
No acute journalist could help seeing that a man had a career before him
who was called "Old Hickory" by three-quarters of the nation, and who
made "Hurrah for Jackson!" a cry so potent that it had the force of a
popular decree.

There was, indeed, unbounded room for popular enthusiasm in the review
of Jackson's early career. Born in such obscurity that it is doubtful to
this day whether he was born in South Carolina, as he himself claimed,
or on the North Carolina side of the line, as Mr. Parton thinks, he had
a childhood of poverty and ignorance. He was taken prisoner as a mere
boy during the Revolution, and could never forget that he had been
wounded by a British officer whose boots he had refused to brush.
Afterward, in a frontier community, he was successively farmer,
shopkeeper, law-student, lawyer, district attorney, judge, and
Congressman, being first Representative from Tennessee, and then
Senator, and all before the age of thirty-one. In Congress Albert
Gallatin describes him "as a tall, lank, uncouth-looking personage, with
long locks of hair hanging over his brows and face, and a queue down his
back tied in an eel-skin; his dress singular, his manners and deportment
those of a backwoodsman." He remained, however, but a year or two in all
at Philadelphia--then the seat of national government--and afterward
became a planter in Tennessee, fought duels, subdued Tecumseh and the
Creek Indians, winning finally the great opportunity of his life by
being made a Major-General in the United States army on May 31, 1814. He
now had his old captors, the British, with whom to deal, and entered
into the work with a relish. By way of preliminary he took Pensacola,
without any definite authority, from the Spaniards, to whom it belonged,
and the English whom they harbored; and then turned, without orders,
without support, and without supplies, to undertake the defence of New
Orleans.

Important as was this city, and plain as it was that the British
threatened it, the national authorities had done nothing to defend it.
The impression prevailed at Washington that it must already have been
taken, but that the President would not let it be known. The _Washington
Republican_ of January 17, 1815, said, "That Mr. Madison will find it
convenient and will finally determine to abandon the State of Louisiana
we have not a doubt." A New York newspaper of January 30th, quoted in
Mr. Andrew Stevenson's eulogy on Jackson, said, "It is a general opinion
here that the city of New Orleans must fall." Apparently but one thing
averted its fall--the energy and will of Andrew Jackson. On his own
responsibility he declared martial law, impressed soldiers, seized
powder and supplies, built fortifications of cotton bales, if nothing
else came to hand. When the news of the battle of New Orleans came to
the seat of government it was almost too bewildering for belief. The
British veterans of the Peninsular War, whose march wherever they had
landed had heretofore seemed a holiday parade, were repulsed in a
manner so astounding that their loss was more than two thousand, while
that of the Americans was but thirteen. By a single stroke the national
self-respect was restored; and Henry Clay, at Paris, said "Now I can go
to England without mortification."

All these things must be taken into account in estimating what Dr. Von
Holst calls "the reign of Andrew Jackson." After this climax of military
success he was for a time employed on frontier service, again went to
Florida to fight Englishmen and Spaniards, practically conquering that
region in a few months, but this time with an overwhelming force.
Already his impetuosity had proved to have a troublesome side to it; he
had violated neutral territory, had hung two Indians without
justification, and had put to death, with no authority, two Englishmen,
Ambrister and Arbuthnot. These irregularities did not harm him in the
judgment of his admirers; they seemed in the line of his character and
helped more than they hurt him. In the winter of 1823-24 he was again
chosen a Senator from Tennessee. Thenceforth he was in the field as a
candidate for the Presidency, with two things to aid him--his own
immense popularity and a friend. This friend was one William B. Lewis, a
man in whom all the skilful arts of the modern wire-puller seemed to be
born full-grown.

There was at that time (1824) no real division in parties. The
Federalists had been effectually put down, and every man who aspired to
office claimed to be Democratic-Republican. Nominations were irregularly
made, sometimes by a Congressional caucus, sometimes by State
legislatures. Tennessee, and afterward Pennsylvania, nominated Jackson.
When it came to the vote, he proved to be by all odds the popular
candidate. Professor W. G. Sumner, counting up the votes of the people,
finds 155,800 votes for Jackson, 105,300 for Adams, 44,200 for Crawford,
46,000 for Clay. Even with this strong popular vote before it, the House
of Representatives, balloting by States, elected on the first trial John
Quincy Adams. Seldom in our history has the cup of power come so near to
the lips of a candidate and been dashed away again. Yet nothing is surer
in a republic than a certain swing of the pendulum afterward, in favor
of any candidate to whom a special injustice has been done, and in the
case of a popular favorite like Jackson, this might have been foreseen
to be irresistible. His election four years later was almost a foregone
conclusion, but, as if to make it wholly sure, there came up the rumor
of a "corrupt bargain" between the successful candidate and Mr. Clay,
whose forces had indeed joined with those of Mr. Adams to make a
majority. For General Jackson there could be nothing more fortunate. The
mere ghost of a corrupt bargain is worth many thousand votes to the
lucky man who conjures up the ghost.

When it came the turn of the Adams party to be defeated, in 1828, they
attributed this result partly to the depravity of the human heart,
partly to the tricks of Jackson, and partly to the unfortunate
temperament of Mr. Adams. The day after a candidate is beaten everybody
knows why it was, and says it was just what anyone might have foreseen.
Ezekiel Webster, writing from New Hampshire, laid the result chiefly on
the candidate, whom everybody disliked, and who would persist in
leaving his bitter opponents in office. The people, he said, "always
supported his cause from a cold sense of duty, and not from any liking
of the man. We soon satisfy ourselves," he added, "that we have
discharged our duty to the cause of any man when we do not entertain for
him one personal kind feeling, nor cannot, unless we disembowel
ourselves, like a trussed turkey, of all that is human within us." There
is, indeed, no doubt that Mr. Adams helped on his own defeat, both by
his defects and by what would now be considered his virtues. The
trouble, however, lay further back. Ezekiel Webster thought that "if
there had been at the head of affairs a man of popular character like
Mr. Clay, or any man whom we were not compelled by our natures,
instinct, and fixed fate to dislike, the result would have been
different." But we can now see that all this would really have made no
difference at all. Had Mr. Adams been personally the most attractive of
men, instead of being a conscientious iceberg, the same result would
have followed, the people would have felt that Jackson's turn had come,
and the demand for the "old ticket" would have been irresistible.

Accordingly, the next election, that of 1828, was easily settled.
Jackson had 178 electoral votes; Adams but 83--more than two to one.
Adams had not an electoral vote south of the Potomac or west of the
Alleghanies, though Daniel Webster, writing to Jeremiah Mason, had
predicted that he would carry six Western and Southern States. In
Georgia no Adams ticket was even nominated, he being there unpopular for
one of his best acts--the protection of the Cherokees. On the other
hand, but one Jackson elector was chosen from New England, and he by
less than two hundred majority.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the day of his inauguration the president was received in Washington
with an ardor that might have turned a more modest head. On the day when
the new administration began (March 4, 1829), Daniel Webster wrote to
his sister-in-law, with whom he had left his children that winter:
"To-day we have had the inauguration. A monstrous crowd of people is in
the city. I never saw anything like it before. Persons have come five
hundred miles to see General Jackson, and they really seem to think that
the country is rescued from some frightful danger." It is difficult now
to see what this peril was supposed to be; but we know that the charges
of monarchical tendency made against John Adams had been renewed against
his son--a renewal that seems absurd in case of a man so scrupulously
republican that he would not use a seal ring, and so unambitious that he
always sighed after the quieter walks of literature. Equally absurd was
the charge of extravagance against a man who kept the White House in
better order than his predecessors on less than half the
appropriation--an economy wholly counterbalanced in some minds by the
fact that he had put in a billiard-table. But however all this may have
been, the fact is certain that no president had yet entered the White
House amid such choruses of delight; nor did it happen again until
Jackson's pupil, Van Buren, yielded, amid equal popular enthusiasm, to
another military hero, Harrison.

For the social life of Washington the President had one advantage which
was altogether unexpected, and seemed difficult of explanation by
anything in his earlier career. He had at his command the most courteous
and agreeable manners. Even before the election of Adams, Daniel Webster
had written to his brother: "General Jackson's manners are better than
those of any of the candidates. He is grave, mild, and reserved. My wife
is for him decidedly." And long after, when the president was to pass in
review before those who were perhaps his most implacable opponents, the
ladies of Boston, we have the testimony of the late Josiah Quincy, in
his "Figures from the Past," that the personal bearing of this obnoxious
official was most unwillingly approved. Mr. Quincy was detailed by
Governor Lincoln, on whose military staff he was, to attend President
Jackson everywhere when visiting Boston in 1833; and this narrator
testifies that, with every prejudice against Jackson, he found him
essentially "a knightly personage--prejudiced, narrow, mistaken on many
points, it might be, but vigorously a gentleman in his high sense of
honor, and in the natural, straightforward courtesies which are easily
distinguished from the veneer of policy." Sitting erect on his horse, a
thin, stiff type of military strength, he carried with him in the
streets a bearing of such dignity that staid old Bostonians, who had
refused even to look upon him from their windows, would finally be
coaxed into taking one peep, and would then hurriedly bring forward
their little daughters to wave their handkerchiefs. He wrought, Mr.
Quincy declares, "a mysterious charm upon old and young;" showed,
although in feeble health, a great consideration for others; and was in
private a really agreeable companion. It appears from these
reminiscences that the president was not merely the cause of wit in
others, but now and then appreciated it himself, and that he used to
listen with delight to the reading of the "Jack Downing" letters,
laughing heartily sometimes, and declaring: "The Vice-President must
have written that. Depend upon it Jack Downing is only Van Buren in
masquerade." It is a curious fact that the satirist is already the
better remembered of the two, although Van Buren was in his day so
powerful as to preside over the official patronage of the nation and to
be called the "Little Magician."

       *       *       *       *       *

The two acts with which the administration of President Jackson will be
longest identified are his dealings with South Carolina in respect to
nullification, and his long warfare with the United States Bank. The
first brought the New England States back to him, and the second took
them away again. He perhaps won rather more applause than he merited by
the one act, and more condemnation than was just for the other. Let us
first consider the matter of nullification. When various Southern
States--Georgia at first, not South Carolina, taking the lead--had
quarrelled with the tariff of 1828, and openly threatened to set it
aside, they evidently hoped for the co-operation of the President; or at
least for that silent acquiescence he had shown when Georgia had been
almost equally turbulent on the Indian question and he would not
interfere, as his predecessor had done, to protect the treaty rights of
the Indian tribes. The whole South was therefore startled when he gave,
at a banquet on Jefferson's birthday (April 13, 1830), a toast that now
seems commonplace--"The Federal Union; it must be preserved." But this
was not all; when the time came he took vigorous, if not altogether
consistent, steps to preserve it.

When, in November, 1832, South Carolina for the first time officially
voted that certain tariff acts were null and void in that State, the
gauntlet of defiance was fairly thrown down, and Jackson took it up. He
sent General Scott to take command at Charleston, with troops near by,
and two gunboats at hand; he issued a dignified proclamation, written by
Livingston (December 10, 1832), which pronounced the act of South
Carolina contradictory to the Constitution, unauthorized by it, and
destructive of its aims. So far so good; but unfortunately the president
had, the week before (December 4, 1832), sent a tariff message to
Congress, of which John Quincy Adams wrote, "It goes far to dissolve the
Union into its original elements, and is in substance a complete
surrender into the hands of the nullifiers of South Carolina." Then came
Mr. Clay's compromise tariff of 1833, following in part the line
indicated by this message, and achieving, as Mr. Calhoun said, a victory
for nullification, leaving the matter a drawn game at any rate.

The action of Jackson thus accompanied settled nothing; it was like
valiantly ordering a burglar out of your house with a pistol, and adding
a suggestion that he will find a portion of the family silver on the
hall-table, ready packed for his use, as he goes out.

Nevertheless, the burglar was gone for the moment, and the president had
the credit of it. He had already been re-elected by an overwhelming
majority in November, 1832, receiving 219 electoral votes, and Clay 49,
while Floyd had the 11 votes of South Carolina (which still chose
electors by its Legislature--a practice now abandoned), and Wirt the 7
of Vermont. Van Buren was chosen vice-president, being nominated in
place of Calhoun by the Democratic National Convention, which now for
the first time came into operation. The president was now at his
high-water mark of popularity--always a dangerous time for a public man.
His vehement nature accepted his re-election as a proof that he was
right in everything, and he grew more self-confident than ever. More
imperiously than ever, he ordered about friends and opponents, and his
friends repaid it by guiding his affairs, unconsciously to himself.
Meantime he was encountering another enemy of greater power, because
more silent, than Southern nullification, and he was drifting on to his
final contest with the United States Bank.

Sydney Smith says that every Englishman feels himself able, without
instruction, to drive a pony-chaise, conduct a small farm, and edit a
newspaper. The average American assumes, in addition to all this, that
he is competent to manage a bank. President Jackson claimed for himself
in this respect no more than his fellows; the difference was in strength
of will and in possession of power. A man so ignorant that a member of
his own family, according to Mr. Trist, used to say that the general did
not believe the world was round, might easily convince himself that he
knew all about banking. As he had, besides all this, very keen
observation and great intuitive judgment of character, he was probably
right in his point of attack. There is little doubt that the Bank of the
United States, under Nicholas Biddle, concentrated in itself an enormous
power; and it spent in four years, by confession of its directors,
$58,000 in what they called self-defence "against politicians." When on
July 10, 1832, General Jackson, in a message supposed to have been
inspired by Amos Kendall, vetoed the bill renewing the charter of the
bank, he performed an act of courage, taking counsel with his instincts.
But when in the year following he performed the act known as the
"Removal of the Deposits," or, in other words, caused the public money
to be no longer deposited in the National Bank and its twenty-five
branches, but in a variety of State banks instead, then he took counsel
of his ignorance.

The consequence, immediate or remote, was an immense galvanizing into
existence of State banks, and ultimately a vast increase of paper money.
The Sub-Treasury system had not then been thought of; there was no
proper place of deposit for the public funds; their possession was a
direct stimulus to speculation; and the president's cure was worse than
the disease. All the vast inflation of 1835 and 1836 and the business
collapse of 1837 were due to the fact not merely that Andrew Jackson
brought all his violent and persistent will to bear against the United
States Bank, but that when he got the power into his own hands he did
not know what to do with it. Not one of his biographers--hardly even a
bigoted admirer, so far as I know--now claims that his course in this
respect was anything but a mistake. "No monster bank," says Professor W.
G. Sumner, "under the most malicious management, could have produced as
much havoc, either political or financial, as this system produced while
it lasted." If the bank was, as is now generally admitted, a dangerous
institution, Jackson was in the right to resist it; he was right even in
disregarding the enormous flood of petitions that poured in to its
support. But to oppose a dangerous bank does not necessarily make one an
expert in banking. The utmost that can be said in favor of his action is
that the calamitous results showed the great power of the institution he
overthrew, and that if he had let it alone the final result might have
been as bad.

Two new States were added to the Union in President Jackson's
time--Arkansas (1836) and Michigan (1837). The population of the United
States in 1830 had risen to nearly thirteen millions (12,866,020). There
was no foreign war during his administration, although one with France
was barely averted; and no domestic contest except with the Florida
Indians--a contest in which these combatants held their ground so well,
under the half-breed chief Osceola, that he himself was only captured by
the violation of a flag of truce, and that even to this day, as the
Indian Commissioners tell us, some three hundred of the tribe remain in
Florida. The war being equally carried on against fugitive slaves called
Maroons, who had intermarried with the Indians, did something to prepare
the public mind for a new agitation which was to remould American
political parties, and to modify the Constitution of the nation.

It must be remembered that the very air began to be filled in Jackson's
time with rumors of insurrections and uprisings in different parts of
the world. The French revolution of the Three Days had roused all the
American people to sympathy, and called forth especial enthusiasm in
such cities as Baltimore, Richmond, and Charleston. The Polish
revolution had excited universal interest, and John Randolph had said
"The Greeks are at your doors." All these things were being discussed at
every dinner-table, and the debates in Virginia as to the necessity of
restricting the growing intelligence of the slaves had added to the
agitation. In the session of 1829-30 a bill had passed the Virginia
Assembly by one majority, and had failed in the Senate, prohibiting
slaves being taught to read or write; and the next year it had passed
almost unanimously. There had been, about the same time, alarms of
insurrection in North Carolina, so that a party of slaves were attacked
and killed by the inhabitants of Newbern; alarms in Maryland, so that
fifty blacks had been imprisoned on the Eastern Shore; alarms in
Louisiana, so that reinforcements of troops had been ordered to Baton
Rouge; and a traveller had written even from Richmond, Va., on February
12th, that there were constant fears of insurrections, and special
patrols. Then came the insurrection of Nat Turner in Virginia--an
uprising described minutely by myself elsewhere; the remarkable
inflammatory pamphlet called "Walker's Appeal," by a Northern colored
man--a piece of writing surpassed in lurid power by nothing in the
literature of the French Revolution; and more potent than either or both
of these, the appearance of the first number of the _Liberator_, in
Boston. When Garrison wrote, "I am in earnest, I will not equivocate, I
will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard,"
Andrew Jackson for once met a will firmer than his own, because more
steadfast and moved by a loftier purpose. Thenceforth, for nearly half a
century, the history of the nation was the history of the great
anti-slavery contest.



DANIEL WEBSTER

By REV. DR. TWEEDIE

(1782-1852)

[Illustration: Daniel Webster. [TN]]


Daniel Webster, the American statesman, was born in the town of
Salisbury, in the county of Merrimack, New Hampshire, America, on
January 18, 1782. His mother, a woman of deep piety, was his first
teacher; his father was a man of singular but quiet energy, and the
training of the youthful statesman was well fitted to prepare him, at
least in some respects, for the work which it fell to his lot to
perform. From his mother's lips were first received the vital truths of
the Bible; and the first copy of that book ever owned by Webster was her
gift. Long subsequent to this period, and in the full blaze of his
fame, he could say that he had never been able to recollect the time
when he could not read the Bible, and supposed that his first
schoolmistress began to teach him when he was three or four years of
age. His first school-house was built of logs, and stood about half a
mile from his father's house, not very far from the beautiful Merrimack.
All was then humble enough with this great American statesman. He
attended school only during the winter months, and assisted his father
in the business of his farm and his mill as soon as he had strength for
doing so. He was, however, the brightest boy at school; and when the
tempting reward of a knife was promised to the scholar who committed to
memory the greatest number of verses from the Bible, Daniel came with
whole chapters, which the master could not find time to hear him repeat
in full. The boy secured the knife, and his delighted teacher
subsequently told the father of that child that "he would do God's work
injustice" if gifts so promising were not nurtured at college.

But that consummation was not to be very soon realized. For some time
Daniel had to assist his father at a saw-mill; but so resolute was he in
acquiring knowledge and training the mind while toiling with the body,
that the operations at the mill were systematically interspersed with
studies well fitted to form and to brace the embryo patriot for his
great life-work. The saw took about ten minutes to cleave a log, and
young Webster, after setting the mill in motion, learned to fill up
these ten minutes with reading. As a patriot, a statesman, an orator,
and a scholar, he became famous, and was called the greatest
intellectual character of his country; and we see where he laid the
foundation of his greatness--by persistent and invincible ardor even in
early boyhood. That magnanimous kindliness and tenderness of heart,
which entered so largely into his character, was fostered amid such
scenes; and of all the men whose memories we are fain to embalm, he
ranks among the least indebted to casualty, and the most to
indefatigable earnestness, for the position to which he eventually rose.
Amid the forest wilds of America his perseverance laid the foundation of
power, of learning, of fame, and of goodness.

A simple incident which happened about this period decided his
life-pursuit. He discovered a copy of the "Constitution of the United
States," as drawn up by some of her ablest statesmen. It was printed
upon a cotton handkerchief which he purchased in a country store with
what was then his all, and which amounted to twenty-five cents. He was
about eight years of age when that took place, and learned then, for
the first time, either that there were United States, or that they had a
Constitution.

From this date, or about the year 1790, his path through life was
decided, not formally, but really, not by any avowal, but by a fostered
predilection. Meanwhile other influences were at work. The father of
this New Hampshire boy was strict in his religious opinions and
observances, and the son had to conform, sometimes with a grudge at the
restraint, but with effects of a vitally beneficial nature to the future
patriot. His father then kept a place of entertainment, where teamsters
halted to bait, and the attractions of the place were increased by the
fact that young Webster often regaled those visitors by his readings.
The Psalms of David were his favorite, and there, when only about seven
years of age, he first imparted that pleasure by his oratory which he
afterward carried up to the highest level which an American citizen can
reach. To that humble abode Webster once returned in his declining
years, and with streaming eyes descanted on the various events of the
home of his youth.

The school which he attended during the winter months was about three
miles from his father's house, and he had often to travel thither
through deep snow. At the age of fourteen he attended a somewhat more
advanced academy for a few months, and his first effort at public
speaking there was a failure. He burst into tears; his antipathy to
public declamation appeared insurmountable, and neither frowns nor
smiles could overcome the reluctance. It was overcome, for when young
Webster felt the power which was in him, he boldly employed it. At
first, however, he was a failure as a public speaker. With all this, he
went forward in the acquisition of knowledge and the bracing of his
mind; and in his fifteenth year he once undertook to repeat five hundred
lines of Virgil, if his teacher would consent to listen.

About this time the elder Webster disclosed to his son his purpose to
send him to college. The talents of the boy and the counsels of friends
pointed out that as a proper path, and that son himself will describe
the effects of his father's information. "I could not speak," he says.
"How could my father, I thought, with so large a family, and in such
narrow circumstances, think of incurring so great an expense for me, and
I laid my head on his shoulder and wept." That boy, however, had further
difficulties to surmount. He had to leave one of his schools to assist
his father in the hay harvest; he had, moreover, the hindrance of a
slender and sickly constitution; but the Bible, side by side with some
standard authors, had now become his English classics, while Cicero,
Virgil, Horace, Demosthenes, and others, were his manuals in ancient
literature. It was knowledge pursued under unusual difficulties, but, in
spite of all, acquired to an unusual extent. So indomitable and
persistent was the boy that in a few months he mastered the difficulties
of the Greek tongue, and finally graduated at Dartmouth when he was
eighteen years of age. Incidents are recorded which show that during his
residence at college he was determined to hold the first place or none.

It was at Dartmouth that Webster's patriotism first flashed forth with
true American ardor, a harbinger to his whole future career. He had now
mastered his boyish aversion to oratory, and on July 4, 1800, the
twenty-fourth anniversary of American Independence, he delivered an
oration full of patriotic sentiment, manifesting the decided bent of his
mind, and deserving a place, in the opinion of some, among the works
which he subsequently published. He was then only eighteen years of age.

To increase the straitened funds of the family, Daniel Webster for some
time kept a school at Freyburg, in Maine. His income there, eked out by
other means, which were the wages of indomitable industry, enabled him
to send his brother, Ezekiel, to college--the grand object which he had
in view in becoming a schoolmaster. He was, however, all the while
prosecuting his studies in law, and in the year 1805 entered on the
duties of a legal practitioner at Boston. His familiar title in the
country where he resided was "All eyes," and he used them with singular
advantage. In Boston, at Portsmouth, and elsewhere, he continued these
pursuits, and he thus early adopted some of the maxims which guided him
through life. "There are evils greater than poverty;" "What bread you
eat, let it be the bread of independence;" "Live on no man's favor;"
"Pursue your profession;" "Make yourself useful to the world.... You
will have nothing to fear." Such were his convictions, and he embodied
them in deeds. One instance of his generosity is recorded at this
period. His father had become embarrassed; the devoted son hastened to
liquidate his father's debt, and he did it with a decision like that
which signalized him all his days. He resided as a lawyer at Portsmouth
for about nine years.

It was in the year 1812 that Webster was first elected a member of
Congress, and he reached that elevation by his masterly ability in the
affairs of his profession. By persistent patience first, and then by
resistless power, he took up the foremost position in the sphere in
which he moved. He appeared in the majesty of intellectual grandeur,
like one who was all might and soul, and poured forth the stores of an
opulent mind in a manner which was entirely his own. His words had both
weight and fire; and the contrast is now great between the boy who broke
down and wept at his first declamation, and the man, bending opponents
to his will by his energy and indomitable zeal. The laurel of victory,
it has been fondly said, was proffered to him by all, and bound his brow
for one exploit till he went forth to another. In his thirtieth year he
entered the field of politics, like one who had made up his mind to be
decided, firm, and straightforward; and such was the serenity of this
great soul, amid wild commotions, that the enthusiast mistook it for
apathy, the fierce for lukewarmness. It was the great calm of profound
conviction, borne up by a thorough reliance on the right--the right as
to time, as to degree, and as to resources for the battle of life. From
the day on which he threw himself into the political arena, he belonged
to the United States, and not to his native county alone. Crowds soon
gathered round one who had mastered so many difficulties, and taken his
place among the kingly men who rule the spirits whom they are born first
to subdue, and then to bind to themselves by the spell of genius.

It is well known that this man, so humble in his origin, yet so masterly
in his mind, passed through all the gradations of rank that are open to
an American citizen, up to the right hand of the highest. We have seen
when he entered Congress. In 1841 he became Secretary of State, and from
that period bore the place in American politics which would be readily
conceded, in this ardent country, to one who was deemed and called "the
master mind of the world." In his love of freedom, Webster has been
likened to Washington, or expressly called his equal in regard to
patriotism and true greatness. It is not wonderful, therefore, that this
patriot's friends proposed him as President of the United States. He
failed, and felt the failure, but soothed his disappointment by the
conviction that no man "could take away from him what he had done for
his country." Those who loved and admired him thought that the word
president would have dimmed the lustre of the name of Daniel Webster;
and they add, in regard to his disappointment, "if we must sorrow that
what men expected can never come to pass, let us not weep for him but
for our country." Others, however, were of opinion that Webster was
"rejected and lost"; while those who look deeper at the causes of events
may see, in that disappointment, the needful antidote administered by
the Supreme Wisdom to ward off the danger of too universal a success.
This gifted and ambitious man was suffered to take an active part in the
government of one of the greatest of the nations. By his bold and manly
grasp of American interests, he did much to weld the different States
more closely into one. He negotiated, on the part of his country, some
of the most important treaties which promote the peace and the amity of
nations, for example, what is called the Ashburton treaty with Great
Britain; and it would have seemed too much for one mortal, successful as
Webster had already been, to be lifted to an official level with
princes. That was denied him; his empire was not countries--it was
minds. He was to be trained for a nobler exaltation than a throne.

Little has yet been said regarding Webster as an orator. It was mainly
in that respect, however, that he surpassed his fellows, and mainly by
that means was he enabled to ascend to the high position which he held
so long. The versatility of his powers was very great, and the mode in
which he sometimes employed them was not a little remarkable. He had, on
one occasion, spent several hours with his colleagues in adjusting some
important questions involving the interests of kingdoms; and on
returning home he sportively sallied forth and purchased some eggs, on
the principle of seeing how extremes meet, in regard to occupation as
well as in other respects. But there were serious things mixed with his
jests; and as an orator, Webster stands in the first rank, if not
foremost, in the New World. When it was known that he was to speak, the
excitement sometimes amounted to a furor, and a hundred dollars have
been paid for a ticket of admission to hear him. Meanwhile the avenues
that led to his arena were blocked up by the crowds pressing for
admittance; and when he did appear, it was to rouse, to agitate, and
convulse. He felt what he said in his inmost soul, and his words were
winged with fire, even while they were massively powerful, and connected
with a logic which tolerated no breaks in the chain.

