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For MA Y, 1795.

ART. I. An Enquiry into the Duties of Men in the higher and middle Claffes of Society in Great Britain, refulting from their respective Stations, Profeffions, and Employments. By Thomas Gisborne, M. A. 4to. pp. 846. 11. is. Boards. White. 1794.

IT is related that Pythagoras, in the public fchools which he opened at Crotona in Magna Grecia, delivered popular dif. courses on moral conduct, not to promifcuous auditories, but to different claffes of hearers,-hufbands or wives, parents or children, the young or the aged, the poor or the rich,adapting his addrefs to the different circumstances and obligations of each; and that by these means he produced a won derful change in the manners of the people. This anecdote fuggefts a hint which might be useful to modern inftructors; who, if they could not call together diftin&t claffes of hearers, might render their difcourfes more interefting, by fubftituting, in the room of general harangues on virtues and vices, peculiar addreffes to the different claffes of mankind on their respective duties; at least this might be done with great advantage in written difcourfes, communicated to the public by means of the prefs.

Whether Mr. Gisborne borrowed the firft hints of his prefent work from Pythagoras, or from fome modern example of this kind,-fuch as Dr. Gregory's excellent lectures on the office and duties of a phyfician; or whether the plan was suggested by the author's own good fenfe; is a circumftance with which the public has no concern. The defign, whencefoever it originated, is an excellent one; and the manner in which it is executed is fuch as, in our opinion, entitles the author to the approbation and thanks of his fellow citizens of the higher and middle claffes, for whom he has provided a very judicious. course of moral instruction; not general, which would be trite and uninteresting,-but particularly fuited to the relations and habits, the interefts and obligations, of men in various fituations and capacities, and thus adapted to bring home the duties of men to their understandings and bofoms." The fovereign, the VOL. XVII.



peer of the realm, the delegated reprefentative of the people, the executive officer of government, the naval or military officer, the lawyer, the magiftrate, the clergyman, the physician, the merchant, the manufacturer, and laftly, the private gentleman, may in this ufeful volume receive each his "portion of inftruction in due feafon."

The author has already given proof of his acquaintance with the theory of morals, in his "Principles of Moral Philofophy investigated;" and, from the great variety of minute details into which he enters in this work, he appears to have taken much pains to furnish himself with an accurate knowlege of the present state of fociety, in those ranks of life in reference to which he writes. He informs his readers that, in order to gain fuch a degree of knowlege of the habits, pursuits, and Occupations of the different ranks and profeffions, into which the higher and middle claffes of fociety in this country are diftributed, as to delineate their respective duties with tolerable accuracy; he has not only employed himself in the diligent obfervation of men and manners, but has ftudiously endeavoured to derive intelligence from various quarters, refpecting the feveral topics which he had to difcufs. He adds that, in executing most of the chapters appropriated to particular defcriptions of men, and efpecially fome of thofe with which he was the leaft acquainted, he has received the unreferved fuggeftions, advice, and animadverfions of perfons, feverally occupying the ftation, or belonging to the profeffion, in queftion, and accuf. tomed ftrictly to confider its duties in a confcientious light.'

From an enlightened attachment to the British Conftitution, Mr. G. begins by ftating its leading principles, and pointing out the foundation which they afford for political duties. What he offers on this head, as well as on the general duties of citizens, is exceedingly judicious, and perfectly confonant to the moft liberal principles of policy.

On the delicate fubject of the duties of fovereigns, the author exprefles himself with the dignified freedom of a moral preceptor; without, on the one hand, ftooping to the meannefs of indirect adulation, or, on the other, feizing an occafion of oblique cenfure. The fame remark may be made concerning the chapters on the duties of peers, commoners, and executive officers of government.

