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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.
THREE HOOTS OF THE HORNED OWL.
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,
That scents from afar the destin'd dead
The sick heart strives to pray.
In his glassy eye, there shines a gleam
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
From barren heath and darkling town
"Till be folds his wings and settles down
When its boughs were fresh and green,
But many a year bath hurried by,
He hath stretched his wither'd arms on high
Meet resting place for the bird of doom,
Tells of the shroud, and the cold damp tomb,
But look! from yon casement gleams a light,
It shines from a peaceful happy home,
That dogs the footsteps of those who roam
The wee hands with unconscious grace
Long gazed the mother with straining eye
On her slumbering infant child,
While her bosom heaved with a stifled sigh-
And blood in her veins that froze,
Like a voice of doom, through that silent room
A blended cry of wrath and woe,
With anguish keen and fell,
Like the wail of a soul in the pit below,
It rises above the tempest's wail,
It rings on the midnight air,
And wrings her shrivell'd hands,
While her tears fall fast with wailing moan,
"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;-
From her trance of terrors the mother breaks;
The screaming Infant as it wakes,
Then, sinking on her trembling knees,
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
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
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,
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
'Tis the Horned Owl!-and as the foot
His warning voice once more.
A sense of cold and sickening dread
As though the voice of the sheeted dead
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 :-
While death, with noiseless stealthy feet,
And twining round each living head
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,
A better safeguard now thou hast,
No woman's heart but well doth know,
Lit up with a lofty scorn,
But e'er her parting words she said,
The wintry winds are sighing
Few and thin are the silvery hairs
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,
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,
For the aged man within.
The sound has caught his dying ear,
And mingled shades of hope and fear
Gain force as they roll along,
While his soul in its stubborn strength he girds,
And tell him with this gasping breath
For though, from this decaying clod,
It pants to mount up to its God,
Within its native Heaven.
Though earthly love has left me long,
Up to that higher sphere.
And those long lost to these dim eyes—
Off flew the baffled bird of night-
As through the dark he winged his flight,
THE STUDY OF THE LAW.
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:
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
Natural Philosophy. Joyces scientific dialogues,
Volney's RuMassillon and
Natural Law-Vattel Droit des Gens. Reyneval,
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-
In the afternoon read history—
History, modern-Histoire Moderne de Mellot.
Common Law-Coke's Institutes. Select cases
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-
Criticism. Ld. Kaime's Elements of criticism.
Oratory. This portion of time, (borrowing some