« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
conscious of, but could not well decline it. A prepossession that one will do ill never fails to verify our fears; and accordingly I did ill enough, of which I had a due sense, and made suitable acknowledgments to my evil genius. Whilst I was in the paroxysm of my mortification, Mr. Sharpless, an ingenious portrait painter, sent me a note acquainting me, that he was making a collection of portraits of the most eminent and public characters in the United States, and requested to know when it would be convenient for me to sit to him. I really thought so meanly of myself, that I did not seem worthy to be hung up in a shoemaker's shop, under the last words and dying speech of Levi Ames, and nothing appeared to be wanting to my disgrace but suffering myself to be held up among the great worthies of America. Accordingly I sent my compliments to Mr. Sharpless, disclaiming all right of being ranked among the eminent and public characters, which he was collecting, and so refused sitting. The Chief Justice Dana asterwards called on me, and requested me to sit. Out of deference to him, I said, if it was his opinion that I ought, I would no longer decline. But, luckily, Mr. Sharpless never troubled me again with an invitation."*
In 1798, Judge Minot published a Continuation of the History of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, from the year 1748, the period where Hutchinson's history terminates; and at the time of his death, a second volume of this work was ready for publication. He was one of the original founders of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and from its first organization was an active and useful member. In the various benevolent institutions of his native State, he took a prominent part. His address before the charitable Fire Society, delivered in May, 1795, is a fair interpretation of his sentiments of benevolence, and the praise which his eulogists bestow on it, is alike worthy of it and himself. +
On the death of Washington, Judge Minot was selected to deliver a eulogy on that occasion before the inhabitants of Boston. He was then in ill health, and on that account declined to perform the task; but this availed him nothing. He was forced to accept. “They gave me ten days to prepare myself,” he says: “What were my feelings in this short time? My only refuge was in an enthusiastic pursuit of my subject, which stimulated what little powers I possessed to their utmost exertion. A candor and mild expectation prevailed through all ranks of people, which encouraged me. A like kind of attentive silence enabled me to deliver myself so as to be heard. I sat down unconscious of the effect, feeling as though the music was at once playing the dirge of Washington's memory, and my own literary reputation. I was soon astonished at my good fortune: all praised me: a whole edition of my eulogy sold in a day. * * * My friends are delighted; and although nearly exhausted by sickness, I am happy. Such was the successful issue of the most unpropitious undertaking that I ever engaged in." This was Judge Minot's last public effort. He died in the evening of the second day of January, 1802. Tributes of respect were offered to his memory, and the deepest regret prevailed in contemplation of the public loss. I
EULOGY ON WASHINGTON.S
Our duty, my fellow-townsmen, on this dis-, and the loftiest character which we can assign tressing occasion, is dictated by the dignity and to him, is the very display of himself. When resplendent virtue of the beloved man whose ambition allies itself to guilt, when power death we deplore. We assemble to pay a debt to departed merit, a debt which we can only See An Address to the members of the Massachusette pay by the sincerity of our grief, and the re- Charitable Fire Society, at their annual meeting, Maz spectful effusions of gratitude ; for the highest 28th, 1802: by John Quincy Adams: Sullivan's Familisi eulogy left us to bestow upon our lamented | Letters: Boston Columbian Centinel, of January 6th, 1809 Washington, is the strict narration of the truth; and Massachusetts Historical Collections, vol. 8, pp. 86-109.
§ An Eulogy on George Washington, late Commander-in
Chief of the armies of the United States of America, who * Massachusetts Historical Collections. Vol. 8, page 103. died December 14th, 1799. Delivered before the inhabitants + See the Boston newspapers published soon after his of the town of Boston, at the request of their committee. by decease.
| George Richards Minot (on the 9th January, 1800).
