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He was not only a man of firm mind, and steadilyfixed principles; he was also a person of great accomplishments and excellent abilities. Educated in the study of the civil law at one of the French colleges, he had résided long enough in Europe to perfect his learning in all the ordinary branches of knowledge. On his return to America, he sided with the people against the mother country, and was soon known and esteemed as among the ablest writers of the Independent party. The confidence reposed in him soon after was so great, that he was joined with Franklin in the commission of three sent to obtain the concurrence of the Canadians in the revolt. He was a Member of Congress for the first two trying years, when the body was only fourteen in number, and might rather be deemed a cabinet council for action than anything like a deliberative senate. He then belonged, during the rest of the war, to the legislature of his native State, Maryland, until 1788, when he was elected one of the United States' Senate, and continued to act for three years in this capacity. The rest of his time, until he retired from public life in 1804, was passed as a Senator of Maryland. In all these capacities he has left behind him a high reputation for integrity, eloquence, and judgment.
It is usual with Americans to compare the last
thirty years of his life to the Indian summersweet as it is tranquil, and partaking neither of the fierce heats of the earlier, nor the chilling frosts of the later season. His days were both crowned with happiness, and lengthened far beyond the usual period of human existence. He lived to see the people whom he had once known 900,000 in number pass twelve millions; a handful of dependent colonists become a nation of freemen; a dependent settlement assume its place among the first-rate powers of the world; and he had the delight of feeling that to this consummation he had contributed his ample share. As no one had run so large a risk by joining the revolt, so no one had adhered to the standard of freedom more firmly, in all its fortunes, whether waving in triumph or over disaster and defeat. He never had despaired of the commonwealth, nor ever had lent his ear to factious councils; never had shrunk from any sacrifice, nor ever had pressed himself forward to the exclusion of men better fitted to serve the common
Thus it happened to him that no man was more universally respected and beloved ; none had fewer enemies; and notwithstanding the ample share in which the gifts of fortune were showered upon his house, no one grudged its prosperity. It would, however, be a very erroneous view of his merits and of the place which he filled in the eye of his country, which should represent him as only respected for his patriotism and his virtues. He had talents and acquirements which enabled him effectually to help the cause he espoused. His knowledge was various; and his eloquence was of a high order. · It was, like his character, mild and pleasing: like his deportment, correct and faultless. Flowing smoothly, and executing far more than it seemed to aim at, every one was charmed by it, and many were persuaded. His taste was peculiarly chaste, for he was a scholar of extraordinary accomplishments; and few, if any, of the speakers in the New World came nearer the model of the more refined oratory practiced in the parent state. Nature and ease, want of effort, gentleness united with sufficient strength, are noted as its enviable characteristics; and as it thus approached the tone of conversation, so, long after he ceased to appear in public, his private society is represented as displaying much of his rhetorical powers, and has been compared not unhappily, by a late writer, to the words of Nestor, which fell like vernal snows as he spake to the people. In commotions, whether of the Senate or the multitude, such a speaker, by his calmness and firmness joined, might well hope to have the weight, and to exert the control and mediatory authority of him, pietate gravis et meritis, who
regit dictis animos et pectora mulcet.
In 1825, on the anniversary of the Half Century after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the day was kept over the whole Union as a grand festival, and observed with extraordinary solemnity. As the clock struck the hour when that mighty instrument had been signed, another bell was also heard to toll. It was the passing bell of John Adams, one of the two surviving Presidents who had signed the Declaration. The other was Jefferson; and it was soon after learned that at this same hour he too had expired in a remote quarter of the country.
There now remained only Carroll to survive his fellows; and he had already reached extreme old age; but he lived yet seven years longer, and, in 1832, at the age of 95, the venerable patriarch was gathered to his fathers.
The Congress went into mourning on his account for three months, as they had done for Washington, and for him alone.
HENRY, LORD BROUGHAM, Historical Sketches of Statesmen.
THE SUBVERSION OF LIBERTY IN
It is one of the most remarkable circumstances in modern history, that about the middle of the seventeenth century, when all other countries were advancing toward constitutional arrangement. of some kind or other, for the security of civil and religious liberty, Denmark, by a formal act of the States or Diet, abrogated even that shadow of a constitution, and invested her sovereigns with full despotic power to make and execute law without check or control on their absolute authority. Lord Molesworth, who wrote an account of Denmark in 1692, thirty-two years after this singular transaction, makes the curious observation : “That in the Roman Catholic religion, there is a resisting principle to absolute civil power from the division of authority with the head of the Church of Rome; but in the north, the Lutheran Church is entirely subservient to the civil power, and the whole of the northern people of Protestant countries have lost their liberties ever since they changed their