Webster reached the allotted term of mortal existence, and in his
seventy-first year passed away alike from the frowns and the applause
of mortals. On the morning of Sabbath, October 24, 1852, he was summoned
away. Though much enfeebled, his mind was calm, and he died with the
confidence of a little child, reposing on the mercy of his God as
revealed in the Saviour. Among his last utterances was this, "Heavenly
Father, forgive my sins, and welcome me to thyself through Christ
Jesus." His very last words were, "I still live," and his loving,
weeping friends took them up as a prediction of that immortality on
which he was about to enter. Through life he had hallowed the Sabbath,
and he died upon it. The autumn was his favorite season, and he passed
away amid its mellow glories, after affectionately and solemnly taking
leave of his weeping wife, children, kindred, and friends, down to the
humblest members of his household. His death, it is supposed, was
hastened by injuries received by the breaking down of his carriage; but
it did not find him unprepared. Long years before he had erected his own
tomb; and there, on a plain marble slab over the door, the visitor reads
the simple inscription--DANIEL WEBSTER.

Some ten thousand friends, countrymen, and lovers, helped to lay him
there, and one of the orations pronounced in connection with his
departure was thus touchingly closed: "The clasped hands--the dying
prayers--oh, my fellow-citizens, this is a consummation over which tears
of pious sympathy will be shed, after the glories of the forum and the
senate are forgotten."

The following letter to a friend on the choice of a profession, written
by Webster when only twenty years of age, is reprinted from "The Life of
Daniel Webster" by George Ticknor Curtis, through the courtesy of D.
Appleton & Co., the publishers, and with the permission of the widow and
heirs of the author.

"What shall I do? Shall I say, 'Yes, gentlemen,' and sit down here to
spend my days in a kind of a comfortable privacy, or shall I relinquish
these prospects, and enter into a profession, where my feelings will be
constantly harrowed by objects either of dishonesty or misfortune, where
my living must be squeezed from penury (for rich folks seldom go to
law), and my moral principle continually be at hazard? I agree with you
that the law is well calculated to draw forth the powers of the mind,
but what are its effects on the heart? Are they equally propitious? Does
it inspire benevolence, and awake tenderness; or does it, by a frequent
repetition of wretched objects, blunt sensibility, and stifle the still
small voice of mercy?

"The talent with which Heaven has intrusted me is small, very small, yet
I feel responsible for the use of it, and am not willing to pervert it
to purposes reproachful and unjust; nor to hide it, like the slothful
servant, in a napkin.

"Now, I will enumerate the inducements that draw me toward the law:
First, and principally, it is my father's wish. He does not dictate, it
is true, but how much short of dictation is the mere wish of a parent,
whose labors of life are wasted on favors to his children? Even the
delicacy with which the wish is expressed gives it more effect than it
would have in the form of a command. Secondly, my friends generally wish
it. They are urgent and pressing. My father even offers me--I will
sometime tell you what--and Mr. Thompson offers my tuition gratis, and
to relinquish his stand to me.

"On the whole, I imagine I shall make one more trial in the ensuing
autumn. If I prosecute the profession, I pray God to fortify me against
its temptations. To the winds I dismiss those light hopes of eminence
which ambition inspired, and vanity fostered. To be 'honest, to be
capable, to be faithful' to my client and my conscience, I earnestly
hope will be my first endeavor. I believe you, my worthy boy, when you
tell me what are your intentions. I have long known and long loved the
honesty of your heart. But let us not rely too much on ourselves; let us
look to some less fallible guide to direct us among the temptations that
surround us."



WILLIAM HENRY SEWARD[12]

By HON. CHARLES E. FITCH

(1801-1872)

         [Footnote 12: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: William Henry Seward. [TN]]


William Henry Seward, the American statesman, was born in Florida,
Orange County, N. Y., May 16, 1801, and died at Auburn, in the same
State, October 10, 1872. Precocious in his studies, he pursued his
preliminary education in his native village, and, at the age of fifteen,
entered, as a sophomore, Union College, then under the presidency of
Eliphalet Nott, between whom and his pupil a life-long friendship,
illustrated by mutual confidence and counsel, was early established.
Seward's college course, especially brilliant in rhetoric and the
classics, was interrupted in his senior year by a residence of six
months, as a teacher, in Georgia, where previous impressions against
African slavery were confirmed by observation of its workings. Returning
to college, he was graduated with high honors in 1820, the subject of
his Commencement oration being "The Integrity of the American Union."

He was admitted to the bar at Utica, in October, 1822, and in January,
1823, settled at Auburn as a partner of Judge Elijah Miller, whose
daughter he married in October, 1824. Although certain features of the
law--its technicalities and uncertainties--were repugnant to him, he was
soon in the full tide of professional success, and, in the opening of
the circuit courts to equity jurisprudence, found much that was in
harmony with his sense of justice. He was also, from the first,
interested in politics, for which he had decided genius. He came upon
the stage in the closing days of "The Era of Good Feeling," under
President Monroe, when parties were again dividing upon the issues that
have mainly obtained throughout the constitutional era. He approved the
principles of Hamilton, although his boyish training had been in the
Jeffersonian school. Enunciating his views with precision and felicity
of diction, his voice and pen were in constant request, and he rapidly
rose to distinction until, in 1834, he was the acknowledged leader in
the State of the Whig party and its candidate for governor.

Meanwhile he had supported De Witt Clinton, the champion of internal
improvements, and in 1824 drafted, for the Republican Convention of his
county a trenchant address, detailing the history and criticising the
aims of the "Albany Regency," which inspired the hostility to that
famous clique that compassed its overthrow fourteen years later. Among
his notable utterances of this period were an address on Grecian
independence, at Auburn, in 1827; a Fourth-of-July oration, at Syracuse,
in 1831, in which Calhoun's dogma of secession was denounced, and an
eulogy on La Fayette, at Auburn, in 1834. In 1828 he presided over the
Young Men's Convention, at Utica, in behalf of the renomination of
President Adams, and declined a congressional nomination. In 1830 he was
elected by the Anti-Masons to the State Senate, and was re-elected in
1832. He had a prominent and an influential part in the deliberations of
that body, although its youngest member, and in the political minority,
whose addresses to the people he wrote at the close of each session. His
most notable speeches were those for the common-school and canal
systems, the abolition of imprisonment for debt, the amelioration of
prison discipline, and the reform of the militia law, and against
corporate monopolies, increasing judicial salaries, Governor Marcy's
loan law, and the removal of the deposits by President Jackson. The
Senate was then a constituent portion of the Court of Errors, the
tribunal of last resort, and Seward delivered many opinions which
materially enhanced his legal reputation. In one instance he carried,
with substantial unanimity, the court with him, against the views of the
presiding judge, the eminent Chancellor Walworth. In 1833 he made a
rapid tour of Europe, embodying his reflections in letters to the Albany
_Evening Journal_, then edited by Thurlow Weed, between whom and Seward
there was, for fifty years, an intimate and unbroken attachment, unique
in political annals.

In 1838 he was again the Whig candidate for governor, and defeated
Governor Marcy, his former rival, his victory being the precursor of the
national Whig triumph in 1840, in which year he was re-elected. He was
inaugurated, January 1, 1839, his message to the Legislature embracing,
with a masterly exposition of Whig policies, certain suggestions of his
own concerning immigration, education, and eleemosynary institutions
that revealed the catholic spirit and the philosophical habit which,
despite his party fealty, he consistently exhibited. This message
outlined the conduct of the administration that succeeded--enlightened
in its scope, liberal to all classes, distinctly loyal to the Union, yet
jealously guarding against any infringement of the rights of the State.
It widened educational privileges, urged the prosecution of the public
works, including the enlargement of the Erie Canal, granted franchises
to railways, removed imprisonment for debt and the remaining guarantees
of slavery from the statute-books, composed the anti-rent troubles and
executed the laws within the insurrectionary section, perfected the
banking system, and proposed jury trials for fugitive slaves and a
constitutional amendment abolishing the property qualification for the
colored suffrage.

Governor Seward's regard for the dignity of the State was displayed by
his refusal to discharge from custody, without trial, one Alexander
McLeod, a citizen of Canada, held for the burning of the steamer
Caroline, in New York waters, although the demand of the British
government, to that effect, was supplemented by the request of
Presidents Harrison and Tyler. His abhorrence of slavery was accentuated
in his denial of the application of the Governor of Virginia for the
rendition of seamen charged with the abduction of a slave, upon the
ground that the offence, if defined as a crime in Virginia, was not so
in New York, and he did not hesitate to add that his feelings coincided
with his conception of his constitutional prerogative. When a Democratic
Assembly subsequently passed resolutions disapproving his action, he
declined to transmit them to the Virginia authorities, and he also
failed to respond to a similar requisition from South Carolina. His
proposition for the employment of Roman Catholic teachers in the common
schools showed his independence of partisan behest and popular clamor.

Leaving office in 1843, he passed the next six years in professional
labors, varied by occasional addresses of a literary or patriotic cast,
and by many Whig speeches in the campaigns of 1844 and 1848. To his
practice in the State courts was united that in patent cases, which not
only brought him a lucrative clientage, but largely increased his
acquaintance with public men at Washington. His gubernatorial service
had given him national fame, and he was, although not in public life,
esteemed as one of the national leaders of his party. In the courts he
commanded respect for the clearness and strength of his arguments, but,
even there, he was at his best when his heart inspired his speech with
fervor, as in his pleas for Van Zandt and others charged with harboring
fugitive slaves. The defence of Greeley, in the Cooper libel suit, and
of the Michigan rioters, may be cited as instances of his persuasiveness
before juries, but that in the case of William Freeman is celebrated
both for its own quality and the intrepidity of its author. Gladstone
has characterized it as the greatest forensic effort in the English
language, not excluding the masterpieces of Erskine. It is a plea for
the life of a brutalized negro who butchered a whole family under
circumstances of peculiar atrocity. The deed was without excuse or
palliation, save in the insanity of the perpetrator, of which Seward
became convinced, and volunteered as counsel amid the surprise,
imprecations, and threats of the Auburn community, where the case was at
issue. The moment was a supreme one for him, but he did not hesitate.
Without reward, or the hope of reward, even in the gratitude of the
insensate wretch for whom he risked professional standing and public
favor, he worked as indefatigably as though the weightiest honors and
emoluments depended thereon, from the impanelling of the jury to the
failure of executive clemency; but Freeman's death in prison and the
autopsy that disclosed the morbid condition of his brain fully
vindicated Seward's analysis and exalted him in public regard.

On March 4, 1849, coincident with the accession of General Taylor to the
presidency, Seward entered the United States Senate, having been chosen
thereto by a large majority of the Legislature of New York. When he took
his seat, the Whig party was already divided upon the slavery question,
and Seward, by virtue of his previous utterances and his skill as a
politician, became the exponent of the free-soil element, as also the
representative of the administration, an unprecedented trust to be
confided to a senator in his first term. He thus found himself in
opposition to Webster and Clay, and especially to the "Omnibus" bill of
the latter, a measure intended to reconcile conflicting claims
concerning the admission of new States, the status of slavery in the
Territories, and the protection to be accorded it in the free States. On
March 11, 1850, he made a speech, generally pronounced to be his ablest,
as it is certainly his most noteworthy deliverance, in which he declared
that there is a law higher than the Constitution, whose authority may be
invoked in legislation for the national domain. The death of General
Taylor brought him into collision with President Fillmore, who hailed
from New York, and was largely indebted for his vice-presidential
nomination to Seward's kindly offices. Fillmore urged the adoption of
the compromise scheme and signed the separate bills therefor as they
successively passed Congress, thereby incurring censure at the North,
while Seward retained his ascendency with the anti-slavery masses
throughout the country, as well as with the Whigs of New York.

He was re-elected to the Senate in 1855 by a combination of Whigs and
Anti-Nebraska Americans, and on October 12th, of that year, at Albany,
formally announced his adhesion to the new Republican party. In the
Senate he easily ranked as one of its most polished and effective
speakers who, while resolutely maintaining his own convictions,
scrupulously preserved the amenities of debate. He especially
distinguished himself by his earnest, yet unavailing, resistance to the
repeal of the Missouri Compromise. Among his popular addresses of
conspicuous merit are those on "The Elements of Empire in America," at
Union College, 1843; "Daniel O'Connell," at New York, 1847; "John Quincy
Adams," before the New York Legislature, 1848; "The Destiny of America,"
at Columbus, O., and "The True Basis of American Independence," at New
York, 1853; "The Development of the American People," at Yale College
1854, and "The Irrepressible Conflict"--_i.e._, between freedom and
slavery--at Rochester, N. Y., 1858. He made an extended tour in Europe,
Egypt, and Palestine, in 1859.

The Republicans met in National Convention at Chicago, in 1860, flushed
with anticipated success. Northern opposition to the extension of
slavery had combined, and the Democracy was being resolved into
antagonistic factions. Seward's nomination for the presidency seemed
assured. He was the foremost statesman in his party. He had crystallized
its ideas, interpreted its creed, and marshalled its forces. He had an
enthusiastic following who believed that the occasion had met the man;
but there were others who objected that his very superiority would
provoke assault against him, which might hurt the cause for which he
stood. They reasoned against his availability, and their argument
prevailed. He led on the first two ballots in the convention, but, on
the third, Abraham Lincoln, then comparatively unknown, became the
Republican standard-bearer. Seward met this reverse tranquilly, rebuked
certain manifestations of disaffection, proffered the candidate his
hearty support, and, in a series of remarkably able and eloquent
speeches, extending from Massachusetts to Kansas, contributed materially
to his election.

Seward accepted the portfolio of State in Lincoln's cabinet and
immediately assumed the gravest responsibilities. American relations
with foreign governments during the Civil War were uniformly serious and
sometimes perilous. The duties of the Secretary of State were exacting
and delicate. Seward, by his tact and discretion, as well as his courage
and wisdom, kept peace with the world, without debasing the honor or
forfeiting the rights of the republic. One of the most intricate issues
arose in the first year of the war. It is known as the Trent case. Mason
and Slidell, Confederate envoys to England and France respectively, were
forcibly taken by an American naval commander from a British vessel and
lodged in Fort Warren. The American public was exultant over the capture
and protested vigorously against their release; but Seward had to decide
officially the question of their surrender to the British Government,
and, when the demand was duly made, he yielded to it, basing his
conclusion, with admirable adroitness, not only upon international
comity, but also upon American precedents. The president, at first
disposed to take the contrary view, conceded the force of Seward's
argument, the people acquiesced, and a war with England was avoided.
Seward's state papers and despatches are models of style, and by their
frankness of statement and hopefulness of tone did much to sustain the
Union cause abroad. In accord with Lincoln in holding that the paramount
task of the Government was to subdue rebellion against it and
discouraging precipitate movements for the abolition of slavery, he was
also in accord with the president in the policy of emancipation, as
ultimately formulated, and, on January 1, 1863, attested the
proclamation which has made the name of Lincoln immortal. He proclaimed
the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, by which
slavery was abolished, December 18, 1865, and of the Fourteenth,
conferring suffrage and civil rights upon the freedmen, July 26, 1868.
On February 3, 1865, he attended, with the president, the so-called
Peace Conference, in Hampton Roads, with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and
Campbell, the Confederate commissioners. The conference was fruitless,
owing to the inflexible determination of the president not to entertain
any proposals that did not involve the complete restoration of the
national authority as a condition precedent.

Lincoln began his second term March 4, 1865, Seward remaining in the
cabinet. On April 5th, Seward was badly injured by being thrown from his
carriage. Nine days thereafter Lincoln visited him in his sick chamber.
It was their last meeting. On the same evening Lincoln was assassinated,
and the murder of Seward was attempted. He was stabbed in several places
in the head and throat, and for several days his life was despaired of,
but he slowly recovered, and in June resumed his desk in the State
Department, President Johnson having urged him to retain it. He
continued in office throughout Johnson's administration, favoring the
reconstruction policy of his chief, without, however, incurring the
active hostility of his Republican friends. Distinctive events of his
second term were his maintenance of the Monroe doctrine, in the refusal
to recognize the French empire in Mexico, and the purchase of Alaska,
which was in consonance with views long entertained by him as to the
propriety of the expansion of the territory of the United States upon
the continent of North America. In the best sense of the term he was an
advocate of "Manifest Destiny," and was proud of the acquisition of the
Russian territory at the Far North. A treaty which he negotiated for the
cession of the Danish West India islands of St. Thomas and St. John
failed of ratification by the Senate.

He retired to private life March 4, 1869, and within the next three
years visited Alaska and Mexico, and made a journey around the world,
being everywhere received with official welcome and popular acclaim. The
last few months of his life were passed at his home, where he dictated
the story of his travels and began his "Autobiography," which, even in
its unfinished state, is a charming narrative.

Seward achieved greatness as an executive, a legislator, and a
diplomatist; was one of the most accomplished writers of his time, and
was second only to Lincoln, among civilians, in conserving American
nationality and enlarging American liberties. There is a statue to his
memory in Madison Square, New York, and, on November 15, 1888, another
was unveiled in front of the Auburn homestead, William M. Evarts
delivering the oration. Charles Francis Adams also paid his tribute, in
an address at the Capitol, in Albany, 1873, upon invitation of the New
York Legislature. Seward published a volume on the "Life and Public
Services of John Quincy Adams," 1849. His "Essays, Speeches, and
Extracts from his Diplomatic Correspondence," etc., edited by George E.
Baker, with a memoir, embrace five volumes. His adopted daughter
published his "Travels Around the World," 1873, and his "Autobiography,"
to 1834, has been supplemented by a "Memoir" by his son, Frederick W.
Seward, with extracts from his letters and selections from his "Table
Talk."

[Signature of the author.]



ABRAHAM LINCOLN[13]

By TERENCE VINCENT POWDERLY

(1809-1865)

         [Footnote 13: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: A house. [TN]]


Born in obscurity and poverty, with health and a good disposition as a
heritage from nature, and with Christian parents as teachers and guides,
Abraham Lincoln--sixteenth president of the United States--entered upon
life's journey through toil and vicissitude to fame and immortality.

Abraham Lincoln, grandfather of the president, was born in Union, Pa.,
and in 1759 removed with his parents to a point near Harrisonburg, Va.
John Hanks and Squire Boone, father of Daniel Boone, were neighbors of
the Lincolns at Union; the former took up his residence at Harrisonburg,
Va., and Squire Boone removed to Holman's Ford, on the Yadkin River, in
North Carolina. When he was twenty-one years old, Abraham Lincoln went
to North Carolina to visit his old neighbors, the Boones, and while
there met and married Mary Shipley. He built a log cabin on the banks of
the Yadkin and lived there several years. Here it was that Thomas
Lincoln, father of the president, was born. Shortly after his birth his
parents, in 1778, removed to Kentucky and settled near Elizabethtown, in
Hardin County. In 1784, when Thomas was but six years old, his father
was killed by the Indians. There were no schools in that neighborhood,
and Thomas Lincoln grew to manhood without receiving an education.
Joseph Hanks, son of John Hanks, removed to Kentucky about the time that
Abraham Lincoln moved there from North Carolina. His daughter, Nancy
Hanks, who was born and educated in Virginia, grew up a playmate of
Thomas Lincoln, and in 1806 became his wife. Thomas Lincoln selected a
farm near Hodgensville, now the county seat of Larue County, Ky., built
a log cabin containing but one room, in which, on February 12, 1809,
Abraham Lincoln, the future president, was born. A poor farmer, with no
education and no capital other than his labor, Thomas Lincoln found
little to encourage his stay in Kentucky. The institution of slavery,
which lived on the toil of the black man, threw a dark shadow across the
path of the "poor white" who could claim no title to property in human
flesh and sinew, and in 1817 he removed from Kentucky to Spencer County,
Ind., and settled in the forest at Pigeon Creek, near the town of
Gentryville. On October 5, 1818, Mrs. Lincoln died and was laid to rest
at the foot of a tree on the farm which her husband had hewed out of the
forest with his axe.

Eighteen months after the death of his wife, Mr. Lincoln married Mrs.
Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow who had been a neighbor of his in
Kentucky. To his stepmother Abraham became very much attached, and he
always entertained the greatest respect and affection for her. His
education was very simple, his school days few, and his books fewer
still. Before leaving Kentucky he learned to read while listening to his
mother as she gave lessons to his father. In 1814, a Catholic priest,
Zachariah Riney, who travelled through the country, opened a school in
an untenanted cabin at Hodgensville, and for a few weeks gave
instructions to the youth of the neighborhood. Abraham attended this
school during its brief existence. In 1822 Azel Dorsey was employed as
teacher at Pigeon Creek, Ind., and during his short stay Abraham Lincoln
was his most attentive pupil. Two years after, Abraham went to school
for several months, and in 1824 his school days came to an end. His time
at school did not exceed twelve months altogether. In the meantime he
had read Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe," Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress,"
Æsop's "Fables," The Bible, and Weems's "Life of Washington." In 1824
his father, in need of his assistance as a bread-winner, began to
instruct him in the carpenter trade. In 1825 he was employed at $6 a
month to manage a ferry across the Ohio River at Gentry's Landing, near
the mouth of Anderson Creek. His wages were paid to his father. The
first money he earned for himself came in the shape of two half-dollars
paid to him by two gentlemen whose trunks he transferred from the shore
to a passing steamer. In 1828 Mr. Gentry engaged him to go to New
Orleans on a flat-boat with a load of produce. In 1830 John Hanks, who
had removed from Kentucky to Illinois, wrote to Thomas Lincoln, urging
him to move to that State. Acting on the advice, Mr. Lincoln removed to
Illinois and settled at a point some ten miles west of Decatur. Abraham
Lincoln drove the ox team which hauled the household effects of the
family, and wearing a coon-skin cap, jean jacket, and a pair of buckskin
trousers, he entered the State poor, friendless, and unknown. Thirty
years later he left Illinois the foremost man in the nation, and known
to all the world. He assisted his father in clearing fifteen acres of
land, and split the rails with which to build the fence. Although of
age, he had no money, and having but a scant supply of clothing, made a
bargain with Nancy Miller to make him a pair of trousers. For each yard
of cloth required he split four hundred fence-rails, and as he was over
six feet in height it took fourteen hundred rails to pay for his
trousers. On April 19, 1831, he went to New Orleans with a flat-boat
load of pigs, corn, pork, and beef; the pigs refusing to walk, Lincoln
carried them aboard in his arms. John Hanks and Lincoln's half-brother,
John Johnston, accompanied him on the trip. While in New Orleans he
first saw men and women sold as slaves, and as every instinct of his
nature revolted at the spectacle, he said to John Hanks: "If ever I get
a chance to hit that institution, I'll hit it hard." Returning from New
Orleans, he went to New Salem to clerk in the store of Denton Offut.
While waiting for a shipment of goods he acted as clerk on a local
election board, and thus filled his first political position. During his
stay in New Salem he was frequently called on to exercise his great
strength in quelling disturbances, and inspired the turbulent element of
the place with a wholesome respect for his powers of muscular
persuasion. He was not quarrelsome, never engaged in contention, but
never hesitated to take his own part or that of another who might need a
helping hand. He subscribed for the Louisville _Journal_, and generously
read its contents aloud to those who gathered in the store. During the
Black Hawk war he enlisted as private in a company which was raised in
the neighborhood, and was at once elected captain. In a short time the
company was mustered out, and he re-enlisted in an "Independent Spy
Battalion" which continued in service until the end of the war. On
returning to New Salem he announced himself an independent candidate for
the Legislature, and at a meeting held during the canvass made his first
political speech in these words: "Fellow-citizens: I presume you know
who I am; I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by many
friends to become a candidate for the Legislature. My politics can be
briefly stated. I am in favor of the internal improvement system, and a
high protective tariff. These are my sentiments and political
principles. If elected, I shall be thankful; if not, it will be all the
same."

In the winter of 1832 he became a partner of a man named Berry, in the
purchase and management of a store. They had no money, but gave their
notes. Berry became dissipated, lost interest in the business, and the
firm failed. In 1833 President Jackson appointed Lincoln postmaster of
New Salem; he remained postmaster until 1836. While holding the office
Lincoln voluntarily established the "free delivery" system in New Salem
by carrying the letters around in his hat. He began the study of law,
and was soon after appointed deputy surveyor. The note he gave on going
into partnership with Berry had been sold to a man who wanted his money,
and in the fall of 1834 the sheriff levied on and sold his instruments
to satisfy the debt. In that year he was elected to the Legislature, and
borrowed the money with which to purchase a suit of clothes to go to the
State capital at Vandalia. He was re-elected to the Legislature in 1836,
and during the canvass declared his principles as follows:

"I go for all sharing the privileges of the government who assist in
bearing its burdens; consequently, I go for admitting all whites to the
right of suffrage who pay taxes or bear arms, _by no means excluding
females_."

A few years later, when questioned concerning that utterance, he said:

"All questions of social and moral reform find lodgement first with
enlightened souls, who stamp them with their approval. In God's own time
they will be organized into law, and thus woven into the fabric of our
institutions."

[Illustration: A. Lincoln.]

In 1836 he met Stephen A. Douglas for the first time, at the State
capital. In 1837 he was admitted to the bar, in 1838 re-elected to the
Legislature, and again in 1840. The capital had been removed from
Vandalia to Springfield, and in partnership with John T. Stuart he began
the practice of law in that city in 1839. On November 4, 1842, he was
married to Mary Todd, daughter of Hon. Robert S. Todd. In the
presidential campaigns of 1840 and 1844 he canvassed the State as a
presidential elector on the whig ticket; and in both campaigns was
pitted, in joint debate, against Stephen A. Douglas. In 1846 he was
elected to the thirtieth Congress, and was the only whig representative
in that body from Illinois. On January 12, 1848, he made his first
speech in Congress, on a resolution which he offered calling on the
president to provide a statement relating to the war with Mexico. On
January 16, 1849, he introduced a bill to abolish slavery in the
District of Columbia and to compensate the owners of the liberated
slaves. He declined a re-election to Congress, and in 1849 was an
unsuccessful candidate for United States senator. In 1850 he refused to
accept the appointment as Governor of Oregon, tendered him by President
Fillmore. For a few years he gave no attention to political matters, but
the introduction in Congress of the bill to admit Nebraska and Kansas to
the Union, and the agitation for the repeal of the "Missouri
Compromise," aroused his interest, and in a short time he became the
leader of a new party in the State. All who opposed the repeal of that
compromise, of whatever party, were known as "Anti-Nebraska" in the
beginning, but gradually they began to call themselves "Republicans,"
and as such they carried most of the "Free State" elections of 1854.
Senator Douglas, in defending his course on the "Nebraska Bill," made
speeches through Illinois. On October 1, 1854, Lincoln, in reply to one
of these speeches, in speaking of slavery said:

"I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just
influence in the world; it enables the enemies of free institutions to
taunt us as hypocrites; causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our
sincerity; is at war with the vital principles of civic liberty;
contrary to the Declaration of Independence; and maintains that there is
no right principle of action but self-interest.... No man is good enough
to govern another man without the other's consent.... I object to the
Nebraska Bill because it assumes there can be moral right in the
enslaving of one man by another."

He was a candidate for United States Senator in 1855, but his withdrawal
from the contest gave the election to Mr. Trumbull. In 1856 he received
one hundred and ten votes for vice-president at the first Republican
national contention, and canvassed the State as one of the presidential
electors. During this canvass he said:

"Sometimes when I am speaking I feel that the time is soon coming when
the sun shall shine and the rain fall on no man who shall go forth to
unrequited toil.... How it will come about, when it will come, I cannot
tell; but that time will surely come."

The Supreme Court of the United States, on March 6, 1857, committed
itself to the perpetuation of slavery in the "Dred Scott" decision, and
that act, together with the question of admitting Kansas to the Union as
a slave or free State, furnished the argument for the legislative
campaign of 1858, in which Lincoln was a candidate for United States
senator against Stephen A. Douglas. In his speech accepting the
nomination he, in referring to the agitation for the abolition of
slavery, said:

"In my opinion it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached
and passed. 'A house divided against itself cannot stand.' I believe
this Government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do
not expect the Union to be dissolved, I do not expect the house to
fall, but I do expect it will cease to be divided."

