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In this trying juncture he acquitted himself so well, that the tide of public opinion which so strongly set against him at the beginning of the session turned in his favor, and those not convinced by his arguments, felt at least a conviction of his sincerity, integrity, and patriotism. The contest was mainly between Mr. Calhoun and the distinguished senator from Massachusetts, Mr. Webster, the principal point in issue between whom was finally reduced to the naked question, whether our constitution is, or is not a compact between the states, the latter admitting that if it be a compact, the doctrines contended for by the former followed as necessary consequences.
We can not dwell upon the efforts which Mr. Calhoun made during the highly interesting session of 1833–4, but we may with confidence cite his speeches on the question of the Deposites, the Currency, the repeal of the Force bill, and the Protest of the president, as being among the best models our parliament history affords.
In the present sketch of Mr. Calhoun's career, only the outlines of his political life and conduct have been given. Many important particulars have, from necessity, been entirely omitted, and space now remains to add only a short notice of his family, his person, and his private character, and to make a few concluding remarks.
On the 8th of May, 1811, Mr. CALHOUN was married to Miss Floride Calhoun, the daughter of John Ewing Calhoun, formerly a senator in congress of great respectability from South Carolina. They have seven children, five of them are sons, and two daughters.
In his person, Mr. Calhoun is slender and tall. His countenance at rest is strikingly marked by decision and firmness. In conversation it is highly animated, expressive, and indicative of genius. His eyes are large, dark, brilliant, and penetrating, and leave no doubt at first view of a high order of intellect. His manners are easy, natural, and unassuming, and as frank as they are cordial and kind. He has none of the cautious reserve and mystery of common politicians; but is accessible to all, agreeable, instructive, and eloquent in conversation, and communicates his opinions with the utmost freedom and unreserve.
In all his domestic relations his life is without a blemish.
As an orator he stands in the foremost rank of parliamentary speakers. On first rising in debate, he has ever felt the anxiety of diffidence which is almost always the companion of genius. His manner of speaking is energetic, ardent, rapid, and marked by a solemn earnestness, which inspires a full belief in his sincerity and deep conviction. His style is forcible, logical, and condensed; often figurative for illustration - never for ornament. His mind is amply stored with the fruits of learning, but still more with those of observation and reflection. Hence depth, originality, and power characterise all his efforts.
As a statesman in the most enlarged and elevated sense of the term, he has no superior; for to the highest intellectual powers, he unites those elevated moral qualities which are equally essential with ability to complete the character of a perfect statesman-inflexible integrity-honor without a stain, disinterestedness, temperance, and industry; a firmness of purpose which disdains to calculate the consequences of doing his duty; prudence and energy in action, devotion to his country, and an inextinguishable love of liberty and justice.
ROBERT Y. H A Y NE.
ROBERT Y. HAYNE, the subject of this sketch, was born near Charleston, South Carolina, on the 10th November, 1791. He was the third son of a respectable planter, and is descended from a revolutionary family, the only male members of which, who were able to bear arms in the war of the revolution, sacrificed themselves in the cause of independence. The one lost his life in consequence of confinement in a British prison ship, and the other (the gallant and lamented martyr, Isaac Hayne,) perished on a scaffold, the victim of British perfidy and cruelty. The father of the subject of this sketch had ten children-but in consequence of the moderate extent of his fortune, and of pecuniary embarrassments, resulting chiefly from liabilities incurred for others, he was unable to give his son the benefit of collegiate education. ROBERT, therefore, began and finished his education at a common grammar school in the city of Charleston. He then, at the age of seventeen, commenced the study of the law, under the direction of Langdon Cheves, well known throughout the union as an enlightened jurist and distinguished statesman. At the conclusion of the usual period of study, during which he had applied himself with unremitted assiduity and diligence to the attainment of legal science, he was admitted to practice his profession. An incident may be here mentioned, which, as it is indicative of that real and ardor to which, perhaps, Mr. HAYNE has been in a great measure indebted for his success in life, may well deserve a place in this brief account of his career. Early in 1812, when our second war with Great Britain was rapidly approaching, a requisition was made by the United States for a corps of militia to defend the seaboard. Mr. HAYNE, though not then of age, and incapable, therefore, by the laws of South Carolina, of practising as a lawyer, applied for and obtained leave from the judges to be examined; and having obtained an order for his admission to the bar, upon the condition that his certificate should be withheld until he should attain the age of twenty-one, he immediately volunteered his services to the United States, and took the field as a lieutenant in the third regiment