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It was at this point of this remarkable discussion that it became the duty of Mr. Wright, Mr. Forsyth and others, to repel the charges which had been thus preferred against the administration which they supported, and to defend the course which had been pursued towards the Bank. This was the first occasion on which Mr. Wright had enjoyed an opportunity to act a distinguished part in the deliberations of the Senate, since he had become a member of it. It is almost superfluous to say that he even exceeded the expectations of his friends.
There is in all the movements of Mr. Wright an air of quietness and resolution, of modesty and mildness, which is generally found in a public speaker who feels an unshaken confidence in his intellectual strength and in the justice of his cause. When he rose, the Opposition became profoundly attentive, because they knew that he possessed the entire confidence of the Executive, and therefore that whatever revelations he might make were to be regarded as authentic and conclusive. It was evident, in a few moments after he had risen, that he had prepared himself fully, and that he would be able to present the truth with simplicity-without hesitation or the least affectation. During the two hours that he occupied the floor, he invoked the aid of no rhetorical figures, nor was there in a single sentence that fell from him the slightest tinge of passion or prejudice, or embittered feeling. Whilst his adversaries had spoken to the throng within and without the Senate, the young Senator spoke to it, and through it to the whole nation. It was curious to observe with what coolness, energy and effect, combined with the most unruffled courtesy, the orator dispelled, one after another, the delusions under which the Opposition had been laboring; and when he at last announced that the Executive was content to appeal from any sentence which they might pronounce, back to the people from whom he and they alike derived their respective powers, the effect was wholly irresistible. It forewarned the Federal members, and truly too, that the tempestuous passions of the Senate chamber would soon be quelled by the solemn judgments of their constituents. Mr. Wright passed through this memorable contest as became one of his rare gifts. Even his opponents confessed with admiration the skill and ingenuity of the speaker's logic, and placed him at once in the very front rank of the friends of the Administration, side by side with the best and foremost; while many have been accustomed to assign him the first place, as the Administration "leader" in the Senate, for weight, soundness, discretion and eloquence.
Towards the spring the panic ceased-the people in the towns returned to their usual avocations, and those in the country to their ploughs. And now, when we can look calmly on the transactions of that period, we are astonished that the leaders of the Opposition should have committed such gross errors in judgment, and em.
barked in a controversy which they ought to have foreseen, from the nature of the principles involved in it, to be so utterly hopeless.
It will be asked if Mr. Wright is an orator. In the common sense of the term, he is not. We have never known him excited beyond his usual level of cool equanimity. He never declaims, he never addresses the passions, nor attempts to charm the imagination with the figures or embellishments of rhetoric. His voice is not melodious, though after listening to it for a short time it becomes not unpleasing. His enunciation is slow, but distinct and fluent. The same accurate logical precision characterizes his language and his thoughts. He is the most perfectly calm, methodical and logical speaker that we have ever listened to. His opinions are habitually marked by moderation-by a constant regard to the results of actual experience, as well as the dictates of an enlarged reason-by a fixed determination to be practical, at the same time that he is giving scope to the broadest general views. In his speeches there is nothing of the never-ceasing labors of Benton : nothing of the abstractions-the rapid and grand generalization— the intellectual exuberance-the eagerness and fiery breath, of Calhoun; nothing of the silver tones, the splendid amplification, of Clay; nor the rapid thoughts, the wit and pleasantry, of Crittenden. The eloquence of Mr. Wright bears the stamp of deep reflection, of firm counsels; and over every sentence which he utters there breathes a profound knowledge of the principles which he maintains. He states the question to be examined, as well as the positions which he assumes, with a clearness and force which gain the admiration of his adversaries; and when he replies, he makes his approaches like a skilful artillerist, who covers himself by a parapet or a case-mate when he is about to demolish the fortress of the enemy.
Mr. Wright is now, and has been for several of the last sessions of Congress, at the head of the Committee of Finance of the Senate; and never did any man discharge the duties of that elevated position with more indefatigable industry or greater ability.
