Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/331

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

carrying health or disease, life or death, into the very heart of the population. Here, then, gentlemen, I think is a field in which you, and such as you, may do good and laudable service. Your influence can extend where ours cannot reach, and you may know of evils of which we are ignorant. Glentlemen, I would say in particular that it belongs to you and those educated like you to raise the character of the Native Press, to render it a certain instrument of good instead of a too probable instrument of evil.

But it is time that I should say a few words specially to the Bachelors of Law. I infer from the degree which la^erf ^^fhould ^^^ ^^^^ chosen that your intention is to devote act upon. yourselves to the law as a profession, and that you desire to serve your country either as Advocates or as Judges. It would ill-become me, gentlemen, to say anything in disparagement of that choice. It is a profession which holds out to you many substantial rewards; but be assured, it yields its prizes only to those who fairly win them by industry, ability, and integrity. It was a great satisfaction to the Judges of the High Court when they found themselves at liberty to admit the Bachelors of Law of this University to prac- tice generally in that Court, requiring them only first to devote a short time to the task of making themselves familiar with its practice and procedure ; and though this has not hitherto been done at the other Presidencies, we trust to the good conduct of the Yakeels whom we have already admitted, and the Advocates and Vakeels who may hereafter be admitted, to justify the step. Gentlemen, in the practice of this profession you must neither forget your duty to your clients, nor your duty to yourselves. The one demands of you that you should give to your client the full benefit of your knowledge, experience, and judgment, sparing no pains to render these as perfect as you can ; the other demands of you, that you should never, even from zeal for your client, still less from any motive of self-interest, stoop to any dishonourable or unworthy practice. As to zeal for the client, I am afraid that it is not generally in this country a very strong feeling ; and it would not, I think, often be sufficient in itself to tempt the practitioner far astray from the right path, as it has sometimes done elsewhere; but, alas ! the baser motive of self-interest is strong enough everywhere; and in this country litigation is generally so interwoven with fraud and falsehood, that you will need to be ever on your guard against involving yourselves in any complicity with the mis- deeds of your clients. There are, I believe, some persons who can hardly persuade themselves that the profession of advo-