Excerpt from The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 67: Devoted to Literature, Science, Art, and Politics; June, 1891
His rich natural gifts, trained by long and varied practice, had made him an orator of rare persuasiveness. In his immature days, he had pleased himself for a short period with that inﬂated, high-ﬂown style which, among the un cultivated, passes for beautiful speak ing. His inborn truthfulness and his artistic instinct soon overcame that ah erration, and revealed to him the no ble beauty and strength of simplicity. He possessed an uncommonpower of clear and compact statement, which might have reminded those who knew the story of his early youth of the ef forts of the poor boy, when he copied his compositions from the scraped wood en shovel, carefully to trim his expres sions in order to save paper. Although he had never studied the rules of logic, he was a master of logical lucidity. His reasoning he loved to point and enliven by humorous illustrations, usually anec dotes of Western life, of which he had an inexhaustible store at his command. These anecdotes had not seldom a ﬂavor of rustic robustness about them, but he used them with great effect, while amus ing the audience, to give life to an abstraction, to explode an absurdity, to clinch an argument, to drive home an admonition. The natural kindliness of his tone, softening prejudice and disarm ing partisan rancor, would Often Open to his reasoning a way into minds most nu willing to receive it.
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