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professional maximns - to erect the superstructure of legal fagacity on the foundation of philosophical knowledge is the task of the accomplished lawyer; and any production which unfolds the best means of acquiring fo enviable a distinction, must be confidered as worthy of great applause. We trust that the work before us will be found to be of this description : the author's abilities appear fully competent for his subject; and he has treated it in a comprehensive manner, omitting no opportunity of illustration from the sources of general literature, and neglecting the discussion of no topic interesting by its practical importance to the youthful candidates for forensic eminence.
The work consists of a series of letters, addressed to a young friend ; and, though it might perhaps have appeared with more dignity in another form, yet that of epiftolary correspondence, by giving greater scope to freedom of expostulation, to the ule of the argumentum ad hominem, and to the adoption of a familiar liveliness of style, poffefses advantages strikingly adapted to the purposes of didactic compofition.
The writer prepares the mind of his pupil for the study of our municipal institutions, by adverting to those masterly fpecimens of literature and oratory which have been transinitted from the ancients.
• What is there that is valuable in human life ; what is there that is profound in the mental science; what is there that is beautiful and sublime in the imagination, that is not depictured and enriched in the writings of the antient classics? The world untutored, yet teening with the seeds of knowledge, lay before them ; they were as gods living among men in the infancy of human underitanding; what they uttered and what they acted, bore the first ftamp of the superiority of wisdom; some of their works have reached us through fuccefiive generations with an undiminished brillianey, and they will doubtless remain a monument of the power of huiñan gevins to the latest
of men. " Whether, therefore, we conteniplate the writings of the ana cients as the genuine relics of antiquity, or whether we regard them as models of genius, of learning, and of taste, we cannot fail to derive a manly gratification and a real improvement from the perufal of them : nor has it, I believe, ever yet been found that he, who being capable, from the force of education, of such a perufal, has yet remained unimpressed by their beauties, has ever been worthy of the name of either a great or a good man.
I would not hesitate to say of such a person what our bard long before me has said, perhaps, with much less justice, of the man who is insensible to the charms of music; “ he is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; let no such man be trusted,”
This is a just and animated encomium on excellence that cannot be too much applauded or too strongly proposed for imitation ; we have indeed observed, in every part of this work, the warmest exhortations to the student to . drink deep' of those classic fountains which so much invigorate the powers of imagination and of reason.
The following passages are also deserving of approbation.
• I would wish you to accustom your ear to a familiarity with as many technical terms of art as possible ; there is a mode of doing this without deducting one moment from the time you mean to dedicate to your more important studies. While you are, to appearance, amusing yourself, or transacting some common affair, you may be pursuing this neceffary study. For instance; you are upon a visit to some friend who has workmen employed about his house or grounds ; it will be no unnatural thing for your host now and then to view the progress of the improvements for which he is some time or other to pay, and, peradventure, you will be induced to accompany him, Now, as the conversation between your friend and his workmen will doubtless be to the business in hand, you will hear the various terms in which the carpenter, the bricklayer, the smith, display the accidents of their particular occupations. Here is an opportunity of obtaining the information you want, without being indebted to any man; for they fiom whom you obtain it, will be the last men in the world to suspect that you are seeking for it. I have mentioned this merely for ex«, ample, and to excite you to have your ears ever on the watch. Every, street in the metropolis, and every road that leads into it, abounds with instances from which knowledge of this nature may be daily drawn; nor need you be ashamed of this employment; it is related of one of the most accomplifhed men this country can beast, that at his table were frequently to be found the eminent in almost every branch of science, from the common mechanic to the most profound logician. With each of these he was able to converse familiarly in the technical terms appropriate to their respective occupations: it would be an affront to your understanding if I were to ask you, whether you thought this to be a blemish in his character? P. 163.
. I have already remarked, that the courts of justice, in which you will by and by appear, are open to all conditions of men, but the majority of causes thai go there for decision arise among the middie and inferior claffes of the community; and in your business as junior, you will perceive your ground with a wonderful clearness if you have obtained the advantages I recommend. The witnesses are commonly artisans, mechanics, carmen and so on. These people have a language which they think peculiar to their own sphere, and they are very proud of it; 'their surprise, therefore, at finding a man in your lituation not wholly unacquainted
with their maxims and phrases, will presently give way to that sort of confidence, which generally springs up between persons who, according to common speech, are said to understand one another. Now, is not this the very sentiment you will to cherilh ? What is your aim in examining a witness ? Is it not to obtain the, truth? And are not men usually warmed to confession rather by confidence than by fear or aversion? The fact is, the honest witness is pleased to find a momentary freedom with you whom he has, most probably, been taught to dread, and he opens his heart to you with all the unregulated ardour of a rude friendship: it is not unlikely but an hour afterwards he may wish to recal what he has said ; your purpose is, however, answered.' P. 165.
We request the student to attend to these observations on a talent of which the possession is so essential to the success of the advocate at common law.
The style and arrangement of the eloquent barrifter are thus characterised.
“How rare, but how pleasing a quality is that whereby an advocate is enabled to express his thoughts, not only in words blaine. less in point of grammatical accuracy, but in combinations of those words that convey the idea in its undiminished strength and beauty! How admirable is that talent which connects and regulates and disposes a number of ideas in such a manner, that their relations to each other are preserved in beautiful order of succeffion, until, at length, their brilliancy and power, which were before diffipated or obscured, are concentrated to one point! How ably does a speaker, thus happily endowed, conduct his hearers through every maze, marking each distinction as it arifes, so that the whole force of the mind is drawn forth at his will, till at length an irresistible ray of brightness beams forth, and conviction follows!
