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of these, according to Lord Kames, invariably leading to corruption and depravity. He who thus observes the outside instead of advancing into the penetralia of the temple, is as partial in bis scope of observation as the underworkman so felicitously described by Dean Swift ; and confining himself to the outworks, is a stranger to the grander conceptions which would be inspired by the amazing extent and beautiful proportions of the interior and principal structure."
The performance of all his duties demands the possession of various knowledge, the exercise of bonest feelings and correct morals. The cultivation of integrity makes his
perception of wrong quicker, and his rebuke of it more indig
The degradation of our moral faculues lessens the value we should set on virtue, rectitude, and bonor, and lays the foundation for private afflictions and natural evils. If honesty be the element which binds the moral world together, how necessary is its cultivation by the members of that profession who are by that office the guardians of the constitution and the laws. Our author bas very properly made the integrity of the lawyer depend on adequate learning, pure morils, unsullied honor, magnanimity of sentiment, and unruffled temper. These are put in contrast with imperfect learning, low morals, selfishness, meanness, and chicanery, the characteristics of pettifoggers. Exemplifications of the principles and conduct of the eminent lawyer are introduced, and just observations made. These form an interesting portion of this admirable discourse, and exhibit our author to advantage. To them we refer with pleasure. Many of the great lawyers of other times have displayed noble and heroic virtues, given the first movement to reforın in government, contributed to ameliorate the condition of men, and save the honor and the blood of nations. They have almost always been the first 10 perceive the defects of institutions, and to suggest, support, and establish beneficial improvements.
They have often become conspicuous for their virtue, courage, and patriotism, and have in both hemispheres not only guided their country through perilous times, but have entered the tented field, and guided armies in victorious battles. A profession so distinguished for the usefulness and important duties of its members, should require high faculties and varied attainments. It is the constant object of the attack of envy and jealousy by those who are not fitted by education, morals, or habits, to enter its ranks. Every thing that
has a tendency to exalt the character of the lawyer and to indicate the proper studies and dispositions to be cultivated, should receive particular approbation. We are too apt to indulge apathetic indifference in relation to the most important objects. Our rights depend on their appreciation by the public, and even justice is affected by the value set on the purity, rectitude, and learning of those who are appointed to its administration.
We are much indebted to Mr. Tyson for selecting the integrity of the legal character as the subject of his discourse before the Law Academy at Philadelphia. It is treated with distinguished ability and in good taste ; the various topics of which he treats are presented in a terse, clear, and elegant style. He might, indeed, have selected other subjects which would have admitted greater display and won more applause ; but there is none more important, more vitally interesting to the profession and to the public. It may not be too much to predict, that the student who reads this admirable discourse, and adopts the principles it inculcates as a rule of conduct, will, in after life, be grateful to the author for much of the security, success, and honor he has attained in his professional career.
We close our remarks upon this discourse with a hearty recommendation to the student to read it with attention, to cultivate with assiduity the learning and principles, the feelings and habits which will render him an honor to his profession, a blessing to his friends, and a chivalrous advocate to maintain and defend in the councils or in the field, the rights and laws and glory of his country.
Art. IV.-A Collection of the Political Writings of WILLIAM
LEGGETT. Selected and arranged with a Preface, by THEODORE SEDGWICK, Jun. In Two Volumes. New York : 1840. Taylor & Dodd.
Although the political writings of Mr. Leggett are, for the most part, in direct opposition to the established principles and to the uniform spirit of our journal, we confess ihat we lay down these volumes, disarmed of every disposition to criticise or condemn them. Admiration for the author's talents, and respect for his fearless independence, are the predominant feelings which the perusal of them has left upon our minds; and we here make our acknowledgments to Mr. Sedgwick for rescuing them from the oblivion into which they must have fallen, but for the more permanent form in which he has presented them. It was, we learn, an act of pure friendship on his part, the proceeds of the publication being wholly for the benefit of Mr. Leggett's family; and we regret that the work has not as yet received the attention from the public to which its merits entitle it.
Mr. Sedgwick has done well the work which he undertook. He has selected and arranged from the miscellaneous editorial articles which find their way into the columns of a daily newspaper, as each day brings up, with its various and diversified burdens, new facts, and new topics, such as may have the most perinanent interest, and best exhibit the manner and the mind of his friend. These newspaper articles must not be judged by the general character of their class.
Mr. Leggett was a prominent and most able political writer. In the fierce contest waged between the two great parties during the latter part of General Jackson's administration, he engaged with all his heart, and advocated with an ability equal to his earnestness, what many considered extreme opinions. His boldness, his straightforward eloquence, and the spirit with which he clung to a theory or principle, gave him great influence over men's minds. Wherever he obtained a footing after removing the prejudices which the advocate of extreme opinions will always encounter, his influence was certain to be great.
