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Life and Death of John of Barneveld, 1874. Motley's plan included a history of the Thirty Years' War. But he was not to be granted length of days sufficient for the writing of this last act of a great drama.'
Among many scholastic honors which in the nature of things fell to Motley's share may be mentioned the conferring of the degree of D.C. L. by Oxford, and the election to full membership in the Institute of France.
Shortly after the fall of Fort Sumter, Motley published in the London ‘Times' two letters on the significance and justice of the war. They had a marked effect in England and were reprinted in America. In June, 1861, the Austrian government having refused to accept the minister sent to Vienna, Motley was accredited to the mission. After discharging the duties of his office with marked ability during the four troubled years
of Lincoln's administration, and through two years of Johnson's, he resigned because of an affront offered him by his own government."
During the political campaign of 1868 Motley gave an address in Music Hall, Boston, on Four
Questions for the People at the Presidential Elec‘tion.' On December 16, as orator at the sixty-first anniversary of the New York Historical Society,
: For a defence of the part played by the Secretary of State in this affair see John Bigelow's paper entitled · Mr. Seward and Mr. • Motley,' in the International Review,' July-August, 1878.
he spoke on ‘Historic Progress and American Democracy.' In the spring of 1869 President Grant assigned Motley to the English mission, and in July, 1870, recalled him. The reasons given for this summary act have never been satisfactory to Motley's friends. It is a question for experts. If Motley's indiscretion (or offence) was great,
his punishment was severe, and the manner of it not undeserving of the epithet brutal."
Motley's health is believed to have been affected by distress of mind over the recall. But the real disaster of his latter years was the loss of his wife. He survived her only two and a half years. His death occurred at Kingston Russell, near Dorchester, England, on May 29, 1877.
Dean Stanley in his tribute to Motley at Westminster Abbey used the striking phrase, 'an his'torian at once so ardent and so laborious.' J. R. Green, who heard the sermon, thought the phrase 'most happy. Said Green: 'I should have liked
Stanley to have pointed out the thing which strikes 'me most in Motley, that alone of all men past 'and present he knit together not only America and England, but that Older England which ' we left on Frisian shores, and which grew into 'the United Netherlands. A child of America, 'the historian of Holland, he made England his adopted country, and in England his body lies.'
John Jay : • Motley's Appeal to History,' in the Interna« tional Review' for November-December, 1877.
Motley's letters afford the best insight into his generous, affectionate, richly endowed, and manly nature. They mirror his complete happiness in the home circle, his chivalrous devotion to the woman of his choice, his loyalty to his friends, and his passionate love of native land. They do not show
nor was it intended by the editor that they should — his fiery impatience, his quick resentment, his sensitive pride, his occasional and pardonable bitterness.
A dominant trait of Motley's character was intensity of the patriotic sentiment. Much was required of a 'good American’ who, living in Europe during the Civil War, frequented the circles Motley frequented — much in the way
of tact, patience, and, above all, courage and hopefulness. Motley, who was far from being a placid, unreflecting optimist, had need of all his philosophy as he saw everywhere proofs of satisfaction in America's misfortune. He had not only to meet a frank antagonism which could be understood and dealt with, but a hostility which took the galling form of suave assurances that his country was positively going to the dogs, and on the whole it was a very good thing that it was. If gentlemen did not exactly call on him for the
purpose of telling him so, they managed sometimes to leave that impression. Motley's services to his country in meeting every form of attack, direct or insidious, in the spirit of high confidence, were very great. The extent of his usefulness has not yet been fully measured.
He was free from literary vanity and would have been quite unmoved had his books come short of their actual fortune. His way of accepting the real or the superficial tributes to success shows the man. Honorary degrees, elections to learned societies, drawing-room lionizing, passing compliments, were taken exactly for what they were worth. He was as far removed from the absurdity of being elated by these things as he was from the absurdity of pretending not to care. No one could have been more alive to the significance of a degree from Oxford, yet Motley seems to have got the most of comfort on that occasion from the odd spectacle of the Doctors marching in the rain, and among them old Brougham with his wonderful nose 'wagging lithely from side to side as he hitched ‘up his red petticoats and stalked through the mud.'
The letters reveal so many pleasant traits as to make it difficult to comprehend the hostility which pursued the writer. Holmes throws a deal of light on that question by a single remark. Motley, he says, did not illustrate the popular type of politi
cian.' The fact is, he illustrated everything that was opposed to that type. An uncompromising upholder of the democratic theory, a bitter foe of absolutism, a eulogist of the people, Motley was himself an aristocrat to the finger-tips. "He had
a genuine horror of vulgarity in all its forms, said one of his friends, and doubtless he showed it. An instinctive repugnance to bad manners ‘and coarse-grained men' was a trait ill-suited to popularity. Motley's high-bred bearing alone constituted an offence. But he was incapable of so much policy as was involved in pretending to a bonhomie that was unnatural to him. He had a pliancy of nature fitted to the complex needs of a very complex social organization, but that was not enough to satisfy all his exacting countrymen. And among them were those who disliked him for being the gentleman he was.
The historian of the Dutch Republic writes as one who thinks nobly, admires with enthusiasm, and hates without pettiness. His thoughts are mas'culine, full of argumentation, and as are his thoughts so is his style. Often the language seems charged with his own energy and chivalric impul