« PreviousContinue »
kind. He commonly replied to these hints by say- | dream of such fame as that of Watt and Ark-
A RECENT number of the London Morning moderate competence to the end of his days. The Chronicle contains, under the above title, the folinventor of a cork-screw or a quack sugar-plum, lowing notice of Mr. Webster, which has been has realized a princely fortune. Perkins, whose called forth by the publication in London of a volwhole life was devoted to the enlargement of ume of documents from the pen of our distinhuman knowledge, got merely bread to eat. guished countryman. These remarks, coming from Fame is his great reward. He gave to mechan- a quarter in which Americans and their instituism new powers, a new importance, and a new tions have not been accustomed to receive hasty or dignity. Speculative and practical science are
indiscriminate commendation, will be read with both indebted to his genius. ' A writer well qual- much interest, as showing the rank which Mr. ified to judge, says of him, regarding his experi-Webster occupies in the estimation of the people ments in high pressure steam : “ Viewing his ex- of Europe. Some passages towards the close reertions from first to last, no other mechanic of the fer to Mr. Webster's conversational peculiarities, day has done more to illustrate an obscure branch of which an Englishman is perhaps little qualified of philosophy by a series of dangerous, difficult, to judge. We have, however, printed the writer's and expensive experiments." We refrain from remarks entire. As Gibbon says of the magnificopying other testimonials of the regard in which cent eulogy pronounced upon him by Porson, “ the he is held by men of scientific and philosophical sweetness of his praise is tempered by a reasonacquirements ; these would suit a much more ex
able mixture of acid.”—Boston Courier. tended biography.
Few of the living statesmen of America have ocHe died in London, July 30th, 1849. The cupied so prominent a position in the history of their name he leaves behind him is that of the Ameri- country as Daniel Webster. A native of Massacan Inventor. It is one which he deserves, and chusetts, he early distinguished himself in that which is his true glory. He was entirely self- legal career which is, in America, the shortest and educated in science, and the great powers of his a very young man when his voice was first heard in
the surest road to political distinction. He was but mind expanded by their innate force. For half a the councils of the nation, and he took his seat in century from the hour of his birth, he lived in the federal senate, the most august assembly in the the town of Newburyport. Here he grew up, Union, as soon as he had attained the age at acquired his knowledge, applied his genius to which such an honor can constitutionally devolve action, perfected his inventive powers, and gained upon a citizen. As one of the senatorial represenall his early reputation. At the present day, turned to that body for five consecutive terms, each
tatives of the state of Massachusetts, he was rewhen books are in the hand of every man, woman, term embracing a period of six years. It was and child, and the rudiments of scientific knowl- during the progress of the fifth term that he quitted edge are presented to us in thousands of student's the Senate, to exchange, for a brief period, his manuals, cyclopedias, periodicals, public lectures, legislative for administrative duties, having been &c., we can form no adequate notion of the ob- called, in 1841, as Secretary of State to the cabistacles which lay in the way of a young man be- net of General Harrison. For many years previous ginning his scientific pursuits at the time when to this he had been regarded as one of the competPerkins was a youth. Imagine the state of popu- party maneuvring have prevented him from even se
itors for the Presidency, but party exigencies and lar science in 1787, and some faint notion may be curing a nomination. In addition to his legislative obtained of the difficulties which the young artist and administrative renown, Mr. Webster stands was compelled to encounter in the preliminary high as a jurist, and the character which he has steps of every undertaking. The exact sciences achieved as a profound constitutional lawyer will were but slightly regarded, even by those who form no insignificant ingredient in his reputation
with posterity. made pretensions to complete learning in those
The work now before us has reference chiefly, if days, and a great proficient in the mechanic arts not exclusively, to the brief episode of his life could only hope to be considered in the light of a during which it was his lot to exercise executive clever carpenter or blacksmith.
