previous next


To Professor Simon Greenleaf, Cambridge.

London, Jan. 21, 1839.
dear Greenleaf,—Your good long letter, and Mrs. Greenleaf's enclosed, came in due season. You know how thankful I am to hear of you and from you, and how I rejoice that the Law School still flourishes as it should, under the auspices of my friends. Often ‘my heart untravelled fondly turns’ to those old haunts. How will they seem on my return? How will all my friends seem? And, last and heaviest question, how shall I seem to them? Those clients I once had,—those duties I once rejoiced in,—where are they? Shall I find them again? As I draw nearer the day of my return, I feel sincerely anxious with regard to the future. I think of that tide—whose flood I declined to take—which might have floated me on to fortune,—that is, to worldly success; and I fear I have lost it for ever. And yet I know that I have gained, in the highest point of view, immeasurably more than I have lost. I have seen men, society, and courts, in a way that is permitted to few of my age in any country; and I feel that I have not lost my love of native land, or my sense of duty or the knowledge of what it behooves me to do. Tell me, as my friend, what I must prepare to do on my return, and how to set to work,—for to work I shall go at once.

On a recent excursion to Birmingham, I received a good deal of kind attention from Mr. Wills, author of the new work on ‘Circumstantial Evidence.’ He has presented me with a copy of his book, and we have since corresponded on the subject of it. While with him I mentioned that I had a learned friend, Professor Greenleaf, who was engaged on a work on the ‘Law of Evidence.’ Mr. Wills at once asked me to take charge of a copy of his book for your acceptance with his compliments. Wills is not a barrister, but an attorney. He is about forty-eight or fifty, and is a very unassuming, good-natured, quiet person, who has devoted not a little time to this work. I wish you would write a review of it in the ‘Jurist.’

In conversation yesterday with Burge, the author of the huge book on the ‘Conflict of Laws,’ he lamented that there was no good work on the principles of the law of evidence. I at once told him that Professor Greenleaf had such a one in preparation. Mr. Burge told me to encourage you to the completion of your task, and also to say to you from him not to publish till you had thoroughly examined Menochius (‘De Presumptionibus’) and Mascardus (‘De Probationibus’),—the latter particularly. Burge is quite a black-letter, folio man, who overlays his arguments with numerous authorities and recondite learning. He deserves great praise for his devotion to the subject which he has illustrated with such learning and to such extent. He has a great admiration for Judge Story. Starkie1 has a third edition of his ‘Evidence’ in press. He has lost his wife, and is in much affliction. Poor Chitty2 is badly off. He has now some weakness—an affection of the spine, I believe—which prevents his walking; so he is rolled about in a chair. He has had an immense business, and an iron constitution; but both have departed.

1 Thomas Starkie, 1782-1849.

2 Joseph Chitty, 1776-1841; author of treatises on ‘Pleading,’ ‘Criminal Law,’ &c.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Birmingham (United Kingdom) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Simon Greenleaf (5)
William Wills (3)
William Burge (3)
Thomas Starkie (2)
Joseph Chitty (2)
William W. Story (1)
Criminal Law (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1849 AD (1)
1841 AD (1)
January 21st, 1839 AD (1)
1782 AD (1)
1776 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: