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out of the art of writing; with this only difference, that forgery conducts men to the gallows, special pleading to the bench.'
2. v. 143. «The tastes and gains of the English lawyer alike Jead him to lie. The lie of the bar is the lie of the bench. In equity too the suitor is forced to lie; on no other condition will the judge so much as profess to do him justice.
193. They are gardeners who readily prepare the ground, and scientifically plant it with every germ of serviceable incorrectness. They are nurses who sing a lullaby by which the indocent are set to sleep, in order that they may drop into an abyss of falsehood.'
316. They are coachmen who will grease the wheels of their machine with nothing but falsehood, so familiar and so delightful is it to the ears and lips of an English lawyer. If a prisoner would confess the truth, it is part of the holiness of a Judge, the chosen minister of righteousness, to bid him repent of his repentance, and substitute in the place of it a barefaced lie.'
687. The English conveyancer beats all other nations out of sight in the field of legal lucre. In mere heaping up of words he may have his equal; but, in the practice of what is called fiction—the most pernicious sort of lying-with the support, and for the profit, of the judge, he has found an implement, in the use of which he stands alone. By this instrument of fraud and extortion he makes a man pay, as for the plain and bonest expression of his will, for a tissue of absurdities that rival Mun. chausen or Mother Goose.'
4. v. 65. Speaking of the course pursued under sham writs of error by the Chief-Justice of King's Bench, he says, The official custos morum of the nation concurred, with six hundred men in the year, in the defrauding so many creditors, by uttering so many false pretences, by which he got so much a-piece; while, for a fiftieth part of the money obtained, each by a single false pretence, wretches were hanged or transported, by this same guardian of the public morals, by scores and hundreds.'
313. • They are natural corruptors both of morals and understanding: wheresoever the use of fiction prevails, and in proportion as it prevails, every law book is an institute, and every court of judicature a school of vice. Let your son read Blackstone, and attend the Courts of Westminster, the day you make your daughter get Rochester by heart! A man's understanding must be brought to equal debility and depravation, who can really persuade himself that a lawyer's fiction is a lie of any thing but the worst sort. Fictions are to justices what swindling is to trade; and can be only necessary to it, as children having breakfast.'
394. Send a man to the common law for purity ! send him to the common sewer to cleanse himself! The judges are setters of these traps.
468. . In the present state of things there is really no law; but what by a cruel abuse of language is called the law, is no better than one immense and everlasting snare; a field covered on its whole surface with spring-guns and men-traps, without so much as a board to warn the passenger of the destruction to which he is doomed. Justice the pretence; pillage the object; mendacity the means. Every thing is sham, but the iniquity of the pillage.
423. The judges are coiners; they are spurious usurping legislators, making base law underground, as their brother usurpers make base money, and like them, with one everlasting lie, disowning their work. Nine out of ten of the propositions that, as part of the common law, have drawn their origin from learned bosoms, are absurd in themselves, mischievous in their consequences. In the statutes made by fits and starts for amendment of the law, is a small but fertile department, where may be read the wickedness of lawyers. It is a history that may match with that of Cartouche, Jonathan Wild, Japhet Crook, and so forth, except that it is without name. When the Legislature was obliged to interpose, the worst that could happen to injustice, was the putting her into new clothes.'
5. v. 117. For the particular modification of improbity, called mendacity, the objections lie stronger against the English judge than against the English advocate-itself a stronger case than that of the convicted perjurer. The judge won't steal your spoons; but he will beat the thief in lying. The special pleader, from his first entrance into the profession, never knew what it was to set his hand to a single paper without a lie in it. The technical system is a hot-house of mendacity; the advocate is picked out in due time from the bed of special pleaders, or Chancery draughtsmen, and is trained up in this stove,—the judge is the advocate run to seed. It is true, as in the Court of Exchequer, the same robes include two sorts of judges, a common law judge, and equity judge, whose vocation consists in thwarting the proceedings of each other; so in every court it may happen to the same envelope, to contain two sorts of human beings, a veracious individual, and a perpetually lying judge. If the demon of exclusion, however, must have pickings, let judges and advocates be the first: Judico me cremari was the decision of Judge Blackstone's righteous pope; take that case for your precedent, and say, judico me excludi.'
4. v. 273. • They use, by gradations of demerit, to become ulVOL. XLVIII. NO. 96.
timately the devil himself, crying " Come all ye that, &c., out with your money, down with your lies."
The reader would be amused, 3. v. 633, by the pedigree of Lawyer Case: 4. v. 134, by the History of John Poor and Thomas Rich. 5. v. 287. There is an admirable chapter on lawyer's language or jargon, by which the legislator is stopped, either disgusted like Howard in a cell, by the heaps of filth, or bewildered in the thicket. The partnership look on and triumph.
Before quitting this, not the least original part of Mr Bentham's work, it may not be amiss to present the reader with one entire passage, that he may judge for himself. We give a very characteristic specimen of our author's talent: a fragment from his Frieze.
• Nursing ignorance, Jargon serves at the same time for a screen to it. It does more: over a head of ignorance it puts a mask, exhibiting a face of science. It is the dissertation upon Sanchoniathon, presented to the Vicar of Wakefield.
• This is among the circumstances, that, under the technical system, concur in rendering quirks so pleasant and convenient to the thoroughbred judge. He feels a degree of awkwardness, where a decision is to be given upon the merits. If there be any statute law in the case, the letter of the law is a sort of check to him. Statute or no statute, the common sense of mankind operates at any rate as a check, and that a troublesome one. On this ground, decision, too, if it is to be on the right side, is apt now and then to require faculties which, whatever they may have been at first, have been enfeebled by habitual diet-drinks from the fountain of jurisprudence. If a man is wrong, he exposes hiinself; if he is right, he gains little praise, compared with what might be got by jargon or hypocrisy: every simpleton is ready to say, What is there in all that? 'I'is just what I should have done myself. Seated in a chair, in the character of a justice of the peace, with common language in his mouth, a common coat upon his back, and no hair upon his head but his own, Solomon himself would not gain the praise of wisdom. Seated on a woolsack, Barthdon would pass muster, while talking about entering appearances, or filing common bail, clothed in purple and fine linen, artificial hair and ermine.
