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.
which so often forbids cordial relations between soldier and statesman, already stood shrouded in the distance, darkly menacing the strenuous patriot, who was wearing his life out in exertions for what he deemed the true cause of progress and humanity. . . .
“All history shows that the brilliant soldier of a republic is apt to have the advantage, in a struggle for popular affection and popular applause, over the statesman, however consummate. . . .  The great battles and sieges of the prince had been on a world’s theatre, had enchained the attention of Christendom, and on their issue had frequently depended, or seemed to depend, the very existence of the nation.  The labors of the statesman, on the contrary, had been comparatively secret.  His noble orations and arguments had been spoken with closed doors to assemblies of colleagues, rather envoys than senators, . . while his vast labors in directing both the internal administration and especially the foreign affairs of the commonwealth had been by their very nature as secret as they were perpetual and enormous.”

The reader of the “Life of Barneveld” must judge for himself whether in these and similar passages the historian was thinking solely of Maurice, the great military leader, of Barneveld, the great statesman, and of Aerssens, the recalled ambassador.  He will certainly find that there were “burning questions” for ministers to handle then as now, and recognize in “that visible atmosphere of power the poison of which it is so difficult to resist” a respiratory medium as well known to the nineteenth as to the seventeenth century.


1874-1877.  AEt. 60-63.

Death of Mrs. Motley.—­Last visit to America.—­Illness and death.-Lady HARCOURT’S communication.

On the last day of 1874, the beloved wife, whose health had for some years been failing, was taken from him by death.  She had been the pride of his happier years, the stay and solace of those which had so tried his sensitive spirit.  The blow found him already weakened by mental suffering and bodily infirmity, and he never recovered from it.  Mr. Motley’s last visit to America was in the summer and autumn of 1875.  During several weeks which he passed at Nahant, a seaside resort near Boston, I saw him almost daily.  He walked feebly and with some little difficulty, and complained of a feeling of great weight in the right arm, which made writing laborious.  His handwriting had not betrayed any very obvious change, so far as I had noticed in his letters.  His features and speech were without any paralytic character.  His mind was clear except when, as on one or two occasions, he complained of some confused feeling, and walked a few minutes in the open air to compose himself.  His thoughts were always tending to revert to the almost worshipped companion

Project Gutenberg
John Lothrop Motley, A Memoir — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook