This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 splendid charities, but also by the readiness with which, when the crops failed, he constantly forgave the rent to those small farmers who paid in kind, and thus quietly abridged his own income to the extent, sometimes, of tens of thousands of dollars. Wadsworth had excellent natural powers of mind, but little academic cultivation. His intellectual ability was developed rapidly in the latter years of his life. He was an original thinker. His judgment was always clear and sound; but he disliked the details of business and the petty cares of an office. He seized with great quickness the point of a law question, or any other matter which was the subject of his reading or conversation. He also was a capital judge of character, and had the art, which distinguishes many leading minds, of sifting the knowledge of those who engaged in discussions with him, by putting a few pointed questions. No one had more tact than he in talking with the farmers of his neighborhood. He rode about among them on his small pony in the most simple and unpretending manner, and his advice had always an important influence in forming and directing their opinions. He was entirely free from all false pride. He never, directly or indirectly, boasted of his wealth or his connections. In his manners he was simple, cordial, and unaffected. Mr. Lothrop Motley says of him, in a letter which I have read: ‘I have often thought and spoken of him as the true, original type of the American gentleman,— not the pale, washed-out copy of the European aristocrat.’ In his dress and equipage he observed a simplicity which was almost Spartan. He had no trinkets or curiosities of the toilet. He was extremely temperate in eating and drinking, and despised all the epicureanism of the table. He was now in the flower of his age. His figure was tall, well-proportioned, and firmly knit. The glance of his gray eye was keen and determined. His Roman features were well rounded, and his hair, which had become prematurely white, added to the nobility of his expression. Such is an imperfect outline sketch of the man and of his
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.