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survived several suits begun within his remembrance in the English chancery, and arrived, through an honorable career, to the advanced age of eighty-six. Many instances of repartee are related of the old judge,' which for genuine epigrammatism are scarcely inferior to some of the best of Piron and Talleyrand.
When a practising attorney, many years ago, he happened, while arguing a question of some difficulty, to illustrate a point in his case by a pretty free use of the vocabulary of the card-lable. The presiding judge abruptly inquired what he meant by addressing such language to the court ?
• I meant, your Honor, to be understood,' was the reply.
On another occasion, a judge, vexed with the difficulty, or irritated by the insignificance, of a cause which T. was conducting, cried out : “Sir, why do you bring such a case as this into court ? Why not leave it out to some of your honest neighbors ?' •Because, your Honor,' replied the barrister, we do n't choose that honest men should have any thing to do with it.'
In the early days of Vermont jurisprudence, the strict decorum which now very generally distinguishes the New England bar was comparatively unknown. Nothing was more common than sharp altercations between the Bench and the Bar; such wranglings indeed as would now be deemed 'contempt of court,' were they to occur only between the lawyers themselves. On one occasion Judge T-, who was then plain · Esquire,' had addressed a sound argument to the court, and sat down. The judge, who chose to argue the question rather than decide it at once, replied in a feeble argument, which the lawyer in his turn demolished. The judge rejoined by repeating, without any material variation, his first reply; and then .closed the pleadings' by an adverse decision. Your Honor's two arguments,' said T — addressing himself partly to the court and partly to the bar, “ remind me of a story. A foolish old woman in Connecticut, being one evening at a party, was greatly at a loss for something to say. At length she ventured to in. quire of a gentleman who sat next her, whether his mother had any children ?' The gentleman politely pointed out the absurdity of her inquiry. 'I beg pardon,' exclaimed the old lady, perceiving her mistake; “you do n't understand me; I meant to inquire whether your grand-mother had any children ?'
I remember an anecdote of Judge 0 - father of the distinguished president of the Wesleyan University, which is very characteristic of the man, and is, I have no doubt, authentic. At a session of the court in Addison county, Judge 0 — was violently attacked by a young and very impudent attorney. To the manifest surprise of every body present, the judge heard him quite through, as though unconscious of what was said, and made no reply. After the adjournment for the day, and when all had assembled at the inn where the judge and many of the court-folk had their lodgings, one of the company, referring to the scene at court, asked the judge • why he did not rebuke the impertinent fellow ?? «Permit me,' said the judge, loud enough to call the attention of all the company, among whom was “the fellow' in question ; ‘per
mit me to tell you a story. My father, when we lived down country, had a dog ; a mere puppy,
Well, this puppy would go out every moonlight night and bark at the moon for hours together.'
Here the Judge paused, as if he had done with the story. • Well, well, what of it ?' exclaimed half a dozen of the audience at
«O! nothing, nothing whatever; the moon kept right on, just as if nothing had happened !
St. Albans, Vermont.
cially in the time of the famous Guy, Earl of Warwick, of whom my ancestor was a firm adherent. It was said, too, that the spirits of these unfortunate persons still haunted the neighborhood, and made the green banks of the Avon their place of meeting. The low murmur of the stream, as it swept gently under the walls of the Castle, was said to be but the voices of these spirits, as they breathed their lamentations over the waters which had been the only witness of their sufferings. I speak of nursery-tales and neighborhood-gossip, not of course credited by the enlightened, but which served to fill my infarrt mind with terror and awe. And as this sketch is intended to give the history of my mental as well as of my external life, I dwell with the more minuteness on those things which first affected it most powerfully. On
my father's marriage with a daughter of one of the noble families in Warwickshire, the Castle was almost completely metamorphosed. His family pride would not permit him to throw down a single stone of the staunch pile which had stood so long and so firmly a defence for his ancestors; while the improvements of the age required a mansion more in accordance with its refined and peaceful spirit. It was consequently resolved to add to the pile a splendid modern structure, which was to become par excellence the residence of the family. The old dininghall and the state-rooms were however allowed to remain in all their sombre grandeur. The library was not quite dismantled ; although all of the handsomer books were removed into the new room, built for that purpose. Enough nevertheless remained to save the room from utter neglect, although the dusty cob-webs around its walls gave evidence of the slight attention it received.
The older servants saw with dismay the preparations for enlarging the establishment; looking upon it as a virtual abandonment of the Old Castle.' This was considered a bad omen, and to augur the downfall or termination of our house. A prophecy was quoted relative to the dreaded event, now about to take place, which was said to be of great antiquity :
"WHEN ye St. Leger shal marrie a virgyn fair,
My grand-father held this prophecy in great veneration. He was wont to say, “With so plain a warning in view, the St. Legers would stand an unbroken name for countless generations. The consequence was, that nothing was done even to the old castle, except what came strictly under the denomination of repairs. Improvements were not thought of. At length, Hugh St. Leger was gathered to his fathers, and the great gong of the castle struck his last requiem amid the weeping and lamentation of relatives, servants and retainers; for he was a man of many virtues; both generous and kind, though stern in his manner, and possessing somewhat of the haughty bearing of the preceding age.