It may gratify the curious to know the pursuits of Mr Wright, when at his own home and fireside. The writer is able to speak on this subject from the best authority. An officer of the highest command in our army, on being asked by the writer if he had seen Mr. Wright whilst on the northern frontier during the last summer and autumn, replied in the following short narrative:-"I had occasion to visit Canton in October, and as soon as I arrived I enquired for the residence of Mr. Wright. I was directed to a small neat cottage, whither I made my way; and on approaching it I saw a man with his coat off, wheeling a wheelbarrow along one of the walks of a very large garden which was attached to the house. As I came near, I discovered that the laborer was my friend
Wright. He received me with great cordiality; said that his gar den was cultivated mainly by his own hands, and that he was putting away his winter vegetables, and preparing to depart for Washington towards the last of the coming month. He further said, with the greatest apparent satisfaction, that he had recently purchased a farm, and intended to extend his agricultural operations. He was asked how large the farm was that he had purchased,-to which he said, twenty acres !-that either from natural inclination, or the effect of early habits, he was much devoted to the pure and simple pursuits and pleasures of the country."
Mr. Wright is hardly as yet in the flower of his age. From the foregoing details, it is more than probable that he has reached in the Senate only another of the resting places of his political march.
"We are the fools of time."-Manfred.
The dead and witching hour of night,' is passed,
I turn me from the place where thronging meet
And with the ready jest and thoughtless smile
Masking with outward show the cold heart's guile,
There's nothing that I see but I could love!
There's nought the world's great architect hath wrought,
To life and action, and inform with thought,
For the sweet wisdom by that beauty taught,
Or write upon the heavens, in lines of light'ning fire.
While the affrighted hills did quake and cower,
The awful accents of the tempest's Lord,-
Along the margin of broad Hudson's wave,
Were Dian and her nymphs who there did lave In the clear waters, which to heaven gave
Their mirrored beauties back; while murm'ring trees, Beneath the banks that rose in shadows grave, Bent o'er its bosom to the passing breeze, As from their wat'ry counterfeits a kiss to seize.
And of the brimming cup, that nature fills
With the ennobling essence which each part Of her most glorious workmanship distills,
I've deeply drank, till I forgot the smart Of a proud spirit and a restless heart,
In sweet oblivion of the troubled past;
Yields to the calm that binds his vessel fast,
Ah, he who hopes to find in woman's love
That happiness for which the heart doth yearn, Is like the star-watcher who looks above,
Where palely with an unknown light they burn, And as from star to star his eye doth turn,
Fancies them peopled all with beings bright!
He can but see the outward form and light,—
Where shall I turn-to friendship? I'm alone,
Companions have I few-and of that few, Beats not for me e'en in the breast of one
A throb of friendship pure, or feeling true, And were I to pour out, as here I do,
To them, the thoughts from truth and feeling born,
As rhapsodies unmeaning they would view
The fruitless wishes over which I mourn,
And meet with passing jest, or fool's distracting scorn.
Or if imagination soars aloft,
And half forgets the world in fancies high, Just as it breathes an inspiration soft,
And mid the clouds that on a sunset sky Flash back, as from earth's brightest jewelry, The thousand glories by the day-god given, A path of roseate brilliance can descry,
To the declining majesty of Heaven,
As thro' their shadowy piles it were for angels riven,
And while each faculty is strained to hear,
Expecting in high rapture that some sound, With deepest mysteries fraught, upon the ear
Will thrilling burst thro' the thick silence 'round,Then from foul fen and bog of earthly ground
Roll up the world's impurities-and all Wherein the soul had full expansion found,
Is hidden by the darkly shadowing pall
Wrought o'er our mental sight by our first father's fall!
But even when thus backward forced, and taught
A moment-it is gone-ere we can know
Its passage, while the frame thrills, and the eye
And thus we are "the fools of time,"-whatever
Such are we now-nor hath time ever been,
Rushed on its downward course with loosened rein,
And soar away from lowly perch and chain,
S. W. C