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advantage in conversation. He was always elegant and interesting, though never ambitious of display. But the prevailing charm was his fine moral feeling, which, without anything rigid about it, was firm and unyielding. It was always active, and sprang at once to his lips. Nothing could prevent him from bearing witness against acts of meanness, inhumanity, or oppression. He was not, like too many good men, to be disheartened by a smile, but would declare his moral and religious sentiments, without the least regard to the ridicule or censure of others. His opinions were always his own, and expressed with manly strength; still he always paid a sacred regard to the feelings of others; not with that affected charity which so many endeavor to put on, and which evidently costs them much effort and self-restraint; but with the candor inspired by the remembrance, that the rights and claims of others were precisely the same with his own. His kindness of manner and simplicity of language made him very interesting to children; their faces always brightened as he came nigh. In truth their happiness was one of his chief concerns, and he did much to spread those better views of education, which do not require that children shall be flattered and tortured,-which would not make them wiser and better sorely against their will, but prefer to begin by awakening their interest in the pursuits opened before them. In familiar conversation with his friends he had a playful humor, which we believe always attends men of superior talent; if they do not always use it, they have it within their power.
As a writer, Mr Haven seemed to have little ambition beyond that of being useful. His object was to express just thoughts in plain and pleasing language. He never endeavored to be original or striking, but he was well known as a writer of the highest order. His literary example was beyond all praise; though he had power to gain admiration, he consented himself with those humbler efforts whose only reward is the good they do. But he could not help exercising a wide and happy influence, and he did much in conjunction with others to correct certain vicious propensities of the public taste. In newspaper writing particularly, a dash of vulgarity will sometimes pass for graceful ease, and wretched humor be accepted in place of good sense. It was fortunate that for several years, he was able in the capacity of editor of the well known 'Portsmouth Journal,' to contend with these and other heresies,
into which our political writers are apt to fall. It was plain, from the interest with which this paper was read, from the reputation it added to his native state, and from the respect paid to his opinions, that he might have labored in a more attractive department of letters and secured a wider fame. We are glad that he repressed his ambition, if he had any; for we hardly know how a man can render a greater service to society at present, than by giving the example of a well conducted public print. The influence of the press is so wide and sure, that it ought to be dignified and commanding. When it is the readiest, perhaps most powerful way of reaching the public mind, and when the respect paid to an editor of a newspaper is elevated in proportion to his character, we are glad to find that our most able men are not obliged to leave this field to the savage and desperate slaves of party; we are glad to find this mighty engine sometimes in hands which use it with a feeling of responsibility and high-minded principle. The Portsmouth Journal' was not exclusively devoted to politics, but partly filled with literary intelligence and opinions. Some of the essays published in this paper, it is well known, carried high authority with them, and deserve to be treasured in a more lasting form. They were not acceptable to all, but all acknowledge their ability. Mr Haven had his own political sentiments, and expressed them without the least reserve; but he was almost destitute of party feeling; he was earnest for what he thought was right, but he never submitted his opinions to the guidance of any party. He probably saw that almost all parties are founded on an unworthy principle, that they are bound together by their common hatred to some other,—that no strong party is ever formed, without something opposed to it to hate and condemn. This is an union in which he could have no share. Much goodly nonsense is held forth concerning the necessity of parties in a free state; and though parties permit no one to form an opinion except it agrees with theirs, and no one to express his dissent from theirs, even on the most conscientious conviction; though they brand with apostasy the man who, deliberately judging, dares to question any one of their decisions; though they cherish that low-minded jealousy which is ever calumniating the wise and good, and oppose obstacles to every improvement, which it sometimes requires centuries to overcome, they are recommended as tending to keep up a manly watchfulness, when they only nourish the disease of VOL. XXVII.-NO. 60.
perpetual suspicion. It is perhaps for the same enlightened reason, that we find them in every parish, town, and city, and it may hereafter be discovered, that no family can prosper without them. It is well to make the best of them as an evil that divides men's hearts and weakens their hands, but not to parade them as a fortunate result of free institutions. The only argument we remember to have heard in their favor is, that they prevent any party from gaining a dangerous ascendency; this we take to be an acknowledgment that party itself is, after all, the real danger; and we wish that the time might come, when the nation shall be no longer agitated without a cause, like the sea when the winds are sleeping, but the simple question of right and wrong shall be the only one in every manly breast.