In ftating the duties of members of the Houfe of Commons, Mr. G. expofes at full length the various violations of public and private virtue, which attend the prefent mode of conducting popular elections, and difcufles feveral points of political

*See M. Rev. vol. ii. N. S. 1799, p. 85.


and moral cafuiftry, equally interefting to individuals and to the community. The duties of a minifter of ftate are very accurately and fully defcribed, under the feveral heads of general morality and prudence, the exercise of patronage, the tranfaction of official bufinefs, the choice of public measures to be brought forwards, and the conduct to be obferved towards the crown, the parliament, and foreign powers.

In like manner, under all the fubfequent heads, the author has exhibited, with equal diligence and judgment, in the preceptive form, cautions against thofe violations of integrity, juftice, benevolence, or prudence, which occur in real life; thus furnishing each clafs with a practical code of morals, to guide the judgment of individuals with refpect to their past or their future conduct.-The method purfued under each head is fo nearly the fame, that we fhall give our readers fufficient information concerning the nature and merit of the work, by laying before them a concife analyfis of one chapter, with a short extract. We felect the fection on the duties of the legal profeffion.

The profeffion itself is, in the first place, very ingeniously and fatisfactorily cleared from the imputation of inherent criminality. The general qualifications towards which a barrifter is to direct his aim, the manner in which he is to pursue profeffional knowlege, the difcipline by which he may acquire the kind of eloquence fuited to his profeffion, the difpofitions. and habits which he ought to cultivate, and the peculiar temptations against which he is to guard himfelf with unremitting vigilance, are next confidered. A diftinct view is taken of the duties of a barrifter in conducting a caufe, previoufly to and during the trial: fuch, for example, as examining whether the cause be such as may be undertaken by a confcientious advocate; endeavouring to avoid delay and unneceflary expence, and to afford the caufe due attention; in pleading, to give his client every advantage which does not imply injuftice, deceit, nor any other kind of immorality; to guard againft indulging any malignity towards the oppofite party, &c. The peculiar fituation of thofe barrifters who are members of the Houfe of Commons, and the duties and temptations attending this fituation, are the fubject of a separate fection and lastly, a diftinct head is allotted to an inquiry into the peculiar duties of judges. The whole subject is treated in a manner, which at once difcovers an accurate acquaintance with the nature of the profeffion of the law in this country, and fhews a happy facility in applying the general principles of morals to particular cafes. The duty of a barrifter in the immediate exercise of his profeffional office is thus defcribed: . By

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By attending to the nature of the fituation in which a barrister ftands, it will be eafy to difcern what kinds of arguments he may confcientiously bring forward in fupport of the caufe which he has undertaken. He is avowedly the advocate of a particular fide of the queftion. The judges, the jury, the parties involved in the difpute, the whole audience before whom he pleads, the public whose interest is always concerned in the final decision, confider hint as acting in that capacity. They expect to hear from him every adjudged cafe, every fact, every direct or analogical argument founded on precedent or on fact, which he is perfuaded ought to have an influence propiticus to his caufe on the fcale of legal juftice. They expect more from him. They know that it pertains to his character to reflect that the Court may determine, and rightly determine, in his favour, on grounds which previously to the trial he might regard as not entitling him to fuccefs. They expect him therefore to produce every train of legal reafoning, though to his own mind it may appear inconclufive, which he hopes may yet be declared fatisfactory by an able and impartial tribunal. They expect him to take advantage of informalities and errors in the proceedings of his adverfaries, as far as he is authorized by law and cuftom. They expect him to prefs, to ftrengthen, and to decorate his own caufe, and to invalidate the efforts of his opponents, by manly and honeft eloquence.

In adopting a line of conduct correfponding to thefe expectations, he is guiltlefs of injustice and deceit. The weapons which he uses are recognized by the rules of fair and honourable war; and he has a right to handle them as effectually as he is able. But he has no right to have recourfe to arms which integrity would blufh to employ, and which are profcribed by the established mode of forenfic hoftilities. He is not at liberty to affert any falfe propofition; nor to urge as a fact, what he knows never to have taken place; nor to advance as a principle of law, what he is confcious that statutes and legal ufages contradict. Practices of this kind are of fo fcandalous a nature, that he who fhould indulge himself in them would not only prove himself devoid of uprightnefs of heart; but would be held to have departed from the profeffional point of honour, and would fall into merited and univerfal difgrace.

