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lead and urge him on, and he finds too late, that he has been deceived and ruined. The men who do so ignorantly,—and they are not a few,-are not so culpable as they, who do so knowingly and willingly. Even my respect for that branch of the profession to which I allude -I mean solicitors and attorneys - will not allow me to deny that I have frequently seen instances, in both classes of such cases, produced more frequently by the ignorance of the attorney, than by a knowledge that his client must lose. In these cases,
separate the client from the attorney and the counsel, and get him aside, and tell him, that if he goes on with his suit, he must be disappointed and defeated; I am sanguine enough to expect that the ruin which often happens, would be saved to the unfortunate and ill-advised clients.
This system which I have submitted to the House, I trust respectfully, founded as it is upon experience, would produce the best results. I have hopes, and I think they are not visionary hopes, that great benefit would accrue to parties from having conversation with an individual of great knowledge and undoubted respectability. Whether, not merely that part of the subject which relates to conciliation and arbitration, by public appointed arbitrators, but the whole subject of affording the means of obtaining cheap
justice, will be approved of by the legislature, I know not-but this I know, that those who reject it are imperatively called upon by the state of the case, to point out another remedy. I care not for the name, If
you reform the County Courts, it will only hamper you with certain forms, and with certain inconveniences, which had much better be got rid of, for nothing is so useless as preserving the shadow when the substance is gone-it only harrasses and vexes. But call it by what name you will, the subject of this measure is imperatively required. The exigencies of suitors will no longer allow us to withold it from them : of this I am as much persuaded as that I am in existence, or that I am standing here, addressing this House. The people have a right to justice—they are crying out for it—they distrust the government for want of itthey distrust all plans of reform, whether legal or political reform; and so long as they feel this want, will they continue to do so.
I have heard it said, when one lifts up his voice against things as they are, and wishes for a change, that he is raising a clamour against existing institutions, a clamour against our venerable establishments, a clamour against the law of the land ; but this is no clamour against the one, or the other.
It is a clamour against
abuses. It is a clamour raised against the grievances that are felt. Mr. Burke, who was no friend to popular clamour, who was no ready hot-headed enemy of existing establishments, no undervaluer of the wisdom of our ancestors, no scoffer against institutions as they are, has said, and it deserves to be fixed in letters of gold over the hall of every assembly which calls itself a legislative assembly. “Where there is
abuse, there ought to be clamour, because it is “ better to have our slumbers broken by the “ fire-bell, than to perish in the flames in our “ bed.” I have been told by some, who have little objection to the clamour, that I am a timid and a mock reformer; and by others, if I go on firmly and steadily, and do not allow myself to be drawn aside by either one outcry or another, and care for neither, that I am a' rash and daring innovator, and that I am taking, for the subject of my reckless experiments, things which are the objects of all men's veneration. I disregard the one as much as the other of these charges. I know the path of a reformer is not easy; honourable it may be, it may conduct to honour, but it is obstructed by the secret workings of coadjutors, and above all it is beset by the base slanders of those, who, I venture to say, some of them at least, know better than others the falsehood of the charges which they
bring against me. But I have not proceeded in this course rapidly, hastily, or rashly, for I have actually lived to see myself charged with being in name a reformer, but, in truth, in league with the abusers of Reform, in secret and corrupt league with those who batten on these abuses.
It has been asserted that I have so acted, in order to obtain high professional advancement, -I, who have refused the highest judical functions, I, who at the very time these slanders were propagated, was in the act of preventing this proposition from being made to me—upon political principles—upon public principle, as well as upon personal feelings. Did I regard the slander? Was I stung with such false opprobrium ? or did I change my colour, or faulter in my course ; or did I quicken my course ? Not I, indeed-
False honour charms and lying slander scares
It has been the lot of all men, in all ages, who have aspired at the honour of improving, instructing, or mending mankind, to have their paths beset by every persecution from adversaries,-by every misconstruction from friends;
no quarter from the one,-no charitable construction from the other ;—to be misconstrued, misrepresented, borne down, till it was in vain to bear down any longer. But truth will survive, and calumny has its day. Sir, I say, that if this be the fate of the reformer, if he be the object of misrepresentation,-must not an inference be drawn favourable to myself? Taunted by the enemies of reform, as being too rash; by the friends of reform, with being too slow or too cold ; there is every reason for presuming that the course I have chosen is right. A reformer must proceed in his career,—not misled on the one hand by panegyric, nor discouraged by slander on the other. He needs no praise. I would rather say—“ Woe to him when all men speak well of him.” I shall go on in the course which I have laid down for myself; pursuing the footsteps of those who have gone before us, who have left us their instructions and success, their instructions to guide, and their success to cheer us.