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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
octors otherwise forgotten. Yet, in respect to even these, we feel justified in assenting to the opinion of one abundantly capable of appreciating the character of Baxter as a writer. What works of Mr. Baxter shall I read? asked Boswell of Dr. Johnson. Read any of them, was the answer, for they are all good. He has left upon all the impress of his genius. Many of them contain sentiments which happily find favor with few in our time: philosophical and psychological disquisitions, which looson with unprofitable talk, or with speeches wherewith he can do no good? Enough of wearisome talk we have had about progress, the rights of the masses, the dignity of labor, and extending the area of freedom! Clear your mind of cant, sir, said Johnson to Boswell; and no better advice could be now given to a class of our democratic politicians. Work out your democracy; translate your words into deeds; away with your sentimental generalizations, and come down to the practical details of your d
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Personal Sketches and tributes (search)
for his cordial recognition and generous praise, but for the firm and yet kindly hand which pointed out deficiencies and errors of taste and judgment. As one of those who have found pleasure and profit in his writings in the past, I would gratefully commend them to the generation which survives him. His Literature of the Age of Elizabeth is deservedly popular, but there are none of his Essays which will not repay a careful study. What works of Mr. Baxter shall I read? asked Boswell of Dr. Johnson. Read any of them, was the answer, for they are all good. He will have an honored place in the history of American literature. But I cannot now dwell upon his authorship while thinking of him as the beloved member of a literary circle now, alas! sadly broken. I recall the wise, genial companion and faithful friend of nearly half a century, the memory of whose words and acts of kindness moistens my eyes as I write. It is the inevitable sorrow of age that one's companions must drop
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Historical papers (search)
bench. The Tory writers—Swift, Pope, Arbuthnot, and others—have undoubtedly exaggerated the defects of Burnet's narrative; while, on the other hand, his Whig commentators have excused them on the ground of his avowed and fierce partisanship. Dr. Johnson, in his blunt way, says: I do not believe Burnet intentionally lied; but he was so much prejudiced that he took no pains to find out the truth. On the contrary, Sir James Mackintosh, in the Edinburgh Review, speaks of the Bishop as an honest ere skirmish took place, in which the rescue of some of the prisoners was effected. Thirty of the enemy were left dead on the field, including the infamous Hertel de Rouville. On the part of the villagers, Captains Ayer and Wainwright and Lieutenant Johnson, with thirteen others, were killed. The intense heat of the weather made it necessary to bury the dead on the same day. They were laid side by side in a long trench in the burial-ground. The body of the venerated and lamented minister, wi
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), The black men in the Revolution and the war of 1812. (search)
t which has so extravagantly lauded their white companions in arms. If pulpits must be desecrated by eulogies of the patriotism of bloodshed, we see no reason why black defenders of their country in the war for liberty should not receive honorable mention as well as white invaders of a neighboring republic who have volunteered in a war for plunder and slavery extension. For the latter class of heroes we have very little respect. The patriotism of too many of them forcibly reminds us of Dr. Johnson's definition of that much-abused term: Patriotism, sir! Tis the last refuge of a scoundrel. What right, I demand, said an American orator some years ago, have the children of Africa to a homestead in the white man's country? The answer will in part be found in the facts which we have presented. Their right, like that of their white fellow-citizens, dates back to the dread arbitrament of battle. Their bones whiten every stricken field of the Revolution; their feet tracked with blood