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classical scholar, quick in quotation, and fond of drawing comparisons; he is curious in seeking the motives of men, and has frequently given me the key of the characters of those around us with much acuteness and felicity; and I have ever found him inclined to praise rather than to censure. He has no secrets, and can keep none; the only error of his nature being an uncontrollable impulse to utter at once, regardless of time and place, the thing he feels, or knows, or even suspects. If this excess of candour sometimes leads him beyond the bounds of caution, it displays also the most noble and most generous sentiments that can animate the breast of man; open to conviction, ready to acknowledge an indiscretion, and earnest to ask as he is happy to grant forgiveness, his character exhibits all the warm uncalculating sensibilities of youth. Equally would he suffer and regret with the offending Son of Holy Writ; equally would he rejoice and forgive like the tender Father. Headlong and rash, et brave comme son épée, three score years and three have failed to cool that hot impetuous blood, which dances rather than flows in his veins; but again, a silken cord can lead him;
can check his haste and curb his anger; and induce him to feel and practise the magnanimity of forbearance. To me he accorded his constant, unreserved, and most intimate confidence; and I declare, and solemnly as I hope for mercy, that the breast of Ingersoll is guiltless of all wilful malice, and free from all vindictive passions; but happier would he be had he more cunning to be more discreet. This much I trust he will permit from me, in all the sincerity of affection and respect. So gentle, so easily affected is he, that I have sometimes invented a pathetic story that I might see my Guardian weep; and on a public occasion, one of the most interesting of my life, the emotion which he who sat at my side displayed, was among the most touching events of that proud and happy day.* In a serious indisposition which I suffered from at Baltimore, he spent two days with me, and most faithfully discharged the responsibilities he had so kindly undertaken ; providing in
every way for my comfort, and sustaining my spirits with cheerful and unwearied solicitude. The obedient creature of his feelings, he is exquisitely
* A Dinner given to me by the Ladies at Washington.
alive to friendship, and gives utterance in the presence of those he loves, to all his thoughts ; he will listen to their objections to his views or intentions, candidly reply to them, and will often accept and act upon the advice of those younger and inferior to himself, when he knows that true regard has prompted it.
From the above it may be inferred how interesting is the Chairman in private life. When first I knew him, he was possessed of all the relationships of kindred that man can create for himself, or that he inherits at his birth; he fulfilled the duties of a son, a husband, brother, father, and grandfather. In June he was summoned to Philadelphia to attend the death bed of his mother; I saw him immediately on his return to Washington; the harassing events of the Session of Congress had failed to depress his spirits, or to affect his health ; they had no power upon his elastic and spirited character; but his mother's death subdued the heart of Ingersoll ; he returned to Washington so changed in aspect, so full of grief, that it made one mournful to look upon his face. “My spirits are almost at ebb; but it is
not their wont thus to continue long." So writes he in a letter which I shortly afterwards received from him; but he never resumed his cheerfulness while I remained in America.
In his habits and manners, and in his tastes, he is fastidious to a curious degree; admiring the beautiful in every form, the slightest departure from the moralities and proprieties of educated society disgust and irritate him. Temperate, or rather abstemious in his diet, simple in his forms of life, he prefers the modest, though well appointed table, spread with frugal fare, around which echo wit and sense, to all the stupid and oppressive luxuries of ostentatious wealth. He is an early riser, and a pattern of industry, constantly getting up at four o'clock in the morning to employ himself in business or in study; and then returning to these pursuits, after a slight breakfast, until nine or ten, when he repairs to the Committee Rooms, and thence to the House of Representatives, where he often conducted me. At half-past three the House adjourns, and at four, Mr. Ingersoll generally dined with me and the Doctor, in the Ladies' Ordinary, at Coleman's
Hotel. The evenings were variously spent, sometimes at the Drawing Room, sometimes at the numerous entertainments given in Washington, sometimes in friendly visits to the Observatory, and often to the Rev. Mr. Matthews, the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Baltimore. And here let me pay a tribute of esteem to that most able and excellent man; venerable by his years and his virtues, learned, and pious, and wise, long may he yet remain to grace society, and to be a pillar of that most Holy Church which he professes. We generally reached home about nine, and separated to meet again the following day on the same terms of friendly intercourse.
Charles Ingersoll is a Democrat of the first water, and is the leader of his party in the Lower House ; he is a Member of long standing, and of tried fidelity to his State.* “ Beshrew me !" quoth he, but I do love the blind Giant as she is called."
In most of his political tenets (I do not allude to particular events, but to general prin
* Mr. Charles J. Ingersoll has been elected a representative in the next Congress, for his old district, in the State of Pennsylvania by the largest majority he ever had.