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of Boston, in 1801-3, and now in our possession


2. That our attributing the Hymn in honor of Harmodius and Aristogiton to Callimachus, was a mere lapse of pen and memory, without any special excuse. That we did once deem Callistratus the right author, is proved by a short article of our writing, in Vol. 2, No. 1, of the Messenger, p. 38; where, in a preface to our former translation of the same ode, (differing slightly from the recent one,) we said,—“ The learned are not agreed as to the author of this noble specimen of classic minstrelsy; though by most it is ascribed to Callistratus. Some have set it down to Alceus; misled, perhaps, by the tyrant-hating spirit it breathes,—so fully in unison with the deep, trumpet tones of his 'golden lyre.' Unhappily for the paternity of this ode he died eighty years before the event it celebrates," We do not doubt that Callistratus is the true author: and we thank our courteous correspondent for correcting our error.



The superstition upon which the annexed poem is founded, is almost universal.


"Ho! bird of the strong and rapid wing,

Whither away so fast?

While the groaning pine trees creak and swing

And the sail flaps on the mast?

For the night is mirk on land and sea,

And the storm-fiend's breath is strong!" Still steadily onward struggleth he,

Croaking his mournful song.

'Tis the Horned Owl, that bird of dread,
Grim messenger of woe-

That scents from afar the destin'd dead
And heralds the Carrion Crow :-
A strange and ominous weird he owns,
From the light he cowers away,
And where arise his boding tones

The sick heart strives to pray.

In his glassy eye, there shines a gleam
Of unholy mystic light,

Unearthly, and wild, as a sick-man's dream

In his fever-troubled night.

Of all the feathered things that cleave

With winnowing wings the air,

"Tis bis alone the soul to grieve
With boding doubts and fear.

From barren heath and darkling town
Now rapidly hurries he,

"Till be folds his wings and settles down
On the blasted old Oak Tree.
Beneath that tree in days of old,

When its boughs were fresh and green,
Full many a Lover's tale was told
Under its leafy screen.

But many a year bath hurried by,
Since spectral, grim, and bare,


He hath stretched his wither'd arms on high
To greet the summer air.

Meet resting place for the bird of doom,
Whose sad and eyrie cry

Tells of the shroud, and the cold damp tomb,
Where corpses festering lie.

But look! from yon casement gleams a light,
Bright as the Evening star,
That gem in the coronet of Night
Lone shining from afar,—

It shines from a peaceful happy home,
Remote from the angry strife,

That dogs the footsteps of those who roam
'Mid the paths of crowded life;
And if the snowy wing of Peace,
In this dim and troubled sphere,
Could its rapid flight one moment cease,
It well might linger here,
For the light pours down, from a lamp above,
On a crone of aspect wild,
And a mother, gazing with looks of love
On a sleeping Infant child:-
With that placid smile in its cherub face,
A babe's can only wear,

The wee hands with unconscious grace
Folded as if in prayer.

Long gazed the mother with straining eye

On her slumbering infant child,

While her bosom heaved with a stifled sigh-
But her face with fear grew wild,
With listening ear, and bristling hair,

And blood in her veins that froze,

Like a voice of doom, through that silent room
An ominous sound uprose,-

A blended cry of wrath and woe,

With anguish keen and fell,

Like the wail of a soul in the pit below,
Condemned to the nethermost hell.

It rises above the tempest's wail,

It rings on the midnight air,
While cold as a statue, fixed and pale,
Stands that mute mother there!
Upstarts with a shriek the aged crone,

And wrings her shrivell'd hands,

While her tears fall fast with wailing moan,
Like rain upon the sands.

"Alas! alas for my darling child!

Alas for its mother dear!

Well do I know that warning wild,

So full of wrath and fear.

'Tis the messenger-bird of the Nameless One The grisly Horned Owl,

The lonely and the tameless one,

So gaunt, and grim, and foul;

And where'er comes he, oh, daughter dear?

The shadow of coming woe,

Follows his footprints fast and near;-
God grant it be not so!"

From her trance of terrors the mother breaks;
And clasps unto her breast

The screaming Infant as it wakes,
And soothes it into rest,

Then, sinking on her trembling knees,
With reverential air,

Pours forth in broken words like these,

A mother's heartfelt prayer.

"A spell there is, 'gainst all evil things, Lent by the power above,

That shall guard my child as with Angel's wings,

The spell of a Mother's Love!

