Roundabout to Boston (from Literary Friends and Acquaintance) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 26 pages of information about Roundabout to Boston (from Literary Friends and Acquaintance).
of them so moving as I expected when I came to it with all the ardor of my admiration for the historian.  William the Silent seemed to me, by his worshipper’s own showing, scarcely level with the popular movement which he did not so much direct as follow; but it is a good deal for a prince to be able even to follow his people; and it cannot be said that Motley does not fully recognize the greatness of the Dutch people, though he may see the Prince of Orange too large.  The study of their character made at least a theoretical democrat of a scholar whose instincts were not perhaps democratic, and his sympathy with that brave little republic between the dikes strengthened him in his fealty to the great commonwealth between the oceans.  I believe that so far as he was of any political tradition, he was of the old Boston Whig tradition; but when I met him at Venice he was in the glow of a generous pride in our war as a war against slavery.  He spoke of the negroes and their simple-hearted, single-minded devotion to the Union cause in terms that an original abolitionist might have used, at a time when original abolitionists were not so many as they have since become.

For the rest, I fancy it was very well for us to be represented at Vienna in those days by an ideal democrat who was also a real swell, and who was not likely to discredit us socially when we so much needed to be well thought of in every way.

At a court where the family of Count Schmerling, the Prime Minister, could not be received for want of the requisite descents, it was well to have a minister who would not commit the mistake of inviting the First Society to meet the Second Society, as a former Envoy Extraordinary had done, with the effect of finding himself left entirely to the Second Society during the rest of his stay in Vienna.

II.

One of my consular colleagues under Motley was another historian, of no such popularity, indeed, nor even of such success, but perhaps not of inferior powers.  This was Richard Hildreth, at Trieste, the author of one of the sincerest if not the truest histories of the United States, according to the testimony both of his liking and his misliking critics.  I have never read his history, and I speak of it only at second hand; but I had read, before I met him, his novel of ’Archy Moore, or The White Slave’, which left an indelible impression of his imaginative verity upon me.  The impression is still so deep that after the lapse of nearly forty years since I saw the book, I have no misgiving in speaking of it as a powerful piece of realism.  It treated passionately, intensely, though with a superficial coldness, of wrongs now so remote from us in the abolition of slavery that it is useless to hope it will ever beg generally read hereafter, but it can safely be praised to any one who wishes to study that bygone condition, and the literature which grew out of it.  I fancy

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Roundabout to Boston (from Literary Friends and Acquaintance) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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