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as perfect in its details and as polished in its style and utterance as any of the works of the greatest artist-can never be forgotten by the hundreds of thousands who hung entranced upon the accents of the orator. Repeated North and South, as the most finished tribute ever paid by genius to patriotism, its influence was the greater because it added more than cighty thousand dollars to the amount necessary to purchase the Washington estate from the heirs.
The illustrious Everett looked the character he was. Gentle, courteous, kind, with a musical voice, a face of singular benevolence, a figure erect and graceful, and an air of high yet modest culture, his conversation was exceedingly fascinating. He seemed anxious to hear what I had to say, and possessed the secret of listening, so rare among public men, who often dogmatize in their colloquies, and seem impatient while others are talking. This was nearly two years before the war, and we compared views freely. Mr. Everett was naturally conservative. His school was that of Robert C. Winthrop, Abbott Lawrence, William H. Graham, John Bell, and John J. Crittendennever extreme or "loud,” but instinctively moderate and wellpoised. He loved his country, and therefore opposed human slavery; but he hated war as a resort to be avoided at every hazard but honor. He was in no sense an enthusiast or a partisan, but all his convictions and impulses were for the Union. I was then engaged in a severe conflict with Mr. Buchanan's Administration. He sympathized with me, but he pleaded for wisdom and toleration, and evidently recoiled from a conflict between the sections. It was in this spirit that his gorgeous oration on “The Character of Washington" was composed and repeated as a tribute and a warning. All who heard it, plain citizen or captious critic, surrendered to its magnificent comparisons and invocations.
Edward Everett was educated as a Unitarian clergyman, and at nineteen was accounted one of the most eloquent preachers in Boston. As early as 1819, when Washington city was a wild desert of a place, and when a journey from New England took longer than a journey to Russia to-day, he pronounced a sermon in the Capitol which literally took the scholars and statesmen by storm. James Madison was President, with John Quincy Adams Secretary of State. Joseph Story was on the Supreme Bench of the United States, and was much attracted by the young divine, then only twentysix. He wrote that “the sermon was truly splendid, and was heard with a breathless silence. The audience was very large, and being in that magnificent apartment of the House of Representatives, it had vast effect. I saw Mr. King, of New York, and Mr. Otis, of Massachusetts, there. They were both very much affected with Mr. Everett's sermon, and Mr. Otis wept bitterly. There were some very touching appeals to our most delicate feelings on the loss of our friends. Mr. Everett was almost universally admired as the most eloquent of preachers.”
Seated at Mr. Everett's side forty years after this, I could only regret that what he said could not have been transferred to paper. He spoke as one inspired, and with a fulness, completeness, and simplicity I had never noticed in any other public man. Perhaps no better insight into his nature could be desired than his own account of the numerous repetitions of his great Washington discourse. As we read that diary, and then turn to the discourse itself, and study the long roll of his other works, we shall feel the truth of the tributes of Daniel Webster and Joseph Story; we shall echo what Mr. Hayward said of him in the London Quarterly Review for December, 1840 : “Edward Everett is one of the most remarkable men living;" what Jared Sparks, his successor in the presidency of Harvard College, said of him in the North American Review for April, 1825: “Professor Everett's recapitulatory remarks and closing reflections are uttered in a style of uncommon brilliancy and richness, and constitute altogether a rare specimen of eloquence and fine writing;" what Professor Édouard René Laboulaye wrote in the Journal des Debats in October, 1853 : “It is curious to follow the public life of such a man, and that is easy to do in the two volumes before us. Here, as in all of his literary works and political harangues, as well as in all the discourses pronounced by Mr. Everett for the last thirty years, he is found en rapport with his fellow-citizens. The subjects are naturally very various, but the thought is always the same, and returns to one point, intellectual education, the morality and the patriotism of the people. This unity is in the word as well as in the life of the author;" what George Stillman Hillard said in the North American Review for January, 1837: “His knowledge is so extensive and the field of his allusions so wide, the most familiar views in passing through his hands gather such a halo of luminous illustrations that their likeness seems transformed, and we entertain doubts of their identity;" what Henry T. Tuckerman wrote: “If Webster is the Michael Angelo of American oratory, Everett