previous next
[335] and the beautiful lake, with books and pencil, with pleasant friends, perhaps under the same roof, and with that simple delectable Orvieto for a sherbet. Tell me of Rome, of yourself, wife, and children; of art, and particularly the statue of your father. Give my love to your wife, and kisses to the children.

To Theodore Parker,1 August 6:—

With the exception of a meagre address, which is preserved in the “Jurist” of twenty years ago, Shaw's productions are his judgments, in the Reports of Pickering, Metcalf, and Cushing,—a goodly number,—and all having a uniform stamp. He is always verbose, but instructive, and deals with his cases strongly. I do not agree with Mann in his admiration of his powers; nor do I agree with the late Benjamin Rand when he insisted upon calling him “muddy-mettled.” You will see his powers in the case of the slave “Med.” His opinions, like Story's, are too long; but they are less interesting than Story's, have less life, and lack his learning. Parsons's decisions are in the early volumes of the Massachusetts Reports. In his day judges were less full in their opinions than now; but his are instructive still. I think he was the earliest of the great lawyers of our country; but he was more than a lawyer. Read the sketch of him at the end of one of the Massachusetts Reports, and you will see what was claimed for his scholarship. He affected Greek, and wrote a Greek grammar. That most remarkable document, the “Essex result,” inferior to nothing in the political history of Massachusetts, and far beyond anything from Shaw, shows him to have had powers of a high order. Some of the ideas were borrowed from John Adams's letter to R. H. Lee, of Virginia, and others are rejected now; but it contains political truths, couched in language of great power and clearness. I once had in my possession all the law manuscripts of Parsons, and from time to time made selections from them in the “Jurist;” they were not of much importance. I write now without any opportunity of consulting books. I would not undervalue Shaw; but I should give the palm to Parsons.

Soon after the convention adjourned, Wilson addressed his constituents at Natick in a speech which explained in detail the advantages of the new Constitution,2 and Boutwell made a similar address at Berlin; but the discussion before the people did not become active for some weeks. The Free Soil State convention was held at Fitchburg, September 15. Wilson, now the acknowledged leader of his party in the State, received on a ballot nearly all the votes as candidate for governor. Horace Mann, on his way to Ohio, where he was to be the President of Antioch College, paused for an hour in the town, and coming to the hall bade his old coadjutors a God-speed. Sumner was not present; but a letter from him was read, in which

1 An answer to Mr. Parker's letter of August 4, inquiring as to the comparative merits of the two chief-justices of Massachusetts.

2 August 29; in Boston Commonwealth, August 31.

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)
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.
Lemuel Shaw (3)
Theophilus Parsons (3)
Henry Wilson (2)
W. W. Story (2)
Theodore Parker (2)
Horace Mann (2)
Charles Sumner (1)
John Pickering (1)
Metcalf (1)
R. H. Lee (1)
Essex (1)
Caleb Cushing (1)
G. S. Boutwell (1)
John Adams (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.
September 15th (1)
August 31st (1)
August 29th (1)
August 6th (1)
August 4th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: