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lists, who are always eager to try each other's strength, and to crow above a thrown antagonist. Next came the strife for precedence in social power, and its finer symbols of rank, wealth, position, and fame. This strife may be traced in every record of the past and present; is far more extensive and seductive and tenacious than the former; and has been left behind, as yet, only by the saintliest exemplars of our
The third period, the ideal period which we now await, is one in which there shall be no strife among mankind for comparative superiority over each other; but, in place of it, a universal co-operating struggle for intrinsic personal worth, a constant advancement in gaining the real prizes of being. Then the wretched experiences of hate, jealousy, exclusiveness, with their thousandfold sins and pains, will rapidly lessen, and soon end. There will be no motives for envy and opposition, since their aims will be alike; and the gain of each, so far from being a loss to tho rest, will be a gain to all. Let there be no strife for precedence, and all society must be the wiser, purer, and happier for every spiritual gain made by any member of it.
Here lies the secret of genuine nobility and happiness for the individual, no less than of redemption for society. For those who quaff at the fountain of wisdom and virtue, find, as long as they live, the supply, the thirst, and the enjoy. ment, — all increasing in equal measure. There is neither satiety on the one side, nor exhaustion on the other. But the servants of factitious or external aims almost invariably get more disenchanted of the world, and more weary of life, with every year.
Ambitious rivalry is wretchedness, and sure to end in sickening disappointment. Disinterested aspiration, equally to women and to men, is the benign mother of happiness.
We read in the Norse mythology, that the gods tied Loki, the impersonation of the evil principle, to three sharp rocks, and hung a snake over him in such a way, that its venom should drip on his face. But, in this dreadful case, there was one who did not forsake him. His wife Sigyn sate close by his head, and held a bowl to catch the torturing
drops. As often as the bowl was full, she emptied it with the utmost haste; because, during that time, the drops struck on his face, and made him writhe and howl with agony. Her patience in holding the bowl, and her speed in emptying it, never failed. It is a forcible emblem of the ministration of woman to man. But, for man to impose a service of this nature on woman as her duty, is a cruel arrogance and wrong. The voluntary spirit of such a service, the spirit of self-sacrificing devotion, teaches the one lesson which man himself needs to learn for his own salvation.
ART. VII. – JOSIAH QUINCY.
Life of Josiah Quincy, of Massachusetts. By his Son, EDMUND
QUINCY. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867. Our readers will share with us, we believe, the pleasure of obtaining at length a biography of the venerable man who was for so many years our American Nestor. Longevity among our public men is so rare, and our national history so short, that a peculiar interest belongs to the life of an eminent man, to whom great length of days has been granted; but particularly does it attach to one whose life spanned the whole compass of our national existence, in whose memory were stored up all its chief incidents, and who could truly say, what is so often quoted of inferior men, quæque ipse vidi, et quorum pars magna fui. His birth anticipated the Revolution. His earliest memory was united with one of its opening scenes, - the occupation of Boston by the British under Gage, and the flight of the chief patriots from the city. The vicissitudes and the final triumph of the struggle for Independence passed before his eyes. He had witnessed the failure of the Confederation, and the birth of the Union. He had enjoyed the privilege of a personal acquaintance with most of the fathers of our republic. He had been a guest at Governor Hancock's famous dinner-parties; had heard
from Hamilton's own lips his estimate of Burr; and had been received at the Presidential levees of Washington, whom, we must note as we pass, he found "a little stiff in his person, not a little formal in his manners," with the air of a country gentleman not accustomed to mix much in society, of whom Stuart's portrait is a highly idealized picture, and the best likeness is the picture by Savage, in Harvard Hall in Cambridge. He had commenced his Congressional career while Jefferson was President, and had been one of the most promi. nent actors in those early scenes of our feeble existence,- the admission of Louisiana, the Embargo, the War of 1812, and so on; on which the dust of history already lies pretty thick. And his years were protracted until the hopes of his country's prosperity, which the most fervid glow of his youthful anticipation could reach forward to, were more than realized; until the valor and the patriotism of the Revolution were exhibited again in a second, but incomparably vaster, struggle in the cause of freedom; until the ascendancy of slavery, which he had commenced his public life by opposing, at last received its death-wound; until he found himself in the midst of a third generation, venerated as the sole relic of the great men of the country's youth. Additional age brought only additional usefulness, honor, and enjoyment. To the end, he retained his bodily health sound, and his intellectual vision as strong and clear, as ever. It was with a serene and long-lingering light that the sun of his life slipped down its western arc, and, with a brightness still undimmed, that it at last dropped below the horizon. A life rounded with such dramatic completeness is of itself a unique phenomenon. Its unusual compass of three generations of breathing men, during nearly two of which he filled conspicuous public posts, makes it rich in materials of interest. The reader will find that there are few noted characters in our bistory, of whom there is not here some description, anecdote, or letter.
