fear that Blackstone and his train will usurp your mind too much, to the exclusion of all cultivation of polite letters. The more I think of this last point, the more important it seems to me in the education of a lawyer. ‘Study law hard,’ said Pinckney, ‘but study polite letters as hard.’ So also says Story. The fact is, I look upon a mere lawyer, a reader of cases and cases alone, as one of the veriest wretches in the world. Dry items and facts, argumentative reports, and details of pleadings must incrust the mind with somewhat of their own rust. A lawyer must be a man of polish, with an omnium gatherum of knowledge. There is no branch of study or thought but what he can betimes summon to his aid, if his resources allow it. What is the retailer of law-facts by the side of the man who invests his legal acquisitions in the fair garments of an elegantly informed mind? Every argument of the latter is heightened by the threads of illustration and allusion which he weaves with it. Besides, it is more profitable as to legal knowledge for a student to devote but a portion of his time to the law. A continual application to it would jade the mind, so that it would falter under the burden imposed by its own ardor. There must be a relaxation. And the best relaxation for a scholar will be found in a change of studies. . . . Your ambition has kept you employed and happy all this winter, I will engage, while lassitude and negligence have been preying upon me. . . . One little feat I did, which I now tell in the fulness of friendship rather than vanity. The ‘Boston Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge,’—D. Webster, President, John Pickering, V. P.,—offered a premium in books to the author (a minor) of the best dissertation on any thing relating to commerce, trade, and manufactures, to be handed up Jan. 1. It popped into your friend's head, about a week before Jan. 1, that he might spend a day or two in throwing together some ideas on commerce, and the time would not be lost, whether he was successful or not. I wrote about thirty pages, and handed it up, Bowdoin-like, anonymously. After several months, a committee of twelve unanimously awarded the premium to me, or rather to my signature,—my name not being known till the night the premium was presented; when the envelope inclosing it was opened (after Judge Shaw had finished the evening lecture) by Mr. Webster himself, in presence of the society, and found to contain my name. I had to step out and receive some compliments from the ‘godlike man,’ and the information that the society awarded to me Lieber's ‘Encyclopaedia Americana,’ price thirty dollars. Surely the prize and praise were most easily gained. Mind you, I tell this with no vanity. It requires, though, the eye of a friend not to read in the foregoing lines a self-praising disposition. With you I trust them. . . . From your true friend,C. S.
Boston, Friday, June 10, 1831.my dear friend,—. . . Your letter, just handed to me by my father, has called me from a most listless, fruitless perusal of Hallam's ‘History of ’
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 2 : Parentage and Family.—the father.
Chapter 3 : birth and early Education.— 1811 - 26 .
Chapter 4 : College Life.— September , 1826 , to September , 1830 .—age, 15 - 19 .
Chapter 5 : year after College.— September , 1830 , to September , 1831 .—Age, 19 - 20 .
Chapter 6 : Law School .— September , 1831 , to December , 1833 .—Age, 20 - 22 .
Chapter 7 : study in a law office .—Visit to Washington .— January , 1854 , to September , 1834 .—Age, 23 .
Chapter 8 : early professional life.— September , 1834 , to December , 1837 .—Age, 23 - 26 .
Chapter 9 : going to Europe .— December , 1837 .—Age, 26 .
Chapter 10 : the voyage and Arrival.— December , 1837 , to January , 1838 — age, 26 - 27 .
Chapter 11 : Paris .—its schools.— January and February , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 12 : Paris .—Society and the courts.— March to May , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 13 : England .— June , 1838 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 27 - 28 .
Chapter 14 : first weeks in London .— June and July , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 15 : the Circuits .—Visits in England and Scotland .— August to October , 1838 .—age, 27 .
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