Whence came this sublime self-respect, asserted in de-
fiance of death itself? The pride of Maria Theresa,
caught from a hundred Hungarian nobles as they
shouted "We will die for our king," was running
through his veins; the old traditions of a family that felt
itself humiliated when Napoleon became one of its
members, had cradled him. Well he knew that at that
moment, when the executioners were pointing their
guns with horrible aim at his heart, far away, in the
land of his birth, thousands of guns were presented in
honor of his brother, as the iron crown of St. Stephen
was descending on his annointed head. He belonged
to an order accustomed to read in the faces of men, as
they passed, the awe and respect which it inspired, and
he revered himself because he belonged to '\t.-—yoJin
270. The brilliancy of the warrior, the gleam of
beauty, and the triumphs of the statesman are forgotten;
their names perish and their monuments fall to decay;
but the memory and works of the great National Poet
DISTINGUISHED MEN. 339
last forever. The influence of poetry upon the dim
and shadowy outHnes of the past is unequalled. When
imagination first plumed its half-fledged wing, and
passion kindled its flame within the heart of man, the
undying power of this offspring of sentiment and feel-
ine beean, and will continue amonor men until the
eternal sunset shall fling its reddening light upon the
fragments of the dissolvino" world.
In the mists of antiquity Ireland alone among na-
tions, was known as the " Island of song." Literature,
music and poetry were state institutions. The people
carefully fostered these aids to civilization. The thread
of poetry was woven into all the occupations of the
race. Their bards constituted one of the most honored
classes of the land. They were its lawyers, its musi-
cians, its historians, and its genealogists. Their harp
is to-day the national emblem. In peace they sung of
love and deeds of valor ; in war, accompanying their
kings, they incited armies to heroic achievements.
When their country was enslaved, they clung to her,
and animated her children to remain true to faith and
fatherland. When the nobles fled, the bards remained,
sealed their devotion to their native land with their
blood, and, with dying lips, crystalized the object of
their existence in the words, " Erin forever."
It was the mission of Thomas Moore, to revive the
poetry and music of Ireland. He found, preserved in
the unwritten songs of his countrymen, the character
of the people, their legends, their traditions, their
superstitions, their love for the past, their sorrows in
the present, and their lofty aspirations for a great and
340 CALIFORNIA ANTHOLOGY.
glorious future. Love, loyalty, religion, constancy and
unswerving devotion for the fatherland were contained
in these almost forgotten Celtic airs, which roused the
spirit and chivalry of Erin's greatest bard to those
displays of word-painting and harmonious numbers
that have made his name synonymous with that of the
What is poetry ? Poetry is the mirror of nature,
and the blossoming of the soul. The elements that
enter into its composition are invention, memory of the
past, brilliant imagination, sensitiveness, judgment and
the power of expression, evidenced by rich language
and musical feeling. The mind of a poet must be a
lyre that continually vibrates to the joys of innocence,
the pangs of misery, and the love and hate of men.
It should be at one moment like the bright sky; at
another like the fleecy cloud, when, under the influence
of the sun, it sheds its brilliantly tinted tears. His
duty it is to call on men to behold the infinite and
indefinable character of Omniscience. In a word, the
intellect of a true poet should be composed of all that
is great, noble, learned and heroic; and his thoughts,
moreover, should be resplendent with the emeralds and
sapphires of a gorgeous fancy glowing upon the white
bosom of truth and justice. The real and unreal,
under his magic prism, in assuming varied forms,
should display all the hues of the rainbow.
If these tests are applied to the poetical works of
Moore, they will be found possessed of all the neces-
sary qualifications in an eminent degree. His name
DISTINGUISHED MEN. 341
should therefore shine forever as one of the trinity of
poetical luminaries with Byron and Scott.
Contented for a short period with the lyric laurel, he
offered his Lalla Rookh on the altar of Fame. Then
criticism placed its author with the immortals. With-
out possessing that great degree of sublimity, passion
and nervousness which characterizes Byron, and wanting
to its full extent the exciting, descriptive, spear-clashing
narrative of Scott, he excelled them both in play of
fancy, warmth of feeling, honied flow of verse and
splendor of imagery. What reader of English poetry
has not been charmed with the rise and fall of the
words in Lalla Rookh ! Does not the rhythm of the
verse remind him of the dip of the oar in the blue and
placid waters of some quiet bay ? Byron's strength
resembles the crash of the Atlantic wave as it strikes
the shore ; Moore's the sustained tide of the noble
Shannon, as it booms along its banks.
