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our Fathers :-“They know (said he, speaking of the People of England) better than any other people upon earth, how to value, at the same time, these three great advantages, RELIGION, COMMERCE and LIBERTY!”
THE HONOURABLE ROGER B. TANEY,
Chief-JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES.
I had the pleasure of seeing the Chief Justice at Baltimore, in July: he was from home and occupied; but on my being presented, immediately accompanied me to his house, and indulged myself and my Doctor with an interview. I asked many questions relating to the forms of government, to legal institutions, the tendency of certain political questions then pending, &c. The Judge explained all with that professional clearness and precision which makes the most intricate matter easy, and that courteous patience which encourages the ignorant to further inquiry. I thought there was great originality in all his remarks; his opinions were his own, and exhibited much breadth and power of thought, and an entire freedom from
prejudice. In speaking of several distinguished men, he alluded particularly to Mr. Webster, of whom he said, “Mr. Webster, when animated, is the first of living orators.” In political principle he is firmly attached to the Democratic band, and was appointed by General Jackson to the offices of Attorney-General of the United States in 1831 ; of Secretary of the Treasury in 1833; and of Chief Justice in 1835.
When in Court he has the appearance of an invalid; he is thin, and pale, and stoops, and looks as if his midnight lamp had waned less often on his slumber, than on severe and laborious study. He looks, in fact, like the Chief-Judge of all the Land; like him upon whose anxious head reposes the trust of millions, and presses the daily and the nightly burthen of ceaseless responsibility. But this delicate, and care-worn, and almost suffering aspect, disappears in society, and his manners and conversation are cheerful and animated : so kind, so familiar did he seem, so well at once to know me, that I still reproach myself for not seeking his friendship before I was already on the wing for England. But, as if penetrating my
thoughts, he said on parting, “I knew well who you were in Washington, and I often wished to call upon you; I was then much harassed with professional business, and could not ; but remember, Madam, when you return among us, that I shall claim my privilege of renewing and encouraging this intercourse between us. And may Heaven be your guide across the ocean, to your home, and to your country!” How truly was this benediction in accordance with that spirit of affectionate good will so universal in the Catholic Church ;—for the present head of the Law in America, the Fountain of Justice, the Moderator appointed by the Constitution between the citizen and the ruler, the Judge of the ChiefMagistrate himself, should the President be arraigned of High Treason ;-Roger B. Taney, ChiefJustice of the United States, is a professor of the Roman Catholic Religion. He is attached with fervent zeal to that ancient, learned, and enduring Faith, whose disciples have excelled all others in divine and in human knowledge, and he is a native of that Catholic Maryland whose glorious destiny appointed her the first among believing nations to