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be just and generous. Thus far, the people have treated it with eminent wisdom and sagacity. Congress has never acted upon it save to divide the people; the people are always sure to unite and protect themselves. Let us leave it to thein. They are the proper judges and the only jurors. The bill under discussion forever removes it from Congress by reasserting that principle for the future which has been the only source of our happiness and glory in the past.'

XX.

THE WIT, PATHOS, SATIRE, AND REPARTEES OF RUFUS CHOATE,

GEORGE W. BARTON, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, THADDEUS STEVENS, PETTIGREW, THEODORE EDWARD HOOK, THOMAS HOOD, CHARLES DICKENS, DOUGLAS JERROLD, CHARLES LAMB.

A PROFESSIONAL joker or humorist is sometimes a hopeless invalid, and often dreadfully low-spirited. “I am very unhappy, doctor," said a bilious stranger to a celebrated physician. “Can you give me a cure for melancholy?” “Yes,” was the reply; “ go and see the inimitable clown, Grimaldi." “Alas, doctor," was the rejoinder, “I am Grimaldi !" Do you know that Joseph Jefferson suffers unspeakably from dyspepsia, and that, pleasant as he is on the stage, he is compelled to observe the utmost care of his health? John Brougham, a wit himself, and the cause of wit in others, suffers terribly from the gout. The grandfather of Joseph Jefferson, after whom he was called, was very much afflicted by rheumatism. And Rufus Choate was doubtless in poor health when he answered an enemy of General Harrison, who objected to the latter because he had been a man-slayer, “Well, sir, I prefer him to a duellist like Henry Clay!" He died before his time, in his fiftyninth year, and seemed to anticipate his destiny, as he turned to

his books in his great library and said, “These are the friends who have so far saved me from the fire of insanity and the ice of paralysis.” George W. Barton, of Philadelphia, like Choate, in his sombre moods spared nobody. Yet how delightful he could be when he pleased! A memorable passage in one of his great speeches was spoken when he was in high health. As I recall the case, I only recollect that its main feature was the death of a young woman with her child unborn. It was the old story of love lightly given and basely betrayed; and when the orator repeated this magnificent stanza from Canto IV. of Byron's “Don Juan," it was photographed in my memory like a picture never to be effaced :

“She died, but not alone; she held within

A second principle of life, which might
Have dawned a fair and sinless child of sin;

But closed its little being without light,
And went down to the grave unborn, wherein

Blossom and bough lie withered with one blight:
In vain the dews of heaven descend above
The bleeding flower and blasted fruit of love."

Mr. Lincoln, the most skilful story-teller of his time, and the quickest at repartee, had his many hours of gloom. Judge Douglas said to me in 1858, when he heard that Lincoln was to be his opponent for United States Senator in Illinois, and long before the world had heard much of the tall, quaint, gaunt statesman, “I shall have my hands full. He is the strong man of his party–full of wit, facts, dates, and the best stump-speaker, with his droll ways and dry jokes, in the West. He is as honest as he is shrewd; and if I beat him, my victory will be hardly won.” Everybody recalls that brilliant mental duel. Douglas had never met his match before. He had traversed Illinois when it was almost a wilderness (1837), when he was just twenty-five years old (the legal age) the day before the election, and was beaten by J. T. Stewart, the Whig candidate,

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by only five votes in a poll of 36,000. Never was such a contest known in the North. While at Chicago in September of 1872 I heard a gentleman say that when Douglas came in from that canvass he was the most forlorn object he ever saw. His horse, his clothes, his boots, and his hat-all were worn out. He had to use ropes for his bridle, and his saddle-bags looked as if they had seen a century's service. He was very light and agile, a sparkling boy, vital, keen, impulsive, and confident. They clubbed together and fitted him out in a new suit, and sent him on his way rejoicing. In 1840 he travelled seven months, and addressed two hundred and seven meetings in favor of Martin Van Buren, who carried the State, though Harrison was elected President. In 1843 he was elected to Congress, and stayed in the House till 1847, when he was chosen a Senator in Congress, and remained there without a rival till he died, in 1861. His great struggle was with Lincoln in 1858, whom he defeated after an unexampled campaign. But, as I said, Mr. Lincoln had his periods of depression. Many are recalled by those who knew him better than myself. His outburst of uncontrollable emotion at the defeat of the Union army in the Wilderness is often spoken of. "My God! my


