« 上一頁繼續 »
would rather consult him than any book, not even excepting his own." Some years after, this same gentleman dined at Ochre Point, when he received from his host a copy of the first volume of his “ Commentaire sur les Éléments du droit international et sur l'histoire des progrès du droit des gens de Henry Wheaton,” which had just been published by Brockhaus, in Leipzig
The following letter shows the estimation in which this work is held by the highest authority in France :
Institut Impérial de France, Académie des Sciences, Morales et Politiques.
Paris, le 19 Avril, 1869. Le Secrétaire perpétuel de l'Académie à Monsieur William Beach Lawrence, Ministre Américain des États-Unis à Londres, etc.
MONSIEUR : L'Académie a reçu par l'entremise de M. Giraud l'exemplaire que vous avez bien voulu lui offrir de votre Commentaire sur les éléments du droit international et sur l'histoire des progrès du droit des gens de Henry Wheaton.
Elle me charge de vous addresser ses remerciements. Ce savant ouvrage, dont M. Giraud a fait l'objet d'un rapport verbal à l'académie, a été déposé dans la bibliothèque de l'Institut. Agréez, Monsieur, l'assurance de ma haute considération.
When Mr. Lawrence visited Berlin, in the winter of 1869, he had several interviews with Prince Bismarck, who said to him : “I find your book very useful ; I consult it continually."
A trunk which was unfortunately lost by Mr. Lawrence in one of his journeys from Washington to Newport, contained a Japanese translation of this work. It had been presented to the distinguished jurist by M. Mori, the then Minister from Japan to this country.
This extract from a letter from his devoted friend and admirer, M. P. Pradier Fodéré, shortly after the appearance of the third volume of Mr. Lawrence's last work, will be found interesting : • Monsieur et bien honoré ami :
J'ai reçu pour vous des compliments, des félicitations. Il faut que vous veniez à Paris au mois d'Octobre. Il n'y a pas à hésiter. M. de Parieu, M. Michel-Chevalier, M. Giraud, MM. Cauchy, Drouyn de Lhuys, Franck, Caro, Valette, tous ceux que nous connaissons, M. Guizot aussi, que j'ai beaucoup vu cet hiver et à qui j'ai présenté votre livre en votre nom, tous s'étonnent de votre éloignement de notre Paris, qui est toujours le centre de la science. Vous avez, depuis votre départ d'Europe, fait de beaux travaux de l'autre côté de l'Atlantique ; il faut venir les faire valoir à Paris.
Il est absolument nécessaire que votre cours, que vos notes, vos discours, vos consultations soient publiés, et cela à Paris, etc., etc. Toujours à vous de cæur,
The following notice of this last and most exhaustive of Mr. Lawrence's works is from the Providence Journal : “We have heretofore noticed, as they appeared, the volumes of this Commentary on International Law of Hon. W. B. Lawrence, of Newport. It promises to be the most extensive and valuable work on the subject that has yet appeared, and our only fear is that his plan is so extensive that he will never live to complete it. There is no man in the country whose mind and memory
are so well stored with all the knowledge to be derived from history and from text books, and we have here the results in profession.” The words of the Journal were prophetic; Mr. Lawrence did not live to complete the work his active brain had planned, and which he strove anxiously to accomplish, struggling the while with the fatal malady to which, for the last eight years of his life, he was a victim, yet with a valor inherited from his maternal grandfather, the Rev. Dr. Beach, a brave soldier of Christ, who, preaching in his church at New Brunswick, New Jersey, during the Revolutionary war, continued his sermon, undisturbed by a ball which entering the church passed close by his head and struck the wall beyond; so the undaunted jurist, in spite of the progress of Bright's disease, continued the work to which he had devoted his life. But for the presence of this disease, endowed as he was by nature with a fine constitution, there is good reason to believe he might have celebrated several more birthdays in the golden October, on the cliffs of Newport, the breeze wafting greeting between him and his neighbor, Hon. George Bancroft, as the measure of their years agreed in the same beautiful month. But for this he might have given to the world another volume of his great work, and have also finished his tribute to the memory of Albert Gallatin, upon which he was engaged when the approach of the stern messenger of death forced him to drop his pen. This unfinished address was read at a recent meeting of the New York Historical Society, of which Mr. Lawrence was one of the members. In connection with this, it is interesting to read what Mr. Wheaton wrote Mr. Lawrence in 1841 from Berlin, where the former was then Minister : “ Since my last, I have received your review of Mr. Gallatin's pamphlet. It is excellent. I lent it to Baron Humboldt, who last evening spoke to me of it. I assure you he was no niggard of his praise."
In 1831 Mr. Wheaton writes to Mr. Lawrence from London: “I have read with much pleasure your bank article ; it does you great credit.
“I saw your friend the Marquis de Barbé-Marbois in Paris (Mr. Lawrence had translated into English Marbois' Louisiana). He retains a lively recollection of you.”
Here is a portion of a letter written to Mr. Lawrence by Mr. Wheaton, from Copenhagen, in 1828, which probably refers to the former's approaching return to the United States :
“MY DEAR LAWRENCE: I received a letter in Havre, giving me the same intelligence contained in yours of the 9th inst. So much for their tariff. I regret it very much as it stops you in your career for a time. You had entered upon it under such advantageous circumstances, that it must be really annoying to you. But do not be discouraged, the country must have occasion for talent and experience similar to yours, and will sooner or later put them in requisition.
