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naissant si vous vouliez les intéresser aussi á ces jeunes Américains.
M. Reynolds vous donnera de mes nouvelles. J'ai eu le malheur ou bien le bonheur (qui sait ?) de perdre mon élection à Charleston à cause de ma propre insouciance, de sorte qu'après le 4 Mars prochein je ne serai plus membre du Congrès. Tout et toujours à vous.
H. S. LEGARÉ.
Mr. Legaré to Mr T.C. Reynolds, at Berlin.
CHARLESTON, JUNE 7, '39. Dear Sir, I am very glad to find, by the letter with which you favor me from Berlin, that you are established there to your satisfaction. You will, no doubt, by this time, have become acquainted with most of the distinguished men of the University, especially with M. de Savigny. There is a work of that great man's, which I sent out to America, and expected to find among my books when I came home, but have not been able to lay my hands on. Its title is Der Beruf unserer Zeit zur Gesetzgebung, or something like that, in which the author developes the doctrines of what is called the "Historical School” of Germany. I have sent for it again, but am so anxious to get it that I have a mind to ask you to send it to me. But there is a work that I must positively have, as soon as I can. It is one of the great critic, M. Bekker, on Demosthenes. The title is “Demosthenes als Staatsman und Redner.” You will really do me a very great favor by sending it to me. I should be glad, at the same time, to get the common octavo school edition of Bekker's Thucydides. The larger work I would very much desire, but I have already two editions (expensive ones) of the same historian. You will learn the value of that scholar's labors in philology before you leave Berlin.
We are getting on here much as usual. The city becomes more and more pretty, every day, as the rebuilding goes on.* As to politics, I know nothing about them. They have been pleased to express great regrets at what they have done, but it is too late. My determination to go to the bar, and let public affairs alone, is fixed.
Pray make my compliments to your young fellow-traveller, Mr. Guerard. He, like myself, is a descendant of the Huguenots, and will find many of the same race at Berlin. M. de Savigny, I believe, is one of them.
* This was written one year after the great fire of '38 in Charleston.
I send this under cover to Mr. Wheaton, in whom you will have found, no doubt, a kind and useful friend. Believe me, dear sir, etc.,
H. S. L. P.S. I thank you very much for the political information you give in your letter. Pray write immediately, and fill your pages with as much of the same matter as you can gather.
Mr. Legaré to Mr. T. C. Reynolds, at Heidelberg.
CHARLESTON, 230 APRIL, 1810. My dear Sir,-I am quite ashamed of my remissness in not acknowledging, long ere this, how much I am indebted to you for your two favors, which I received in the course of the winter, as well as for the books. These latter came to hand not very long ago: the Thucydides was just what I wanted, and it happened to arrive when I stood most in need of it, for I was writing a paper for the New York Review, in which I had occa sion to be very critical in my notice of the great historian. The "Demosthenes” of Bekker is not precisely the work I wanted, though so much like it in name as easily to be mistaken for it, and so much on the same subject as almost entirely to take its place. Still, I should be glad to have the work-an earlier one of the same author-I spoke of. It is simply “Demosthenes als Redner und Staatsman"-als Schriftsteller being omitted. This last work you sent me contains, however, I dare say, very much the same things,---of course, improved by subsequent research.
I dare say you find Munich an agreeable residence. Poor young Drayton Grimké and McMillan King seemed to be very much pleased with the society and other advantages of that city. I spent but a few days there myself, but was charmed with its situation as well as with the agricultural improvements of the town.
As to your studies, if you look forward to the study of law, you ought to make yourself master of the Civilians while you are in Germany. It will be an immense advantage to you when you come to study the common law, for, after all, the differences between the codes of nations are not very great, and they reflect infinite light mutually upon one another. If medicine is to be your future profession, of course you will pursue another course. The physical sciences ought, in that case, to engross your attention,-especially botany and chemistry. Of course, you will find time to cultivate, as secondary objects, however, other branches of knowledge, but, at any rate, I would have you study political and literary history, for which your knowledge of the German will furnish you with immense facilities. Don't neglect Latin. It is easy to acquire a thorough knowledge of it, by writing it occasionally. Translate first into English, and then back into Latin, and you will thus find yourself master of all the idioms and refinements of a tongue, which is a key to a world of knowledge, from which you will be otherwise wholly shut out.
If you see the New York Review of July, you will read in it the leading article "on the Constitutional History of Greece" and "the Democracy of Athens", which is by me. I should like to know whether the learned men of Germany think such things worthy of their notice. I published in the 10th No. of the same work an article on Roman Legislation, of which the main object was to bring to the notice of our American public some of the learned works of the actual schools of Germany. I made two or three slight mistakes,—but they are inevitable in periodical literature, which is always hasty.
I have no idea of entering the political arena again; though my experience has abundantly convinced me how little one's purposes and wishes have to do with shaping one's destinies. My private circumstances, however, imperatively demand my attention to some sort of business, and I have none to go to but the law. I have argued, this winter, some causes of importance.
Pray write to me, -you have so much the advantage in the intelligence you have to communicate. You know what a som. bre monotony our life is : nothing (except troubles) ever occurs here. Remember me, if you please, to your compagnon de voyage, and believe me, etc.,
H. S. L.
The same to the same.
