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injure and oppress the rest; now, it is beginning to require a more intellectual superiority. Orators and authors are the heroes of the day; and the same hearty and enthusiastic applause follows exploits of the mind, which was once reserved for mili tary success. The conflicts that really decide the destiny of nations, are fought in congresses and parliaments; and the interest of the strife is transferred to the fields where their fate is actually decided; as is abundantly proved by the profound sensation of the whole civilized world, at the death of the late Mr Canning; who, with a public character not so well fitted to inspire enthusiasm as others that have been before him, excited an interest immeasurably deeper, and fell more brilliantly in the moment of his bloodless victory, than Dundee at Killicrankie, or Nelson at Trafalgar.
We venture to hope that the time will come, when usefulness, if it is not the measure of greatness, will at least be sure of the applause of men. The world has been singularly inattentive to its rights and welfare; it has invariably misapplied that applause, which must be the inspiration and guide of common ambition. When it is once known that usefulness will secure its favor, it will be like the discovery of a new compass, for guiding a thousand adventurers to an innocent and enviable fame. Men of higher principle, too, will be animated by the conviction that the world is on their side. We think, that whether we consider the difficulties encountered and sacrifices made, or the spirit and energy required to meet them, nothing is more noble and re viving than examples of men, who, with prospects of wealth that lead to indolence and talents fitted for display, are yet able, through all the misleading opinions of the world and the flatteries of self-love, to discern that man's best interest and glory is to be serviceable to his fellow-men; who can devote themselves to the great cause of human improvement, not with momentary vigor but persevering resolution; not in its mere attractive parts, its pillars and capitals, but in the humbler places where the deep foundation is laid; conscious that they may never see the result of their labor, and doubting sometimes whether it is not wholly. vain. Such living sacrifices, we think, are even more illustrious than the dying self-devotion of martyrs; for it requires more strength to sustain the heart in the weary trial of life, than in the short agony of death. Milton complained with reason that men were so earnest to celebrate their destroyers, that they had left the better fortitude of patience and heroic martyrdom
unsung;' but he was too far before his age for even his mighty voice to reach it; we trust that the stern old prophet has found many a heart in our times, to reply to those indignant appeals, which found no answering chord in his own.
We say so much of usefulness, because it was the prevailing trait in Mr Haven's character. There was no transient excitement, but a calm and natural elevation in his desire to do good. Its freedom from all selfishness was shown in the fact that he was willing to make precisely the kind of efforts that were anywhere required, whether great or trifling, high or low. We apprehend that there are many who are ambitious to be useful on grand and extensive plans; who leave it a matter of doubt, whether they are most interested in the welfare of others, or the success of their favorite systems. There are many who will consent to make great sacrifices, while they will not descend to lower exertions; who, perhaps, would find that they were influenced by a secret ambition, an unacknowledged pride. But no one can doubt the disinterestedness of him who is ready to do everything,—who does not consider the most trifling means of happiness beneath him. We are anxious to publish such examples, because they show, that private life offers no such limited fields of usefulness as most men suppose; that to look out from their windows, as men often do, saying they can do nothing, is a confession not of weakness, but unfaithfulness; that there is everywhere evil to be prevented and good to be done; that there is power, influence, and responsibility resting in the humblest hand. Besides, they offer a proof delightful in itself and honorable to men, that usefulness will be repaid with gratitude; and who that takes counsel of his heart, would not rather his name were written in the book of affectionate remembrance than in the broadest page of glory?
The volume, which the just partiality of Mr Haven's friends has collected, exhibits an uncommon union of talent and piety with perfect taste. We have some fears lest it shall be undervalued on this account, and like some specimens of classical architecture in our country, be too simple to be generally admired; for there is neither audacity nor pretension in his style.; and we have been sometimes inclined to think that the public taste favored the cavalier and ambitious manner of writing. But it is full of good sense, and just and liberal views of human character and duty; the opinions are evidently his own; there is no where to be traced a single scar left by the chains of any
party. It is chiefly on account of the fine and generous morality which runs through the work, that we wish to present it to our readers. To make them acquainted with this, we shall set before them the 'living letter,' the character of its lamented writer.
