important respect from that of a member of Parliament, for he appears on the side which he is retained to represent, and not on that which he believes to be right,—a state of things which it is useless to try to explain to a layman, and which to a lawyer needs no explanation. And yet even the layman may be ready to grant that an exalted sense of the importance of the subject, broad views, and a strong grasp of constitutional principles, on the part of the advocates, cannot fail to have a very great effect upon the decision of the court.
Some cynic, who has had the patience to read so far, will, no doubt, remark that the legal profession is not a charitable institution, and that men practise law to get money, and support themselves, and not from philanthropic motives. To this I answer that no profession can be great unless the money-making aims of the individual are leavened by a sense of the importance of his vocation and of the dignity of the body that pursues it. A man who is unconscious of the strength of the esprit de corps of a great profession, of its power to inspire its members with a high and noble ambition, and to make itself an end and not a mere means of making money; a man who has never felt this has failed to appreciate one of the most valuable of human qualities,—he has only to turn his eyes to the doctors to see its force, and no careful search is required to find it among lawyers. This is the quality which we need to foster, because its influence upon the moral and intellectual condition of the legal profession is great, and because it is upon that profession that we must chiefly rely for the preservation of constitutional principles in this country.
A. Lawrence Lowell.