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BIOGRIPHICAL NOTICE.

TO HAVE joined, in a degree singular every where, the studies of the closet with practical life in several of its most difficult forms : to have plunged, with an early passion of scholarship, into its vigils, never afterwards intermitted, and yet not to have stiffened into the pedant or the professor: after attaining the command of Arts and Learning, to have known how to rise to a far nobler, rarer thing, and bring them into the vigorous service of active affairs and the great world: not to have studied himself out of the native strength of his parts, but only into their readier and surer exercise: not to have lost himself in words or systems, but turned their mastery into that of things: to have filled himself to the lips with languages without spoiling his own, and with literature without losing his originality: in a country of rapidity and shallowness, where to do quickly and popularly is to do successfully, to have dared to be solid and sincere : unabated in his purposes by public inappreciation, the luck of ignorance, the jeers of blockheads, to have held on his courageous way to honor: to have scorned all success, but that which is seized and borne off by the mere strong hand and violence of ability and merit: as a lawyer, pausing little at forms, technicalities, the jargon of the science, the mere symbols of its knowledge, to have grasped, from the outset, at all those nearly unattempted resorts, that should make a light and an era in jurisprudence amongst us: as an orator, to have armed himself with an eloquence, not the mere happiness or ill abundance of such speech, glittering and facile, as popular institutions at once make common and forbid to rise to art the most consummate, but such as vied, in regularity, force and polish, with the glories of classic greatness: as a statesman, to have made his way, through a succession of important trusts up to nearly the most eminent, almost without popular favor, in a country where that favor is all in all, to blow, like the wind, where it listeth, and to fall, like the rain, upon

the godly and ungodly alike: in such stations, to have won, even amid those furies of party, which make of our politics little else than hostile camps, and a perpetual civil war without the honor of arms, the respect and regrets of all parties at once :—these things are the praise of him whose life we are about to relate, with as little exaggeration or partiality, as a warm personal attachment will permit.

Hugh Swinton LEGARE, the son of Solomon Legaré, junr., and of | Mary Swinton his wife, was born in Charleston, S. C., on the 2nd i January, 1797. On the father's side, he was of that Huguenot race,

the incunabula of many of the best families of his State, whom the same spirit, which drove the Pilgrims” of New-England to its then dreary coast, led to seek Freedom under a more genial sky and gentler institutions, planned by the philosophic liberality of Locke, but destined—except in the real religious equality, the legal toleration which they were the first to establish—10 endure, like other instances of extemporized Constitutions and philosophic visions of government, barely until they had been reduced to practice.

On the maternal side, he was of a lineage still more strenuousthat of those Scottish Swintous, celebrated for their prowess in the traditions of the Border which they long defended; one of whom, "stout Sir Alan," figures in the animated page of Froissart and in his copyist, Sir Walter Scott. The genealogy, lost in every other form,

* See his "Halidon Hill,” Sir Alan is its hero. The notes contain various references to the history of the family, of whom, this chief was the companion of the Bruce. Sir Walter says of them, in his Preface, after reciting Pinkerton's account of the part Sir Alan played in the battle of Halidon Hill, "The tradition of the Swinton family, which still survives in lineal descent, and to which the author has the honor to be related, avers,” etc. He afterwards describes, as they really were, his remarkable person, his extraordinary prowess, and the cognizance of his family :

“There needed not, to blazon forth the Swinton,
His ancient burgonet, the sable boar
Chain'd to the gnarled oak, nor his proud step,
Nor giant stature, nor the ponderous mace,
Which only he, of Scotland's realm, can wield:
His discipline and wisdom mark the leader,

As doth his frame the champion." Douglas, in his "Baronage," p. 132, says, “The armorial bearings of the ancient family of Swinton are sable, a cheveron, or, between three boar's heads erased, argent. Crest, a boar chained to a tree, and above, on an escroll, J'espere. SupPORTERS, two boars standing on a compartment, whereon are the words, Je pense.Scott makes them trace their feats up "to the old days of Malcolm callid the maiden;" who belongs to some date that was very old in Bruce's time. We

is still assured, among their American descendants, by one of those domestic marks which even Dernocracy, in its enmity of all distinctions, but slowly obliterates-the transmissier, from generation to generation, of certain favorite baptismal names. Those of Hugh and Alan, proper to the Swintons of that ilk, of Simprin-Mains and Swinton-Quarter, seem of frequent recurrence among the Carolinian race Of the precise date of their migration hither, we are not informed. William Swinton, the grand-father of Mrs. Legaré, is believed to have been sent out, as Surveyor-General of the Province, some time between 1721 and 1731. The family names were William, Hugh and Alexander. They are reputed, however, to have been Covenanters; so that he of whom we write mixed in his veins whatever of either French or Scottish blood was inimical to tyrants

His progenitor, Solomon Legaré, the first emigrant of the name, from whom he was fifth in descent, left his native land for America in 1695 or 1696, and fixed his residence in the north-eastern part of the city of Charleston. Acquiring in that quarter of the town a considerable landed property, he bestowed it upon two of his sons and a daughter: while, purchasing another body, on the opposite side of the city, traversed by a street which still bears his name, he left this, entire, to his son Solomon, the father of Thomas, whose son, a third Solomon, was the father of Hugh Swinten Legaré. The city estate thus inierited by the second Legaré he sold, in great part,-purchasing, in its stead, possessions on the neighboring John's Isand; which henceforth became the chief seat of that branch of the family, and where still remain, in the possession of those of the name, two ancient mansions, erected by their forefather, the son of the emigrant.

find a modern Swinton one of the authors of the great "Universal History.” Another Swinton, to whom we cannot now more precisely refer, is said to have made, on his estate of Swintondale, one of the earliest attempts at what has since become the steam-boat.

