Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/533

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University of Madras.

day life, but it is not. An entirely selfish existence can rarely be happy. Now all kinds of work are capable of doing good to others, directly or indirectly, but those which act directly will give you the greatest satisfaction.

Now let it be supposed that you have made your choice among the professions—on two of them I would briefly remark, because they are exposed to peculiar temptations by the fierce competition of the times.

Graduates in law, your ancient and honourable profession stands second to none in the demands that it makes upon intellect and perseverance and m the dignities and rewards that it offers to the successful. Your daily work will be of the widest interest, the studies connected with that work of endless variety. You will become familiar with master minds of many ages and of many countries. Words spoken 2000 years back in the Forum of some and words spoken last month amid the busy hum of London traffic will alike claim your attention. The study will doubtless fascinate you as it has fascinated others. Many men have found it so engrossing that it has become the one subject of their lives whether in the Court House or at home—they have thought and spoken nothing but law, they have taken law as their familiar communing with it day and night, they have parted with it only at their latest breath. You will soon find yourselves brought face to face with that curious ethical problem which has staggered the best and the wisest, and which every lawyer must solve for himself. How far is an advocate justified in pleading, or bound to plead, a cause which he believes or knows to be wrong? You will find plenty of contradiction in the authorities, from Cicero to Erskine, from Quintilian to Brougham. The line has to be drawn, and each must draw it for himself according to his own lights and his own conscience: it is a matter to be decided by personal conviction rather than by argument. When engaged in the actual conduct of a case you are not likely to forget the duty owing to a client, but do not forget that there is a duty owing to witnesses also. Remember that the attendance of a witness in a Court of Law is often against his own inclination, often takes him away from important private business, and not seldom puts him to serious money loss. Remember that he is called upon by Justice to assist Justice, and that he is for the time being an unpaid servant of the public. Remember that he is presumably as honest as yourself, and that till this presumption is