Yet if this warning comes from thee

Oh Lord thy will be done,

Yet be the summons sent to me

Not to my guiltless son."

A clang of wings on the silence broke,

And away flew the Evil Bird,

As though he knew, from his blasted oak, That the mother's prayer was heard.


Long years have passed-the aged crone
Has been gathered to her rest,

And the Mother sits in that room alone,

As the sun sinks in the west:

But where is the boy of her hope and pride,

The nursling of her care?

He brings to his home a blooming bride
Joyous and young and fair.

The shades of evening slowly fall

Over the village green,

And Night is dropping her sable pall

Upon the smiling scene,

When a troop of gay and laughing girls,

Lead on in the bridal train

The Bride, with moist eyes 'neath her curls,

Like violets after rain

And sounds of careless joy and mirth,
Rise in a mingled hum,

As tripping o'er the flow'ry earth,

The bridal party come.

What shape is that on the old oak tree

In the misty twilight seen?

A guest no Bridegroom loves to see
On his nuptial eve I ween!

'Tis the Horned Owl!-and as the foot
Of the Bride is at the door,
Uprises in sad and solemn hoot

His warning voice once more.

A sense of cold and sickening dread
Creeps shuddering through the crowd,

As though the voice of the sheeted dead
Came rising from the shroud;—
And the glassy eyes of the evil Bird
Gleam with a baleful light,

As louder and louder his voice is heard

'Mid the gloom of the gathering night.

On the Bridegroom's face, is the pallid trace Of fears the soul that stir,

As with lips apart, and beating heart,

His gaze is fixed on her.

Not for himself, but for his bride,

Those spectral doubts appal,

On her, who trembles at his side,

That death voice seems to call :-
For the lover's heart must ever beat
With restless shadowy fear,

While death, with noiseless stealthy feet,
Comes creeping ever near;-
Trampling down with ruthless tread
The beautiful and brave.

And twining round each living head
The blossoms of the grave.
But calm the aged woman stands,
While the hideous sounds arise,
Raising on high her wither'd hands,
And her dim old sightless eyes.
"Long years ago," she slowly said,

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In love and maiden pride, And fiercely though life's storms may rave, Will cling unto thy side.

A mother's love, who can compare

With that which I have given,
With thee this earth an Eden were,-
Without thee what were Heaven?
And if her love in days long past,
Preserved thine infant life.

A better safeguard now thou hast,
The love of a faithful wife-
Whose love but brighter burns in wo,
Nor ebbs with ebbing breath,—

No woman's heart but well doth know,
That love can conquer death."
She turned her face towards the oak,

Lit up with a lofty scorn,

But e'er her parting words she said,
That dismal thing had gone.


The wintry winds are sighing
The dirge of the dying year,
On the earth the leaves are lying
All withered, brown and sere,
The moon, with wan and pallid face,
Looks down from the cloudy sky,
On a strong man who hath run his race,
And lain him down to die.

Few and thin are the silvery hairs
On his temples bare outspread,
And no fond female breast is near

To pillow his aching head,

As he tosses abrupt from side to side

In weariness and pain,

And the thought of his Bride in her virgin pride,

Comes back to his failing brain,

Like the strains of a long forgotten tune,

By the drifting seaman heard,

In the quiet hush of the sultry noon,
By the Cape of far De Verde;
As in the hush of the ocean's swell,
While the warring winds are mute,
He lists to the Angel Israfel,
"Whose heart-strings are a lute."
He ponders o'er his wasted years,
By pride and passion tossed,

And thinks with fresh and gushing tears

Of the loved ones and the lost.

But the messenger Bird of the grisly death,

The Night Owl, where is he?

He grimly watches the ebbing breath,
Fiom the stump of the old oak tree.
The baleful light of his eye gleams bright,
And he shrieks with a dismal din,
As he marks the strife, 'twixt death and life,


For the aged man within.

The sound has caught his dying ear,
The third time and the last,

And mingled shades of hope and fear
Flit o'er his features fast.
Feeble at first, his earnest words

Gain force as they roll along,

While his soul in its stubborn strength he girds,
To answer that funeral song.
"Avaunt, grim messenger of Death,
Back to thy master fly,

And tell him with this gasping breath
His mandate I defy.

For though, from this decaying clod,
My spirit shall be riven,

It pants to mount up to its God,

Within its native Heaven.

Though earthly love has left me long,
Yet Hope is with me still,-
Though Death is pitiless and strong,
Yet Faith is stronger still-
Upon its wings my soul shall rise

Up to that higher sphere.

