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To Professor Simon Greenleaf, Cambridge, Mass.

New York, Wednesday Evening, Feb. 19, 1834.
‘That Mr. Greenleaf is a civil sort of a man,’ said Chancellor Kent, this afternoon, to me, after he had slowly and fully read your kind letter of introduction. ‘He was a great loss to the profession at Portland; makes a fine professor, I have no doubt,’ he continued. To all of which I of course sincerely responded.

I called upon the chancellor at his house, two or three miles from the heart of the city where I was, at about half-past 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I handed him your letter; he asked me to sit. It was in a parlor that I saw him, with a young lady and an infant, probably the family of his son. He received me cordially; talked fast and instructively, but without elegance or grammar (however, falsa grammatica non vitiat); praised the civil law highly; thought Livermore's bequest a splendid one; liked the civil law, all but that relating to husband and wife,—he would stick to the common law on that subject; spoke with warmth of the present politics; thought Jackson would ruin us; wanted to go to Washington, but if he went should be obliged to see much company, call upon Jackson, and dine with him perhaps, all of which he could not consent to do; were he there, he should associate with such men as Webster; trusted next spring that he should visit the great valley of the West, which he wished much to see, as he had a great passion for natural scenery; said he never wrote an article for a review in his life; had just written with considerable pains a life of General Schuyler for the ‘Portrait Gallery,’ which he had condensed as much as possible, to suit the dimensions required for that publication; spoke of the ‘North American’ and the other reviews; said that he read them all,—he had nothing else to do now; invited me up into his room, so he called it, where he introduced me to Mrs. Kent, and showed me his library with a good deal of particularity; pointed out the ‘Waverley Novels,’ Miss Edgeworth's, &c., and long rows of the reviews bound; also a very large collection of pamphlets, making ninety-five volumes, which he had collected since he was a young man,—that is, said he, within the last fifty years; showed me also ‘Greenleaf's Reports;’ said he set much by that man; showed me the blank leaves of the first volume, in which he had written the time of your appointment as professor, and the testimonial of their regard offered by the Portland Bar, including in quotation marks the comparison run between your reports and those of Johnson and Binney: he had watered into the first volume of ‘Greenleaf's Reports’ your letter to him presenting the book, which he said he had done to preserve how you had honored him. I bid him good-by. He told me to give his regards to Judge Story; but as to Jackson, he had none for him.

Kent has great simplicity and freedom of manners; he opens himself like a child. This, though, I attributed partly to a harmless vanity. He undoubtedly knows that he is a lion, and he therefore offers himself readily for exhibition. Indeed, he seemed to be unfolding his character and studies, &c., to me, as if purposely to let me know the whole bent and scope of his mind

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