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end here; nor should it be enough to look up such questions as arise in practice. The lawyer should always, so far as he has leisure, be a student. He should study principles rather than cases, and if a case is found which violates some established principle, should not regard it as law. Do not become a mere case lawyer. Read good elementary books and verify the cases cited. Judge Strong very forcibly enunciated this idea, which I have endeavored to present to you, in an address which he delivered recently to a graduating class of one of our law schools, in which he says: “From what I have said it must be evident that to become an accomplished lawyer is no easy task. It was remarked by a distinguished writer, 'the profession of the law is that of all others which imposes the most extensive obligations upon those who had the confidence to make choice of it.' These obligations grow with the growth of the law. Whatever they may have been to the great men who have been our predecessors in the profession, they are greater now. There is a far wider field now to be explored; a field the boundaries of which are enlarging from year to year. The knowledge which made the lawyers of the past generation eminent is insufficient for the present. It is no longer the lucubrationes viginti annorum to which we are invited. It is to the hard study, the uninterrupted hard study, of a life time. There are no long vacations possible. Whoever stops to rest will find he has been left behind. The profession has many members who have turned aside for politics or other business only for three or four years, and have found themselves at the end grown rusty, with past acquisitions faded, and with the law advanced beyond them. Rarely if ever have they recovered the lost ground. It is well, therefore, for those who aspire to professional eminence, to count the cost at the beginning and go forward with a resolute determination to pay the price. Such a resolve carried out has its compensation, not only in the honor and usefulness secured, but in the enjoyment which constantly increasing knowledge always brings in its train.”
Study to learn from others, not to imitate voice, or manner, or words; but to learn something of value. Be courteous in conduct to all. General Seth Cushman, of Guildhall, was one of the finest examples of a courteous practitioner that I ever knew. And all who remember will testify to the great pleasure of trying a case with him. The most annoying points were disposed of without a ripple of ill-temper, and his life was a striking illustration of the value of courtesy in making the most disagreeable things endurable, and of rendering the practice of the law a pleasure to himself and all who knew him. Avoid the rudeness of a prize fighter. Be courageous. While civil and deferential to the court, be not cringing or sycophantic. No respectable judge desires this. Do not fear to face public clamor, or popular prejudice, if justice requires it. Lawyers at times must take great license of speech to attain anything like justice. They often find themselves obliged to contend with popular prejudices, and unfriendly not to say false witnesses, as well as powerful and interested combinations. It is at such times that a party needs the aid and protection of a skillful and courageous lawyer. It is at such times that the moral courage of a good lawyer is brought to bear upon those who would prostrate his client. Good examples of such professional heroism were Erskine standing almost alone against the power of the bench and government, in sustaining the power of the press; and Curran stemming the flood of corruption, which was sweeping away everything like justice or mercy in the Irish courts. Similar examples, though in humbler degree, may often be met in our own courts, illustrating to all observing minds the great truth, the necessity of an independent bar to the cause of human rights.
Be honest; attempt no success by trick. "Honesty is the best policy” is as true for the lawyer as for any other man. Any gain of temporary success by trick is a loss in the end. Although the profession of the law demands of its votaries the most constant and unremitting care and study, no lawyer should omit or forego his duty as a citizen. In a government like ours, where the foundation of all governmental authority is in the people, no man has any right to throw off or fail to exercise his share of the responsibility. He has no more right to neglect his duty, because he shares it with so many others, than if he was the sole sovereign. I hold it to be the duty of every man, to the extent of his opportunity and ability, to make himself acquainted with public affairs, so that his vote and his influence may be used for the best interest of the state. Especially imperative is this duty upon members of the legal profession. It has been the habit of certain over fastidious gentlemen to find fault with their brethren who have held public office, and, with an intention very like that of the fox who cried "sour grapes,” to bewail the "descent of lawyers into the dirty pool of politics.” Now I am frank to say that in my opinion a share of public life tends to round out, so to speak, a lawyer's character, and makes of him a more finished practitioner than he could be without. A lawyer that is nothing but an attorney, as a certain wit once said of the saints in the Roman Catholic church who had achieved a great reputation for sanctity by immuring themselves in hermit's cells, deserves to be cannonaded rather than canonized. In a government based upon a constitution and laws, who can know so well the right and the duty of a citizen as the man whose life business is the study of the constitution and the law? Who can know so well whether any proposed legislation is wise, or is needed, as the man who knows • what the existing law is? Who can fill the duties of any po
sition, the duties of which are prescribed by law, and the performanee of which are an administration of law, as the man acquainted with the law which governs his action, and which he is to administer? This special qualification of legal education and training is so generally acknowledged that every legislative body in the country always numbers many members of the legal profession. Of their usefulness in such bodies, of their actual indispensableness there, I will not speak.
The ambition to fill official station is laudable enough ; but no lawyer should resort to any unworthy means to obtain or retain office. Public and political life are always uncertain. In the constant struggle and scramble for office, men who can most readily trim their sails to the popular breezes, and pander to popular prejudices, often succeed in displacing better men, who scorn all such means to win public favor. The lawyer, therefore, should always regard a call into public or political life as temporary, and never lose his hold upon his profession.
If defeated in political life be not dismayed or discouraged ; you can always turn to the more pleasing and profitable duties of your profession, and to what my Lord Coke styles "the gladsome light of jurisprudence.”
In conclusion, let me address to you the language of another, not a lawyer, the great English clergyman and wit, Sydney Smith, to an assembly of our profession. "Impress upon yourselves the importance of your profession. Consider that some of the greatest and most important interests of the world are committed to your care; that you are the protectors against the encroachments of power; that you are the preservers of freedom, and defenders of weakness, the unravellers of cunning, the investigators of artifice, the humblers of pride, the scourges of oppression. When you are silent the sword leaps from its scabbard, and nations are given up to the madness of internal strife. In all civil difficulties men depend upon your exercised faculties and spotless integrity, and they require of you an elevation above all that is mean, and a spirit which will never yield when it ought not to yield. As long as your profession retains its character for learning, the rights of mankind will be well arranged, and as long as it retains its character for virtuous boldness, those rights will be well defended.”
PAPER READ AT THE ANNUAL MEETING, 1880,
BY HIRAM A. HUSE.
Charles Reed was born in Thetford, Vermont, on the 24th day of November, 1814, and the memories of his boyhood and early school days clustered around the old "Hill” of that town. He was the eldest son of Hon. Joseph Reed and Elizabeth Burnap Reed. In the winter of 1827 Joseph Reed moved with his family to Montpelier, and here Charles finished his studies preparatory to college life. Entering Dartmouth College, he graduated in 1835. In the class of that year were Cyrus Richards Jong-time principal of Meriden Academy, Harry Hibbard and Amos Trick of New Hampshire, and Peter T. Washburn of Vermont. In the class next following that of 1836, were Stoddard B. Colby and Timothy P. Redfield. In college he became intimate with Governor Washburn and they afterwards together read law, for a time, in the office of Hon. William Upham of this place and then attended the law school connected with Harvard University; there receiving the degree of bachelor of laws in 1839.
Mr. Reed was admitted as an attorney of Washington county court on the 13th of April, 1838; the committee of examination in his case consisting of Newell Kinsman, Lucius B. Peck and Samuel B. Prentiss. On the 1st of September of the succeeding year, 1839, he formed a partnership with Homer W. Heaton, whose intimacy with him began when they were in at