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careful analysis and dissection to which lawyers are wont to subject all fads, theories and propositions. The trained lawyer takes nothing for granted. He demands proof; if it be not forthcoming, he refuses to be persuaded. Wild statements, unsupported by facts, do not carry him off his feet; he keeps his head cool, and is given to pricking bubbles. The excited advocate of immediate and sweeping changes in the constitution of society inevitably dislikes so strongly equipped and well-balanced an opponent, and cries out against all lawyers. I am referring now to a class of envious, malignant, blatant and self-seeking disturbers who impudently pose before the country as reformers, but who are nowise entitled to that grand name. Of genuine reformers, the friends and benefactors of the human race, I could speak only with unfeigned sympathy and heartfelt admiration. They have ever been the salt of the earth, the flower of humanity. Without adverting to the great names of earlier ages, by whose moral genius and sacrifices the worldIwas lifted to the plane of civilization, how distinctly baser our modern life would have been without such men as Savonarola, Francis of Assisi, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Edward Irving, Edmund Burke, Jeremy Bentham, Richard Cobden, John Stuart Mill, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Philips, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, not to mention the living Tolstoi and Gladstone! These men gave their lives to the combat with vice, sin, class selfishness, human bondage and persecuting bigotry; they were true reformers and sought to eradicate the evils and wrongs of society and strengthen its moral fabric. Of each of them and his work we can say with Whittier:
“Grown wiser for the lesson given,
I fear no longer, for I know
The best fruits grow.
The pious fraud transparent grown;
Of wrong alone-
Which makes the past time serve to-day;
From their decay.” The jealousy of lawyers as participants in public affairs is also felt and encouraged by that class of persons known as professional politicians. This class pursues politics as a means of livelihood and aims to secure every place in the public service outside of the judiciary. Being as a matter of necessity untiring and sleepless in its vigilance, it possesses many advantages denied to the public-spirited man who takes part in politics only for thc purpose of discharging his duty as a citizen, and trying to compass the predominance of the principles which he holds. The steady lowering of the standard of honor, character and accomplishments in our public life is largely due to the growth of this class and its usurpation of those public stations and functions which, in former days, were in general held and performed by men of education, irtegrity and high social worth.
The millionaire is another character who nowadays aspires to those public honors which used to be conferred only upon distinguished lawyers who had shown eminent fitness for the advocacy of great causes and had rendered valuable services to the state. The possession of great wealth does not seem to satisfy him, although everything else in life has been subordinated to its acquisition: he longs to become a senator in Congress, and, having no just claim to the distinction, he buys the title and rank away from the able and learned lawyer who could fill the place with credit to himself and benefit to the country. The millionaire in
the United States Senate is doing more than any other agency to sow and spread among the people discontent with our later political development and, in many cases, even with the form and character of our institutions. It is hardly too strong to say that he is a dangerous public enemy. He is the very personification of the corrupting power of wealth. He exemplifies in his person the sad degradation of our highest deliberative body and the demoralized condition of the public mind. It is the duty of every patriot to denounce and resist him, and scourge him away from the legislative hall which he dishonors. The Senate Chamber should have over its portals this inscription:
“Let such, such only, tread this sacred floor,
Who dare to love their country and be poor.” In a young state such as Washington, it is the imperative duty of the legal profession to take an active part in shaping its policy and guiding its footsteps, remembering that
“As the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.” What model shall we adopt-Massachusetts or California? I need not wait for you to answer: to a man you prefer that Washington should tread tho path of honor and virtue blazed for us by the Old Bay State. With all its wealth, Massachusetts never sent a millionaire to the United States Senate. Railroad kings and wholesale liquor dealers must not presume to ask that proud old commonwealth for the senatorial toga worn by her Websters and Sumners. Nor is it solely in the matter of its representation in Congress that we should closely study and follow the inspiring example of Massachusetts. The judiciary of that state challenges our admiration and imitation. Let us try to make ours like unto it. In this respect an important duty devolves upon the Bar.
From its ranks the judges are taken; to its ranks do they return at the close of their judicial service. The glory of the Bench is reflected on the Bar, while its weakness tends in many ways to lower the tone and impair the usefulness of the profession. A strong Bench ensures a strong Bar; but under the system of manifestly inadequate salaries for judges, a strong Bar cannot ensure a strong Bench. Such a system are we laboring under. Is it possible for us to overcome the popular prejudice against high salaries for the judiciary? If it is not, we may as well submit without murmuring to the assured prospect of a Bench unequal to the very high requirements of litigation in this state. A poorly-paid Bench will inevitably be a poorly manned Bench. Lawyers of the requisite learning and ability will not look to it as the crown and garland of professional success, but rather as a retreat for mediocrity. This is bad for the people; the chief sufferers from such a condition are and ever will be the very persons who most violently oppose what they call high salaries for the judges, but what we consider very moderate compensation for the performance of the most important of all services. It is the mass of the people who are most deeply interested in having an able and incorruptible judiciary. Can they not be taught to see this fact? I believe they can, and that it is the duty of the Bar to press it upon their attention unceasingly until they fully comprehend its import. We have witnesssd in Washington the disgraceful and preposterous spectacle of the two principal officers of the Court each earning from four to six times as much every year as the judge whose orders they carried out. Could such a thing be allowed to exist for six months in a really civilized community? No, nor for six days. In such a community the highest salaries would be paid to judges and teachers. This is an infallible standard by which to measure the degree of enlightenment achieved by a people.
Our judicial salaries in this state ought to be doubled. It is the duty of the Bar to open the campaign for that patriotic purpose--for such it is. The Bar can accomplish it by earnest advocacy and frank, honest discussion. The people are not dishonest, mean or niggardly; they are true-hearted, but short-sighted. Let us try to extend their vision over the past and the future. The man who cannot look back very far is also the man who cannot look forward very far. Let the average voter get it into his head that it is to his highest interest to have a well-paid, able and pure Bench-as every lawyer knows that it isand the battle is won. I am satisfied that the Bar of this state is able to perform this task, even though in many cases it should call for the trepanning process. All that is necessary are the honesty and courage to tell the people the truth, and to keep on telling it until the scales are removed from their eyes and and they see it in its full proportions.
With great deference, I propose this as one of the purposes to be accomplished by the Washington State Bar Association.
“Next after wealth," says James Bryce, the philosophical, statesmanlike author of “The American Commonwealth," “education and power may be taken to be the two elements or qualities on which social standing in a new and democratic country depends. As respects education, the Bar (in the United States) stands high, higher it would seem than either of the two other learned professions or than their new sister, journalism. Most lawyers have had a college training and are, by the necessity of their employments, persons of some mental cultivation; in the older towns they (in conjunction with the professors of the University, where there is one) form the intellectual elite of the place, and maintain worthily the literary traditions of the Roman, French and English Bar."
I take this to be as true of the Bar of Washington as it is of the Bar of the country at large. Such a position entails large responsibilities to the whole state.
state. Noblesse oblige. The law is peculiarly our care. It should be our permanent aim to make it in reality, as it is in theory, the perfection of human reason, and to make it the supreme arbiter in all the concerns, controversies and vicissitudes of life. The great patriot, soldier and statesman for whom this state was named has furnished us many noble examples for our guidance. For nothing was he more solicitous