There are however other deviations from the line of duty which occur not unfrequently at the bar; and are of too indeterminate a kind to be accurately fpecificd, and exprefsly prohibited by general rules. They of course escape, except in very flagrant cafes, the open reprehenfion of the Court, and the public cenfure of the profellion. Each individual barrister is left to fecure himfelf from the danger, by purity of intention and fenfibility of confcience. The following obfervations relate to fome of the practices in queftion.

As the barrister when pleading in court ought to fhun with the ut moft folicitude the appearance of being urged on by malice or perfonal inveteracy; of being induced to engage in the bufinefs, not from a defire to fubftantiate right and promote the public good, but from eagerness to hunt down a private enemy; fo he ought to fecure his breait with unremitting vigilance from the intrufion of bitterness



and malevolence towards the oppofite party. Whether therefore the caufe in which he is concerned leads him to attack or to defend; whether he contends for the maintenance of rights enjoyed, or for the recovery of fuch as are withheld; for the vindication of innocence; for the reparation of injuries; or for the punishment of crimes; let him refolve from the outfet to preferve a temper unruffled by provocations, and to regulate his thoughts, his words, and his whole conduct by the chriftian precept of doing to others as under fimilar circumftances he might juftly expect them to do to him. If actuated by this priaciple, he will beware of being fo carried away by the rapidity of his own motion, fo heated in action, fo thrown off his guard, as to lofe his composure and felf-poffeffion; and to ftate facts, to advance arguments, to practife arts and give way to emotions, which in his cooler and more collected moments he would condemn. He will uniformly act with candour towards the client of his antagonists; he will not endeavour to excite unjust prejudices against him; nor avail himfelf of those which may already have been excited. He will be anxious to feparate the queftion of law from that of character, in all cafes in which they are not neceffarily connected and even where they are blended together, far from loading the man against whom he demands a verdict, with calumnious obloquy and ungenerous reproaches; he will not feek to depreciate, nor hesitate to avow, the merits which the object of his attack may poffefs. He will not reprefent the cause which he supports, or the fentence which he requires, as more important than he believes them to be to the public welfare. He will fpontaneously undeceive the Court, if he fhould difcover them to entertain conceptions of the matter before them in any refpe& erroneous, though he fhould forefee that his ingenuoufnefs would be difadvan. tageous to his caufe. If his proofs reft on prefumptions and probabilities alone, he will not contrive indirectly to convey an impreffion that he is arguing from acknowledged facts; nor will he boldly pronounce a mafs of circumftantial evidence entitled to a degree of weight which he is convinced it ought not to obtain. He will reflect that exagge ration, however it may have been defined by the masters of rhetoric, generally proves, according to modern ufage, but another name for falfehood. He will not pay court to the foibles, nor avail himself of the prepoffeffions of the judge. He will not ftrive to impofe on the ignorance of the jury *, nor entrap them into the fervice of his client, by practifing on their partiality for himfelf. In relating tranfactions to them, he will study to lay every particular before them with fairnefs and perfpicuity; and in fuch a manner as he deems most likely to put them into poffeffion of the true nature of the cafe. In addreffing them, while he avails himself of his powers of oratory to raife in their breafts a fympathetic concern for the perfon whom he defends, and to place his claim before them in the most attractive garb with which fincerity will permit him to inveft it; he will not attempt to pervert their judgment by leading them to view the fubject merely through the dazzling medium of their paffions.

Towards the evidences produced, whether on behalf of the plaintiff or of the defendant, he will condut himself according to the prin

The conduct of fome Courfel in this refpe&t is as highly to their honour, as that of others is faid to be difgraceful and unjut.'

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