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laws of a nation are its highest thought, its justest thought, its most moral thought, and for that reason, and for that alone, is entitled to our loyal devotion.
Illinois lawyers have filled a brilliant place in the State and Nation. It is but calling the long roll of fame to mention them. Breeze, Douglas, Baker, Caton, Davis, Washburn, Drummond, Browning, Trumbull, Yates, Logan, and he whom nature,
"Choosing sweet clay from the breast
New birth of our new soil, the first American.” Those who now occupy the places once adorned by these men, are worthy to succeed them. It was a high compliment to the profession of this State, that when President Cleveland sought for a Chief Justice of the United States, he should have found here in his own party, three gentlemen distinguished by their legal attainments, character and faithful service to their party, and through their party to their country, that the entire bar, as well as the President, instinctively marked them as fit to succeed the most illustrious line of judges the world has ever seen. Mr. Fuller who has already added to the high reputation of the court, Judge Schofield, who was forced by his modesty and dislike of the conventionalities of social life incident to the office, to decline it, and Mr. Goudy who only missed it by being on the far side of the three score limit.
I know something of the young men preparing themselves in the law schools of this State for the profession, their earnestness, high character, ambition and studions habits, and I am sure the golden age of the Illinois bar is not in the glorious past, nor in the dull piping times of the peaceful present, but in the future, that these young men will not only preserve untarnished the golden laurels won by their elder brothers, but will add to them new victories in the cause of law and justice.