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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 25. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), James Louis Petigru, (search)
profession, notably: the silver tongued orator, William C. Preston, and the accomplished man of letters, Hugh S. Legare. The latter was fortunate enough to enjoy almost every advantage afforded by education and travel, and he did not fail to embrace and improve his opportunities. It was a mooted question in that day, and it has never been settled yet, whether it is best, or even good, for a lawyer to be known as dabbling much in literature. Mr. Legare was afraid that it hurt himself. Judge Story has presented some strong arguments on the other side. He maintains that literature benefits and improves the very means which a lawyer uses to attain success. It sharpens the wit. It enlarges and improves the diction. It broadens the mind and widens the scope of vision. It cultivates and develops the powers of analysis and discrimination. Stimulates the imagination and strengthens the memory. On the other hand, it is argued that literature unfits one for practical life. It tends t
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 25. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.38 (search)
he began the study of law in the office of Clement Cox, of Georgetown. He was then about eighteen years of age. A few months afterward he entered Harvard College, whence he graduated in 1845. Harvard Law School was then presided over by Associate Justice Story, then of the United States bench, and Prof. Greenleaf, author of the well-known work on Evidence. Among my classmates, said Mr. Semmes, were Rutherford B. Hayes, afterwards President of the United States; Henry C. Semple, nephew of the then President, John Tyler, and Mr. Burlingame, who afterwards became minister to China. While I was at Harvard I read the review of Judge Story's Commentary on the United States Constitution, written by Judge Upshur, of Virginia. This book was the turning point in my political thought. Reflecting seriously on its spirit and teachings, I became a Democrat, and never once during the long line of sixty years that have nearly passed since then, have I swerved from its sacred principles. My