Diary of John Adams, volume 1
Memorabilia of this Week.
The Bar agreed upon these 4 Rules.
1st. That the Clerk call the Plain tiff, and if any Body answer, except the Plaintiff or some sworn Attorney, his Power be demanded, and no general Power in such Case be admitted.
2dly. That no Attorneys Fee be taxed for the future where the Declaration was not drawn by the Plaintiff himself, or some sworn Attorney.
3dly. That no attendance be taxed, unless the Party attend personally, or by some sworn Attorney.236
4. That no Attorney be allowed to Practice here unless sworn in this Court1 or in the superiour Court.
Mr. Gridley read these Rules to the Court as unexceptionable Regulations, agreed upon by the Bar. Mr. Otis arose and said he had the Credit of the Motion, but he never had moved for any such Rules as these, for they were vs. the Province Law, vs. the Rights of Mankind, and he was amazed that so many wise Heads as that Bar was blessed with could think them practicable, and concluded that he was for one, entirely against them. And said that all schemes to suppress Petty fogger’s must rest on the Honor of the Bar. Foster Hutchinson asked why then was the Court troubled with the Motion? Judge Watts said if the Bar was not agreed the Court could do nothing. And at last they determined to consider till April.
Thus with a whiff of Otis’s pestilential Breath, was this whole system blown away.
But the Barr was in a great Rage!
Thatcher said to K
Thatcher moved, that in the Cards to be sent to the Judges, the Expression should be “The Bar, exclusively of Mr. Otis, invites,” and Auchmuty, Kent, Gridley and I, as well as Thatcher voted for it.
Auchmuty and Fitch were equally warm. They talked about renouncing all Commerce or Connection with him. Gridley talked about treating him dryly and decently.
Auchmuty said, the two Principles of all this were Popularity, and Avarice.
He made the Motion at first to get some of these Under strappers into his service. He could not bear that Q
Mr. G. said he went off to avoid a Quarell, for he could not bear it. Such Tergiversation, such Trimming, such Behaviour.
K. and Auch. said they had born with his Insolence thinking him honest, tho hot and rash and passionate, but now he appeared to act against his Conscience.237
Take of the several Species of Malevolence, as Revenge, Malice, Envy, equal Quantities, of servility, fear, fury, Vanity, Prophaneness, and Ingratitude, equal Quantities, and infuse this Composition into the Brains of an ugly, surly, brutal Mortal and you have the Desideratum.
In Croatia. His Descent. Education, at school, Colledge, at the Bar. Historians relate that he was grossly slandered, by a story of a Bastard on a Negro, his Wrath at Plymouth, at Boston he Heads the Trade, brings Actions, fails, is chosen Representative, quarrells with Governor, Lieutenant
The Suffolk co. Inferior Court of Common Pleas.
It is not clear whether this and the following squib on Otis were composed or merely copied by JA. The second has the appearance of being notes for a satirical piece to be developed more fully.