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well-told story with a background of New England colonial history, but it had no great success. The writing of this book probably led him to look deeper into American history and he saw a striking relation between the struggle of the Puritans for religious freedom and the struggle of the Netherlands against the tyranny of Spain. He determined to write the history of this struggle, and was much disappointed when he learned that Prescott was engaged in writing Philip II, which would necessarily cover much of his ground. He visited him and offered to give up his subject, but the elder historian warmly encouraged him and offered the use of his large collection of reference works. Motley went at the work with great zeal and patience, spending much time in pouring over all manner of "original contemporary documents," searching through libraries, etc. He was fifteen years preparing the work which appeared under the title The Rise of the Dutch Republic, in 1856. It was immediately successful in England as well as America, editions being also published in Germany and France. His intention was to produce a large historical work under the general title The Eighty Years' War for Liberty. It was to be divided into three parts: The Rise of the Dutch Republic, The History of the United Netherlands, and the History of the Thirty Years' War,—the whole to be "a grand historical trilogy, describing a series of events filled with dramatic and thrilling interest, the climax of which was the turning-point of modern civilization.".. He wrote the Life of John Barneveld, Advocate of Holland, as a kind of interlude between the second and last volumes of his great trilogy, but Fate decreed that the last volume should never be written. Motley, broken-hearted over the death of his wife, died in England, May 29, before he had even begun work on the MS.
Motley served his country as Minister to Austria, and later to England. He received the honor of D. C. L. from Oxford.
1823-1893. “The historian of the red man.” KANCIS PARKMAN's life, like that of Prescott,
was one of marvelous struggle and endurance in the pursuit of his cherished work. A weakness of the eyes, complicated by a severe nervous disorder, made him almost blind. While a sophomore at Harvard young Parkman formed the plan of writing a history of the French and Indian War. Thenceforth he "lived with
. Injun on the brain”; he studied the details of forest life, took long walks, exercised violently in the gymnasium, learned horsemanship from a circus trainer,—all with the intention of fitting himself for a sojourn with the savages, in order to learn all about their life. In 1846 he spent the summer among the Dakota Indians in the Rocky Mountains, and returned home with his health permanently shattered, unable to bear the light of the sun and his nervous system in a perfect turinoil. Soon afterward he published The Oregon Trail, a very valuable account of his experiences with the Indians. "It was more interesting than one of Cooper's novels, and even superior to Irving's Captain Bonneville and Astoria in the same field.”
His first historical work, The Conspiracy of Pontiac, was begun when his nervous disorder was at its very worst. Books and documents were read to him whenever he could hear. It was but seldom that he could listen for more than half an hour at a time, and there were days, and even months, when he could not listen at all. During his first year's labor the rate of composition averaged only six lines per day. This work, compared with his later books, is a kind of sequel of them all, and probably suggested the other volumes, which arranged in proper ordér are:-Pioneers of France in the New World, Jesuits in North America, Discovery of the Great West, The Old Regime in Canada, New France Under Louis XIV, A Half Century of Conflict, Montcalm and Wolfe.
All the work was produced under the greatest discouragements and difficulties, and stands as a monument to patience and steadfastness of purpose. "He was himself what he pronounced his hero La Salle to be, 'a grand type of incarnate energy and will.' Physical suffering he endured with stoical fortitude, preserving a sane and cheerful temper by sheer self-compulsion.” Five times he visited Europe in search of material, and with the help of competent assistants searched old documents so thoroughly that his work will never need revision. He visited every important place mentioned in his writings, and his books teem with accurate, natural portraitures and vivid descriptions.
He seldom praised or sympathized with his characters, and showed his concern with their deeds, not with their philosophy or emotion. Parkman lived all his life in Boston, and there he died, September 8, 1893. Read O. W. Holmes' poem, Francis' Parkman.
The man who cannot laugh is not only fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; but his own whole life is already a treason and a stratagem.-Carlyle.
HUMOROUS WRITERS The man who neglects to laugh is more foolish than the hungry man who refuses to eat when a good dinner is set before him.Mark Twain.
EDGAR WILSON Nye. SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS.
A LIST OF OTHER MIRTH PROVOKERS.
Laugh and be fat, sir.-Ben Jonson.
The most utterly lost of all days is that in which you have not once laughed.-Chamfort.