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[44] have voted against General Washington himself, and that the territory between the Sabine and the Rio Grande, and stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, was worth more to the United States than four year's administration of the government by any man who ever had been or ever would be born.

In 1846 Mr. Marshall raised a troop of cavalry, was chosen captain, and served in that capacity in Mexico for twelve months. He made a gallant soldier, but, without fault of his, lost the opportunity of taking part in the battle of Buena Vista. After the war he returned to his native State. A convention was soon after called to revise the Constitution of Kentucky. He was a candidate for a seat in that body, and was beaten, because he was strongly in favor of reviving his old favorite, the law against the importation of slaves into the State, which had been repealed and which he desired to incorporate into the Constitution as part of the fundamental law.

In 1850 the question of the adoption or rejection of the new Constitution was to be submitted to the people. Some of the most talented men in the State arrayed themselves against its adoption. Among these was Mr. Marshall. As editor of a newspaper published at Frankfort, called the ‘Old Guard,’ he came into the battle champing like a war steed, his whole armor on, impatient to measure strength with the most dauntless champions of the new Constitution. In a series of leading editorials, addressed ‘To the people of Kentucky,’ he gave the proposed Constitution a most thorough and searching analysis. To use one of his own expressions, he ‘struck at it, root and branch; he raked it—hull, mast and rigging.’ These letters show conclusively that Mr. Marshall was as skilful in the use of the pen as he had proved himself to be in the use of the tongue. Edmund Burke once told a friend his idea of a truly fine sentence. ‘It consists,’ said he, ‘in a union of thought, feeling, and imagery of a striking truth, and a corresponding sentiment rendered doubly striking by the force and beauty of figurative language.’ Mr. Marshall seems to have had the same idea of a ‘fine sentence.’ In his writings and speeches will be found sentences without number modelled upon this just conception. Indeed, all through life he paid the greatest attention to his literary style. He elaborated it with great care, and hence was acquired that remarkable production—‘the last work of combined study and genius—’ his rich, clear, correct, harmonious and weighty style of prose. And it was always perspicuous; you could look through the crystal water of the style down to the golden sands of the thought.

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