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transcends learning, and of which learning is merely the faithful servant; his judgment strong and clear; his impartiality and love of justice the dominating characteristic of a mind essentially judicial, both by temperament and training.
His judicial opinions are models of clear and admirable statement; with a just and helpful use of apt authorities, yet not over-burdened with citations; discriminating analysis, and illuminated by sound reason which goes to the very heart of the subject and makes clear the principles of justice upon which the decision is based. His opinions rendered as a member of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, rank with the greatest of that great Court; as a member of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, he took with Judge Taft and other associates, an equal part in the work of the formative period which established for that Court, a reputation unexcelled, throughout the United States; and as a member of the Supreme Court of the United States, he worthily maintained the traditions of his two great predecessors from Tennessee-Justices Catron and Jackson. He won by his high and efficient services an enduring place, among the great judges, who have made illustrious that august tribunal; his opinions as a member of each of these Courts are imperishable monuments of his learning and wisdom, and have become part of the permanent foundations upon which the complete and majestic structure of law and justice is ever slowly but surely building.
In his relations to the members of the bar, he was an ideal judge; a model of the presiding officer of a Court, courteous and patient in hearing, cordial and sincere in both his personal and official relations, he exemplified in an unusual degree, the qualities of a judge demanded by the ancient Visigothic Code, when it declared that he should be quick of perception, firm of purpose, clear in judgment, no respector of person, and assiduous in the performance of his duties. His judicial labors to him were a source of serene pleasure, bringing joy in the performance of well done duty.
The temple of Justice was to him "An hallowed place"; its ministry a sacred service. He observed these four things which, in the words of Socrates, belong to a judge; he heard courteously, answered wisely, considered soberly, and decided impartially. He obeyed literally, the injunction of Moses to the Judges: To
judge righteously between his fellow men and respect not persons in judgment; he possessed that integrity which, saith Lord Bacon, is the judge's portion and proper virtue.
We deeply mourn the loss of this illustrious citizen, upright, learned and distinguished judge, and steadfast and faithful minister of justice. And in token of our sorrow, and in honor of his memory—
BE IT RESOLVED, That these resolutions be entered upon the minutes of this association; that copies be presented to the Supreme Court of Tennessee, and the United States District Court sitting at Knoxville, with the request that they be entered upon their minutes; and that a suitably engrossed copy thereof be sent by the Secretary to his bereaved family, to whom we extend our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy.
EDWARD T. SANFORD,
W. A. HENDERSON,
L. D. SMITH,
CHAS. T. CATES, JR.,
VON A. HUFFAKER,
The graphic, grim, yet poetically beautiful lines of Horace translated freely, are:
"Pale death with equal pace and impartial fate,
Knocks at the cottage door and palace gate."
Bringing this said simile to our hearts today, we find that death has knocked at the same time, both at the cottage door and palace gate-at the cottage door, for in the heart and life of Walter Malone were dwelling all of those kind, lovable and simple graces which modestly adorn the humble home, and through the windows of which the sunlight of pure and gentle
influences always shine. His heart was indeed the home of kindness, love and charity from which went in and out messengers of sympathy, bearing to all words of hope and giving to all, the balm of sweetest solace. Carrying the figure further, we find the palace gate, and royalty reigning within, majestic in its very simplicity. A heart and soul and mind of lofty purpose, a very temple indeed upon the walls of which on every side were hung pictures of beauty, by rarest inspiration wrought; loftier in their meaning, more loyal in their worth, and lasting in their effect, than the cold statuary and the fading frescoes of marble halls.
He of whom we write was once a country lad, a "whistling boy," unknown beyond the circumscribed horizon of his birth and boyhood. He of whom we write thereafter passed beyond the confines of the corn and cotton fields, the green pastures, the woodlands, brooks and hills and the rural roads which led to and from his country school. He passed beyond all these into the broader highway which led him on until he became known by his poetic gems and crowning epic, all over this beautiful land of ours, from its center all around to the lakes and the gulf and the seas on either shore.