On May 16, 1860, the second Republican national convention met in
Chicago, and on the third ballot nominated Lincoln for the presidency
over William H. Seward, who was at that time the idol of the radical
element of the party. Not many who listened to the clergyman who
delivered the prayer at the opening of the convention, gave serious
thought to these prophetic words as they fell from his lips:

"We entreat Thee that at some future, but no distant, day the evil which
now invests the body politic shall not only have been arrested in its
progress, but wholly eradicated from the system."

The Northern Democrats nominated Stephen A. Douglas; the slave-holding,
Southern Democrats nominated John C. Breckenridge, and a Constitutional
Union party nominated John Bell. The Electoral College gave Lincoln 180
votes, Breckenridge 72, Bell 39, and Douglas 12. In his inaugural
address Lincoln said:

"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the
institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have
no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

Although his inaugural breathed peace and conciliation in every line, it
had no effect on the hot-headed advocates of secession. The war began
with the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, and ended with
his death. On April 15th, he issued his first call for troops, and
during his administration the total number called for was 2,759,049.
With the exception of Russia, the foreign powers exhibited evidences of
hostility to the Union, and when urged to retaliation Lincoln said: "One
war at a time, if you please, gentlemen." On May 20, 1862, he signed the
Homestead Law, a boon of inestimable value to settlers on land. On
January 1, 1863, he issued the "Emancipation Proclamation" which stamped
the seal of eternal truth on the Declaration of Independence. On
November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Gettysburg Cemetery, he, in
concluding a speech which should be committed to memory by every citizen
of the nation, said:

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining
before us.... That we here highly resolve that the dead shall not have
died in vain; that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of
freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, and for the
people shall not perish from the earth."

On June 8, 1864, he was renominated by the Republican national
convention, General McClellan was nominated by the Democrats, and at the
election Lincoln received 212 of the 233 electoral votes cast. In
concluding his inaugural address, March 4, 1865, he said:

"Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His
aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to
ask God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other
men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged.... Fondly do
we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may
speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue until all the
wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited
toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash
shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three
thousand years ago, so, still, it must be said, that the judgments of
the Lord are true and righteous altogether. With malice toward none,
with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see
the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's
wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his
widow and his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just
and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

On the evening of April 14, 1865, while seated in a box at Ford's
Theatre, witnessing the play, "Our American Cousin," he was shot by an
actor, J. Wilkes Booth, and at twenty-two minutes past seven on the
morning of the 15th his life ended. His body was embalmed and taken, in
funeral procession, from Washington through Baltimore, Harrisburg,
Philadelphia, New York, Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Chicago to
Springfield, and was buried on May 4th at Oak Ridge Cemetery. On October
15, 1874, his remains were taken up and placed in a tomb beneath a
magnificent and elegantly designed monument consisting of a statue of
the martyred president and an obelisk of imposing appearance.

No pen can do justice to the character of Lincoln, for the world will
never know of the trials, embarrassments, and misgivings which beset him
from his infancy in the backwoods to his tomb in Springfield. During his
administration he never knew a moment free from anxiety. Each day he
faced a new problem, and finding no precedent to guide him in its
solution, he acted in accordance with his own good common sense, and
proved equal to every emergency. Frequently misunderstood by the nation
and her foremost men, he removed all doubts by the touch of the
statesman when the time was ripe. To fully estimate the statesman we
must know the man, and as years go by the full nobility of his private
character will be disclosed to the world in all its simple grandeur. His
was "a spirit of the greatest size and divinest metal" which no
temptation could allure from the course of right. His administration was
the most trying that could fall to the lot of man, no other furnished so
many opportunities to amass wealth through speculation and intrigue, but
greed and avarice were strangers to his nature, and no stain rests upon
his memory. He was slow to arrive at conclusions, but when deliberation
gave birth to conviction he unfalteringly strove for the right. His
education was practical, not theoretical, and was acquired in the school
of nature and among men rather than among books. The basis of his life
was earnestness. No rhetorical display marked his speech, but his
oratory fastened the attention, appealed to reason and carried
conviction to the hearts of his listeners. He valued public opinion, for
he said:

"With public sentiment nothing can fail; without public sentiment
nothing can succeed. Consequently he who moulds public sentiment goes
deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions."

He opposed the extension of slavery rather than its abolition; but as he
divined the real sentiments of its advocates he realized that enduring
peace would not bless the nation while the institution lived, a menace
to free labor and industrial prosperity. He professed no religion, for
his great heart throbbed in sympathy with all humanity, and he would not
be separated from even the humblest among men by the artificial barriers
of creed. He believed in the gospel of liberty and would guarantee it to
all men through constitutional enactment. When he became president he
found slavery intrenched behind the bulwarks of constitutional law and
judicial decision; he found a united South, resolute in her
determination to perpetuate slavery in the nation; a vacillating North,
divided in its sentiment on the great question of property in man. He
found the nation in the throes of civil war, and died in the triumphal
hour of his country's deliverance, with the sceptre of slavery
shattered, her fetters broken and in rust, and her power crumbled to
ashes.

Public criticism never annoyed him, and he was not averse to taking
counsel from the poorest among men. It was love of country, not selfish
ambition, which turned his attention to public life, and toward the end
of his administration he was rewarded by public confidence and a respect
for his honesty and singleness of aim toward the good of the nation. He
had a great relish for story-telling and used his fund of anecdote to
good advantage in illustrating points in conversation.

His administration stands the guide-post of the centuries, set by the
Eternal as the dividing line between the serfdom of the past and the
freedom of the future. His monument stands the altar of a nation's fame,
and his name will live to guide the world to enfranchisement.

[Signature of the author.]



HORACE GREELEY[14]

By NOAH BROOKS

(1811-1872)

         [Footnote 14: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Horace Greeley. [TN]]


Horace Greeley was one of the few persons whose manhood fulfilled the
precocious promise of his youth. He could read before he could speak
plainly, and at the age of six he had declared that his purpose in life
was to be a printer. At eleven he tried to be apprenticed at the village
printing-office and was unsuccessful; at the age of fourteen he was
taken on as an apprentice in the office of the _Northern Spectator_, at
East Poultney, Vt.

His family were of Scotch-Irish origin, but had lived in the northern
part of New Hampshire for several generations. Horace was born in
Amherst, N. H., February 3, 1811. So quick of apprehension was he, and
so active was his intellect, that the commonest of common-school
education was for him sufficient. His schooling was only that which he
could obtain during three or four months in winter; for at other seasons
of the year he labored in the field with his father and brothers; and
when he went to be an apprentice for five years in the printing-office,
he was paid a very slender pittance, the greater part of which he gave
to his father, whose income was probably next to nothing.

In June, 1830, the newspaper office in which young Greeley was learning
his trade became insolvent, and Greeley, then in his twentieth year, was
released from his indentures. He tramped from office to office as a
journeyman printer, and his father having removed to the then "new
country of western Pennsylvania," the youngster, with ten dollars in his
pocket, walking part way and part way earning his passage on a tug-boat,
entered the city of New York, August 18, 1831. For days he sought in
vain for employment among the printing-offices of the metropolis. He was
gawky, poorly clad, and doubtless presented a very grotesque appearance
to the cityfied people to whom he vainly applied for employment. Finally
he effected an entrance into one of the printing-offices of the city,
and, much to the surprise of those who sneered at his ungainly and
unpromising figure, he straightway proved himself to be a competent,
careful, and skilful printer. For fourteen months or more, he picked up
odd jobs in the offices of the newspapers, always making friends and
always managing to save a little money.

Finally, at the beginning of 1833, in partnership with Francis V. Story,
a printer, he established a penny paper called _The Morning Post_. This
venture failed, but Greeley and Story saved from the wreck two-thirds of
their capital, which was $150, all told, and still had on hand their
type and materials. They now became master job-printers and made small
contracts with persons who had newspaper printing to give out. In his
New England boyhood Greeley had occasionally contributed to the columns
of the newspapers on which he worked, and now he resumed that
employment. He wrote for several of the feeble newspapers of the time,
and on the death of his partner, Francis Story, he associated himself
with Jonas Winchester. The firm prospered, and in 1834 was strong enough
to establish a weekly literary newspaper called _The New Yorker_. The
first number of this paper appeared on March 22, 1834, and it sold one
hundred copies; for the three months next succeeding this was the
average of its weekly circulation. The paper gradually increased in
popularity, and the name of its Editor-in-Chief, Horace Greeley, was now
known and respected. He furnished editorials also to the _Daily Whig_
and to other journals, and was selected by William H. Seward and Thurlow
Weed for the editorship of a campaign paper called _The Jeffersonian_,
published in Albany. This was a Whig newspaper printed weekly, and the
audacity, aggressiveness, and ability with which it was edited commanded
the respect of its readers. _The Jeffersonian_ was finally suspended in
the spring of 1839, and during the presidential canvass of the following
year, Greeley, foreseeing the activity of the campaign, seized upon the
opportunity to establish a new campaign paper called _The Log Cabin_.
This journal at once achieved the extraordinary circulation of twenty
thousand copies for its first edition. It succeeded beyond the most
sanguine expectations of its founders, H. Greeley & Company, and in a
few weeks the circulation ran up to sixty thousand, eighty thousand, and
even ninety thousand copies, a newspaper circulation in those days
absolutely unprecedented. _The Log Cabin_ was characterized by the
homely wit, the unsparing logic, and the terseness and vigor of
expression which were always Horace Greeley's most marked traits as a
journalist.

After the campaign of 1840 _The Log Cabin_ became a family political
paper, and on April 10, 1841, its name was supplanted by that of _The
New York Tribune_. Its home was at 30 Ann Street, and Horace Greeley,
its editor, promised that it should be "worthy of the hearty approval of
the virtuous and refined, and a welcome visitant to family firesides."

As an editor Mr. Greeley was eccentric, and his marked personal traits
were perceptible in his management of his newspaper. He was severely
temperate, although opposed to prohibition as impracticable; he was in
favor of a high protective tariff, opposed to slavery, predisposed to
vegetarian diet, and at times manifested a proclivity to the doctrines
of Fourier and Prudhomme.

In his management of _The Tribune_ Mr. Greeley made a wide acquaintance
with the newspaper men, politicians, and the statesmen of the time.
Among those associated with him in the management of his paper was
Henry J. Raymond, who afterward became the founder of _The New York
Times_. Those who rendered service to _The Tribune_ were George William
Curtis, Charles A. Dana, Margaret Fuller, Bayard Taylor, and others who
subsequently achieved renown. Mr. Greeley himself has said that of his
first issue of five thousand copies of the paper, nearly all "were with
difficulty given away." _The Tribune_ was first sold at one cent a copy;
in a month's time it reached a circulation of three thousand, and a
month later it had reached the extraordinary circulation of eleven and
twelve thousand. _The New Yorker_ and _The Log Cabin_ had all along been
managed as weekly issues from the same office; but in September of the
first year of the establishment of _The Tribune_ these were merged in
what was now _The New York Weekly Tribune_, which at once leaped to a
large circulation and became a great force throughout the country,
especially in the rural districts.

In 1842 Mr. Greeley began to print in his paper one column daily of
matter on Fourierite topics, written by Albert Brisbane, and
occasionally these theories were defended in his editorial columns, and
he thereby gained a certain amount of obloquy from which he did not
readily recover. The paper had the reputation of being not only
extremely radical in its political views, but also committed to many of
the "isms" of the times. It paid much attention to the spirit-rappings
of the Fox sisters, of Rochester, and investigated the curious phenomena
with fearless open-mindedness. _The Tribune_ prospered, though not
greatly, and it was evident that Mr. Greeley's business management was
never very successful; and it may be said that his greatest success as
the editor of a prosperous and profitable newspaper was always achieved
by the co-operation of wiser managers than himself. His personal
appearance was peculiar, and he very soon became a well-known figure in
the public life of New York. He usually wore a broad-brimmed, soft white
hat and a light-colored overcoat, and his appearance, although always
spotlessly neat, was characterized by a certain disorderliness which
instantly attracted attention. He had a shrill, high-keyed voice; he was
irascible in temper, and was never the "philosopher" which those who
least knew him credited him with being. In an angry letter published in
his own newspaper he referred to the editor of _The Daily Times_ as
"that little villain, Raymond;" and replying to an offensive charge
against him by _The Evening Post_, he began with, "You lie, villain,
wilfully, wickedly, basely lie." Other passages at arms like these
occasionally enlivened, if they did not disfigure, the editorial columns
of _The Tribune_, over which Greeley exercised a personal censorship
which, in later years, he found it necessary to relax. He was sincerely
and ardently devoted to the cause of Protection, to the interests of the
farmer and the laboring man, to sound money, and to all the ennobling
and refining activities of social life. In spite of a careless personal
manner, and a voice not at all agreeable to the ear, he became a popular
and greatly sought public speaker. As a lecturer in the lyceums of towns
and villages, then greatly in vogue, he was always an acceptable and
greatly admired figure.

In 1848 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives to
fill a vacancy for three months. With great vigor he charged upon
several of the most prominent abuses of the time, and selecting the
practice of paying mileage to Congressmen, he assaulted that with a
vehemence which ultimately destroyed it. As a member of Congress he also
introduced the first bill to give free homesteads to actual settlers on
the public lands. He was a candidate in 1861 for United States Senator,
but was defeated by Ira Harris, of Albany. In 1864 he was one of the
Republican Presidential Electors, and in 1870 was nominated for Congress
in a hopelessly Democratic district, and was defeated. He had always
been an intense opponent of human slavery, and in 1848 his hostility to
the war with Mexico was doubtless inspired by his dread of the extension
of the slave system. He was an enthusiastic supporter of John C.
Fremont, who was nominated for President by the Republicans in 1856; and
he made his newspaper so dreaded and feared by the opposition that he
was indicted in Virginia for circulating incendiary documents through
its columns. During these years he was an incessant and untiring worker,
and produced for the columns of his own and other newspapers a
prodigious amount of matter. He had heretofore labored in politics in
conjunction with William H. Seward, Governor, and afterward United
States Senator. In 1854 the separation between Greeley, Seward, and
Thurlow Weed became established, and Mr. Seward's friends prevented the
election of Mr. Greeley as a delegate to the Republican Convention which
nominated Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Greeley, however, obtained a seat as
delegate in the Convention as a representative from the State of Oregon,
and in that capacity he, more than any other man, doubtless turned the
tide against Mr. Seward and in favor of Abraham Lincoln, who was
nominated by the Convention.

At the breaking out of the Civil War Mr. Greeley manifested great
trepidation and reluctance to face the issue. He even advised in _The
Tribune_ that the "Erring Sisters" be allowed to depart in peace; but
later he rallied manfully to the cause of the defence of the Union, and
his newspaper rang with impassioned appeals for the freedom of the
slaves held in bondage in the South. He incessantly urged a more
vigorous prosecution of the war, and called upon President Lincoln to
take every possible measure for the emancipation of the Southern
bondmen.

In 1864, being convinced that the cause of the rebellion was gradually
weakening, he urged upon the President the policy of negotiating with
the leaders of the Confederate government for a surrender of their
warlike policy, on conditions to be arrived at by commissioners from
both sides. This proposition excited much indignation throughout the
country, and when, in answer to repeated demands from Mr. Greeley,
President Lincoln authorized him to undertake such a conference at
Niagara Falls, the people generally applauded the wisdom of the
President, as well as the disappointment of Mr. Greeley, when the
conference came to naught.

After the final surrender at Appomattox and the capture of the
Confederate President, Mr. Greeley visited Richmond and signed the bail
bond of Jefferson Davis. This action raised a storm of public censure,
and he was for a time overwhelmed by the wrath and indignation of those
who had been formerly associated with him in political affairs. He
defended himself with great vigor, and fearlessly assailed those who
stigmatized him as a sympathizer with the fallen rebel chieftain. He was
not friendly to the nomination of General Grant in 1868, and disapproved
of many of the schemes that marked his administration. Returning from a
visit through the Southern States in the early years of President
Grant's term, he brought to his newspaper some vigorous and outspoken
denunciations of the "carpet-bag" governments of the formerly rebel
States, and denunciations of the "scalawags" who, he said, "were the
pests of the reconstructed States of the South." These and similar
outgivings attracted the attention of a large element of the Republican
party, and he was nominated for the Presidency, against General Grant,
in 1872. Mr. Greeley's canvass was one of great picturesqueness and
industry. He made a series of speeches extending over a tour from New
England to the West, and returning to New York, which were marked by a
most wonderful originality, freshness, and brilliance; but nothing could
avail to stem the tide of prejudice which rose against him and in favor
of General Grant. He had been nominated by the so-called Liberal
Republicans and by the Democrats, but he failed to carry any one of the
Northern States, and of the other States he carried only Georgia,
Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. He was assailed
during this canvass in the bitterest terms by those who regarded him as
a turncoat and a traitor, and undoubtedly the vituperation and abuse
showered upon him had the effect of disheartening him and destroying the
zest with which he had theretofore undertaken the multifarious duties of
life. He returned to New York from an exhausting campaign, depressed in
spirit and weary in body and in mind. The death of his devoted wife
added to his sorrows, and on November 29, 1872, only a few weeks after
the Presidential election, he died at Pleasantville, N. Y., of mental
and nervous prostration. His body lay in state in the City Hall, and his
funeral was attended by the notables of the land--President Grant, who
had just been re-elected by the people, being numbered among those who
mourned at his bier.

In addition to his editorial labors Mr. Greeley was the author of a
number of works, among which were "Hints toward Reforms," "Glances at
Europe," "History of the Struggle for Slavery Extension," "Overland
Journey to San Francisco," "The American Conflict," and "Recollections
of a Busy Life." He was also the founder of "The Whig Almanac," a manual
of politics, which in later years became known as "The Tribune Almanac,"
and survived his demise.

[Signature of the author.]



LOUIS AGASSIZ[15]

By ASA GRAY

(1807-1873)

         [Footnote 15: Written in 1886, on the publication of "Louis
         Agassiz, His Life and Correspondence." Reprinted, by permission
         of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., from "The Scientific Papers
         of Asa Gray."]

[Illustration: Louis Agassiz. [TN]]


There is no need to give an abstract of the contents of these
fascinating volumes, for everybody is reading them. Most are probably
wishing for more personal details, especially of the American life; but
the editorial work is so deftly and delicately done, and "the story of
an intellectual life marked by rare coherence and unity" is so well
arranged to tell itself and make its impression, that we may thankfully
accept what has been given us, though the desired "fulness of personal
narrative" be wanting.

Twelve years have passed since Agassiz was taken from us. Yet to some of
us it seems not very long ago that the already celebrated Swiss
naturalist came over, in the bloom of his manly beauty, to charm us with
his winning ways, and inspire us with his overflowing enthusiasm, as he
entered upon the American half of that career which has been so
beneficial to the interests of natural science. There are not many left
of those who attended those first Lowell Lectures in the autumn of
1846--perhaps all the more taking for the broken English in which they
were delivered--and who shared in the delight with which, in a
supplementary lecture, he more fluently addressed his audience in his
mother-tongue.

In these earliest lectures he sounded the note of which his last public
utterance was the dying cadence. For, as this biography rightly
intimates, his scientific life was singularly entire and homogeneous--if
not uninfluenced, yet quite unchanged, by the transitions which have
marked the period. In a small circle of naturalists, almost the first
that was assembled to greet him on his coming to this country, and of
which the writer is the sole survivor, when Agassiz was inquired of as
to his conception of "species," he sententiously replied: "A species is
a thought of the Creator." To this thoroughly theistic conception he
joined the scientific deduction which he had already been led to draw,
that the animal species of each geological age, or even stratum, were
different from those preceding and following, and also unconnected by
natural derivation. And his very last published works reiterated his
steadfast conviction that "there is no evidence of a direct descent of
later from earlier species in the geological succession of animals."
Indeed, so far as we know, he would not even admit that such "thoughts
of the Creator" as these might have been actualized in the natural
course of events. If he had accepted such a view, and if he had himself
apprehended and developed in his own way the now well-nigh assured
significance of some of his early and pregnant generalizations, the
history of the doctrine of development would have been different from
what it is, a different spirit and another name would have been
prominent in it, and Agassiz would not have passed away while fighting
what he felt to be--at least for the present--a losing battle. It is
possible that the "whirligig of time" may still "bring in his revenges,"
but not very probable.

Much to his credit, it may be said that a good share of Agassiz's
invincible aversion to evolution may be traced to the spirit in which
it was taken up by his early associate, Vogt, and, indeed, by most of
the German school then and since, which justly offended both his
scientific and his religious sense. Agassiz always "thought nobly of
the soul," and could in no way approve either materialistic or
agnostic opinions. The idealistic turn of his mind was doubtless
confirmed in his student days at Munich, whither he and his friend
Braun resorted after one session at Heidelberg, and where both
devotedly attended the lectures of Schelling--then in his later
glory--and of Oken, whose "Natur-Philosophie" was then in the
ascendant. Although fascinated and inspired by Oken's _à priori_
biology (built upon morphological ideas which had not yet been
established, but had, in part, been rightly divined) the two young
naturalists were not carried away by it, probably because they were
such keen and conscientious observers, and were kept in close
communion with work-a-day nature. As Agassiz intimates, they had to
resist "the temptation to impose one's own ideas upon nature, to
explain her mysteries by brilliant theories rather than by patient
study of the facts as we find them," and that "overbearing confidence
in the abstract conceptions of the human mind as applied to the study
of nature; although, indeed," he adds, "the young naturalist of that
day who did not share in some degree the intellectual stimulus given
to scientific pursuits by physio-philosophy would have missed a part
of his training." That training was not lost upon Agassiz. Although
the adage in his last published article, "A physical fact is as sacred
as a moral principle," was well lived up to, yet ideal prepossessions
often had much to do with his marshalling of the facts.

Another professor at Munich, from whom Agassiz learned much, and had
nothing to unlearn, was the anatomist and physiologist Döllinger. He
published little, but he seems to have been the founder of modern
embryological investigation, and to have initiated his two famous
pupils, first Von Baer, and then Agassiz, into at least the rudiments of
the doctrine of the correspondence between the stages of the development
of the individual animal with that of its rank in the scale of being,
and the succession in geological time of the forms and types to which
the species belongs: a principle very fertile for scientific zoölogy in
the hands of both these naturalists, and one of the foundations of that
theory of evolution which the former, we believe, partially accepted,
and the other wholly rejected.

The botanical professor, the genial Von Martius, should also be
mentioned here. He found Agassiz a student, barely of age; he directly
made him an author, and an authority, in the subject of his
predilection. Dr. Spix, the zoölogical companion of Martius in Brazilian
exploration, died in 1826; the fishes of the collection were left
untouched. Martius recognized the genius of Agassiz, and offered him,
and indeed pressed him, to undertake their elaboration. Agassiz brought
out the first part of the quarto volume on the "Fishes of the Brazilian
Expedition of Spix and Martius" before he took his degree of doctor of
philosophy, and completed it before he proceeded to that of doctor in
medicine, in 1830. The work opened his way to fame, but brought no
money. Still, as Martius defrayed all the expenses, the net result
compared quite favorably with that of later publications. Moreover, out
of it possibly issued his own voyage to Brazil in later years, under
auspices such as his early patron never dreamed of.

This early work also made him known to Cuvier; so that, when he went to
Paris, a year afterward, to continue his medical and scientific
studies--the one, as he deemed, from necessity, the other from
choice--he was received as a fellow-savant; yet at first with a certain
reserve, probably no more than was natural in view of the relative age
and position of the two men; but Agassiz, writing to his sister, says:
"This extreme but formal politeness chills you instead of putting you at
your ease; it lacks cordiality, and, to tell the truth, I would gladly
go away if I were not held fast by the wealth of material of which I can
avail myself." But only a month later he writes--this time to his
uncle--that, while he was anxious lest he "might not be allowed to
examine, and still less to describe, the fossil fishes and their
skeletons in the Museum, ... knowing that Cuvier intended to write a
work on this subject," and might naturally wish to reserve the materials
for his own use; and when the young naturalist, as he showed his own
sketches and notes to the veteran, was faintly venturing to hope that,
on seeing his work so far advanced, he might perhaps be invited to share
in a joint publication, Cuvier relieved his anxiety and more than
fulfilled his half-formed desires.

"He desired his secretary to bring him a certain portfolio of drawings.
He showed me the contents: they were drawings of fossil fishes, and
notes which he had taken in the British Museum and elsewhere. After
looking it through with me, he said he had seen with satisfaction the
manner in which I had treated this subject; that I had, indeed,
anticipated him, since he had intended at some future time to do the
same thing; but that as I had given it so much attention, and had done
my work so well, he had decided to renounce his project, and to place at
my disposition all the materials he had collected and all the
preliminary notes he had taken."

Within three months Cuvier fell under a stroke of paralysis, and shortly
died. The day before the attack he had said to Agassiz, "Be careful, and
remember that work kills." We doubt if it often kills naturalists,
unless when, like Cuvier, they also become statesmen.

But to live and work, the naturalist must be fed. It was a perplexing
problem how possibly to remain a while longer in Paris, which was
essential to the carrying on of his work, and to find the means of
supplying his very simple wants. And here the most charming letters in
these volumes are, first, the one from his mother, full of tender
thoughtfulness, and making the first suggestion about Neuchâtel and its
museum, as a place where the aspiring naturalist might secure something
more substantial than "brilliant hopes" to live upon; next, that from
Agassiz to his father, who begs to be told as much as he can be supposed
to understand of the nature of this work upon fossil fishes, which
called for so much time, labor, and expense; and, almost immediately,
Agassiz's letter to his parents, telling them that Humboldt had, quite
spontaneously and unexpectedly, relieved his present anxieties by a
credit of a thousand francs, to be increased, if necessary. Humboldt had
shown a friendly interest in him from the first, and had undertaken to
negotiate with Cotta, the publisher, in his behalf; but, becoming uneasy
by the delay, and feeling that "a man so laborious, so gifted, and so
deserving of affection ... should not be left in a position where lack
of serenity disturbs his power of work," he delicately pressed the
acceptance of this aid as a confidential transaction between two friends
of unequal age.

Indeed, the relations between the "two friends," one at that time
sixty-three, and the other twenty-five, were very beautiful, and so
continued, as the correspondence shows. Humboldt's letters (we wish
there were more of them) are particularly delightful, are full of wit
and wisdom, of almost paternal solicitude, and of excellent counsel. He
enjoins upon Agassiz to finish what he has in hand before taking up new
tasks (this is in 1837), not to spread his intellect over too many
subjects at once, nor to go on enlarging the works he had undertaken; he
predicts the pecuniary difficulties in which expansion would be sure to
land him, bewails the glacier investigations, and closes with "a touch
of fun, in order that my letter may seem a little less like preaching. A
thousand affectionate remembrances. No more ice, not much of
echinoderms, plenty of fish, recall of ambassadors _in partibus_, and
great severity toward booksellers, an infernal race, two or three of
which have been killed under me."

The ambassadors _in partibus_ were the artists Agassiz employed and sent
to England or elsewhere to draw fossil fishes for him in various
museums, at a cost which Humboldt knew would be embarrassing. The ice,
which he would have no more of, refers to the glacier researches upon
which Agassiz was entering with ardor, laying one of the solid
foundations of his fame. Curiously enough, both Humboldt and Von Buch,
with all their interest in Agassiz, were quite unable to comprehend the
importance of an inquiry which was directly in their line, and, indeed,
they scorned it; while the young naturalist, without training in physics
or geology, but with the insight of genius, at once developed the whole
idea of the glacial period, with its wonderful consequences, upon his
first inspection of the phenomena shown him by Charpentier in the valley
of the Rhône.

