Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/197

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
186
Ch. 7.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

that firm collected deportment which I expected would dignify the presence of a secretary or minister. I looked for gravity, but a laxity of manner seemed shed about him. He spoke almost without ceasing; but even his discourse partook of his personal demeanor. It was loose and rambling; and yet he scattered information wherever he went, and some even brilliant sentiments sparkled from him."

Maclay was one of the earliest members of the Republican party, and his description was not unfriendly. Augustus Foster, Secretary of the British Legation, described Jefferson as he appeared in 1804:[1]

"He was a tall man, with a very red freckled face, and gray neglected hair; his manners good-natured, frank, and rather friendly, though he had somewhat of a cynical expression of countenance. He wore a blue coat, a thick gray-colored hairy waistcoat, with a red under-waistcoat lapped over it, green velveteen breeches with pearl buttons, yarn stockings, and slippers down at the heels,—his appearance being very much like that of a tall, large-boned farmer."

In the middle of the seventeenth century the celebrated Cardinal de Retz formed a judgment of the newly-elected Pope from his remark, at a moment when minds were absorbed in his election, that he had for two years used the same pen. "It is only a trifle," added De Retz, "but I have often observed that the smallest things are sometimes better marks

  1. The Quarterly Review (London, 1841), p. 24.