Men did not functions. The evanescence of his ministerial ca
reer was attributed to circumstances which neither tions; but, when carried in any great degree into he nor his colleagues could control. The sudden private life, it disfigures the general character. death of General Harrison completely dislocated This is the flaw in Mr. Webster's mind. In the the whig cabinet which he had called around him ordinary relations of life he is distant, reserved, within a brief month after its formation. His suc- and ambiguous to a degree, keeping his auditor cessor got rid, one after another, of the advisers of constantly ill at ease, lest he should have misapprethe deceased President, and Mr. Webster would hended the real drift of his words. A set match have been one of the first to retire, but that, as Sec- between Mr. Webster and a diplomatist of this retary of State, he thought he had a mission to country, at present not a hundred miles from fulfil which he was anxious to bring to a peaceful Downing-street, would be an intellectual strugglu termination before the government had passed en- of no ordinary interest. Mr. Webster can both tirely into the hands of Mr. Tyler and his nom- write and speak clearly, when he chooses ; it is inees. The negotiations concerning the norin- his habit to be studiously obscure. Jlis correspon eastern boundary, and the capture, detention, and dence with Lord Ashburton furnishes us with spec trial of McLeod, were still in progress ; and Mr. imens of diplomatic literature well worthy of Webster, bent on a peaceful solution of the dispute, study. There is more earnestness displayed was not disposed to deliver, unadjusted, into possi- throughout it than is generally to be met with bly unskilful hands, questions at once so delicate, in documents like those of which it is composed, and dangerous. He therefore remained in the cab- arising from the anxiety under which the negotiator inet for several months after his political friends evidently labored for the speedy and amicable arhad, one after another, fallen away from it, and rangement of the dispute. But notwithstanding after the principles which had presided at its for this, his communications display neither precipmation had been abandoned for an imbecile policy, itancy nor carelessness in their composition. Like which developed itself in the form of a protracted his oratory, they are massive, studied, and stately, intrigue. During the period for which he thus re- and show the extent to which he combines the mained at the head of the foreign department of the qualities of a diplomatist with the attributes of a government, an isolated relic of the then short-lived jurist and lawgiver. ascendency of the whigs, he was in constant coinmunication with the British plenipotentiary, with the oddity of seeing Mr. Webster charged with being ob
[We copy the foregoing into the Living Age partly for whom he at length concluded a convention, which brought the dispute between the two countries to
scure and ambiguous! In our opinion, he is of all our an amicable issue. Having thus, as he conceived, the ablest and most sagacious. Had the whigs cast off
statesmen the most clear and unmistakeable, as well as fulfilled his mission, he retired from the cabinet, their party leaders, and followed his lead after Harrison's and left Mr. Tyler to his fate. Being thus once more eligible to the Senate, he was again, on the election, they would probably have acquired California first vacancy in the representation of Massachusetts without the war, and have settled the Oregon dispute occurring, returned by that state to the body of without coming so near a rupture with England. And, which he had been so great an ornament, and which perhaps not !—for John Bull would not attend to his part he had so recently quitted. His time is therefore of the business till strongly pressed—and our affairs with once more divided between his senatorial duties and Mexico were a Gordian knot.) his legal pursuits.
The only portion of the published correspondence before us, which is of much interest to us in this country, is that which relates to the settlement of the international dispute just alluded to.
Of herself, Fredrika Bremer says: This is evidently not the place in which to discuss the merits of the convention itself, by which that If it should so happen that, as regards me, any dispute was finally adjusted. It has been said that one should wish to cast a kind glance behind the the best proof that an arbitrator can afford of his hav- curtain which conceals a somewhat uneventful life, ing dealt fairly by both parties, is to have them both he may discover that I was born on the banks of dissatisfied with his award. Such was the case the Aura, a river which flows through Abo, and with the treaty of Washington. If some of the that several of the venerable and learned men of provisions excited considerable dissatisfaction on the university were even iny godfathers. At the this side of the Atlantic, it was certainly far from age of three, I was removed, with my family, from obtaining a universal approval on the other. Both my native country of Finland. Of this part of my the negotiators, not unwisely perhaps, conceded, life, I have only retained one single memory. This and it was for this mutual concession that they were memory is a word, a mighty name, which, in the both assailed in their respective countries; and one depths of Paganism, was pronounced by the Finof Mr. Webster's last great efforts in the Senate nish people with fear and love; and is still so prowas devoted to a vindication of the treaty in its ap- nounced in these days, although perfected by Chrisplication to American interests. But our present tianity. I still fancy that I often hear this word business, instead of being with the merits of the spoken aloud over the trembling earth by the thuntreaty, is with the character of the correspondence, der of Thor, or by the gentle winds which bring to so far as Mr. Webster bore a part in it, and with it refreshment and consolation. That word is the literary and diplomatic attainments which it Jumala ; the Finnish name for God, both in Pagan demonstrates him to possess. Of the correspon- and Christian times. dence it is impossible to speak but in terms of the If any one kindly follows me from Finland into highest praise. Mr. Webster's mind is cast in an Sweden, where my father purchased an estate after eminently diplomatic mould. He possesses all the he had sold his property in Finland, I would not qualities which are considered as essential to suc- trouble him to accompany me from childhood to cessful diplomacy-astuteness, forethought, re- youth, with the inward elementary chaos, and the serve, self-possession, and, to an eminent degree, outward, uninteresting, and commonplace picture the talent of ambiguity. The last mentioned gift of a family, which every autumn removed, in their may sometimes be very serviceable in state transac- I covered carriage, from their estate in the country
BY MARY HOWITT.