It is well that Humboldt's advice was not heeded in this regard.
Nevertheless he was a wise counsellor. He saw the danger into which his
young friend's enthusiasm and boundless appetite for work was likely to
lead him. For Agassiz it might be said, with a variation of the
well-known adage, that there was nothing he touched that he did not
aggrandize. Everything he laid hold of grew larger under his hand--grew
into a mountain threatening to overwhelm him, and would have overwhelmed
anyone whose powers were not proportionate to his aspirations.
Established at Neuchâtel, and giving himself with ardor to the duties of
his professorship, it was surely enough if he could do the author's
share in the production of his great works on the fossil and the
fresh-water fishes, without assuming the responsibilities and cares of
publication as well, and even of a lithographic establishment which he
set up mainly for his own use. But he carried _pari passu_, or nearly
so, his work on fossil mollusca--a quarto volume with nearly a hundred
plates--his monographs of echinoderms, living and fossil, his
investigations of the embryological development of fishes, and that
laborious work, the "Nomenclator Zoologicus," with the "Bibliographia,"
later published in England by the Ray Society. Moreover, of scattered
papers, those of the Royal Society's Catalogue, which antedate his
arrival in this country, are more than threescore and ten. He had help,
indeed; but the more he had, the more he enlarged and diversified his
tasks; Humboldt's sound advice about his zoölogical undertakings being
no more heeded than his fulminations against the glacial theory.

In the midst of all this, Agassiz turned his glance upon the glaciers,
and the "local phenomenon" became at once a cosmic one. So far a happy
divination; but he seems to have believed quite to the last that, not
only the temperate zones, but whole intertropical continents--at least
the American--had been sheeted with ice. The narrative in the first
volume will give the general reader a vivid but insufficient conception
of the stupendous work upon which he so brilliantly labored for nearly a
decade of years.

_Coelum, non animum, mutant_ who come with such a spirit to a wider and,
scientifically, less developed continent. First as visitor, soon as
denizen, and at length as citizen of the American republic, Agassiz rose
with every occasion to larger and more various activities. What with the
Lowell Institute, the college in Charleston, S. C., and Cornell
University, in addition to Harvard, he may be said to have held three or
four professorships at once, none of them sinecures. He had not been two
months in the country before a staff of assistants was gathered around
him, and a marine zoölogical laboratory was in operation. The rude shed
on the shore, and the small wooden building at Cambridge, developed
under his hand into the Museum of Zoölogy--if not as we see it now, yet
into one of the foremost collections. Who can say what it would have
been if his plans and ideas had obtained full recognition, and
"expenditure" had seemed to the trustees, as it seemed to him, "the best
investment;" or if efficient filial aid, not then to be dreamed of, had
not given solid realization to the high paternal aspirations? In like
manner grew large under his hand the Brazilian exploration, so
generously provided for by a Boston citizen and fostered by an
enlightened emperor; and on a similar scale was planned, and partly
carried out, the "Contributions to the Natural History of the United
States," as the imperial quarto work was modestly entitled, which was
to be published "at the rate of one volume a year, each volume to
contain about three hundred pages and twenty plates," with simple
reliance upon a popular subscription; and so, indeed, of everything
which this large-minded man undertook.

While Agassiz thus was a magnanimous man, in the literal as well as the
accepted meaning of the word, he was also, as we have seen, a truly
fortunate one. Honorable assistance came to him at critical moments,
such as the delicate gift from Humboldt at Paris, which perhaps saved
him to science; such as the Wollaston prize from the Geological Society
in 1834, when he was struggling for the means of carrying on the "Fossil
Fishes." The remainder of the deficit of this undertaking he was able to
make up from his earliest earnings in America. For the rest, we all know
how almost everything he desired--and he wanted nothing except for
science--was cheerfully supplied to his hand by admiring givers. Those
who knew the man during the twenty-seven years of his American life, can
quite understand the contagious enthusiasm and confidence which he
evoked. The impression will in some degree be transmitted by these
pleasant and timely volumes, which should make the leading lines of the
life of Agassiz clear to the newer generation, and deepen them in the
memory of an older one.



CHARLES DARWIN

Extracts from "Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," by ARCH. GEIKIE,
LL.D., F.R.S.

(1809-1882)

[Illustration: Charles Darwin. [TN]]


By the universal consent of mankind, the name of Charles Darwin was,
even during his lifetime, among those of the few great leaders who stand
forth for all time as the creative spirits who have founded and
legislated for the realm of science. It is too soon to estimate with
precision the full value and effect of his work. The din of controversy
that rose around him has hardly yet died down, and the influence of the
doctrines he propounded is extending into so many remote departments of
human inquiry, that a generation or two may require to pass away before
his true place in the history of thought can be definitely fixed. But
the judgment of his contemporaries as to his proud pre-eminence is not
likely ever to be called in question. He is enrolled among Dii majorum
gentium, and there he will remain to the end of the ages. When he was
laid beside the illustrious dead in Westminster Abbey, there arose far
and wide a lamentation as of personal bereavement. Thousands of mourners
who had never seen him, who knew only his writings, and judged of the
gentleness and courtesy of his nature from these, and from such hearsay
reports as passed outward from the privacy of his country home, grieved
as for the loss of a friend. It is remarkable that probably no
scientific man of his day was personally less familiar to the mass of
his fellow-countrymen. He seemed to shun all the usual modes of contact
with them. His weak health, domestic habits, and absorbing work kept him
in the seclusion of his own quiet home. His face was seldom to be seen
at the meetings of scientific societies, or at those gatherings where
the discoveries of science are expounded to more popular audiences. He
shrank from public controversy, although no man was ever more vigorously
attacked and more completely misrepresented. Nevertheless, when he died
the affectionate regret that followed him to the grave, came not alone
from his own personal friends, but from thousands of sympathetic
mourners in all parts of the world, who had never seen or known him. Men
had ample material for judging of his work, and in the end had given
judgment with general acclaim. Of the man himself, however, they could
know but little, yet enough of his character shone forth in his work to
indicate its tenderness and goodness. Men instinctively felt him to be
in every way one of the great ones of the earth, whose removal from the
living world leaves mankind poorer in moral worth as well as in
intellect.

Charles Darwin came of a family which from the beginning of the
sixteenth century had been settled on the northern borders of
Lincolnshire. Several of his ancestors had been men of literary taste
and scientific culture, the most noted of them being his grandfather,
Erasmus Darwin, the poet and philosopher. His father was a medical man
in large practice at Shrewsbury, and his mother a daughter of Josiah
Wedgwood, of Etruria. Some interesting reminiscences are given of the
father, who must have been a man of uncommon strength of character. He
left a large fortune, and thus provided for the career his son was
destined to fulfil. Of his own early life and later years, Darwin has
left a slight but most interesting sketch in an autobiographical
fragment, written late in life for his children, and without any idea of
its ever being published. Shortly before his mother's death, in 1817, he
was sent, when eight years old, to a day-school in his native town. But
even in the period of childhood he had chosen the favorite occupation of
his life: "My taste for natural history," he says, "and more especially
for collecting, was well developed. I tried to make out the names of
plants, and collected all sorts of things--shells, seals, franks, coins,
and minerals. The passion for collecting which leads a man to be a
systematic naturalist, a virtuoso, or a miser, was very strong in me,
and was clearly innate, as none of my sisters and brothers ever had this
taste."

       *       *       *       *       *

Some of the incidents of his Cambridge life which he records are full of
interest in their bearing on his future career. Foremost among them
stands the friendship which he formed with Professor Henslow, whose
lectures on botany he attended. He joined in the class excursions and
found them delightful. But still more profitable to him were the long
and almost daily walks which he enjoyed with his teacher, during the
latter half of his time at Cambridge. Henslow's wide range of
acquirement, modesty, unselfishness, courtesy, gentleness, and piety,
fascinated him and exerted on him an influence which, more than anything
else, tended to shape his whole future life. The love of travel which
had been kindled by his boyish reading, now took a deeper hold of him as
he read Humboldt's "Personal Narrative" and Herschel's "Introduction to
the Study of Natural Philosophy." He determined to visit Teneriffe, and
even went so far as to inquire about ships. But his desire was soon to
be gratified in a far other and more comprehensive voyage. At the close
of his college life he was fortunate enough, through Henslow's good
offices, to accompany Sedgwick in a geological excursion in North Wales.
There can be little doubt that this short trip sufficed to efface the
dislike of geology which he had conceived at Edinburgh, and to show him
how much it was in his own power to increase the sum of geological
knowledge. To use his own phrase, he began to "work like a tiger" at
geology.

But he now had reached the main turning-point of his career. On
returning home from his ramble with Sedgwick he found a letter from
Henslow, telling him that Captain Fitz-Roy, who was about to start on
the memorable voyage of the Beagle, was willing to give up part of his
own cabin to any competent young man who would volunteer to go with him,
without pay, as a naturalist. The post was offered to Darwin and, after
some natural objections on the part of his father, accepted.

The Beagle weighed anchor from Plymouth on December 27, 1831, and
returned on October 2, 1836.

On his return to England, Darwin at once took his place among the
acknowledged men of science of his country. For a time his health
continued to be such as to allow him to get through a large amount of
work. The next two years, which in his own opinion were the most active
of his life, were spent, partly at Cambridge, and partly in London, in
the preparation of his "Journal of Researches," of the zoölogical and
geological results of the voyage, and of various papers for the
Geological and Zoölogical Societies. So keen was his geological zeal
that, almost against his better judgment, he was prevailed upon to
undertake the duties of honorary secretary of the Geological Society, an
office which he continued to hold for three years. And at each period of
enforced holiday, for his health had already begun to give way, he
occupied himself with geological work in the field. In the Midlands he
watched the operations of earthworms, and began those inquiries which
formed the subject of his last research, and of the volume on "Vegetable
Mould" which he published not long before his death. In the Highlands he
studied the famous Parallel Roads of Glen Roy; and his work there,
though in after-years he acknowledged it to be "a great failure," he
felt at the time to have been "one of the most difficult and instructive
tasks" he had ever undertaken.

In the beginning of 1839 Darwin married his cousin, daughter of Josiah
Wedgwood, and grand-daughter of the founder of the Etruria Works, and
took a house in London. But the entries of ill-health in his diary grow
more frequent. For a time he and his wife went into society, and took
their share of the scientific life and work of the metropolis. But he
was compelled gradually to withdraw from this kind of existence, which
suited neither of them, and eventually they determined to live in the
country. Accordingly, he purchased a house and grounds at Down, in a
sequestered part of Kent, some twenty miles from London, and moved
thither in the autumn of 1842. In that quiet home he passed the
remaining forty years of his life. It was there that his children were
born and grew up around him; that he carried on the researches and
worked out the generalizations that have changed the whole realm of
science; that he received his friends and the strangers who came from
every country to see him; and it was there that, after a long and
laborious life, full of ardor and work to the last, he died, at the age
of seventy-three, on April 19, 1882.

The story of his life at Down is almost wholly coincident with the
history of the development of his views on evolution, and the growth and
appearance of the successive volumes which he gave to the world. For the
first four years his geological tastes continued in the ascendant.
During that interval there appeared three remarkable works, his volume
on "Coral Islands," that on "Volcanic Islands," and his "Geological
Observations on South America."

After working up the geological results of the long voyage in the
Beagle, he set himself with great determination to more purely
geological details. While on the coast of Chili he had found a curious
new cirripede, to understand the structure of which he had to examine
and dissect many of the common forms. The memoir, which was originally
designed to describe only his new type, gradually expanded into an
elaborate monograph on the Cirripedes (barnacles) as a whole group. For
eight years he continued this self-imposed task, getting at last so
weary of it as to feel at times as if the labor had been in some sense
wasted which he had spent over it; and this suspicion seems to have
remained with him in maturer years. But when at last the two bulky
volumes, of more than one thousand pages of text, with forty detailed
plates, made their appearance, they were hailed as an admirable
contribution to the knowledge of a comparatively little known department
of the animal kingdom. In the interests of science, perhaps, their chief
value is to be recognized, not so much in their own high merit, as in
the practical training which their preparation gave the author in
anatomical detail and classification. He spoke of it himself afterward
as a valuable discipline, and Professor Huxley truly affirms that the
influence of this discipline was visible in everything which he
afterward wrote.

It was after Darwin had got rid of his herculean labors over the
"Cirripede" book, that he began to settle down seriously to the great
work of his life--the investigation of the origin of the species, of
plants and animals. Briefly, it may be stated here that he seems to have
been first led to ponder over the question of the transmutation of
species, by facts that had come under his notice during the South
American part of the voyage in the Beagle--such as the discovery of the
fossil remains of huge animals akin to, but yet very distinct from, the
living armadillos of the same regions; the manner in which closely
allied animals were found to replace one another, as he followed them
over the continent; and the remarkable character of the flora and fauna
of the Galapagos Archipelago. "It was evident," he says, "that such
facts as these, as well as many others, could only be explained on the
supposition that species gradually become modified; and the subject
haunted me." His first note-book for the accumulation of facts bearing
on the question was opened in July, 1837, and from that date he
continued to gather them "on a wholesale scale, more especially with
respect to domesticated productions, by printed inquiries, by
conversation with skilful breeders and gardeners, and by extensive
reading."

       *       *       *       *       *

He now set to work upon that epitome of his observations and deductions
which appeared in November, 1859, as the immortal "Origin of Species."

Those who are old enough to remember the publication of this work,
cannot but marvel at the change, which, since that day, not yet thirty
years ago, has come alike upon the non-scientific and the scientific
part of the community in their estimation of it. Professor Huxley has
furnished to the biography a graphic chapter on the reception of the
book, and in his vigorous and witty style recalls the furious and
fatuous objections that were urged against it. A much longer chapter
will be required to describe the change which the advent of the "Origin
of Species" has wrought in every department of science, and not of
science only, but of philosophy. The principle of evolution, so early
broached and so long discredited, has now at last been proclaimed and
accepted as the guiding idea in the investigation of nature.

One of the most marvellous aspects of Darwin's work was the way in which
he seemed always to throw a new light upon every department of inquiry
into which the course of his researches led him to look. The specialists
who, in their own narrow domains, had been toiling for years, patiently
gathering facts and timidly drawing inferences from them, were
astonished to find that one who, in their eyes, was a kind of outsider,
could point out to them the plain meaning of things which, though
entirely familiar to them, they had never adequately understood. The
central idea of the "Origin of Species" is an example of this in the
biological sciences. The chapter on the imperfection of the geological
record is another.

After the publication of the "Origin" Darwin gave to the world, during a
succession of years, a series of volumes in which some of his
observations and conclusions were worked out in fuller detail. His books
on the fertilization of orchids, on the movements and habits of climbing
plants, on the variation of animals and plants under domestication, on
the effects of cross-and self-fertilization in the vegetable kingdom, on
the different forms of flowers on plants of the same species, were
mainly based on his own quiet work in the greenhouse and garden at Down.
His volumes on the descent of man and on the expression of the emotions
in man and animals, completed his contributions to the biological
argument. His last volume, published the year before his death, treated
of the formation of vegetable mould and the habits of earthworms, and
the preparation of it enabled him to revive some of the geological
enthusiasm which so marked the earlier years of his life.

Such, in briefest outline, was the work accomplished by Charles Darwin.
The admirable biography prepared by his son enables us to follow its
progress from the beginning to its close. But higher even than the
intellect which achieved the work, was the moral character which shone
through it all.



LOUIS ADOLPHE THIERS

(1797-1877)

[Illustration: Louis Adolphe Thiers. [TN]]


Louis Adolphe Thiers, French historian, politician, and patriot, was
born at Marseilles on April 16, 1797. His father, who seems to have
belonged to a family in decayed circumstances, was a locksmith. Through
the influence of his mother, who was a Chenier, he received a good
education, first at the _Lycée_ in his native city, and subsequently
(1815) at Aix, whither he was sent to study law. At Aix he made the
acquaintance of Mignet, cultivated literature rather than the law, and
won a prize for a dissertation on Vauvenargues. Called to the bar at the
age of twenty-three, he set off for Paris in the company of Mignet. His
prospects did not seem brilliant, and his almost ludicrously squat
figure and plain face were not recommendations to Parisian society. His
industry and belief in himself were, however, unbounded, and an
introduction to Lafitte, of the _Constitutionnel_, then the leading
organ of the French liberals, gave him the chance of showing his
capacity as a public writer. His articles in the _Constitutionnel_,
chiefly on political and literary subjects, gained him the entry into
the most influential salons of the opposition. At this time he made the
acquaintance of Talleyrand, Casimir Périer, the Comte de Flahault, and
Baron Louis, the financier. Meanwhile he was rapidly--indeed too
rapidly--preparing his "Histoire de la Révolution Française." The first
two volumes--there were ten in all--appeared in 1823. This work,
although it has been demonstrated to be very untrustworthy and
inaccurate, more especially in its estimates of persons, gave its author
a prominent place among French politicians and men of letters. About
this time, too, the gift by his admirer, Cotta, the German publisher, of
a share in the _Constitutionnel_ raised him to comparative affluence. In
January, 1830, he, along with Armand Carrel, Mignet, and other friends,
started the _National_, and in its columns waged relentless war on the
Polignac administration. The ministry met the opposition it had provoked
by the Ordonnances of July. Among the other repressive measures that
were taken was the sending of a commissary of police to the office of
the _National_, interdicting its publication. Its conductors, with
Thiers at their head, defied the ministry, and the result was the
revolution which drove Charles X. into exile.

Thiers now entered on an active career as a politician. He was elected
deputy for the town of Aix, and was appointed secretary-general to the
minister of finance. His first appearance in the Chamber of Deputies
gave no promise of his subsequent distinction. His diminutive person,
his small face, encumbered with a pair of huge spectacles, and his whole
exterior presenting something of the ludicrous, the new deputy, full of
the impassioned eloquence of the revolutionary orators, attempted to
impart the thrilling emotions affected by Mirabeau. The attempt provoked
derision; but soon subsiding into the oratory natural to him--simple,
easy, rapid, anecdotic--he became one of the most formidable of
parliamentary speakers. Almost from the moment of his entrance into
public life he and Guizot stood forth in opposition to each other as the
champions of radicalism and conservatism, respectively. But he was a
stanch monarchist, and for a time a favorite with Louis Philippe. In
1832 he accepted the post of minister of the interior under Soult,
exchanging it subsequently for the ministry of commerce and public
affairs, and that in turn for the foreign office. He was universally
regarded as a stronger man than any of his chiefs during this period;
but his public and private actions alike were always marked by a certain
fussy quarrelsomeness which prevented him from being ever accounted a
statesman of the first rank. The spirited foreign policy, calculated
above all things to precipitate a quarrel between France and Great
Britain, of which for many years he was the chief advocate, is now
allowed to have been a great, and might have been a fatal, mistake. In
1836 he became president of the council, but in August of the same year
he resigned office, and became the leader of the opposition. In 1840 he
was again summoned to office as president of the council and foreign
minister. In a few months he was a terror to the peace of Europe. He
refused Lord Palmerston's invitation to enter into an alliance with
Britain, Austria, and Prussia for the preservation of the integrity of
the Ottoman empire, from a sympathy with the principles which dictated
the first Napoleon's invasion of Egypt and Syria, and a desire to
accomplish by diplomacy with Mehemet Ali what Bonaparte had endeavored
to effect by force of arms--the supremacy of France in these regions. He
talked menacingly of setting aside the treaties of 1815, and of
extending the French frontier to the Rhine, and is said to have actually
spent £8,000,000 on military and naval demonstrations. Then followed the
seizure of the Society Islands, and a well-founded protest by the
British government against the ill-treatment by the French of Mr.
Pritchard, their consul at Tahiti. In consequence of this Thiers was
forced to resign office, and retire into private life. He now returned
to the study of French history. The first volume of his "Histoire du
Consulat et de l'Empire" appeared in 1845; it was not completed till
1860. This, the most ambitious of all Thiers's literary enterprises,
must be considered a large rather than a great work. It is a monument to
its author's industry in reading, and rises here and there to rhetorical
brilliance. But that it is inaccurate and unfair has been admitted even
by French critics. Thiers greatly overrated Napoleon, and probably to
his own hurt.

Thiers was not one of the promoters of the revolution which in 1848
drove Louis Philippe from the throne. On the contrary, he would, as
prime minister summoned at the eleventh hour, have prevented it if he
could. He accepted its consequences in the form of the Republic. He
voted for the election of Prince Louis Napoleon as its president. This
action brought him much vituperation and ridicule from former political
friends. But whatever may have been the motive that inspired it, it
certainly did not help him at the time of the coup-d'état of 1851; he
was arrested, imprisoned in Mazas, and banished. Next year, however, he
was allowed to return from Switzerland to France. For eight years he was
occupied with his "History of the Consulate and Empire." He re-entered
the Chamber in 1863, having been elected liberal deputy for the
Department of the Seine in opposition to the imperialist candidate. Till
the fall of the Second Empire he was regarded as the ablest and most
formidable of its more moderate and parliamentary opponents. His
speeches in the years between 1863 and 1870 were filled with taunts of
the Empire on account of the loss of prestige which had marked its
history, and these must not be left out of account when blame has to be
apportioned among the authors of the war of 1870, although he opposed it
when declared by the Ollivier ministry, and predicted defeat.

The collapse of the Second Empire, however, enabled Thiers to play the
greatest of all his parts, that of "liberator of the territory." He
declined, after Sedan, to become a member of the Government of National
Defence; but he voluntarily undertook diplomatic journeys to Great
Britain, Russia, Austria, and Italy, on behalf of France--a self-imposed
mission in which he was unsuccessful, but by which he obtained the
gratitude of his countrymen. He was largely instrumental in securing for
his country that armistice which permitted the holding of a national
assembly with a view to the negotiation of a peace. Twenty
constituencies chose him as their deputy. Electing to sit for Paris, he
was made head of the provisional government. He had great difficulty in
persuading the colleagues of the Assembly, and his countrymen generally,
to agree to peace on terms that were practically dictated by Germany.
But he succeeded; peace was voted March 1, 1871. No sooner had he
accomplished this task than he was face to face with the sanguinary
madness of the Commune. But this difficulty also he set himself to
surmount with characteristic energy, and succeeded. When the seat of
government was once more removed from Versailles to Paris, Thiers was
formally elected (August 30) President of the French Republic. He held
office only till 1873, but during this brief period he was probably of
greater service to his country than at any previous time in his life. He
was mainly instrumental in securing the withdrawal of the Germans from
France and the payment of the war indemnity, and in placing both the
army and the civil service on a more satisfactory footing. But in course
of time the gratitude of the country exhausted itself, and Thiers, who
was old-fashioned in many of his opinions, and as opinionative as he was
old-fashioned, did not make any new friends. He was specially detested
by the Extreme Left, whose chief, Gambetta, he styled a _fou furieux_.
As a result, a coalition of Reactionaries and Radicals was formed
expressly, as it seemed, to harass him, and even in the beginning of
1872 he tendered his resignation. It was not accepted; and his opponents
for a time suspended their intrigues. They were revived, however, in
1873, and resolved themselves into a resolute effort to limit the powers
of the president. This Thiers stoutly resisted. He made an appeal to the
country, but this course did not increase the strength of his following.
Finally, what he interpreted as a vote of no confidence was carried (May
24) by a majority of sixteen. He resigned, and his place was taken by
Marshal MacMahon. He lived four years longer, and never ceased to take
an interest in politics. In 1877 he took an active part in bringing
about the fall of the ministry presided over by the Duc de Broglie. He
now leaned to the side of the Left, and was reconciled to Gambetta, and
he might once again have played a prominent part in politics had he not
died of apoplexy on September 3, 1877, at St. Germain en Laye. He has
not left behind him the memory either of a very great statesman, or of a
very great historian. But he was a man of indomitable courage, and his
patriotism, if narrow and marred with Chauvinism, was deep and genuine.
He was, perhaps, the most successful of the large class of
journalist-politicians that France has produced, and that he was at
least a personal power in literature was evidenced by the great
influence which he wielded in the Academy, of which he became a member
in 1834.



LÉON GAMBETTA

(1838-1882)

[Illustration: Léon Gambetta. [TN]]


Léon Michel Gambetta was born at Cahors on April 3, 1838. His father was
a tradesman dealing in crockery; his mother's maiden name was Massabie.
Léon's grandfather was a Genoese, who emigrated to France at the
beginning of this century; and as his name signifies, in the dialect of
Genoa, a liquid measure of two quarts capacity, it has been supposed
that it was conferred upon one of his forefathers as a sobriquet. Léon
Gambetta's grandfather was a poor man of no education, and his only
son, Léon's father, thought he had done very well for himself when he
set up a shop with the small dowry brought him by his wife, Mlle.
Massabie. The mother of Léon died while he was a child, and he was
indebted for his early teaching to his maternal aunt and to her brother,
a priest, who held a small benefice in a village near Cahors. It was at
first intended that Léon should follow his father's trade; but, as he
was a boy very apt at learning and fond of books, his uncle and aunt
decided that it would be better to put him at the seminary, with a view
to his ultimately taking holy orders. Léon's father does not seem to
have much liked this scheme, for he had no second son who could succeed
to his business; but he had a great love for his bright-witted boy, and
having conceived a high respect for his talents, yielded to the pleasing
idea that he would some day become an ornament to the Church. This
belief may be explained by the fact that Léon was, as a child, ardently
religious. When twelve years old he wrote an ode dedicated to his
"patron, St. Léon, and to all the popes called Léon," and this
composition was printed in the Catholic journal of the diocese. In
after-years some of his political enemies tried to get hold of a copy,
but failed, and published a spurious one which they gave out for his.

The career of Léon Gambetta must continue to exercise over young
advocates and journalists the same kind of fascination as that of
Napoleon I. does over young officers; and, indeed, the fact that
Bonaparte and Gambetta were both of Italian origin, and came to sudden
and great power while they were very young, was often quoted to draw a
parallel between the two. But there is this difference between Bonaparte
and Gambetta, that whereas the latter made his mark in life later by
some three or four years than the former, brilliant destinies were
prophesied for him by others besides his relations, when he was still a
child. While Bonaparte was a pupil at the school of Brienne, his masters
predicted that he would make a poor officer, because he had no aptitude
for mathematics; when Gambetta was at the seminary, his tutors foretold
that he would make a great figure in life, "but never," they regretfully
added, "as a churchman." The boy began well, but he had evidently no
vocation for the strict discipline of the Church; he was too
disputatious, not meek enough about taking blows without returning them,
and in short, too headstrong. Anticipating the judgment which M. Grévy
passed upon him when he was thirty-three years old, his ecclesiastical
masters reported of him that he was _un esprit rebelle, turbulent_, and
they advised his removal to another school.

Young Gambetta was accordingly sent to the _lycée_--that is, the lay
public school--of Cahors, and here he immediately won golden opinions
by his cleverness, his industry, and the happy vivacity of his
character. One of the half-yearly bulletins of the _lycée_, which has
been preserved in his family, records that he was "passionate without
being vindictive, and proud without arrogance." In time he became the
best Latin scholar at the school, and the most proficient in French
composition. When he was in his sixteenth year, however, an accident,
which destroyed his left eye, quelled for a time the exuberance of his
character and suddenly gave a new direction to his studies. Fearing lest
he should lose his sight altogether, he set himself to learn the
alphabet for the blind, in order that he might read in books with raised
letters; he also applied himself to the study of music and the violin.
During a whole year he was forbidden to open a book.

From Cahors Gambetta went to Paris to study law, and he quickly drew the
attention of the Imperial police upon himself by acting as ringleader in
those demonstrations which the students of the Latin Quarter were
accustomed to make in time of public excitement. Peaceful demonstrations
they always were, because the police would stand nothing like rioting,
but it was something to march at the head of a procession carrying
wreaths to the tomb of a Republican, or to lead cabals for hissing off
the stage of the Théâtre Français or the Odéon pieces by unpopular
writers, like M. Edmond About (for in those days M. About was a
Bonapartist).

Gambetta's first public speech was delivered in 1861, in defence of the
Marquis Le Guillois, a nobleman of facetious humor, who edited a comic
newspaper called _Le Hanneton_. He was seized with unexpected
nervousness as he began, but before he had stammered out a dozen
sentences he was stopped by the presiding judge, who told him mildly
that no big words were required in a cause which only involved a fine of
100 francs--"all the less so," added he, "as your client is acquitted."

