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of these, William Peyton, whom his father had always held up to him as a model worthy of imitation, a letter going over the whole ground. He would leave this with him for perusal, and call the next day to ascertain what he thought of the advice it contained. It must be remembered that the affair had caused so much unpleasantness in Mr. B's. family, that Alexander was virtually banished from the paternal roof and was staying at the house of a relative in the neighbourhood. Two days after this interview he called on his father, and was greatly surprised and delighted to receive a friendly reception. The old man said he had been
impressed than with the good sense and right feeling of William Peyton's views, that they had brought him back to his good sense and completely changed his mind. I no longer oppose, said he, your union with woman
who is worthy of you, simply because she is poor, one whom you love so tenderly, and who returns your affection. A wise man has said, continued Mr. B., that he who has one friend is fortunate and ought to be happy.
happy. You, my son have a true friend in William Peyton—cherish him. If I felt that you would be guided by his counsel and advice throughout life, I should have less regret in giving up the ghost. Promise me that you will at least always consult him when in trouble. His son was not slow in making this promise, and, receiving the blessing of his father, hastened to communicate the happy news to his affianced
bride. They were married soon after. Mr. and Mrs. B. survive, surrounded by a numerous offspring, the learned Mr. B. an ornament to his profession and an honour to his State. The dear friend, William Peyton, to whom they owe so much sleeps under the green sod, but his memory yet lives and is hallowed in the recollection of all those who knew him.
FINDING, after a further residence of a year at the Hot Springs, that the climate was not good for his health, nor the society congenial to his tastes, he made sale of that valuable property to. Dr. Samuel Goode, of Mecklenburg, receiving from him in part payment an extensive landed estate in Botetourt. Shortly after he removed to that county, which is situated in one of the most favoured agricultural sections of Virginia, and in a part of the country remarkable for its picturesque scenery, pure air, and cultivated society.
He resided there, with the 'exception of a few years spent on the tributaries of the Kenawha river, developing the wealth of his coal property almost down to the period of his death. He kept a large establishment, dispensing a generous hospitality, and was surrounded much of the time by the learned and accomplished gentlemen of the state. The charms and variety of his conversation, and the polite animation of his manners and address, made him the delight of his guests and companions. In the county society of Botetourt and Roanoke, he soon became the chief object. All paid him that deference and respect which seemed due to his superior nature. Among the most noted in this society, all of whom the writer remembers to have seen at his dinners, were Edward Watts, James L. Woodville, Harry Bowyer, Charles Burrell, William Radford, Dr. John B. Taylor, Cary Breckenridge, Major Benjamin Howard Peyton, Governor Floyd, Hon. William B. Preston, General Robert Preston, Charles Beale, George Taylor, Alexander P. Eskridge, Colonel Edmondson, The Right Rev. Mr. Wilmer, Bishop of Georgia, Colonel Wm. Lynn · Lewis, Major Oliver, Edward Valentine, J. R. Anderson, George Shanks, Dr. Griffeth, Thomas C. Read, and Mr. Langhorne
Some of these gentlemen, though residing in the adjoining county of Montgomery, were near enough to come on occasions of a dinner party. Among his guests from a distance, some of them making him an annual summer visit, were the late Governors of Virginia, General Campbell, James McDowell, James P. Preston and J. B. Floyd, the Honourables W. C. Rives, John M. Botts, Wm. L. Goggin, Wm. Taylor, Alexr. Rives, Thomas W. Gilmer, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Messrs. Chas. L. Mosby, William Radford, James E. Bruce, Vincent Witcher, Thos. W. Flornoy, Dabney C. T. Davis, John Howard, James P. Halcombe, Walter Preston, James Lyons, Charles Carter Lee, General Brenard Peyton, Randolph Harrison, Colonel A. S. Gray, Revd. Peyton Harrison, all choice spirits. The reader already knows what a polished man was Colonel Peyton, and will not wonder at the admirable skill with which he played the part of host—a part so difficult to sustain. At that early period of my life, when I had a seat at his table (and he always insisted on my being present on every occasion of a dinner party), I was struck and delighted at the ease with which he dissipated the constraint and reserve which usually prevail during a form al dinner. He addressed his guests alternately speaking to each concerning those subjects upon which he could expect a ready answer, and by a kind of intuition elicited from each the qualities in which he most excelled. Gentlemen sought his society for the pleasure and improvement to be derived from his conversation, to consult him upon State or Federal politics, and not to “banquet and drain the bowl.” The scenes at his house recalled to my mind Florence and those merchant statesmen and munificent patrons of learning, the Medici.*
* In 1453, Constantinople was taken by the Turks. Its walls had sustained the fortunes of the Eastern Empire nearly 1000 years; that Empire now fell. The news of this event spread terror throughout Europe, nevertheless it proved to be among the things which "work together for good to them that love God.” All that could escape, fled before the conquering Ottomans, and carried westward all they could save of the accumulated treasure of Greece; and the outcast were gladly received at Florence, which was at that time the resort of all. who had a taste for learning and the arts. Cosmo de Medici, who had no hereditary nobility to boast, had risen to the highest place of anthority in the State ; his family had commercial establishments in all the chief cities of Europe, and the wealth thus acquired he shared with the poorest of his fellow citizens, and expended in improving his city, supporting learned men, and collecting all kinds of literary treasures ; large numbers of persons were engaged in the costly and tedious labour of tanscribing MSS, which were so highly valued that a copy of Livy, sent by Cosmo to the King of Naples, was the means of healing a breach between them.