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the whole effect of the work is to leave an | set,) even his warmest friend could hardly exalted opinion of the natural powers of hope to do more than temporarily arrest
. the author. These powers, we have al- | There is, therefore, a certain mournful satready said, were but imperfectly devel- isfaction in the thought, that even this oped. Wieland” is not, and could not article, which a few may be disposed to be, a truly great and finished work. Its esteem some years too late to attract much main defects are but too obvious, without notice by its title, is perhaps one of the particularization. Its style, except in rare last efforts to keep alive in the memory of passages, is not uniformly easy and nat- his countrymen, the name of a youth who ural, neither have its sentences, in general, gave promise of a fame that should es a musical flow and cadence. More faulty ceed that of even our most honored wristill is the almost constant exaggeration of ters. Could Brown have lived to become horror-the carrying of tragedy to the a complete master of himself, to reduce utmost extreme of anguish and gloom. all his faculties under perfect control ; had The youthful writer had not yet learned to the long discipline of years and of severe temper his light and shade-if, indeed, experiences wrought out a way whereby “ Wieland ” may not rather be said to be the genial impulses that visited his spirit made up entirely of the latter-neither could find full and free access to the minds had he been able to distinguish the boun- of his fellows; envy itself must have done dary that separates the sentiment of pleas- him reverence. But the course of the diurable sadness from the horror of unmiti- vine destinies is inevitable—irresistible, gated suffering and torture. Yet he shows The flower that perishes when first openclearly enough, that he was not uncon- ing from its bud is soon forgot, in the scious of the existence of such a boundary, midst of full-blown and perfect blossoms. and that only a little further culture was Not altogether such is the fate of Brocknecessary to put him in full possession of den Brown. His novels are still in the the requisite skill.
Circulating Libraries of our own and other But we cannot give ourselves heartily to lands; and, what is more satisfactory to the work of tracing out and exposing the know, they are still read by no small numerrors of a youth whose early death and ber. Such, we doubt not, will be their whose uncommon capabilities ought, after fortune, for a long time to come. Whatthe lapse of so many years, to secure him ever may afterwards be their fate, they from any but the kindest mention. The will at least, after having already survived gradual progress of his works towards half a century, go down with a good name forgetfulness, (as we intimated at the out- | to the next generation.
LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES OF
THE HONORABLE ROBERT CHARLES WINTHROP,
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
We have presented to our readers in the some fifty years afterwards, in commendReview for this month a portrait of the ing the grandson of this gentleman to the Hon. Robert Charles Winthrop, the pres- notice of their associates, bear honorable ent Speaker of the House of Representa- testimony to the good repute in which the tives.
ancestor was held. They speak of “ the This gentleman, whose preferment to the learned John Winthrop” as one of the high official station which he now holds, first members of this Society, and who, in is a well-deserved and appropriate tribute conjunction with others, did greatly conto his personal worth and public service, tribute to the obtaining of our charter; has won a not less eminent place in the to whom the Royal Society in its early esteem of the Whig party of the Union, days was not only indebted for various inby the fidelity with which he has devoted genious communications, but their musehis talents, throughout an active political um still contains many testimonies of his career, to the advancement of the good of generosity, especially of things relating to the country.