“I am glad you have an opportunity to hear Guizot & Co. I have read with the deepest interest the cours 'they delivered last season, and should be happy to have a seat alongside of you to catch the living voices of such great men. Ils sont dans la bonne voie.
" What do you hear from home? If Calhoun is Vice-President, and Van Buren Governor of New York, neither of them can be Secretary of State. Does Mr. Gallatin go to Brussels ?
I remain always,
“ Your sincere and obliged friend, H. WHEATON." This letter from the Secretary of State confirms Mr. Wheaton's flattering opinion of the young Chargé d'affaires :
"ASHLAND, 9th October, 1829. “MY DEAR SIR: I duly received your letter of the 31st August. That of mine of the ist November but conveyed only a just sense the late President and myself have of the meritorious manner in which you had discharged your diplomatic duties to our common country. I should be happy to hear of you being employed in the Senate of your State (as intended), or in any other public station, being fully persuaded that in any, you would render good public service. Whether you remain in a private, or be promoted to a public situation, I pray you be assured of the constant regard and esteem of
“ Your faithful servant, H. CLAY."
This letter from Mr. Madison will also be read with interest :
“ MONTPELLIER, June 5th, 1832. • James Madison has received the copy of the Historical Documents for which he is indebted to the politeness of Mr. Lawrence. The subject of it was well chosen and has been well handled. Mr. Lawrence will please to accept the thanks due for the pleasure afforded by the perusal.”
Perhaps no man, throughout a long life, ever evinced more perseverance, industry and love of study to the absorption of his whole attention, than did the owner of Ochre Point. His contributions to the various law journals and newspapers in this country and Europe, in addition to his correspondence and his voluminous works, kept him busy with his pen at all hours, without regard to meals or sleep. He would frequently rise at five in the morning, and while writing an article for the press, would suddenly order his carriage, and after a hasty breakfast set off for Boston or New York. On one of these occasions, going into his library in quest of some papers, Mr. Lawrence discovered his housemaid, an old servant, on her knees before a pile of books which she was eagerly examining in the early morning light. "What are you doing?” he asked. “Looking for Wheaton, sir," was the reply, as with an Eureka expression of countenance she held up the familiar volume; "you know I always pack up Wheaton' with your shirts." There was a great deal of interesting matter crowded into the few years of Mr. Lawrence's official career in London-questions which then arose gave him subjects of inquiry for many succeeding years: The Northeastern Boundary Question, those connected with the Treaty of Ghent, and the perpetually vexed subject between the United States and England, the Fishery Question, all came up while Mr. Lawrence was in London with Mr. Gallatin. It was exceedingly flattering to the young Secretary of twenty-eight to be considered by this Gamaliel of diplomacy worthy to be left in charge of the legation while such important negotiations were pending.
“Scarce was the April of his life begun,
When, anxious to immortalize his name,
And laboring upward sought the mounts of fame.
He was but twenty-six years of age, when, in the same year in which Jefferson died, when Calhoun was in the Senate, John Quincy Adams President of the United States, and Henry Clay Secretary of State, the latter transmitted to Mr. Lawrence his appointment of Secretary of Legation to the Court of London, to which Mr. Gallatin was Minister. Mr. Lawrence succeeded Mr. John A. King, to whom by a singular coinci. dence, he bore a strong resemblance, which likeness increased with years. As Gov. Lawrence lay in his sick bed, many of his visitors remarked how much he looked like the late Gov. King.
The year 1826, when Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence left their native shore for a residence in London, was an important era in other worlds besides that of politics. Mme. Malibran had just then risen in the operatic horizon in New York. Mrs. Lawrence, who was as passionately fond of music as her husband was indifferent to it, had the delight of assisting at the début of the great singer, and also of hearing Mme. Malibran the first time she appeared in London.
When Mr. Lawrence arrived in London, D’Israeli had made his mark as a novelist, and “ Vivian Grey" was attracting general attention. Little did the American diplomatist imagine that the young author of this, many think his best book, was destined later as Premier of England to sway its destinies. Although Mr. Lawrence rarely cared for novels, he took much interest in Lord Beaconsfield's last work, recognizing in the characters of “Endymion " many personages he had known in Europe.
It is to be deplored that Mr. Lawrence had not appointed a liter executor to take charge of his valued correspondence extending through nearly half a century, and including autograph letters from leading American and European statesmen and authors. The advice of the prophet Isaiah is too often neglected until too late: “Set thy house in order, for thou must die.” Considering the value that Mr. Lawrence attached to his papers and how the servants at Ochre Point were at all times charged to respect the literary confusion which reigned in the rooms in which the author worked, “never to touch a paper,” it would seem doubly strange that no provision should have been made for the preservation of the immense mass of valuable manuscript left at Ochre Point.
Mr. Lawrence was married early in life to a daughter of Archibald Gracie, “that grand old man," as the late Dr. Francis calls him in his
Vol. XII.-No. 5.-29