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quence of some disturbance in the street, he was thrown from his phaeton, and so severely injured in the knee-joint, that amputation of the lower limb was deemed necessary. He conversed not only with calmness but with humor over his misfortune ; and told the experienced surgeons that they had already sufficient reputation, and he preferred giving the operation to a young medical friend, that he might have the credit of it to advance his practice. When abroad he tried several very artistic substitutes for his lost member ; but, naturally impatient of deception, even in costume, he continued to use a stump attached to the fractured leg, and managed to accommodate his locomotion to this inconvenience without in the least impairing the dignity of his movements. Indeed, it served him an excellent purpose on one occasion, for the cry of “ Aristocrat !” being raised against him in the streets of Paris, for appearing in his carriage, when no such vehicles were allowed by the mob, he was surrounded by a bloodthirsty crowd, who threatened his life ; but he coolly thrust bis wooden leg out of the window, and cried out, “ An aristocrat? Yes; who lost his limb in the cause of American liberty !” The reaction was instantaneous; he was not only allowed to proceed, but vehemently cheered on his way.
He had an old-fashioned but impressive manner of expressing himself, which, though at this day it might be considered somewhat ostentatious, accorded with the large canes and buttons, the broad-skirted coats and stately air, in vogue when Copley's portraits truly represented the style of character and taste in dress that prevailed. A genuine Knickerbocker, in whose now ripe memory Governeur Morris is the ideal of an American civilian, imitates with great effect the tone, at once significant and dignified, with which he asked a pretentious literary aspirant, who apologized for being late at dinner by stating that he had been engaged in forming a philosophical society, “Pray, where are your philosophers ?” and his reply to a friend who asked his son, then a boy of four years old, if he had yet read Robinson Crusoe and Jack the Giant Killer, “ Tell the gentleman, no; but that
“ you are acquainted with the lives of Gustavus Adolphus, and Charles of Sweden, -- the Twelfth."
There was a vein of what has been called Johnsonese in the
rhetoric of Governeur Morris, but it was underlaid by so much strong natural sense, and, in his deliberate efforts, vivified by such true enthusiasm, that it seemed quite appropriate to the man. He had all the requisites to sustain daring oratory. . With a taste formed chiefly upon the French pulpit eloquence in its palmy days, his indulgence in personification, as when he invoked the shade of Penn in a speech in Philadelphia, and especially in the apostrophes of his funeral orations, in a man of less natural dignity and impressiveness would have been in imminent danger of gliding from the sublime to the ridiculous ; but there was a singular unity of effect in the elocution of Governeur Morris. Intelligent crowds hung in silent admiration upon his eloquence ; and servants stopped open-mouthed, dish in hand, to catch his table-talk. His social privileges were not less rich than various ; and he enjoyed the signal advantages of that companionship with superior natures which is quickened and sustained by mutual duties and genuine intellectual sympathy. It was his rare fortune to be intimate with the leading spirits of two nations, at epochs of social and political convulsions which brought to the surface and into action the gifts and graces, as well as the passions, of humanity. At home the esteemed associate of Schuyler, Greene, and the other brave chiefs of the army; of Hamilton, Clinton, and all the eminent civic leaders of his time; the correspondent of public characters, embracing every species of distinction, from that of Paul Jones to that of Thomas Jefferson ; and abroad, on terms of the frankest intercourse with Necker and his gifted daughter, Marmontel and the family of Orleans, he had the best opportunity to estimate the comparative benefits of fortune, rank, genius, society, form of government, modes of life, and principles of nature.
His relation to Washington was of a kind that affords the best evidence of his worth. Their correspondence evidences the highest degree of mutual respect and confidence; their views on public affairs are developed with an intelligent frankness and unanimity of sentiment pleasing to contemplate ; while the geniality of friendship incidentally appears in the "pigs and poultry” sent from Morrissiana to Mount Vernon; the commission Washington gave his former counsellor to purchase him a watch ; and the candid letter of advice he wrote him on his appointment as minister to France. There was something kindred in the tone of both, however dissimilar in their endowments and career ; and in form so much were they alike that Governeur Morris, when in Paris, stood for the figure of Houdon's statue of Washington. Notwithstanding the florid style of portions of the eulogy delivered on his beloved chief, at the public funeral in New York, Governeur Morris drew his character with great discrimination.
