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To Professor Simon Greenleaf, Washington, D. C.

Boston, Jan. 25, 1837.
my dear friend,—Many thanks for your cordial letter of the 11th from Washington; and much pardon do I need at your hands for the lugubrious, hypochondriacal epistle which I inflicted upon you. I write now to greet you on your way home. Pray stay, as long as your affection requires, with your daughter, and banish all thought of the Law School. All are cheerful, respectful, and contented, and seem to receive the law with perfect faith from their pro tem. professor. A murmur, slight as that of a distant brook, has reached me from a counsel against whom I decided in a moot-court case, with an expression of an intention to appeal to Caesar on his return. The parties were, however, entirely respectful, and none have given me any reason to be uneasy. Starkie I hear three days in the week, while Kent I encounter every day. This week I have held two courts, and decided the question of partnership and statute of limitations; and also that of the Hindu witness. I held, in the first case, that the admission of one partner after a dissolution did not take a case out of the statute; and I took a technical distinction, which enabled me to evade the force of the late Massachusetts and English cases, so as to decide the case independent of them. The venue being laid in Rhode Island removed it from their influence; but I put it on grounds which may be maintained in Massachusetts even in the face of those cases. In the other case I held that the deposition of the Hindu priest was admissible, for reasons which I will explain fully when I have again the joy of your countenance.

The students inquire of me daily when you will be back, and enter earnestly into your forensic contest. I have explained again and again the nature of the question you have argued, and endeavored to enforce and illustrate your views: in short, to make the school ‘Warren-Bridge men.’ I have been with you in your labors, and have hung with anxious confidence upon the accents of your lips. I have hoped that some of your points might reach our dear judge's prejudices, and bear them away. If such be the case, I shall have great joy with you. To convince him would be a greater triumph than to storm a citadel.1

Mrs. Greenleaf has a sorrowful widowhood. Your absence makes her desolate. Bereft of you, she seems as if deprived of the precious lustre of her eye or of the goodly light of the sun. I have passed as many hours as I could snatch for such pleasure from my various calls in Cambridge and Boston, in conversing with her on those topics which you know are often vexed between us. I have re-argued the case with her several times; and I believe

1 Professor Greenleaf was attending the Supreme Court as counsel for the defendants in the celebrated case of The Charles River Bridge v. The Warren Bridge, 11 Peters' Reports, p. 420,—a case which settled the doctrine that public grants should be construed strictly. This view was supported by Professor Greenleaf against Mr. Webster, the counsel for the plaintiffs. Some conservative people (among them Judge Story, who dissented) regarded the decision as contrary to the Constitution and perilling rights of property. Story's ‘Life and Letters,’ Vol. II. pp. 262-273.

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