The zeal with which Mr Haven supported an Athenæum in his native place, deserves to be publicly known. It was a proof of judgment as well as public spirit; for libraries and reading-rooms in cities are by no means to be regarded as luxuries; they are absolutely necessary to balance the influence of our commercial prosperity, which, like the taste of blood to beasts of prey, might otherwise make our communities unfeeling, ravenous, and grasping. In some of our cities, Athenæums and libraries are supported with praiseworthy liberality; others have reason to blush when the stranger inquires for these institutions. It is no answer, to say that they could not unite in their support; the mere fact that the institutions are wanting, and that the public are content without them, decides their claim to the character of a cultivated people. Mr Haven was fortunate in finding associates in this plan, and also in another, of more questionable usefulness, unless it is judiciously controlled, and the standard of successful exertion set very high; we refer to a debating society, in which he took a deep interest, and which he could not have supported, had he not believed that it spread a desire of real improvement as well as of display. The mere talent of speaking grows wild in this country, and it is by no means necessary to multiply the facilities for indulging it; it is already so general and contagious, as to threaten to put a total stop to public business in our national and state legislatures. We have been told by a statesman of times past, that when Hamilton first made speeches in Congress half an hour long, the members left their seats, indignant at so enormous a perversion of the purpose of a deliberative assembly. Such was the taste of that day; and we have often wondered
what could have made that such an object of ambition to statesmen, which is counted an infirmity in matrons in the last decline of age. Mr Haven, in the legislature of his own state, never recommended this practice by his example.
Beside these things, he interested himself in the public schools, not content to leave them in ignorant hands, nor to leave them at the mercy of projectors; he felt a direct personal responsibility when any act of usefulness was within his power; and these claims, though many and pressing, never interfered with his professional success. The amount of his business was increasing every year; and if there is any surer test of merit than this, those whose good opinion was an honor, esteemed him sure of a foremost place at the bar. In the foremost rank of the community he certainly stood; and the magnitude and importance of the place which he filled, was sadly shown by the vacancy left at his death.
It is certain, that one really interested in the welfare of society, will give especial heed to children. He will see something to reform in education as in everything else, and, what is of some importance, there is less danger of losing his labor. These exertions cannot well be lost; the young mind receives the readiest as well as deepest impressions; and when the form is fairly given to it, it grows firmer by exposure. There are many instances, in which words carelessly spoken have sunk deep into a child's breast. He in after years has taught the same diligently to his children; and thus the good impulse, almost unconsciously given, has gone down into the hearts of thousands, like forests springing from the seed of some chanceSown tree. But nothing requires more judgment or more affectionate interest in the pursuit; for it is not the sole object to govern and subdue; neither is weariness of the flesh necessarily of service to the mind. If the children in our schools. must be as Virgil describes them in another existence, infantúmque anima flentes in limine primo, the teacher may boast that he has done his duty by their parents,' but the object of education is unanswered.
This is still more true of sunday schools. Many parents in our cities give their children no religious instruction. They send them from the shore, and expect them to drift to the destined harbor. Others are so solicitous to have their children taught, that they often give them a distaste for religion that lasts throughout their lives. Mr Haven saw that in his native
place, there were many parents of both descriptions, and on this account he was induced to form a sunday school in his own religious society; not so much to teach religion, as to prepare the children to receive religious impressions, to awaken their curiosity and attention, to help them in their inquiries, and to teach them what they were unable to learn of themselves. We are happy to observe the manner in which his accomplished biographer speaks of these humble labors, and we fully believe that the result was such as he describes, that Mr Haven exerted an influence, great as it was beneficial, on the community in which he lived, and that many, who still rejoice in the light which he afforded them, treasure his memory with a feeling which no time can wear away. He deserved to be thus remembered; for it is no common thing for men to forget their literary eminence and give up their social pleasure, even for their own children. There are few to whom the sacrifice would have been so great as it was to him; for the Sabbath was not a lost day in his calendar; it was a time of which he valued every hour.
It may not be out of place, to say that it was religion which kept his mind in this active and useful exertion; religion, of the most pure and generous kind; religion, little interested in forms or parties, and appearing only in his never-failing devotion to men and his sacrifice of himself to God. It made him an example of disinterested fidelity in that high profession, which protects the poor in his earnings as well as the rich in his wealth. It gave elevation to his intellectual ardor, and made his moral as delicate as his literary taste; it led him to the lanes of poverty and affliction when even the Samaritan had passed by; and now, we doubt not, it has given him another and nobler existence. But he has another existence yet, in the hearts of men; he is useful by his example, now that he has perished from the living; for he has finely illustrated his own admirable maxim, 'Oh! there is nothing in life worth pursuit but personal improvement; there is nothing in life can give happiness but personal virtue.'
This book opens with a 'Memoir,' written, we believe, by a personal friend of Mr Haven. It is such as might be expected from the well known character of the writer; possibly it is rather more guarded than was necessary in respect of praise. It is rather fashionable to condemn eulogy; but such memorials are meant to praise, and it is idle to find fault with them for