Gambetta used to say after this that it took him years to recover from
the effect of the judge's quiet snub. Like many other young men of
talent, he had gone into court expecting to carry everything before him,
and had found that the art of forensic pleading is not to be acquired
without practice. He did practise most diligently, and the
speeches--some thirty in all--which he delivered in unimportant cases
during the next seven years, were conspicuous for their avoidance of
rhetorical flourish. Adolphe Crémieux had cautioned him that the secret
of oratory lies in mastering the subject of one's discourse. "Don't try
gymnastic feats until you have a firm platform to spring from"--a maxim
which a conceited young man, impatient of results, might have despised,
but which commended itself to an ambitious man who felt that, although a
chance comes to all, it is an important point to be prepared for the
chance when it does come. A plutocrat once asked Horace Vernet to "do
him a little thing in pencil" for his album. Vernet did the little thing
and asked 1,000 francs for it. "But it only took you five minutes to
draw," exclaimed the man of wealth. "Yes, but it took me thirty years to
learn to do it in five minutes," replied Vernet. And so Gambetta, when
someone remarked that he was very lucky in having conquered renown by a
single speech, broke out impetuously, "I was years preparing that
speech--twenty times I wanted to deliver it, but did not feel that I had
it here (touching his head), though it palpitated here (thumping his
breast) as if it would break my heart."

The speech in question was delivered on November 17, 1868, before the
notorious Judge Delesvaux (who has been called the Jeffreys of the
Second Empire), in defence of Louis Charles Delescluze, editor of the
_Réveil_. The _Réveil_ had started a subscription for erecting a
monument to the memory of the Representative Baudin, who was killed at
the _coup-d'état_ of 1851, and the Government unwisely instituted a
prosecution against the editor. It was late in the afternoon when the
case was called on after a number of others, but the sixth chamber was
crowded with journalists and barristers, as it always was on Fridays,
when Delesvaux--a man with hawk-like features and a flaming
complexion--would sit "tearing up newspaper articles with beak and
talons," as Émile de Girardin said of him. Just before Gambetta rose,
Delesvaux observed, "I suppose you have not much to say; so it will
hardly be worth while to have the gas lighted." "Never mind the gas,
sir, I will throw light enough on this affair," answered Gambetta; and
it was amid the laughter produced by this joke that he began. His genius
found vent that day, and he spoke from first to last without a halt.
Reviewing his client's case, he brought Napoleon III. himself to book,
and recalled the circumstances under which Baudin had died, "defending
that Republican Constitution which President Louis Bonaparte, in
contempt of his oath, had violated." At this, Judge Delesvaux half rose
in his seat and endeavored to stop the speaker, but a positive roar from
the whole crowd in court forced him to sit down. It was a sign of the
approaching political earthquake that Delesvaux should have sat down in
that way, for he was a man of great resolution; but he must have felt
then as if the earth were trembling under him. So Gambetta continued to
speak, denouncing with unimaginable energy the tyrannies and turpitudes
of the reign which had confiscated all the liberties of France, till at
last he concluded with this magnificent peroration, which was rendered
most solemn by the increasing darkness of the court and the intense
attentive silence of the audience: "In every country but this you see
the people commemorate as a holiday the date which brought the reigning
dynasty to the throne. You alone are ashamed of the day which gave you a
blood-stained crown--the December 2d when Baudin died! Well, that day
which you reject, we Republicans will keep holy. It shall be the day of
mourning for our martyrs and the festival of our hopes!"

When Gambetta left the court after this, it was felt by all who had
heard him that he was the coming man of the Republican party; and next
day opposition journals of every shade of opinion, from one end of
France to the other, acclaimed him as a future leader.

Within the next two years the Republican party made such rapid strides
that to regain his prestige the French emperor felt that a glorious war
was necessary. The leader of the moderate reformers, M. Ollivier, was
won over, and was forced upon Prussia. Gambetta and the Republicans felt
that they had every cause for fear when matters had taken this turn.
Relying upon Marshal Leboeuf's assurances that "everything was ready,"
they saw the prospect of a short sensational campaign like that against
Austria in 1859, to be followed by some high-handed stroke of home
policy that would sweep most of them into prison or exile. Gambetta
could not refrain from bitterly upbraiding Ollivier. "You will find that
you have been fooled in all this," he said; "for when the war is over
you will be thrown aside like a squeezed orange." "I think my fate will
be a happier one than yours, unless you mend your manners," answered
Ollivier dryly. Three weeks after this, however, everything was changed.
The imperial armies had been beaten at Woerth and Forbach; the Ollivier
cabinet had fallen amid popular execration (hardly deserved); and
Gambetta, forced by circumstances into a position of great influence,
received a private visit from Madame Bazaine, who prayed him to agitate
that her husband might be appointed as the commander-in-chief of the
armies. Gambetta was too sincerely patriotic to feel any partisan
satisfaction at the reverse which Napoleon III.'s armies had suffered;
and in stirring up the Republicans in the Chamber and in the press to
clamor for the appointment of Bazaine, he believed he was urging the
claims of a competent soldier who was being kept from the chief command
solely by dynastic jealousies. He was to learn, a couple of months
later, how much he had been mistaken in his estimate of Bazaine's
talents and rectitude of purpose; and, indeed, Bazaine's conduct toward
Gambetta and the Republicans from first to last was the more
inexplicable, as it was unquestionably owing to their agitation that he
was placed in the high position which he had coveted.

During the three weeks between Forbach and Sedan, Gambetta had to take
rather exciting precautions to insure his own safety. He was aware that
the Empress-Regent's advisers were urging her to have the leaders of the
opposition arrested, and he felt pretty certain that this course would
be adopted if the news of a victory arrived. He used to sleep in a
different house every night, and never ventured abroad unattended or
without firearms. His position was one of great difficulty, for agents
of the Internationale made overtures to him with a view to promote an
insurrection in Paris, and he forfeited the confidence of these fanatics
by declining to abet their plans. Gambetta was so little desirous of
establishing a republic by revolution that, even when the tidings
arrived on the night of September 3d of the emperor's surrender at
Sedan, his chief concern was as to how he could get the deposition of
Napoleon III. and the Empress-Regent effected by lawful methods. He
hastened to M. Thiers's house, and asked him whether he would accept the
presidency of a provisional government? Thiers, sitting up in bed, said
he was willing, provided that this office was conferred upon him by the
Corps Législatif.

Accordingly, Gambetta spent all the morning of Sunday, September 4th,
whipping up members of the majority, and trying to persuade them to go
down to the Palais Bourbon and elect a new government. But he found most
of these gentlemen anxious to get off to the different railway stations
as soon as possible in cabs. Going to the Chamber himself toward one
o'clock, he was carried through the doors by the surging mob which
invaded the palace, and in half an hour he shouted himself quite hoarse
in adjuring the crowds from the tribune to let the Assembly deliberate
in peace. But while he was literally croaking in his attempts to make
the people hear reason, news was brought to him that M. Blanqui and some
other adventurous spirits, taking time by the forelock, had repaired to
the Hôtel de Ville, and were setting up a government of their own. Upon
this, Gambetta precipitately left the palace, jumped into a victoria,
and drove to the Hôtel de Ville, amid a mob of several thousands of
persons who escorted him, cheering all the way. Before five o'clock the
deputies for Paris, with the exception of M. Thiers, had constituted
themselves into a government, which, at the suggestion of M. Rochefort,
took the name of Government of the National Defence; and M. Gambetta
received the appointment of Minister of the Interior. It may be remarked
in passing that on the day after these events, Judge Delesvaux, fearing,
perhaps needlessly, that some of the triumphant Republicans whom he had
so often punished would wreak vengeance upon him, committed suicide. On
the other hand, Gambetta's client in the Baudin affair--L. C.
Delescluze--came to him on the morning of September 5th, and reproached
him with much asperity for not having caused the empress to be arrested.
"We want no rose-water Republicans to rule us," said this honest, but
gloomy, zealot, who was shot a few months later during the extermination
of the Commune.

The siege of Paris brought M. Gambetta to the most romantic part of his
career. The National Defence Government had delegated two of their
members, MM. Crémieux and Glaiz-Bizoin, to go to Tours and govern the
provinces; but being both elderly men of weak health, they were hardly
up to their work; and early in October M. Gambetta was ordered by his
colleagues to join them. He had to leave Paris in a balloon, and in
going over the German lines nearly met with misadventure, through the
balloon sinking till it came within range of some marksmen's rifles. He
reached Tours in safety, however, and set to work at once with
marvellous activity to organize resistance against the invasion. He was
ably seconded by M. de Freycinet, and between them these two did all
that was humanly possible to perform; but from the first their task was
one of formidable difficulty, and all chances of repelling the Germans
from French soil vanished after the shameful capitulation of Bazaine at
Metz.

Nevertheless, all who saw M. Gambetta during his proconsulate at Tours
will remember with what a splendid energy he worked, how sincerely
hopeful he was, and--this must not be forgotten--how uniformly generous
and genial. Invested with despotic powers, he never once abused them to
molest an opponent.

[Illustration: The enrollment of volunteers, 1870.]

In his public harangues, both at Tours and Bordeaux (whither the
Provisional Government repaired in December, being driven southward by
the German advance), he somehow always managed to electrify his hearers.
He spoke from balconies, railway carriages, curb-stones; wherever he
went the people demanded a speech of him, and his words never failed to
cheer, while they conquered for him a wide popularity. Indeed, Gambetta
so deluded himself while diffusing hope and combativeness into
others, that when, after a five months' siege, Paris capitulated, he
still persisted in thinking that resistance was possible, and rather
than take any part in the national surrender he gave in his resignation.
He was by that time fairly worn out, and had to go to St. Sebastian to
recruit his health. It was alleged that he went there so as to avoid
taking any side in the civil war between the Parliament of Versailles
and the Commune; but after the Communist Government had been at work a
fortnight, and when the impracticability of its aims was fully
disclosed, he took care to let it be known that he was on the side of
the National Assembly.

M. Thiers did not understand Gambetta as Gambetta understood him, or he
would not have resigned in 1873, saying that the Republicans were making
his work too difficult. When Marshal MacMahon succeeded to the
Presidency it looked as if the Republic were doomed, and nothing but M.
Gambetta's wonderful suppleness and tact during the sessions of 1874-75
could have saved it. He had to keep himself in the background, to use an
Italian astuteness in explaining away the blunders of his followers; and
when this would not do he had to use violent language, which should
frighten timid doctrinaire Orleanists with prospects of popular risings
in which he would take the lead. His greatest triumphs were earned when,
by dint of superhuman coaxing in the lobbies, he got the Republic
proclaimed as the Government of France (in 1875, on M. Wallon's motion)
by a majority of one vote; and again when, at the first election for
life senators, he concluded a treaty with the Legitimists, and by giving
them a dozen seats, secured fifty for the Republicans and ousted the
Orleanists altogether.

From this time the Republic was founded with at least temporary
security, and although a coalition of all the reactionary parties
rallied against it in 1877, when M. Jules Simon's ministry was
dismissed, and when the Duc de Broglie was induced to try to destroy the
new form of government by Cæsarist methods, yet there was never any real
danger that the Republic would succumb. From the day when M. Thiers
died, M. Gambetta stood guarding it like a sentinel. Just before the
general election of 1877, an emissary was sent to him from the De
Broglie-Fourtou Ministry, requesting him for his own sake not to make a
speech against Marshal MacMahon. He laughed when he heard that he would
be prosecuted if he made the speech. He was twirling a cigarette, and
laid down a copy of the _Revue des Deux Mondes_ in which he had been
reading an essay on Mr. Gladstone's speeches about the Irish Church.
"Tell the Prime Minister," he said, "that I will speak from a pedestal
if I can, but if not, from a housetop. In one way or another, my voice
shall reach further than his, and so long as I have a drop of blood to
shed the Republic shall not fall." M. Gambetta was sentenced to four
months' imprisonment for the speech in which he said that Marshal
MacMahon would have to yield to the popular will or resign, but before
he could be put into jail the De Broglie cabinet had ceased to exist.
Marshal MacMahon's resignation in 1879 was the obviously natural
consequence of the complete victory which the Republicans gained in
1877; but it was greatly to M. Gambetta's credit that he quietly
tolerated during fifteen months the presidency of the gallant soldier
who had never been his friend. When urged to agitate for the marshal's
overthrow, he always said, "It will do the Republic good if its first
president serves his term of office quietly to the end."

Had Gambetta lived till 1885 he would probably have been the next
president of the Republic he had established and preserved; but it was
not to be. His work was done. He died December 31, 1882.



BENJAMIN DISRAELI[16]

By HARRIET PRESCOTT SPOFFORD

(1804-1881)

         [Footnote 16: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Benjamin Disraeli. [TN]]


Since the days of Richelieu, there has been no such picturesque figure
in the history of civilization as that of Benjamin Disraeli.

Although his father, Isaac Disraeli, was in much more than easy
circumstances and had made a literary reputation, he was under the
social disadvantage that was the portion of a Jew, and his mother, Maria
Basevi, was of the same despised race.

Their son was born in London, December 21, 1804, and his birth was
attended by the usual Jewish ceremonies in the Spanish synagogue. When
he was thirteen years old his father formally withdrew from the Jewish
congregation, and the children were baptized into the Christian faith,
Benjamin's godfather being Sharon Turner. The boy was early seen to have
rare talents, and he was already an immense reader in his father's vast
library. It was decided to give him an exact education and send him to
one of the large schools, where he should have the advantage of
discipline and the opportunity of desirable friendships; but the
prejudice against his birth was an obstacle--life would have been made
impossible by the indelicacy and cruelty of the high-born and Christian
lads. He was finally sent to a school where he found himself the
superior of his masters; even there he was taunted with his birth; and
he was taken home to work with his father and with tutors, where,
conscious of his powers and full of lively ambition, he studied twelve
hours a day, and made himself the master of a vast and varied
information. At seventeen he entered a solicitor's office, and while
working there for three years, entered at Lincoln's Inn, he evinced an
ability that promised him great eminence. It was not, however,
precisely the sort of eminence that he desired, the strifes and
achievements of political life being more to his taste.

He had the qualities which fitted him for that life, the "taking arts"
and accomplishments; he was a fine linguist; he had a wonderfully
well-stored memory, great self-confidence, self-respect, and assurance;
his manners were easy, and he had all social graces and refinements; his
face was singularly handsome, and remarkable through its pallor, the
depth of its black eyes, and delicacy of its chiselled features framed
in night-dark curls; he was a master of the art of self-defence, a hard
and fine rider, and he was equipped with wit, sarcasm, poetical
perception, keen reason, unbounded ambition, and undaunted courage.

He dressed in his early years in a manner that has been described as
extraordinary, but which was the manner of the young men of the period,
of D'Orsay and of Bulwer, at the time when Tennyson called the latter a
band-box. Later his dress was more negligent, although always neat and
fine.

He was on pleasant terms with the distinguished people whom he met at
his father's table, and was everywhere sought in society, when, at
twenty, he began his career by the publication of "Vivian Grey," a
novel, unlike anything that had been written, bristling with point and
sally, and full of daring portraiture, and which made him immediately
famous.

His health, however, now gave way, a trouble in his head making it
necessary to suspend work; and after a tour of Europe he remained for
two or three years at Bradenham, near High Wycombe, his father's
country-house, happy in the companionship of his father and mother, and
his thoroughly congenial sister Sarah; passionately fond of country
life, and during the time producing a novel, "The Young Duke," and three
shorter works, "Popanilla," "The Infernal Marriage," and "Ixion in
Heaven," gay and brilliant satires, sparkling with epigram and with
beauty, and destined to live with the English language and English
history.

In company with Mr. Meredith, to whom his sister was promised in
marriage, he journeyed for the next two years through the south of
Europe and the East. Spain was among the first of his objective points,
in the proud memory of his descent from the Spanish nobles who, driven
out of Spain in the fifteenth century, went over to Venice, and changed
the name belonging to the House of Dara to that of D'Israeli, the sons
of Israel--a cognomen never borne by any other family--and remained
there for two hundred years, going to England only when, Venice falling
into decay, it was necessary to go where they could live in safety. He
wrote the account of his travels to his sister in a series of
affectionate and light-hearted letters, which charmingly betray his own
personality, and which are full of the most vivid pictures of Malta,
Corfu, Albania, the Plains of Troy, Turkey--which was kind to his race
when a cruel and unreasoning world showed it only malignant hate, and
which he regarded with the gratitude that never forsakes a Jew; Cyprus,
the advantage of whose possession he early recognized; Egypt, whose
destinies were afterward in his hand; and Jerusalem, the holy city of
his people, his impressions of which "Tancred" afterward embodied,
together with a foreshadowing of much of his policy in the East. The
journey made him acquainted with the theatre of his intentions, and with
the prepossessions which it gave or fostered, doubtless had a great
influence upon his life and action. The close of the journey was
darkened by the death of his companion, for whom his sister mourned as
long as she lived.

After his return home he wrote a new novel, "Contarini Fleming," a
wonderful and poetical study of temperament, which Milman pronounced the
equal of "Childe Harold," which Goethe and Heine and Beckford, the
author of "Vathek," praised with delighted warmth. The "Wondrous Tale of
Alroy," also, published a little later, with "The Rise of Iskander,"
Beckford found stirring and full of intensity and charm.

In 1832 Disraeli offered himself as an independent candidate for the
borough of High Wycombe. The Government of course defeated him; and not
until after several hot contests during the next few years, did he gain
his end, taking his seat, then at the age of thirty-three, in Queen
Victoria's first Parliament. The character of the struggle at these
elections may be inferred from O'Connell's declaration in one of them,
that in all probability this "Disraeli was the heir-at-law of the
blasphemous thief that died on the cross." Disraeli challenged
O'Connell's son, who failed to accept the challenge. But Disraeli never
cherished a grudge; and only three weeks after he entered Parliament he
risked his seat there by a pointed statement of the misgovernment of
Ireland. Neither did O'Connell bear malice, and he said of one of
Disraeli's speeches, somewhat later, that "it was all excellent except
the peroration, and that was matchless." Not only in O'Connell's case
was this impossibility in Disraeli's nature of doing anything ignoble
shown; he secured, when in power, a life-pension to the widow and
children of the artist Leech, who had for half a lifetime showered him
with the cruel ridicule of the caricaturist; and he offered the Grand
Cross of the Bath, and a life-income suitable to the maintenance of its
dignity, to Carlyle, who had pursued him now with contempt and now with
malignity. In the intervals of the electoral contests a series of
letters to _The Times_, filled with biting sarcasm, under the signature
of "Runnymede;" a novel--"Henrietta Temple;" a "Vindication of the
British Constitution," dedicated to Lord Lyndhurst; a contrasting
presentation of the characters of Byron and Shelley, in the form of
romance, under the title of "Venetia," sufficiently occupied Disraeli's
time. He was, meanwhile, in the vortex of gay social life, a member of
the Carlton Club, the friend of Count D'Orsay, Lady Blessington, Mrs.
Norton, Lady Dufferin, Bulwer, Tom Moore, Lady Morgan, of Lyndhurst, of
the public men and of the men of fashion, and he was courted by princes
and pretty women. He had come to Parliament prepared as few or none
before him, with coolness, courage, wit, and eloquence, and with a
far-seeing sagacity that enabled him to make the most of something like
the gift of prophecy. But he was handicapped with the fact of his race,
with his debts, which, although he was not personally extravagant or at
all self-indulgent, had become heavy, with the absence of a constituency
or a popular cause; and having no landed property, nor belonging even
remotely to any great family, he was looked upon both by Whig and Tory
as more or less of an adventurer.

Like almost all young men, his first preferences and professions were
for reform. But brought face to face with responsibility he modified his
opinions; and the great power and place that he ultimately won, were won
through the originality, the thought, the force, and the independence
that dared act without reference to his own advantage, and the splendid
courage that was undismayed by any odds. Although he could have acquired
office in the earlier years by withholding open expression of his
opinions, he preferred his freedom; and although always in want of
money, he never made a penny by means of the place or the power that he
won, or even through the legitimate opportunities which these offered.

His first speech in Parliament was attended by peculiar circumstances. A
number of the ruder members of the opposition were determined that he
should not be heard, and they drowned every sentence in derisive cheers
and mocking yells. Disraeli bore it with dignity, but as it was
impossible to proceed in the noisy and barbarous din, he closed by
saying that he had begun several times many things, and had succeeded at
last; and then in a tone that resounded even above the clamor, for he
had at all times a sonorous and impressive voice, he cried, "I will sit
down now. But the time will come when you will hear me!" Of this speech
Peel said it was anything but failure; and Sir John Campbell, the
Attorney-General, assured him that there was a lively desire in the
opposing party to hear him, but they were hindered by a coterie over
whom they had no control. In describing the scene, in a letter to his
sister that night, with great frankness, as disastrous, Disraeli signed
himself, "Yours in very good spirits." When he spoke, a week afterward,
he commanded the attention of the House.

Disraeli had always declared that no government should have his support
which did not seek to improve the condition of the poor; and as he
looked at the British constitution and social construction, he believed
that the Conservatives were the best able to accomplish this end.
Because he was a Jew he was none the less an Englishman, and he had the
true interests of the United Kingdom at heart. He held that the strength
of England lay in the land, and he supported the corn laws from stern
principle. "It will be an exception to the principles which seem
hitherto to have ruled society," he exclaimed, "if you can maintain the
success at which you aim, without the possession of that permanence and
stability which the territorial principle alone can afford. Although you
may for a moment flourish after their destruction, although your ports
may be filled with shipping, your factories smoke on every plain, and
your forges flame in every city, I see no reason why you should form an
exception to that which the page of history has mournfully recorded,
that you should not fade like Tyrian dye, and moulder like the Venetian
palaces."

He was already, in 1839, to a certain extent, a power in Parliament,
launching the shafts of his sarcasm alike at the Chancellor of the
Exchequer or an Under Secretary; and in this year he published his
tragedy of "Count Alarcos," and married Mrs. Wyndham Lewis, the wealthy
widow of his friend and colleague, several years his senior, but through
thirty years his invaluable friend and _confidante_. In dedicating
"Sybil" to her, he said, "I would inscribe this work to one whose noble
spirit and gentle nature ever prompt her to sympathize with the
suffering; to one whose sweet voice has often encouraged and whose taste
and judgment have ever guided its pages, the most severe of critics, but
a perfect wife." Her devotion to him was illustrated by her behavior one
night when, on the eve of an exciting session, she drove with him to
Palace Yard, and her hand being crushed in the carriage-door, she gave
no sign, lest it should disturb his train of thought and lessen his
power in the approaching debate, and endured her agony without blenching
till he had left her. He rewarded such devotion in kind, his happiest
hours were those spent in her society, and perhaps the proudest moment
of his life was that when, the Queen having offered him a peerage, he
declined it for himself but accepted it for his wife, and made her
Viscountess Beaconsfield in her own right.

Immediately upon their marriage Mr. Disraeli travelled with his wife for
a couple of months on the continent; and returning to London he received
the congratulations of Peel, Wellington, and others, and began to
entertain the party chiefs; he dined privately with Louis Philippe in
Paris, shook hands with the King of Hanover in London, and in every way
took his social and personal position firmly. In Parliament he crossed
swords with Palmerston, refused his support to Peel's Coercion Bill in
relation to Ireland, characterizing it as one of those measures which to
introduce was degrading, and to oppose disgraceful; later he maintained
that as revolution was the only remedy for the wrongs of Ireland, and as
her connection with England prevented revolution, therefore it was the
duty of England to effect by policy what revolution would effect by
force, and as he had defended the Chartist petition, so in turn, when
the Eastern Question came up, he defended Turkey; in all this making it
supremely plain that he never was the one to truckle to rank or
authority. He was the head of the small party of Young Englanders; he
was feared and respected by both the larger parties; and the Commons,
whose assemblage he had scornfully proclaimed a thing of past history,
if they did not choose, had presently to accept him for their leader.

Henry Hope, entertaining a number of their friends at Deepdene, urged
Disraeli to treat the questions of common interest in a literary form,
and the powerful works--rather treatises than novels--"Coningsby" and
"Sybil," appeared; and these were followed by "Tancred," in which the
curious reader will find much of Disraeli's Eastern policy indicated.
These three books the author regarded as a trilogy upon English
politics, principles, and possibilities.

As a debater, then and always, Disraeli was keen, ready, and
unanswerable; as a satirist, swift, subtle, and finished. His epigrams
were among the "jewels that on the stretched forefinger of all time
sparkle forever." It was he that said "Destiny is our will, and our will
is nature." At another time he said, "The critics--they are those who
have failed in literature and in art." When Prince Napoleon was slain
he exclaimed, "A very remarkable people the Zulus: they defeat our
generals, they convert our bishops, they have settled the fate of a
great European dynasty." Every one remembers the startling sentence in
which he condemned Mr. Gladstone's Irish policy of 1868: "We have
legalized confiscation; we have consecrated sacrilege; we have condoned
treason." And his power of picturesque mockery appears in a speech made,
in 1872, immediately before the downfall of the Gladstone ministry: "As
I sat opposite the Treasury bench the ministers reminded me of those
marine landscapes not unusual on the coasts of South America. You behold
a range of exhausted volcanoes. Not a flame flickers on a single pallid
crest. But the situation is still dangerous. There are occasional
earthquakes, and ever and anon the dark rumbling of the sea." His
attacks on Peel have been pronounced to be among the most remarkable
speeches in the annals of the British Legislature. In 1849, at which
period also he wrote the biography of his father and the memoir of his
friend Lord George Bentinck, he was the recognized leader of the
Conservatives. When Peel was overthrown, Disraeli, who had overthrown
him, after a brief period, succeeded to his place.

It was not with cordiality that the Conservatives submitted to
Disraeli's direction. He had carried himself in relation to them with an
unsurpassed independence. He was of a people whom they held in contempt,
and whose admission to Parliament he had enforced. In his speeches he
had spared none of them. He had no friend at court, and he was still
very young. But there was no help for it--he was master of the
situation, and master of them. He was now thrice Chancellor of the
Exchequer; and for a quarter of a century he led the opposition in the
House of Commons, except in the brief intervals when he was identified
with the Government. In leading the opposition he was never an
obstructionist; and he lent his aid to every generous measure, such as
the reduction of the hours of labor, the protection of factory children,
the improvement of the homes of the poor, the extension of the suffrage.
He refused English interference on the side of the South during the
Civil War in the United States of America; he hindered disastrous
hostilities with France at the time of Louis Napoleon's _coup-d'état_;
he would have prevented the Crimean War had it been possible; and he
would not allow retaliation in kind for the Sepoy atrocities. He did the
most and the best with his opportunities. His policy was always to
develop and sustain English character. "There is no country," he said in
a remarkable warning to the House, "at the present moment that exists
under the same circumstances and under the same conditions as the people
of this realm. You have an ancient, powerful, and richly endowed Church,
and perfect religious liberty. You have unbroken order and complete
freedom. You have landed estates as large as the Romans, combined with a
commercial enterprise such as Carthage and Venice united never equalled.
And you must remember that this peculiar country, with these strong
contrasts, is not governed by force. It is governed by a most singular
series of traditionary influences, which generation after generation
cherishes and preserves, because it knows that they embalm custom and
represent law. And with this you have created the greatest empire of
modern times. You have amassed a capital of fabulous amount. You have
devised and sustained a system of credit still more marvellous, and you
have established a scheme so vast and complicated of labor and industry
that the history of the world affords no parallel to it. And these
mighty creations are out of all proportion to the essential and
indigenous elements and resources of the country. If you destroy that
state of society, remember this: _England cannot begin again._"

In religion Disraeli accepted Christianity fully--but as a completion of
the Hebrew revelation. He coupled in thought and word "the sacred
heights of Sinai and of Calvary." He was proud of his great people, and
never hesitated to declare his pride. "All the north of Europe worship a
Jew," he said, "and all the south of Europe worship a Jew's mother." In
spite of the fact that he was an Asiatic by nature, he despised what he
called the pagan ceremonies of the ritualists, and distrusted what he
felt to be the atheistic tendency of science.

