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[50] succession, after the various members of the family, spoke feelingly and familiarly of old Humphrey Marshall, and at last asked if the gentleman was acquainted with Henry Clay. On Marshall replying in the affirmative, the colored gentleman began to tell, in a voice intended for the little crowd of listeners who had gathered around, some reminiscences of Clay, one of which he began by the remark, ‘When I was in Congress with Mr. Clay—’ ‘You in Congress with Mr. Clay?’ interrupted Marshall—‘you in Congress?’ ‘Yes, sir; Yes, sir. My name is Tom Corwin.’ ‘Tom Corwin?’ exclaimed Marshall. ‘Excuse me, my dear sir, but I thought you were some runaway negro.’

As an orator Mr. Marshall was one of the most powerful and fascinating that ever spoke from a platform in the West. Wherever he was announced to speak crowds thronged to hear him. He was impassioned, magnetic, fluent—at times almost choked with the rushing multitude of his words. He had a high opinion of the oratorical art—of what he called a ‘perfect speech.’ Here, in a condensed form, was his idea of a great speech, as near as we can formulate it:

A great speech is a great work of art, and all great works of art are the outcome of one coherent, harmonious, well-proportioned whole—one single conception. The all—important fundamental fault of most ‘orations’ is the failure to perceive this, or else the failure to act on the perception. It is in oratory as it is in architecture and painting; there are certain features to be brought out in strong, bold prominence, and upon these all the forces at command may be lavished. All other features are merely subsidiary and must be placed in abeyance. In every great speech there are certain ‘points’ to be wrought up to, to be prepared for. It is only at these points that really great orators give full play to their powers. They reserve their strength, their voice, their language, their gesticulation, and all their passion for them. Even here, “in the very torrent, tempest and whirlwind of their passion,” they must, if they are to rise to the very height of their great art, endeavor to “acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.” Where you may find a hundred men ready of tongue, fluent of action, able in argument, and solid in matter, you will not find more than one, at the most, who can thus make all his powers combine in the production of a real work of art—a well-proportioned speech.

In person Mr. Marshall was tall and commanding in appearance, measuring six feet and two inches, erect and well-proportioned. He

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