to their house in the capital ; and every spring so is it also in the midnight hours of great suffer-
If it be desired to hear anything of my writings,
my youth I continued to write in the same sublime
strain. I wrote under the impulse of restless youthCasting a glance into the family circle, it would ful feelings—I wrote in order to write. Afterbe seen that they collected, in the evening, in the wards, I seized the pen under the influence of great drawing-room of their country house, and another motive, and wrote—that which I had read. read aloud; that the works of the German poets At the present time, when I stand on the verge were read, especially Schiller, whose Don Carlos of the autumn of my life, I still see the same objects made a profound impression upon the youthful spring, and I am so happy as still to possess, out
which surrounded me in the early days of my mind of one of the daughters in particular.
of many dear ones, a beloved mother and sister. A deeper glance into her soul will show that a | The mountains which surround our dwelling, and heavy reality of sorrow was spreading, by degrees, upon which Gustavus Adolphus assembled his a dark cloud over the splendor of her youthful troops, before he went as a deliverer to Germany, dreams. Like early evening, it came over the path appear to me not less beautiful than they were in of the young pilgrim of life ; and earnestly, but in the days of my childhood ; they have increased in vain, she endeavored to escape it. The air was
interest, for I am now better acquainted with their dimmed as by a heavy fall of snow,
grasses and their flowers. creased, and it became night. And in the depth
Fredrika Bremer's works are: The Neighbors ; of that endless winter night, she heard lamenting The Home; The H. Family; Strife and Peace; voices from the east, and from the west ; from The President's Daughter; Nina ; The Diary; In plant and animal ; from dying nature and despair
Delecarlia ; Brothers and Sisters; The Midnight
From the New York Evening Post.
Rev. C. C. COLTon. Revised edition ; with an which allies itself to darkness; and from this union
Index. New York: William Gowans. 1849. of light and darkness of fire and tears—proceeds Few books have ever earned the fame and a God. I believe that something similar to this the study which have been bestowed upon them, takes place in every human being who is born to a more fairly than Lacon. It is difficult to foresee deeper life; and something similar took place in that period in the progress of our race, when its her who writes these lines.
sententious wisdom and eloquence, all compact
our readers, than anything we can say of the work
he held with his fellowship, and where he con-sity of reflection than of any cynical severity of tinued to reside for many years, and until presented disposition. His nose was aquiline, or (to speak to the vicarage of Kew and Petersham, in 1818. more correctly, if less elegantly) hooked ; his The eccentricities and irregularities by which cheek bones were high and protruding, and his he was afterwards distinguished, were not en- forehead by no means remarkable either for its tirely unknown here. On one occasion he was expansiveness or phrenological beauty of developsent to read the “ Visitation of the Sick,” to a dy- ment. There was a singular variability of expresing parishioner, who had amassed great wealth in sion about his mouth, and his chin was precisely the Indies. The visit occupied him until another what Lavater would have called an intellectual clergyman had concluded reading the afternoon chin. Perhaps the shrewdness of his glances was prayers in the church at Tiverton. Colton rushed indicative rather of extraordinary cunning, than from the dying man's bedside into the pulpit, and of high mental intelligence. His usual costume for above an hour poured forth an extemporaneous was a frock-coat, sometimes richly braided, and a flood of eloquence in favor of strict morals, to the black velvet stock : in short, his general appearno small surprise of his crowded auditory, and ance was quite military; so much so, that he was closed at length as follows:
often asked if he was not in the army. “ You wonder to hear such things from me, but half-inclined to believe that he courted this kind if you had been where I was just now, and had of misconception, as his reply was invariably the heard and seen what I did, you would have been same : No, sir, but I am an officer of the church convinced it was high time to reform our courses militant.'” —and I, for one, am determined to begin.” The Before they parted, Mr. Colton gave his new very next Sunday he hurried over the reading of a acquaintance a pressing invitation to breakfast next fifteen minutes' discourse, and immediately after morning, and put a card into his hand, in which was seen placing his pointers in a basket behind, the name of the street and the number of the house and his guns beside him, in his gig, and driving were explicitly mentioned. The describer went off towards a distant manor, to be ready for the and found—a marine-store shop! and thinking next day's partridge shooting.
