“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.