God !" he exclaimed,"twenty thousand poor souls sent to their
final account in one day. I cannot bear it! I cannot bear it!"
One evening I found him in such a mood. He was ghastly
pale, the dark rings were round his caverned eyes, his hair was
brushed back from his temples, and he was reading Shake-
speare as I came in. “Let me read you this from ‘Macbeth," "
he said. “I cannot read it like Forrest” (who was then acting
in Washington), “but it comes to me to-night like a consolation:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle !
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,

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That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more : it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.'”

cause.

Thaddeus Stevens was another illustration, not so much on account of ill-health as of conscious physical disability; and doubtless many of his severest things sprang from the latter

He met a certain politician of easy virtue who had betrayed him in an important emergency, and, transfixing him with his eagle eye, he whispered, “ You must be a bastard, for I knew

your father to be a gentleman and an honest man !" Pettigrew, the great South Carolina lawyer, and a stern Unionist, another atrabilious person, was among a set of friends in Charleston, early in 1861, when a Secession politician broke into the room, exclaiming, “Good news! Florida has gone out!” “What !" said Pettigrew, in affected amazement, "has that miserable abortion died ? I am glad of it.” A Philadelphia gentleman of standing, who was present at the time, relates this story.

The bitter things of Theodore Edward Hook were often the result of his own irritability and ill-health, one of which may be directly traced to this cause. "Nobody ever doubted my

“ piety," was the remark to him of a talkative Pharisee. pose not," was the retort, "for nobody who ever heard you would doubt your magpiety.” With his dazzling wit, his audacious practical jokes, his astounding improvisations, his faculty of punning, and the facility with which he turned out farces and vaudevilles, he became the welcome guest in every circle. Appointed to office at a salary of twenty thousand dollars a year, he was a defaulter for one hundred thousand dollars, but escaped to resume . his position as a diner-out, a comic writer and joker, and finally died, broken in health and fortune, aged fifty-three; to use his own words, “done up in mind, purse, and body."

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His contemporary humorist, Thomas Hood, died at fortyseven, after a career of varied success. Beset by pecuniary troubles, though he wrote much that was successful, he composed some of his finest pieces, among them the renowned “Song of the Shirt,” on a sick - bed, from which he never

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rose.

Dr. Samuel Johnson was another notable instance. Afflicted from his birth with a malignant scrofula which permanently disfigured his face, and injured both his sight and hearing, a prodigious worker and producer of books and pamphlets, a profound and witty talker; wise, shrewd, satiric, and dogmatic, many of his choicest triumphs were the result of hard labor in the midst of the most exquisite tortures of body and mind.

Perhaps no life and work better illustrate my general idea than that of Robert Burton, the learned British writer, born 1576, and died 1639-40. He was a confirmed hypochondriac, and his famous “Anatomy of Melancholy,” from which many modern authors have borrowed without giving any credit, was a treasure of profound learning, witty illustrations, and quaint observations.

Even our beloved Washington Irving, whose life was so gentle and so tolerant, whose humor was so calm and clear, who united the tenderness of a woman with the sympathy of a true manhood-even Irving's last hours were hours of sleepless agony; but he bore his sufferings with the patient philosophy of his nature. What a comic scene that was between himself and Dickens at Barnum's Hotel in Baltimore in 1842, when they were enjoying one of John Guy's huge mint-juleps, upon which Dickens indited the little note still hanging up in the dining-room of “Guy's,” in Philadelphia !

Mr. Dickens acknowledged the receipt of the julep in the following letter, which is carefully and proudly preserved at Guy's, South Seventh Street, Philadelphia :

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