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gestion of those who knew something of him, and whose opinions I respect. In some points the task has been grateful to me; sad, though it may seem, for a father. I thank God, that I have been able to maintain my cheerfulness, and to attend to the common occupations of life, since the deplorable loss which I suffered in his departure from this world. But every hour has he been in my mind. In every occupation, in almost every conversation, however little others could see the connexion, his image has been before me. It has been a beautiful image, and has not checked any pleasure, nor even any gayety, in which I thought he could have joined
“Under any circumstances I might seem an improper person to give his history, and my statements may be deemed scarcely worthy of credit. Who will believe that I shall be impartial ? I can say, however, that I would not willingly be guilty of exaggeration, if it were only from a respect to the love of truth, which formed the most distinguishing trait in his character. He loved me as few sons love their fathers. Of this I have had ample and constant proofs. But he loved truth better, and would not subscribe to any opinion because it was mine, though he was quite willing, in his conduct, to submit to my direction and control.
“But if I draw a fancy picture, while I design to paint the character of my son, if that presents a young man who devoted his time most assiduously to the acquisition of useful knowledge, who cultivated at the same time his best moral affections, and acted from the highest love of virtue, and who thereby secured the friendship of the wise and good, the fiction at least may have some good influence on the young and inexperienced. At least it may lead them to reflect on the immutable connexion between virtue and happiness.
“The subject of this story was not indeed rewarded by long life. But in this age will it be maintained that long life is the greatest of blessings? This is a topic on which I shall not enlarge; but I will only say for myself, which I do most sincerely, that I would not have added a year to my son's life by an habitual and allowed indulgence in a single vice.
“The history of my son's life is very simple, and it may be told very briefly. He was born on the 15th January, 1810, was graduated at the University in Cambridge in 1828, and then engaged in the study of medicine. This he did under my direction and as my pupil. He continued as such till the April of 1831, and during this time he attended the medical lectures of our University, and saw the practice of the Massachusetts General Hospital. In the spring, 1831, he went to Paris, where he arrived in May, and remained till July, 1833, except during a visit of six months to Great Britain and Ireland, in the spring and summer of 1832. He
reached home at the end of the summer, 1833, and was graduated as Doctor of Medicine in our University in February, 1834. He was now prepared to engage in practice, and took rooms for himself in Franklin-Place. He was thus brought to the starting-place of active life, and under circumstances the most flattering and the most grateful, when he was arrested in his course. Exactly at this point he was arrested. His arrangements being made, he sent an advertisement to the public papers, which appeared on the 5th of March, and on that day he was taken sick, so as to lodge at my house, instead of occupying the rooms which he had just announced as his residence. This sickness was his last, and he died on the 27th of the same month, being in his 25th year.” — pp. 3-5.
After this general account, the author of the Memoir proceeds to enter into the details of the life of his son. As a boy he was lively, social, goodhumored and generous. “His schoolmaster loved him; but had to punish him continually for the sin of laughing, of which he could not break him how
“Once, when a little boy, he had kept at the head of his class for two or three days, and then a younger boy got above him. I reproached him for permitting this. But he said, with great naïveté, that the other boy 'ought to be at the head sometimes. I hardly gave him credit at the moment for this generous wish for the gratification of his rival, but his companions in later life will agree with me in believing, that it was the result of that interest in the happiness of others, which he manifested more and more strongly as long as he lived.” — p. 7.
At College, the routine of studies did not fix his attention. “ He never attained a distinguished rank in his class by exact attention to his collegiate duties ;" yet, what is not inconsistent with the fact, he “ was really storing his mind with valuable knowledge.” Immediately upon leaving College, he entered with uncommon ardor upon his professional studies. We must pass over the particulars of his assiduity and success while he remained in this country. When just past twentyone years of age, he went to complete his education at Paris. The Memoir furnishes us with an extract from a letter of his father written upon this occasion, and with his reply. It will be recollected that we are giving an account of a book not generally accessible, and we cannot better occupy our pages than by quoting both.
“ Extract from my Letter to him, April 9, 1831. “I look forward with sanguine hopes of benefit from the opportunities you will have. I feel satisfied that you will not omit to avail yourself of them. It is this hope of benefit to you which reconciles me to your absence, for I have already begun to look to you as my most interesting companion for the remainder of my days. As to the hazards to which you are exposed, I certainly do not disregard them; yet I shall not allow a regard to them to make me unhappy. At least, I think so now. There is a risk of life, - and it would indeed alter the aspect of my future days, if I did not hope to have you by my side, and to leave you behind me in this world. But this is the smallest risk by far. Whether we pass a few short years together in this world is comparatively of little consequence. Whether we meet in a better world is of immeasurable importance. This depends on ourselves ; — on the strict regard to morality which we both maintain ; – a morality in Dr. Holyoke's sense, which includes piety, a regard to our Maker, as well as to ourselves and fellow-men. Now I am not insensible to the temptations, to which young and old are exposed in Paris and London. I can think of them till I tremble. But my trembling is stilled by the confidence I place in you. This confidence is sincere and strong. It is not unlimited, but it is as great as it can be in any young man. I know that your fondness for society, arising from the best feelings, is very strong; but I feel assured that you know how to control it, - and that your principles are strong and of the best kind. I shall not therefore allow myself to be anxious; and it is more to tell you this, than to insinuate any cautions, that I have been led into this long statement of my views and feelings. In temptation, I think you will first think of home, and then cast your eyes higher, to the home we all ultimately hope for, and to the Father who is better than any earthly parent. I referred to the dangers of society ; — I wish to add, that among men of the world, and I may say such gentlemen as a traveller meets, there is a sort of presumption conveyed in conversation, that no one feels bound very strictly by the rules of morality. Now one need not turn knight-errant, nor missionary, to beat down the obnoxious principles thus indirectly maintained. But, on the other hand, I have never found any society, in which I needed to remain, in which a gentleman was bound to assent to such principles, or in which he might not declare his dissent from them, when he was compelled to speak of them directly. In short, a man never loses, but almost always gains with the worst men, by pursuing an honorable and virtuous course.
