John Fortescue.

The works of Sir John Fortescue, Knight, Chief Justice of England and Lord Chancellor to King Henry the Sixth (Volume 1) online

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abutatur," (chap. 6.) and proves it to be the king's intereft, both for this world and the next, to govern
well, promifing him in that cafe " eminentem celeftis beatitudinis gradum," (i. q.) and, on the other
hand, " maximum tormentum in pLtnis, fi declinat in tyrannidem." (i. 11.) Again, the writer of the
4th Book of the De Regimine (who is more favourable than Aquinas to the regimen JicHtuum), lay; down
the ellential diftintSlion between the " principatus reiini" and the " principatus politicus" in thefe words ;
"legibus aftringuntur restores politici,nec ultra polTunt procedere in profecutione jufliti:e ; quod de P egituis
et aliis monarchis Principibus non convenit ; quia in ipforum mente flint leges reconditx, prou: eaiLis
occurrunt, et pro lege habetur quod Principi placet, ficut jura gentium tradunt : fed de reiloribus poiiticis
non lie reperitur, quia non audebant aliquam facere novitatem, printer legem confcriptam," (iv. i.) a limi-
tation which he feems to think entirely inconfiftcnt with the idea of a king. Foitefcue, therefore, while he

I. V u * d


360* Dc Naturd Legis Natiircc. [part i.

endeavours to fupport his doclrincs of" Conftitutional Monarchy by the authority of " Saynt Thomas,"
both in his Englini treatil'e (chap. l.) and in the De l.audibui (cii.ip. ()), really derived them from his
own liberal I'eiitiments, and the happ) experience of hib own coiuUry.

Chap. XVI. .■iigidim Riina>iui,^ or (iilcs de Colonna, was a learned theologian and philolophical
writer of the latter part of the thirteenth century, ityled Doctor J' undatiilimus. He iludied at Paris,
under Thomas Aquinas, was appointed by Philippe le Hardi tutor to his Ion, afterwards Philippe le Hel,
for whom he compofed the treatiie, quoted by Fortelcue, Dc Ri-giinine Pruuipuin. lie became
Archbifliop of Bourges iu 1294, and died in 1316. His Traitatin de OrigtmtU Pcccat'j^ is faid by
Watt (Bibl. Brit.) to have been the fnit work printed at the Oxford [irefs, 1479. His De Reg. Prin.
was firlt printed in 1473. As to the reference in this chapter to that treaiile, (ee tlie Third Book,
Part II. chap. 2. " Omiiis ordinatio civitacis pollicia dici potelt. Principatus tanien populi li rectus fit,
eo quod non habeat comnunie nomen, poU'ic'ia dicitur," .S;c. Compare the Pohcraticus of John of
Salilfiury, lib. iv., De Dift'. l-'rincipis et Tyranju. " Eft ergo h;ec differentia lola ve maxima, quod
hie legi obtemperat, et ejus arbitno populum regit cujus fe credit minil^rum."

Chap. XVI. In reg>io Anglue >'c'gL-s jnie Trniin Stiituum Regiu illiui conjt-nfu Icgei non condiin':^ nee
Juhfidia imponunt fidulitii Ji<is.] Comp.u"e De Laudibus, chap, xviii. " fied non fic Anglix S .itL, ta

oriri poflunt, dimi nedum Principis voluntate, l'ei.1 et totius Regni allenlVi, ip(a conduntur Pruden'ia

etiam at (apienti.'i necell'ario ipl'a efle retei ta putandum ell, dum non unius aut centum Iblum confi 1-
torum virorum prudentia, fed plufquam trecentorum elcctorum hominum, quali nuniero olim Se is
Romanoruni regebatur, ipla edita funt."

Chap. XVII. .'ih/i^ tune p<e>u! ex promulgatione tantts legh.^ Compare Alilton's Defence of tl e
People of England, chap. iii. 3. "• If it be good for a nation to live under fuch a power, why did not
God of His own goodnel's inftitute it ? Did His wifdom and love to His peojile fail .'' Or, if He himfelf
had not let up the belt government over them, could He be difpleafed with them for all;ing it ? . . . .
or can they be faid to have fumed, and rejecifed God, when they defued nothing but the governinei t
which, by a perpetual ordinance. He had cllabliflied o\ er all the nations of the world .? Is not th' la v
of nature a rule which He has given to things ? and the law of man's nature, which is realon. an
emanation of the Divine wifdom, or fome footfteps of Divine light remaining in us ? Is it poflible i>hat
this, which is from God, can be contrary to His will r and can He be offended with thole who defiri- to
live in a conformity to that Liw V I

Chap. X\'III. Ul ff. de Ju/litid et Jure.] The firft reference to the Corpus Juris Civilis. I'he
fl'., tlie old ligii ufed to exprefs the Pandcitts, is fuppoled to be the double Greek p, tt t,
the Latins for a double f. The De Julfitia, cVc. is the J'it/e.