Some of the topics of these articles were such as interested merely the times for which they were written ; but most of them interest all times, and all of them are discussed with so much vigor, and reasoned out with such close and fearless argument, that the skill and power of the writer win the interest which the subject might have failed to awaken.
We have here the subjects of most of the controversies which agitated the country at the period we have mentioned - banking—the Bank of the United States - monopolies and free trade-corporations-abolition of slavery - the French indemnity - the presidential contest- and the character of President Jackson. These subjects are all interwoven with the history of the country, and many of them have a permanent and essential interest which will outlast administra
tions and generations. What such a man as Leggett has written on these topics, and written, too, in the midst of the strife, under the heat and pressure of hourly struggle, cannot be a matter of indifference to a right-judging person of any opinion or party.
The style of these selections is unadorned, but free, hardy English, transparent as water, sometimes departing from the purest idiom, but always strong and spirited. Take, for example, the following article on the “Morals of Politics” from the Plaindealer, of June 3, 1837.
“Public moralists have long noticed with regret, that the political contests of this country are conducted with intemperance wholly unsuited to conflicts of reason, and decided, in a great measure, by the efforts of the worst class of people. We apply this phrase, not to those whom the aristocracy designate as the lower orders ;' but to those only, whether well or ill-dressed, and whether rich or poor, who enter into the struggle without regard for the inherent dignity of politics, and without reference to the permanent interests of their country and of mankind; but animated by selfish objects, by personal preferences or prejudices, the desire of office, or the hope of accomplishing private ends through the influence of
party. Elections are commonly looked upon as mere game, on which depends the division of party spoils, the distribution of chartered privileges, and the allotment of pecuniary rewards. The antagonist principles of government, which should constitute the sole ground of controversy, are lost sight of in the eagerness of sordid motives ; and the struggle, which should be one of pure reason, with no aim but the achievement of political truth, and the promotion of the greatest good of the greatest number, sinks into a mere brawl, in which passion, avarice, and profligacy, are the prominent actors.
“ If the questions of government could be submitted to the people in the naked dignity of abstract propositions, men would reason upon them calmly, and frame their opinions according to the preponderance of truth. There is nothing in the intrinsic nature of politics that appeals to the passions of the multitude. It is an important branch of morals, and its principles, like those of private ethics, address themselves to the sober judgment of men. A strange spectacle would be presented, should we see mathematicians kindle into wrath in the discussion of a problem, and call on their hearers, in the angry terms of demagogues, to decide on the relative merits of opposite modes of demonstration.
“ The same temperance and moderation which characterize the investigation of truth in the exact sciences, belong not less to the inherent nature of politics, when confined within the proper
field. “ The object of all politicians, in the strict sense of the expression, is happiness - the happiness of a state - the greatest possible
sum of happiness of which the social condition admits to those individuals who live together under the same political organization.
It may be asserted, as an undeniable proposition, that it is the duty of every intelligent man to be a politician. This is particularly true of a country, the institutions of which admit every man to the exercise of equal suffrage. All the duties of life are embraced under the three heads of religion, politics, and morals. The aim of religion is to regulate the conduct of man with reference to happiness in a future state of being; of politics, to regulate his conduct with reference to the happiness of communities; and of inorals, to regulate his conduct with reference to individual happiness.
“ Happiness, then, is the end and aim of these three great and comprehensive branches of duty; and no man perfectly discharges the obligations imposed by either, who neglects those which the others enjoin. The right-ordering of a state affects, for weal or wo, the interests of multitudes of human beings; and every individual of those multitudes has a direct interest, therefore, in its being ordered aright.
“I ain a man,' says Terence, in a phrase as beautiful for the harmony of its language, as the benevolence and universal truth of its sentiments; and nothing can be indifferent to me which affects humanity'
“ The sole legitimate object of politics, then, is the happiness of communities. They who call themselves politicians, having other objects, are not politicians, but demagogues. But is it in the nature of things, that the sincere and single desire to promote such a system of government as would most effectually secure the greatest amount of general happiness, can draw into action such violent passions, prompt such fierce declamation, authorize such angry criminations, and occasion such strong appeals to the worst motives of the venal and base, as we constantly see and hear in every conflict of the antagonist parties of our country? Or does not this effect arise from causes improperly mixed with politics, and with which they have no intrinsic affinity ? Does it not arise from the fact, that government, instead of seeking to promote the greatest happiness of the community, by confining itself rigidly within its true field of action, has extended itself to embrace a thousand objects which should be left to the regulation of social morals, and unrestrained competition, one man with another, without political assistauce or check ? Are our elections, in truth, a means of deciding mere questions of government, or does not the decision of numerous questions affecting private interests, schemes of selfishness, rapacity, and cunning, depend upon them, even more than cardinal principles of politics?
“ It is to this fact, we are persuaded, that the immorality and licentiousness of party contests are to be ascribed. If government were restricted to the few and simple objects contemplated in the democratic creed, the mere protection of person, life, and property;