Shortly after his father's death, Mr. Disraeli had purchased with his
paternal inheritance the manor of Hughenden, near Bradenham, in whose
park his wife erected a monument to his father; and there, in the
intervals of public business, he found quiet and enjoyment with his
peacocks and swans and owls, his gardening, his tenantry. His books
brought him in great sums of money; a friend, Mrs. Brydges Willyams, of
Torquay, after twelve years of romantic intimacy with him and his wife,
bequeathed him a fortune, and lies buried by the side of himself and
Lady Beaconsfield at Hughenden. His circumstances were easy, his fame
was assured, and when he went down to Parliament for the first time
after he became Prime Minister, the crowds outside cheered him to the
echo, the crowds within took up the acclaim, and the House that once had
silenced him with derisive mockery, hailed with wild welcome this man
who, without money, without birth, without support, had made himself, by
force of will, courage, genius, loyalty, and truth, the ruler of the
British Empire.

While he was again in opposition Mr. Disraeli took occasion to write
"Lothair," a precise portraiture of the British aristocracy and a clear
presentation of its relation to the Church, the spirit of revolution,
the intrigues of the ultramontanes, the simplicity of true religion;
every page splendid with wit and with picturesque charm. During another
period of enforced leisure he wrote "Endymion," in which there are some
slight autobiographical features.

Succeeded by Mr. Gladstone as prime minister, a half-dozen years later
Disraeli was again at the helm. The Eastern question was then one of
passionate interest; and when Russia was dictating terms of peace with
the Ottoman, Mr. Disraeli insisted on their revision at a Conference of
all the Powers, held at Berlin, which he attended in person, and where
he obliged Russia to yield, and won a great diplomatic victory.[17] He
returned to London, said Mr. Froude, "in a blaze of glory, bearing
peace with honor." He was made Earl of Beaconsfield, and given the
Garter; and before he went into retirement again, after the nation had
revived its interest in imperialism, he had acquired the mastery of the
Suez Canal, and he had annexed Cyprus, and, by giving the queen the
additional title of Empress of India, this child of the Orient had made
of Great Britain an Oriental empire. He had ruled the country for six
consecutive years when he next went into retirement. He died shortly
afterward, from the effect of a severe cold, aggravating an attack of
gout, on April 19, 1881.

         [Footnote 17: In the painting of the Berlin Conference by
         Werner, Prince Gortschakoff is seated at the left with his hand
         on Disraeli's arm. Prince Bismarck in the foreground is shaking
         hands with Count Schuvaloff, while Count Andrassy stands beside
         them. Lord Russell is seated a little farther to the right;
         behind him on the other side of the table is Lord Salisbury.
         The figure on the extreme right is Mehemet Ali.]

In public or in private Disraeli never did a dishonorable action. He
never attacked the weak or the defenceless, but singled out the proudest
adversary. He never held malice. His impulses were always the most
generous, his ideas and his purposes of the largest. He desired in all
things the good of his country, and he sought it by what seemed to him,
whether or not he was mistaken, the surest and loftiest ways.

[Signature of the author.]



WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE

By JUSTIN MCCARTHY

(Born 1809)

[Illustration: Axes. [TN]]


William Ewart Gladstone, statesman, orator, and author, was born in
Rodney Street, Liverpool, on December 29, 1809. He is the fourth son of
Sir John Gladstone (1764-1851), a well-known, and it might almost be
said a famous, Liverpool merchant, who sat for some years in Parliament,
and was a devoted friend and supporter of George Canning. Mr. Gladstone
is of Scotch descent, on both sides, and has declared more than once in
a public speech that the blood that runs in his veins is exclusively
Scottish. He was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford. He
became a student at Oxford in 1829, and graduated as a double
first-class, in 1831. He had distinguished himself greatly as a speaker
in the Oxford Union Debating Society, and had before that time written
much in the _Eton Miscellany_, which indeed he helped to found. He
appears to have begun his career as a strong opponent of all advanced
measures of political reform. In the Oxford Union he proposed a vote of
censure on the government of Lord Grey for introducing the great Reform
Bill which was carried in 1832, and on the Duke of Wellington, because
of his having yielded to the claims for Catholic emancipation. He also
opposed a motion in favor of immediate emancipation of the slaves in the
West Indian islands. He soon became known as a young man of promise, who
would be able to render good service to the Conservative party in the
great struggle which seemed likely to be forced upon them--a struggle,
as many thought, for their very existence. It was a time of intense
political emotion. Passion and panic alike prevailed. The first great
"leap in the dark" had been taken; the Reform Bill was carried, the
sceptre of power had passed away from the aristocracy and the privileged
ranks to the middle and lower middle classes. The Conservative party
were looking eagerly out for young men of promise to stiffen their ranks
in the new parliament, the first elected under the Reform Bill, the
first which the middle class had their due share in creating; the first
in which such cities as Manchester and Liverpool and Birmingham were
allowed to have representation.

Mr. Gladstone was invited to contest the burgh of Newark in the
Conservative interest, and he had the support of the great Newcastle
family. He stood for Newark, and he was elected. He delivered his maiden
speech on a subject connected with the great movement for the
emancipation of the West Indian slaves; but he seems to have confined
himself mainly to a defence of the manner in which his father's estates
were managed, the course of the debate having brought out some charge
against the management of the elder Gladstone's possessions in one of
the West Indian islands. The new orator appears to have made a decided
impression on the House of Commons. His manner, his voice, his diction,
his fluency were alike the subject of praise. Mr. Gladstone evidently
continued to impress the House of Commons with a sense of his great
parliamentary capacity. We get at this fact rather obliquely; for we do
not hear of his creating any great sensation in debate; and to this day
some very old members of the House insist that for a long time he was
generally regarded as merely a fluent speaker, who talked like one
reading from a book. But on the other hand, we find that he is described
by Macaulay, in 1839, as "the rising hope" of the "stern and unbending
Tories," and the whole tone of Macaulay's essay--a criticism of
Gladstone's first serious attempt at authorship, his book on the
relations between church and state--shows that the critic treats the
author as a young man of undoubted mark and position in the House of
Commons.

[Illustration: Hawarden Castle, the home of Gladstone.]

In December, 1834, Sir Robert Peel appointed Gladstone to the office of
a Junior Lord of the Treasury. In the next year Peel, who was quick to
appreciate the great abilities and the sound commercial knowledge of his
new recruit, gave to him the more important post of Under-secretary for
the Colonies. Gladstone looked up to Peel with intense admiration. There
was much to draw the two men together. Knowledge of finance, thorough
understanding and firm grasp of the principles on which a nation's
business must be conducted--perhaps, it may be added, a common origin in
the middle class--these points of resemblance might well have become
points of attraction. But there were other and still higher sympathies
to bring them close. The elder and the younger man were alike earnest,
profoundly earnest; filled with conscience in every movement of their
political and private lives; a good deal too earnest and serious,
perhaps, for most of the parliamentary colleagues by whom they were
surrounded. Mr. Gladstone always remained devoted to Peel, and knew him
perhaps more thoroughly and intimately than any other man was privileged
to do. Peel went out of office very soon after he had made Mr. Gladstone
Under-secretary for the Colonies. Lord John Russell had brought forward
a series of motions on the ominous subject of the Irish Church, and Peel
was defeated and resigned. It is almost needless to say that Gladstone
went with him. Peel came back again in office in 1841, on the fall of
the Melbourne administration, and Mr. Gladstone became Vice-president of
the Board of Trade and Master of the Mint, and was at the same time
sworn in a member of the Privy Council. In 1843 he became President of
the Board of Trade. Early in 1845 he resigned his office because he
could not approve of the policy of the government with regard to the
Maynooth grant.

The great struggle on the question of the repeal of the Corn Laws was
now coming on. It would be impossible that a man with Mr. Gladstone's
turn of mind and early training could have continued a protectionist,
when once he applied his intellect and his experience to a practical
examination of the subject. Once again he went with his leader. Peel saw
that there was nothing for it but to accept the principles of the Free
Trade party, who had been bearing the fiery cross of their peaceful and
noble agitation all through the country, and were gathering adherents
wherever they went.

It is a somewhat curious fact that Mr. Gladstone was not in the House of
Commons during the eventful session when the great battle of free trade
was fought and won. In thorough sympathy with Peel, he had joined the
government again as Colonial Secretary. Knowing that he could no longer
be in political sympathy with the Duke of Newcastle, whose influence had
obtained for him the representation of Newark, he had given up his seat,
and did not come into Parliament again until the struggle was over. At
the general elections in 1847, Mr. Gladstone, still accepted as a Tory,
was chosen one of the representatives for the University of Oxford.

Up to the time of the abolition of the Corn Laws, or at least of the
movement which led to their abolition, Mr. Gladstone had been a Tory of
a rather old-fashioned school. The corn-law agitation probably first set
him thinking over the possible defects of the social and legislative
system, and showed him the necessity for reform at least in one
direction. The interests of religion itself at one time seemed to him to
be bound up with the principles of the Tory party; and no doubt there
was a period of his career when the principle of protection would have
seemed to him as sacred as any other part of the creed. With a mind like
his, inquiry once started, must go on. There was always something
impetuous in the workings of his intellect, as well as the rush of his
sympathy. He startled Europe, and indeed the whole civilized world, by
the terrible and only too truthful description which he gave, in 1851,
of the condition of the prisons of Naples under the king who was known
by the nickname of "Bomba," and the cruelties which were inflicted on
political prisoners in particular. Again and again, in Mr. Gladstone's
public life we shall see him carried away by the same generous and
passionate emotion on behalf of the victims of despotic cruelty in any
part of the world. Burke himself could not be more sympathetic, more
earnest, or more strong.

By the death of Sir Robert Peel, in 1850, Mr. Gladstone had lost a
trusted leader, and a dear friend. But the loss of his leader had
brought Gladstone himself more directly to the front. It was not till
after Peel's death that he compelled the House of Commons and the
country to recognize in him a supreme master of parliamentary debate.
The first really great speech made by Mr. Gladstone in Parliament--the
first speech which would fairly challenge comparison with any of the
finest speeches of a past day--was made in the debate on Mr. Disraeli's
budget in the winter of 1852, the first session of the new Parliament.
Mr. Disraeli knew well that his government was doomed to fall. He knew
that it could not survive that debate. It was always one of Mr.
Disraeli's peculiarities that he could fight most brilliantly when he
knew that his cause was already lost. That which would have disheartened
and disarmed other men, seemed only to animate him with all Macbeth's
wild courage of despair. Never did his gift of satire, of invective, and
of epithet show to more splendid effect than in the speech with which he
closed his part of the debate, and mercilessly assailed his opponents.
Mr. Disraeli sat down at two o'clock in the morning, and then Mr.
Gladstone rose to reply to him. Most men in the House, even on the
opposition side, were filled with the belief that it would be impossible
to make any real impression on the House after such a speech as that of
Mr. Disraeli. Long before Mr. Gladstone had concluded, everyone admitted
that the effect of Mr. Disraeli's speech had been outdone and outshone.
From that hour Mr. Gladstone was recognized as one of the great historic
orators of the English Parliament--a man to rank with Bolingbroke and
Chatham and Pitt and Fox. With that speech began the long parliamentary
duel between these two great masters of debate, Mr. Gladstone and Mr.
Disraeli, which was carried on for four and twenty years.

On the fall of the short-lived Tory administration, Lord Aberdeen came
into office. He formed the famous Coalition Ministry. Lord Palmerston
took what most people would have thought the uncongenial office of Home
Secretary. Lord John Russell became Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Mr.
Gladstone, who with others of the "Peelites," as they were called, had
joined the new administration, was Chancellor of the Exchequer. His
speech on the introduction of his first budget was waited for with great
expectation, but it distanced all expectation. It occupied several hours
in delivery, but none of those who listened to it would have wished it
to be shortened by a sentence. It may be questioned whether even the
younger Pitt, with all his magic of voice, and style, and phrase, could
lend such charm to each successive budget as Mr. Gladstone was able to
do. A budget speech from Mr. Gladstone came to be expected with the
same kind of keen, artistic longing as waits the first performance of a
new opera by some great composer. A budget speech by Mr. Gladstone was a
triumph in the realm of the fine arts.

The Crimean War broke up the Coalition Ministry; but the year 1859 saw
Lord Palmerston back again in office, and Mr. Gladstone in his old place
as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The budget of 1860 was remarkable, as it
contained the provisions for the reduction of the wine duties and the
whole simplified system of taxation intended to apply to the commercial
treaty which Mr. Cobden had succeeded in persuading the Emperor of the
French to accept. Mr. Gladstone also introduced a provision for the
abolition of the duty on paper--a duty which was simply a tax upon
reading, a tax upon popular education. The House of Lords struck out
this clause; a somewhat impassioned popular agitation followed; and in
the next session the Lords passed the measure for the repeal of the duty
without offering any further opposition. The death of Lord Palmerston,
in 1865, called Lord Russell to the position of prime-minister, and made
Mr. Gladstone leader of the House of Commons. Mr. Gladstone's mind had
long been turning in the direction of an extension, or rather expansion,
of the suffrage. It was assumed by everyone that Lord Russell and Mr.
Gladstone being now at the head of affairs, a reform bill would be sure
to come. It did come; a very moderate and cautious bill, enlarging the
area of the franchise in boroughs and counties. The Conservative party
opposed it, and were supported in their opposition by a considerable
section of the Liberals, who thought the measure was going too far on
the road to universal suffrage and the rule of the democracy. The bill
was defeated, and the Liberal statesman went out of office (1866). Mr.
Gladstone had carried his point, however, for when Mr. Disraeli came
into office he saw that a reform bill was inevitable, and he prepared
his party, or most of them, for the course which would have to be taken.
In the very next session Mr. Disraeli introduced a reform bill of his
own, which was enlarged and expanded until it became practically a
measure of household suffrage for cities and boroughs.

Somewhere about this time the attention of Mr. Gladstone began to be
attracted to the condition of Ireland. The distressed and distracted
state of Ireland, the unceasing popular agitation and discontent, the
Fenian insurrection, brought under England's very eyes by the schemes
for an attack on Chester Castle--all these evidences of malady in
Ireland's system led Mr. Gladstone to the conviction that the time had
come when statesmanship must seek through Parliament for some process of
remedy. Mr. Gladstone came after a while to the conclusion that the
Protestant State Church in Ireland must be disestablished and
disendowed, that the Irish land tenure system must be reformed, and that
better provision must be made for the higher education of the Catholics
of Ireland. He made short work with the Irish State Church. He defeated
the government on a series of resolutions foreshadowing his policy; the
government appealed to the country, the Liberals returned to power, and
Mr. Gladstone became prime minister (1868). In his first session of
government he disestablished and disendowed the State Church in Ireland.
In the next session he passed a measure which for the first time
recognized the right of the Irish tenant to the value of the
improvements he had himself made at his own cost and labor. Never
probably was there such a period of energetic reform in almost every
direction as that which set in when Mr. Gladstone became prime-minister.
For the first time in English history a system of national education was
established. The Ballot Act was passed for the protection of voters. The
system of purchase in the army was abolished by something, it must be
owned, a little in the nature of a _coup-d'état_. Then Mr. Gladstone
introduced a measure to improve the condition of university education in
Ireland. This bill was intended almost altogether for the benefit of
Irish Catholics; but it did not go far enough to satisfy the demands of
the Catholics, and in some of its provisions was declared incompatible
with the principles of their Church. The Catholic members of the House
of Commons voted against it, and with that help the Conservatives were
able to throw out the bill (1873). Mr. Gladstone tendered his
resignation of office. But Mr. Disraeli declined just then to take any
responsibility, and Mr. Gladstone had to remain at the head of affairs.
The great wave of reforming energy had, however, subsided in the
country. The period of reaction had come. The by-elections began to tell
against the Liberals. Mr. Gladstone suddenly dissolved Parliament and
appealed to the country, and the answer to his appeal was the election
of a Conservative majority. Mr. Disraeli came back to power, and Mr.
Gladstone retired from the leadership of the House of Commons (1874).

For a while Mr. Gladstone occupied himself in literary and historical
studies, and he published essays and pamphlets. But even in his literary
career Mr. Gladstone would appear to have always kept glancing at the
House of Commons, as Charles V. in his monastery kept his eyes on the
world of politics outside. The atrocious conduct of the Turkish
officials in Bulgaria aroused his generous anger, and he flung down his
books and rushed out from his study to preach a crusade against the
Ottoman power in Europe. The waters rose and lifted him, whether he
would or no, into power. The Parliament which had gone on from the
spring of 1874 was dissolved in the spring of 1880, and the Liberals
came in with an overwhelming majority. The period of reaction had gone,
and the period of action was come again. Mr. Gladstone had to become
prime-minister once more. His name was, to adopt the phraseology of
continental politics, the only name that had come out of the voting
urns.

[Illustration: Gladstone's first home rule bill.]

It was an unpropitious hour at which to return to office. There were
troubles in Egypt; there was impending war in the Soudan and in South
Africa. There was something very like an agrarian revolution going on in
Ireland; and the Home Rule party in the House of Commons was under new,
resolute, and uncompromising leadership. Mr. Gladstone succeeded,
nevertheless, in carrying what might be called a vast scheme of
parliamentary reform, a scheme which established something very near to
universal suffrage, arranged the constituencies into proportionate
divisions, extinguished several small boroughs, leaving their electors
to vote in their county division, and in general completed the work
begun in 1832, and carried further in 1867. It is to the credit of the
Conservative party that after a while they co-operated cordially with
Mr. Gladstone in his reforming work of 1885. This was a triumph for Mr.
Gladstone of an entirely satisfactory character; but he had sore trials
to counterbalance it. He found himself drawn into a series of wars in
North and South Africa; and he, whose generous sympathy had of late been
so much given to Ireland, and who had introduced and carried another
land bill for Ireland, found that in endeavoring to pass the measures of
coercion, which the authorities in Dublin Castle deemed advisable, he
had to encounter the fiercest opposition from the Irish members of
Parliament and the vast bulk of the Irish population. That time must
have been, for a man of Mr. Gladstone's nature, a time of darkness and
of pain. Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke were assassinated in
Dublin; General Gordon perished at Khartoum. In the end the Irish
members coalesced with the Conservatives in a vote on a clause in the
budget, and Mr. Gladstone's government was defeated. Lord Salisbury came
back into office, but not just then into power. He was in a most
precarious position, depending on the course which might be taken by the
Irish members. He was out of office in a few months, and then the
general elections came on. These elections were to give the first
opportunity to the newly made voters under Mr. Gladstone's latest reform
act; and these voters sent him back into office and apparently into
power once again. The use Mr. Gladstone made of office and of power
astonished his enemies, and startled and shocked not a few of his
friends. His government had had, in the years between 1881 and 1884, to
fight a fierce battle against the policy of obstruction organized by Mr.
Parnell, the leader of the Home Rule party. The obstruction was
organized to prevent or delay the passing of coercion measures, and to
force the attention of the British public to the claims of Ireland. The
struggles that were carried on will be always memorable in the history
of Parliament. The fiercest passions were aroused on both sides, and at
one time Ireland seemed to have come to regard Mr. Gladstone as her
worst enemy. Many a statesman in his place might have allowed himself to
be governed by a feeling of disappointment and resentment. But when the
elections under the new and extended Reform Bill were held, and the
Irish Nationalist party came back 87 members out of the whole Irish
representation of 103, Mr. Gladstone made up his mind that the voice of
the Irish people was in favor of Home Rule, and he resolved to stake
power and popularity on an acceptance of their demand. In March, 1886,
he brought in a measure to give a statutory Parliament to Ireland. A
sudden and serious split took place in his party; some of his most
influential colleagues declared against him; the bill was rejected on
the second reading, and Mr. Gladstone appealed to the country, only to
be defeated at the general elections.

Opinion is still divided--may be divided forever--as to the wisdom of
his policy; but no impartial man can deny him the credit of his
sacrifice and the sincerity of his intentions. Then the Conservative
party came back into office, and with the help of Liberals who had
declined to follow Mr. Gladstone, came back with a powerful majority,
Mr. Gladstone leading the opposition. At the general election of 1892,
his party, including both sections of Irish Nationalists, secured a
majority of above forty over the combined Conservatives and Liberal
Unionists. Under his leadership a home-rule bill for Ireland was passed
by the Commons in spite of the most bitter opposition. It was rejected
almost unanimously by the House of Lords; and for a time it seemed
probable that the Liberals would attack the very existence of that body.
Perhaps this was Mr. Gladstone's intention for he introduced several
popular radical bills. But time was beginning to tell upon the Grand Old
Man; he was now eighty-four years old, and he felt himself unequal to
the gigantic struggle. He resigned his offices and retired into private
life in March, 1894.

Mr. Gladstone will find his fame as a statesman and an orator. We have
taken little account here of his contributions to literature; his
Homeric studies, his various essays in political and literary, in
ecclesiastical, and even theological, criticism. For another man these
in themselves would have made a not inconsiderable reputation; but to
the world they are interesting chiefly as illustrating a marvellous
mental activity stretching itself out in every direction; unresting in
the best sense of the word; incapable of settling down into even
momentary idleness. "Repos ailleurs" seems to have been the motto of Mr.
Gladstone's career--let rest come elsewhere--this is the world of
activity and of labor. His work as a statesman has been almost unique;
probably there is no other English minister who leaves behind him so
long and so successful a record of practical legislation; and, as we
have seen, some of the best legislation accomplished by his political
opponents was initiated by him, was his own work taken out of his hands.
As a parliamentary debater he never had a superior--it is doubtful
whether he ever had an equal--in the whole of the political history of
the British Empire. There have been, even in our time, orators who now
and then shot their arrows higher; but so ready, so skilful, and so
unerring an archer as he, taken all around, never drew bow on modern
parliamentary battle-ground. Nature had given him an exquisite voice,
sweet, powerful, easily penetrating, capable of filling without effort
any public building however large, vibrating to every emotion. The
incessant training of the House of Commons turned nature's gifts to
their fullest account. He was almost too fluent; his eloquence sometimes
carried him away on its impassioned tide; but his listeners were seldom
inclined to find fault with this magnificent exuberance. We should be
inclined to rank him as one of the greatest orators, and the very
greatest debater, of the House of Commons.



PRINCE VON BISMARCK[18]

By PRINCE OUTISKY

(1815-1898)

         [Footnote 18: This sketch was written by Prince Outisky in
         1885. The Emperor William I. died in March, 1888, and his son a
         few months later. The views of the young Emperor William II.,
         thus advanced to the throne, did not at all coincide with those
         of Bismarck, and he retired into private life in 1890. Four
         years later a somewhat ostentatious reconciliation took place
         between him and the emperor; but Bismarck did not return to
         power, his great age perhaps incapacitating him for active
         work.

         As regards his early life, he was born at Schönhausen, April 1,
         1815, educated at Göttingen, Berlin, and Griefswald, and at
         first entered the army. He became a member of the General Diet
         in 1847, was successively ambassador to Austria, Russia, and
         France, and in 1862 became Minister of the King's House and
         Foreign Affairs in Prussia. He was created a count in 1865; and
         in 1871, having achieved his great aim in the coronation of his
         king as Emperor of United Germany at Versailles, he became
         Chancellor of the Empire and Prince von Bismarck-Schönhausen.]

[Illustration: Bismarck. [TN]]


The "aureole of unpopularity" which encircled Bismarck's brow during
four short years of inaugural premiership has, to all appearance,
vanished under the influence of unbroken success, making room throughout
the world for a confiding deference to his capacity and forethought,
that every year seems to intensify. It is he, in the belief of most
governments, who has preserved to them what never was more indispensable
for their very existence--peace in Europe. With supreme adroitness, he
avoids entanglements for himself and his country, bears many an affront
patiently before retorting, keeps up the appearance of a good
understanding after its substance has long passed away, but, when fairly
engaged in diplomatic contention, lays out his field in a manner that
insures success. People agree, therefore, that it is best to take him as
he is. And it is in the nature of man when he has once accorded that
favor to a fellow-creature, to "take him as he is," that he ends by
liking him. Thus Bismarck, of all living men the most unlikely to
succeed in the race after a world-wide popularity, is probably at this
moment the best-liked man in either hemisphere.

His own countrymen have shown a decided indisposition to admit him among
their household gods. To them he was, from the commencement of his
political career, the very embodiment of what had gradually become the
most objectionable type of Teuton existence--the unmitigated squireen or
Junker, with his poverty and arrogance, with his hunger and thirst
after position and good living, with his hatred for the upstart liberal
burgher class. "Away with the cities! I hope I may yet live to see them
levelled to the ground." Is there not a ring of many centuries of social
strife, so laboriously kept down by the reigning dynasty, in these
stupendous words, which were pronounced by Bismarck in 1847, when among
the leaders of the conservatives in the first embryo parliament of the
Prussian monarchy? And if uncongenial to the generation of Prussians
among whom he had grown up, how infinitely greater was the dislike
against him of South Germans, more gifted, as a rule, by nature, to whom
the name of Prussian is synonymous of all that is strait-laced and
overweening and unnatural and--generally inconvenient.

Little of that sentiment remains among the Germans of the present day.
Such strangers as have had the opportunity of observing the attitude of
the nation during the late celebration of his seventieth birthday, agree
in declaring them to have been spontaneous, enthusiastic, and at times
almost aggressive. Some tell us, to be sure, that the farther from
Berlin the more gushing has been the ecstasy. The electors of Professor
Virchow and of Herr Löwe, in whose electoral districts a torchlight
procession on the eve of Bismarck's birthday had to elbow its way
through immense crowds, must have kept at home. The municipality of
Berlin, a model body of civic administrators, sent a birthday letter to
their "honorary citizen," but abstained, with proper self-respect, from
tendering their congratulations through a deputation. No Berlin citizen
of any importance had a hand in the management of the procession. Yet,
if thousands kept aloof, tens of thousands shared the national
enthusiasm--students of universities chiefly, but older men too, even in
distrustful, radical Berlin. And as for South Germany, where the gospel
of protection seems, perhaps, to be more firmly believed in than any
other, we read of trains to Berlin taken by storm, banquets,
processions, chorus-singing--of real, heartfelt, rapturous
effervescence.

There cannot be a shadow of doubt that, to numberless non-Prussians at
any rate, the new era of German unity has brought a symbol of greatness
not before known, and that they worship in Bismarck the hero who has
given them a country to love, who has delivered them from the pettiness
and self-satisfaction of Philistinism.

Now, if this be so--if, indeed, the countries of the world at large, and
Germany in particular, acknowledge him almost affectionately as the
leading statesman of the day, would it not be an interesting study to
examine the degree of merit due to him personally, the character of the
present administration, and what lasting good or lasting evil may be
expected from this new phase of European politics? The subject, through
its weight and its bulk alike, excludes full treatment within the limits
of an essay. Nevertheless, since it intertwines itself with nearly every
other question of moment, a few remarks by an outsider may be
acceptable.

[Illustration: Proclamation of the German Empire at Versailles.]

