Sketches of Public Characters: Drawn from the Living and the Dead: with Notices of Other Matters

Sketches of Public Characters: Drawn from the Living and the Dead: with Notices of Other Matters

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Sketches of Public Characters: Drawn from the Living and the Dead: with Notices of Other Matters

Sketches of Public Characters: Drawn from the Living and the Dead: with Notices of Other Matters

Read FREE!

Excerpt

LETTER I.

Washington, Jan. 1830.

DEAR SIR,

You are among the few in your country who take an interest in the affairs of this; and in compliance with your request, I shall from time to time send you such notes as I have made, or shall make of men and things in the United States. I have seen and heard much during the seventeen years I have resided in the United States, and think I can speak with honesty and candour of their institutions, their men, and of their affairs. Having assumed the responsibility of a citizen I shall call it my country. As the alarms of war have passed away, it is natural for the reading public to seek for descriptions of orators, statesmen, poets, painters, &c. rather than of warriors or heroes. This is an active, thinking age, and mind seems to be getting its proper influence in the community, on this as well as on the other side of the water. In my remarks upon the good folks of this country, I shall not confine myself to any regular order, but give you my opinions as they arise in my mind, believing that in letters from one friend to another there should be no disguise. With this I send you several of the public documents printed by order of Congress, and a bundle of pamphlets containing some of the best American speeches, and also forward a slight notice of some of the most distinguished speakers. As the New-England orator, Mr. WEBSTER, now occupies the largest space in the halls of Legislation, I shall give a sketch of him, which I have no doubt is substantially accurate.

The person of Mr. Webster is singular and commanding: his height is above the ordinary size, but he cannot be called tall; he is broad across the chest, and stoutly and firmly built, but there is nothing of clumsiness either in his form or gait. His head is very large, his forehead high, with good shaped temples. He has a large, black, solemn looking eye, that exhibits strength and steadfastness, and which sometimes burns, but seldom sparkles. His hair is of a raven black, and both thick and short, without the mark of a gray hair. His eye brows are of the same colour, thick and strongly marked, which gives his features the . . .

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