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as bright at ninety as at forty. In the first organized effort of the North to check the career of slavery, - the election of 1856,- he joined personally in the canvass in behalf of Colonel Fremont, although already eighty-four years old. The outbreak of the late civil war did not deject him; but in the rising of the North, which accompanied it, he recognized the most hopeful sign of the future of his country. “Now I know," he said, “we are going to be a great nation. I never felt sure of it before.” His very last public address was given in the common cause of human freedom and the preservation of the Union. The aspiration of his patriot father, -a martyr of the Revolution, although he did not find his death on the field of battle, - that the spirit of liberty might rest upon his son, did not fail of an ample fulfilment.
The other issues of Mr. Quincy's Congressional life, exciting as they were at the time, have not had much lasting influence upon the course of our national history, and have fallen into a good deal of obscurity. It is sufficient to say, that Mr. Quincy distinguished himself in almost all of them, and exhibited the same boldness, sound sense, and political foresight. In his next field of public service, as mayor of the newly organized city government of Boston, he did equally excellent service. Boston owes to him the introduction of many of its model municipal institutions, such as the House of Industry, the House of Reformation for Juvenile Offenders (which excited the particular admiration of De Tocqueville when in this country), the organization of a police force, and a fire department with effective fire-engines; and, last but not least, the Quincy Market. The government of cities was at that time a new experiment in America; and the improvements which Mr. Quincy effected during his mayoralty were not only of great and permanent benefit to his native city, but had a widely extended usefulness in the assistance which they gave to municipal organization throughout the country.
His administration, however, was too inflexible and too thorough, the changes he made too many and too radical, not to make him many bitter enemies; and, after five re-elections,
his official life came to an end in 1828. But his energy, industry, and practical business talent, were at once called into requisition for another important work of executive reform; viz., to extricate from its embarrassments, and set on its feet, the ancient University of Cambridge. To this work he gave sixteen years of unremitting and unwearied work; and as President Walker, his third successor, has said, “When we call to mind the state of things at the time of his appointment, it seems to me that he will be for ever remembered as the great organizer of the University.” In view of the present demand for a broader and freer system of college education, it is noteworthy that the elective or proper university system was strenuously urged by Mr. Quincy, and was carried out to a greater extent under his administration than it has ever been since.
At seventy-four, although his natural force was still unabated and his faculties in the highest condition, he thought it wise to retire betimes from the duties of public office. But it was not to repose upon his laurels : it was only to change the field of his unintermitting industry. A municipal History of Boston, a Memoir of Samuel Shaw, a History of the Boston Athenæum, a Memoir of John Quincy Adams, — works of laborious research, whose accuracy, candor, and vigorous style have secured them honorable places in their department of literature; the care of a large farm, and many extensive and valuable experiments in agriculture and live-stock; the acquisition, after his eightieth year, of a fortune of several hundred thousand dollars in an enterprise which he had vainly begged the city government to undertake, these were some of the ways in which the retirement and the evening of his life was passed. It was, however, to this constant mental activity, without doubt, together with his temperate and regular habits, and attention to the care and exercise of his body, that he was indebted for his exemption from the infirmities of old age. He himself, at least, so regarded it, and maintained it from principle. His continual shifting to new fields of work, was, doubtless, also highly beneficial. Such change of the field of work is rather more
common than uncommon with us. No American of talent is satisfied until he has tried two or three vocations, and an equal number of different public posts. If he has filled one with merit, he thinks that he is, and is commonly thought to be, fitted for every other. Nevertheless, there are not many who have engaged in so many different fields as Mr. Quincy
and there are still fewer with whom success in one field has not been countervailed by failure in another. With Mr. Quincy, new fields of service only brought new successes. The dramatic completeness of his life extended also here.
