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haustible laborer I ever saw. In fact, every faculty of his nature seemed to be absorbed in the one purpose of ending with success what he undertook. At such times he had no more idea, apparently, of the likelihood that his assistant might suffer from fatigue, than if he had known him as a mere machine. I shall never forget the labor, as an amanuensis, he required me to perform at the time he was pleading to issue the great Randel case, reported in the first volume of Harrington. Most of the pleadings in that case were dictated by him, without any book before him, as he walked the floor of his private office; and many of them were read, and reviewed, and altered, again and again, before they finally passed from his critical examination. Those pleadings speak for themselves; and they were inspected, passed upon, and assailed, in one form or another, by as able men in the law as could be found at our bar, or outside of it, to perform that work, and finally settled by a bench than which no State had then a superior. Those pleadings stand as an imperishable monument of the industry and science of Clayton for no other man had anything to do with their preparation. This case is remarkable for another thing-that up to the time when the verdict was given for his client, no finding of such magnitude, for merely unliquidated damages, had ever been rendered in the United States. As in the Randel case, so in other cases. His whole soul was, as it were, given up to them, where there was to be contest. He would think, or talk, of nothing else; you must listen
to him about his case, or question, or leave him. It made no difference who approached him, unless their own business required to be attended to in some way, he would talk of the matter then in hand. Whether this was a natural relief for an "o'erfraught" mind, or that he sought to extract opinions from others to fortify or modify his own, I know not; but his cases engrossed him to the displacement of all other subjects, and discourse about them was as necessary, apparently, to him, as the nourishment of food. And yet this was not true at all times, for when his mental travail over a case had ended by his thoughts being properly matured about it, he gave no more attention to it out of the court-house; and hence, he sometimes appeared to be careless or indifferent, when the contrary was to be expected. He had, however, worked the matter out in his thoughts, and there was nothing more to do before the trial.
The influence of Mr. Clayton with juries, to which I have referred, was very extraordinary. Certainly no man this State has ever produced was his equal with a jury, common or special; and the first living man among us, although his fine intellect is now clouded by age, said to me, years ago, when contemplating his character as a public man and jurist, that he did not believe a jury lawyer superior to Clayton had ever lived in this country. His powers were, certainly, extraor
dinary, and consisted as well in the examination of witnesses as in the discussion of the facts proved.
*James A. Bayard, since deceased.
Whatever a witness knew on his client's side, he was sure to bring out, and with the best effect, framing his questions so as to refresh his memory where it was weak, as also to furnish him, when needed, with language that would best convey his thoughts. His witnesses were never afraid of him, as some men's are, his manner being so reassuring; and he never failed to extract from them, sooner or later, in his examination, all they knew. When he had done with them, the cross-examination that followed rarely produced any contradiction, or discrepant statement — so well had he, by his consummate art of preparing the witness for it, shielded him from assaults by the opposite counsel. A bad examination in chief lays a witness sadly open to the assaults and artifices of the adverse counsel; but he never made one: when he handed his witness over to his adversary, that witness not only had his story perfectly in memory, so that no tripping was possible; but he had kept him, if a timid man, so long engaged, as to give him an assurance that enabled him to resist all attempts afterwards to confuse him. Such a lawyer is of great service to inexperienced witnesses who, often, make a bad figure, from being in the hands, at first, of counsel not having the address and art necessary for their due preparation to meet what sometimes degenerates into brow-beating upon the cross-examination. When, however, the duty
of taking in hand an opposite witness, and sifting his testimony in chief, came to him, it was a treat to see him perform his work; and woe be unto that witness
if he had told a falsehood, misstated a fact, or if he sought to conceal one important to be brought out. no escaping his efforts to get at the true facts. A witness might be ever so smart, and subtle, or cunning with his answers, sly in his suggestions, or bold in his assertions; sooner or later he was compelled to disclose what he knew, and qualify what he he had said that was calculated, if unexplained, to mislead the minds of the jury. This was accomplished, partly by his general manner, partly by the communication in which he put himself with the witness, by his special effort for the occasion, and greatly to the discovery a witness soon made, that there was no use in trying to escape him. The ordinary arts of confusing, by rapid and irrelevant questions, were no part of his enginery: his was a treatment better calculated to answer his purpose, and not excite the sympathies of the jury for the victim's distress. When an unfair witness left the stand, he knew that he had been drained thoroughly of the real truth, but felt no resentment against him who had found out out everything. There were, however, times when a falsifier, or prevaricator, had to be dealt with; and then he subjected such an one to a terrible ordeal. It was then a case which
than gentle treatment; it
required something more demanded an earnest, vigorous, unyielding contest for the victory, and such was made. There was no use in fighting him with boldness, or endeavoring to elude him by ingenious artifice of answer: the truth had to be spoken, or the witness passed from the battle with
his statements so battered by the blows the crossexamination had inflicted upon them, that they had no weight with the jury. I have been witness, as perhaps some present have also, to many of those encounters between this lawyer and hostile witnesses, and they always resulted in his triumph.
When these cases before juries came to be presented by counsel in their addresses, the court-room was sure to be filled, for everybody knew there would be a great treat for them in listening to the trial. The greater the case, and the more prominent his opponents were, the greater the interest; for then his superior powers would be evoked. When he was in active practice, but towards the close of it, there were other strong men at the bar than those of whom I
have spoken. They were his juniors, professionally (and most of them otherwise), but still he could by no means walk over the course in his practice. It was against these men that he was called upon to do battle for his clients. He had no weak adversaries, I assure you. They were of the best to be found anywhere, and in the highest rank among us. When such were his antagonists, then the interest was powering. The engagement was a real one long range, as senatorial conflicts have become, since the fashion arose of reading orations addressed virtually to an audience outside the chamber, with only the words Mr. President now and then uttered to remind you that a debate, nominally, is in progress; but a hand-to-hand contest, in which every intellectual and