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went to London, and is now recognised as one of the most accomplished artists of the day; yet how many people to the south of the equator have heard of the works of Nicholas Chevalier ? Charles Summers, the sculptor, is another man who shed the light of his genius on Australian subjects, and it is only now, when he has passed away, that the Australians whom he served are beginning to do him justice. Many other similar examples might be quoted, but enough has been said to prove the truth of the assertion that, whilst the heroes of sport are lionised by Australians, the far more deserving victors in the arena of literature and art receive but scant sympathy from the colonies that they once honoured by their presence. Surely this is a serious reflection on the national character of a people. To deify muscle, and degrade the mind, is a proceeding that does not augur well for the future; yet, in the face of notorious existing facts, who will be bold enough to deny that such is not the actual policy of the Australian colonists?
A movement has recently been inaugurated, having for its object the formation of Australian Natives' Associations throughout the colony of Victoria; but, unfortunately, even at this early stage, these bodies have begun to assume a pronounced political character, and there is therefore every reason to fear that the good results that might have been anticipated, had their promoters steered clear of the whirlpool of politics, will be marred and neutralised by this grave error of judgment. In view of what I have already said, regarding the evident tendency of the Australian mind to depreciate and almost ignore the achievements of literature and art, it seems to me that, instead of blindly swearing allegiance to a particular class of politicians, and stupidly identifying themselves with a party of whose ultimate aims they are in blissful ignorance, it would be far better for native Australians in all the large centres of population to form themselves into non-political Young Men's Mutual Improvement Societies. Such associations, if well organised, would be productive of a vast amount of good; they would admit all native Australians to share in their advantages, irrespective of political or party considerations; they would be the means of inciting the Australian mind to an active sympathy with intellectual pursuits; and by participating in debates, literary exercises and elocutionary practice, Australian natives would be undergoing the best possible training for the important work that will devolve upon them when the destinies of the southern continent are placed entirely in their hands. A few of these useful bodies are at present
in existence; but they are confined to the principal cities, and their roll of members is the reverse of lengthy. What is urgently needed is the further extension of the principle of mutual improvement throughout the colonies, so that every studious Australian native may be in a position to, so to speak, continue his education after his school-days have“ melted into the infinite azure of the past.” The Australian Natives' Democratic Associations, that are now being established for political purposes throughout this colony, may possibly produce some excellent specimens of the genus " democrat;" but, from their defective constitution, there is little reason to hope that they will ever add a single grain to the world's store of thought. The Australian native, under their auspices, will never contribute any lasting work to English literature, or attain to distinction in science and art. They may teach him to applaud the hollow harangues of unprincipled demagogues, but they will never teach him that best of lessons—to think for himself.
Drawing inferences from previous remarks, and judging of the future by the signs of the present, the Melbourne of twenty years hence will present a striking contrast to the Melbourne of to-day, for the coming Australian will spend most of his time out-of-doors, and gradually divest himself of the cumbersome costume of the snowy regions of the north in order to clothe himself in the light and airy drapery appropriate to the sunny regions of the south. He will be an ardent admirer and supporter of all manly sports. He will be distinguished for independence of character, though wanting in a feeling of reverence for the venerable institutions bequeathed by his ancestors. Ambition is a vice with which he will never be charged. He will daily move in a circle bounded by his own little horizon, taking but little interest in the proceedings of the great world outside. The trumpet of war will never arouse a martial impulse in his breast; "anything for a quiet life” will be his motto, and, though he may dearly love “playing at soldiers," acting the part in real earnest will be wholly foreign to his nature. Religious he will not be, in the ordinary acceptation of the term; and Sunday he will regard more as a day of recreation than a day of the Lord. His temperament will not induce him to study; his tastes will not be refined or artistic. He may possibly be susceptible to the influence of music; but he will be unable to appreciate the merits of a sterling book, a speaking picture, or an "animated bust.” In legislative capacity, he will not display a surpassing brilliance; and the future historian will have no easier task than
that of narrating the achievements of illustrious Australian statesmen. In fine, the coming inhabitant of the southern continent will be peaceably disposed and sportively inclined; rather selfish in conduct and secular in practice, contented and easy-going, but nonintellectual and tasteless.
