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lords, I am amazed at his grace's speech. The noble duke cannot look before him, behind him, or on either side of him without seeing some noble peer who owes his seat in this House to successful exertions in the profession to which I belong. Does he not feel that it is as honorable to owe it to these as to being the accident of an accident? To all these noble lords the language of this noble duke is as applicable and insulting as it is to myself, but I don't fear to meet it single and alone. No one venerates the peerage more than I do; but, my lords, I must say that the peerage solicited me, not I the peerage. Nay, more, I can and will say that, as a peer of Parliament, as Speaker of this right honorable House, as Keeper of the Great Seal, as Guardian of his Majesty's conscience, as Lord High Chancellor of England-Nay, even in that character alone in which the noble duke would think it an affront to be considered, as a man-I am at this moment as respectable -I beg leave to add, I am at this moment as much respected as the proudest peer I now look down upon."
The disposition of lawyers to discuss public measures and policies with thoroughness, to prove all things and hold fast to those which are good, has constantly added fuel to the wrath of those disqualified by intellectual poverty or by the want of proper training to bear an important or effective part in such discussions; whence the enemies of constitutional government, from Carlyle down to the noisy street brawler, have taunted the lawyers with devoting too much of the time of legislative bodies to useless talk.
An apt answer to these taunts is furnished by John Stuart Mill in his "Considerations on Representative Government:" "There has seldom been more misplaced derision. I know not how a representative assembly can more usefully employ itself than in talk, when the subject of the talk is the great public interests of the country, and every sentence of it represents tne opinion either of some important body of persons in the nation, or of an individual in whom such body have reposed their confidence. A place where
every interest and shade of opinion in the country can have its cause even passionately pleaded in the face of the government and all other interests and opinions, can compel them to listen, and either comply or state clearly why they do not, is, in itself, if it answered no other purpose, one of the most important political institutions that can exist anywhere, and one of the foremost benefits of free government."
When Peter, the Great, witnessed in London the power of the courts in restricting the scope of despotism, and the influence of the lawyers in shaping the decisions of the courts, he declared that upon his return to Russia he would put to death all the lawyers in his dominions. The radical wing of the proletariat of America shares the same spirit and would, if in its power, inflict the same penalty. This is the more extraordinary because the common people owe chiefly to the lawyers the liberties and consequent prosperity which they enjoy. From the days of Demosthenes and Cicero to our own, it is the lawyers who have been, of all classes, the most zealous, most intelligent and most influential friends and advocates of the plain people, and have done most to extend the protecting shield of government over every human being, how humble or helpless soOf the four great emancipation movements of this century, the heroes of three were lawyers--Henry Brougham, Daniel O'Connell and Abraham Lincoln. Lawyers can flourish only in free countries. Greece, Rome, France, England and America are the countries in which they have reached the summit of influence and power. To these countries is the world indebted for its liberties. Without them, the world would never have been a fit habitation for man. Law is the mother of liberty, and the lawyer is its It is as champions of freedom that lawyers have won their greatest renown. No other service or duty has appealed so powerfully to them, or so fully developed and enlisted their highest capacities. In pleading for the rights of man and resisting the lawless sway of despots, they have attained their highest stature and have taken.
rank with the noblest benefactors of mankind. Compared to their services as pioneers of liberty regulated by law, their achievements as counsel for private litigants are but "Sport for a day, to perish in the night,
The foam upon the waters not so light."
Who was the John, the Baptist, of the American Revolution? A lawyer, Samuel Adams. For more than twenty years before his disciples "fired the shot heard around the world" he was, in speech after speech, and pamphlet after pamphlet, constantly instilling into the minds and stamping upon the hearts of the colonists those everlasting principles of liberty and independence which form the groundwork of the great Declaration. It was of him that Hutchinson, replying to a suggestion of silencing him by office or pension, wrote to the British Government: "Such is the obstinacy and inflexible disposition of the man that he never can be conciliated by any office or gift, whatever." It was this lawyer who, in the words of a contemporary statesman, "was born and tempered a wedge of steel to split the knot of lignum vitae which tied North America to Great Britain."