that, after all, there must be a mistake, he walked His first publication, in 1810, was also marked off
. On again meeting Mr. Colton, the too fasby the same characteristics. It was “A plain and tidious stranger was reproached for his breach of authentic Narrative of the Sampford Ghost ;' in appointment, and invited anew.
". The most exwhich he asserted his confident belief in the super- aggerated description of the garrets of the poets natural agency of the disturbances of Sampford, of fifty years ago,” says the visitor, “ would not (rather closely plagiarized from the ghost of Cock libel Mr. Colton's apartment.
Such of the panes Lane,) and wound up all, by placing in the hands as were entire were begrimed with dirt. As to of the mayor of Tiverton a bond, by which he the only two chairs in the room, while one, apparengaged to pay £100 to any one who could ex- ently the property of the poet, was easy and cushplain the cause of the phenomenon. It certainly ioned, and differed essentially in character from required this proof of his good faith not to pro- the rest of the furniture, the other, a miserable voke a smile at the title of his next publication : rush-bottomed one, was awfully afflicted with the
· Hypocrisy, a Satirical Poem,” which was wel- rickets. On the deal table at which the host was comed but coldly by the public in 1812.
seated, stood a broken wine-glass, half filled with Mr. Colton was always an anti-Bonapartist, ink, with a steel pen, which had seen some serboth when, in the height of his power, he was vice, laid transversely on its edge. Immediately the peculiar object of the abuse of the English beside the poet lay a bundle of dirty and dog'snewspapers, and when, after his fall, he was made eared manuscripts. After reciting to his visitor the theme of praise which posterity will perhaps several pages of the MS. Lacon, the work which regard as equally exaggerated and disgusting. raised him to fame, Mr. Colton insisted he should The poem of “ Napoleon” followed that of “ Hy- taste his wine ; and, going to the piece of furnipocrisy,” in the same year, and was considered to ture which contained his bed, opened a large drawer evince much superior poetical talent. It was near the floor which was filled with bottles of while the proof-sheets of this work were prepar- wine ranged in sawdust, as in a bin. His hock ing for publication, that a writer, who gave an and white hermitage were delicions, and poet and account of him about fourteen years afterwards, in a auditor parted faster friends than ever.” defunct periodical, “ The Literary Magnet,” was Towards the end of 1820 appeared “ Lacon, or introduced to Mr. Colton by an equally eccentric Many Things in Few Words, addressed to those personage, the well-known Walking Stewart. who think," a thin, ill-printed seven-shilling oc“ The appearance of Mr. C. was,” he says, tavo. It attracted much attention and praise. The " at once striking and peculiar. There was an name of Colton was henceforth known to all ; and indefinable something in the general character of when we find that the sixth edition of “ Lacon" his features, which, without being remarkably pre- appeared in 1821, we need not wonder that “ Lapossessing, fixed the attention of a stranger in no con, vol. II.” appeared in 1822. ordinary degree.
His keen gray eye was occa It has been charged that some of the ideas in sionally overshadowed by a scowl or inflection of this popular work may be traced to Burdon's “Mathe brow, indicative rather of an habitual inten- ) terials for Thinking," a favorite work with Mr.
