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plain, simple, and unaffected. Patient, attentive, and laborious he was endowed with great power of reflection, investigation, and argument. President Adams speaks of him “as a great man of business.” He himself said that he had no imagination nor had he any fertility of mind or opulence of knowledge. It might be said of him what Hazlitt said of Pope: “He would be more delighted with a patent lamp than with the
‘Pale reflex of Cynthia's brow,'
that fills the sky with its soft silent lustre, that trembles through the cottage window, and cheers the watchful mariner on the lonely wave.” In Ellsworth's speeches there is no fancy, no grace, no splendor of diction, no genius; for genius is a mind in which imagination, intelligence, and feeling exist in an elevated proportion and in exact equation. It has a penetrating view of ideas, and incarnates them powerfully in brass, in marble, or in language. Ellsworth was a man who studied one subject at a time and kept at it till he mastered it; he seldom worked with other men’s tools; he had great penetration, remarkable power of analysis, and, like most men of intellect without much culture, he seized on the strong point, and left it for no other—like Hercules with his club, armed with a single weapon, but that one powerful and massive. He was earnest in tone, energetic in manner, lucid and simple in language, illustrating by a diagram, not a picture. In early life he was intended for the ministry, and studied theology a year after he graduated from Princeton College. He was called to the bar in 1771, and married shortly afterward Miss Wolcott. Having nothing to live on, his father gave him a lease of a small, wild, uncultivated farm near Hartford. After three years' struggle with poverty, success at the bar was attained. Although a grave and religious man of the New England type, he had conversational talents, and was agreeable in the social circle. He was a domestic man and especially fond of little children. Both of these traits are portrayed in the following letter written to his wife while he was Senator in the first Congress when sitting in New York:—
“The family in which I live have no white children. But I often amuse myself with a colored one about the size of our little daughter, who peeps into my door now and then with a long story, which I cannot more than half understand. Our two sons I sometimes fancy that I pick out among the little boys playing at marbles in the street. Our eldest daughter is, I trust, alternately employed between her book and her wheel. You must teach her what is useful; the world will teach her enough of what is not. The nameless little one I am hardly enough acquainted with to have much idea of; yet I think she occupies a corner of my heart, especially when I consider her at your breast.”
The story told of him by one of his biographers I can scarcely credit. After a protracted absence in Europe, he returned home. The whole family, who were expecting his arrival, descried him at a distance in his carriage, and hastened forth to welcome him. The biographer says he alighted from his carriage; but he spoke not to his wife, nor did he embrace his children. He glanced not even at his twin boys; but leaning over the gate and covering his face, he silently breathed a prayer in gratitude to God. The picture may be true; but it is not natural. Any man, except, perhaps, Simeon Stylites, would have kissed his wife and children first.
Chase, when made Chief Justice in 1864, though younger than Taney, older than Marshall, in face, figure and majestic presence, was more distinguished than either. He was less a lawyer than Taney, but he brought to the bench a stock of learning equal to that which Marshall had begun with. His health failed in 1870; his eyes lost their lustre, and his face became wan and emaciated, so that in fact his judicial life practically terminated several years before his death in 1873. When appointed he had been for many years engaged in political affairs, and it was difficult for him to throw off the hopes and aspirations and love of power which political life engenders. He was, in fact, an able politician, and felt that he could best serve his country as a statesman. He gives this estimate of himself in a letter to the Rev. Joshua Leavitt, dated October 7, 1863. “I really feel,” he says, “as if with God's blessing I could administer the government of this country so as to secure and imperdibilize (there's a new word for you) our institutions, and create a party
