Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/273

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Unveiling a Statue of Dr. Hunter McGmre. 265

man. It is in this feature of his character that we may find the power which sustained him in the projection and in the ultimate achievement of those important movements which, throughout his life, he inaugurated for the advancement of his profession and for the alleviation of the wants and sufferings of humanity.

In his intellectual life the qualities of which we have spoken played a conspicuous part. Singleness of aim, simplicity of methods, and unswerving devotion to his object will account for much. His mind was never clouded by misty speculations, but in all its opera- tions it was guided by a knowledge which he believed to be accurate and sufficiently full for the object sought. His perceptions were clear and vigorous, never distorted by passion or perverted by prejudice. His impressions were always thoroughly digested and his reflec- tions were free and candid. His conclusions were often reached with a rapidity that appeared to be instinctive. They were honestly formed, and not lightly surrendered.

It was these qualities and habits of mind that in large measure imparted to his social conversation and his more formal narrations that lucidity of style, that graphic delineation of character or inci- dent, which so charmed his listeners. But intellect alone never wins the love of men, it makes no appeal to the affections. History holds no record of any man crowned as a hero by virtue of his intellect alone. Intellect never swayed senates or led confiding legions to victory. Those faculties of the soul which constitute character are the potential factors in life. It is the character of man that com- mands our confidence and controls our affections. It is that which most essentially distinguishes one man from another and fixes for each man his place and power in life. A man's impulsive words and acts, the unpremeditated and instinctive expressions of his as- pirations and desires, these disclose the real man.

It was by these that Hunter McGuire was made more clearly known, and it is by these that his image is most deeply graven on the fleshly tablets of hurrran hearts. His claims to greatness rest upon the fact that in all the manifestations of his personal character he was great. The scope of his moral vision was broad. He was magnanimous, no petty piques or prejudices or resentments disturbed the serenity of his soul. He harboured no revenge, nor bore malice to any. His charity was broad; the weak, the helpless, the poor and the friendless were the objects of his tender care, on whom, without stint, he expended of his time and substance. No open record may exist on earth of that vast multitude whose racking