Should the portrait thus sketched give offence; should the shades in the picture be regarded as too prominent; should the prophet be characterised as a prejudiced theorist; the only reply to the critics is contained in three short words-time will tell.
JAMES F. HOGAN.
THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND
As the Legal Profession Amalgation Bill, introduced by Mr. Mason is now before Parliament, perhaps the present is a seasonable time to present to the public a view of the nature and quantity of legal employment, which, guided mainly by unwritten rules of etiquette, flows into the chambers respectively of the higher branch of the legal profession—viz., barristers-at-law—and the lower, but more lucrative, branch-viz., attorneys, solicitors, and proctors; also a review of the leading arguments which have been used, both in Parliament and common social conversation, in reference to the advisability of such a change as amalgamation would necessarily produce, both as regards alleged disabilities in the profession itself, and its utility to the public, for whose use the profession exists, and to protect whom the State has thought fit to create a privileged class. The whole field of legal employment may be divided into common law, equity, admiralty, divorce, matrimonial, and probate law, conveyancing, and insolvency. All the common law work in the Supreme Court, with the exception of the pleadings and that which comes to trial, is transacted by the attorneys; and as, according to the evidence given before the Judicature Commission by a prominent attorney in Melbourne, not one writ issued out of ten comes to a trial, it follows that out of every ten actions commenced a barrister finds employment in one, thus leaving the attorneys the whole employment in connection with the other nine. Moreover, when an action does come to trial, it is notorious that the costs of the attorneys employed far exceed the fees paid to the barristers retained, who have to bring into use great knowledge, skill, and natural ability, whilst the attorney is often absent, or is represented by a clerk. Indeed, I can state with authority that the one item in an attorney's bill of costs, “instruc
tions for brief” (which work is probably done by the managing clerk), often exceeds in amount the fees paid to counsel at the trial.
The foregoing remarks apply also to the equity, admiralty, divorce, matrimonial, and probate branches, with the exception that a greater proportion of suits commenced come to trial. With regard to the conveyancing branch, it is well known that, under the present simple system prevailing under the Transfer of Land Statute, there is seldom necessity to call in the assistance of a barrister. I think I am not exaggerating when I say that the whole conveyancing work which finds its way into Temple Court would not keep one barrister employed. Thus, nearly all conveyances, transfers, mortgages, leases, settlements, agreements, wills, indeed, nearly all documents of a legal nature, are drawn by attorneys alone. The insolvency branch is almost entirely monopolised by the attorneys, though occasionally a barrister is employed to conduct an examination where large interests are involved; but three-fourths, at least, of the actual court work is conducted by the lower branch. There remains, out of the whole field of legal employment, business in Judges' Chambers, and in the inferior courts, viz., County Courts, General Sessions, Courts of Mines, and the Police Courts. The greater part of the business in Judges' Chambers, which is of a simple nature, is conducted by attorneys or their clerks; in difficult matters, counsel employed, and paid a small fee, which, no doubt, is sufficient compensation for the work done. In the County Courts the attorneys conduct all the undefended cases ; but in Melbourne, with a few exceptions, the attorneys recognise the barristers' dominion, and brief counsel in the defended causes, and this rule holds in a lesser degree in the country County Courts. At General Sessions, counsel have sole audience; but in this field of employment and in the Court of Mines, business at present is of small dimensions. The Police Courts, with an occasional exception, are entirely monopolised by the attorneys, even when difficult matters and
questions present themselves. "Are the Argus reports fictions," asks Sir Archibald Michie, in his abie article in the Victorian Review, “which inform us from day to day that, in the Insolvent Court, and at the Police Office, frequently in the County Court, and very commonly even in Judges' Chambers, and before the Navigation Board, attorneys are doing exactly the same kind of work as counsel ?" It will thus appear from the foregoing remarks, the whole domain of counsel's employment is limited to appearances at the trials in the