CHARLESTON, FEB. 6, 1941. Dear Sir,- I have been for some time in your debt for a very interesting letter from Heidelberg, which I should have answered before, had I not been quite oppressed with occupation of one sort or other. Your information on the actual state of things in Germany seems to be very correct, and is altogether acceptable to me. I could ask for no greater favour in the way of correspondence, than just a repetition of your last.
Your note in reference to a still more protracted stay in Europe, was handed me by **** some time ago. I expressed to him, very much at large, my sentiments upon the subject generally, and as he seemed to concur with me, he pressed me to write to you substantially the same things. I told him I would do so, and now fulfil my promise.
But, in truth, however attractive such a stay might appear to you, I do not think a more unfortunate event could happen to you than just to have your wish gratified. At your age I was in
Europe, and had precisely the same desire. I well remember that, of all my youthful wishes, it was the strongest. I now know-by much and, I must add, painful experience—that nothing would have been more fatal to me in the whole course of my subsequent life. Even without such an obstacle to one's preferment in this eminently practical and business-doing country, as the having passed many years abroad, and in the atmosphere of courts, when just grown up, I have found my studies in Europe impede me at every step of my progress. They have hung round my neck like a dead weight, -and do so to this very day. Our people have a fixed aversion to every thing that looks like foreign education. They never give credit to any one for being one of them, who does not take his post in life early, and do and live as they do. Nothing is more perilous, in America, than to be too long learning, and to get the name of bookish. Stay in Europe only long enough to lay the ground-work of professional eminence, by pursuing the branches of knowledge most instrumental in advancing it. Let me, therefore, advise you to come home and study a profession. Whatever you may think of these opinions now, I am quite sure you will fully subscribe to them ten or fifteen years hence.
The book you speak of (Demosthenes als S. u. R.) has never come to hand. There seems to be a fatality attending it for me.
I have only to add that I am very much pleased with the evidences which your letters afford of high and, what is better, sound intelligence, and that I hope to see you reap the fruits of it in future life. Meanwhile, I am, etc.,
H. S. L.
Mr. Legaré to his sister.
BRUSSELS, 20 MAY, 1834. My dear Mary,
We have had a sad affair here, which has totally boulversé our society. I sent a circumstantial account of it to Petigru, whom I requested to forward the letter to you. It was the sacking of fourteen or fifteen houses, many of them of the greatest personages here, but not well affected towards the government, by a banditti of apprentices and journeymen, on a bright Sunday morning, in the midst of the people of Brussels, and before the eyes of the authorities, civil and military, who merely looked on as spectators,--not for any want of inclination to interfere, but because the rickety revolutionary government really dare not get into a scrape with the mob which created it. The effect, as I said, upon our society, has been very bad,---for not only have some of the first houses been broken up, but some English of distinction, who intended to reside here, have been prevented from doing so by the fear of these popular eruptions. To make the matter still worse for me, and indeed all of us, we sustained an irreparable loss, a few days afterwards, in the death of the charming young Countess de Latour Maubourg, wife of the French ambassador, who died, at the age of nineteen, in giving birth to her first child. I can give you no idea how much I have felt this misfortune. I happened to see her the day before her confinement, blooming and cheerful, but rather alarmed by the above-mentioned exploits of the banditti ; the day before, but counting on better days, and as happy at home as possible for a woman to be, as she constantly said, --for what could be more brilliant and blessed than the situation of a young lady, married to a perfectly accomplished gentleman of ihe old school, who, to all the elegance of that school in France, united the domestic habits of an Englishman, and loved his wife, while her own private fortune, and his station, as minister plenipotentiary, ensured her all that a woman's ambition can aim åt in society. Just see how unfortunate I am in the loss of friends, which I feel the more sensibly from my isolated situation here. It is so strange! to have been in Brussels less than two years, and to have already survived so many on whom I counted for making my time pass agreeably. The Hastings are still here, but I fear they will not continue long. They are my chief resource, and I feel an interest in them which, though not without a touch of sadness, is very lively. I shall never be able to think of them without regret,-unavailing regret.
I began, yesterday, (for it is quite an epoch in my life,) to read Goëthe's Faust in the original, and am happy to find it less difficult than I was led to expect. It is now eleven months since I first began to learn German,—from this must be deducted two months for my visit to Paris, etc. Owing to the cessation of the dinners and soirées, in which I was perpetually engaged during the whole winter, I now have hardly any thing to do but to read, --which, I assure you, I do to some purpose. I have been prevented from taking the tour in Germany, which I expected to make this summer, and shall, therefore, with occasional excursions in the neighborhood, remain at Brussels. Should nothing happen, I shall devoie all that time to the acquiring the sort of knowledge which most attracts me now,--politics and the history of man, including that of the church.
1 shall make some profit of that time, with a view to the great end of life,—the learning to be wise,-not for purposes of vanity and ostentation, but of happiness in myself and usefulness to others. I wish I could impart to you some of the philosophy which is beginning, at last, to reconcile me to the world, wearisome and evil as it is.
You may be assured that the best of all moralists is pleasure. One learns temperance from being always tempted