A multitude of words will not of themselves effect this ; it muft be the consequence of an artful and a happy disposition of the reflection and the judgment of the speaker. Does a inan rise to ftate a case? Let him not confound with that statement flying and half-formed deductions. Does be intend to make observations upon this case? Let him not forin another case from his own fancy or : inclinations. Is it his intention to explain? Let him use the plain and nervous lauguage of explanation ; let him not mingle with it, by fits and ftarts, the terms of expoftulation or intreaty. In short, he muft be able, not only to aflign to ideas and expressions their proper place, but their proper force also; so that they whom he addreffes may not be harassed with an endless confusion of misapplied terms and inadequate ideas.
• Every man, in ftating the circumstances of a case whereon. He is presently to argue, must remember that he is telling a tale with which he is no way related but as the organ or medium
whereby it is made known; nor ought he to consider the task as a humiliating one. The most aniinated and sublime of ancient orators was no less remarkable for the cleari.efs and fimplicity of his statements than for the strength of his reasoning, and the brilliancy and power of his declamation : the advocate will not, therefore, despise the plain and fimple character of a relator of facts. But this character is presently changed for one of a more interesting nature ; he comes forward ready to review the circumstances which he has been itating, to comment upon them, and to thew them in their true colours : he is to reason upon them with coolness and discrimination, and to draw from them such confequences as may best suit the purpose of his argument: and here it is that he is to be particularly clear, not confounding facts of one description with those of another, but assigning to each its proper place, and allifting, with all his art, truth in its natural operation' P. 234
Lord Bolingbroke, who, whatever may be his philofophical demerits, is a competent authority on the subject of the present work, pronounces an intimate acquaintance with history indispensably necessary in a profound lawyer. The importance of this fpecies of knowledge to the student is also enforced by our author; and its effects on the juridical character are truely described.
• In an appeal to sober sense and to experience, the advantages that arise, in this refpect, to the advocate from the study of history will presently be found to be of great value; they form a most forcible contrast with the disadvantages that frequently result from an ignorance of that science. How often would it have proved a moft tedious and almoft infupportable task to thofe, whofe high office it is to hear and determine upon the arguments of counsel, had they who have filled the character of an advocate at the English bar been generally unversed in the events recorded in history ! How confined would, to this moment, have been the legal notions of our courts! How fpiritless, and, perhaps, unjust their interpretations of the law, had they who prefide in those auguft tribunals derived their principles of truth, in the administration of civil and criminal justice, from the letter of the law alone! On the other hand, what grand and striking displays of the reafoning powers ! what extensiveness of remark ! what acumen of comparison ! what a. various energy of combination mark the argument of that ada vocate whose mind has been illuminated by a contemplation of the hidden causes from which, as we have already remarked, laws in particular, among all other human fubjects, derive their true chaq racter and complete force.' p. 335.
Those who have attentively investigated the history of the human mind, may have discovered that habit frequently pre
vents the expansion of genius, or that, if not so potently mil." chievous, yet, like the fnail crawling on the beautiful statue, it defiles the excellence which it cannot obliterate. Any advice, calculated to guard the student against the approach of this insidious adversary, should be gratefully received. Our author has performed the falutary talk; and, from his various remarks on the subject, we offer two extracts, one as correct-" ly discriminating the nature of habit, the other as a judicious amplification of the precept of Horace, Nil admirari.
« Habit is of a dark and subtle nature ; it filently spreads its influence over the mind, which it weakens by degrees, until at length it is, in some cases, and these too of no rare description, totally corrupted and debased ; it usually comes in a pleasing form, that at once engages the imagination and -lays the understanding asleep; by the gentleness of its operations it arouses no fear; by the smoothness of its voice it lulls every suspicion. When by these means it has secured its conquest, it so artfully, entwines itself with the system of our nature, that we fondly imagine it to be a part of
our. selves, nor do we cease to cherish it, until we fall the miserable facrifice of its power.' P. 388.
You perceive in the manners of an eminent adyocate fomething that charms you; he has a peculiarity in his action which you think delightful; you are determined to make it your own, and that so thoroughly that every. minutia is copied with the most anxious exactness. Another poffeffes great rapidity of tranGtion from one part of his subject to another ; you are instantly itruck with admiration at the bold yet not ungrateful confusion it produces ; and you are resolved not to be happy until you have made fo transcendent a power your own. A third display's a glow of imagination, a brilliancy of figure that enchant you ; immediately do you relinquilh every other pursuit, every other study, to enrich
your speeches with figures, and to increase the ardour of your imagination. A fourth declaims with an unequalled elegance of phraseology; from the moment you hear him, the choice of words, the smoothing of your expression, the rounding of your periods become your nicest care. A fifth has a particular method of stating his facts, or of drawing his conclusions ; you conceive you have never yet heard any method so desirable ; you discard, without ceremony, your own mode ; you are in love with the plain style ; your figures are forgotton; and you pursue, with all the eagerness of a new enthusiasm, this frelli object of your fires.
Now by thus addiéting yourself to imitation, your own powers are infenfibly weakened. But inark another consequence ; as it increases with you into habit, every new manner brings with it a superior charm, till at length you are whirled away by a con. fufion of ideas that totally prevents you from acquiring or esta