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tently fail, nor to Aash out a shower of the glittering sparks of political pyrotechnics Icaving the surroundings in intenser darkness when their glow had expired. They worked slowly but they worked truly. They fashioned despite popular clainor and opprobrium. Doubtless they saw in the distance the Promised Lands which their work would develop and perfect, whose waters they might not taste and whose air they might not breathe, and yet they faltercd not. these men to none do we owe a greater debt, and to none has less of that debt been paid than to John Marshall.
The mistaken notion that much of the valuc of Marshall's Services is a merely technical valuc has led the popular mind to place him in that category of vaguc personalities whom wc praise with the pleasing indefiniteness born of ignorance of the work which he has accomplished. And yet a thcoretical exposition of a national government, crude of necessity, discussed under his hands, became a complete and rounded whole. Statements so gencral as those contained in the Constitution of the United States, are necessarily succeptible of a varicd construction. To define all these, to limit their maximum and minimum cffect, in practical application was the work performed by Marshall. The Constitution, a shadowy vision of political thcories, grand, indeed, to behold, but intangible and clusive, became under his hands, a living breathing cntity.
In the mentality which availed to perform this work, we have a mind that in its peculiar field has not been paralleled in the history of this country. “Aim," said Marshall, “exclusively at strength." He did not wish to obscurc by rhetoric or retard by desccnsive bursts of cloquence the attainment of the object hc had in vicw. He felt that the field in which he labored was onc that could not be cultivated by a display of the mental graces, but only by the sturdicr qualities of sincwy reasoning. Nor was the faculty which destroys but does not create, which uproots the weeds, mayhap, but leaves behind a barren and stcrilc field, a faculty which dominated the mind of Marshall. He would not attempt to raze an unsightly building to the ground, unless he was prepared to
it is admitted,' I all my points."
The impassioned denunciations uttered by Henry against the Constitution that "squints horribly," that “squinted towards monarchy," and the attempts of the latter and the Jeffersonian anti-Federalists to fetter the Federal Government, and to clip its claws, Marshall met with the weapons of weighty logic so thoroughly at his command. Upon the power of these
Said Daniel Webster, “when the Chief Justice says, This close, remorseless logic was pitted against qualities these qualities the best of their time, again and again, and it Campbell all fell before the overwhelming logic of Marshall. And we must remember that this logic had the incumbrances of an ungraceful delivery and an ungainly figure, and that the passions of men were most casily moved and their judgments
readily swayed by the tumult of their emotions. which, under conditions so adverse, could have proved an invariable victor. And as we examine it we are struck with its exceptional clcarness.
Indeed, the acts or thoughts of genius are essentially clear and simple. Complications may be readily devised by the baser ability of cold talent. But the formulæ conveying ideas which sound empircs or cstablish systems of social or cconotheir self-evident truth, and half incline us to belicve that we simple as those governing the apparently complex workings of nature, no formulæ so easy of comprehension as those which express them. A simple system, expressed in a single
remove the ruins or erect in its stead some worthier structure. weapons his contemporarics looked with an admiration universally expressed, and admixed with fcar when they faced them.
am prepared, for a bomb that will demolish The fervid eloquence of Henry, the rich imagiWirt, and the graceful and pleasing oratory of were achieved under circumstances in which the in deed, must have been that power of reasoning
So simple are
never failed. nation of
these thoughts that when
revealed to us they startile us with
been aware of their existence.
No laws are so
sentence, cnabled Napoleon to revolutionizc military tactics, a simple process of reasoning sufficed for Bacon to supplant a species of logic that had stood for centuries, and a simple experiment in physics, gave Watts the means to open the way for a new era in the development of motive power.
The tools of a jurist, rightly applied, can suffice to mould and perfect a nation's existence and prosperity. And Marshall's logic is so clear, so convincing, and so transparent, and cvery point evolved follows so naturally upon its antcccdent, that we fcel ourselves forced to guard against the conviction almost thrust upon us, that these are trite truths, which we have known before. Yes, they are trite truths, they have existed through an eternity. They are diamonds in the bowels of the carth, but who shall dig for them; they are as plentiful as pearls in the depths of the sea, but who shall dive for them. The system of constitutional jurisprudence which Marshall built is simple as its logic is convincing. Plain and unndorned, it does not need the tawury frippery of ingenious sophistry, or the deceptive adornments of obscurc Icarning to hide its dcfccts, it stands naked and bare, showing best like the colossal statue of Phidias, in its majestic outline, when new elements of strength and beauty are revealed by the scarching light of truth.