It is said that at a convivial party to which Washington was invited, his remarkable traits were the subject of earnest discussion among the company; and it was insisted that no one, however intimate, would dare to take a liberty with him. In a foolish moment of elation Governeur Morris accepted a bet that he would venture upon the experiment. Accordingly, just before dinner was announced, as the guests stood in a group by the fire, he induced a somewhat lively chat, and in the midst of it, apparently from a casual impulse, clapped Washington familiarly on the shoulder. The latter turned and gave him a look of such mild and dignified yet grieved surprise, that even the selfpossession of his friend deserted him. He shrunk from that gaze of astonishment at his forgetfulness of respect; and the mirth of the company was instantly awed into silence. It is curious, with this scene fresh in mind, to revert to a passage in the eulogy to which we have referred : “ You all have felt the reverence he inspired; it was such that to command seemed in him but the exercise of an ordinary function, while others felt that a duty to obey — anterior to the injunctions of civil ordinance or the compulsions of a military code — was imposed by the high behests of nature."
The quality which all history shows to be the basis of character is self-reliance. United with generosity and remarkable intelligence, this trait gives directness, force, and authority, to the manner, word, and thought. We trace to this combination much of the energy of Governeur Morris, and not a little of his social influence. Although, at times, his confidence in his own opinion and moods degenerated into complacency, and even offensive dogmatism, these were the extreme phases of an invaluable
quality. The very same trust in his own resources and the deliberate convictions of his understanding, in the hour of earnest and momentous discussion, gave a profound emphasis to his discourse, that won his audience; and, in the hour of baffled endeavor and mortified hope, enabled him to impart vital encouragement to the desponding adherents of a glorious cause.
In the society of rank and genius, it also endowed him, as the representative of liberal principles, with a dignity that met unawed the gaze of an opponent, and enabled him to estimate at their just value the grandeur and blandishments that subdue or captivate those not thus fortified.
The men who thus exert a great and benign personal influence usually combine will, intellect, and disinterestedness, in their characters; the two former in various proportions, but the latter always in an eminent degree. It is to such a union of high qualities that we ascribe the accurate and extensive insight for which such men are remarkable. Selfish instincts are proverbially short-sighted, and the first requisite for comprehensive views is a position elevated above the level of private interest; it is thus that the love of knowledge in the man of science, and the enthusiasm for beauty in the poet and artist, lift them into a region where what is petty, commonplace, and material, vanish in a limitless perspective. The same result is born of wide and intelligent sympathies, enlisting the feelings in enlarged social enterprises, the will in noble social reforms, and the mind in contemplations that embrace the welfare of nations and the good of humanity. In a field of action so often perverted to mere aggrandizement as that of politics, the presence of a thoroughly honest, wise, and ardent humanitarian, like Governeur Morris, is a spectacle that exalts our common nature. It affects us like an acted poem, and realizes in life the moral romance of history,
THE ITALIAN MARTYR.
EARLY on a January morning of the year 1854, a small funeral cortege passed from beneath one of the arcades that line so many of the streets of Turin. At that hour they were almost deserted; and the silence made doubly impressive the aspect of the few priests who walked beside the bier, and the little group of mourners that followed it to the tomb. On the summit of the mountain range that girdles the Sardinian capital, masses of snow rested, here and there touched with a glittering hue by the first pale beams of a winter sun; prominent, on one lofty slope, rose the church of La Superga, where the monarchs of the kingdom lie buried; yonder is the street Alfieri, reminding the stranger that here the tragic poet of Italy consumed a miseducated youth, whose trials he has bitterly recorded in the memoir attached to his dramas; near by is the palace within whose walls are so many gems of art; and not far distant the new church erected by the Waldenses, so long banished to the valleys of Piedmont, but now allowed "freedom to worship God" in the capital of a reformed and progressive state. From the associations this scene awakens, if one turn to the modest obsequies first noted, they also yield an historical lesson. The body thus unostentatiously carried to the sepulchre is that of one known far beyond these mountains, and whose name is identified with patriotism, with genius, and with suffering — three charms to win and to hold the love of