the natural history of New England. Mr. Winthrop's participation in the pub- He was elected Governor of Connectilic counsels is attended by a fortunate pres- cut for several years, in which station, says tige of name and lineage. In both of Belknap, “his many valuable qualities, as a these he may be said to be identified with gentleman, a philosopher and a public the history of that portion of the country ruler, procured him the universal respect of which he represents; and if there be any the people under his government; and his truth in the ancient notion that an honor- unwearied attention to the public business, able ancestry constitutes a pledge to patri- and great understanding in the art of govotism and virtue, he has an especial reason ernment, was of unspeakable advantage to to acknowledge its obligations, and to find them." in them an incentive to the faithful and He was twice married, his second wife zealous performance of every public duty. being the daughter of the celebrated Hugh He stands in the sixth degree of lineal de Peters. By this marriage he had several scent from John Winthrop, the first Gov- children, amongst them two sons, of whom ernor of Massachusetts —" that famous Fitz John was the elder. He, following pattern of piety and justice," as he is called in the footsteps of his father, was elected in the early chronicles of New England, Governor of Connecticut, and held that -who, emigrating to this shore in 1630, post for nine years, commencing in 1698 brought with him the confidence and re- and continuing until the day of his death. spect of the government he had left, and The younger son was a member of the the most upright and exalted faculty for Council in Massachusetts under the new the duties he came to assume. Grahame, charter granted by William and Mary, adopting the thought of a classic historian, and was afterwards Chief Justice of the says of him that “he not only performed Superior Court of that State. His name actions worthy to be written, but pro- was Wait Still, a compound of two family duced writings worthy to be read." names, and not, as some have supposed,
John Winthrop, the eldest son of this one of those conceits which at that period worthy, was scarcely less distinguished. seemed to strike the fancy of the Puritan He was a man much addicted to philo- fathers. “ That middle name," as the sophical study and especially to physical learned and accurate President of the Masscience, and was one of the early patrons sachusetts Historical Society has been of the Royal Society. Sir Hans Sloane careful to inform us, “was derived from and three other members of that society, I inter-marriage of Adam, his great grand
father, with the family of Still ; and this orable confidence and approbation from the gentleman,” he adds, " was not designated body over which he presided. by a perverse simplicity which characterized The House of Representatives of Mas
sachusetts at that time numbered between Wait Still Winthrop, the Chief Justice, five and six hundred members. We may appears to have left but two children, of suppose the duties of the Speaker in such whom John, the only son, resembled his a body to exact the highest degree of pargrandfather in an ardent devotion to scien- liamentary skill and tact in their administific research, and like him, became a distration. In this school the incumbent tinguished member of the Royal Society; found full and adequate experience; and his introduction to that body being, as we he left it, after his three years' service, have seen, greatly facilitated by the re- with the reputation of an expert and efspect in which the memory of his ancestor fective proficient in the rules of legislative
favorite studies and his attachment to the pract: Winthrop first became favorably
society of learned men, he removed to known beyond the limits of his own State, England, where he spent his latter days, when, in 1837, he visited the city of New and died in 1747.
York, at the head of the Massachusetts He left a large family behind him. John, delegation, which assembled there with the oldest of his sons, married in Boston the delegations from the Whigs from the daughter of Francis Borland. He was many other States, to celebrate the great a gentleman of wealth and leisure, and triumph of the Whigs of New York in was one of the most respectable citizens of the elections then recently held. It was New London, Connecticut. One of the a great meeting of congratulation, and inyounger sons of this gentleman was the tended to concert measures for the co-opelate Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, ration of the Whig party in the Presidenthe father of the present Speaker of the tial canvass which was soon to open. It House of Representatives of the Thirtieth was a brilliant prelude to the election of Congress.
1840, of which the results were at once so Robert C. Winthrop, the youngest son glorious and so disastrous. of Thomas L. Winthrop, to whom we have On that occasion, no one drew more objust referred, was born in Boston, on the servation in the large crowd there assem12th of May, 1809, and was educated at bled, than the subject of this memoir. His Harvard; where, in 1828, he received his speech in the Masonic Hall, where the condiploma, and with it, one of the three high-gratulations of the occasion were proffered est honors awarded to his class. He and received, is still remembered by those studied law under the direction of Daniel who were present, as one of the most feWebster, and was admitted to the bar of licitous and attractive incidents of that Boston in 1831. He devoted but little at- memorable exhibition. His vivid and anitention to the practice of his profession, mated eloquence stimulated the already the bent of his mind inclining him much excited feeling of the assembly to the highmore to the study of public affairs than to est key of exultation, and old and young the laburs of a vocation which few men left the scene of this event with common pursue but under the spur of a necessity, prediction of future eminence to the orawhich, in the present instance, did not tor, and more extended renown amongst exist.
