This eminent statesman and diplomatist was, perhaps, the most accomplished orator and lawyer that America has ever produced. In a sketch of him in the National Portrait Gallery, the writer says: "Mr. Pinkney's mind was of the highest cast of intellectual power, solid as well as brilliant; combining the fruits of laborious industry, with extraordinary natural talents. Endowed with something of the enlarged philosophy, the exuberant metaphor, and the gorgeous rhetoric of Burke, the chaste and proud sentiments of Canning, the lofty and, impassioned declamation of the younger Pitt, the brilliant illustration of Sheridan, the ardent enthusiasm of Fox, and the rapid elegance of Erskine, the eloquence of Mr. Pinkney was founded upon his own model, and abounded probably with more advantages than that of any of the orators we have mentioned."
I remember when I was a boy at school, at Asheville, hearing Governor Swain read a speech of John Randolph, announcing the death of William Pinkney, a senator from Maryland, in the House of Representatives of the United States. His eulogy was most glowing and unmeasured in extolling his learning, his eloquence, his statesmanship and high character. If I mistake not, he pronounced him the greatest of all American orators, and the most learned and accomplished of her lawyers.
Mr. Pinkney had spent ten or fifteen years in England as commissioner and plenipotentiary at the court of St. James, and during all that time he was most laboriously engaged in perfecting himself in his profession as a lawyer and orator. He was a constant attendant on all the great debates in the British Parlia-