In no other poem of the language are such dazzling
similies and images found united with such Tasso-like
tenderness. The critical eye may range in vain through
English literature for such exquisite ideas as float along
the melodious stream of this glorious production. The
author dipped his brush in the most brilliant tints of
imagination, without sacrificing his love for truth. The
fame of this work is circumscribed only by the globe.
It is read in all lanofuasfes. The Persian lover claims
it as his own, when, in the soft twilight hour, under the
curtained balcony, he recites its burning lines to his
enchanted mistress. The Pole, fascinated by its glow-
342 CALIFORNIA ANTHOLOGY.
ing thoughts, believes that they are appHcable to his
historic but ill-fated land. Oh! Bard of the Green
Isle, these are thy triumphs ! — Francis J. Sullivan.
All hail to thee, where'er thy home be now,
All hail to thee, thou soaring soul of song!
Before thy shrine let me a moment bow,
Thy most devoted followers among.
To fame's eternal galaxy belong
The glorious offspring of thy teeming brain,
Which on the mind in happy tumult throng.
Lo! Nature opened not her broad domain
In panoramic splendor to thine eye, in vain.
Like gems that quicken with perennial blaze,
Thy fancies flash along each burning line —
Truth, virtue, valor, love, devotion, praise,
Mantling upon each page, resplendent shine,
While music breathes through all her soul divine.
Music, inspiring and inspired power!
The heart's intensest ectasies are thine.
Heaven claims thee as its best and brightest dowen
And where thy smile doth gleam, no angry cloud can
Poetic impulse never yet was given
In swifter volume or in sweeter flow
Than unto thee, whose muse at founts of heaven
Caught drops to charm the cup of mortal woe.
Grief, at the solace which thy notes bestow,
Trembles with hope, and lifts her tear- washed eyes;
DISTINGUISHED MEN. 343
While faith, inflamed, with visage all aglow.
And pinions burnished with celestial dyes,
Beholds, in rapt delight, thy fragrant incense rise!
O, for a spark of that immortal fire
Which fed thy soul and nerved thy plastic hand,
That I might feebly wake the lofty lyre
Which glowed with symphony at thy command!
But motionless, in silent awe I stand,
In hushed communion with its breathing strings.
They seem to woo me to a fairy land.
And whisper soft, Earth hath no mortal stings
For the aspiring soul that soars on lyric wings!
— Oscar T. Shuck,
272. Who that has ever lived had a more indi-
vidual peculiar power than the great Napoleon.'' What
colossal figure in history stands out in more bold relief?
Yet it was as a member of a class that he respected
himself, and achieved his power. It was to that class
that he looked for his reward. Members of that class
from all ages fired his ambition. On the Alps, Hanni-
bal was by his side, spurring him on; the rivalry of
Caesar and Charlemagne invited him to unite the glory
of a law-giver and orator with that of the great captain;
and when mankind had paid him the greatest compli-
ment he ever received — that of shutting him up in the
stifling cave of St. Helena, as the only means of re-
pressing his terrible energy — when his great soul was
344 CALIFORNIA ANTHOLOGY.
about to escape — "I am going," he said, to "re-join
Kleber, Desaix, Lannes, Massena, Bessieres, Duroc,
Ney; they will come to meet me; they will feel again
the intoxication of human glory; we will talk of what
we have done; we will commune about our professions
with Frederic, Turenne, Conde, Caesar, Hannibal."
Then, interrupting himself, he added with a singular
smile, "unless, indeed above, as here on earth, they are
afraid of seeing so many soldiers together." Was this
last remark simply in irony at the fears of those who
had thus surrounded a sino^le man with chains and
soldiers, on the solitude of a rock in mid-ocean? Or
was that audacious mind dwelling, as death approached,
on the possibility of some new eternal theater tor his
boundless ambition — some Titanic enterprise which
would again enable him to hurl the combined thunder
of his terrible order? — John B. Felton.