My father was educated at a more enlightened period, when improvements waxed rife; when distinctions began to soften, and changes to be thought necessary. He affected to disregard the prophecy which had been so religiously believed by his ancestors. He maintained that the old castle was built mainly with a view to defence, in case of assault; that it possessed great conveniences for a garrison, but comparatively few for a family residence; and while he revered it as the home of his fathers, regarding with ancestral pride its staunch battlements, which had stood firm against every assault, still he maintained that there could exist no reason why improvements should not be made, which might accord with the present state of things. The "addition' was consequently resolved upon. My father was particular always to give it that name, secretly deciding, I have no doubt, that by keeping within the letter of the prophecy, he should not incur the threatened penalty. The new mansion was built. My father married. Years rolled happily away. He was blessed with three promising children ; and every thing went on joyously and well. My own recollections are of my home in the improved state I have described. From the old servants how. ever I learned at an early age the existence of the prophecy, and the fearful construction which superstition had given it. Little was said
. openly; but the deprecatory air, the sombre, melancholy look, which two or three of the old crones who had become superannuated in our service constantly wore, were always a sore interruption to our childish sports. Did we meet them while full of the elastic happy feeling which child.' hood so much enjoys, it was always: "Poor children! God preserve ye! Who knows what ye may come to! God send ye an easy death! and the like.
My brother - I had but one, and he was my senior — seemed but little affected by these prophecies of evil, while upon my own mind they produced a chilling and lasting effect. Like the insect that flutters nearer and nearer the flame which is to prove its destruction, I used to steal away and hold daily conferences with these old creatures ; and hour after hour was wont to be entertained with stories of the bloody wars in which old Bertold St. Leger figured; of the exploits of the famous Guy of Warwick; and of my brave grand-father, Hugh St. Leger, the last worthy of the race, as they were pleased to style him; always concluding how. ever, by quoting the dreaded prophecy, and assuring me that I was doomed.
These lessons, so often inculcated, began to produce their impression. Somehow I took to myself the whole force of the prophecy, regarding my brother and sister as in some way exempt from its influence.
The result was, that in my very childhood I become serious and thoughtful. Life, even in its spring-time, was losing every charm. The world looked no longer gladsome and gay.
I had begun to suffer.
STRANGE season of childhood ! marked by cloud and sunshine; full of light-hearted pleasures and fresh griefs! Yet how fraught with consequences when the new-created being ushered into life commences upon immortality! Precious season! when every new object makes an impression, and every impression is indelible! And what fearful issues hang upon each! Issues which reach through time, and peradventure into eternity. VOL. XXV.
In order to present a proper narrative of my life, I should give some account of those who exercised most influence upon it. My father was in many respects a singular man. He possessed in a great degree the stern nature of my grandfather, which was nevertheless considerably modified by a natural urbanity of manner, which old Hugh St. Leger never manifested. He had a warm, generous heart, and was devotedly attached to his wife and children. Although a younger brother, I never could perceive any difference in the treatment of his
He was equally affectionate toward both, yet never familiar with either. His urbanity was manifested in social life with his friends and acquaintances; but when any one sought his intimacy, a repulse was certain. Yet he was neither haughty nor overbearing. Pride he certainly possessed; yet it seemed a just and honest pride, rather than the vain conceit of a weak mind. From his children he not only expected obedience, to the letter, but he never suffered his commands or wishes to be questioned. I well remember once unconsciously asking him why I must do some act which he had commanded, and the wither. ing sternness of his response as he reëchoed the command, without deigning any explanation. In justice I should add, that his requirements were reasonable and proper, although to a wayward child they might seem otherwise. In his religion my father was strict and de. voted. He hated Popery with a pious indignation, and early instilled into the minds of his children an abhorrence of the Romish Church. Frenchmen were his peculiar aversion, and it was with difficulty that he could bring himself to treat one with civility. Possessing in the main sound views, he entertained violent prejudices, which it was impossible to change. He was not ambitious, except for his children. He omitted nothing which might insure to them every advantage, as well in education as personal advancement. For them he labored and planned. No expense was too great, no sacrifice too large. But if my father was ready to do all this, much did he expect in return. What he thought we could accomplish, we were compelled to accomplish, no matter though the task were difficult, nay overwhelming. No excuse was accepted. In vain we sometimes pleaded that our companions were not tasked so heavily. With something very like a sneer, he would reply, “If you ever wish to be any thing, do not talk about what others do, but set your mark away beyond them all, and when once the mark is fixed, let there be no drawing back, no whining. Try, and the thing will be done. And try we did, until it seemed as if no labor was half so hard as ours. Yet after all, we generally fulfilled what was required, and had the satisfaction of making glad a parent's heart.
I do not think I could have borne so cheerfully all that my father imposed upon me, had it not been for my mother. Oh! what a world of feeling and tenderness is in that name! Though still living, let me pay her the tribute which I cannot withhold. I should think my duty but half accomplished, did I omit to record what I owe to her. In disposition she was angelic. I think I never saw her ruffled in temper, or discomposed. She was mild, yet dignified, and possessed a sweetness of manner which was perfectly fascinating. Above all, she was devotedly pious, and it was her first care to instil into the minds of her