John Lothrop Motley. a memoir — Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 44 pages of information about John Lothrop Motley. a memoir Volume 3.
babies, the eldest, a little girl who bore my mother’s name, and had been her idol, being the companion of many hours and his best comforter.  At the end the blow came swiftly and suddenly, as he would have wished it.  It was a terrible shock to us who had vainly hoped to keep him a few years longer, but at least he was spared what he had dreaded with a great dread, a gradual failure of mental or bodily power.  The mind was never clouded, the affections never weakened, and after a few hours of unconscious physical struggle he lay at rest, his face beautiful and calm, without a trace of suffering or illness.  Once or twice he said, ’It has come, it has come,’ and there were a few broken words before consciousness fled, but there was little time for messages or leave- taking.  By a strange coincidence his life ended near the town of Dorchester, in the mother country, as if the last hour brought with it a reminiscence of his birthplace, and of his own dearly loved mother.  By his own wish only the dates of his birth and death appear upon his gravestone, with the text chosen by himself, ’In God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.’”

XXIV.

Conclusion.—­His character.—­His labors.—­His reward.

In closing this restricted and imperfect record of a life which merits, and in due time will, I trust, receive an ampler tribute, I cannot refrain from adding a few thoughts which naturally suggest themselves, and some of which may seem quite unnecessary to the reader who has followed the story of the historian and diplomatist’s brilliant and eventful career.

Mr. Motley came of a parentage which promised the gifts of mind and body very generally to be accounted for, in a measure at least, wherever we find them, by the blood of one or both of the parents.  They gave him special attractions and laid him open to not a few temptations.  Too many young men born to shine in social life, to sparkle, it may be, in conversation, perhaps in the lighter walks of literature, become agreeable idlers, self-indulgent, frivolous, incapable of large designs or sustained effort, lose every aspiration and forget every ideal.  Our gilded youth want such examples as this of Motley, not a solitary, but a conspicuous one, to teach them how much better is the restlessness of a noble ambition than the narcotized stupor of club-life or the vapid amusement of a dressed-up intercourse which too often requires a questionable flavor of forbidden license to render it endurable to persons of vivacious character and temperament.

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