273. Plato, on the Immortality of the Soul, will
be read, consulted, and revered by millions yet unborn,
when legions of Christian authors on the same theme
will have passed away forever from the recollection of
man. No matter what his ideas v/ere in reference to
the nature of the Deity, or the lesser deities of his
theology, who clustered around the throne of the Su-
preme Good; no matter what his conceptions were in
relation to the creation of the material world, the origin
DISTINGUISHED MEN. 345
of ideas, and the pre-existent state of the soul, its im-
mortahty discovered in him a champion whose strcni^th,
Hke the momentum of a faUing planet, and whose
eloquence, sweet as the honey of Hymeltus, struck
widely and deeply in the heart of Paganism, giving to
faith a longevity not disturbed by death, giving to hope
amplest assurance of celestial satisfaction, recreating
that sublime philosophy amid the trials and vicissitudes
of life, that splendid indifference to death, not born of
brutish insensibility, which characterized the conduct of
Cato the Younger when at Utica he believed that with
the fall of Pompey the liberties of Rome were crushed
forever. The gates of Plato's heaven opening before
his enraptured vision, with a majesty of reliance which
no terror could shake or doubt disturb, he passed
calmly into that undiscovered country from whose
bourne no traveler returns. Such was the influence of
Plato's almost Christian philosophy upon a noble heart —
Pagan in all respects save in its faith in the soul's im-
mortality. His influence was not ignored by grateful
Athens, who saw her children inspired by it, grow
virtuous in conduct, wise in life, and brave in death;
and who erected to the memory of her first philoso-
pher mighty even in death, a temple, statues and altars;
and cut in gems defying time, which even to this day
are found near the scene of his great labors and splendid
triumphs, the features of his divine face, the cynosure
of the Athenian eye two thousand years ago. His
philosophy was not for his day and generation alone,
not for to-day or to-morrow, but for humanity to the
end of time and the beginning of eternity. Would to
346 CALIFORNIA ANTHOLOGY.
God that in this cycle of irrehgion, infidelity and crime,
some such master spirit could arise, even from the ashes
of Paganism, to meet and vanguish the legions of
impious and blasphemous teachers who cumber the
earth, destructive to man and offensive to God. — Dr.
y. Campbell Shorb.
PRESCOTT AND MACAULAY.
274. When one passes from a chapter of Macaulay
to Prescott, he perceives an unpleasant thinness, a
watery paleness. The opulence of language, the afflu-
ence, the Rubens hues of Macaulay make him feel that
Prescott used a very limited dictionary. But when a
volume of each has been read, he sees how vastly
superior to Macaulay is the thin-worded Prescott in
opening a vista through the tangled wilderness of the
politics of strange lands. In the arrangement of back-
grounds, in the ability to secure large space, unity and
repose, Prescott was as much superior to Macaulay as
he seems to be inferior when you look only at the
foreground. — Thomas Starr King.
27B. Edward Norton was the exemplar of a Judge
of a subordinate Court. He was learned, patient, in-
dustrious, and conscientious; but he was not adapted
for an appellate tribunal. He had no confidence in his
DISTINGUISHED MEN. 347
own unaided judgment. He wanted some one upon
whom to lean. Oftentimes he would show me the
decision of a tribunal of no reputation, with apparent
delight, if it corresponded with his own views, or with
a shrug of painful doubt if it conflicted with them.
He would look at me in amazement if I told him that
the decision was not worth a fig ; and would appear
utterly bewildered at my waywardness when, as was
sometimes the case, I refused to look at it after hearing
by what Court it was pronounced. — Judge Stephen J.
WILLIAM C. RALSTON.
276. A moneyed king has fallen from his throne
of gold prostrate in the dust. A more dreadful fall
has ushered him into the portals of the everlasting
world. The loss is a general one, a great indescribable
calamity to the State. Had I the power I would hang
California in the blackest crape, from Siskiyou to San
Diego, for he has left us who made California a syno-
nym for princely hospitality and generosity to the utter-
most bounds of the morning. Whatever may have
been his defects, his many virtues, his tragic death,
have hidden them from mortal sight and criticism
forever. His most fitting, touching and eloquent eulo-
gium was pronounced in the question asked in every
street of San Francisco, "Who shall take his place?"
His heart was as large as the mountain; he was noble,
generous and true; his friendship unswerving. Honor,
"348 CALIFORNIA ANTHOLOGY.
unfading honor, to his memory ! Peace, everlasting
peace, to his soul. — Dr. J. Campbell Shorb.
