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tunes, often go to the inns of court, and keep their terms in London, as a pretence for residing in a capital city, and enjoying its amusements. Our forms of legal education, and of admittance to the bar, are admirably adapted to favour the double purposes of these pretended students: they are almost as well contrived as that popular ancient edifice', in which the seats of a theatre formed the steps of a temple, so that those who came to see the show might seem as if they came to worship the goddess. Of the numbers who are educated for the bar, how many never attempt to practise! how few rise to any distinguished eminence! Some youths of the fairest promise we find, alas ! unequal to the Herculean labour; others with the strength of Hercules, and with the wit and eloquence of Ulysses, prove unable to resist the Circean cup, and, degraded from their natural preeminence, lose their fine faculties, embody, and embrute. Many of the disappointments and failures in this, as well as in all other professions, must be attributed to errours in early education, errours of various sorts, some of theory, some of practice, some arising from ignorance of the objects to be attained, others from ignorance of the means.
In the beginning of this essay, the principal objects to be attended to in a lawyer's education have been pointed out, and the means have been detailed, by which these objects may be pursued with a probability of success, both by domestic care, and afterwards by proper school and college discipline.
i Pompey's Theatre.
And now, when the young man’s general education may be supposed to be finished, and when his own and his parents' thoughts must be immediately turned. upon his profession, it may be necessary to point out some errours, which people are apt to fall into from the imperfect knowledge they have of what conduces to success at the bar. They often draw false conclusions from partial observation and experience. They are struck by particular examples of individuals, who have risen to eminence, and, without knowing what have been the causes of their success, attribute it to some one particular, which probably will, upon future trial, prove inadequate to the effect. For instance, some years ago it was observed, that Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, and Bowes, who was chancellor in Ireland, and Sir John Strange, who was master of the rolls in England, had all been brought up together at an attorney's desk. Immediately it became the fashion to consider clerkship to an attorney as the certain mode of education, that would lead to all the emoluments and honours of the legal profession. The consequence was, says a sensible writer, that at one time all the young men in the country, who were intended for the bar, were groping their way to the King's Bench through an attorney's office, while they should have been at Athens or at Rome, in the Lyceum or inter Sylvas Academi. They groped in vain; they did not, could not succeed. The examples, by which they were misled, were of men who rose not by means of their vulgar education, but in despite of it; possessed of extraordinary talents and industry, they raised themselves, notwithstanding the obstacles which retarded their progress. The fashion changed again from the influence of a few other partial examples: Mr. Justice Yates and Attorney-General Wallace, from being men who had made themselves masters of special pleading, rose to great eminence; and immediately all young barristers were to be made special pleaders. They spent months and years in a special pleader's office, employed in copying papers and engrossing deeds for men, who sometimes had not the will, and sometimes had not the power, to impart instruction. At the end of the time prescribed for their attendance at a special pleader's, they knew as little of their business as did the apprentices of the tailor, who kept his pupils continually sewing and basting, but built a partition between them and himself, to prevent their ever learning the mysteries of cutting out the work.
Many lawyers have lately risen to the highest situations at the Bar, without having served their time at a special pleader's. Many popular barristers, and many, who have attained high stations, are now more distinguished by their wit and eloquence than by their profound legal lore. So that, it is probable, from the same hasty reasoning it will now be concluded, that dry law should be somewhat despised, and that classical literature, belles-lettres, and wit, are the all-sufficient requisites for lawyers. Pursuing this course, many young men, after leaving the universities, will neglect to study law, and will presume upon their general knowledge; and many parents will probably be again disappointed in the expectations of seeing their sons attorney-generals and chancellors.
Beside this errour from following the fashion of the day in education, there is also danger from the example and conversation of those, who set at nought the power of education. altogether, and take their rules for the adyancement of their sons from the experience of some society, in which they think they have had opportunities of studying the secrets of affairs behind the scenes. Having observed, perhaps, that much is to be done by favour and interest, they conclude, that every thing is to be accomplished by these means. Consequently they put their trust in attorneys or in the smiles of judges, and think a son's fame and fortune are to be secured by connexions and friends, by manæuvring and party politics, by good dinners, and well-placed civilities. These notions secretly influence many, by whom they are not openly avowed. As this belief must tend to diminish confidence in the power of education, and that useful and happy energy, which springs from the expectation that our own efforts will be rewarded with success, it is worth while to examine the grounds on which it rests, and to expose the futility of such shortsighted wisdom. In education, as in all other affairs, these cunning by-ways and short cuts are of little advantage in the journey through life. Most of the schemes founded upon hopes of individual favour and protection are fallacious; the few instances of persons who owe their advancement to them must be deemed exceptions to the general rule. In professions, where talents are to be paid for, the most useful will obtain the preference, as long as there is open competition. Of all professions the law is that, in which the competition is most open, and the abilities of the competitors most easily compared and estimated by those who are to employ or reject them. Address and patronage can never persuade clients, that their business is well done, if it be ill done, or that their cause is won, if it be lost. When it comes to the proof, friends and acquaintance will not hazard their lawsuits and their precious property from complaisance to the most jovial companion, or the pleasantest fellow upon Earth ; even attorneys, if they are of good faith in their promises and intentions, can push and help: a man only to a certain point; beyond that, he must either help himself, or be left behind ; even the smiles of judges can avail but little; for though a judge may bring a young lawyer forward, unless he be ready, and equal to the occasion, the opportunity of showing himself will do him more harm than good. On the contrary, a man, who has the necessary knowledge and talents wants nothing but an occasion to produce them; for this he may be obliged to wait, but sooner or later it must occur, and the moment it comes, his fortune is made. His talents once seen and known, he must be employed, and his rising in his profession will not depend on others, but on himself. These considerations will, it is to be hoped, counteract the effect, which is sometimes produced on the minds of parents by opinions and examples, that cannot be justified either by common honesty or common sense.
Prepared as it is presumed the mind of the pupil has been, by a proper course of private, public, and self-education, he will scorn to owe his future fame to little corrupt arts, or petty policy; he will depend upon himself, not presumptuously and rashly, but with just and prudent confidence. He knows what he has done, and what he has yet to do. He will not be misled by any false hope of short and easy roads to the honours of the law; he will not think, that the attorney's desk, or the special pleader's office can, by some specific virtue, make a lawyer of him; he will not believe, that