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bought a house in the village, and rented an office; but did not begin to practice regularly for about two years, in the meantime devoting my time to the study of the statutes and decisions of this state. Afterwards I had reason to congratulate myself on my success. In 1860 I was appointed without my knowledge by Governor Conway, chancellor of the Court of Chancery, held at Little Rock, the seat of government. I did not wish to accept, as I felt that I was too young for the position; but, at the solicitation of my friends I was induced to do so. In 1862 I removed from Batesville temporarily to Washington, in this state, which on the capture of Little Rock by the Federals was made temporarily the seat of the state government. At the close of the Civil war I removed to Little Rock, and again engaged in the practice of the law, which has been continued until the present time.
"This is about all that relates to my early life; all very commonplace, and hardly worth telling." To this sketch of his early days a few things should be added.
His father was a profoundly religious man, a devout member of the Christian Church, commonly known as the Campbellite. His preoccupation with the Old Testament history led him to give his son the name of Uriah, which the latter disliked so much that he never used it where its use could be avoided. After the death of Mr. Rose's mother Dr. Rose sank into a gloomy fanaticism bordering on religious mania, which
spread an intolerable sadness over the home. The reaction against this probably begat in his son that fine spirit of toleration that characterized his mental attitude throughout life.
He had made such progress in his legal studies while in Mr. Roundtree's office that he graduated at the law school after an attendance of six months. He entered it in April, 1853, and received his diploma in the following September.
The singular charm of manner which always won for him the regard of everyone with whom he came in contact and often their devoted attachment must have been manifest in these early days. Stopping at a farm one night in his travels, Mr. Roundtree was so impressed with the slender, delicate boy that he took him next morning to his own home, made him his deputy and treated him almost as a son. At that time Mr. Rose wrote a most clerkly hand in the Spencerian style, very different from the highly artistic but singular handwriting of his later days.
But a more remarkable illustration of the charm of his personality was afforded when he went to Lexington to the law school. It had been established and was presided over by Chief Justice Robertson, the greatest jurist that Kentucky has ever produced. A man of immense ability, in a comparatively brief career at the bar he accumulated a large fortune. Then he built himself at Lexington a stately mansion surrounded by extensive grounds, accepted the chief-justiceship and opened a law-school that at once became
famous. His home was the centre of the social life of Kentucky. Every distinguished visitor to the state became his guest as a matter of course.
When Mr. Rose, a youth of nineteen, went to Lexington with the scant savings of his three years in the clerk's office, he stopped at a poor boardinghouse suited to his means. The fare was hard, the beds harder, the manners of the host and boarders harder still. It was an uncongenial place for the delicate youth, so unusually sensitive and refined.
Next morning he presented himself to the great Chief Justice to arrange for admission to the school. Judge Robertson at once became interested in him, and finally asked him where he was staying. When Mr. Rose had told him where, he said, "It is a pretty rough place, is it not?" Mr. Rose explained that it was, but that it was as good as he could afford to pay for. "How would you like to board with me?" inquired Judge Robertson. The youth replied that he had not the means to live in such style. "That makes no difference,' said the Chief Justice. "I know that you would not want to stay with me gratis; so you can pay me the same board that you are paying where you are." So to his astonishment the young lawstudent found himself installed in the splendid mansion of the great jurist, and treated as a member of the family. Here he met all the eminent men of the time who visited Lexington.
At the law school two men made a lasting impression upon him; and his distinguished success at the bar was due to the fact that he mastered
the teachings of each. Judge Robertson was a great constructive jurist. He despised technicalities, and, as far as his associates on the bench would permit, he brushed them aside. His powerful mind grasped the great elemental principles of the law founded on right and justice, expounded them with convincing eloquence and applied them with an enlightened judgment. Judge Marshall, on the other hand, his associate on the bench and in the law school, was a master of all the intricacies of special pleading, and looked upon them as the very soul of the law. The young man grasped both points of view. In the years to come he became a broad-minded jurist and also the most accomplished special pleader of his state.
When he graduated he hesitated between settling in Louisville or coming to Arkansas. The frailty of his health led him to decide in favor of Arkansas, on account of its milder climate and the life in the open air that would attend the riding of the circuit in a new country.
His bride had a small estate that she had inherited from her father, and this made the young couple independent until he could master the jurisprudence of the new commonwealth, and equip himself for serious work. From the first he held himself high, and rarely accepted employment save in the courts of record.
At this time the system of practice in Arkansas was probably the most technical that the world has ever seen. Chief Justice Ringo had painfully sought out all of the technicalities that had
ever existed in common-law pleading through the ages, and had put them all in force at once. Mr. Rose perceived the power of the weapon that this placed in the hand of the accomplished special pleader, and devoted himself with especial energy to the study of Chitty; so that he soon became a potent factor at the bar. His adversary found himself tripped up and thrown ignominiously out of court, or saw final judgment entered against him on a question of pleading, before he realized that he was in peril. In a little while this delicate beardless youth, who entered upon the practice at the age of nineteen, was one of the leaders of his circuit. In his heart he had a great contempt for this artificial system, where not more than one case in ten was decided upon its merits; but not even Absolom Fowler was his superior in the use of the two-edged sword which it put at his service. The system had one advantage the ignoramus could not stay in court at all, and the accomplished lawyers had no rivalry to fear from the pettifoggers who now infest the bar. So his merits were recognized much more quickly than would be the case to-day.
On one occasion he had an important case for a gentleman of New Orleans. He won it, and his client came up to gather in the fruits of success. Entering the office, he asked for Mr. Rose. The beardless youth, whose slender, delicate frame made him look even younger than he was, replied, "I am Mr. Rose." The gentleman patted him on the head, and answered, "Oh, my boy, I want to see your papa."