[MVB] to [James Kent], 6 December 1814
December 6, 1814.
Amicus-Juris Consultus having observed, that he is charged by the chancellor, in the Gazette of Thursday last, with an attempt "to tear asunder the bands of friendship" which has so long subsisted between him and the chief justice, deems it proper briefly to notice the unfounded imputation.
The facts alledged by him were directly connected with the subject of his animadversions, viz. the refutation of the illiberal and unmanly charge made by Amicus Curiæ, against Juris Consultus. The repetition of the offensive remarks made by the chancellor In relation to the chief justice, could have but little tendency "to sow discord between them," if the original declarations were not calculated to produce that effect; and if they were, whose was the fault, and who should bear the responsibility? Certainly not A. J. C. "It was not him that did it." He had no such views as are attributed to him. "He denies, disclaims and reprobates any such design."
When his honor says that he "does not undertake to challenge an inquisition upon the discretion of every word he may have uttered in the council," A. J. C. understands him as expressing a wish, not to have the subject further investigated, and in that temper which had influenced his whole conduct in the premises, he refrains.— Was the chancellor sensible how much he is indebted to the forbearance of A. J. C. on this head, he would not, it is supposed, have been so lavish of his invectives against him.
He cannot, however, forbear to notice the extreme relucatance with which his honor explains on the subject of the insult to the members of the legislature. It was only because "he was on the subject," that he condescended "to just notice" the "other charge." This drags heavily along. It does not so well comport with that frankness and liberality for which his honor is so justly celebrated. It is much to be regretted. It would have been otherwise.
A. J. C. hopes that he may have no occasion to trouble his honor further. He has been much pleased with the liberality and forbearance which the public have always heretofore extended to him. He is as anxious as any one that while his honor confines himself to his judicial functions, it shall be continued. Yea, more. As chancellor, in the exercise of just authority, he may with confidence rely on the zealous support of A. J. C.— That's his honor's element, and prudence dictates that he should remain in it. He has entered the political arena at an inauspicious period. Let him made good his retreat, and that done—quit.