And those long lost to these dim eyes—
Blest Angels greet me there."

Off flew the baffled bird of night-
And whether to bliss or dole,

As through the dark he winged his flight,
There fled a parting soul.

Savannah, Georgia.


E. D.

added, since then, to the Library of the jurist. And in our own country, the kindred minds of the lamented Story and Kent, whose shades yet hover around the temple of our jurisprudence, have produced works, that will last as long as the system, which called them into being.

With regard to the course of general reading, which Mr. Jefferson advises, and which may strike some students with surprise, it may be said that no man, who has risen to great eminence at the bar, has ever been a mere lawyer, and that while the way is toilsome and uninviting, it is sometimes permitted to the traveller therein to loiter even in the primrose paths of belles-lettres and poetry. Certainly there should be laid, in the mind of the student, a broad basis of general information in the abstract sciences, or no lasting superstructure of legal acquirement can be built up. A man may labor for years,-indeed pursue the viginti annorum lucubrationes of my lord Coke-and yet, if he read nothing but law, his mind may be but a repertorium of decided cases, incapable of reflection or of any useful application of his knowledge. Such has not been the course of those, in England and America, who have most adorned the gown of the advocate and the ermine of the judge. Such was not the course of Blackstone, of Mansfield, of Sir William Jones or of Legaré. Indeed we cannot refer to a single name, conspicuous on the roll of legal merit, who was deficient in general scholarship, but would have been more distinguished in law, had he been better versed in letters. The plodding teacher, who places into the hands of the student only such books as are authority in court, would have censured the late Mr. Scarlett for weaving a bouquet for the Annuals and Talfourd for the beautiful conception of Ion.

In what we have said, however, we would not be understood as implying that success at the bar can ever be attained by any temporising course of study. We would not induce any young man to suppose that in adopting the Law as his profession, his "yoke is to be easy or his bur den light:" So far from it, we would, if possible, dissuade many of those (and their name is legion,) who from a mistaken sense of their aptitude for the law and urged not unfrequently by partial and incompetent advisers, are constantly pressing forward as candidates for admission to the practice. It is a laborious task to prepare one's self for the exigencies of the office and the rewards are at best inadequate and tardy. But if the step has been decided upon, the student had need be diligent in his application. “The Law," says Dr. Johnson, "is the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public." To master it, in its general principles and its adaptation to the ends of society, requires indeed the most constant and persevering toil. Having stored his mind with the valuable information that Mr. Wirt and Mr. Jefferson recommend, let the student determine to lead a life of abstinence and industry, remembering that "industry," in the expressive language of Dr. South, "for the most part opens the way to preferment; and it is the sweat of the brow that entitles it to the laurel."

MS. LETTER OF TH: JEFFERSON. In the October number of our Magazine for the year 1834, (the second number ever published,) there appeared a Letter on the Study of the Law, from the pen of the late Mr. Wirt; a production so luminous and presenting so excellent a view of that "noblest of all sciences," that, had its author left no other work behind him, it would itself be a sufficient and enduring monument of his learning. Below we present a letter on the same subject, never before published, written by Mr. Jefferson, for which we are indebted to a valued, though too infrequent, correspondent. The student of Law will find it useful in shaping his studies, and to the general reader it will be interesting as coming from this distinguished source. So long a time has elapsed, however, even since the date. when Mr. Jefferson furnished a copy of it to Gen. Mercer, that it cannot be considered as giving an extended range of scientific or legal bibliography. Since the year 1815, the labors of a host of writers have illustrated the Law of England. The works of Chitty, the treatise of Sir Edward Sugden on Vendors, the delightful dissertation of Mr. Stephen on Pleading, which we regard as the most philosophical we have ever read, the splendid exposition of the Law of Evi- We beg pardon for having extended these remarks, (dedence, by Mr. Starkie, together with the contributions of signed merely as an introduction to Mr. Jefferson's Letter) Phillips, Theobald, Amos, Collyer and others, have all been so far. Always a most unworthy student of the Law our

Letter of Thomas Jefferson.


selves, we have never advanced farther than the starting- | single object; but both transitions from one object point of the course, where branch on branch of the science, to another may be so frequent and transitory as to like Alps on Alps, arise before us in forbidding perspec- leave no impression. The mean is therefore to tive. It were an offence against good taste in us, therefore, to presume to give advice and we conclude with asking attention to the letter we now present.-[Ed. Mess.

