Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/772

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QUINET

The site of the present city was settled in 1625 as Merry Mount or Mount Wollaston by Thomas Morton (q.'v.)-the present Wollaston Heights is a part of the grant of 600 acres made in 1636 by the town of Boston to William Hutchinson, husband of Anne, the Antinomian, and was formerly known as Taylor's Hill. A Puritan settlement was made here in 1634. This first settled part of Braintree (q.v.)-a name given in 1640 to the community then organized-after 1708 was officially called the North Precinct of the Town of Braintree; here the Adamses and the Hancocks lived, and Quincy was the birthplace of John Hancock—in a house on Hancock lot lived the first Josiah Quincy; the Mount Wollaston farm was a legacy to John Quincy (1689-1767), in whose honour the township was named on its separation from the township of Braintree in 1792, and whose name was borne by his great grandson, John Quincy Adams. In 1826 a railway about 4 m. long to the Neponset river was built here-the first in New Englandfor carrying granite from the quarries to tide-water; the cars were drawn by horses. The township had previously been engaged in maritime pursuits, agriculture, and the manufacture of leather. Township government, owing to the abolition of the committee on general business and the consequent confusion of handling so many and minute details, and to the addition to the population of a large Irish element and a large New Hampshire element, both workmen in the quarries, reached the minimum of efficiency in 1840-1870; in 1870, however, the town-meetings were reformed, and in 1874 a committee to consider business details was again appointed. In 1888 Quincy was chartered as a city.

See “A Study of Church and Town Government, " by C. F. Adams, in the second volume of his Three Episodes of Massachusetts History (Boston, 1892), for an admirable history of the community; his Centennial Milestone, an Address in Commemoration of the One H undredth Anniversary of the Incorporation of Quincy, Mass. (Cambridge, lMassachusetts, 1892); D. M. Wilson, Quincy, Old Braintree and Merry Mount (Boston, 1907), and Where American Independence Began (Boston, 1902); and D. M. Wilson and C. F. Adams, Col. John Quincy of Mount Wollaston, 1689-1767 (Quincy, 1909), published by the Quincy Historical Society, and containing addresses made at the celebration in February 1908 in honour of Col. Quincy; agdggi/ S. Pattee, History of Old Braintree and Quincy (Quincy, 1 7


QUINET, EDGAR (1803–1875), French historian and man of letters, was born at Bourg-en-Bresse, in the department of the Ain, France, on the 17th of February 1803. His father, Jerome Quinet, had been a commissary in the army, but being a strong republican and disgusted with Napoleon's usurpation, he gave up his post and devoted himself to scientific and mathematical study. Edgar, who was an only child, was much alone, but his mother (Eugenie Rozat Lagis, who was a person of education and strong though somewhat unorthodox religious views) exercised great influence over him. He was sent to school first at Bourg and then at Lyons. His father wished him on leaving school to go into the army, and then suggested business. But Quinet was determined upon literature, and after a time got his way. His first publication, the Tablettes du juif errant, appeared in 1823. Being struck with Herder's Philosophie der Geschichte, he undertook to translate it, learnt German for the purpose, published his work in 1827, and obtained by it considerable credit. At this time he was introduced to Cousin, and made the acquaintance of Michelet. He had visited Germany and England before the appearance of his book. Cousin procured him a post on a government mission to the Morea in 1829, and on his return he published in 1830 a book on La Grèce moderne. Some hopes of employment which he had after the revolution of February were frustrated by the reputation of speculative republicanism which he had acquired. But he joined the stafi of the Revue des deus mondes, and for some years contributed to it numerous essays, the most remarkable of which was that on Les Epopées françaises du XIIème siècle, an early, though not by any means the earliest, appreciation of the long-neglected chansons de geste. Ahosvérus, his first original work of consequence, appeared in 1833. This is a singular prose poem, in language sometimes rather bombastic but often beautiful. Shortly afterwards he married Minna Moré, a German girl with whom he had fallen in love some years before. Then he visited Italy, and, besides writing many essays, produced two poems, Napoléon (1835) and Prométhée (1838), which being written in verse (of which he was not a master) art inferior to Ahasvérus. In 1838 he published a vigorous reply to Strauss's Leben Jesu, and in that year he received the Legion of Honour. In 1839 he was appointed professor of foreign. literature at Lyons, where he began the brilliant course ol lectures afterwards embodied in the Génie des religions. Two years later he was transferred to the Collège de France, and the Génie des religions itself appeared (1842).

Quinet's Parisian professorship was more notorious than fortunate, owing, it must be said, to his own fault. His chair was one of Southern Literature, but, neglecting his proper subject, he chose, in conjunction with Michelet, to engage in a violent polemic with the Jesuits and with Ultramontanism. Two books bearing exactly these titles appeared in 1843 and 1844, and contained, as was usual with Quinet, the substance of his lectures. These excited so much disturbance, and the author so obstinately refused to confine himself to literature proper, that in 1846 the government put an end to them—a course which was not disapproved by the majority of his colleagues. By this time Quinet was a pronounced republican, and something of a revolutionist. He appeared in arms during the disturbances which overthrew Louis Philippe, and was elected by the department of the Ain to the Constituent and then to the Legislative Assembly, where he figured among the extreme radical party. He had published in 1848 Les Revolutions d'Italie, one of his principal though not one of his best works. He wrote numerous pamphlets during the short-lived Second Republic, attacked the Roman expedition with all his strength, and was from the first an uncompromising opponent of Prince Louis Napoleon. He was banished from France after the coup d'état, and established himself at Brussels. His wife had died some time previously, and he now married Mademoiselle Asaky, the daughter of a Roumanian poet. At Brussels he lived for some seven years, during which he published Les Esclaves (1853), a dramatic poem, Marnix de Sainte-Aldégonde (1854), a study of that Reformer in which he very greatly exaggerates Sainte-Aldégonde's literary merit, and some other books. He then moved to Veytaux, on the shore of the Lake of Geneva, where he continued to reside till the fall of the empire. Here his pen was busier than ever. In 1860 appeared a singular book, somewhat after the fashion of Ahasvérus, entitled Merlin l'enchanteur, in 1862 a Histoire de la campagne de 1815, in 1865 an elaborate book on the French Revolution, in which the author, republican as he was, blamed the acts of the revolutionists unsparingly, and by that means drew down on himself much wrath from more thoroughgoing partisans. Many pamphlets date from this period, as does La Création (1870), a third book of the class of Ahasvérus and Merlin, but even vaguer, dealing not with history, legend, or philosophy, but with physical science for the most part.

Quinet had refused to return to France to join the liberal opposition against Napoleon III., but immediately after Sedan he returned. He was then restored to his professorship, and during the siege wrote vehemently against the Germans. He was elected deputy by the department of the Seine in 1871, and was one of the most obstinate opponents of the terms of peace between France and Germany. He continued to write till his death, which occurred at Versailles on the 27th of March 1875. Le Siège de Paris et la défense nationale appeared in 1871, La République in 1872, Le Livre de l'exilé in the year of its author's death and after it. This was followed by three volumes of letters and some other work. Quinet had already in 1858 published a semi-biographic book called Histoire de mes idées.

Quinet's character was extremely amiable, and his letters to his mother, his accounts of his early life, and so forth, are likely always to make him interesting. He was also a man of great moral conscientiousness, and as far as intention went perfectly disinterested. As a writer, his chief fault is want of concentration;