in large matters or small, he held his peace; and the habit of finding grievances, or of hiding the real blessings of life behind imaginary ills, was far from his disposition.
There was nothing affected or artificial about him, for his whole nature was too strong and sincere, even if his life-long consideration for others had not checked such weakness; and there was no eccentricity in his ways.
It was characteristic of his wise self-knowledge and resolute will, that, having, like many other men, formed the opinion that it is judicious to retire from responsibilities and duties before the judgment is weakened by age, unlike most other men, he acted on this opinion.
Four or five years before his death he resigned all responsibilities and trusts, even giving the charge of his property, at last, to his son-in-law, and employing his daughter in small matters of business, by which she gained instruction, but of which he must have been reluctant to abandon even the practical charge.
Thus, at all periods, we see the vigorous will and the vigorous intellect moulding each other.
These volumes consist so much of the writings of him who is their subject, that his opinions and qualities are, perhaps, as fairly shown as they were even in intimate intercourse, and, uniting these more personal and private compositions with his published works, his intellectual gifts are made apparent.
That he appreciated wit and imagination, without possessing them in large measure, and that his taste in the Fine Arts
was that of a healthy, quick intelligence, carefully trained by observation, rather than a spontaneous instinct, will be seen without disparagement.
As a student of character, he was vigilant, thoughtful, and kindly, his recorded judgments of persons being very rarely pointed by a severe remark of any sort; or, if any severity is found in his letters and journals, it is sure to rest on some moral ground.
He was not disposed to be satirical, though he was sometimes stern, and his principle was always to weigh his judgments carefully and to be just.
If, however, he had noted a fact in the career or the character of a man which distinctly indicated a moral want in his nature, he never forgot it.