We naturally desire to know what causes have conspired to form an estimable character; but we cannot often trace them. The mind chooses its destiny for itself; and those who educate others, should care not so much to place them in favorable circumstances, as to give them those principles which allow but little power to external influences. Mr Haven was very fortunate in his early instruction, both at home and when he was placed under the care of Dr Abbot of Exeter, a gentleman who enjoys the respect and gratitude of numbers, who have been so fortunate as to be the objects of his paternal regard. But it is better that we should feel that every one's character depends upon himself, and that no one is ever placed in circumstances so unfortunate, that he has not power within himself to control or resist them. Mr Haven passed his life with the companions of his childhood, and it is a strong testimony in his favor, that they respected as much as they loved him ;—there were no youthful follies and vices to be remembered with sorrow and shame. It is possible that his weakness of sight, which sometimes occasioned extreme suffering, may have had an influence upon his character; there is no doubt that such a misfortune has often been singularly happy in its effect. When the sight fails, the mind seems lighted up from within; driven back upon its own resources, it finds powers in itself which it never was conscious of possessing. We think we have known men of ardent imagination, whose minds were disciplined into strength and logical precision, while they were shut out from commuion with the visible world;-gaining the habit of profound and patient thought, without losing their gracefulness and beauty. We have no doubt that his privation was of service to Mr Haven's mind; we can say more confidently, that by this and all his other suffering, his heart was made better and purer.
We are interested to make his character known, because he is an example, more needed in this country than many others, of a young man, who came forward into life prepared in every respect to sustain a manly part. Either our habits or institutions are apt to bring young men forward before their characters are formed. Whether their education might not be hastened,
we are not prepared to say; but certain it is, that sometimes the mechanical preparation is complete, and the moral fitness entirely wanting. The sense of responsibility is not enlarged by just views of the duties of life; the conscience is not quick and active in proportion to the increasing temptations; and the passions, always in advance of the reason, are apt to take the mastery of the mind, because if there is leisure to detect the moral deficiency, there is not firmness enough to repair it. The young recruits of our professions too often seem like the youthful soldier, disgusted with the service, or sinking under it. The subject of this Memoir was remarkable for this moral preparation for active life. Long before he entered it, he surveyed the ground on which he was to stand and the duties he should be called to do. In consequence he was able to meet his obligations well, and at the same time to draw from life the best enjoyment it ever affords. He found time to attend to every claim, and held such a place in the general affection, as talents or amiable dispositions alone could never have entitled him to fill.
Though not an enthusiast in anything, Mr Haven was very ardent in the pursuit of his profession, the law. But in his character every part kept its just proportion. His delicate taste was not suffered to disgust him with the practical details of his profession. He knew that there was no real inconsistency be tween professional eminence and literary taste; the former was not an object which he permitted to swallow up every other; nor was it necessary for him, as for the Ephesian sorcerers, to burn his books of enchantment ;-for, though strictly faithful to the interests confided to his care, he kept up his acquaintance with classical studies and general literature, without what the merest slave of the profession could have called a waste of time. He found opportunity to suggest and mature various plans of public improvement ;-the moment his mind was at liberty, it seemed to turn of itself to the general welfare. His biographer speaks of Lord Mansfield as the model for a lawyer ; we think Mr Haven would have been more ambitious to resemble Sir Matthew Hale, the Angel of the English law. For religion, deep, sincere, and fervent, entered into all his pursuits and feelings. It was not worn as a garment, but was a part of himself; it appeared, because it could not help appearing in his words, deeds, and even his manner. But there was nothing mechanical in his piety; he never would put on the livery of
any party whatever. This undoubtedly was the cause of the universal confidence reposed in him, a confidence which never for a moment faltered; which was never so firm and trusting, as at the moment of his death. No one can read without emotion the accounts of the feeling produced by that event. Many can remember the gloom which hung over our city when it was known that Buckminster was no more; and when Gallison died, a friend of Haven, who like him had earned the public affection by his devoted regard for its welfare. Such was the sensation which the loss of Mr Haven occasioned in his native place. We expect to see the glittering wheels of labor standing still, and the sounds of busy life suspended for a time, when the mighty are fallen; but to see the same ready and willing tribute given to excellence alone, is a proof of correct feeling which we are happy to set down. It is not less honorable to those who offer it, than to those to whom it is paid.
We should not call Mr Haven a man of genius, if we are sure that we know the meaning of that much injured name. His mind was naturally powerful, and disciplined with great judg ment and care. It was rather correct and elegant, than rapid and brilliant ; his confidence in its decisions was founded, not on his consciousness of native talent, but on his patient and fair attention. His perceptions seemed always just; but this may be attributed in part to his perfect moral feeling. The boundaries of right and wrong were as distinctly marked in his mind, as the limits of the ocean and the shore; he could not have passed for a moment from one into the other, without feeling that he was in an element not his own. In this respect there was nothing shifting or unsettled in his mind; his feelings of moral obligation were like decrees of fate to him; he never thought of hesitating to obey them; and they gave such a harmony to his powers, such a daily beauty to his life, such a sabbath stillness to his constant exertion, that every one knew he was to be found at any hour in the silent walks of duty. He brought the distant results of duty near, and acted upon them as if they were matters of the day. This was the secret of his cheerfulness; he viewed life so justly, that he looked for his best happiness in an unwearied fidelity to his obligations,—a trait of character which implies intellectual power as well as moral principle, strength of mind as well as of heart.
Perhaps this was the reason that he appeared to so much