John Lothrop Motley. a memoir — Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 57 pages of information about John Lothrop Motley. a memoir — Volume 3.

     Let us hear the proud story that time has bequeathed
     From lips that are warm with the freedom they breathed! 
     Let him summon its tyrants, and tell us their doom,
     Though he sweep the black past like Van Tromp with his broom!

     The dream flashes by, for the west-winds awake
     On pampas, on prairie, o’er mountain and lake,
     To bathe the swift bark, like a sea-girdled shrine
     With incense they stole from the rose and the pine.

     So fill a bright cup with the sunlight that gushed
     When the dead summer’s jewels were trampled and crushed;
     the true Knight of learning,—­the world holds him dear,—­

     Love bless him, joy crown him, God speed his career!


Habits and methods of study.

Mr. Motley’s daughter, Lady Harcourt, has favored me with many interesting particulars which I could not have learned except from a member of his own family.  Her description of his way of living and of working will be best given in her own words:—­

“He generally rose early, the hour varying somewhat at different parts of his life, according to his work and health.  Sometimes when much absorbed by literary labor he would rise before seven, often lighting his own fire, and with a cup of tea or coffee writing until the family breakfast hour, after which his work was immediately resumed, and be usually sat over his writing-table until late in the afternoon, when he would take a short walk.  His dinner hour was late, and he rarely worked at night.  During the early years of his literary studies he led a life of great retirement.  Later, after the publication of the ‘Dutch Republic’ and during the years of official place, he was much in society in England, Austria, and Holland.  He enjoyed social life, and particularly dining out, keenly, but was very moderate and simple in all his personal habits, and for many years before his death had entirely given up smoking.  His work, when not in his own library, was in the Archives of the Netherlands, Brussels, Paris, the English State Paper Office, and the British Museum, where he made his own researches, patiently and laboriously consulting original manuscripts and reading masses of correspondence, from which he afterwards sometimes caused copies to be made, and where he worked for many consecutive hours a day.  After his material had been thus painfully and toilfully amassed, the writing of his own story was always done at home, and his mind, having digested the necessary matter, always poured itself forth in writing so copiously that his revision was chiefly devoted to reducing the over-abundance.  He never shrank from any of the drudgery of preparation, but I think his own part of the work was sheer pleasure to him.”

I should have mentioned that his residence in London while minister was at the house No. 17 Arlington Street, belonging to Lord Yarborough.

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John Lothrop Motley. a memoir — Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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