None but the incorrigibly childish can be inclined to ascribe to good
luck a prosperous career extending over near twenty-three years, spent
under the fiercest glare of the world's sunshine. No minister of any
age was more bitterly assailed or opposed, even at the court of which he
is now the acknowledged major domus in the manner of the Pepins and
other Thum-Meiers of the Frankish monarchy. The king's brother, Prince
Charles, detested the innovator whose opinions on the necessity of
Austria being removed from membership in a remodelled German
confederation, had for years leaked out from the despatch-boxes of the
Foreign Office. Even the Junkers, whose dauntless leader he had been
before and after the revolutionary events of 1848, shrank instinctively
from a man who could not be credited with veneration for the Holy
Alliance. It is remembered in Berlin that, on the nomination of one of
them, well at court, a diplomatist of some standing, to the post of
under-secretary of state for foreign affairs, the new member of the
government confessed to his friends that he accepted the post _in spite_
of Bismarck's "foreign" policy, and only in consideration of his
contempt for parliamentarism. The queen, on the other hand, brought up
in principles of constitutional government, and strongly attached to the
English alliance, viewed with horror the bold pugilist who was daily
assailing, not the persons only of the people's representatives, but
some of the very foundations of every parliamentary edifice. Yet fiercer
was the animosity shown him on every occasion by the Princess Royal of
England, whose father had early taught her that a throne, to be safe,
requires absolute solidity of institutions and agreement with the
people, and who seriously trembled for the preservation of her
children's future. Her husband expressed himself forcibly on a public
occasion against some reactionary measures of the government. As the
court, so were the liberal parties, so the people in general. When a
fanatic, of the name of Kohn, attempted Bismarck's life in May, 1866,
there were few persons who did not regret his failure. It may be said
with truth that, for years, two men only understood a portion at least
of his political views, and shared them. One was King William. Isolated
as Herr von Bismarck was, he learned to rely implicitly on his
sovereign's faithfulness, and has had no reason to regret his trust; for
the king, though greatly his inferior in intellect, and far from unblest
with legitimist predilections, was as firmly convinced as his minister
that the confederation of German states, and Prussia herself, might be
swept away unless placed upon a new footing, in one of those tornadoes
which used periodically to blow across the continent of Europe. Thus,
the new departure was as much his own programme as Bismarck's, and
although he started (in 1861) with a hankering after "moral" rather than
material conquests, he gradually understood the necessity for war, and
has of a certainty "taken kindly," as the saying is, to material
conquests of no inconsiderable magnitude.

None, even among Bismarck's modern sycophants, would pretend that their
hero was the inventor of German unity. Passionately, though not
over-wisely, had that ideal been striven after and suffered for by the
best patriots in various parts of Fatherland, their vision becoming hazy
just as often as they attempted to combine two opposite claims, that of
a national texture, and that of a headship of Austria, which is
non-German in a majority of its subjects, and alien in nearly all its
interests. The Frankfort Parliament of 1848 marks the transition to a
clear insight, inasmuch as its final performance, the constitution of
1849, placed the new crown on the King of Prussia's head. When offered,
it was haughtily declined under the applause of Bismarck and his
friends. The king refused because its origin lay in a popular assembly;
in Bismarck's eyes its chief defect was that Prussia would be dictated
to by the minor states. It was not until later, in 1851, when appointed
Prussian ambassador to the Germanic Diet, chiefly because of his defence
of the Treaty of Olmütz, which placed Prussia at the mercy of Austria,
that he recognized the central point to be the necessity of thrusting
Austria out of the confederation. It is proved now that he was sagacious
enough also to perceive that such a wrench would not lead to a permanent
estrangement, but that Austria, removed once and for all from her
incubus-like and dog-in-the-manger position within the federate body,
would become, in her own interest and that of European peace, New
Germany's permanent ally.

These, then, became the two purposes of his active life ever since the
day when, at the age of thirty-six, he obtained a share of the
responsibility in the management of affairs as ambassador in Frankfort;
first, to transfer _Austria to a position in the East_, and then to
bestow upon the Fatherland _political unity under Prussia, the royal
prerogative in the latter remaining uncurtailed_, so far as
circumstances would allow. Thirty-four years have now elapsed. His
opponents, in his own country or out of it, are at liberty to reiterate
that he was born under a lucky star; that he merely took up the thread
of German unification where the Frankfort Parliament of 1849 had let it
drop; that anybody could have utilized such mighty armaments as those of
Prussia with the same effect; that, given total disregard of principle
or moral obligations, the result, in the hands of any political
gamester, must have been what it was. There is something to be set
against each of these assertions. For it was not the goddess of Fortune
which pursued Bismarck in the ungainly shape of his former friend, that
spiteful Prince Gortschakoff. The Frankfort assembly had left the
Austrian riddle unsolved, and apparently insoluble. There was no hand in
the country firm or skilful enough, no brain sufficiently hard or
enlightened as to the needs of the day--not the king's, not Count
Arnim's, nor certainly that of any other known to his contemporaries.
And finally, when a public man so deftly gauges the mental capacities or
extent of power of his antagonists--such as Count Beust, or Napoleon, or
Earl Russell--that he knows exactly how far he can step with safety;
then such a "gamester," however terrible the risks to which he may have
exposed his country, is a great man. Complete unity of aims throughout,
power given to carry them out, a wonderful absence of very serious
mistakes, and finally a life sufficiently prolonged to admit of
retrospection; in each of these respects the career of Bismarck
resembles that of Mr. Disraeli.

The oft-told story of his diplomatic adventures at Frankfort, at Vienna,
at Petersburg, and at Paris, and still more of his rulership in Prussia
since 1862, and in Germany since 1866, has been uniform under two
aspects. First, as already mentioned, in the stern continuity of his
purposes. And secondly, in the mistaken view entertained regarding him
at each successive period of his public life. Passing under review the
whole career of this political phenomenon, you naturally pause before
its strangest and its most humorous feature, viz., that, although living
under the closest inspection, he was misunderstood year after year. Who
would, consequently, deny the possibility at least, of Bismarck's being
so misunderstood, by friend and foe, at this present moment?

While those despatches were written by him from Frankfort which
Poschinger's researches have now exhumed, their writer was thought, by
his partisans just as much as by his enemies, to be occupied solely with
strengthening the "solidarity of conservative interests" and the
supremacy of Austria, or with spinning the rope of steel which was to
strangle all parliaments in Germany. And yet we know positively at
present that, with increasing vigor day by day, did he warn his
government against the scarcely concealed intention of Austria to
"_avilir la Prusse d'abord et puis l'anéantir_" (Prince Schwartzenberg's
famous saying in 1851); we observe with surprise how quickly legitimist
leanings disappear behind his own country's interests; we stand aghast
at the iron sway obtained by so young a man over the self-conceit of a
vacillating, yet dogmatic and wilful, king (Frederick William IV.). It
was he whose advice, given in direct opposition to Bunsen's, led to the
refusal by Prussia of the Western alliance during the Crimean war. But
he did not give this advice, as German liberals then believed, out of
subservience to the autocrat of the North, whose assistance his party
humbly solicited in order to exterminate liberalism. He persistently
gave it to thwart Austria and to preserve Prussia (then in no brilliant
military condition) from having to bear the brunt of Muscovite wrath,
which he cunningly judged to be of more lasting importance in the coming
struggles than the friendship of Western Europe. At a time when European
politicians considered that he was the mouthpiece of schemers for a
Russo-French alliance in his repeated and successful endeavors to gain
Napoleon's good-will, he was adroitly sounding the French emperor's mind
and character. He soon convinced himself that it was shallow and
fantastic, and he built upon this conviction one of the most hazardous
designs which ever originated in a brain observant of realities--that
identical design which eventually led Prussia, some years later, first
to Schleswig and then to Sadowa, with the "arbiter of Europe," as
Napoleon was then called, stolidly looking on! And what is one to say of
the four years of parliamentary conflicts (1862 to 1866), during which
no one doubted but that his object in life and his _raison d'être_
consisted in a reinstatement of the Prussian king on the absolute throne
of his ancestors--a reaction from all that was progressive to the
grossest abuses of despotism? All this time he was fighting a desperate
battle against backstairs influences, which with true instinct were
deprecating and counteracting his schemes of aggrandizement and national
reorganization. It is clear, on looking back to that period which has
left such indelible marks on the judgment of many well-meaning liberals,
that his exaggerated tone of aggressive defence in the Prussian Landtag,
the furious onslaught of his harangues, were intended to silence the
tongues at court which denounced him as a demagogue and a radical.
Paradoxical as it may sound, one may safely assert that nothing more
effectually helped King William in his later foreign policy, than the
opinion pervading all Europe in 1864 and 1866, that, having lost all
hold upon the minds of his people, weakened and crippled in every sense
of the word by Bismarckian folly, his Majesty could never strike a blow.

There was peace and concord in Germany between 1866 and 1877. Without
becoming a liberal, and while opposing every attempt to outstep certain
limits, Bismarck created and rather enjoyed an alliance with the
majority formed in his favor by the national liberals and a moderate
section of the conservatives. The German Empire, proclaimed by the
German sovereigns at Versailles in January, 1871, was of his creation;
and while established upon somewhat novel principles of federation by a
parliamentary statute, it looked to outsiders like a home for progress
and liberty. There were dangers lurking, it is true, beneath many a
provision of the new constitution, such as the absence of an upper
house, and the substitution in its stead of delegates from the separate
governments, acting in each case according to instructions received,
authorized to speak whenever they chose before the Reichstag, but
deliberating separately and secretly both upon bills to propose, and
upon replies to give to resolutions of the Reichstag. In fact, this
Bundesrath, or federal council, represents the governing element under
the emperor, with functions both administrative and legislative. By an
artificial method of counting, Prussia, although she would command
three-fifths of all the voters by virtue of her population, has less
than one-third. Thus the possibility of an imbroglio between the
governments is ever present, as well as that of a hasty vote in the
popular assembly.

[Illustration: Bismarck before Paris.]

It will never, probably, be quite understood why Prince Bismarck broke
loose from a political alliance which, it would seem, had given no
trouble whatever. In foreign affairs the house, in its immense majority,
abstained from even the faintest attempt at interference. As for
patronage, it has been said that no appointment was ever solicited for
anyone by a member of the liberal party. From ministerial down to menial
posts no claim was raised, no request preferred. If the section of
moderate conservatives above mentioned has furnished a few ambassadors
like Prince Hohenlohe, Count Münster, Baron Keudell, and Count Stolberg,
that was by the chief's free will. Why, then, it has been asked, a
change so absolute as the one the world has witnessed, from the saying
of the chancellor in 1877, that his ideal was to have high financial
duties on half a dozen objects and free trade on all others, to one of
the most comprehensive tariffs in the world two years later? His own and
his friends' explanations are lamentably deficient--"growing anæmia and
impoverishment of the country," "drowning of native industry by foreign
manufacturers," "corn imported cheaper than produced," and what not. The
present writer, looking from afar, has always thought two motives to
have been paramount in the chancellor's mind when he separated from the
liberals and became, not a convinced, but a thorough-going
protectionist. It is not said that these were his only motives.
Chess-players know that each important move affects not only the
figures primarily attacked, but changes the whole texture of the play.

First, then, and foremost, fresh sources of income were wanted to make
the finances of the empire independent from the several exchequers of
the states bound by statute to make up for any deficiency _pro rata
parte_ of their population. Two or three objects would have provided the
needful, viz., spirits and beetroot sugar, and (with due caution)
tobacco; or an "imperial" income tax, changing according to each year's
necessities; or both systems combined. Tobacco, it is true, was tried,
and the attempt failed. Spirits would bear almost any taxation, but the
chancellor does not choose to tread upon the tender toe of the great
owners of land who are potato-growers, and consequently distillers on a
large scale. And another important class of agriculturists, the beetroot
growers and sugar-producers, were not to be trifled with either. But how
about direct taxation, the manly sacrifice of free peoples, the plummet
by which to sound the enlightenment of a nation? The chancellor
instinctively felt, I believe, that there he would be going beyond his
depth; that under such a _régime_ the free will of citizens must have
the fullest swing; the "prerogative" would suffer, if not immediately,
yet as a necessary sequence. And so he deliberately abandoned free trade
and espoused indirect taxation and protection.

Success, let free traders say what they please on the subject, success
has accompanied Bismarck's genius on this novel field, as well as on the
older fields where all mankind acknowledges his superiority. For the
coffers of the empire are filling. A motley majority in the Reichstag
not only accepts, but improves upon his protectionist demands. He has
become the demigod of the bloated manufacturing, mining, and landlord
interests throughout the country. He is now about to win the last of the
great industries, and the one which withstood his blandishments the
longest, viz., the trans-oceanic carrying trade. He is credited with
having improved the state of certain trades, even by such as know
perfectly well that, like the former depression, the present improvement
in those has been universal. The whole country is becoming
protectionist. All young men, even in Hamburg and Bremen, believe in
protection as "the thing." The Prussian landlord, whose soul was steeped
in free trade so long as Prussia was a grain-exporting country,
cherishes protectionist convictions now that she must largely import
cereals. The bureaucrat who had never sworn by other economic lawgivers
than Adam Smith and his followers, now accepts Professor Adolphus
Wagner's ever-changing sophisms. And as for the south and the west of
Germany, why, they adore the man who had fulfilled that dream of
protection in which they, as disciples of Friedrich List, had grown up.
It is true that all large cities, even there, are protesting against the
lately imposed and quite lately increased duties upon cereals; but then,
"can any good thing come out of" large cities? Compared to the
difficulties that impede the action of the free trade party in Germany,
Mr. Bright's and Mr. Cobden's up-hill work sinks into insignificance.

Nothing, to a beginner in the study of Bismarck's character, would
appear so utterly puzzling as his demeanor toward the communists,
socialists, or, as they call themselves in Germany, Social Democrats.
One of his most trusted secretaries is an old ally and correspondent of
Herr Karl Marx, the high-priest of communism, who, toward the end of his
London career, rode the whirlwind and directed the storm of German
socialism. Bismarck himself confesses to having received in private
audience Lassalle, one certainly of the most capable men of modern
Germany, and to whom as its first author, a retrospective inquiry would
trace back the present formidable, closely ruled organization of
socialist operatives of Germany. The first minister of the Prussian
crown was closeted once--people say more than once, but that does not
matter--with the ablest subverter of the modern fabric of society. He
found him "mighty pleasant to talk to." He liked his predilection for a
powerful supreme authority overawing the organized masses, though
"whether he did so in the interest of a dynasty of Lassalles or of
Hohenzollern's" seemed to Herr von Bismarck an open question. After
Lassalle's tragical death in 1864, we observe how the Prussian
government, while watching with Argus-eyes every excess of speech among
liberals, allowed his first successors, Schweizer and others, a vulgar
set of demagogues, such license of bloody harangue as has of late years
got Louise Michel into trouble in republican France. Then we hear of
nothing as between Bismarck and the socialists for some years--the years
I have described above as years of peace and concord in Germany--till
suddenly, on the occasion of two attempts made in 1878, by Hödel and by
Nobiling against the emperor's life, he came down upon that sect as with
a sledge-hammer. His famous anti-socialist bill was at first rejected.
It passed into law only after a dissolution, the electors having in
their affectionate pity for the wounded emperor unequivocally given
their verdict in favor of suppression. It has since been reaccepted
three times by an unwilling house, and with exertions of the same man
who had fostered and protected the beginnings of socialism, and who had
the watchword given out at the last general elections in 1884, that "His
Serene Highness the Chancellor would prefer the sight of ten
Social-Democrats to that of one Liberal (Deutsch-Freisinige.)"

Now, what is the clew to this comedy of errors? No mere waywardness or
perversity of character, but some powerful bias and a first-cousinship
in principle must account for one of the strangest anomalies in modern
history. Perhaps the following consideration will render both the "bias"
and the "first-cousinship" at least intelligible. Prince Bismarck is a
good hater. Now, if he has any one antipathy stronger than another, and
that through life, it is that against the burgher class, the reverse of
aristocrats, the born liberals, townsmen mostly yet not exclusively--the
"bourgeois," as the French call them (although, if I err not, the exact
counterpart to the "bourgeois" species is not found on German soil), a
law-abiding set, independent of government, paying their taxes, and
thoroughly happy. When they, through their representatives, bade him
defiance in 1862 to 1865, and thwarted his measures of coercion, his
inmost soul cried, _Acheronta movebo!_ He sent for Lassalle, he paid his
successors' debts, and generally assisted the sect. So much for the
"bias." And now for the "first-cousinship." No student of history will
deny that despotism, whenever it has arisen, or been preserved in highly
civilized communities, will extend more of a fatherly care to the masses
than liberalism. This cannot be otherwise; for liberalism sets itself to
educate the masses to self-responsibility, and each individual to thrift
and self-reliance. The sight of an able-bodied beggar is, to a genuine
liberal, a source of anger first, and only on further contemplation, of
pity. He will exert all his energies to remove every obstacle from out
of the way of his poorer brethren; he will preach wise economy, and
facilitate it by personal sacrifices and legislative inducements; but he
will not tempt the government of his country to act as a second
providence for the operative classes. Quite the reverse is Bismarck's
opinion. According to him, the state should exercise "practical
Christianity." With Titanic resolution to drive out Satan through
Beelzebub, he does not shrink from acknowledging and proclaiming the
"right of labor." There is probably nothing left to say after your lips
have spoken these unholy, blood-stained words. If there was, he would be
the man to say it rather than allow himself to be outbid by mob-leaders
of the socialistic feather. _Droit au travail_, forsooth! The phrase has
cost thousands their lives in the Parisian carnage of June, 1848. In the
mouth of Karl Marx and other outspoken champions of his cause, it means
absorption by the state of all the _sources_ of labor, such as land and
factories, because by such absorption only can the state insure work for
the unemployed. In the mouth of Bismarck it means a lesser thing, of
course, in extent, but not in its essence. As chief minister of Prussia
he has ably brought about the purchase of nearly all lines of railway
within that monarchy. As chancellor of the empire he has tried his very
best to obtain a monopoly on tobacco. All accident insurance companies
have already been ruined and their place taken, so far as accidents to
factory-hands, etc., are concerned, by an imperial office. His mighty
hand is stretched out already to suppress and absorb all other
insurances. The kingdom of the Incas, in ancient Peru, as described in
Prescott's volumes, has probably not done more work for its subjects
than Bismarck's ideal of a German empire would do for its inhabitants.
With every species of occupation or enterprise managed directly by
government, why should the ruler of an empire, or of a socialist
republic, hesitate about proclaiming a right to labor? A critic might
object that its proclamation by Bismarck, in 1884, was premature,
inasmuch as he had failed in carrying his Monopoly bill, and could not
be certain of success regarding other state encroachments. Granted. But
a "first-cousinship" between his views on social reform and those of
Messrs. Bebel and Liebknecht, is an actuality of modern Germany, and
should be seen to by those who desire this central power of Europe to
remain exempt from a social revolution. Cursory as this review of
Bismarck's past life and present policy has of necessity been, some
indulgent reader may perhaps bestow upon me--besides his thanks for
having withstood the temptation to quote the pithy, and at times
impassioned, utterances of the wittiest man in power of the present
day--just enough of his confidence to believe that I have suppressed no
trait of importance.

However, since there is one thing more important still than a great man,
namely his country, let us not dismiss the interesting subject of this
retrospect without inquiring what that country has gained and what lost
through his agency. Germany possesses a federation, not constructed
after any existing pattern, not made to please any theory, not the
object of anybody's very passionate admiration, but accepted in order to
alter as little as possible the accustomed territorial and political
arrangements. In one sense it has no army, for the Prussian and the
Bavarian armies, although the empire bears the cost, still exist. In one
sense it possesses not the indirect taxation, for the individual states
do the collecting of custom-house duties, etc. In one sense it has
scarcely any organ of administration, for the whole internal government,
the schools, courts of law, and police, all belong to the single states;
and foreign affairs, the navy, the post-office, and railways in Alsace,
are the only fields of imperial direct administration. Yet, what it has
is valuable enough. The empire rules the army and can legislate over and
control a prodigious amount of national subjects. Its foreign policy is
one. The military command is one. Certain specified sources of revenue
are the empire's. Patriotic aspirations are fulfilled. The individual
sovereigns in Germany possess a guarantee of their status, the operative
classes an opportunity for organization and improvement on a large
scale. Monarchical feeling has gained in depth, both generally and with
personal reference to the emperor and to the crown prince, both
"representative men" in the best sense of the word, and the crown
prince, the most lovable man of his day.

Another salutary constitutional reform--not of Bismarck's making, for he
gave his consent unwillingly and not without first having marred its
beauty, but yet an effect of his great deeds--is the Prussian "Kreis"
and "Provinzial-Ordnung," first introduced in 1874. No more logical
deduction was possible than this commencement of decentralization within
the Prussian monarchy. Before that date provincial diets had existed for
fifty years, and a kind of assembly had also managed certain affairs for
the Kreis, an administrative unit smaller than an English county, and
averaging about one hundred thousand inhabitants. In the same proportion
as German unity made progress, it was believed that self-government
ought to become more extensively introduced, and the "tendency of the
blood toward the head" or capital, be obviated. The example of home rule
presented by the "Kreis" and the provinces of Prussia since this reform,
is not assuredly of a nature to frighten weak nerves. But much money is
now usefully spent within and by the provinces independently of any
decree from a central authority; and as regards willingness to work on
provincial and (so to say) county boards, it is said to be beyond all
praise. An English public man of high standing assured me, some years
ago, that these Prussian beginnings of home rule had attracted the
serious notice of Mr. Gladstone. I do not wonder at it.

Another permanent good for which Germany seems indebted to Bismarck, and
the last I will mention, is of quite modern date--I mean his colonial
policy. Individual Germans have, at all times and in immense numbers,
found their way across the sea. On the Baltic and North Sea coast,
German ports, though few in number, yet command a very large trade.
Next to the English, German traders form the most numerous community in
every place, however remote, where business of any kind can be
transacted. But to convert the inland Philistines--that vast majority of
Germans who have never sniffed sea-air--into enthusiasts for a colonial
empire required all Bismarck's ability and prestige. No doubt he
descried in the movement a chance for a diversion of the public mind
from obnoxious topics. It was useful to him to produce an impression as
if the export trade, stagnating as it must under the baneful effects of
modern protection, could rally under the influence of colonial
enterprise. These considerations would not, however, suffice to explain
his long-considered, cautious proceedings in this matter. To comprehend
his motives fully, it will be necessary to admit that his prescient mind
would consider the time, apparently not very far distant, when what are
now styled Great Powers will be dwindling fast by the side of such
gigantic empires as seem intent upon dividing the earth's surface
between them, like England with her colonial possessions, and Russia.
The effect upon this country, its foreign policy, and the very character
of its inhabitants, would be alike cramping, unless a way for expansion
was opened for each. When the political schemes of a considerable man
are subjects of speculation, it is wiser to guess at something exalted
if you wish to come near the truth. So probably in this case. No doubt
he, too, has foreseen the reaction which, at no very remote period of
German history, will gain a mastery over people's minds, when failures
and disappointments begin to crowd around each of the present equatorial
enterprises. But he believes in his countrymen's capacity to overcome
failure and disappointment without recourse to costly warlike
expeditions, for which Germany is unfitted by her institution of
universal and short military service.



CHARLES STEWART PARNELL

By THOMAS DAVIDSON

(1846-1891)


Charles Stewart Parnell, the Irish politician, was born at Avondale, in
County Wicklow, June 28, 1846. His father belonged to an old Cheshire
family, which purchased an estate in Ireland under Charles II., and from
which had sprung Thomas Parnell, the poet, and Sir Henry Brooke Parnell,
created Baron Congleton in 1841. His great-grandfather was that Sir John
Parnell who was long Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, and an active
supporter of Grattan in his struggle against the Union; his grandfather,
William Parnell, sat for County Wicklow, and published in 1819 a foolish
political novel, anything but Irish in sentiment; his mother, Delia
Tudor Stewart, was daughter of Admiral Charles Stewart, of the United
States Navy. He was educated at Yeovil and elsewhere in England under
private masters, and was for some time a member of Magdalene College,
Cambridge, but took no degree. In 1874 he became High Sheriff of County
Wicklow; next year he contested County Dublin without success, but in
April, 1875, was returned as an avowed Home Ruler for County Meath.

He attached himself to Joseph Biggar, the member for Cavan, who was the
first to discover the value of deliberate obstruction in parliamentary
tactics, and during 1877 and 1878 he gained great popularity in Ireland
by his audacity in the use of the new engine. There were many scenes of
violence and excitement, and the new horror of all-night sittings became
familiar to the House of Commons. Throughout the struggle Parnell showed
equal audacity and coolness, and acquired a masterly knowledge of
parliamentary forms. Mr. Butt, the Irish leader, disapproved of this
development of the _active_ or obstructive policy, but his influence
quickly gave way before Parnell's, and in May, 1879, he died. The year
before, Parnell had been elected president of the English Home Rule
Association. He now threw himself with energy into agrarian agitation,
gave it its watchword: "Keep a firm grip of your homesteads," at
Westport in June, and in October was elected president of the Irish
National Land League, which had been founded by Michael Davitt.

Mr. Parnell next visited the United States to raise funds for the cause,
was allowed, like Lafayette and Kossuth, to address Congress itself, and
carried home £70,000. At the general election of 1880 he was returned
for the counties of Meath and Mayo and for the city of Cork, and chose
to sit for the last. He was now formally elected chairman of the Irish
parliamentary party by twenty-three votes over eighteen for Mr. Shaw.
Meantime the agrarian agitation grew, and in a speech at Ennis,
September 19, 1880, he formulated the method of boycotting as an engine
for punishing an unpopular individual. Mr. Gladstone's government now
came to the conclusion that the objects of the Land League were contrary
to the law, and in December put Parnell and several other members of the
executive on trial, but the jury finally failed to agree. Next session
the government brought in a Coercion Bill, which Mr. Parnell opposed
vigorously. In the course of the struggle he was ejected from the House,
after a stormy scene, together with thirty-four of his followers,
February 3, 1881. Mr. Gladstone next carried his famous Land Bill, but
this Parnell refused to accept as a final settlement until the result of
certain test cases before the new Land Court was seen. On October 13th,
Mr. Gladstone sent him to Kilmainham Jail, and there he lay till
released on May 2, 1882, after some private negotiations with the
government conducted through the medium of Captain O'Shea. Mr. Forster
resigned the Irish secretaryship in consequence of the release, and next
followed the terrible tragedy of Phoenix Park, of which Parnell, in his
place in the House of Commons, expressed his detestation.

[Illustration: Parnell testifying against the "Times."]

The Crimes Act was now hurried through Parliament in spite of the
strenuous opposition of the Irish party. Already the Land League had
been proclaimed as an illegal association after the issue of the "No
Rent" manifesto, but early in 1884 the Nationalists succeeded in
reviving it under the name of the National League, and Mr. Parnell was
elected its president. The year before the sum of £35,000, mostly raised
in America, had been presented to him by his admirers. After an
unsuccessful attempt to make terms with the Conservatives, in the course
of which he had a famous interview with Lord Carnarvon, the viceroy,
Parnell flung his vote--now eighty-six strong since the lowering of the
franchise--into the Liberal scale and so brought about the fall of the
short-lived first Salisbury government. Mr. Parnell nominated the
greater number of Nationalist candidates for the Irish constituencies,
and the firm hand with which he controlled his party was seen in the
promptitude with which he crushed a revolt of Healy and Biggar against
his nomination of Captain O'Shea for Galway.

Mr. Gladstone's views on the question of Home Rule had by this time
undergone a complete change, and accordingly he introduced a Home Rule
Bill which was defeated owing to the defection of a large number of
Liberal members headed by Lord Hartington and Mr. Chamberlain. The
consequent appeal to the country (July, 1886) gave Lord Salisbury a
Unionist majority of over a hundred votes, and threw Parnell into a
close alliance with Mr. Gladstone and the portion of the Liberal party
that adhered to him. It was at this period that the _Times_ newspaper
published its series of articles entitled "Parnellism and Crime"--a
tremendous indictment against the chief Nationalist leaders, the most
startling point in which was a series of letters published in
fac-simile, one, signed by Parnell, expressing approval of Mr. Burke's
murder. After an elaborate trial (extending to one hundred and
twenty-eight days), the most sensational event in which was the
breakdown under cross-examination, and the flight and suicide at Madrid,
of Pigott, the wretched Irishman who had imposed upon the _Times_ with
forgeries, Mr. Parnell was formally cleared of the charge of having been
personally guilty of organizing outrages, but his party were declared to
have been guilty of incitements to intimidation, out of which had grown
crimes which they had failed to denounce. Parnell now began an action
against the _Times_, which was quickly compromised by a payment of
£5,000.

