of man. They, poor men, have their consciences on their side; and with that ally need we admire that they are insensible to those feelings which would make them stop? For myself, my mind is made up: I shall never give back. Yet may this hand forget its cunning, if ever aught shall come from me savoring of intolerance or unwarrantable exclusion. I have been scourged into my present opinions by the abuse which my father has met with,—namely, my mind was brought by this to see what Masonry did, and to inquire what it could do. Anti-masonry has rather a ridiculous, repulsive air, of which no one is more conscious than myself; and had not the circumstances of my father's relation to it brought me into close contact (almost perforce) with it, I should probably have been an unbeliever to this day. Anti-masonry cannot claim its due proportion of talent for the numbers of its professors; and there is nothing strange in this, for it is new. The religion you profess drew to it none but fishermen when it first came down with the Son of the Father. Truth always walks lame when she first starts. It is time which habits her in the wings that bear her upward. I have said more upon this than I wished to; for I care not to have it in my mind. I feel so strongly upon it, that when it is called before me my mind engages itself too much, to the detriment of more profitable thoughts. Come to Cambridge and see me. I room at Divinity Hall, No. 10, on the lower floor; and you shall have half of the couch which is mine. Come, and we will have an evening's chat. You will not disturb me; for, though I try to seize every moment of time, yet our law-studies are so indefinite that no number of hours cut out will be missed. We recite but three times a week; and one forenoon will master our lesson, though days can be given to it with profit. Come, then, and bring with you ‘The Nine’ book, and Browne and yourself and myself will renew old scenes and live happy times over again. I like living here, for I can be by myself. I know hardly an individual in the school. Days of idleness must be atoned for; the atoning offering is at hand, and it is a steady devotion to study. Late to bed and early to rise, and full employment while up, is what I am trying to bind myself to. The labor ipse voluptas I am coveting. I had rather be a toad and live upon a dungeon's vapor than one of those lumps of flesh that are christened lawyers, and who know only how to wring from quibbles and obscurities that justice which else they never could reach; who have no idea of law beyond its letter, nor of literature beyond their Term Reports and Statutes. If I am a lawyer, I wish to be one who can dwell upon the vast heaps of law-matter, as the temple in which the majesty of right has taken its abode; who will aim, beyond the mere letter, at the spirit,—the broad spirit of the law,— and who will bring to his aid a liberal and cultivated mind. Is not this an honest ambition? If not, reprove me for it. A lawyer is one of the best or worst of men, according as he shapes his course. He may breed strife, and he may settle dissensions of years. But when I look before me and above me, and see the impendent weight,—molem ingentem et perpetuis humeris sustinendam,—I incontinently shrink back. Book peers above book; and one labor of investigation is gone only to show a greater one. The greatest lawyers, after fifty years of enfolding study, have confessed, with the Wise Man,
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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