Works Of Rufus Choate. -- By: Anonymous
BSac 20:78 (April 1863) p. 440
Works Of Rufus Choate.1
These handsome volumes are a deserved tribute to the memory of a most brilliant, accomplished, and fascinating man. The biography, which extends through considerably more than half of the first volume, has been prepared from the fullest materials now accessible, and with eminent care and judgment. The intimate relations of the editor with the subject of his Memoir, his sympathetic and admiring, yet thoroughly discriminating, appreciation of his character and genius, and the full contributions of correspondence, reminiscences, and other valuable matter by professional and personal friends, make it in all respects most adequate and most attractive. Especially do the letters and journals, together with the reminiscences of the closing chapter, reveal the charm of Mr. Choate’s personal character and domestic life, as well as the wide variety of his professional labors and literary studies, and will bring a new delight to those who had only known and admired him in his public career. The whole portraiture of the man — the advocate, the orator, the statesman — is spirited, beautiful, and complete. The remainder of the work consists of Lectures, Addresses, Speeches in the Senate of the United States, and Miscellaneous Speeches, with an Appendix containing Fragments of Translations from the Classics. These serve to give some idea, as far as words, without the magical voice and eye, and marvellous power of personal presence, can do, of the strength and richness of Mr. Choate’s mind and his full-toned and most musical eloquence. They show a broad range of subjects, and an interest and enthusiasm in all good learning which may well claim for the volumes a notice in our Review. The author of the Lecture on the Power of the State developed by Mental Culture, the Address at the Dedication of the Peabody Institute, and the Speech on the Bill for the Establishment of the Smithsonian Institute, will have the affectionate thanks
BSac 20:78 (April 1863) p. 441
of every lover of letters. Favorite, too, among his topics of study and popular address was our Pilgrim History, and in his overflowing library, as not a few will remember, theology, mediaeval as well as modern, was represented, and in rare hours of leisure turned to with a love almost professional.
The Journals of Mr. Choate will be found, we think, among the most attractive portions of the Memoir, disclosing as they do, his methods of self-discipline and the generous breadth of his studies and tasks. They show how fondly faithful he was to his ideal of personal culture amid the most crowded and exhausting labors. Whether at home in his library, or at Washington, engrossed with the duties of a statesman, he never forgets his plan of st...
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