On Expression, Part 5 to blupete's Essay
"An Essay On Lawyers"
"I, sirs, for my sins have studied canon law at Salamanca, and I rather pique myself on expressing my meaning in clear, plain, and intelligible language." (Cervantes, Don Quixote.)The practice of law is a "bookish occupation" and reading and writing is an essential part of it. To become a good writer, one must write, and write, and write: and, too, both before and during the exercise, one must read, and read, and read. One must continually be reading and refreshing his mind, or it will soon become stale, flat, and unprofitable. On this business of reading and writing, see my essays: "On Writing" and "On Language."
"I know you lawyers can, with ease,
Twist words and meanings as you please:
That language, by your skill made pliant,
Will bend to favor every client:
That 'tis the fee directs the sense,
To make out either side's pretence."
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