Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/122

This page needs to be proofread.


Sydney Smith and the Law business to 26 Pemberton square. In two years it was again moved, this time to larger quarters in Freeman Place Chapel, 15J^ Beacon street. The Chapel was built in 1848 for James Freeman Clarke's congregation, and was later occupied by various religious bodies, the last being a French Catholic church. Mr. Soule conducted the business in his own name till 1889, when he incor porated it as the Boston Book Company. He was its president up to his death, and actively supervised its affairs as long as his health ' permitted. Two years ago he suffered a paralytic stroke, but he strove with undaunted spirit to recover as much of his former vigor as possible, attempting an almost daily attendance at the office. He doggedly performed the greater part of the work on his recent book, "How to Plan a Lib rary Building for Library Use," in this condition of shattered physique. He was even contemplating the prepara tion of a second volume on some related phase of library science. Besides the publications already noted, Mr. Soule was the author of "Library

109

Rooms and Buildings," and in earlier life, of "Hamlet Revamped, Modern ized, and Set to Music," and "Romeo and Juliet: A New Travesty." To those of us who recall Mr. Soule's vigor less than five years ago, his going was premature even though he rounded out the entire three score and ten. A mellower and finer civilization might have dealt more fairly with such a man, carefully husbanding his strength for another productive decade. Yet Mr. Soule did not depart leaving his work unfinished. We can look back with satisfaction, and with no little admira tion, on a life which skillfully and fruit fully performed its chosen task without suffering it to overshadow and dim the beauty of fine aspiration and magnani mous endeavor. His character and ideals have left a permanent impress, and have assisted the ripening process of American legal literature and legal scholarship. That we have advanced so far beyond primitive conditions in law publishing is due in no small degree to his indefatigable enthusiasm and to the effect of his example.

Sydney Smith and the Law By Roy Temple House MEMBERS of the profession should read with approval the record that the wittiest and perhaps in one inter pretation of the word the most eloquent of Anglican divines would have entered the law instead of the ministry if he could have followed his own inclinations. But when he took his Oxford degree, in 1792, we are told that the financial affairs of the family, with the failing health of his mother and the necessity of preparing his brothers for life, made it

desirable that he begin earning money at once. So it came about that instead of reading law and waiting for clients in London, he took a pitiful country living two hundred miles away. But though his talents brought him in a short time to a much more comfortable situation in the Church, and eventually to fame and almost fortune, he never ceased to regret the profession he had vainly hoped to enter, and in Lady Hol land's Memoir he is quoted as saying,