(To General Mercer.)

be steered and a competent space of time is to be allotted to each branch of study. Again a great inequality is observable in the vigor of the mind at different periods of the day. Its powers at these periods should therefore be attended to in marshalling the business of the day-for these reasons I should recommend the following distribution of your time:

Physical studies, Ethics, Religion, natural and Till 8 o'clock in the morning employ yourself in sectarian, and natural law, reading the following books:


par Gil

MONTICELLO, Aug. 30th, 1814. Dear Sir,--I have at length found the paper of which you requested a copy. It was written near 50 years ago for the use of a young friend whose course of reading was confided to me; and it form- Agriculture-Dickson's husbandry of the Antients. ed a basis for the studies of others subsequently placed under my direction, but curtailed for each in Full's horse hoeing husbandry. Lord Kaim's proportion to his previous acquirements and future gentleman farmer. Young's rural economy. views. I shall give it to you without change, exHale's Body of Husbandry. De-Serres theacept as to the books recommended to be read; later Chemistry—Lavoisier's conversations on Chemistre d'Agriculture. publications enabling me in some of the departinents of science to substitute better for the less Anatomy-John and James Bell's anatomy. perfect publications which we then possessed. In Zoology-Abregé du Systeme de Lenncé this the modern student has great advantage. I proceed to the copy. ibert. Manuel d'histoire naturel par Blumenback. Buffon, including Montbeillard Cepede. Wilson's American Ornithology. Botany-Barton's elements of Botany. Turton's Ethics and Natural Religion-Locke's Essay. Linnæus, Persoon Synopsis plantarum. Locke's conduct of the mind in the search after truth. Stewart's philosophy of the human mind. Enfield's history of philosophy. Condorcet, progrés de l'esprit humain. Cicero de officiis. Tuscalana de Senectute. Somnium Scipionis Seneca philosophica. Hutchinson's Introduction to moral Philosophy. Lord Kaim's Natural Religion. Frairté elementaire de morale et BonReligion, Sectarian-Bible, New Testament, Comheur. La Sagesse de Charron. mentaries on them by Middleton in his works, and by Priestly in his corruptions of Christianity and early opinions of Christ. ins. The Sermons of Sterne. Bourdaloue.

(Th: Jefferson to Bernard Moore.) Before you enter on the study of the law a sufficient ground work must be laid. For this purpose an acquaintance with the Latin and French authors is absolutely necessary. The former you have; the latter must now be acquired. Mathematics and Natural Philosophy are so useful in the most familiar occurrences of life and are so peculiarly engaging and delightful as would induce every person to wish an acquaintance with them. Besides this, the faculties of the mind, like the members of the body, are strengthened and improved by exercise. Mathematical reasonings and deductions are therefore a fine preparation for investigating the abstruse speculations of the law. In these and the analogous branches of science the following elementary books are recommended :

Mathematics. Boront, Cours de Mathematiques
the best for a student ever published. Montri-
olo or Bossu's histoire des Mathematiques.
Astronomy. Furguson and Le Mounier or de la

Natural Philosophy. Joyces scientific dialogues,
Martin's Phylosophia Britannica, Musienbrock's
Cours de Physique.

Volney's RuMassillon and

Natural Law-Vattel Droit des Gens. Reyneval,
Institutions du droit de la Nature et des Gens.

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From 8 to 12 read Law. The general course of this reading may be formed on the following grounds: Lord Coke has given us the first view of the whole body of law worthy now of being studied; for so much of the admirable work of This foundation being laid, you may enter reg- Bracton is now obsolete that the student should ularly on the study of the Law, taking with it such turn to it occasionally only, when tracing the histoof its kindred sciences as will contribute to emi-ry of particular portions of the Law. Coke's Innence in its attainment. The principal of these stitutes are a perfect digest of the law as it stood are Physics, Ethics, religion, natural Law, Belles in his day. After this, new Laws were added by Lettres, Criticism, Rhetoric and Oratory. The the Legislature and new developments of the old carrying on several studies at a time is attended laws by the Judges, until they had become so vowith advantage. Variety relieves the mind, as luminous as to require a new digest. This was well as the eye palled with too long attention to a ably executed by Matthew Bacon, although unfor

tunately under an alphabetical, instead of analyti- | Political Economy-Say's Economie politique. cal arrangement of matter-the same process of new laws and new decisions on the old laws going on, called at length for the same operation again and produced the inimitable commentaries of Blackstone. In the department of the Chancery a similar progress has taken place. Lord Kaims has given us the first digest of the principles of that branch of our jurisprudence, more valuable for the arrangement of matter, than for its exact conformity with the English decisions. The reporters from the early times of that branch, to that of the same Matthew Bacon are well digested, but alphabetically also in the abridgement of the cases in Equity, the 2nd vol. of which is said to have been done by him. This was followed by a number of able reporters, of which Fonblanque has given us a summary digest by commentaries on the text of the earlier work ascribed to Ballow, entitled "a treatise on equity"-the Course of Reading recommended then in these two branches of Law is the following:

Malthus on the Principles of population. Tra-
cy's work on political economy, now about to
be printed, (1814.)