But besides the interest which comes from its associations, the life of Josiah Quincy deserves record and remembrance for what it was in itself. He was one of the very best of our public men; - to use the words of Motley in regard to
John Quincy Adams, whom Josiah Quincy in many respects strongly resembled, “among the small band of intellectual, accomplished, virtuous, and patriotic statesmen, not only of our country, but of all countries." His integrity was so conspicuous, that the breath of calumny never dared assail it. It used to be said of him, indeed, that he stood up so straight, that he leaned backwards. His adherence to what he deemed the right was inflexible, and the means he employed always straightforward and above-board. Dauntlessly courageous in all things, he never hesitated in the full expression of his convictions, or of his intense indignation at all acts of injustice or meanness. As an orator, he had the capital merits of clearness, purity, and directness of style, nervous energy, and warmth of feeling; but especially conspicuous was his frank boldness,- a quality which exposed him many times to general attack and unmerited calumny.*
The time of Mr. Quincy's entrance into Congress was in the midst of the discussions upon the purchase and admission of Louisiana. Mr. Quincy at once took a prominent place; in the second session, becoming the leader of the Federalist party. He sagaciously discerned the real intent and bearing of the purchase and admission of Louisiana and the other South-western States, and too truly prophesied the result, the unsettling of the equilibrium of the Union, the gradual diminution of the weight of the Northern commercial States,
* A memorable instance is the declaration, in his speech upon the admission of Louisiana, “that, if this bill passes, the bonds of this Union are virtually dissolved; that the States which compose it are free from their moral obligations; and that, as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some, to prepare definitely for a separation, amicably if they can, violently if they must,” – which at the time created such excitement, and has been made the ground for the assertion, that the first announcement of the doctrine of secession on the floor of Congress was made by a Northern man. The charge, however, is not well founded. The doctrine of modern secession is the constitutional right of peaceable secession, whenever any State thinks itself in any way aggrieved. Mr. Quincy's declaration, as will be seen by a little attention to the passage, especially in connection with the rest of the speech, was an assertion of the dissolution of the moral obligation of a State or a section of the country to the authority of the Union, in case of a flagrant violation of the Constitution or of the rights of such State or section, and the consequent right of revolution. The difference between the two doctrines needs only to be stated.
and the securing of political ascendancy to the Southern, by means of the manufacture of new slave States in the Southwest, out of territory not originally included in the territory of the Union, nor in the purview of those who formed the Union. Mr. Quincy was one of the very first to discern the insidious nature of slavery in our institutions, its disastrous influence upon the prosperity of the North, and its inevitable tendency to grow and strengthen itself, unless speedily and effectually checked; and it was this feeling that pervaded and gave unity to his Congressional action. He warned the people that their distresses would not be removed by relief from embargo or war; that the jugglers would then only shift their hands; that those distresses would be renewed in fresh forms, as long as the three-fifths slave ratio, and the unlimited power of carving new slave States out of territory acquired for this purpose, permitted the control of the government to remain in the hands of the slave-power. Each additional encroachment of slavery, the annexation of Texas, the war with Mexico and the appropriation of its northern territory, the Compromises of 1850, the Nebraska Bill, and so on, came upon him not unexpectedly, but as the inevitable consequences of the slaveholding supremacy gained by Jefferson's coup d'état of 1803.
His son may justly, we think, claim that “perhaps no man did more than he to impress upon the general mind of New England the real source of the calamity of her people, and to implant the germ of that moral, religious, and political hostility to slavery, which afterwards grew to such prevailing strength.” We say this, not forgetful of the early and great labors of such men as Mr. Garrison and Mr. Phillips. Josiah Quincy, we perhaps need to remind our readers, was an anti-slavery man a score of years before Garrison printed the first sheet of the “ Liberator;” and his clear warnings and appeals antedate the earliest of Mr. Phillips', by a quarter of a century. His devotion to the cause was maintained through his whole life. The fire was not allowed to grow cold with the frosts of old age or the considerations of political expediency or personal interest, which availed with so many Northern statesmen. It burned