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[435] Not even the darling ambition of a great library ever tempted him to close his ear to need. Go to Venice or Vienna, to Frankfort or to Paris, and ask the refugees who have gone back,--when here friendless exiles but for him,--under whose roof they felt most at home! One of our oldest and best teachers writes me that, telling him once in the cars of a young lad of rare mathematical genius who could read Laplace, but whom narrow means debarred from the university, “Let him enter,” said Theodore Parker; “I will pay his bills.”

No sect, no special study, no one idea bounded his sympathy; but he was generous in judgment where a common man would have found it hard to be so. Though he does not “go down to dust without his fame,” though Oxford and Germany sent him messages of sympathy, still no word of approbation from the old grand names of our land, no honors from university or learned academy, greeted his brave, diligent, earnest life. Men can confess that they voted against his admission to scientific bodies for his ideas, feeling all the while that his brain could furnish half the academy; and yet, thus ostracized, he was the most generous, more than just, interpreter of the motives of those about him, and looked on while others reaped where he sowed, with most generous joy in their success. Patiently analyzing character, and masterly in marshalling facts, he stamped with generous justice the world's final judgment of Webster, and now that the soreness of battle is over, friend and foe allow it.

He was generous of labor,--books never served to excuse him from any, the humblest work. Though “hiving wisdom with each studious year,” and passionately devoted to his desk, as truly as was said of Milton, “The lowliest duties on himself he laid.” What drudgery of the street did that scholarly hand ever refuse? Who, so often and so constant as he in the trenches,

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