fundamentally and thoroughly democratic, which would guarantee a succession of successful administrations.” This aspiration was not entirely suppressed while he was robed in the ermine of justice. Mr. Justice Clifford says: “Appointed, as it were, by common consent, he seated himself easily and naturally in the chair of justice, and gracefully answered every demand upon the station, whether it had respect to the dignity of the office or to elevation of the individual character of the incumbent, or to his firmness, purity, or vigor of mind. From the first moment he drew the judicial robes around him he viewed all questions submitted to him, as a judge, in the calm atmosphere of the bench, and with the deliberate consideration of one who feels that he is determining issues for the remote and unknown future of a great people. Throughout his judicial career he always maintained that dignity of courage and that calm, noble, and unostentatious presence that uniformly characterized his manners and deportment; in the social circle and in his intercourse with his brethren, his suggestions were always couched in friendly terms, and were never marred by severity or harshness.” The faculty of reason was very broad and strong in him, yet without being vast or surprising; his education had all been of a kind to discipline and invigorate his natural powers; his oratory was vigorous, with those qualities of clearness, force, and earnestness which produce conviction. His force of will was prodigious; his courage to brave and his fortitude to endure were absolute. His adhesion to the Christian faith was constant and sincere, and he accepted it as the master and ruler of his life. He had devout confidence in the moral government of the world by a personal God, as a present and real power controlling and directing all human affairs. He was all his life a great student of the Scriptures, and no modern speculations ever shook his belief. Chief Justice Waite was a native of the State of Connecticut, and a graduate of Yale College. His father held a high judicial position in Connecticut. Having studied law he emigrated to Ohio, prompted, no doubt, by the sturdy independence of his own nature. He achieved marked success in his profession, which caused him to be made one of the counsel of the United States in the matter of the Geneva arbitration. His argument in reply to that of Sir Roundell Palmer attracted some attention, but he was almost unknown to the profession and to the country when appointed Chief Justice by President Grant in January, 1874. He was not a great man, nor was he born to be the leader of men; nor had he any great ambition; nor any of that genius which in its struggle for supremacy seeks to surmount the world and say, like Lucifer: “Place my throne by the throne of God.” But to a certain extent his elevation reinforced his character. There is no man called suddenly into public life who, in passing from his own house to preside in the capital of the Union over the most dignified, if not the most powerful, tribunal on earth, has not been changed—transfigured. If he has not been it is an evidence of such hopeless mediocrity that even the hand of God would hardly be able to produce anything from it.
Waite was trained in the ways of the law and of the courts; his opinions do not convey the impression of a commanding intellect, but they are clear, terse, vigorous and judicial. He was absorbed in the obligations and responsibilities of his office, having no ambition beyond it. He was in manner plain, unattractive, and unostentatious; his genial and social nature, combined with amiable courtesy, endeared him to the members of the bar. He was an upright and impartial judge, a good man, and a pious Christian.
JOHN CAMPBELL SHAIRP
THE LITERARY THEORY OF CULTURE
[Address by John Campbell Shairp, poet, critic, and essayist, Principal of the United College, St. Andrew's (born in Houstoun, West Lothian, July 30, 1819; died at Ormsary in Argyll, September 18, 1885), delivered as one of a series of addresses on Culture and Religion, before the University of St. Andrew's.]
A true poet and brilliant critic of the present time, admired by all for his fine and cultivated genius, and to me endeared by never-fading memories of early companionship, has identified his name with a very different view of culture from that which I brought before you the last time I addressed you. If Professor Huxley's is the exclusively scientific view of culture, Mr. Arnold's may be called the literary or aesthetic one. In discussing the former theory, I attempted to examine it in the light of facts, and to avoid applying to it any words which its author might disown. For mere appeal to popular prejudice should have no place in discussions about truth, and he who has recourse to that weapon in so far weakens the cause he advocates. If, however, I was constrained to call attention to some not unimportant facts of human nature which that theory fails to account for, this should be regarded not as appeal to unreasoning prejudice, but as a statement of omitted facts.
But whatever might be said of Professor Huxley's view, as leaving out of sight the spiritual capacities and needs of man, the same objection cannot equally be urged against Mr. Arnold's theory of culture. He fully recognizes religion as an element, and a very important one, in his theory; only we may see cause to differ from him in the