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Great Jurists of the World (Classic Reprint)
History; and I can hardly forbear doing it in that of the Law, in its nature the noblest and most beneficial to mankind, in its abuse and debasement the most sordid and the most pernicious. A lawyer now is nothing more (I speak of ninetynine in a hundred at least), to use some of Tully swords, nisi leguleius quidem cautus, et acutus praeco actionum,...
History; and I can hardly forbear doing it in that of the Law, in its nature the noblest and most beneficial to mankind, in its abuse and debasement the most sordid and the most pernicious. A lawyer now is nothing more (I speak of ninetynine in a hundred at least), to use some of Tully swords, nisi leguleius quidem cautus, et acutus praeco actionum, cantor formularum, auceps syllabarum. But there have been lawyers that were orators, philosophers, historians: there have been Bacons and Clarendons. There will be none such any more, till in some better age true ambition, or the love of fame, prevails over avarice; and till men find leisure and encouragement to prepare themselves for the exercise of this profession, by climbing up to the vantage ground (so my Lord Bacon calls it) of Science, instead of grovelling all their lives below, in a mean but gainful application of all the little arts of chicane. Till this happen, the profession of the law will scarce deserve to be ranked among the learned professions. And whenever it happens, one of the vantage grounds to which men must climb, is Metaphysical, and the other, Historical Knowledge. HENRY ST. JOHN, Viscount BOLINGBROKE, Letters on the Study of History (1739). Whoever brings a fruitful idea to any branch of knowledge, or rends the veil that seems to sever one portion from another, his name is written in the Book among the builders of the Temple. For an English lawyer it is hardly too much to say that the methods which Oxford invited Sir Henry Maine to demonstrate, in this chair of Historical and Comparative Jurisprudence, have revolutionised our legal history and largely transformed our current text-books. Sir FREDERICK POLLOCK, Bat., The History of Comparative Jurisprudence (F arewell Lecture at the University of Oxford, 1903). No piece of History is true when set apart to itself, divorced and isolated. It (Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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