The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.

XV. Publicists and Orators, 1800–1850

§ 21. Powers of Invective

Randolph’s idiosyncrasies have been variously accounted for. He said himself that his unprosperous life was the fruit of an ungovernable temper; but his temper and his violent vagaries were such evidences of a morbid mind that there is temptation simply to consider him mentally unbalanced if not insane. His very maddening skill with words recalls the adage about children and edged tools, for it seems a pity that one so unsedate should have had such weapons of offence in his arsenal.