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[292] an ancient professor in the Law School; but his lectures are now listened to with but little interest, and I am inclined to think justly. I have heard one of his brother professors make not a little fun about him. This, I must remark, is quite consistent with the French character. I have hardly met a Frenchman who spoke well of another; and I have heard a professor of the Law School take up his brethren, professors at the same school, and deal judgment upon each in succession. . . .

As ever affectionately yours,


To Judge Story.

Paris, May 10, 1838.
my dear Judge,—My letters are the hurried effusions of the moment, written with a racing pen; but still the opinions which I have expressed are not the less deliberately formed. I have already told you something with regard to French politeness; now for the learning of the French bar. I do not wish to pronounce rashly, though I write quickly; but I cannot hesitate in saying that the learning of the profession is of the most shallow kind. The old fields beyond the time of the code, out of which so much corn has been gathered, are seldom or never entered. One French judge with whom I conversed told me that all lawyers who studied the science of their profession resorted to Dumoulin and Cujas; but when I asked him whether Faber was studied,—an author whose works form nine folios in our library,—he replied, ‘Je ne connais pas cet auteur.’ And Bravard, the successor of Pardessus as Professor of Commercial Law, and one of the ablest of their writers and professors (indeed, the foremost), told me that there were five-sixths of the bar who had never read a page of Cujas, Dumoulin, Domat, Cochin, or D'Aguesseau; and Bravard added that he didn't think it at all useful to read them: and Foelix told me further that he didn't believe Bravard himself had ever read a page of them! So there you have the chain of ignorance or indifference. The code is the vade mecum, the ‘be-all and end-all,’ with the French avocat; this he possesses in a neat pocket edition, the different codes designated by the different color of the leaves, and carries with him to court. Among the younger lawyers whom I have met, I have found the greatest ignorance with respect even to the modern authors of France. One lawyer, who was introduced to me as a young avocat of great promise, had never heard of the work of Boulay-Paty on the Maritime Law; and another, whose library I examined, had a copy of Toullier, of which the leaves were yet uncut. Now I do not give these little straws as decisive; but still they are indications on which you will build, as well as myself. I can assure you without vanity (for between us there is no such thing), that I have several times felt that my acquaintance with the literature of French jurisprudence, and with the character and merits of its authors, was equal if not superior to that of many of the Frenchmen with whom I conversed. With them now it is indeed Nil proeter edictum proetoris,—the code and nothing but the code. Ignorant as


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