Biographical Sketches of Eminent American Statesmen, with Speeches, Addresses and Letters

By B. F. Perry | Go to book overview
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Letter from DR. F. PEYRE PORCHER.

Charleston, S. C., January 3, 1888.

MRS. B. F. PERRY:

Dear Madam.--I feel greatly obliged to you for the privilege of reading the Memorial of Governor Perry and his Address before the Students of Erskine College. Both of these publications will prove extremely useful to the people of the State; and I am glad that through your wise and pious instrumentality they have been disseminated.

The "Address " teaches the value of character and of industry whilst giving instructive sketches of the lives of those who have furnished the most conspicuous examples of these qualities. The testimony afforded by the "Memorial" practically illustrates the exercise of moral courage --that highest virtue--the possession of which enabled your husband to face the overwhelming opposition even of those nearest and dearest to him. I witnessed one of these exhibitions, and could never recall it without applying the lines:

"Most master of himself and least encumbered
When overmatched, entangled and outnumbered."

As has been truly said, he was built upon the Roman mould; and when surrounded by the popular fury, and the clamor of the multitude was urging on to unhappy measures, to him might, without exaggeration, be applied the description of Cato:--

"Et cuncta terrarum subacta--
Prœter atrocem animum Catonis."

"The whole world was subdued--
Save the inexorable soul of Cato."

-599-

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