tramples upon right, when victory triumphs of action, and his repose partook not of indo. in blood, when piety sits clouded in supersti- lence. Amidst the honorable pursuits of agrition, when humility is affected by cunning, culture, he discharged various civil offices, unwhen patriotism is founded on selfishness; then til we find him rising amongst the patriots of let adulation spread her prostituted mantle, to our country, as a delegate from Virginia, in the screen the disgraces of her patrons, and amuse first American Congress. with the falsehoods of her imagination. But We shall ever remember the fifteenth day of to our political Father, the faithful page of his- June, one thousand seven hundred and seventytory is panegyric, and the happiness of his coun- five, when Providence directed to his appointtry is the monument of his fame.
ment as the commander-in-chief of our revoluCome, then, warriors, statesmen, philoso |tionary army. In this neighborhood he first phers, citizens! assemble around the tomb of drew his sword. Many of you, my fellowThis favorite son of virtue; with all the luxury townsmen, were then languishing under the of sorrow recollect the important events of his fetters of tyranny, or were imprisoned within life, and partake of the greatest legacy which the joyless confines of your own habitations. a mortal could bequeath you, in the contempla- Your hope was fixed on him. His command, tion of his example. Whilst we solemnize this independent of the icsources of his own mind, act, his disembodied spirit, if it be permitted to afforded no ground for the support of your retrace the scenes of its terrestrial existence, will feelings. He had an army, brave indeed, but smile with approbation on the instructive rite. with little discipline; naked at the approach
Your anniversaries have long honored the of winter; and almost subject to dissolution eleventh of February, one thousand seven hun- from temporary enlistments; a paymaster withdred and thirty-two, as the birthday of our illus- out money; a commissary struggling on the trious chief; and the parish of his own name in utmost stretch of credit. A veteran army lay Westmoreland County, in Virginia, boasts itself under his eye strongly fortified, regularly paid, the place of his nativity. But to souls like his, warmly clothed, and boasting its superiority to local restrictions are not attached. Where Lib- militia. Yet did his victorious sword relieve erty was, there would be his country. Happy you, and save your city. Justly have you for us, the Genius of Liberty, responsive to his ascribed “your reinstatement to his wise araffections, resolved that where Washington was, rangements, which compelled your invaders to there also should be her abode.
| adopt a less destructive policy than that which Educated by private instruction, his virtue on other occasions they so wantonly practised." grew with his knowledge ; and the useful Could our gratitude forget it, the heights around branches of literature occupied the whole us bear the triumphant evidence of his conpowers of his mind. Exemplary for solidity quest. of thought, and chastity of morals, he was hon- To trace this protection of our liberties ored by the government of Virginia with an through his unrivalled career, from his gloomy important mission, at an age when the levities retreat through the Jerseys to his several victoof the human character seldom yield to the ries and his splendid triumph at Yorktown, earliest operation of reason.
would be to narrate the varying history of our At the opening of the great war of encroach- revolution. To him, public labor was amusements upon our western frontiers, he was the ment, suffering in the cause of freedom was a bearer of the remonstrance to the French. | luxury, and every hour as it flew carried an Such was the address, fidelity, and perseverance, offering to his country. with which he executed this important trust, As obedience to the voice of his oppressed that he was honored at twenty-two years of fellow-citizens drew his sword on the approach age, with the command of a regiment raised by of war, so at the declaration of peace, by the his province. His military talents were soon same respected voice he restored it to its scabcalled to the test. At Redstone victory perched bard. He left them his blessing and their upou his standard, but with that volatility by liberties. O, Human Nature, how hast thou which she tries the powers of her favorite he- / been traduced! With thee, has it been said, roes, she in a few months afterwards left him, is essentially connected that lust of power by his own exertions, to save the honors of war which is insatiable; which restores not volun. for his little band, in an unequal, but well sup- tarily what has been committed to its charge; ported battle. In Braddock's slaughtered army, which devours all rights, and resolves all laws he was a witness to scenes of horror, which his into its own authority; which labors not for caution, had it been adopted, would have pre-others, but seizes the fruits of their labors for vented, and which his steady courage assisted itself; which breaks down all barriers of relimuch to retrieve. During the remainder of gion, society and nature that obstruct its course; this war, he was employed in fortifying his now art thou vindicated! Here we behold native province, in arranging and perfecting its thee allied to virtue, worn in the service of militia, and in checking the incursions of the mankind, superior to the meanness of compenenemy, until the crisis of the contest had passed sation, humbly hoping for the thanks of thy in this country, when he resigned his com-country alone, faithfully surrendering the sword, mand.