277. What parts of human speech can eulogize
him? What brush of artist, what pen of dramatist,
what voice of speaker can depict the benefaction of his
generous life and the tragedy of his death? His deeds
may be heard in tones that sound like the blare of
trumpets. His monuments rise from every rod of
ground in San Francisco. His eulogy is written on ten
thousand hearts. Commerce commemorates his deeds
with her whitening sails and her laden wharves. Phil-
anthropy sings the chimes of all public charities, in
attestation of his munificence. Patriotism sings paens
for him who, in the hour of the nation's struggle, sent
the ringing gold of mercy to chime with the flashing
steel of valor. Unnumbered deeds of private gene-
rosity attest his secret munificence. Sorrow has found
solace in his deeds. Despair has been lifted into hope
by his voice. There are churches whose heaven-kiss-
ing spires chronicle his donations; schools claim him as
their patron; hospitals own him as their benefactor.
He was the supporter of art; science leaned on him
while her vision swept infinity. The footsteps of pro-
gress have been sandaled with his silver. He has up-
held invention while she wrestled with the forces of
nature. He was the life-blood of enterprise; he was
the vigor of all progress; he was the epitome and rep-
resentative of all that was broadening and expansive,
and uplifting in the life of California. — Thomas Fitch.
DISTINGUISHED MEN. 349
OSCAR L. SHAFTER.
278. To walk in justice, mercy and humility be-
fore God, saves the soul. Judge Shafter believed this.
To say that some special belief or mystical experience
must be added, he held as the cant of a technical faith.
He was a devoted worshiper of God. As his writings
abundantly showed, he was what the church would call
a man of prayer. At every piece of good news or
instance of unusual prosperity there is an expression of
heartfelt thankfulness to the Divine source of blessing.
When sad tidings came or calamity befel, he turned to
his closet, his bible and his God, for thought and com-
fort. And no puritan with his catechism was more
diligent in the family than he, in inculcating the great
truths of religion, reverence towards God, and love
to man. This never ceased until disease broke his
strength. The world may have given him little credit
for his religion. He did not wear it on the outside, for
show. It was in the heart, in the honest doinof of the
work given him to do, and in quiet deeds of goodness
to men. The church sometimes called him an infidel.
His piety did not run in the channel of her ceremonies
or bear the stamp of her dogmas. Will God reject
pure love for that reason ? The churches must make
room for such a man, or that grand day of broader light
that hastens on will have no room for her. Educate
a people till they love the truth as well and can see as
broadly as Judge Shafter did, and they will not go into
our churcnes as lAey are. Germany is saying this to us
to-day; Oxford is saying it; Cambridge is saying it;
350 CALIFORNIA ANTHOLOGY.
Yale is saying it. Every center of learning and supe-
rior intelligence in Christendom is saying it. The
guild of scientific men all over the world are saying it,
with an approach to unanimity that ought to be alarm-
ing to one who really loves the church, and sees its im-
portance. It is a question of life and death with the
church. Her teachers may shut themselves up in their
little circle of thoughts, and deny that there is any
broader flow from the Fountain of Eternal Truth, but
the mightier minds of the world that sweep through
their lines and out into the ocean that rolls all around
them, will never, never strike back towards the center
of darkness and ignorance for the sake of sailing in
their company. — Rev. L. Hamilton.
279. More than two centuries have elapsed since
Shakespeare's Works were first published, and still the
ages, rolling onward, add greener leaves to the eternal
amaranth of his fame. The circle of his influence,
widening and expanding, has extended to lands undis-
covered in his day, and embraces all the empires of
the civilized earth. Within the cloistered walls of
Westminster Abbey, arises a pale forest of monumental
marble above the ashes of England's illustrious dead.
Even in that grand mausoleum, no monument erected
to sovereign, hero, philosopher or statesman, appeals to
the heart and imagination of the world like the tomb
which, on the banks of the beautiful Avon, bears the
immortal name of Shakespeare. — Frank Tilford.
DISTINGUISHED MEN. 351
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
280. In Shelley's works we have a sufficient basis
for fruitful study both of the man and of his place in
literary history. Especially is this basis for study an
important one, if we wish to consider Shelley with
reference to the great political and intellectual move-
ment of his age and ours, the movement to which may
be applied the one name, the Revolution. As is true
in case of every individual man, and especially in case
of any great man, so of Shelley it is true, that wonder-
ful as the personal qualities of the poet are, they do
not so much deserve study as do the works and words
whereby the man influences his Age, embodies its
thought, and plays a part in its conflicts.
