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[284]

To George S. Hillard.

Paris, April 10, 1838.
my dear Hillard,—For some days I have been steeped in law to the very lips. I have attended the courts every day, and in the Cour d'assises have had a comfortable and honorable seat assigned me by the court; and I assure you that the observations I have made are not unimportant. I am diligently studying the operation of the French Code, in which I find much to admire. The whole procedure has struck me most favorably. I will only say at present, that those who have spoken and written about it in England and in the United States have not understood it; or else have calumniated it grossly. A tertium quid which should be the result of the French and English manner of procedure would be as near perfection as I can imagine; but I am inclined to think,—indeed, I am convinced,—that if I were compelled to adopt the whole of either without admixture, I should take the French. My mind is full of this subject, but I will not enlarge upon it at present. . . .

Dupin1 is celebrated for his terseness of expression, for his epigrams and points, and he sustained his character in this respect; but his manner was dull and inanimate, and his appearance vulgar,—in French I should say, grossier. He was more subtle than broad,—an opinion which Brougham expressed to a friend of mine after the argument. In writing out his argument, he followed the example of Cochin and the great lawyers in France of one and two centuries ago. Dupin, you know, is President of the Chamber of Deputies; I have seen him there, and do not like him. He has made some rulings on points of order this winter in the Chamber, which would have properly proceeded from the Czar of Russia or the Sultan of Turkey; but parliamentary proceedings are not understood at all in France. I shall fatigue you with law and politics, but out of the fulness of the mind the pen moves. . . .

As ever affectionately yours,

C. S.

Journal.

April 10. To-day was presented by Colonel White2 to Madame Murat,3 the sister of Napoleon and ex-queen of Naples, and widow of the great captain of cavalry. She is now at Paris to prosecute a claim against the


1 Referring to Dupin's argument in the Court of Cassation, ante, p. 282.

2 Joseph M. White, delegate to Congress from Florida from 1823 to 1837. He died at St. Louis in 1839.

3 Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon's youngest sister, was born at Ajaccio, March 26, 1782. As the wife of Murat, whom she married in 1800, she became Queen of Naples in 1808. After his execution, in 1815, she assumed the title of Countess of Lipona. She lived at Trieste many years, and died in Florence, May 18, 1839. In 1838, the French Assembly granted her a pension. Her son, Napoleon Achille, died in Florida in 1847.

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