The "uncrowned king" of Ireland had now reached the summit of his
power--the height of the wave was marked by the presentation of the
freedom of Edinburgh, July 30, 1889, and the banquet given him on his
forty-fourth birthday. But his fall in public esteem was quickly to
follow. A few months later his frequent mysterious absences from his
parliamentary duties were explained by his appearance, or rather his
non-appearance, as co-respondent in a divorce case brought by Captain
O'Shea against his wife. After formal evidence was given by the
petitioner, the usual decree was granted with costs against Parnell
(November 17, 1890).

The Gladstonian party in England now demanded his retirement from the
leadership of the cause, and Mr. Gladstone informed the Irish members
that they must make their choice between Parnell and himself. They met
and reappointed him their chairman, expecting, as the majority explained
later, that after this recognition of his past services he would
voluntarily retire, at least for a time. But they had not calculated
upon the characteristic obstinacy of his nature, and quickly found that
their leader had no mind to efface himself. After some days of
profitless and heated wrangling, the majority ended the discussion by
leaving the room and electing Justin McCarthy as their chairman.
Parnell, with the shattered remnants of his party, now carried the
warfare into Ireland, where his condemnation by the Irish bishops and
the emphatic defeat of his nominees for North Kilkenny and North Sligo
showed that a large number of his fellow-countrymen shared the judgment
of his conduct pronounced by Mr. Gladstone and the party in England. The
career of the man who had forced the issue of Irish Home Rule upon the
English people, and made it the great question of the day, was drawing
rapidly to its close. He died October 6, 1891.



WILLIAM McKINLEY

By ROSSITER JOHNSON

(1843-1901)

[Illustration: William McKinley. From a copyrighted photograph by
Courtney, Canton, O.]


With all the opportunities that our great Republic offers to native
ability and energy for attaining the highest civic prizes without
extraneous assistance or arbitrary distinction, we have produced no more
perfect example of a happy result than the career of William McKinley.
European critics who are unwilling to see anything good in democracy are
fond of repeating certain disparaging assertions concerning American
life, activities, and government. They represent us as virtually a
plutocracy; but Mr. McKinley never was rich, and never was under the
slightest suspicion of using his great office to acquire wealth. They
say we are rude and vulgar; but Mr. McKinley was as courteous and as
gentle as the most fastidious could wish. They say we are ignorant of
all but the most sordid affairs; but he was thoroughly educated, and
probably there are not half a dozen statesmen in Europe who know as much
of his country as he knew of theirs. They point with a sneer at the
divorce laws of some of our States, and infer therefrom the direst
things with regard to our domestic life; but Mr. McKinley's devotion to
his wife and his home was known and admired of all. Moreover, there is
not a sovereign in Europe, though some of them command vast armies, that
ever has been within reach of an enemy's guns; but William McKinley
carried a musket in the great Civil War, won promotion by merit, and
participated in hotter battles than Europe has seen since Waterloo.

This man came of Scottish ancestry, the earliest records of the family
dating from 1547. The crest of the clan was a mailed hand holding an
olive branch, and the motto was "Not too much." William (father of the
President) was born in Mercer County, Penn., in 1807, and two years
later the family removed to Columbiana County, O., where in 1829 he
married Nancy Campbell. Nine children were born of this union, of whom
William, Jr., was the seventh.

The future President was born in Niles, Trumbull County, O., January 29,
1843. His grandfather and his father were iron manufacturers. His father
was a Whig and a Protectionist. The family were Methodists.

William McKinley, Jr., was sent to the public school in Niles till 1852,
when his father removed to Poland, where he studied at the seminary. He
is said to have excelled in mathematics and languages, but was specially
noted for his activity and ability in the debating club. Here he was
prepared for college, and in 1860 he entered the junior class at
Meadville, Penn. But the boy had worked too hard and steadily, and in a
little while he was obliged to give up his studies and seek a change. He
taught for a time in a public school, and then became a clerk in the
Poland post-office. And here came the turning-point in his life.

The irrepressible conflict, foretold by our poets and dreaded by our
statesmen, broke out in the spring of 1861. The great Civil War, which
lasted four years and cost four hundred lives for every day of its
duration, appealed to the young manhood of the country as nothing else
ever had; and while it sent many to the grave, and changed all the
scheme of life for others, it opened for still others such careers as
without it would have been impossible.

William McKinley, Jr., then eighteen years of age, was one of the first
in his town to enlist for the defence of the Republic. He became a
private in the Twenty-third Ohio infantry, and in this he was
exceedingly fortunate, as it was one of the best regiments in the
service and numbered among its officers several who became famous.
William S. Rosecrans was the Colonel, Stanley Matthews the
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Rutherford B. Hayes the Major. In the four years
of its service that regiment mustered, first and last, 2,095 men; it
marched hundreds of miles, and was in nineteen battles, and 169 of its
men were killed.

Young McKinley was one of the model soldiers of the regiment. General
Hayes said: "We soon found that in business and executive ability he was
of unusual and surpassing capacity for a boy of his age. When battles
were to be fought, or a service was to be performed in warlike things,
he always took his place." McKinley said in after years that he looked
back with pleasure upon the fourteen months that he carried a musket in
the ranks, for they taught him many things. The regiment was sent into
West Virginia, and its first engagement was at Carnifex Ferry. In the
summer of 1862 it was ordered to Washington, and a few days after its
arrival it joined the Army of the Potomac, which was then moving
northward to head off the Army of Northern Virginia, which was bent upon
an invasion of the Northern States. The crash of arms came at South
Mountain (September 14th) and Antietam (September 17th). At South
Mountain the regiment made three successful charges, and lost heavily.
Antietam was the bloodiest day of the war, more than 2,000 men on each
side were killed on the field, and the Twenty-third Ohio was in the
hottest of the fight, holding its position from morning till evening
unrelieved. Private McKinley, meanwhile, had been made Commissary
Sergeant, and his place was with the supplies in the rear. He pressed a
few stragglers into his service and got ready a dinner for the regiment,
with hot coffee, and loaded it into two wagons. With these he drove upon
the field, under fire. The enemy's shot struck down the mules of one
wagon, but with the other he reached his comrades on the firing-line,
who gave a great shout of welcome when they saw him. He walked along the
line, and fed every man with his own hand. There is no record that such
a thing ever was done before or since. For this service he was made a
second lieutenant, and in the following February he was promoted to
first lieutenant. The regiment was a part of the force that headed off
Morgan in his raid into Ohio, fought him at Buffington's Ford, and
finally captured him. After that it took part in a series of battles in
the mountains and in the Shenandoah Valley. At Cloyd's Mountain, after a
wonderful march through ravines and dense woods, they burst into the
enemy's camp, McKinley leading his company, which was the first to leap
over the fortifications and silence the guns.

At Winchester, in July, 1864, General Crook's army of 6,000 men was
attacked by Early's of 20,000 and compelled to retreat. A West Virginia
regiment failed to fall back with the rest, and Lieutenant McKinley was
ordered to bring it off. Major Hastings says: "None of us expected to
see him again as we watched him push his horse through the open fields.
Once he was completely enveloped in the smoke of an exploding shell." He
brought off the regiment and led it to its place in the marching column.
And a little later he found opportunity to perform another peculiar
service. As they continued their retreat down the valley, they came upon
four guns, with caissons, that had been abandoned. Lieutenant McKinley
asked for permission to bring them off, and received it, though his
superior officers would not order the tired men to undertake the task.
"I think the Twenty-third will do it," said the young lieutenant, and
when he called for volunteers every man in his company came forward and
the guns were saved. The next day he was promoted to captain.

He again distinguished himself in the battles of Berryville, Fisher's
Hill, and Opequan. He was now on General Crook's staff, and at the
bloody battle of the Opequan occurred an incident that showed the young
officer capable of becoming a successful commander. He was sent with an
order to General Duval to move his brigade to a position on the right of
the Sixth Corps. The General asked, "By what route?" and the Captain
suggested, "I would move up this creek." The General, ignorant of the
ground, refused to move without definite orders. "Then," said McKinley,
who knew that there was urgent need of the movement, "by command of
General Crook, I order you to move your command up this ravine to a
position on the right of the army." The movement was made at once, and
proved successful. McKinley was also in the fierce fight at Cedar Creek,
and afterward served on Hancock's staff. In March, 1865, he received
from President Lincoln a commission as Major by brevet for gallant
services.

With so much of manly character developed at the age of twenty-two, and
so much experience in the greatest conflict of modern times, he turned
to the study of law--first in an office, and then in the Albany Law
School--and was admitted to the Bar in 1867. He settled in Canton, which
was thenceforth his home, and there in 1871 he married Miss Ida Saxton,
who was cashier in her father's bank. Their devotion for thirty years,
and the tenderness and constancy with which he watched over her in the
latter years when she was an invalid, form a chapter that never can be
mentioned without touching the hearts of their countrymen.

Mr. McKinley made his first political speech in 1867, and in 1869, as a
Republican, was elected prosecuting attorney for Stark County. In 1875
he made effective speeches for honest money and the resumption of specie
payments, and in 1876 he was elected to Congress by a large majority. He
was re-elected six times, but in 1890 was defeated by the gerrymandering
of his district. In 1891 he was nominated for Governor of Ohio, and was
elected by a plurality of 21,500. He was re-elected in 1893 by a
plurality of more than 80,000.

In Congress he had been a prominent debater on many important questions,
but he was chiefly conspicuous as an advocate of protection, and, as
Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, he was largely the author
of the tariff bill of 1890 which bears his name. It was slow work
getting the bill through Congress, and it did not become a law till
October. The most amazing misrepresentations of it were set afloat, and
it had not time to vindicate itself before the Congressional elections
came on in November, when the party that had carried it through was
overwhelmingly defeated.

During these years Mr. McKinley was almost constantly in the field as a
political speaker, and he became known as one of the most popular and
effective that our country has produced. It is computed that he
addressed a larger number of men, from the platform, than any other man
that ever lived.

He was a delegate to several national conventions of his party, and in
1888, and again in 1892, there was a strong movement to give him the
presidential nomination; but he decisively suppressed it each time--on
the first occasion because he had gone there as a friend and supporter
of John Sherman, and on the second because he declared that President
Harrison was entitled to a renomination. In 1896 he was unanimously
nominated on the first ballot. One circumstance that pointed him out as
the logical candidate was the fact that his tariff bill had been
replaced by one that proved a complete failure. The most exciting
question in the canvass was that of free coinage of silver. Mr. McKinley
was on a platform that declared for the gold standard, and his opponent,
William J. Bryan, was on one that declared for free and unlimited
coinage of silver at the ratio of sixteen to one. Mr. McKinley was
elected by a plurality in the popular vote of more than 600,000, and in
the electoral college by 271 to 176. In 1900 he was renominated, and his
opponent as before was Mr. Bryan, the issues being the same. This time
Mr. McKinley had a plurality in the popular vote of more than 800,000,
and in the electoral college had 292 to 155.

In the canvass of 1896 Mr. McKinley announced that he would make no
electioneering tour. But the people were determined to hear him, and
they went to Canton in large delegations and excursions from all parts
of the country. From his doorstep he made more than three hundred
addresses, speaking thus to three-quarters of a million persons. There
was scarcely any repetition, yet every speech was an admirable specimen
of argument and oratory.

Immediately after his first inauguration he called a special session of
Congress to revise the tariff, and the new bill was put through in time
to have a fair chance to vindicate itself before new elections occurred.
The other notable event in the first year of his administration was the
treaty for annexation of the Hawaiian Islands, which he signed in June,
but which was not confirmed by the Senate till a year later. In 1898
occurred the most important event in American affairs since the Civil
War--the war with Spain. This arose from the intolerable condition of
things in Cuba, where the Spanish authorities, endeavoring to suppress
the last of many insurrections, had resorted to the most cruel measures,
which entailed horrible suffering upon the women and children, and the
feeling was intensified by the blowing up of the battleship Maine in the
harbor of Havana, February 15, 1898. President McKinley did his utmost
to prevent actual war; and when he saw that to be inevitable, he delayed
it as long as possible and pushed on the preparations for it with all
practicable speed. On April 11th he sent to Congress a message on the
subject, and on the 20th he signed a joint resolution declaring that the
people of Cuba ought to be free and independent, and demanding that the
Government of Spain relinquish its authority over that island.
Diplomatic relations were broken off at once, and a state of war was
declared. Ten days later an American fleet commanded by Commodore George
Dewey entered the harbor of Manila, destroyed a Spanish fleet, and
silenced the shore batteries, without losing a vessel or a man. On July
3d another American fleet destroyed another Spanish fleet that had run
out of the harbor of Santiago, Cuba, and was trying to escape westward.
In this action, again, the Americans lost not a single vessel, and but
one man. Two days earlier than this the American land forces that had
been approaching the defences of Santiago on the east advanced to the
final assault, and after bloody fighting at San Juan Hill and El Caney
they were victorious. The invasion and capture of the island of Porto
Rico, soon afterward, ended the war in the West Indies. In August the
American land forces that had been sent to the Philippines captured the
city of Manila and its garrison. Peace soon followed, and by the treaty
signed in Paris, December 10th, Spain relinquished her sovereignty over
Cuba and ceded to the United States Porto Rico and the Philippines,
receiving $20,000,000 as an indemnity for her expenditures in the
last-named islands.

[Illustration: _From Harper's Magazine Copyright, 1897, by Harper &
Brothers._

President Mckinley taking the oath of office.]

President McKinley travelled extensively during his term of office,
spoke many times in nearly every State, and was probably more generally
beloved by the people than any of his predecessors. He visited the
Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, in September, 1901, and on the 5th
delivered a notable speech, which was admired and commented upon all
over the world. The next day, when he was holding a reception in the
Temple of Music on the Exposition grounds, he was treacherously shot by
an anarchist and wounded so that, in spite of the immediate services of
the most skilful surgeons, he died on the 14th. His amiable and
dignified character was conspicuous to the last. When he saw the crowd
about to kill the assassin on the spot, he exclaimed: "Let no one hurt
him!" To the surgeons he said: "I wish you to do whatever in your
judgment is best." When his last hour came he was heard softly chanting
his favorite hymns--"Nearer, my God, to Thee" and "Abide with me," and
his last words were, "It is God's way--His will be done. Good-by
all--good-by!" Thus passed away this wonderful man, this model American,
worthy of a place in history beside Washington and Lincoln. He had
fought like a hero--he had wrought like a genius--he had lived like a
patriot--he died like a philosopher.



GROVER CLEVELAND[19]

By CLARENCE COOK

(Born 1837)

         [Footnote 19: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Grover Cleveland. [TN]]


The history of our country discovers so many instances of men who have
risen from humble beginnings to posts of honor and influence by their
own energy, industry, and steadiness of purpose, that a fresh
illustration, while always sure of sympathy, no longer causes surprise.
But one element of interest always remains: the variety of character
which makes each new arrival at the goal an illustration of human
capacity different from all that have preceded it. As no two men are
alike, and as the conditions of life are infinitely various, the outcome
of character and disposition, as affected by circumstances, will also be
infinitely varied; and the discovery that every human experience puts
the possibilities of life in a new light, makes, perhaps, the greatest
charm of biography.

The life of Grover Cleveland is one that has appealed by its lessons to
a large body of his countrymen, without distinction of party, for the
plain reason that he is not removed from the mass of men by the
profession of extraordinary faculties. He has no genius, unless we
accept Goethe's dictum that genius is only the capacity for hard work;
he has no ornamental accomplishments; in social intercourse he does not
shine by wit, nor charm by humor, and we have too often to regret that
tact seems to have been wanting among his natal gifts. In these respects
he is himself one of the "plain people" in whom he seems always to be
interested, and whose welfare he has always in view; and as the plain
people, fortunately, make up the bulk of the world, the example of one
of our own number rising, unaided by friends or fortune, to so high a
position, has in it a great encouragement. In spite of political
differences, which, after all, are largely fostered by politicians for
their own advantage, the people at large are quick to recognize the
sterling qualities of honesty, industry, and plain-dealing, and it is by
these qualities that Mr. Cleveland's career has been determined.

Although we Americans have--rather ostentatiously, it must be
confessed--declared our indifference to ancestry; that

  "Our boast is not, that we deduce our birth
   From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth;"

yet we all have an innate conviction that there is something pleasant in
knowing that we come of good stock; and indeed it would be strange if we
valued that recommendation little for ourselves, as human beings, which
we prize so much in the animals that serve us. And so, although it has
been left for others to make the discovery, the fact is not without
interest that the American branch of the family to which the president
belongs, runs back to 1635, when Moses Cleaveland came to Massachusetts
from Ipswich, in Suffolk County, England. The spelling Cleaveland is
still retained by some of the collateral branches of the family on this
side the water, but the form Cleveland was in common use in England, and
it was so that John Cleveland, the Royalist poet, wrote the name. It may
be said, in passing, that it would not be without interest to discover,
if possible, if there were any connection between the family of John
Cleveland and that of Grover Cleveland's English ancestors, for the
resemblance between the characters of the two men is striking, and as
honorable as it is striking. As we read John Cleveland's appeals to
Cromwell for freedom and immunity after the death of the king, to whose
cause the poet had so devotedly adhered until that cause was hopelessly
lost, we seem to hear the prophecy of that boldness, that honesty
fearless of consequences, that refusal to withdraw or apologize for
sentiments honestly held and openly maintained, which are so
characteristic of one who may easily be an offshoot of that vigorous
stem.

The President's grandfather, William Cleveland, was a watchmaker doing
business at Westfield, Mass., but on his marriage with Margaret Falley,
of Norwich, Conn., he went there to live, and it was there that his son,
Richard Falley Cleveland, was born. According to the old system, it was
decided by his family to make a clergyman of Richard Cleveland, and
accordingly after making his terms at Yale College, and studying
divinity at Princeton, he entered the ministry; and having made some
preliminary trials, was finally settled in charge of the Presbyterian
Church in the village of Caldwell, Essex County, N. J., and in this
place his son, Stephen Grover Cleveland, was born, March 18, 1837. The
name of Stephen Grover was given out of respect to the memory of a
clergyman, Stephen Grover, who preceded his father in the charge of his
new parish. When the boy was only four years of age, Richard Cleveland
accepted a call to what was then almost the frontier-settlement of
Fayetteville, Onondaga County, N. Y. Here the Cleveland family remained
for eleven years making the most of life, and winning from the meagre
salary of $600 earned by the father, a harvest of cheerful content, of
homely comfort, and of unselfish mutual affection that might well be
envied by many whose means are far greater. The children were blessed in
their parents, and the parents were rewarded by the love and devotion of
their children. Later in life, on the day of his election to the
governorship of New York, in a letter to his elder brother, the Rev.
William N. Cleveland, Grover Cleveland showed where his heart was, for
his first words express a quiet regret that his mother's recent death
had made it impossible to make her the recipient of his deepest
feelings, of his hopes and fears on this important event in his life;
and at the close of the letter he again recurs to the theme as if the
memory of his mother were a part and parcel of his life.

In 1851, Richard Cleveland, with his wife and nine children, left
Fayetteville, for Clinton, Oneida County, N. Y., where he was to act as
the agent for the American Home Missionary Society, with a salary of
$1,000 a year. But of more importance than this modest increase of pay,
was the opportunity the new place offered for giving his children a
better education than they had been able to get at Fayetteville. Grover
did not leave Fayetteville with the rest of the family, because he had
engaged himself for a year with the keeper of a grocery store in the
village, where he was to receive the sum of $50 for the first year and
$100 for the second. At the end of the first year, however, his father,
ambitious for his boy's education, sent for him and placed him at the
Academy in Clinton, where he was to be fitted to enter Hamilton College
in due time. But this larger opportunity he was not to enjoy. His father
received a call to take charge of a church at Holland Patent, a village
near Utica, N. Y., and the whole family left their home in Clinton for
this place; but only three weeks after their arrival the father died,
October 1, 1853, and the wife, with so many of the children as still
remained at home, were left to support life as their scanty means
enabled them. The mother, evidently a woman of much force of character,
remained on the rock where the waves of changing fortune last flung her,
and by her own efforts and the willing hands of her children, kept the
family together until, her loving duty done by all that remained to her,
she died in 1882, living happily long enough to see the beginning of her
high hope for her son Grover, fulfilled in his honorable career as Mayor
of Buffalo.

Grover Cleveland was now to exchange for a short time the quiet life of
a country village for the more stirring experience of life in a great
city. His brother William, after leaving Hamilton College, had obtained
employment as an instructor in the Institution for the Blind in New York
City, where he was the principal of the male teachers. After the death
of his father, he secured for his brother Grover the place of
book-keeper and assistant to the superintendent of the asylum. The boy
came to his new place, not only with the good character given him by his
brother, then as now a man much respected by his associates, but with
the good word of all with whom he had been connected, whether as
school-boy or as work-boy.

Grover Cleveland left New York in the autumn of 1854, at the end of his
year's engagement at the Institution for the Blind. He returned to his
mother's home for a brief visit, and then, with the hope of making a
beginning in the profession of the law, which he for some time intended
to take up, he visited some of the towns where his family was known,
Syracuse and Utica, in the hope of finding employment; but as no opening
presented itself, he determined to visit Cleveland, a town named for one
of his family. He stopped on his way at Buffalo, to visit an uncle,
Lewis F. Allen, a well-known farmer, who published each year a
compilation made by himself: "The American Short-Horn Herd-Book."
Pleased with his young relative, Mr. Allen persuaded him to remain in
Buffalo and assist him in his work; and thus it happened that Grover
Cleveland found himself planted in a city with which in time his
fortunes and his fame were to become closely associated; while, on the
other hand, the results of that connection to the city itself were to be
far-reaching and of great importance.

By the recommendation of his uncle he obtained a place as office-boy in
the office of Bowen & Rogers, one of the principal firms of lawyers in
Western New York. It was thus that he began his legal studies, reading
hard in all his odd moments; and in his spare time after office-hours
assisting his uncle, with whom at first he lived, in the compilation of
the "Herd-Book." Mr. Parker tells us that the first appearance in print
of Grover Cleveland's name is in the "Herd-Book" for 1861, in which Mr.
Allen expresses his acknowledgment of "the kindness, industry, and
ability of his young friend and kinsman, in correcting and arranging the
pedigrees for publication." Prompt to seize every opportunity for
increasing his knowledge of the world about him, and feeling, perhaps,
that his uncle's farm in the outskirts of Buffalo was too much like the
village he had left, he took rooms with an old schoolmate from
Fayetteville in the old Southern Hotel in Buffalo, at that time a resort
for drovers and farmers, where his knowledge of their business, obtained
in his uncle's employ, brought him into closer acquaintance with at
least one division of the "plain people" than could have been gained
without that experience.

[Illustration: The ceremony at Grover Cleveland's marriage.]

Grover Cleveland was admitted to the bar in 1859. He did not at first
begin the practice of the law on his own account, but remained for four
years longer with his teachers, until he had gained the position of
chief clerk. In 1858, on coming of age, he cast his first vote, giving
it to the Democratic party; but not content with the mere performance of
this part of the citizen's duty, "he took his place at the polls and
throughout the day distributed ballots by the side of the veterans of
his party." "This habit," says Mr. Parker, "he kept up until his
election as governor. He was never a partisan, but he believed in
working for his party, and he not only worked for it at the polls,
but he always marched in the procession whenever a great Democratic
demonstration was made."

On January 1, 1863, Mr. Cleveland began his first independent work as a
lawyer, and on leaving the office of the firm that had been his teachers
and associates, he accepted the office of assistant district attorney of
Erie County, to which he had been appointed. For this he give up a
salary of $1,000, and took one of $600, but he did this because he saw
that the training and experience of such an office would be worth more
to him than money. It was while he held this office that he was drafted
into the army, and being convinced that he was more useful in his office
than he could be as a soldier, he sent a substitute, borrowing the money
for the bounty from his superior, the district attorney. This money,
says Mr. Parker, he was not able to pay back until the close of his term
as assistant district attorney, and until the war itself was over. Two
of his brothers entered the army in 1861, and served through the war.

From this time Mr. Cleveland's rise was rapid, and made by great
strides, each new position the result of the satisfactory way in which
he had filled the one previously held. He was indeed defeated in his
first contest, that for district attorney of Erie County. In 1870 he
accepted the nomination of his party for the office of sheriff of Erie
County. It was not usual for lawyers to accept this office, and Mr.
Cleveland did not take it until after much deliberation and consultation
with his party friends. He was finally moved to accept the nomination
for the practical reasons that the place would give him leisure for
much-needed study in his profession, and that it would also enable him
to lay up a little money. He held the office for the full term, and
returned to the practice of the law in 1874, becoming a member of the
firm of Bass, Cleveland, & Bissell. Mr. Bass was the opponent who had
defeated him in the contest for district attorney, and Mr. Bissell is
now the Postmaster-General in the cabinet of his former law-partner.

In 1881, Mr. Cleveland was nominated for the office of Mayor of Buffalo,
and was elected by a majority of thirty-five hundred, the largest which
had ever been given in Buffalo for that office. It was a time of great
excitement, for the government of the city had fallen into very bad
hands, and in the election of Mr. Cleveland party lines were disregarded
to an unusual degree. His fearless and energetic administration of this
office; his resolute refusal to give any support to those fictions of
politicians and office-holders by which the citizens in all our great
municipalities are robbed of their rights and their money; his obstinate
vetoing of one proposed law after another by which these people hoped to
gain their ends--vetoes for which he always gave his reasons in the
plainest words, meant to be understood by the plainest people--his
determination, in short, to be true to his principle declared on taking
office, that the affairs of government were to be managed as a man would
manage his private business--all this fixed the eyes of the people upon
him as a man to be intrusted with still graver responsibilities.

In 1882, Mr. Cleveland was nominated for the high position of Governor
of New York, in opposition to Charles J. Folger, a man of high
character, formerly chief justice of the Court of Appeals, and at the
time of the contest, secretary of the treasury under President Arthur.
For reasons into which we cannot enter here, but which, though purely
political, gave good cause for public discontent, Mr. Folger's
nomination roused the determined opposition of many of his own party,
and this defection, added to the united enthusiasm of the Democracy,
insured Mr. Cleveland's election by one hundred and ninety-two thousand
eight hundred and fifty-four votes more than were cast for Mr. Folger.

Mr. Cleveland administered the office of governor in such a way as
greatly to strengthen the admiration of his party, especially of the
better portion of it, in spite of the fact that partisan advantages were
often lost by Mr. Cleveland's independent and patriotic action. Nor can
it be doubted that his election to the presidency, which followed, was
the fruit of the experience the people had had of his character while in
the governor's chair. That campaign was one of the most interesting, and
we may say, one of the most valuable morally, that has been waged in our
day in this country. So far as mere votes were concerned, it was not
such a victory as that for the governorship, but in its political
meaning, and its influence on the course of our history, it was of the
first importance.

At the close of his first term of office as president, Mr. Cleveland was
again nominated, but was defeated by his opponent, Mr. Harrison; yet
when the time for choosing a successor to Mr. Harrison came round, Mr.
Cleveland was again nominated, and was elected, defeating Mr. Harrison
in his turn. The vote on this last occasion was so overwhelmingly in
favor of the Democratic party as to have amounted virtually to a
political revolution; but the limitation and character of this sketch do
not permit us to go into a discussion of it. Our purpose has been to
show the elements of character that have gone to make the truly
extraordinary success that has marked Mr. Cleveland's political life.
That success has not been due to genius, nor to social or personal
advantages. It has been due to nobler causes; it is the result of
sterling and well-tried honesty, of hard and unremitting labor applied
to the understanding of every question coming before him for decision,
and of a resolute independence; his fixed belief that

  "Because right is right to follow right
   Were wisdom in the scorn of consequence."

[Signature of the author.]





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 4 of 8 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History" ***

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