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THE rich are directly or indirectly the legislalators of the state; and of consequence are perpetually reducing oppression into a system, and depriving the poor of that little commonage of nature, which might otherwise still have remained to them.

In many countries justice is avowedly made a subject of solicitation, and the man of the highest rank and most splendid connections almost infallibly carries his cause against the unprotected and friendless. In countries where this shameless practice is not established, justice is frequently a matter of cxpensive purchase, and the man with the longest purse is proverbially victorious.



Political Justice, b. v.

As to the administration of our laws, the difference between us and other countries is little more than this, that there they sell justice in the gross, and here we sell it by retail. In Persia the cadi passes sentence for a round sum of money: in England the judge indeed takes nothing; but the attorney, the advocate, every officer, and every retainer on the court, raise treble that sum upon the client...

The whole power of a king of England cannot force an acre of land from the weakest of his subjes; but a knavish attorney will take away his whole estate by those very laws which were designed for its security. The judges are uncorrupt, appeals are free, and notwithstanding all these advantages dbitw il r it


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it is usually better for a man to lose his right than to sue for it.

Persian Letters,

THE universal spirit of all laws in all countries, is to favour the strong in opposition to the weak; and to assist those who have possessions against those who have none.


Inegalite des Homes, part ii. ONE of the seven [sages of Greece] was wont to say, that laws were like cobwebs, where the small flies were caught, and the great brake through


Works, vol. ii. p. 291.

-LITTLE Villains must submit to fate,
That great ones may enjoy the world in state.


Dispensary, part i.

THROUGH tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,

And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks:
Arm it in rags a pigmy's straw can pierce it.


Lear, act. iv.

Marshal de V*** used to relate that the frauds of one of the contractors for the army, in one of his campaigns, having occasioned a very general complaint among the troops, he sent for the offender, and, after rating him pretty handsomely, threatened him with the gallows. To all which


the rascal calmly replied, that such threats did not all affect him; but that he was glad of an occasion of telling the marshal, that a man is not so readily hanged who has an hundred thousand crowns at his disposal. And I know not how it happens, added the marshal, but so it was, the scoundrel escaped hanging, notwithstanding he had deserved it a hundred times.

ROUSSEAU. Inegalite des Hommes, part ii. note (14.) To this day, in a neighbouring country, a person is still alive, who has more than once deserved the most ignominious severity of justice. His being of the blood royal however was thought a sufficient atonement for his being a disgrace to hu manity. This remarkable personage took pleasure in shooting at the passengers below from the top of his palace; and in this most princely amusement he usually spent some time every day. He was at length arraigned by the friends of a person whom in this manner he had killed, was found guilty of the charge, and condemned to die. His merciful monarch pardoned him in consideration of his rank and quality. The unrepenting criminal soon after renewed his usual entertainment, and in the same manner killed another man. He was a second time condemned; and, strange to think, a second time received his majesty's pardon! Would you believe it? A third time the very same man was guilty of the very same offence; a third time therefore the laws of his country found him guilty.-I wish, for the honour of humanity,



I could

I could suppress the rest!A third time he was



Citizen of the World, vol. i. let. xxxviii.

·Salus populi suprema lex, and laws, except they be in order to that end, are things captious, and oracles not well inspired.

There be (saith the scripture) that turn judgment into wormwood; and surely there be also that turn it into vinegar; for injustice maketh it bitter, and delays make it pur.

d ges must beware of hard constructions and strained inferences, for there is no worse torture than the torture of laws.

One foul sentence doth more hurt than many foul examples.

Contentious suits ought to be spewed out as the surfeits of courts.

The attendants of courts is subject to four bad instruments. First, certain persons that are sowers of suits, which make the court swell and the country pine. The second sort, is those that engage courts in quarrels of jurisdiction, and are not truly amici curiæ, but parasiti curiæ; in puffing up a court beyond her bounds, for their own scraps. and advantage. The third sort is of those that may be accounted the left hands of courts, persons that are full of nimble and sinister tricks and shifts, whereby they pervert the plain and direct courses of courts, and bring justice into oblique lines and labyrinths. And the fourth is the poller and exacter of fees; which justifies the common resemblance of the courts of justice to the bush, where



unto, while the sheep flies for defence in weather, he is sure to lose part of his fleece. LORD BACON. Works. vol. iii. p. 377.8.

IN proportion as we have deviated from the plain rule of our nature, and turned our reason against itself, in that proportion have we increased the follies and miseries of mankind. The more deeply we penetrate into the labyrinth of art, the further we find ourselves from those ends for which we entered into it. This has happened in almost every species of artificial society, and in all times. We found, or we thought we found, an inconvenience in having every man the judge of his own cause. Therefore judges were set up, at first with discretionary powers. But it was soon found a miserable slavery to have our lives and properties precarious, and hanging upon the arbitrary determination of any one man or set of men. We flew to laws as a remedy for this evil. By these we persuaded ourselves we might know with some certainty upon what ground we stood. But lo! differences arose upon the sense and interpretation of these laws. Thus we were brought back to our old incertitude. New laws were made to expound the old; and new difficulties arose upon the new laws; as words multiplied, opportunities of cavilling upon them multiplied also. Then recourse was had to notes, comments, glosses, reports, responsa prudentum, learned readings. Eagle stood against Eagle: authority was set up against authority. Some were allured by the modern, others reverenced the



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