* The South-Carolina Gazette, of the year 1760, contains the subjoined notice of the death of the original emigrant:

Died, on the 8th May, 1760, Mr. Solomon Legaré, Senr., in the 87th year of his age-one of the oldest settlers in this Province. He had been here 64 years."

The steps of descent and alliance are traced as follows:
1. Solomon Legaré, the Huguenot emigrant.
II. Solomon, the son ; who intermarried with Mary Stock.
III. Thomas, the grandson ; intermarried with Elizabeth Barnet.

IV. Solomon, the great-grandson ; who, intermarrying with Mary, the daughter of Hugh Swinton and of Susannah Splatt his wife, became the father of Hugh Swinton Legaré.

Of Solomon Legaré, Jr., the father of the late Attorney General, we are in possession of few particulars beyond his early death: a misfortune usually involving, to male children-especially if there be but one—ill-governed youth and a neglected education.* These were, however, in this instance, averted, partly by the admirable qualities of the mother, partly by the strong faculties of the boy, betokened almost from his cradle; and what seemed, at first, another cruel calamity, came only to aid, at the expense of his body, his intellectual development.

He was born of fine and singularly large proportions, which up to his fourth year promised the strength and the stature of his stalwart ancestry, those baronial prickers who, for a thousand years keeping the Borders, won such titles and attributes of arms as “John with the Long Spear”—“Archibald of the Axe'—"Richard the Ready"-or “Stout Sir Alan," "of that huge mace still seen where war was wildest.”+ But, at that age, it became necessary to inoculate him with the small-pox: the artificial disease took a more than usual virulence: medical mismanagement probably aggravated it; and it finally put on the confluent form, fixing itself upon the larger joints (his elbows and knees) in deep imposthumes. These kept him for some three months on his back, utterly helpless, and at length so mere a skeleton that, from stout as he had been, he came to be, for some time, borne about by his mother on a pillow. When these wasting tumours were at last dissipated, they left him his fine trunk greatly enfeebled, though otherwise unimpaired; but with limbs which, though stout, never afterwards grew to their proper length or shapeliness. For eight or nine years, he is said scarcely to have gained in height at all; and then, on his transfer to school and college in the upper country, to have shot up, with great rapidity; but it was in the superior part of his person almost entirely; for while his chest, bust and head became those of a very fine torso, his members remained those of a very short man. Seated, his length of body set off by a broad and manly chest, a noble head, and an air unusually imposinghe looked of commanding person; but risen, he seemed suddenly 10 have shrunk out of his bodily advantages. The defective conformation thus superinduced, unfitted him, in boyhood for its sports, in manhood for its exercises, and so consigned him, as sickliness did Pope, or distortion of the feet Scott and Byron, to intellectual activity

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* The Gracchi and Sir William Jones afford the most remarkable exceptions + Scott, “Halidon Hill," Act ii., Scene 3.

and the relief of study only. In these he sought and found noble compensation for whatever he had lost in strength or beauty of limbs. The instincts of a powerful nature, which might else have found vent in robuster pursuits and a more vulgar excellence, were thus compressed into all the vehemence of a single feeling—the necessity of knowledge and its delights--the passion of mastering other men with his mind, since he could no longer hope to master them with his body.

The domestic traditions, however--those fond personal romances, woven between Memory and Imagination, which delight to embellish and magnify into auguries of greatness each little fact of the childhood of remarkable people--are not wanting in the recollection of presages of his genius, that appeared from his tenderest age. There could usually need, in truth, little but a recurrence to the fancies--forgotten, like dreams, when the event has not confirmed them-awakened in mothers and nurses by each childish trait, in order to establish, in almost any person's favour, these promises of something extraordinary. Probably if all the world turned out sages or heroes--which were perhaps a pity-the authentic legends of every body's surprising infancy would be much the same. So, at least, in concession to the rationalism of an age averse to prodigies of every sort, except Mesmerism, Millerism, Paper Constitutions, Hydropathy and Progressive Democracy, we are willing to argue: but we ourselves have a faith less material, and love, when we believe in fables, that they should be of the older kind, such as Voltaire demolished without and Niebuhr with learning--the fables of God, and those fables of a prodigious and inborn personal superiority which--perhaps with not a little loss to mankind--must cease, like other miracles, when checked by an universal refusal to believe that such things can be.

Be all this as it may, and whether or not it be as wise as it is natural that an Age of Littleness should discredit individual eminence, just as a world of Pigmies must be expected to disbelieve in Giants, it is none the less our business as historians to manage this mythological period in our subject as grave writers have so often done the fabulous ages of Greek, Roman and other annals. Positive facts being few, we must recite myths or allegories; and, as geographers were formerly wont to scatter about those unknown parts, which they could not otherwise figure in their maps, monsters such as Zoology has never been able to describe, so must we fill this part of our page with what, perhaps, that which entitles itself Criticism and delights in disenchanting us of many things noble or agreeable or useful to believe,

VOL. I.-A

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