Please bear with me, I'm not a native speaker and I'm struggling with English. I wanted to ask about the bolded parts in the paragraph below. First, what's the grammatical explanation behind the phrase "intrinsically contrary"?. Second, in the other bolded part, shouldn't they say "his verbal skills were inferior"?, I know it's not a mistake, but it got me confused.
"Madison, Jefferson's lifelong friend, collaborator, and political ally was quizzical and skeptical. His mind was less capacious and less elevated than Jefferson's, but more … original, and instinctively contrary. Less learned than Jefferson, his verbal skills inferior, he was almost pedantically alert to inner complications, and so, Though less adept a politician, he was more consistent."