The share of reputation, which you have yourself gained, while leading a quiet and, you may almost say, a secluded life, shows you that a man gains reputation fully in proportion to his merits. Some persons must
see your course, and by them, even while they do not think of doing so, it is published and fixes your character. Not that a regard to character is the highest motive to action, but I was led to speak of it in another view, viz. that a regard to it in the eyes of those about you, need not lead you to make sacrifices to their vices and follies.'
“The letter from which the foregoing extract is made, reached my son in New York, on his arrival there, after sailing upon the Hudson, and visiting the Trenton Falls. In his reply, of which the greater part follows, he refers to the scenes, in which his mind had been delightfully engaged.
“New York, April 15, 1831. “My Dear Father, “My heart beats, and my eyes fill, and my hopes are brightened, and my resolutions are strengthened, as I advance in reading your kind letter of affection and advice. Be assured I will not neglect the opportunities which I am about to enjoy. My constant prayer is to God, that he will give me strength, moral and mental, to improve them to the utmost. I have already, some time since, said to you, that, were it not that I may with every reason expect to be in your society and under your guidance again on my return, I would on no account visit Europe. I feel and know that my opportunities for improvement during any two years, which I shall be absent, would be much greater at home than any I can obtain abroad ; — but both have their peculiar advantages, and, trusting in the mercy and providence of God, who has already poured upon me so many blessings, I feel a confident hope that I may enjoy both without foregoing either.
" You next speak, my dear father, of the temptations abroad to young men. I, too, can and do think, and have oftentimes thought of them, till I tremble. I feel myself to be weak, weaker than I should be. I am not phlegmatic ;-I have not yet learned to be master of myself ; -I am yet, too often, much too often, the slave of circumstances. I feel that this is to be the toil and study of my life, to become master of myself. I am learning each day, more and more, that it is the education of the immortal part, which should and must demand man's most serious and untiring attention. I begin to feel too, that it is his highest happiness to cultivate it. I see the difficulties with which I must contend, and I feel deeply conscious of my moral weakness ;- but again, I feel a sort of confidence in remembering that the Creator has given to man strength to resist all moral evil, and in hoping and praying that he will enable me to exert it. The future, with all, especially with a young man, is uncertain ; — but for all that is important it is in our hands; — an awful responsibility, indeed, but yet ennobling
and encouraging. One thought is most cheering, — we may depend upon it with security, -- in the right conduct of the future, we have the certain aid and assistance of our all-powerful and benevolent Father, who will point us to the right path and safely conduct us over it, however rugged, if we will but open our eyes to see, and our hearts to accept, instead of blindly refusing his kind offers. My dear father, this is no affectation ; – it is no unmeaning rhapsody; - my mind for some time has been becoming more and more convinced of the essential importance of these subjects, and I promise you the last week has not been spent in vain ;not only has my mind been improving ; — my heart too is better for what I have seen; - it is good for me to have been the spectator of these majestic works of the Deity in the natural world around us. My heart has been warmed with a sense of his benevolence, and my mind opened anew and more strongly, to a conviction of his power and greatness.
«.In anticipating my future career in life, my mind is filled with what? I can tell you, for I have spent much time during the last three months, in a serious consideration of the subject, and feel that I have arrived at somewhat more definite views than I had previously entertained. I would divide all the objects of my aim and efforts into two classes, — the essentials and the desirables; — and in a few words they are these. Among the first, are a moral character, in the fullest acceptation of the term ; or in other words a life of virtue, so spent as shall be acceptable to God, and render me fit to enjoy the blessings of the virtuous; an honorable and useful exercise of my profession ; — these two will perhaps include the only remaining essential, viz. such a situation in society, as to p.operty, respectability, and so forth, as every young man brought up, as I have been, feels it his duty to expect and provide for.
“Among the second, I would reckon the pleasures of social life, a handsome and independent property, and a high professional reputation. The time has been, and that not very long since, when I looked upon this last as the most important of all. But I am now wiser. I have not ceased to value this abstractedly as much as before ; but its relative place among the objects of my desire is changed, I trust irrevocably changed.
“One word more on this subject and I have done. You say it is rather to express your confidence in my principles, than to insinuate any cautions, that you have written me so fully on this subject. Trust not too much in my principles. At this moment they are as firm and as virtuous as I could wish; but I have told you that I am weak, and have yet to learn the severe lesson of self-denial. For your own comfort and happiness believe me strong if you will; but for my good, believe me weak. It is my
VOL. XIX. — 3D s. VOL. I. NO. I.