Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> An Oration on the Life, Character, and Services of John Caldwell Calhoun, Delivered on the 21st November 1850, in Charleston, S.C., at the Request of the City Council >> Page 290

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Page 290

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 290
try lent its excitement to every pulsation of his heart.
" If I could have," he said, as his end drew near, " If I
could have one hour more to speak in the Senate, I
could do more good than on any past occasion of my
life."
He expired tranquilly on the morning of the 31st
of March.
The deep and poignant grief which pervaded our
State on the announcement of this event, although it
was not unexpected, I will not attempt to depict.
Your own hearts retain and cherish a recollection of
it, more vivid and more durable than could be re-
called, or impressed by any words of mine. The same
feelings seemed to penetrate almost every portion of
the Union. Since the death of Washington, no similar
event, it is generally agreed, has produced a sensation
so profound and universal. Envy and malice, sectional
hostility and party persecution, seemed to be instantly
extinguished. His real greatness was at once fully
acknowledged, and all united in paying the highest
honors to his memory.
Mr. Calhoun's moral character, as exhibited to the
public, was of the Roman stamp. Lofty in his senti-
ments, stern in his. bearing, inflexible in his opinions,
there was no sacrifice he would not have made with-
out a moment's hesitation, and few that he did not
make, to his sense of duty and his love of country. As
a Consul, he would have been a Publicola,—as a
Censor, Cato as a Tribune, Gracchus. He was often
denounced for his ambition, but his integrity was never
questioned. " Ambition is," as Mr. Burke justly
said, " the malady of every extensive genius." Mr.
Calhoun's enemies believed that it infected him to an