A Wonderful Memory
His memory, as we have noted it in his career as a lawyer, was truly a marvelous gift. Whatever once left its impress on the tablets of his sensitive brain seemed fixed there for all the future, to be retained until recalled.
Shakespeare and Burns were so familiar to him that he had them by heart, as we say, and he could and did quote whole scenes and acts almost without an error, as one would read it from the printed page. I have heard him say if most of the plays of the one and poems of the other should be lost of record, he could substantially restore them. And it was the same with countless selections he had acquired from the world’s greatest thinkers and writers.
He almost deified Shakespeare, and among other tributes to that wonderful genius, said: “Shakespeare was an intellectual ocean, whose waves touched all the shores of thought; within which were all the tides and waves of destiny and will; over which swept all the storms of fate, ambition and revenge; upon which fell the gloom and darkness of despair and death and all the sunlight of content and love, and within which was the inverted sky lit with the eternal stars – an intellectual ocean – toward which all rivers ran, and from which now the isles and continents of thought receive their dew and rain.”