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tho standard of good taste and consistency, he is at liberty to vary his phraseology, or suppress them altogether. Not so with the unprepared orator; and if such a writer as Addison could, in a single sentence, make his muso a horse, and then a ship, and then launch his ship not into water, what indulgence ought not to be allowed to the ardour and rapidity of an extemporaneous address? We must not, howover, confound Mr. Rutledge with those injudicious rhetoricians, who fatigue themselves and their audience with perpetual efforts to shine; who cannot express a common idea in common language; who catch at every trope that flits across them; and who dash into mazes of metaphor, where they cannot see an inch before them, taking their chance of being disentangled, either as sublime or ridiculous. He had too much good sense and taste to indulge in such excesses, and was generally successful in this, the highest, but, at the same time, most hazardous species of eloquenre. He could not otherwiso, in an enlightened community, have acquired. and maintained the reputation of a speaker, which he constantly possessed, and which, after all, must be regarded by posterity as the most unequivocal proof of his merits. Ho was always smooth, fluent, animated, and very prompt at reply ; his voice was clear and loud, his action easy and graceful, and his countenance in the bighest degree prepossessing. To these qualities must be added that of character. Cicero says, “an orator must be a good man;" as the effect must be very different, where he is heard with suspicion and distrust, or with that favour and confidence, which a good character seldom fails to inspire.
He was said to address himself more to the passions than to the understanding, reflecting, no doubt, that although a man in searching after truth, and forming a resolution as to
the course he shall adopt, or the measures he shall recommend, cannot pursue too strict an analysis, yet the object of all eloquence being merely to induce others to act with us, if mankind be so constituted, that where one will listen to reason or close logic, twenty are led by their feelings, it is the part of an orator to make use of that language which is best adapted to his audience, that which is best understood, the most impressive, and most likely to ensure success. Accordingly, ingenious, as he certainly was, in argument, and perfectly capable of pursuing all the intricacies of the most elaborate discussions, yet with juries, and popular assemblies, or whenever the occasion permitted, he soon abandoned dry reasoning, and pursued the shorter road to the heart: it was there that he made bis most forcible appeals. Wherever indignation was to be roused or animosity allayed, or the sense of honour, of patriotism, or public spirit awakened, he was a most triumphant speaker ; but where objects of pity or distress presented themselves, and the tender passions were to be excited, he was superior to any of his contemporaries, and no one followed him but at a great distance.
The person of Mr. Rutledge was above the middle size, and inclining to corpulency; his complexion was florid and fair, and if not what would be termed a handsome man, the expression of his countenance was universally admired. He lost the greater part of his hair early in life, the remainder being perfectly white, and curling on his neck; so that had it not been for the goodness of his teeth, and the smoothness of his visage, and the fine flow of his spirits, he would have been considered a much older man than he was. His dress was always old-fashioned, and, although apparently indifferent about it, he certainly would never have suffered a tailor to clothe him in the usual, apparel of a man of his years. There was not the slightest affectation in this, but a man's consciousness of his age is proportioned to the activity and variety of his past life, and the scenes through which he has passed; hence his own appeared to himself to be longer than it was, according to the usual estimate. Being latterly afflicted with gout, his gait was infirm, and he walked with a cane: before he was debilitated by this disease, his step was steady and quick, his arms usually folded across his breast, or his hands interlocked behind. His general demeanor was serene and composed, and when in a sitting posture, he usually rested his chin upon his hand, as if in serious contemplation. Colonel Trumbull's small picture of the Declaration of Independence contains a good likeness of him ; in the large portrait it is said not to be exactly preserved.
Shortly after the arrival of Mr. Rutledge from Europe, he married Harriet, daughter of Henry Middleton, one of his colleagues in the the congress of 1774-1775, and who succeeded Peyton Randolph, as president of that body. By this lady he left a son, major Henry M. Rutledge of Tennessec, and a daughter now resident at Charleston. Upon the death of his first wife, he married Mary, now living. daughter of Thomas Shubrick, and widow of Nicholas Eveleigh, formerly comptroller of the treasury of the United States, by the appointincnt of general Washington.