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think that he esteemed their author very highly, as a writer of what may be called pure metaphysics. I had formerly read to him Professor Brown's first pamphlet on Cause and Effect; and he had afterwards heard his later enlarged work, on the same subject. He thought his style too diffuse, and his expressions not unfrequently obscure; and he regarded the latter circumstance as arising, in a great measure, from the notions of the writer not being well defined and settled in his own mind.
In the autumn of 1821, I returned to fix my residence in Cambridge, after having been for some months absent. I had looked forward to enjoying again, under peculiarly pleasant circumstances, the society of a friend, with whom I had been, for many years, intimately connected. But I was struck by the change in Mr. Frisbie's appearance, and pained by the account which he gave me of his health. His friends, however, did not for a long time subsequent apprehend that his life was in danger. His disease, which was a consumption of the lungs, was indicated by such obscure symptoms, as not to be clearly ascertained till a few weeks before his death.
But from the period which I have mentioned, he, on the whole, was gradually declining; his disease giving his friends those alternations of hope
and fear, which leave so much to be remembered, and so little to be told. For some months before the close of his life, he was aware of the uncertainty of his recovery. While in health, he had felt rather more than common apprehension of death, partly from some accidental circumstances, partly from his high notions of duty, acted upon by those gloomy religious impressions, of which I have before spoken, and partly from a tendency to depression, produced by physical causes. But death, as it appeared more distinctly in view, lost its terWhen his disease assumed an alarming character, he spoke to me openly of its probable termination; and asked, if knowing his former feelings, I should have expected him to be able to look forward to it so calmly. He was ready and desirous to converse upon all those high themes of speculation, which relate to the realities beyond the grave. He looked forward to them with a calm feeling of certainty. His mind was at once tranquillized and awed by the distinct apprehension of the fact, that in a few weeks, separated from the present objects of his affections, he might be existing in a far holier and happier state, with new powers and enlarged capacities of enjoyment.
A few days before his death, he rode out, for the last time, with Professor Farrar; and called
upon a gentleman in the neighbourhood. The principal object of his visit was to express his sense of obligation for some favors which he had received from this gentleman, early in life. He then asked to see a portrait of Mr. Thacher, which is in his possession. After looking at it for some time, he observed, 'I shall probably soon be with him.' This was on Saturday.
During the night between Saturday and Sunday, an abscess broke upon his lungs. I saw him for the last time on Sunday morning, and heard him, for the last time speak of his resignation to the will of God. He died on Tuesday, July 9th. The last act of his life was an expression of affection to his aged mother, who was adjusting his pillow.
To the preceding account, I am permitted to add the following extract from a long letter, with which I have been favored by a gentleman who knew Mr. Frisbie most intimately; and to whom I applied for information.
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR.
It is not in my power, I conceive, to add materially to your information respecting Mr. Frisbie. Though I had the happiness of enjoying his friendship earlier, and for a longer period, than you did; yet the principal events of his life are probably better known to you than to me; and from your frequent means of observation, the distinguishing traits of his mind and character must have been more accurately marked by you. Yet if you should be able, in any important respect, to extend your views of him by any thing which it is in my power to suggest, I would not willingly omit giving you some of the recollections, which occur to me, especially as to those portions of his life, which did not fall under your observation.
My acquaintance with Mr. Frisbie commenced after he was admitted to the University. The relation, which I sustained to his class, led me to attend with more interest to his literary progress, and laid the foundation of a friendship, which I have ever regarded as among the blessings of my life. His religious and moral principles, as well as habits, appeared to have been formed before he
left home. He was blest with a father, who was in all respects qualified to lead his mind to wisdom and virtue. I believe he had all the sensibility of conscience and purity of life, which distinguished his son, who always seemed conscious of a tribunal within, that led him scrupulously to avoid, not only whatever appeared to be wrong, but every thing which he did not feel assured was right.
The love of virtue, and regard to duty, which rendered Mr. Frisbie an object of universal respect among his companions at College, were associated with such candor and frankness of disposition, and generosity of conduct, that he equally gained their affection and confidence. Nor was his influence, at this early period of his life, lost upon the University. Alone, he might not have produced any visible effect, but together with others of similar dispositions, he contributed essentially to diffuse just sentiments, and to raise the standard of character among the students. It is well remembered by those who were then members of the College government, that the class to which he belonged, and in which he held a preeminent rank, acquired a reputation at that time unexampled, for their ardor in the pursuit of literary and moral excellence, and for uniting with a manly independence of conduct, an honorable respect for the authority of College.