Colton, and that others are taken from Bacon's Es- | Ode on the death of Lord Byron,” and left at his says; but after making every deduction, its orig- death a poem of six hundred lines, which was afinality, its wit, its cloquence, and its acuteness, terwards published, entitled “ Modern Antiquity," are mainly and undeniably the property of its re- in which he maintains that the moderns are the puted author.
true ancients, as belonging to the most advanced In 1822, Mr. Colton republished his “ Napole- period of the world. on," with extensive additions, under the title of Mr. Gowans, to whom the public is indebted “ The Conflagration of Moscow.” The next that for this much-needed edition of Lacon, has disis heard of him was in connection with the then charged the editorial office with great diligence notorious murder of Weare by Thurtell. Both and fidelity. He has added to the work a very were habitual gamblers. So was the Vicar of complete and convenient index, correcting many Kew, and he had suddenly disappeared. He was typographical and other errors which have crept known to have been frequently in the company of into the various cheap editions of the work, with the murderer and the murdered. It was feared he which the American readers have been liitherto had fallen a victim to those he had selected as his mainly supplied. We hope Mr. Gowans may habitual associates; but Thurtell denied the fact. find it worth while to publish a second volume, Some time elapsed before it transpired, to the pub- which shall embrace the remaining works of Mr. lic at least, that Mr. Colton's disappearance had Colton, which are not at all known in this counbeen voluntary, and that he had fled from his try, and about which, among scholars at least, creditors, who gazetted him as a bankrupt mer- sufficient interest exists, we should think, to inchant.
demnify the publisher for any expense to which We remember to have seen, quite recently, in the enterprise would subject him. a London paper, an account of the claims established against him by his London creditors on this The following memorial, (says the Times,) occasion, and among them was a bill for the paper drawn up by Lord Fitzwilliam, was in course of upon which Lacon was printed.
signature when the late disastrous intelligence arIn November, 1827, on the latest day allowed rived from Hungary: it would probably otherwise, by law, he appeared to take re-possession of his in addition to the names of those with whom it living ; but in 1828, he finally lost it, by lapse, and originated, have had appended to it the signatures the college appointed a successor. For the next of many other peers and members of Parliament : two years he was in America, travelling through to the Lord John Russell, First Commissioner of the United States ; from thence he transferred his
the Treasury, and the Viscount Palmerston, Prinresidence to the Palais Royal —" which is to
cipal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Paris,” says Galignani's Guide, “what Paris is 90 Europe, the centre of pleasure and vice !" He House of Commons) desire to express to your lord
The undersigned (being peers or members of the there expended considerable sums in forming a ships, and through your lordships to the rest of her picture gallery, and every nook of his apartment majesty's confidential servants, the deep interest was filled with valuable paintings. He then be which they take in the contest which is now carried came known in the gaming salons of the Palais on between the Hungarian nation and the Emperor Royal, and so successful was he, that in a year or
of Austria. two he acquired £25,000. But inveterate at
ily terminated in the manner which they conceive tachment to the gaming table again rendered him most conducive to the interests of the Austrian ema beggar, and his excesses brought on a disease, pire-viz., by the recognition of the just demands to remove which a surgical operation became in- of Hungary, the most important of the hereditary dispensable. The dread of this operation pro- dominions of the house of Hapsburg: duced such an effect upon Mr. Colton's mind, that
The undersigned are of opinion that it is both he became almost insane, and finally blew out his the interest and the duty of England to contribute, brains, in order to avoid the pain of the opera- Hungary.
by every legitimate means, to the tranquillity of
They are of opinion, however, that this tio
object, so desirable, cannot be obtained so as to inHe doubtless little supposed, when he was sure its perinanence, unless the terms on which it writing Lacon, that he was destined himself to is accomplished be consistent with the ancient laws illustrate one of its wisest apothegms. “ The and constitution of the country. gamester,” he there says, “ if he die a martyr to
While so many of the nations of Europe have his profession, is doubly ruined. He adds his own barked in schemes of doubtful policy and of still
engaged in revolutionary movements, and have emsoul to every other loss, and by the act of suicide more doubtful success, it is gratifying to the underrenounces earth to forfeit heaven."
signed to be able to assure your lordships that the He put an end to his life at Fontainbleu, while Hungarians demand nothing but the recognition of visiting a friend, on the 28th April, 1832. ancient rights and the stability and integrity of their
During his residence at Paris his mode of dress ancient constitution. To your lordships it cannot continued unchanged. He had only one room, be unknown that that constitution bears a striking kept no servant, unless a boy to take charge of his resemblance to that of our own country. King, horse and cabriolet ; he lighted his own fire, and garian as of the British Constitution. So far, there
lords, and commons, are as vital parts of the Hunperformed all his other domestic offices himself. fore, from the undersigned being animated by a revHe printed at Paris, for private circulation, “An lolutionary spirit, or being actuated by principles
or of A is their anxious wish to see this contest speed