Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/29

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' N. /'/-//// <>/"/ // Caret /. 25

with unaccustomed shouts of merriment and revelry. Starting to tis^hi a (hid, he laid down his hand at poker, to resume it with a smile when IK- n turned, and went on the field laughing with his frit-mi to a picnic. Yet no one knew better the proprieties of life than him- self when to put off levity, and treat j^rave subjects and persons with proper respect, and no one could assume more gracefully a dig- nified and sober demeanor.

" His early reading and education had been extensive and deep. Probably no man of his age, in the State, was so well read in the ancient and modern classics, in the current literature of the day, and what may seem stranger in the sacred scriptures. His speeches drew some of their grandest images, strongest expressions, and aptest illustrations from the inspired writings.

"The personnel of this remarkable man was well calculated to rivet the interest his character inspired. Though he was low of stature, and deformed in one leg, his frame was uncommonly ath- letic and muscular ; his arms and chest were well formed, the latter deep and broad ; his head large, and a model of classical proportions and noble contour. A handsome face, compact brow, massive and expanded, and eyes of dark hazel, full and clear, were fitted for the expression of every passion and flitting shade of feeling and senti- ment. His complexion partook of the bilious, rather than the san- guine temperament. His skin was smooth and bloodless no excite- ment or stimulus heightened his color: nor did the writer ever see any evidence in his face of irregularity of habit. In repose his countenance was serious and rather melancholy certainly somewhat soft and quiet in expression, but evidencing strength and power, and masculine rather than the light and flexible qualities which character- ized him in his convivial moments. There was nothing affected or theatrical in his manner, though some parts of his printed speeches would seem to indicate this. He was frank and artless as a child, and nothing could have been more winning than his familiar inter- course with the bar, with whom he was always a favorite, and without a rival in its affection.

" I come now to speak of him as a lawyer.

" He was more widely known as a politician than a lawyer, as an advocate than a jurist. This was because politics form a wider and more conspicuous theatre than the bar, and because the mass of men are better judges of oratory than of law. That he was a man of wonderful versatility and varied accomplishments is most true, and that he was a popular orator of the first class is also true, and that