with which thou wast intrusted, and yielding Retirement to him was only a different mode up power with promptness and facility equalled
only by the diffidence and reluctance with y grateful now is the recollection, that with tears which thou receivd'st it.
of joy you crowded to meet him in your streets Now, will the future inquirer say, this Hero displaying the very insignia which you this day has finished the task assigned him, the measure bear in mournful procession; and your children, of his glory is full. A world is admitted to bowing their heads with eager solicitude to freedom-a nation's boon. Favored beyond attract his fatherly eye, received his pious the leader of Israel, not only with the prospect, blessing. but with the fruition of the promised blessing, Did the occasion admit of it, how pleasing he has retired, like that prince of meekness, to would be the review of his administration, as the Mount, whence he is to ascend, unseen by a our supreme executive Magistrate! His talents weeping people, to the reward of all his labors, and his virtues increased with his cares. His No, he is to live another life upon this globe; soul seemed not to bear the limits of office, & he is to reap a double harvest in the field of moment after the obligations of duty and patriperennial honor. The people whom he has otism withdrew their restraints from his saved from external tyranny, suffer from the universal love. When the misguided savages of agitations of their own unsettled powers. The the wilderness, after feeling his chastisement, tree of liberty which he has planted, and so had sued for peace, he seemed to labor for carefully guarded from the storms, now flour their happiness as the common representative ishes beyond its strength, its lofty excrescences of mankind. Insurrection was so struck at his threaten to tear its less extended roots from the countenance, that it fled from the shock of his earth, and to prostrate it fruitless on the plain. arms. Intrigue attempted to entangle him in But, he comes! In convention he presides over her poisonous web, but he burst it with gigantic counsels, as in war he had led the battle. The strength, and crushed her labors. Anarchy constitution, like the rainbow after the flood, looked out from her cavern, and was dashed appears to us now just emerging from an over- into oblivion, as we trust, for ever. The nations whelming commotion; and we know the truth of Europe saw the wisdom of our laws, the of the pledge from the sanction of his name. vigor of our measures, the justice of our policy,
The production was worthy of its authors, the firmness of our government, and acquiesced and of the magnanimous people whom it was in the neutrality of our station.' intended to establish. You adopt it, you cherish The dangers of the Commonwealth having it, and you resolve to transmit it, with the name subsided at the close of his second administraof WASHINGTON, to the latest generation, who tion, he felt himself justified, after dedicating shall prove their just claim to such an illustri- forty-five years of his valuable life to her serous descent.
vice, in withdrawing, to receive with resignation Who was so worthy, as our great legislator, the great change of nature, which his age to direct the operations of a government which and his toils demonstrated to be near. When his counsels and his sword had labored to erect? | he declined your future suffrages, he left you a By a unanimous suffrage he was invited to the legacy. What! like Cesar's to the Romans, exalted station of President of the United States. money for your sports ? Like Attalus, a kingThe call was too sacred to admit of doubt. It dom for your tyrrany? No; he left you not superseded the happiness of retirement, the de- such baubles, nor for such purposes. He left mands of private interest, the sweet attrac | you the records of wisdom for your government; tions of domestic society, and the hazard (for- a mirror for the faithful representation to yonr give it, WASHINGTON! for thou wast mortal), the own view, of yourselves, your weakness, your hazard of public reputation. Behold the man advantages, your dangers ; a magnet which on this occasion so mighty in the eye of all the points to the secret mines and windings of world, so humble in his own! He accepts the party spirit, faction, foreign influence; a pillar high appointment with such distrust of his na to the unity of your republic; a band to inclose, tural endowments, with such diffidence in his conciliate and strengthen the whole of your capacity, as can be relieved only by his reliance wonderful and almost boundless communities. on that Almighty Being, “who rules over the Read, preserve the sacred deposit; and, lest posuniverse, who presides in the councils of nations, terity should forget the truth of its maxims, enand whose providential aids can supply every grave them on his tomb, that they may read human defect.”
