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T was a remark of Lord Brougham, illustrated by his own crowded life, that the complete performance of all the duties of an active member of the British Parliament might be joined to a full practice at the bar. The career of the late Mr. Pickering illustrates a more grateful truth that the mastery of the law as a science and the constant performance of all the duties of a practitioner are not incompatible with the studies of the most various scholarship, -that the lawyer and the scholar may be one. He dignified the law by the successful cultivation of letters, and strengthened the influence of these elegant pursuits by becoming their representative in the concerns of daily life and in the labors of his profession. And now that this living example of excellence is withdrawn, we feel a sorrow which words can only faintly express. We would devote a few moments to the contemplation of what he did and what he was. The language of exaggeration is forbidden by the modesty of his nature, as it is rendered unnecessary by the multitude of his virtues.

JOHN PICKERING, whose recent death we deplore, was born in Salem, February 7, 1777, at the darkest and

most despondent period of the Revolution. His father, Colonel Pickering, was a man of distinguished character and an eminent actor in public affairs, whose name belongs to the history of our country. Of his large family of ten children John was the eldest.1 His diligence at school was a source of early gratification to his family, and gave augury of future accomplishments. An authentic token of this character, beyond any tradition of partial friends, is afforded by a little book entitled "Letters to a Student in the University of Cambridge, Massachusetts, by John Clarke, Minister of a Church in Boston," printed in 1796, and in reality addressed to him. The first letter begins with an honorable allusion to his early improvement. "Your superior qualifications for admission into the University give you singular advantages for the prosecution of your studies. . . . . You are now placed in a situation to become, what you have often assured me is your ambition, a youth of learning and virtue." The last letter of the volume concludes with benedictions, which did not fall as barren words upon the heart of the youthful pupil. "May you," says Dr. Clarke, "be one of those. sons who do honor to their literary parent. The union of virtue and science will give you distinction at the present age, and will tend to give celebrity to the name of Harvard. You will not disappoint the friends who anticipate your improvements." They who remember his college days still dwell with fondness upon his exemplary character and his remarkable scholarship. He received his degree of Bachelor of Arts at Cambridge in 1796.

1 The reporter, Octavius Pickering, was so named from his being the eighth child.

On leaving the University he went to Philadelphia, at that time the seat of government, his father being Secretary of State. Here he commenced the study of the law under Mr. Tilghman, afterwards the distinguished Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, and one of the lights of American jurisprudence. But his professional lucubrations were soon suspended by his appointment, in 1797, as Secretary of Legation to Portugal. In this capacity he resided at Lisbon for two years, during which time he became familiar with the language and literature of the country. Later in life, when his extensive knowledge of foreign tongues opened to him the literature of the world, he recurred with peculiar pleasure to the language of Camoens and Pombal.

From Lisbon he passed to London, where, at the close of the last century, he became, for about two years, the private secretary of our Minister, Mr. King, residing in the family and enjoying the society and friendship of this distinguished representative of his country. Here he was happy in meeting with his classmate and attached. friend, Dr. James Jackson, of Boston, then in London, pursuing those medical studies whose ripened autumnal fruits of usefulness and eminence he still lives to enjoy. In pleasant companionship they perambulated the thoroughfares of the great metropolis, enjoying together its shows and attractions; in pleasant companionship they continued ever afterwards, till death severed the ties of long life.

Mr. Pickering's youth and inexperience in the profession to which he afterwards devoted his days prevented his taking any special interest, at this period, in the courts or in Parliament. But there were several of the judges who made a strong impression on his mind;

nor did he ever cease to remember the vivacious eloquence of Erskine or the commanding oratory of Pitt.

Meanwhile, his father, being no longer in the public service, had returned to Salem; and thither the son followed, in 1801, resuming the study of the law, under the direction of Mr. Putnam, afterwards a learned and beloved Judge of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, whose rare fortune it has been to rear two pupils whose fame will be among the choicest possessions of our country, Story and Pickering. In due time he was admitted to the bar, and commenced the practice of the law in Salem.

Here begins the long, unbroken series of his labors in literature and philology, running side by side with the daily, untiring business of his profession. It is easy to believe, that, notwithstanding his undissembled predilection for jurisprudence as a science, he was drawn towards its practice by the compulsion of duty rather than by any attraction it possessed for him. Not removed by fortune from the necessity, to which Dr. Johnson so pathetically alludes, of providing for the day that was passing over him, he could indulge his taste for study only in hours secured by diligence from the inroads of business or refused to the seductions of pleasure. Since the oration for Archias, perhaps no lawyer ever lived who could have uttered with greater truth the inspiring words with which, in that remarkable production, the Roman orator confessed and vindicated the cultivation of letters: "Me autem quid pudeat, qui tot annos ita vivo, judices, ut ab nullius unquam me tempore aut commodo aut otium meum abstraxerit, aut voluptas avocârit, aut denique somnus retardârit? Quare quis tandem me reprehendat, aut quis mihi jure succenseat, si,



quantum cæteris ad suas res obeundas, quantum ad festos dies ludorum celebrandos, quantum ad alias voluptates, et ad ipsam requiem animi et corporis conceditur temporum, quantum alii tribuunt tempestivis conviviis, quantum denique aleæ, quantum pila, tantum mihi egomet ad hæc studia recolenda sumpsero?" 1

In his life may be seen two streams flowing side by side, as through a long tract of country: one fed by the fresh fountains high up in the mountain-tops, whose waters leap with delight on their journey to the sea; while the other, having its sources low down in the valleys, among the haunts of men, moves with reluctant, though steady, current onward.

Mr Pickering's days were passed in the performance of all the duties of a wide and various practice, first at Salem, and afterwards at Boston. He resided at the former place till 1827, when he removed to the metropolis, where two years afterwards he became City Solicitor, an office whose arduous labors he continued to discharge until within a few months of his death. There is little worthy of notice in the ordinary incidents of professional life. What Blackstone aptly calls "the pert dispute" renews itself in infinitely varying form. Some new turn of litigation calls forth some new effort of learning or skill, calculated to serve its temporary purpose, and, like the manna which fell in the desert, perishing on the day that beholds it. The unambitious labors of which the world knows nothing, the advice to clients, the drawing of contracts, the perplexities of conveyancing furnish still less of interest than ephemeral displays of the court-room.

The cares of his profession and the cultivation of let

1 Pro Archia, c. 6.

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