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§ 5. Much discretion is requisite in the selection of advisers in professional and other matters requiring special qualifications, and in turning their advice to good account. When we see one man almost always selecting good advisers, and acting on good advice, and when we see another man always selecting bad advisers, and acting on bad advice, we may be sure that this difference is not owing to accident. There is sometimes as much practical wisdom in choosing good counsellors as in judging for one's self. The marks of a trustworthy guide in matters of practice are, indeed, (as we have shown in a previous chapter,) tolerably distinct; but in the application of these, there is ample scope for the exercise of a discreet judgment. Hobbes, it must be admitted, exaggerates the difficulty of this choice when he says, that we cannot safely select an adviser, without being able to judge of the soundness of his rules. To know (he says) who knows the rules almost of any art is a great degree of the knowledge of the same art; because no man can be assured of the truth of another's rules, but he that is first taught to understand them.' By pursuing the indications of a trustworthy adviser, which we have formerly adverted to, a selection may unquestionably be made with less labour than would be requisite for forming an independent judgment upon the rules of the art. The authentication of practitioners by diplomas, and by other marks of public sanction, likewise serves as a guide to the unprofessional person. Nevertheless, the discrimination between sound and unsound counsellors, implies attentive thought and inquiry. Good advice, too, when given, does not always thrive in foolish hands. It is often misapplied, or misunderstood, or neglected. It is like good tools in the hands of an artisan; though indispensable in itself, it cannot be used without skill.

§ 6. There is, or at least has been, much popular prejudice against the learned professions; and this feeling has been fomented by satirists and writers of comedy, who have ridiculed their weaknesses and failings, such as their pedantry and their groundless pretensions to science. It is thought that, as lawyers and combine two of either sort; and forget not to call as well the best acquainted with your body, as the best reputed of for his faculty.'-Essay XXX., on Regimen of Health.

1 Leviathan, part ii. c. 30, p. 339. Cicero says nearly to the same effect-Quod dicunt omnia se credere ei quem judicent fuisse sapientem; probarem si il ipsum rudes et indocti judicare potuissent. Statuere enim qui sit sapiens, vel maxime videtur esse sapientis.'—Acad. Prior. II. 3.

2 See further, on this subject, Chapter IX. § 17.

physicians live upon the follies, the quarrels, and the diseases of mankind, they have an interest in augmenting the pabulum on which they subsist. But the truth is, that the legitimate and recognised end of these professions is to provide preventives and remedies for the ills to which human nature and human society are subject. The ills are inevitable; but they can be mitigated by prudence and good management. Now this mitigation is what professional advice undertakes to provide, and, in fact, to a great extent does provide.' It is not to be expected that all the members of a large profession should be morally perfect, or that there should not be cases in which their advice is prompted by an interested motive. But that the public is, on the whole, essentially benefited by the advice of professional men is apparent from the earnest and universal desire to obtain their services, and from the pecuniary sacrifices made for the purpose of obtaining them. According to the Italian proverb

Quei consigli son prezzati,

Che son chiesti e ben pagati.

A similar inference may be drawn from the provision made by governments for the gratuitous supply of professional advice, where it cannot be procured without charitable assistance. In almost all countries, medical attendance is provided in this manner for the poor, to a greater or less extent; and, in certain cases, advocates are furnished at the public expense to enable poor litigants to recover their rights.

§ 7. A custom similar to that of professional advice is adverted to by Bacon, as having existed among the Romans. Speaking of the Wisdom of Business-that is, of the discreet management of private affairs, he remarks as follows:-- Of this wisdom, it seemeth some of the ancient Romans, in the sagest and wisest times, were professors; for Cicero reporteth that it was then in use for senators that had name and opinion for general wise men, as Coruncanius, Curius, Lælius, and many others, to walk at certain hours in the place, and to give audience to those that would use their advice; and that the particular citizens would resort unto them, and consult with them of the marriage of a daughter, or of the employing of a son, or of a purchase, or bargain, or of an accusation, and every other occasion incident to man's life. So as there is a

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Légistes, docteurs, médecins, quelle chûte pour vous, donner le mot de devenir sages!'-LA BRUYÈRE, c. 12.

nous pouvions tous nous But until this change is

effected, it is fortunate that there should be a substitute for individual wisdom

wisdom of counsel and advice even in private causes, arising out of an universal insight into the affairs of the world; which is used, indeed, upon particular causes propounded, but is gathered by general observation of causes of like nature.'1

The system of auricular confession and the direction of consciences, as practised in the Church of Rome, is founded on a theory similar to that on which the custom of professional consultations rests.2 The confessor may be considered as a vicarious conscience, in like manner as professional advice is vicarious prudence. If the penitent makes a full and true confession, the confessor or spiritual director pronounces or advises with a complete knowledge of the circumstances of the case, probably with a knowledge of the penitent's character and position, and always with the impartiality of a judge-free from personal concern in the matter, and unbiassed by passion or interest. Seeing how blind and partial a judge each man is in his own case, and how. unconsciously the moral judgment with respect to our own actions is perverted by the inclinations, it cannot be doubted that such a counsellor, in ambiguous cases of conduct, such a ductor dubitantium, would be generally beneficial, if the moral code which he administers was well framed, and if his opinion or advice was always honest and enlightened. Unfortunately, however, it happens, that the system of moral rules which guides the discretion of the Catholic confessor is founded on a narrow-minded and somewhat superstitious theology, so far as it proceeds upon the distinctive tenets of the Church of Rome; and that the desire of domestic dictation, and of regulating the affairs of families,3 so natural in an unmarried clergy, gives too often an improper bias to the influence of the spiritual director. The theory is alluring, but the practice disappoints the expectation. The only admissible substitute for self-judgment, in domestic affairs and questions of