them when they weep before it. One of the earliest acts of his administration In his second resignation of power and the was that circular visit to transfuse his love, and charms of office, the American leader appears receive the grateful benedictions of his loving superior to ancient or modern examples. Yet countrymen, in which you, my fellow-towns- another grade was assigned to his virtue. Our men, partook so liberal a share. What sensa- national rights, so well defended at home, were tions rushed upon your minds, when you com- invaded on the ocean. The alarm reaches his pared the dreadful aspect of your besieged city retreat; the honor of our Republic warms his with its now smiling condition. The well-heart; and he again accepts the sword for its cultivated fields were screening from view the defence from the band of another, placed by late terrific ramparts of the enemy, and the the voice of the people in that supreme magis. groans of the distressed had yielded to the tracy, which he alone had heretofore filled busy noise of commerce and pleasure. How | With a less dignified soul, this official inferiority might have availed to injure his country; but can now beam from his countenance to animate he who could descend from the head of a nation your troops. Grateful Republicans ! indeed you to discharge the minutest duties of a private weep not from selfishness. Afflicted with the citizen, was too great to allow the influence of thought of the blessings which he has showered etiquette to endanger the safety of the people. upon yourselves and your children, you would His condescension raises him above himself; his call him, could your voice be heard, from the spirit fires all ranks of men; he is overwhelmed closed mansions of the dead, again to receive with the gratitude and applause of an en- | the tribute of your affection. You weep for raptured nation.
her, whose tender participation in the anxieties Whilst we confide in his arm, and are mar- of a husband relieved his cares, and protracted shalling our warriors to march under his the invaluable life which love itself could no banners, the God of armies, whose counsels are longer detain. Disconsolate woman! mourn beyond the scrutiny of man, prepares for us the not, for the faithful is gone to receive the retest of our submission to his chastising rod. It ward of his uprightness. The whole desire of is decreed that our Washington shall die, but his heart, the whole pursuit of his labors has that his death shall be worthy of his life. He been the good of his fellow-men. Contrast him is to die by the hand of Virtue. The rapid with those who have been raised by the empty, disease which is selected as the instrument of the criminal admiration of mankind, to the his dissolution, instantaneously seizes him. His highest ranks in the Pantheon of fame. See humanity delays the immediate aid to which one, instead of liberating and protecting, emalone it may yield. Inconsolable Domestics! ployed in conquering and enslaving a world, and what storms would you not have braved, what weeping that his guilty task could be continued hazards would you not have encountered, to no longer. Another retiring from the purple, save that life which was sacrificed to your not with the united blessings of all religious comfort and safety! At length Science flies to sects, but the bigoted persecutor of the only save him. Alas! what avails its skill against rational-a divine religion. See the master of so the mandate of Heaven? It comes too late!- many crowns, after yielding them up for a conIt is finished.
