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OLD MEMBERS OF THE CALHOUN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTY BARS

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

His personal appearance was faultless; he was at once commanding and graceful, just above the medium height and compactly built. A fine eye lighted up a classic head and face. "His voice was both clear and full; its lowest tones distinctly heard in cadences of peculiar charm, while in its highest compass it captivated all with its Ciceronian flow. " There was a persuasive eloquence in the movement of his lips. This was before the day of the moustache, or the habit of public speakers wearing a hirsute mask over the mouth, concealing the expression of the lips, the smile, and the entire facial language, which constitutes the charm and soul of delivery. There was something peculiarly pleasing in Stuart's countenance and features, "something indicative of intellect, humor and good sense. " And, in support of all these merits, was a suavity of temper that seemed to set at defiance all attempts to ruffle or discompose it. His cause or his client never suffered from his rashness, legal tricks, or abuse, or severity to a witness or an opponent, so much in vogue among lawyers nowadays, for, in the hottest contests with his professional foes, he never lost poise or temper, but, even when hardest pushed, evinced a moderation that was wonderful. From this arose much of his success as an advocate.
It has generally been acknowledged that, in those forensic contests with his opponents he wielded a blade whose ring and gleam, and cut proved it to be of genuine Damascus steel. He never used manuscript or notes. In the most complicated trial his retentive memory held all the evidence. Stuart's genius had led him to the study of law, and he had followed that genius so closely that it revealed to him the secret to success in his chosen profession, thus enabling him to master all its difficulties, and to win the highest honors attainable in that profession.

Michigan


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