his countrymen. Mr. Winthrop entered into public life in His congressional career began in 1840 1834, being then elected to the Legislature The resignation, in that year, of the repreof Massachusetts, and has since continued sentative from Boston, Mr. Abbott Law. in the public service. He was the rep- rence, led to the choice of Mr. Winthrop resentative of Boston in the State Legis- by a majority so decisive as almost to de lature for six years, during the last three prive the election of its title to be called of which he was the Speaker of the pop- a contest. He thus took his seat in the ular branch of that body; discharging the House of Representatives at the second arduous duties of this post with an address session of the Twenty-sixth Congress. nd judgment which elicited the most hon- | He was a member also of the distinguished Twenty-seventh Congress, where, | ject, he was the first to propose in Conamongst many worthy, he maintained a gress a mode of settling the question, position with the best. A personal and which, highly equitable and honorable in private affliction compelled him to resign itself, was seconded by the approbation of his seat in the summer of 1842, his place the most judicious persons both at home being supplied by the Hon. Nathan Apple- and abroad. The following resolutions, ton, who relinquished it at the close of moved by Mr. Winthrop on the 19th Dethat session, to enable his friend to resume cember, 1845, contain the earliest suggeshis former seat at the commencement of tion of an arbitration by eminent civilians. the following winter; which the latter did This resort was afterwards formally proafter an election almost without opposition. posed by the British Government, and if it Mr. Winthrop has continued ever since to had not been most unwisely--we must think represent the city of Boston by a suffrage --refused by the Administration, would equally honorable to him and to the con- have established a happy precedent for stituency whose confidence he has so sig- the settlement of international differences, nally won.
and have placed the peace of the world, His seven years' service in the national so far as the example of two of the most counsels have brought him very promi-powerful nations might tend to establish nently before the nation. One of the it
, upon the foundation of calm counsel and most accomplished debaters in the House right reason, instead of leaving it at the of Representatives, he has participated, to mercy of tempestuous passion and the some extent, in the discussion of all the bitter supremacy of the sword. great questions which have been presented The resolutions referred to are in these to that body, during his connection with words :: it. Habitually abstaining from an obtrusive presentation of his opinions, he has
“ Resolved, That the differences between the
United States and Great Britain, on the subject never failed to say a right word at the right season; he has, therefore, always for negotiation and compromise, and that satis
of the Oregon Territory, are still a fit subject spoken effectively, and in such a manner as factory evidence has not yet been afforded that to win the esteem and confidence of the no compromise which the United States ought House. A steadfast Whig, his position to accept can be effected. has ever been conservative, strong in the
“ Resolved, That it would be a dishonor to the advocacy of the national institutions, care
age in which we live, and in the highest degree
discreditable to both the nations concerned, if ful to guard against encroachments on the they should
suffer themselves to be drawn into Constitution, jealous of the ambition of
a war, upon a question of no immediate or party leaders, and prompt to denounce practical interest to either of them. the excesses into which partisan zeal has “ Resolred, That if no other mode for the amoften threatened to plunge the policy of icable adjustment of this question remains, it is the State. Looking with an enlightened due to the principles of civilization and Chrisview to the capabilities of the country, and tianity that a resort to arbitration should be justly estimating the elements of national had; and that this Government cannot relieve
itself from all responsibility which may follow strength and happiness embraced within the failure to settle the controversy, while this the Union as it is, he has always contrib- resort is still untried. uted his aid to promote their development “ Resolved, That arbitration does not necessathrough the appropriate action of the Con- rily involve a reference to crowned heads; and stitution, and by the wise policy of pro- that, if a jealousy of such a reference is entection and encouragement.
tertained in any quarter, a commission of able In the attempts of the Administration countries concerned or from the world at large,
and dispassionate citizens, either from the two and its supporters to embroil the country offers itself as an obvious and unobjectionable in a war upon the Oregon question, he alternative.” was the friend of conciliatory adjustment and peace, and had the gratification to In the more recent extravagances of find the labors of his compeers and him- those in power, who have committed the self in that instance successful.
