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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 25. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Sergeant Smith Prentiss and his career. (search)
s two-fold: that we may be supposed to have assigned to Prentiss a higher order of abilities than he possessed; and, in the second place, that we have presented for undistinguishing admiration, a character, some of the elements of which do not deserve to be admired or imitated—and, indeed, which are of most perilous example, especially to warm-blooded youth. As to the first objection, we feel sure that we are not mistaken, and even did we distrust our own judgment, we would be confirmed by Sharkey, Boyd, Williamson, Guion, Quitman, to say nothing of the commendations of Clay, Webster and Calhoun, the immortal three, whose opinions as to Prentiss' talents would be considered extravagant if they did not carry with them the imprimatur of their own great names. But we confess to the danger implied in the second suggestion. With all our admiration for Prentiss-much as his memory is endeared to us, however, the faults of his character and the irregularities of his life may be palliated b