This feature of completeness, indeed, should be especially noticed as a distinguishing characteristic of Mr. Quincy,as, in fact, the trait which individualizes him. We have seen how felicitously his life exhibited it. It was found equally in his character. Bred in the stormy days of the Revolution, of the purest Puritan ancestry, he had the sturdy qualities the manly strength of will and intellect, the massiveness and purity of character — which befitted his origin. But these stern qualities were tempered in him by the culture of the scholar, the graces of the polished gentleman, lively sympathies, a cheery good-humor, and a playful wit. Intense in his hatreds, and vehement in his denunciations, their objects were never so much men, as principles and acts. Conscientiously faithful in the discharge of the smallest duties, personally supervising the minutest details, emphatically a practical man, he had, notwithstanding, the bold and comprehensive views which are commonly supposed to belong only to the theorist. Born in the lap of fortune, throughout his life placed above the necessity of toil, bis vigor was not emasculated, his life was not suffered to be one of idleness, but was made one of severe and incessant industry, prolonged almost to the day of his death. When the snows of age had covered his head, he still maintained the fresh feelings of youth and its hearty zest of life. Though with reason proud of the past in which he had lived, he sympathized keenly in all the great events and questions of the day, and recognized a continual progress in the movement of the world. The aristocratic influence of a descent from one of the oldest and
highest families of the country; the conservative tendencies of old age, large fortune, and long-continued prosperity,never chilled the ardor of his early love of liberty, of his faith in American principles, bis sympathies with the oppressed, his enthusiasm in all measures of social improvement, or of his hopes for the future. Clear and settled in his own religious and theological beliefs, he would not melt, "in an acid sect, the Christian pearl of charity.” Though for many years standing on the very verge of the grave, he maintained to the last a serene cheerfulness, and met his end, as he had always looked forward to it, without fear and without eager
A rounded completeness of life like that of Josiah Quincy, is a rare felicity among the gifts of fortune. Of equal rarity, at least, is just poise and proportioned symmetry of character. But the conjunction of the two is such as we find in him at once noble and unique. Without such completeness, to be sure, no life can satisfy a sensitive and reflecting mind. It is the ideal which is the aim of all. It is the fulfilment of our duty, to make full use of all our talents. It is the measure enjoined for all to fill out. But it is still among the rarest of sights; and in pointing it out as marking the life and character of Josiah Quincy, we accord the highest praise.
The subject of the biography has had such attractions, that we have not yet spoken of the merits or defects of the biography itself. It has both. It has the paternal merit of a lucid, straightforward, clear-cut, manly style. It has the merit of clear division and convenient arrangement, especially of not having forgotten that most important part of a biographical memoir, - an alphabetical index of topics and per
Its tone is much more moderate and restrained than is usually found in lives written by near relatives. On the other hand, the treatment of the different divisions of the subject is very unduly proportioned. In particular, we must complain of the excessive share of attention given to the Congressional life of Mr. Quincy. Almost half the whole book is surely more than the eight years he passed in Congress, in the distant and much-forgotten period of Jefferson's and Madison's
VOL. LXXXI11. — NEW SERIES, VOL. IV. NO. III.
administrations, deserve. Many long - buried controversies and quarrels have been given too much notice; and the extracts from Mr. Quincy's speeches and addresses, considering that they are already in print and not difficult of access, seem to us somewhat unnecessarily copious. By such retrenchments, room would have been made for more extracts from his interesting private diary, for the pleasing Memoir of Mrs. Quincy, which has hitherto been allowed only a private circulation, and for more of the personal details, incidents, and anecdotes, the command of which, for the illustration of his subject, is the great advantage a son has in writing the biography of his father.
ART. VIII. — REVIEW OF CURRENT LITERATURE.
The literature of Spinozism has received important additions within the last few years. The publication at Amsterdam, in 1862, of the supplementary volume of Spinoza's works,* awakened a new interest in his philosophy. The most valuable part of this work is the first draught which it contains - an outline sketch, as it were of the “ Ethica.” In this we trace the genesis of that remarkable moral geometry, in which ethical truth was afterwards unfolded in all the rigid sequence of axioms and propositions, corollaries and scholia. The same year in which this supplementary volume appeared, was published at Göttingen an interesting work, by Van der Linde,f giving an account of a sect of Christians that arose in Holland, towards the end of the seventeenth century, who united Spinozism with the doctrines of the Reformed religion. The very existence of this sect of Spinozists seems to have been almost forgotten in more recent times; but its influence upon theology in Holland, during the period in which it flourished, cannot have been inconsiderable. Whether we call it a genuine branch of Spinozism, - an application
* Ad Benedicti de Spinoza Opera quæ supersunt omnia Supplementum. Amsterdam: Fréd. Müller, 1862.
† Spinoza : Seine Lehre und deren erste Nachwirkungen in Holland. Von VAN DER LINDE. Göttingen, 1862.