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his style, brilliant with the light of imagination, leads us to infer that he might have been a poet as well as naturalist. In the various relations of life he displayed such sweetness of temper as made him beloved by all his large circle of friends. He spent the evening of his life at Lausanne, under the care of his daughter Madame de Molin.
Huber retained his faculties to the last. At the age of eighty-one, in a letter to one of his friends, he writes thus : “There is a time when it is impossible to remain neglectful; it is when separating gradually from those we love, we may reveal all that esteem, tenderness and gratitude have inspired us with toward them.” He further adds : “Resignation and serenity are blessings which have not been refused.” He wrote these lines on the 20th of December, 1831, and on the 22d he was no more. He died without pain or agony, while in the arms of his daughter.
There is another name too honorable to be omitted from our list; I mean that of Augustin Thierry, the great French historian, of whose death we hear, as these pages are printed. His life and labors teach a double lesson; of patience and happiness under heavy affliction, and the other, hardly less worthy, of the pervading power of well-directed philosophic study and mental activity. Thierry was only about fifteen, a youth in college, when from perusing the historic writings of Chateaubriand and the quasi-historic writings of Walter Scott, and especially, as it is said, from the influence of Chateaubriand's noble description of the desperate struggle in the Batavian swamps between the Franks fighting
for their freedom and their Roman invaders, his mind and purposes received a direction and impulse so abiding, that they lasted through a lifetime of labor. After a year or two of varied and miscellaneous literary industry, he plunged into a wearisome series of investigations among mediæval manuscripts and records, pursued uninterruptedly up to 1828, in which year the result appeared in the magnificent“ History of the Norman Conquest in England ”-and in the loss of the writer's eyesight. This work was the proclamation of a new epoch in French history. In it Thierry made the first adequate presentation of the theory which he had learned from his great masters, and of the practice which he had pursued under it, in his obscure and profound research
He dealt with the third estate, the mass of the people, so universally ignored in the formal histories of all time, or only emerging now and then in some such frantic and horrible shape of blind brutal madness as the insurrections of the Jacquerie in France and of the peasantry in Germany; ignorant, helpless struggles of instinct, stimulated by unendurable and nameless oppressions, bloodily beaten down again by the mailed barons and knights into the utter darkness and misery of their serfdom. Among these forgotten and wretched masses, Thierry found the real nations of the time; here he found heroism and virtue equal and superior to that of titled lord and gay lady; and these humble and often unarmed men he lifted to the high place which was theirs of right. Thus he revolutionized the method of historical writing; and with a free and strong hand made a place for the nationalities now recognized as the truest and most real; the multitudes of private citizens, whose daily lives, whose daily little comforts or privations, whose small wealth or poverty, gain or loss, happiness or sorrow, do in fact constitute the life and movement of the nation, to a degree that leaves the schemings of politicians, the temporary eminence of a ruler, the huge vain-glory of a successful soldier, alike contemptible and ridiculous.
In the same direction Thierry has been laboring stedfastly and rapidly ever since. From the year 1827 he has dictated to an amanuensis; and under his terrible deprivation has made large and valuable contributions to history. Still working, he gradually lost the use of all his limbs except his thumbs and forefingers; then the lower part of his body became paralyzed too; and still he labored, removing from Paris, to dwell in the pleasant valley of Montmorenci, or in the house of his brother, also a historian, and man of letters. IIow he endured his infirmity, an extract from his correspondence may tell. He says :-“ Were I to begin my life over again I would choose the road that has conducted me to where I now am. Blind and afflicted, without hope and without leisure, I can safely, offer this testimony, the sincerity of which, coming as it does, from a man in my condition, cannot be called in question. There is something in this world worth more than pleasure, more than fortune, more than health itself-I mean devotion to science.” In spite of his multiplied afflictions, he has maintained his high rank as the first historian of continental Europe, and his not less lofty place as master of his spirit and of his sorrows: now that he is dead, his high
place among the noblest and strongest of the intellects of the world will not soon be filled.
More than one woman, under the pressure of the great calamity of blindness, has displayed a full measure of the patient heroism and undiscouraged enduring strength so nobly characteristic of the sex. Among these I shall only delay to name Madame Von Paradisi, a German lady, who lost her sight at the age of between two and three years. Being, however, providentially furnished with good instructors, and rapidly developing under their tuition a precocious and genuine genius for music, she pursued both vocal and instrumental studies with such success that when only eleven years old she sang in public before the great Empress-queen, Maria Theresa. The touchingly sweet voice, and skillful, though artless, execution of the child so won upon the true womanly heart of the Empress that she bestowed upon the singer a generous pension, which lasted as long as the giver lived. In after years Madame Paradisi, under the care of her mother, made the tour of Europe, giving public concerts here and there. At these she often melted the audience to sympathetic tears by her feeling utterance of a sad song upon her blindness, composed for her by a brother in affliction, Pfeffel, the blind poet, and set to music by her musical instructor, Kozeluch, a composer of note in those days. Of his compositions Madame Paradisi held in her memory more than sixty, note for note; many of them being of the most intricate character. Besides her extraordinary talents in this her special pursuit, Madame Paradisi possessed many of the most remarkable of the
powers so often given in kindly compensation for
the loss of sight. So exquisite was the sensibility of her touch that by her fingers she could determine the color of surfaces, the genuineness of coins, and the delineations on playing-cards; she was also a geographer and skillful arithmetician. Her sweet and happy disposition, her brilliant intellect, her ready wit and humor made her a centre of attraction in every circle. Capable of sustaining her sorrows in solitude, it was not even to be realized from her demeanor in society, that she was in aught debarred from using any of the faculties of her kind. Instead of being a gloomy monument, radiating the doleful influences of hopeless grief, she was one of the brightest and most radiantly light-giving spirits of her time; as if the closing of the outward avenues of light had conduced to the development of a brighter, purer, and quite perennial fountain of far better light withinthe light of a courageous, self-sustaining and impregnably joyful spirit.
Nor has our own country been destitute of those, who encompassed by the“ ever during dark,” or walking in the uncertain twilight, have yet taught us precious lessons of faithful toil, and heroic effort.
A student in Rutgers College, after a gradual decline of sight, at length lost it altogether. He was poor, without friends, and with two orphan sisters dependent upon him, and his education not yet completed. To a less brave and hardy nature, the fearful condition in which he stood, would have been overwhelming. But the congregation of troubles came to a valiant man who would do all that mar. could do to meet and conquer them. He instructed his sisters in the pronunciation of Latin and Greek;