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"ALL THINGS THROUGH THEE TAKE NOBLER FORM,
Maquitus Kellen Haskell.
Printed at the Riverside Press.
THE death of Mr. Johnson was a great surprise and shock to his immediate family as well as to the large circle of warm and close friends outside of it. Though he had looked weak and worn for the last two or three years, and at times had been seriously ill, no one suspected that the end of his life and labors was at hand until a very few days before it came. It now seems that he had long suffered from a disease which it was impossible to detect until his last sickness. But when it did reveal itself near the close of that, his case was seen to be hopeless. He passed quietly away near midnight on Sunday, February 19th, and apparently without realizing — unless some imperfectly understood words a short time before consciousness left him indicated it that he was going, and must leave unfinished the great work of his life in which his interest, toil, and hopes for so many years had centered. He was aware, however, that he was unusually ill.
Referring to this the day but one before his death, he spoke with great satisfaction of having things about him to his mind, of his library and home, and of his materials for his book, which, in his series on Oriental Religions, was to be entitled "Persia," — being all ready under his hand, and said, that now he only wanted just a few weeks of health and strength to complete it; but added, with
his wonted patience and submission, "I shall be cheerful under this enforced postponement."
It is not the purpose of this sketch to deal with his life at any length, but simply to give to his many friends, whose tender interest in everything that pertained to him is well known, a glance at his early years and private life, that they may see how in keeping they were with all his teachings and acts as they knew him.
He was born in Salem, October 10, 1822, and was the oldest child of Dr. Samuel and Anna [Dodge] Johnson. His father was born in North Andover, in the old family homestead where his own life closed, and belonged to that line, of which it is said in the history of that town, “the name of Johnson has been one of the most continuously influential in the history of the Andovers." His mother was of an old Salem family, and connected with many names eminent in the annals of that city and of the Commonwealth. His brilliant powers and noble character, therefore, were the legitimate offspring of ancestral intelligence and worth. So his native grace of speech and manner, as well as his refinement of thought and feeling, gave evidence of wide ancestral culture. His boyhood had in it the promise which was so well fulfilled in his after years. It was passed under the influence of the social and intellectual life, as well as of the commercial activity, of Salem, at a time when these were at their highest, and were doubtless as favorable for the development of the young as they were anywhere in the country. A de