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“ household; may you be more favoured than we “ have been, and keep them all.”
During the service, Mr. Clay leaned his face down upon his hands, which rested on his stick, in the attitude in which he has been painted. He almost constantly carried in his hand a full blown rose, with a short stem, and frequently addressed himself to its perfumed cup. I, too, am a passionate lover of the fragrance of flowers.
On our return to Ashland, the members of Mr. Clay's family, residing in the neighbourhood, had all assembled at the parent house; an infant grand daughter, his very image, with light blue eyes, and bright complexion, climbed upon his knee when he sat down, and thence ascended to his shoulder, and put her arm around his neck, and played with his hair, and kissed his head and face
And when he walked, she clasped his knees ; and he called her “ Sophy,” in the softest accents ever heard, and she ran away in childish playfulness, so to be called again.
And now the hour of parting had arrived; and we took leave of this attractive group.
Mr. Clay handed me to the carriage; and, holding
both my hands in the strong grasp of friendship, “Let us trust,” said he, “that we may meet again, “either here or elsewhere; and send those boys of “yours to St. Louis, and let them come to me, " and I will do all I can for them; and God in “ Heaven bless you." Such were his farewell words, and still they linger on my ear, and still they dwell in my heart.
As the carriage swept through the trees, I turned to look once more at Ashland, and Henry Clay still stood upon the threshold
This illustrious American was born April 12, 1777, in Hanover County, Virginia, in a neighbourhood called “The Slashes” (a swamp).
“ The millboy of the Slashes," a name which has kindled so much sentiment in the bosoms of the American people, and the mimicry of which constituted a part of every public political pageant of the Whig party in the Presidential campaign of 1844, and which will still be poetic when the generation which first felt its power shall have passed awaywhich, indeed, will never cease to be so, while poetry is natural to man-had its foundation in the filial
and fraternal duty of Henry Clay, who, after he was big enough, was seen, whenever the meal barrel was low, going to and fro on the road between his mother's house and Mrs. Darricott's mill, on the Pamunkey river, mounted on a bag that was thrown across a pony that was guided by a rope bridle; and thus he became familiarly known, by the people living on the line of his travel, as “ The millboy of the Slashes.”
The following extract from his early history is given in his own words :
“In looking back upon my origin and progress through life, I have great reason to be thankful. My father died in 1781, leaving me an infant of too tender years to retain any
recollection of his smiles or endearments. My surviving parent removed to this State in 1792, leaving me, a boy of fifteen years of age, in the office of the High Court of Chancery, in the city of Richmond, without guardian, without pecuniary means of support, to steer my course as I might or could. lected education was improved by my own irregular exertions, without the benefit of systematic instruction. I studied law principally in the office
of a lamented friend, the late Governor Brooke, then Attorney General of Virginia, and also under the auspices of the venerable and lamented Chancellor Wythe, for whom I had acted as amanuensis, I obtained a license to practise the profession from the Judges of the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and established myself in Lexington, in 1797, without patrons, without the favour or countenance of the great or opulent, without the means of paying my weekly board, and in the midst of a bar uncommonly distinguished by eminent members. I remember how comfortable I thought I should be if I could make one hundred pounds, Virginia money, per year, and with what delight I received the first fifteen Shillings fee. My hopes were more than realized. I immediately rushed into a successful and lucrative practice.”
Mr. Clay, whenever disengaged from public duties, practised the law with distinguished success; it is said that no client, in peril of life, ever addressed himself to the zeal and abilities of this unwearied advocate without being saved.
Early in life Mr. Clay became a Statesman, and his familiarity with public events, at periods of
great national excitement, chastened his ardent character, and expanded his judgment. The conciliatory spirit of this able leader has, on various occasions, been eminently useful in calming the panics of the country, and in pouring oil upon the troubled waters of her Councils.
Mr. Clay was one of the five Commissioners sent to Ghent, in 1814: he was attached to the war party.
Coinciding without reserve, as I do, with Mr. Calhoun, in the grand doctrine of Nullification, I still behold the patriotic efforts of Mr. Clay to produce a Compromise, and thus to restore the internal peace of the country, with the highest admiration.
“ I rise on this occasion,” said Mr. Clay in the Senate, “ actuated by no motives of a private nature, by no personal feelings, and for no personal objects; but exclusively in obedience to a sense of the duty which I owe to my country-I am anxious to find out some principle of mutual accommodation, to satisfy, as far as practicable, both parties. As I stand before my God, I declare, I have looked beyond those considerations