is the Raphael.” Justice Story, in 1840, repeated his glowing praise of twenty years before when he declared, “What I desire is that, in addition to the many beautiful-ay, exquisitely beautiful-specimens of your genius which we have had upon occasional topics, you would now meditate some great work for posterity which shall make you known and felt through all time as we, your contemporaries, now know and esteem you. This should be the crowning future purpose of your life. If I should live to see it, I should hail it with the highest pleasure; if I am dead, pray remember that it was one of the thoughts which clung most closely to me to the very last.” · Perhaps Mr. Webster's condensation of the career of Edward Everett, printed above, gives a sufficient idea of the events crowded into it. He was born at Dorchester, Massachusetts, on the 11th of April, 1794, and died at Boston on the 16th of January, 1865, literally in harness, just after he had returned from the delivery of an oration at Savannah for the relief of its suffering inhabitants. He
may be said to have lived in the service of religion, literature, and public affairs at least fifty-three years, for he was ordained a Unitarian pastor when he was not nineteen, and from that to his final hour labored incessantly, and with a loving heart, for the benefit of his fellow-creatures. He spoke an address of welcome to Lafayette in 1824; was a Representative in Congress ten years, from 1825 to 1835; Governor of Massachusetts four years, from 1836 to 1840; Minister to England from 1841 to 1845; President of Harvard University from 1846 to 1849; Secretary of State, as the successor of Daniel Webster, from November, 1852, to March, 1853; and United States Senator from that time until his retirement, on account of ill-health, in 1854. He ran as Vice-President with John Bell on the Conservative ticket in 1860. But it would require more space than I can give to enumerate his various writings on every subject--scientific, literary, political, and patriotic. These treasures lie before me in the four volumes of his orations, published by Little & Brown, of Boston, and I could fill columns with their jewels—their apostrophes to liberty, to Christianity, to poetry, to patriotism; to art, whether of painting or of sculpture; to nature in all her varied forms; and to every conceivable object entering into the pleasures, sufferings, and necessities of our common kind.
But the rebellion made a great change in Mr. Everett. After all his efforts for peace, after all his sacrifices on the Conservative side, his separation from political friends, and especially his labors to impress upon the people of the South the necessity for obedience to the laws, everything that was aggressive and resentful in his nature—if, indeed, he ever indulged such feelings—was roused when the dreadful fact was revealed that the slaveholders had resolved to attack the Government. On the 19th of April, 1861 (the very day the Massachusetts troops were fired upon in Baltimore), he made his first speech against the rebellion, in Chester Square, Boston, concluding as follows: “All hail to the flag of the Union! Courage to the heart, and strength to the hand, to which, in all time, it shall be intrusted. May it ever wave in unsullied honor over the dome of the Capitol; from the country's strongholds, on the tented field, on the wave-rocked topmast. It was originally displayed on the ist of January, 1776, from the headquarters of Washington, whose lines of circumvallation around beleaguered Boston traversed the fair spot where we now stand; and as it was first given to the breeze within the limits of our beloved State, so may the last spot where it shall cease to float in honor and triumph be the soil of our own Massachusetts."
Then came other invocations and appeals on the same subject, varied by exquisite literary essays, some in the interest of the farmers, some in honor of the venerated dead, some for the education of the poor, until we come down to what deserves to be called the crowning act of his life-the address at the consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, on the 19th of November, 1863. This was the last time I ever saw Edward Everett; and if I lived a thousand years, the scene, with all its incidents, would remain deep and vivid in my memory, only surpassed in intensity and endurance by the tragedy of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.. Mr. Lincoln was seated between Edward Everett and William H. Seward, on the main stand, and around them were the other members of the Cabinet, and the great War Governors—Curtin of Pennsylvania, Morton of Indiana, Parker of New Jersey, Todd of Ohio, John Brough, the Governor-elect, and ex-Governor Dennison, of the same State. General Meade could not attend, because he was detained at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, and the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Chase, was kept in Washington by official duties. The procession and crowd were immense, and included men of all parties and conditions. It was a cold and gloomy day, in sympathy, perhaps, with the mourn