Human consciousness, both theoretical and practical,
has in it, two elements, one of ceaseless change, the
other of permanence. I n so far as all conscious thoughts
and deeds are in time, each moment is in some measure
independent of all others, and so human ideas, and acts,
and purposes, are in reality recreated, made afresh, from
moment to moment. Ceaseless activity, in some sense
creative activity, is the universal rule of conscious life.
Hence simple, passive, submission to tradition is in
itself not possible. Even the oldest tradition must be
over and over again restated, and so in a measure re-
formed, reconstructed from moment to moment, and so
subject to alteration, yet this tendency to alteration, re-
sulting from the fact that doctrines and customs do not
live on from age to age as continuous existences, but
have to be reborn for every generation, this law of
change is modified by the other law, the law whereby
352 CALIFORNIA' ANTHOLOGY.
in each new effort to formulate doctrine or to readjust
custom, appeal is made to the past, and conscious effort
to imitate the past is always to be found. The rebirth
of old traditions from moment to moment, from age to
age, in human consciousness, is not a rebirth or remak-
ing at random, but a deliberate attempt to produce some-
thing that is like the past. And this second tendency,
the tendency towards permanence, only gives place to
the former tendency altogether when new experiences^
new problems, in short a new environment, make im-
possible or intolerable a conscious imitation of past
traditions. Then we have the phenomenon called
revolution. The extent and character of the revolu-
tion depends in any case on the nature of the new
experiences, on the character of the old traditions, and
on the activity of the minds concerned. Very common
in revolution is the effort to appeal from a tradition of
an age immediately past to the tradition of a long past
time, or from a complex tradition to a simple one. In
other words, the tendency towards change is never
pure and unmixed, but we always find a union, or, better,
a conflict, between the tendency to permanence and the
tendency to new constructions. Absolutely conserva-
tive and absolutely revolutionary movements do not ex-
ist. The conservative is a revolutionary spirit who
has succeeded in his revolution and has brought his
traditions into harmony with his experience. The
lover of revolution is simply the seeker after a tradi-
tion in which he may rest; he is desirous of nothing so
much as a good opportunity to become conservative.
— Josiah Royce.
DISTINGUISHED MEN. 353
281. A short time since, a lawyer in the Court of
Athens moved that the sentence of Socrates be reversed
on the record. It has already been reversed. The
Judges took the poison in their verdict. To him the
hemlock was a pledge of earthly immortality. Not a
particle of his bodily frame is lost. Is that robust soul
quenched ? Is the Almighty so penurious of matter
and so careless of mind, that he saves every ounce of
man's poor body, yet permits a gill of poison utterly to
extinguish his spirit ? — T/iomas Starr King.
282. He was a mystic, a fellow with Quakers and
Swede nborgians, a seer, a saint. He believed truth
intuitively — he did not investigate it. He believed he
had a call to his work, that he was empowered by the
Deity to perform his calling. He had faith in oracles
and dreams, in supernatural influences and divinations.
He experienced divine warnings, had spirit-rappings in
his bosom. He carried a flaming heart hidden under
his philosophic ice. He would hold a thought and
inspect it as a mineralogist holds a mineral. He would
strip off' layer after layer of logic as one peels off the
plates of mica from a specimen. He was a Jeremy
Bentham and a George Fox welded into one. — Thomas
GEN. JOHN A. SUTTER.
283. He was the architect whose hand laid the foun-
dation of this commonwealth; the patriarch whose voice
354 CALIFORNIA ANTHOLOGY.
encouraged those who built its stately fabric. It rarely
happens that an individual gives form and character
unto an epoch; yet the life of John Augustus Sutter,
and the events of his career, exemplify the civilization
of nearly half a century; that civilization which began
with the colonial enterprise of a resolute explorer and
expanded into the formation of a mighty State. As
Napoleon was the King of the Kings of Europe, so this
man was the Pioneer of the Pioneers of California. In
him were manifested all the hardihood, the energy, and
the courage which distinguished those illustrious pioneers
of an earlier day, whose achievements have become
historic. Insensible to peril or privation, he and his
scanty band of followers forsook the busy haunts of
men to penetrate into the remotest regions of the West,