A biographical sketch of his life need not be long. His life was short, measured by years. His life was long, numbering his days by the work he did, by the fame he earned, by the charities he wrought, by the elevating influences which his beautiful thoughts and benedictions had projected, in sweetest verse, in varied form, lyric, pastoral and epic. His life was not marked or marred by thrilling episodes. He moved on and on, up and up, without fickleness of fortune and failure, and without vicissitudes of alternating hope and despair. While doubtless at times and for the moment, elation and depression were felt in his sensitive soul, when contemplating the work he had done, and the greater work still to do, yet, we may truly say, he had no occasion to lament with the poet, who said:
"Ah! how hard it is to climb
The steep, where fame's proud temple shines afar,
He was the son of Dr. Franklin Jefferson Malone and Mary Louisa Hardin. His father had been a surgeon in the Mexican War, and a member of the first Constitutional Convention of Mississippi after the Civil War. He died January 24th, 1873, when Walter was only seven years old, the youngest of nine children. His mother survived to a good old age, dying January 24th, 1901, in her seventy-eighth year. Four brothers and one sister are left to mourn his loss, and to enjoy reflected light from his splendid life.
He was born in DeSoto County, Mississippi, February 10th, 1866, nearby the Tennessee line, and adjoining the County of Shelby. And so it is, these two States may jointly claim him as their own. He first saw the sunlight in the one, and by reason of proximity, he first breathed the circumambient air of both. He trod their adjoining fields and waysides, romping and whistling and gathering inspiration from the singing birds and wild flowers along the way when passing over the border line to and from the old country schoolhouse, which sat in the grove.
In passing, we may digress to say that doubtless the memories of those days and the inspiring environment of nature all about him, furnished to him by his dual nativity, were very dear to his heart. They were to him the inspiration of his juvenile flights and poetic fancies when "Claribel and Other Poems" glided from his facile pen and flowed from his youthful heart when only sixteen years of age. These and other early verses, following in prolific succession, were but the nestlings of his genius in embryo-the eaglets becoming eagles were thereafter to take wide and lofty flights until reaching the summit of his wonderful DeSoto epic.
After attending the neighboring schools, he went to the University of Mississippi at Oxford, from which he graduated with honor in 1887, with the degree of M. A., and in the curric ulum of which literature and the law were his chiefly chosen studies. Thereafter in 1888, he moved to Memphis and formed partnership with his distinguished brother, who had some years before preceded him, the firm becoming Malone & Malone.
Later on, literature and the law were contesting for priority in his life work. Victory for the time being came to the former, for "he heard a voice we could not hear, and felt a hand we could not feel, beckoning him away".
Thereupon he moved to New York in 1897 for a wider and more cosmopolitan field for the enlargement and pursuit of literary work.
The Spanish War came on. The voice of poetry, music and art, and of popular literature of every kind, was hushed in the great metropolis and elsewhere, amidst the clamor of war and clang of arms. Then it was in 1899 he returned to Memphis, to his cherished surroundings and among his old friends, and again began the practice of his profession. This he pursued with activity and success without renouncing however, even if he could have done so, the compelling power of poetry which possessed his very soul. His verses still flowed, charming their readers by the rythm of rhetoric and by the beauty, strength and purity of thought and diction, uplifting, comforting and inspiring them with the spirit of brotherhood of man, and noble opportunity for good.
The day after his death a faithful tribute to his memory was paid in verse by Mr. Clarence Moore and published in one of our daily papers, extracts from which are fitting here.
"He was a man most human in his mold,
Who felt the pulse-beats of the human breast;
"The tender and the gentle were to him
Glad objects of his overflowing heart;
"He knew the mysteries of classic lore,
And bore their rarest measures on the tongue,
"Not tied to sect or dogma, he declared
And what sweet creeds his friends and fellows shared