nation to all the responsibilities of this We may take the occasion to observe odious Mexican war, he has acted with the here that, in the prosecution of this ob- most enlightened Whigs to give it a direc
tion as favorable to humanity and justice dignity of style which may be commended as the frenzy of the Administration will to the imitation of his successors. It is allow. Utterly opposed to the grounds worthy of being preserved, and we thereupon which this war has been waged, and fore submit it to the judgment of our readcondemning the usurpation of authority, ers :by which the President commenced it, he, nevertheless, did not scruple to vote, with “ Gentlemen of the House of Representatives of the great body of the Whigs in Congress, the United States : the first supplies of men and money, which “ I am deeply sensible of the honor which you · seemed to be indispensable to the rein- have conferred upon me by the vote which has forcement of General Taylor at that mo- just been announced, and I pray leave to exment of supposed exigency, of which the press my most grateful acknowledgments to Administration took such artful advantage. tinguished a mark of their confidence.
those who have thought me worthy of so dis. He has been consistently, ever since, an * When I remember by whom this chair has earnest advocate for peace on terms com- been filled in other years, and, still more, when patible with the honor and justice of a I reflect on the constitutional character of the magnanimous and Christian people.
body before me, I cannot but feel that you have The same moderation of opinion which assigned me a position worthy of any man's appears in this speech, in regard to the ambition, and far above the rightful reach of
my own. great and exciting subjects there referred
** I approach the discharge of its duties with a to, is consistently preserved by Mr. Win- profound impression at once of their dignity throp upon other topics which have agita- and of their difficulty. ted the public. A sincere friend of the “ Seven years of service as a member of this Constitution, and earnestly desirous to main branch of the National Legislature have more tain the harmony of the Union, he has than sufficed to teach me that this is no place conscientiously, we may say, refrained from Severe labors, perplexing cares, trying respon
of mere formal routine or ceremonious repose. those ultra views on the subject of slavery, sibilities, await any one who is called to it, even either in the Northern or Southern aspect under the most auspicious and favorable cirof the question, which have so unhappily cumstances. How, then, can I help trembling and so unprofitably distracted some sections at the task which you have imposed on me, in of the country. Liberal and tolerant upon
the existing condition of this House and of the that subject, he has firmly maintained his country? own opinion against those on either side, excitement, in a time of momentous national
“ In a time of war, in a time of high political who we may hope will acknowledge, in controversy, I see before me the Representatheir calmer reflections, the wisdom and tives of the People almost equally divided, not justice of his moderation.
merely, as the votes of this morning have alThe recent election of this gentleman to ready indicated, in their preference for persons, the honorable post he now fills in the but in opinion and in principle, on many of the House of Representatives, is an expressive most important questions on which they have token of the good opinion he has won on
assembled to deliberate.
“ May I not reasonably claim, in advance, from that theatre where his talents have been you alî
, something more than an ordinary meamost profitably exerted for the benefit of sure of forbearance and indulgence, for whatthe country. No member of that House ever of inability I may manifest, in meeting the might better deserve this distinction. His exigencies and embarrassments which I cannot integrity as a man, his accomplishments as hope to escape? And may I not reasonably a statesman, and his fidelity as a Whig, implore, with something more than common ferrender the choice of the House an honor vency, upon your labors and upon my own, the
blessing of that Almighty Power, whose recordboth to the giver and receiver ; while his ed attribute it is, that. He maketh men to be parliamentary skill in the appropriate func- of one mind in a house ?' tions of his office enable him to requite the “Let us enter, gentlemen, upon our work of favor he has received, by the usefulness of legislation with a solemn sense of our respenbis service.
sibility to God and to our country. However His address to the House, on the recent we may be divided on questions of immediate occasion of taking the chair, exhibits a just manent interest and permanent obligation. W:
policy, we are united by the closest ties of perappreciation of the duties committed to
are the Representatives of twenty millions d and affords an example of graceful people, bound together by common laws and