And yet much further than this did Marshall's mental circle extend. To convince, to cxplain, to amplify is one thing, to apply another. Marshall was not a purvcyor of abstract truths alone. He was forced in his position to apply those truths to the practical workings of actual facts and figures. He was not only compelled to put the machinery in working order, to supply defects in mechanism, and institute additions and improvements, but to manipulate it himself. The combination of qualities required for this purpose is a rare one. Unless we clearly sce them as concentered in Marshall we sce only half of his ability. Many minds gifted with the finest powers of abstract reasoning have failed in the concrete application of the principles which they have cvolved. Marshall was obliged to build from the foundation up. That he did not complete the edifice is due solely to the shortness of man's
existence. He left plans and suggestions sufficient for the instruction of those who followed, and the work has been developed almost uniformly on the lines which he has laid governmental thcory. It ceased to be an unreal being, which they fcared to touch, lest the touch be harmful, or a supernatural objcct to be regarded with mysterious reverence or calm indifference. In truth, to effect this, it were well for one to aim exclusively at strength. Life is too short to permit time to be wasted in adornment. The crisis is critical, let us devote our best energies to its solution. So Marshall reasoned, and the rich heritage of this reasoning is transmitted to us. But there is another view to be considered. As we read the book of this man's character let us not leave those pages uncut
reveal the private spaces in the inner temple where purity is brightly burning or vice rotting to decay,
We love instinctively: to see a great man in dressing-gown we know he scrawled bad verscs, for Lord Tennyson when we Warren Hastings when we hcar he cultivated tulips. They Thackaray when he sniffs a bowl of steaming punch, or for ccasc then to be demi-gods, they become men, we can take them by the hand, we can walk at their side. For we can execrable poems. Too often do we tremble to divide those uncut leaves lest we discover that the idol wc cherished has sect of clay. But the leaves in Marshall's book we can cut boldly, nay, more than that, with the happy expectancy that the record of those pages will not fill us with distant admira- .
nor cold respect, but with hearty and hcalthful love. There was an atmosphere in this man's presence, a tone in the effect of contact with Marshall to that sacred feeling of having touched purity and truth, which we experience after
He introduced the Constitution to the people. He made them familiar with it as a working principle, not as a
wreathed in the smoke of his church warden ; for tulips with Hastings, and we are familiar with good we smoke, and, perchance, we too have written
a sparkle in his eye that warmed even the cynic with the glow of affection. I am tempted to compare
his voice, heart
a merry romp with a little child or after its caress-like a brcath from the valleys of Paradise, at which the faint heart revives, and the sorrowful cease from sighing.
The character of Marshall was distinguished by an almost childish simplicity—not the politic affcctation of simplicity presented us byJefferson, which has been embalmed in tradi- . tion and which existed merely in outward show, but a simplicity of mind and a simplicity of heart. No fulsome airs of superior patronage nor show of gaudy learning marred Marshall's manner or conversation. Confident in his ability, he did not need its continued display to assure him or others of its existence, yet so modest withal in the sense of certain deficiencies that in view of these hc hesitatingly transferred to others subjects which loc decmcd himself incompetent to treat; as in the resumé of authorities so often and so gracefully left "to my brother Story." He did not desire as those whose hearts are tender and lovable never do; the respectful whisper, or thc Rattering bow, to meet him was to meet as man to man, with cheery laugh, and hearty handsake that marked the quality and drove mental distinctions to the winds. Never fcar to try his tempor, continued success had not made him despotic in its exercise, for its patient sweetness was never disturbed whether he sat on thc bench wcaricd by a prosy argument or reclined in his casy chair and suffered the tiresome talker to infest his fireside.
His good nature never failed. It scenied in this phase of his character as if he had drunk of the Fountain of Perpetual Boyhood, and when, as an old man, hc staggers into the ring of jolly pleasure scckers in a woodland party, and dropping an armsul of fat stones to the ground, challenges with his bright smile the sturdiest of the youths to a game of quoits, this samc boyishness shines forth and lends its subtle charms to the vencration which his grey hairs command. These springtidc odors in the winter of life are bornc on breczes that scem to waft us one length nearer heaven. All that is good. and true and beautiful is of their esscncc, and he who, like Marshall, radiates from his presence their grateful glow, Icaves a private deht that is recorded in letters of gold on the pages