« PreviousContinue »
His wife would often say to him, “my dear,
• To use such wretched language as you do,
The parish priest would oft her words enforce,
Talking as if the devil had come to preach,
Like Shakspeare in Sam Johnson's prologue, he
When the nine muses' eighteen feet were lame,
So Michael's oaths imagine if you please :
His spleen with food for much irreverence fed,
Right glad was Michael when he heard the same;
Mother and child both died! and stifling curses
Dead! dead! my Laura and my baby both !
Fallen on him, for his speech profane and wild,
• And oh !' he cried, if fate would but restore
Though I am hot with passion and with stingo, • I'll curse and swear no more, by the eternal Jingo!
He spake, and looking upwards, saw a sight,
Alive, in flesh and blood, you see me here;
* But mark me, Michael, if you ever make
* I fear me, on a phantom vague I look,
He took the lily hand she proffered him,
She took his arm, and they walked home together,
By figure and analogy he curst,
He swore by George, by Jingo, and by Gemini,
Such as these-rot my picture, darn my shoe,
'Twas during this probation he invented
The Yankees patronize this dialect too,
At length his wife again became enceinte,
Which made the nurse soon quit his company,
But pale and speechless, she came staggering back;
And when the news was brought, he did not rave,
For good and all, his wife this time had flown,
The people shrank from him, where'er he came,
At length the Pope, of Michael's talent rare
Declared the thing to be the very dandy; 'Tis the same Bull which you may read in Tristram Shandy.
But curses, saith the sage, are like young fowls,
Consigning him with his own Bull to hell,
So like the Bull Piryllus built of yore,
In all strange holes he begged his daily bread,
LECTURES OF CHANCELLOR KENT.
It has long been the wish of the respectable members of our bar, that some steps should be taken, by which the character of the profession might be improved, and the advocates of justice be made as pure as justice herself. To accomplish this object, various plans have been suggested, meetings have been held, and sundry projects discussed; but nothing has ever been accomplished. Its members have been suffered to proceed in their own way, some considering the profession merely as a means of acquiring wealth, some pursuing it from a sort of desperation, some as ornamental, and some, the chosen few, as the great means of rendering themselves useful to the public, without much regard to their own pecuniary prospects, or to the rank or standing it might give them in society. Deprived of those advantages, which might be derived from the brotherly feelings which are cherished by bar societies, and the associations which seem to belong to this, more than to any other profession, and having all the evils which arise from the insular situation in which every lawyer is placed, towards his fellow members, it is still somewhat consoling to reflect, that a better day may succeed us, and that those who are to supply the pla
, ces we fill, may correct the evils which arise from our negligence or our fault.
Industry, well applied, with the advantages which modern books give to the student of the present day, purity of heart, and a prudent use of the advantages which belong to our local situation, are all that is wanting to make any man a respectable member of a profession, somewhat lucrative, and always, when well followed, respectable. The ordinary means of information do not require to be enlarged upon. They are to be found in the treatises upon the subject, and in occasional passages of some of the sages of the law. It is sufficient to call the attention of the young to subjects beyond these, and immediately
within our reach. Of the means to elevate professional character, we know of none of a higher nature, than the contemplation of the distinguished men who have filled or now fill its higher walks. Who is there, of a generous and liberal spirit, who can view the great men who have preceded him in his career, without feeling a generous emulation awakened in his heart? Take, for instance, the late Mr. Wells, who almost irresistibly arrests the attention, when we think of men that the mind delights to dwell upon. With the purity of his moral deportment were blended a grace and propriety in his exterior, which would have commanded respect in an ordinary man; but which were, in him, mere ornaments, to give a higher finish to his character, a greater relish to his arguments,
a and more power to his eloquence; and made more endurable to the view of others the brilliancy of his transcendant genius. It is difficult to form an idea of a man more entitled to command respect and love and admiration, or more worthy to be adopted as a model, by those whose aspirations lead them to excel in professional usefulness, and to add new charms to the virtues of private life.
We should be tempted to pass an eulogy upon the character of Chancellor Kent; but propriety forbids it. He, however, has found another mode, beside the influence of his character and example, to render himself useful to the profession; and, in the place he now fills, he will perhaps do more to reform the errors of our Bar, and to raise up young men fit to ornament the profession, than could be effected by any plan, likely to be adopted by its members. It is, therefore, a matter of general congratulation, with all those who wish to see the science of law what it ought to be, that he should have accepted the professorship, for many years vacant, in Columbia College. It now about twenty-five years, since that professorship was established. Mr. Kent, then a young man, was at that time called to the chair. His avocations, however, prevented his long continuance in its duty, and his subsequent elevation to the bench, and ultimately to the office of chancellor, led him away, for a long series of years, from this his distinguished early undertaking. Now that he has arrived at the age, when, according to the constitution, he is disqualified for holding a judicial office, and has retired to private life, amid the regrets of the bar and of the public, he has renewed with all the vigour and energy of a young man, the pursuits of his youth ; and has left the highest appointment in the state, and set himself with an honourable ambition, to instruct the young and to lead them through the paths of that science which, without an intelligent