"For fifty years," says the same statesman, "his pen, his tongue, his activity were constantly exerted for his country without fee or reward." Has such virtue ever been exhibited by any of those who take upon themselves to insult and slander the legal profession as a body? Never; nor is it at all likely that it ever will be.
What student of the Revolution can overlook the inestimable services rendered to independence and freedom by that other Massachusetts lawyer, James Otis? Referring to his great argument in 1760 on the Writs of Assistance, John Adams says: "But Otis was a flame of fire! With a promptitude of classical allusions, a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical events and dates, a profusion of legal authorities, a prophetic glance of his eye into futurity, and a torrent of impetuous cloquence, he hurried away everything before him. American independence was then and there born; the seeds of patriots and heroes were
then and there sown, to defend the vigorous youth, the non sine diis animosus infans. Every man of a crowded audience appeared to me to go away, as I did, ready to take arms against writs of assistance." Who stirred the soul of Virginia with the declaration "Give me liberty or give me death!"? Was it not the lawyer, Patrick Henry? Was it not another Virginian to whom we owe the immortal words of the great declaration, itself? What leader of the proscriptive proletariat has ever conferred so great a benefit upon mankind? Where in history can we find a loftier character and purer patriot than that lawyer of the Revolution, John Jay? For whom can greater credit be claimed in the transcendently important work of embodying the military results of the revolution in the very framework of the Republic than for those other lawyers, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison?
What need to cite any more names of lawyers who bore an honorable and distinguished part in the establishment of American liberty and independence, as John Adams, Fisher Ames, Roger Sherman, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Oliver Ellsworth and John Marshall? Enough has probably been said to illustrate the observation of a historian of the time, that "it was a peculiarity of the American Revolution that while it had its great strength in the sympathy of the mass of the people, its first impulses and guiding principles originated with men of station, and chiefly of the legal profession."
. This bright record of service to free government and popular institutions has been, from that day to this, continually supplemented by unfaltering attachment to the fundamental principles of the Republic on the part of the legal profession in the United States.
The lawyers have been, in every stage of our progress, the especial champions of free thought, popular instruction, unrestricted discussion and untrammelled action; they have been the strongest enemies of class privileges, military domination, sectarian fanaticism and lawless violence.
Such being the facts of history, how are we to account for the prevalence among the working classes of the proscriptive opposition and hostility to lawyers which has been already alluded to.
One easy and obvious explanation is, that the noisy labor agitators who excite this feeling among uninstructed and thoughtless persons are, themselves, almost wholly ignorant of the history of the American Republic, as, indeed, of all other history. They do not know the facts to which brief reference has been made. All that they know, or care to know, is, that Jay Gould and other notoriously dishonest stock gamblers and railroad wreckers have been able to secure the services of David Dudley Field and of other able and unprincipled lawyers. This is a fact which they see and understand, and from it they conclude and declare that the whole profession is venal and unprincipled.. They ignore the fact that hundreds of thousands of workmen, of all grades and classes, have also voluntarily entered into the service of Jay Gould and his fellow-speculators; and that, if it were dishonest, disgraceful and unprincipled so to do, it is quite as fair to denounce and stigmatize the whole body of workingmen for being venal and unprincipled as it is to visit such condemnation upon the whole legal profession. This is the remorseless logic of the situation, and the blatherskite revilers of the profession cannot escape from it. Both deductions are, of course, equally unfair and unwarranted. The lawyers of America have not ceased to be a high-minded and patriotic body of men simply because some of their number have, for large fees, countenanced and assisted in organizing gigantic schemes of knavery and plunder, nor have the workingmen of the whole country lost their character and standing as good citizens because some of their number have taken employment under corporations controlled by knaves and plunderers. The legal profession is still sound to the core; so is the great body of workingmen.
Another explanation is, that impatient and rattle-brained. reformers have a deep and natural dread of the process of