1 Adv. of Learning, vol. ii. p. 260. Compare Cic. de Orat. III. 33, 34.

2 See Malebranche, Recherche de la Vérité, ecl. 13, sur liv. iii. upon the Consultation of Physicians and Confessors.

3 ‘Je vois bien que le goût qu'il-y-a à devenir le dépositaire du secret des familles, à se rendre nécessaire pour les réconciliations, à procurer des commissions ou à placer des domestiques, à trouver toutes les portes ouvertes dans les maisons des grands, à manger souvent à de bonnes tables, à se promener en carrosse dans une grande ville, et à faire de délicieuses retraites à la campagne, à voir plusieurs personnes de nom et de distinction s'intéresser à sa vie et à sa santé, et à ménager pour les autres et pour soi-même tous les intérêts humains; je vois bien, encore une fois, que cela seul a fait imaginer le spécieux et irrépréhensible prétexte du soin des ames, et semé dans le monde cette pépinière intarissable de directeurs.'-LA BRUYÈRE, Caractères, ch. 3.

private conduct, is the advice of relations and trustworthy friends.1 To these a person can with safety and propriety unbosom himself, and from them he will receive the best advice which, under such circumstances, he can obtain.

It may be here remarked, that an unjust prejudice has not unfrequently been raised in Protestant countries against the treatises which are prepared for the use of confessors in the Church of Rome. When confession, and the judgment of the confessor upon sins confessed, exists as an institution of the church, the office of the priest becomes judicial, and it is necessary, in order to prevent erroneous decisions, and to preserve consistency, that a system of rules should be laid down for the general guidance of his discretion. The more difficult and doubtful of the cases likely to come before the confessor have been discussed separately, and have given rise to the branch of practical divinity called casuistry.2 Casuistry is the jurisprudence of theology; it is a digest of the moral and religious maxims to be observed by the priest, in advising or deciding upon questions which come before him in confession, and in assigning the amount of penance due to each sin. As confession discloses the most secret thoughts and acts of the penitent, and as nothing, however impure, is concealed from the confessor, it is necessary that he should be furnished with a manual in which these subjects are discussed. Now such a manual, if properly considered, is not more justly obnoxious to the charge of gratuitous indecency, than a legal or medical treatise, in which similar subjects are expounded without any reserve of language. The necessity for treating the subject in this manner, and the danger of suggesting what it is intended to discourage, may be reasons against the practice of confession; but if the expediency of this practice is once admitted, the rest follows by a necessary consequence.

§ 8. One important part of the practical dealings of life consists in the purchase of such articles as each person requires

''Plurimum in amicitiâ amicorum bene suadentium valeat auctoritas: eaque adhibeatur ad monendum non modo aperte, sed etiam acriter, si res postulet.'-CICERO de Amic. c. 13. Monere et moneri proprium est veræ amicitiæ: et alterum libere facere, non aspere; alterum patienter accipere, non repugnanter.'—Ib. c. 25.

2 For the history of casuistry, see the Art. Casuistik in Ersch and Gruber's Encyclopädie, vol. xxi. p. 117. Casuistical theology was not abandoned by the Protestant churches till a considerable time after the Reformation; and several casuistical treatises were written by Protestant divines. Compare Hallam, Lit. of Europe, vol. III. c. 4, §§ 1-20.

for the use and consumption of himself and his family. If he is capable of judging for himself as to the quality and value of the goods which he purchases, he will thus avoid imposition. If he is not, he will (unless he calls in the advice of some competent judge) either be imposed upon, or he must pay what Mr. Babbage has called the Price of Verification. That is to say, he must deal only at shops whose honesty can be safely relied upon, and which, inasmuch as they take the trouble to verify their own goods, and guarantee the quality of them, charge an additional sum for this trouble and responsibility. The additional payment is a species of insurance against fraud and mistake. A shop of this sort may be considered a shop of authority: the knowledge of its managers as to their trade, and their integrity, render it probable that their articles are of excellent quality, and induce the customer to pay an additional price on this account. Wanting the requisite knowledge himself, he is willing to pay a certain sum for authenticating the quality of the article which he buys. For example; a person ignorant of jewels would give an additional sum in purchasing them from a jeweller of established character and reputation, lest, if he bought them of an unknown dealer, he might be cheated by the substitution of paste or glass for genuine stones. On the other hand, a person possessing this knowledge might rely on his own judgment, and spare himself the cost of throwing on others the task of verification. In like manner, a bookseller, by making a careful and judicious selection of the books which he publishes, might create so much confidence in the goodness of his publications, as to enable him to charge an extra price for them.

In some cases, the determination of value is so laborious and difficult a process, that it has given rise to a separate class of professional men, as land-valuers, surveyors, appraisers, &c. In these valuations, the price of verification is not a small percentage, confounded with the price of the article, but it is of sufficient importance to stand apart, and form a substantive item.

§ 9. Besides professional advice, there is another species of advice not less important, which is given with the grounds assigned, but in which the practical conviction is generally produced by a mixture of reasoning and authority. This is advice given in joint deliberation and consultation, or debate.

Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, c. 14.

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