no flaw, made his influence irresistible upon all who were brought within its reach.
Nevertheless this great man nourished one weakness. Pure in life; broad in mind, and the despair of bench and bar for the unswerving certainty of his legal method; almost idolized by those who stood nearest him, and loving warmly in return,—this excellent and amiable man clung to one rooted prejudice: he detested Thomas Jefferson. He regarded with quiet, unspoken, but immovable antipathy the character and doings of the philosopher standing before him, about to take the oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. No argument or entreaty affected his conviction that Jefferson was not an honest man. "By weakening the office of President he will increase his personal power," were Marshall's words, written at this time; "the morals of the author of the letter to Mazzei cannot be pure." Jefferson in return regarded Marshall with a repugnance tinged by a shade of some deeper feeling, almost akin to fear. "The judge's inveteracy is profound," he once wrote, "and his mind of that gloomy malignity which will never let him forego the opportunity of satiating it on a victim."
Another person, with individuality not less marked, took the oath of office the same day. When the Senate
- Marshall to Hamilton, Jan. 1, 1801; Hamilton's Works, vi. 502.
- Jefferson to Gallatin, Sept. 27, 1810; Gallatin's Writings, i. 492.