• Every sbam science, of which there are so many, makes to itself a jargon, to serve for a cover to its nothingness, and, if wicked, to its wickedness ; alchymy, palmistry, magic, judicial astrology, technical jurisprudence. To unlicensed depredators, their own technical language, the cant of flash language, is of use not only as a cover, but as a bond of union. Lawyers' cant, besides serving them as a cover and bond of union, serves them as an instrument, an iron-crow or a picklock key, for collecting plunder in cases in which otherwise it could not be collected, by applying the principle of nullification, in many a case in which it could not otherwise have been applied.
· The best of all good times was, when the fate of Englishmen was disposed of in French, and in something that was called Latin. For, having been once in use, language, however, is not much the worse, so it be of use no longer. The antiquated notation of time suffices of itself to throw a veil of mystery over the system of procedure. Martin and Hilary, saints forgotten by devotees, are still of use to lawyers. How many a man has been ruined, because his lawyer made a mistake, designed or undesigned, in reckoning by the almanack! First of January, second of January, and so forth, where is the science there ? Not a child of four years old that does not understand it. But Octavos, quindecims, and morrow of All Souls, St Martin, St Hilary, the Purification, Easter day, the Ascension, and the Holy Trinity; Essoign day, day of Exception, Retorna Brevium day, day of Appearance, alias Quarto die post, alias Dies amoris ; there you have a science ! Terms Michaelmas, Hilary, Easter, and Trinity, each of them about thirty days, no one of them more than one day; there you have not only a science, but a mystery. Do as the devils do, believe and tremble.'
Disliking jargon as much as Mr Bentham can do, we are yet obliged to protest against his usual inference, that this mask of Science, put upon the face of Ignorance, has been put on by Fraud. His general theories expect a great deal too much from human reason, which is but a partner in the concern, and often only a sleeping partner. It is a special instance of the waywardness into which the wish to be flinging stones may hurry a philosopher, that, whilst proclaiming Reason to be now for the first time rubbing her half-opened eyes, he will yet submit to hear of no other solution for acts of prior unreasonableness, than wilful and interested error. Whilst the dialects of Europe were settling from their chaos, to have embodied a science in their Auctuating materials, would have been like casting anchor on the back of a slumbering whale, or employing Chantrey to make statues out of melting snow. The mistake only began in continuing Law-Latin and Law-French, with their barbarous terminology, after the necessity had ceased; whilst every day's experience shows us, in other matters, the honest longevity of such an error, especially from the excuses which are found in the familiarity of practitioners, and the significancy of scholastic terms for a scholastic purpose. Out-doors patients would, as Bacon observed, be equally barred, if not by the strangeness of the language, yet by the obscurity of the conceit.
Having been at times run out of breath, and found ourselves staring for a meaning among Mr Bentham's own reforming sentences, we could not but smile at the unsuspecting innocence, with which incomprehensibleness of expression seems laid down as conclusive evidence of fraud,-Quam temerè in nosmet! The Bentham language, we will venture to say, is in this respect a match for any lawyer language upon earth. Menu would admit it to be the Sanscrit of modern legislation. Meanwhile we assure Mr Bentham that we have no suspicion he is playing booty as a reformer; although in the great persecution, bis house was miraculously passed over by the destroying ex officio angel, and though his prose would occasionally excite the jealousy of Lycophron himself.
The second most striking feature, it seems, in the character of lawyers, is their cruelty.
I. v. 372. Of all descriptions of men (hangmen perhaps er cepted, butchers certainly not excepted) the lawyer, and among the lawyers, of all nations, the English lawyer, is he on whom humanity may be regarded as acting with the smallest forceand least on him whose experience has raised him to the situa
tion of a jade Prisoners itical and tru
2. v. 114. Prisoners counsel are accessories after the fact, encouraged by the hypocritical and trust-breaking humanity of a judge.
86. • Expression of sympathy whilst passing sentence on a criminal, however justly suffering, is one of the common-places of judicial acting on the forensic theatre. However, in the case of browbeating, it has scarcely ever been observed, that the judge has tried to heal the wounds unjustly inflicted by the hand of the lawyer;—the real feeling of sympathy, in any such station, is not more reasonably to be expected, than on the part of a hunter for the agonies of the deer whom he has been running down.
3. v. 147. The pretext of tenderness to the innocent and the guilty, is only an invention, by which the natural and implacable enemies of justice are enabled to extend the mass of their own despotism, by increasing capital punishments. They thus combine the profits of cold barbarity with the praise of humanity, and swell that state of things, by which every year the lives of men, by dozens and by scores, are laid at the feet of every English judge. In proportion as the procedure is loose, the punishment is severe. 5. v. 236. In the Genesis of lawyer-craft, death begets quibbles, and quibbles beget death. The tenderness of lawyers begins in selfishness, continues in hypocrisy, and ends in cruelty. 4. v. 569. Hypocrites ! what reason have you ever given for your human sacrifices other than used to be given in Mexico, and is now given in New Zealand ? If chance must decide, let it be fortune, and not fraud, in the name of fortune : If you must admit dice into your courts of justice, let your dice be fair.'
or and swer profits of Corting capitato extend there and in English by dozent state of thimbarity withish