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 half loaf. His mind was eminently practical. He did not seek to tear down institutions, but to build up, to preserve what was good, to develop so as to gain a basis for national growth and the constant betterment of the masses. He opposed all class legislation. He was a friend to vested rights and to property and compacts. Peace, conciliation, fair argument, a study of the harmonies of our system—these were the weapons of his intellectual armory. The lessons of history were impressed into the very web and woof of his mind. Had he lived in the days of Jefferson, that great man would have called on him no less than on Madison to employ his fertile mind and ready pen to expound those doctrines of liberty and constitutional freedom which have made a great school of thought, destined to live as long as this republic shall survive. More than any one whom I have known in civic trusts, Mr. Hunter reminds me of the distinguished men of that revolutionary period—men strong, learned, composed, equal to any trust; who did not derive honor from office, but who dignified and ennobled public station. We have not had the great privilege of looking on the faces of those who built that wonderful edifice of free, constitutional government; but it is something to have known, as you and I have done, one who embodied so well in his character, mind, and purposes the best traditions of the heroic period of our republic, suggesting, as it does, the fervent, assured hope that the admiration of public virtue, which so deeply animates our people will bear rich fruit in after years, and continue to bring forth in every crisis that may come worthy men to serve the State and uphold the fame of Virginia.
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