and his modest hospitality was prompt and hearty.
He loved homage, and it made him blind; to those who flattered him he gave his confidence freely, and often unwisely; and while he watched the general movement of affairs with comprehensive sagacity, he was never a calm observer of individual men. He was of the choleric temperament: though his frame was compact and large, yet from physical organization he was singularly sensitive; could break out into uncontrollable rage, and with all his acquisitions, never learned to rule his own spirit; but his anger did not so much drive him to do wrong, as to do right ungraciously.
No man was less fitted to gain his end by arts of indirection; he knew not how to intrigue, was indiscreetly talkative, and almost thought aloud; whenever he sought to win an uncertain person to his support, his ways of courtship were uncouth, so that he made few friends except by his weight of character, ability, public spirit, and integrity, was unapt as the leader of a party, and never appeared so well as when he acted from himself.
Hating intolerance in all its forms, an impassioned lover of civil liberty, as the glory of man and the best evidence and the best result of civilization, he, of all men in congress, was incomparable as a dogmatist; essentially right-minded; loving to teach with authority; pressing onward unsparingly with his argument; impatient of contradiction; unequalled as a positive champion of the right.
He was the Martin Luther
of the American
revolution, borne on to utter his convictions fearlessly by an impulse which forbade his acting otherwise.
He was now too much in