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beware of hard constructions and strained inferences; for there is no worse torture than the torture of laws. Especially in case of laws penal, they ought to have care that that which was meant for terror be not turned into rigor; and that they bring not upon the people that shower whereof the Scripture speaketh, “Pluet super eos laqueos ;” 1 for penal laws pressed, are a shower of snares upon the people. Therefore let penal laws, if they have been sleepers of long, or if they be grown unfit for the present time, be by wise judges confined in the execution : “ Judicis officium est, ut res, ita tempora rerum,” &c.; In causes of life and death, judges ought (as far as the law permitteth) in justice to remember mercy, and to cast a severe eye upon the example, but a merciful eye upon the person.
Secondly, for the advocates and counsel that plead. Patience 4 and gravity of hearing is an essential part of justice, and an overspeaking judge is no well-tuned cymbal. It is no grace to a judge first to find that which he might have heard in due time from the bar; or to show quickness of conceit in cutting off evidence or counsel too short, or to prevent information by questions, though pertinent. The parts of a judge in hearing are four: to direct the evidence; to moderate length, repetition, or impertinency of speech ; to recapitulate, select, and collate the material points of that which hath been
1“ He will rain snares upon them." Psalm xi. 6: “ Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and an horrible tempest.”
8" It is the duty of a judge to consider not only the facts, but the circumstances of the case.” — Ovid. Trist. I. i. 37.
4 Pliny the Younger, Ep. B. 6, E. 2, has the observation: “ Patientiam ... quæ pars magna justitiæ est;" “ Patience. which is a great part of justice.”
said ; and to give the rule or sentence. Whatsoever is above these is too much, and proceedeth either of glory, and willingness to speak, or of impatience to hear, or of shortness of memory, or of want of a staid and equal attention. It is a strange thing to see that the boldness of advocates should prevail with judges ; whereas, they should imitate God, in whose seat they sit, who represseth the presumptuous, and giveth grace to the modest; but it is more strange, that judges should have noted favorites, which cannot but cause multiplication of fees, and suspicion of by-ways. There is due from the judge to the advocate some commendation and gracing, where causes are well handled and fair pleaded, especially towards the side which obtaineth not; 1 for that upholds in the client the reputation of his counsel, and beats down in him the conceit? of his cause. There is likewise due to the public a civil reprehension of advocates, where there appeareth cunning counsel, gross neglect, slight information, indiscreet pressing, or an over-bold defence; and let not the counsel at the bar chop 8 with the judge, nor wind himself into the handling of the cause anew after the judge hath declared his sentence; but, on the other side, let not the judge meet the cause half-way, nor give occasion to the party to say, his counsel or proofs were not heard.
Thirdly, for that that concerns clerks and ministers. The place of justice is a hallowed place; and, therefore, not only the bench, but the foot-pace and precincts, and purprise thereof, ought to be preserved without scandal and corruption ; for, cer
1 Is not successful. 2 Makes him to feel less confident of the goodness of his
8 Altercate, or bandy words with the judge.
tainly, “ Grapes (as the Scripture saith) will not be gathered of thorns or thistles;”i neither can justice yield her fruit with sweetness amongst the briers and brambles of catching and polling 2 clerks and ministers. The attendance 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 of those that engage courts in quarrels of jurisdiction, and are not truly “ amici curiæ,” 8 but “parasiti curiæ,” 4 in puffing a court up 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, whereunto while the sheep flies for defence in weather, he is sure to lose part of his fleece. On the other side, an ancient clerk, skilful in precedents, wary in proceeding, and understanding in the business of the court, is an excellent finger of a court, and doth many times point the way to the judge himself.
Fourthly, for that which may concern the sovereign and estate. Judges ought, above all, to remember the conclusion of the Roman Twelve Tables, “ Salus populi suprema lex ;” 6 and to know that laws, except they be in order to that end, are
1“ Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles!"- 86. Matthew vii. 16. 2 Plundering.
8" Friends of the court.” 4“ Parasites," or "flatterers of the court." 5 Which were compiled by the decemvirs. 6“ The safety of the people is the supreme law."
but things captious, and oracles not well inspired : therefore it is a happy thing in a state, when kings and states do often consult with judges; and again, when judges do often consult with the king and state : the one, when there is matter of law intervenient in business of state; the other, when there is some consideration of state intervenient in matter of law; for many times the things deduced to judge ment may be “meum ”1 and “tuum,” 2 when the reason and consequence thereof may trench to point of estate. I call matter of estate, not only the parts of sovereignty, but whatsoever introduceth any great alteration, or dangerous precedent, or concerneth manifestly any great portion of people; and let no man weakly conceive, that just laws and true policy have any antipathy, for they are like the spirits and sinews, that one moves with the other. Let judges also remember, that Solomon's throne was supported by lions * on both sides ; let them be lions, but yet lions under the throne, being circumspect that they do not check or oppose any points of sovereignty. Let not judges also be so ignorant of their own right, as to think there is not left to them, as a principal part of their office, a wise use and application of laws; for they may remember what the apostle saith of a greater law than theirs : “ Nos scimus quia lex bona est, modo quis eâ utatur legitime.” 4
2“ Yours." 3 He alludes to 1 Kings x. 19, 30: “ The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne wag round behind: and the stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps.” The same verses are repeated in 1 Chronicles ix. 18, 19.
4“ We know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully."1 Timothy i. 8.
LVII.-OF ANGER. To seek to extinguish anger utterly is but a bravery 1 of the Stoics. We have better oracles : “ Be angry, but sin not ; let not the sun go down upon your anger.” 2 Anger must be limited and confined, both in race and in time. We will first speak how the natural inclination and habit, “ to be angry," may be attempered and calmed ; secondly, how the particular motions of anger may be repressed, or, at least, refrained from doing mischief; thirdly, how to raise anger, or appease anger in another.
For the first, there is no other way but to meditate and ruminate well upon the effects of anger, how it troubles man's life; and the best time to do this is, to look back upon anger when the fit is thoroughly over. Seneca saith well, “ that anger is like ruin, which breaks itself upon that it falls." 3 The Scripture exhorteth us “to possess our souls in patience : ” 4 whosoever is out of patience, is out of possession of his soul. Men must not turn bees :
. - "animasque in vulnere ponunt." 5 Anger is certainly a kind of baseness; as it appears well in the weakness of those subjects in whom it reigns, children, women, old folks, sick folks. Only men must beware that they carry their anger rather with scorn than with fear; so that they may seem
1 A boast.
2 In our version it is thus rendered: “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath." - Ephesians iv. 26.
3 Sen. De Ira i. 1. 4" In your patience possess ye your souls.” – Luke xvi. 19.
5" And leave their lives in the wound." Thn quotation is from Virgil's Georgics, iv. 238.