In the afternoon read history—
History, ancient-The Greek and Latin originals.
Select histories from the Universal history. Gib-
bon's decline of the Roman empire. Histoire
Ancienne de Mellot.

History, modern-Histoire Moderne de Mellot.
Russel's History of Modern Europe. Robert-
son's Charles the 5th.

Common Law-Coke's Institutes. Select cases
from the subsequent Reports to the time of
M. Bacon. Bacon's abridgment. Select ca-
ses from the subsequent reporters to the present
day. Select tracts on Law, among which those
of Baron Gilbert are all of the first merit. The
Va. Laws. Reports on them.
Chancery-Lord Kaims' principles of Equity, 3rd
edition. Select cases from the Chancery re-
porters to the time of Matthew Bacon. The
abridgment of the cases in Equity.
cases from the subsequent reporters to the pres-
ent day. Fonblanque's Treatise of Equity.
Blackstone's Commentaries, (Tucker's'edition,)
as the last perfect digest of both branches of


In reading the reporters, enter in a commonplace book every case of value, condensed into the narrowest compass possible which will admit of presenting distinctly the principles of the case. This operation is doubly useful, inasmuch as it obliges the student to search out the pith of the case, and habituates him to a condensation of thought, and to an acquisition of the most valuable of all talents, that of never using two words when one will do—it fixes the case, too, more indelibly in the mind.

From 12 to 1 read Politics

Politics, general-Locke on government. Sidney on government. Priestly's first principles of government. Review of Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws, anonymous. De Lolme sur la constitu tion d'Angleterre. De Burgh's political disquisitions. Hatsell's precedents of the House of Commons. Select Parliamentary debates of England and Ireland. Chipmans on the principles government. The Federalist.


History, English-The original histories, to wit: the History of England, by E. Habington. E. W. More's Richard 3rd. Lord Bacon's Henry 8th. Lord Herbert's Henry 8th. Goodwin's Henry 8th, Edward 6th. Mary Cambden. Eliz. and James Ludlow. McCaulay. Fox. Belsham, Baxters' Hist. of Eng., (Hume republicanized and abridged.) Robertson's History of Scotland.

American. Robertson's History of America. Gordon's History of the Independence of the U. S. Ramsay's History of the American Revolution. Burke's History of Virginia. Continuation of History of Virginia, by Jones and Guardin, nearly ready for the press.

From Dark to Bed Time. Belles-lettres, Criti-
cism. Rhetoric, oratory, to wit-Belles-lettres-
read the best of the poets-epic, didactic, dra-
matic, pastoral, &c. But among these Shaks-
pear must be singled out by one who wishes to
have the full powers of the English Language,
of him we must advise as Horace did of the
Grecian models-" vos exemplaria Graeca noc-
turnâ versate manu versate diurnâ."

Criticism. Ld. Kaime's Elements of criticism.
Took's Diversions of Purley, of Biographical
Criticism; the Edinburgh Review furnishes the
finest models extant.
Rhetoric. Blair's Lecture's on Rhetoric. Sheri-
dan of Elocution. Mason on Poetic and Pro-
saic numbers.

Oratory. This portion of time, (borrowing some
of the afternoon when the days are long and the
nights short,) is to be applied also to acquiring
the art of writing and speaking correctly by the
following exercises. Criticise the style of any
books whatever, committing your criticisms to
writing-translate into the different styles, to
wit, the elevated, the middling and the familiar-
orators and poets will furnish subjects of the
first, historians of the second, and epistolary and
comic writers of the third. Undertake, at first,
short compositions, as themes, letters, &c., pay-
ing great attention to the correctness and ele-
gance of your language. Read the orations of
Demosthenes and Cicero-analyze these ora-
tions, and examine the correctness of the dispo-
sition, language, figures, states of the cases, ar-

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