vent, instead of interesting himself in the wel. Wonderful event! Greatness departs in fare of mankind to the hour of his departure, glory, and envy is silent! All acknowledge relapsing into the absurdities of monkish suhim to be the first of citizens, and none feel perstition: and another, whose ashes are hurt by his superiority. So impartial was he scarcely cold, slaughtering the armies of half that none impeach his justice ; so moderate, the nations of Europe, to extend the limits of an none complain of his power; so magnanimous, Electorate, with as much zeal as our departed his conquered enemies applaud his humanity; so hero labored to extend the limits of freedom, philanthropic, that neither color, nor climate, civilization and morals. When so much worth nor religion, nor politics could exclude the un- | steps off from the stage of life, the weakness of fortunate from his succor. He had the habit of our nature is the only apology for our tears. combining sentiment with action in such Such an exit is not death; it is the triumph of method and force, that he shed his benevo- | the just. lence on communities of men, with the same Sons of freedom! as you regard the memory ease as the sudden impulse of momentary sen- of your ascended Chief, attend to the injunction sibility bestows it upon individuals. Unexam- of his will. Remember that it was not for you pled virtue! allotted to its merited reward. alone he labored. It was for your posterity also; Many founders of nations have been left to ob- it was for the human race. For you and for tain from posterity that reputation which them he was first in building the noblest politiprejudice or bigotry has denied at their deaths. cal system that adorns the world. It is an exThe tomb has been necessary to bury anger, periment to ascertain the nature of man; whepetty interests and emulation, which barred our ther he be capable of freedom, or whether he equitable judgment. But, in regard to this must be led by the reins of tyranny; whether Sage, the gratitude of his country has been co- he be endowed with that moderation and unexistent with his exertions. Time has not been derstanding which checks the extreme indulrequired to remove him from our view, in order gence of his will; and by allowing to others to magnify his exploits through the medium of the same rational enjoyment with himself, fame; nor was it requisite that we should be forms the liberty of the whole upon the partial deprived of the good he had done us, to enter- restraint of each individual; or whether he must tain a just sense of its importance. Medals and go on attempting to follow the dictates of selfstatues have been decreed him when living, and ishness, and find his only restraint in a power your tears announce his greater triumph in which will establish itself independent of his vour hearts, when dead. Disinterested love! consent, and make him its slave. Who of us What motives have you, freemen, for thus can be supposed to be so lost to himself, so foroffering up your applause? He has now no getful of his children, and so traitorous to the shield to defend you from the invasions of your world, as to contemplate the overthrow of this enemies; his head lies cold in the grave, and no magnificent temple of wisdom? No, my fellowcounsel can arise from his lips. His eyes were townsmen, whatever zeal may suddenly sugclosed by big own unshaken hand, and no smile gest, or apprehensions tempt us to suspect, there lives not a man among us so depraved, our happiness, is rational and just. Within the so cursed by Heaven. Shall it be said that the present political year, you, honorable magiswork of his hands, whom we this day almost trates and legislators, in this place solemnized adore; that the hope which he held out to the the obsequies of the late excellent Governor of nations of the earth shall be frustrated by our our Commonwealth, the much-respected Sumdivisions? To the honor of our country, not a ner. Thus pass away the wise, the virtuous, man but answers - No: all, when rightly in- and the faithful; by an irrevocable decree, less formed, wave their particular prejudices in sup- unwelcome to them, as it respects themselves, port of the great pillar of our national Union. | than grievous to us. Their lives are long It is our pride; it was erected by our fathers; enough for their own glory, but, alas! still too it is the standard of our defence. Lot us, then, necessary to their country's welfare. The exwith a view of for ever maintaining it, banish perience, the learning, the genius, the various all animosity, melt down all parties, wipe away coincidence of circumstances, which are neall distinctions. Let us no longer designate men cessary to form that effulgence of character, by who have differed in sentiment, by odious epi- which they enlighten, polish, and direct society, thets, mutually reflected and mutually disavow- fall to the lot of few. When such lamps are exed; but if a common name be wanted, let it be tinguished, we are happy if our darkness be tranformed from his whom we seek to honor, and sient. But in your wisdom, the people of our let it be used to denote good will to one anoth Commonwealth safely confide; nor, as members er, respect to our constitution, fortitude to our of our united country, do they mourn like those enemies, love to our country, devotion to our who are without hope; for although in the God.
present gloom of our political hemisphere, In the condolence of this day, we cannot fail their late ruling planet has travelled to the to notice the honor which we feel by the pres- morning of another clime, yet its kindred lumience of the fathers of the State. It was not nary rises on the horizon, brilliant, steady, and unbecoming the dignity of office, on such an propitious to direct their course. They lament occasion, to suspend its occupations and join that their beloved WASHINGTON sleeps in death; the general sorrow. To devote this portion of their consolation is, that his faithful brother, time to his memory who devoted a long life to the vigilant ADAMS, survives.