He was very fond of literature, especially of poetry, and devoted a considerable portion of his time to literary efforts of his own. His great fame as a lawyer so overshadowed the success he won in literature that few besides himself knew how much pleasure the popularity of his writings gave him.
In the exercise of his profession Mr. Brady won a large fortune. His income was princely during the greater part of his life, but he saved comparatively little. He delighted in giving to others. His relatives were the constant recipients of substantial evidences of his affection for them, and his charities to the poor were in keeping with his generous nature. He could not look upon suffering unmoved, and “never turned his face from any poor man.”
His last appearance in public was at the Gerard dinner, where he was as brilliant and genial as ever. He seemed to have a foreboding of his approaching end, however, for the next day he said to one of his family: “I feel that it is the last time I shall ever appear on a like public occasion.” His fears were prophetic. He was seized with an attack of paralysis on the morning of the 9th of February, 1869, and breathed his last at five o’clock in the afternoon of the same day. He died in the communion of the Catholic Church, and was buried from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in the city of New York. His death drew forth expressions of sympathy and respect from all parts of the Union and from men of all shades of opinion. All felt that a good and useful man, a great advocate, and an incorruptible citizen had been taken away.
His was a happy fate. He died in the fullness of his fame, before age had weakened his faculties or chilled his heart, and dying thus, it may be said of him, as he once said of another, that he was “a man who had no guile in his nature, and who died leaving no living creature to rejoice at his death.”
At a time when America was regarded in Europe as a savage region, and when Americans were looked upon as little better than barbarians by the people of the mother country, it was no slight achievement for an American artist to rise by the force of his genius to the proud position of President of the Royal Academy of Great Britain.
The man who won this triumph was BENJAMIN WEST. He was born in Springfield, Pennsylvania, on the 10th of October, 1738. His parents were Quakers, plain, simple people, who feared God, lived a just life, and desired above all other things that their children should become pious and useful men and women. The old mansion-house where the future artist was born was situated in Chester County, and is still standing. It is not far from Philadelphia, and the place is now called Westdale. His father’s family emigrated from England to America with William Penn, at his