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[244] time nothing has been said in answer to it more eloquent, more just, or more convincing than the passage he has devoted to it in his oration for the poet Archias. While defending his client, he avows in glowing words his own devotion to literature, from which ease could not withdraw him, nor pleasure call him away, nor sleep detain him. He breaks forth in an interrogatory, which, in the lapse of nineteen centuries, has not lost its point and freshness. . . .1

It is in the noble spirit of the ancient orator that Mr. Hillard has devoted the moments—gold filings of time—saved from constant labor in his profession, to those refined and elevated pursuits of whose ripeness in his mind the address before the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a beautiful token. Here the highest thoughts, the most apt criticisms, and most animated exhortations come mended by the most graceful diction. A pure taste throws its grateful charm over the whole discourse. It would be difficult to point out a production which evinces at once so much familiarity with the literature of various countries and ages, and so little apparent desire to display the treasures garnered up. In a small compass we have a survey of the whole field of poetry. We catch the far-off sounding voice of Homer; the graceful notes of Virgil; the plaintive, soul-distilled melody of Dante; the magnificent strains of Milton. To these, and the lesser votaries of the lyre, the orator has listened, and we feel the music of their verse in his descriptions. We shall only repeat what we have heard from various lips, that this production has placed its author among the most prominent minds of our country. In the richness and beauty of his style, many will discern a resemblance to the essays of Sergeant Talfourd; and the union of professional and literary excellence in both suggests another ground of parallel. To both the bar is a large debtor for the lustre they reflect upon a profession which is so often regarded as harsh and ungenial.

In the notice of Mr. Cushing's pamphlet, he said:—

Perhaps after Magna Charta the world has received from England no more valuable present than the rules and orders for the government of legislative assemblies. It was in the English Parliament that these rules and orders first drew their origin. Under their influence, that assembly has become renowned for the independence, pertinency, and business talent of its debates. The prerogatives of the crown and the pride of the nobles have been checked by the spirit of a free people speaking through its representatives.

Of Sir James Mackintosh's discourse he wrote:—

It is unsurpassed by any juridical production for its learning, elegance, and elevated truth. We doubt if there is to be found in any language, in the same compass, a discussion of a kindred nature which can claim equal merit. Perhaps the celebrated forty-fourth chapter of Gibbon, on the Roman law, may alone vie with it in the instructive learning and classical finish with which it is wrought; though this certainly yields to the discourse in the ennobling sentiments which it conveys.

1 The extract from section VI., ‘Quare quis tandem,’ &c., is here omitted.

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