performance of honorable duties, and in the consciousness of doing good.
The delights of literature have blended with the happiness of domestic life; and now, while he still stands on this bank and shoal of time, he sees by his side a son, the proper heir of his fame as of his name, already occupied in the same high duties which have filled the father's life, and we may say, almost without exaggeration, melior patre, distinguished judge.
We refer to the Hon. William Kent, whose professional learning, various attainments, amiable character, and elevated nature are an ornament to the bar of our country.
Happy parent, spared to enjoy the honors of such a son!
Happy son, witness of the honored age of such a father!
And here it is our disposition to speak of what would be most pleasing to our readers, and on which we should dwell with the affectionate interest inspired by what it has been our privilege to enjoy,—the private and domestic life of the Chancellor; in manners as gentle as in intellect masculine, so as to revive the almost impossible character of Gay.
In wit, a man; simplicity, a child: full of kindness; studious of the feelings of others; earnest in the expression of his own opinions; with a soul instinct with sensibility and probity; indefatigable in study, even in his old age; enjoying the choicest productions of the literature of our own day, and not neglecting the great masters who have been speaking through many generations.
But we have already gone too far,—not further, we trust, than his kindness will pardon; and here we drop the curtain, where most the reader may long to see it lifted.
In his notice of Mr. Hillard
's Phi Beta Kappa discourse, he said:—
There is an error, as general in the profession of the law as it is discreditable, that the successful practice of the law is inconsistent with the cultivation of letters.
All the studies of past years are too often put to flight by the first footfall of a client, as the ghosts are said to disappear at cockcrowing. . . . Pope has preserved, in his polished verses, the memory of the beautiful taste and scholarship which afterwards distinguished the judicial career of Lord Mansfield, when he says, alluding to the number of his chambers in the Temple,—
To Number Five direct your doves,
Other instances are afforded by the history of the English bar, where distinction in the law has gone hand in hand with eminence in literature.
But we need not cross the sea in search of the argument derived from high example.
The two great living jurists of our own country have adorned their lives by the fruits of various culture; and the names of Story and Kent have claims alike upon the lawyer and the scholar.
The suggestion of the incompatibility of these two characters is not of modern date.
It is as old as Cicero; and from his day down to the present
There spread round Murray all your blooming loves.