This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 and very mobile features. Incongruities seemed to meet in him, and he himself seemed to enjoy them, and liked to hear them mentioned. He was tall, erect, and well built,—yet his health was delicate, he had little physical strength, and seemed to move by his nerves rather than by his muscles. His face had always a youthful look, despite his increasing baldness. His voice, in speaking, was rather jarring and metallic,—I always fancied it might resemble Shelley's,—yet in singing it was melodious and beautiful. His verbal utterance was hurried and somewhat confused, yet his style of composition was rather elaborate, and his handwriting unusually clear and regular. In his manners an uneasy self-consciousness was singularly mingled with real power. And every peculiarity seemed to open the way to some other peculiarity, so that the very groundwork of his nature seemed bizarre and fantastic, while all its main tendencies were essentially noble. He wrote verses easily and smoothly, had a good deal of musical taste, and a faculty for floriculture that seemed akin to genius. He was too vivacious and sociable to be a student; but his memory was well stored and ready for action, though rather loose and inaccurate. He hated argument, and always rather preferred the deferential society of men younger than himself, or his inferiors in culture. To such he was often very dazzling; for with great apparent mental activity and unbounded fluency he combined a real kindness of heart and desire to do everything for everybody, limited only by a decided love of change. He was easy of address,—perhaps too easy, —and had a horror of being thought dignified, of which, however, there was small danger. Of course, he was essentially a reformer. Moral courage cost him no effort, for he liked to be conspicuous and startling; and his free exercise of this virtue, together with his own taste for variety, kept him constantly in motion among the parishes, so that some one christened him ‘the flying prophet.’ As a preacher he was eloquent, rather than satisfactory, and was often the object of great enthusiasm among his congregations, especially during the first weeks of his stay. He was settled for periods varying in length, at
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.