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the misunderstanding is emphatically ascribed to his underhand manœuvres. It cannot be too strongly laid down that perfect openness, and straight-forward dealing, essential as they are to the peace as well as the respectability of all men, are indispensable to the very existence, in an official sense, of the attorney of “collective clients."
“Masters, it is proved already that you are little better than false knaves: it will go near to be thought so shortly."
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
By the time I had acquired the experimental knowledge which I have here endeavored to impart, I found myself pretty well versed in the art of clientizing; but clients are by no means the only people an attorney has to deal with! in truth, our only object with them is to keep them; but there are other folks of whom we are only anxious to get quit, as soon as business will allow us; these are our professional brethren! I need scarcely observe that I write only for such young men as are entering on their legal career with the honest and commendable intention of acquiring a station in the respectable class of the profession; a station that can only be acquired by respectablo business, carried on in a respectable manner.
There is no term, however, in use in our profession, so general and yet so equivocal as this same word “ respectable.” By a sort of conventional rule, the appellation is liberally bestowed on every attorney, of whatever class and however moderate his pretensions, so long as he has, whether by ingenuity or good luck, contrived to escape a hostile motion to strike him off the roll. My construction of the word is somewhat more rigorous; I will explain myself by negatives— by describing that class of business, and those men who, in my estimation, are decidedly not respectable. I am happy to say that in this portion of my task I speak from report, not from personal knowledge, but I will only mention such matters as I firmly believe have been given to me on good authority.
Before I describe the non-respectable of our body, it may be expedient to advert very briefly to our relative position in society, as a professional class; for without a little explanation on that head, it is very difficult to conceive how such a medley of extremes should be found in a common pursuit, where a common system of education is adopted, from an age generally so
early that the taste and habits of the pupil can not be supposed to have been previously formed. It must be confessed that till within the last forty or fifty years, an attorney's title to be ranked even among the middle classes of society, was very equivocal. Mr. Latitat was the rogue of every farce--the knave of every novel : his occupation made him adroit and intelligent, but it also made him suspected; it frequently brought him into personal contact with the dishonest and degraded, and he acquired, often undeservedly, a taint of reputation from the very circumstance that enabled him to understand, and by understanding to defeat, the arts and stratagems of villainy. Legal business itself was at this period of a very inferior stamp: now and then cases might arise on family settlements — on real titles - on complicated relations of debtor and creditoror doubtful customs in trade or commerce; but these were comparatively rare, and by no means constituted the bulk of legal practice; that was to be found in petty personal disputes or delinquencies—in small controversy between small people. Law too, like everything else, was comparatively cheap, and even the bar, though always to a certain extent the resource of pauper-aristocracy, was scarcely regarded in any other light than a refuge for the destitute, suited to the youngest sons of younger brothers, who had no turn for the army, and no character for the church. In our days, though this inferior business still remains, and is even extended as population has extended, and the lower classes have acquired greater property, yet it by no means forms the principal inducement to enter the profession. So intimately has commerce become interwoven with law, in all its branches, that there is scarcely any important transaction in which the merchant can engage, that does not more or less require the counsel of his solicitor, till long familiarity with the subject has made him half a lawyer himself. The law of insurance, the law of principal and factor, of lien, of partnership, of bankruptcy, of bills of exchange, and many other beads that might be mentioned, enter into the daily affairs of the counting - house. So many, too, of our patrician families have of late years found it convenient to place their sons in mercantile, or banking houses, and consequently to raise