John Lothrop Motley, A Memoir — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 193 pages of information about John Lothrop Motley, A Memoir — Complete.
the outgrowth of ignorance, and ignoring worse than ignorance, from every class of Englishmen.  Never was an authoritative exposition of our hopes and policy worse needed; and there was no one to do it.  The outgoing diplomatic agents represented a bygone order of things; the representatives of Mr. Lincoln’s administration had not come.  At that time of anxiety, Mr. Motley, living in England as a private person, came forward with two letters in the ‘Times,’ which set forth the cause of the United States once and for all.  No unofficial, and few official, men could have spoken with such authority, and been so certain of obtaining a hearing from Englishmen.  Thereafter, amid all the clouds of falsehood and ridicule which we had to encounter, there was one lighthouse fixed on a rock to which we could go for foothold, from which we could not be driven, and against which all assaults were impotent.
“There can be no question that the effect produced by these letters helped, if help had been needed, to point out Mr. Motley as a candidate for high diplomatic place who could not be overlooked.  Their value was recognized alike by his fellow-citizens in America and his admirers in England; but none valued them more than the little band of exiles, who were struggling against terrible odds, and who rejoiced with a great joy to see the stars and stripes, whose centennial anniversary those guns are now celebrating, planted by a hand so truly worthy to rally every American to its support.”


Poem by William Cullen Bryant.

I cannot close this Memoir more appropriately than by appending the following poetical tribute:—­

In memory of John Lothrop Motley.

By William Cullen Bryant.

Sleep, Motley, with the great of ancient days,
Who wrote for all the years that yet shall be. 
Sleep with Herodotus, whose name and praise
Have reached the isles of earth’s remotest sea. 
Sleep, while, defiant of the slow delays
Of Time, thy glorious writings speak for thee
And in the answering heart of millions raise
The generous zeal for Right and Liberty. 
And should the days o’ertake us, when, at last,
The silence that—­ere yet a human pen
Had traced the slenderest record of the past
Hushed the primeval languages of men
Upon our English tongue its spell shall cast,
Thy memory shall perish only then.


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John Lothrop Motley, A Memoir — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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