Chap. XXIII. Policla. Chap. XXIV. Epickaia.] Thefe are wonderful derivations, and pmve
F'ortefcue's Greek to have been the Greek of the period, or rather to have been non-exiftent. He feems
to fuppofe the polkla of Aquinas (the ■tio'mj'Au of the Politics), to be poUeia in the original, and then de-
rives it from " OToAuj, pluralitas," and "■ ycon, adminiffratio," a famt reflection, it is to be preli ined, of the
Greek oi/tov6|Uia; (" Yconomia." — Part 11. c. 8). The derivation of epickaia {^iTtitmua) from "</"', quod
t\k.Jupra, vel laus" (sVi-i^aac;), and '■'■ haLi, quod efl laxa^ I mutato in i " (x^'-js-j), ii equ.aly ftartling.
There is a confulion of the fame kind as that between politui and p:lie'ui, at Chap. xxvi. Part I., where
the writer forms denweraehia and uri/lacracljia on the model oi oligiiiLljui. The words teAo; and nKOTro;^
occur at Chap xlv. Part I. ; but there is no other attempt at CJreek. The fact is, that Fortelcue fludied
and wrote before, though only jull before, the revival of dallied learning in England, uhich followed at

PART I.] Notes a?i(l Illujl rations. 361*

a confiderable interval that great awakening of Italy, which having begun before the year 1400, had con-
tinued witli ever iiicreafing force throughout the firfl: half of the hfieenth cenluiy ; t'le age of Pogi'io,
Leonardo Aretino, Filelfo, and Valla, of Nicolas V. and Colmo dc' Medici. " The 1-atin writers of the
fifteenth century," fays Hallani (Lit. of ICurope, i'art I. chap. ii. 26), " lew in number, are Hill nioie infi"-
nificant in value; they pofiels Icarcc an ordinary knowledge of grammar; to f.iy they are full of
barbarifms and perfecSlly inelegant, is hardly necellary," — a verdifl from the latter part of which, at all
events, the critical hiftorian would hardly have excepted our author. With relpeit to Cjreek, the revival
of which language in Italy may be dated from the year IJ95, in which Chryfoloras fettled at Florence,
its dawn in England cannot be placed earlier than 149 1, when Grocyn returned from It.ily, and beii.m to
teach it at Exeter College, Oxford, loon to be followed in the new lludies by Linacre, Colet, and the
young Thomas More, whom Erafmus, upon his firft vilit to this country in 1497, '^J^nd almoit the only
Englifhman with any tinilure of Greek.

Chap. XXIV. /Egidius Romciuia.^^ '• Infirmitas natur:e fupplicat pro venia. Ideo dicitur irj Rethor.
quod epyekes eft: indulgere humanis. Dicitur enim elle epyekes qui ell luprajuilum, live (upra jultitiam."
De Ri-gimine Princlpuin, lib. ill. pars ii. c. 23.

Chap. XXVI. Rex po/itiic hnptrani cquidis potent'ui: et Ubcrtath tji cum rege ngnliter dominmite.]
This doctrine, which, turnuig upon the fenle to be given to the words powrr and liberty^ is either a
truifm or a paradox, is repeated and amplified by Fortefcue, with a reference to the preleiu Treatife, in the
De Laiidibui, chaps. 10-15, evidently from an anxiety to reconcile the Prince of Wales, who might
have learnt in his exile to envy the more defpotic fovereigns of the Continent, to conlHtutional
throne which he was deilined never to alcend. In the gib and 13th chaps, are found thofe remarkable
paflages, which Hallam has tranflated and introduced into his State of Europe during the Middle Ages
(Vol. ii. chap. viii. Part iii.), and which contain our author's view of the fundamental principle of the
Enelifli Government, in words which are truly (aid to have anticipated Sidney and Locke, — " ad tutelam
legis fubditorum ac eorum corporum et bonorum Rex hujulmodi ereitus ell, et banc potelf.item a populo
cjfluxam ipl'e habet, quo ei non licet potellate alia luo populo dominari." Such a doiarine no ingenuity of
interpretation would have difcovered in the writings ol the "Angelic Doctor," to whole authority he
clung, with that reverence for the Schoolmen, which in his age was far from being extinft, and which
belonged efpecially to his own education and profelTion, as it charailerized his great fucceffor in the
following century, Sir Edward Coke.

Chap. XXVIII. Tyranmis.] "Tyrannus a tyro dicitur, c|uod (ji\ J'oitii, ve\ iingi/f/in, quali lorti-
tudine anguftians fubditos fuos," This furprifing derivation is partly found in .Aquinas : — •' Talis reiflor
tyrannus vocatur, nomine a fortitudinc derivato." — De Reg. Pr'in. i. I. The Catholicon ot Januenfis le-
peats it : " Tyro Gr.sce Latine dicitur fortis vel angultia ; " and adds that the cit)- ni Tyre was fo called
" ab anguftia loci." The fancied connecfion between t\ro mxA forth is to be found in the meaning of a
"young foldier," and thence a " champion," which the former word bears : (Oui in arenam defc ndit,
vel duello pugnat. — Cainpio. — Ducange) ; but the nonfenl'e of the "angultia" is to me unfathon\able,
unlefs the found oi Du^a. (a door) could have conveyed the thought of narrownefs or ftraitnefs to the mind
of the remarkable philologift, whoever he was, who deviled the derivation. Other inftances of our
Author's etymologies, which were thofe of his age, are lex a Ugandoy which he. prefers to Icgendo, " quia
ligant, et non femper leguntur," Lipidem from Lcdentem pede/n, pigriun from pedibm ii:grum, dominin
from dans rninas, and fervits a fervando, "quia qui jure belli poterant occidi, dum lervabantur dicebantur

I !• ', r . '

:. Oh:

362* De Nat lira Legis Nat lira.


fervi," which is taken from Augufline, De Civitate Dei. Endiefs examples of thefe childilh derivations
aie to be found in the mediasval writers, but I may give a highly charadteriftic one from the Canterbury
Talcs, where Chaucer thus ex|)Liins the name of Cecilia : —

" Firft will I yow the name of Suiiit CVcilic
Expuiine, a'i man may in licr lliiry Ice.
It is to lay on Englil'c, Heaven's lilic,
Fur [juic challcnclfe ut viiginite.

Or C.cile is to (ay, the way of blynde,

Fur (lie eiilample was by way of teaching." ;

And fo on, deriving the name from civlutiL and Ulluin, or citcin and hos, or crelum and hoi, " the heaven of
people," — " for Loi people in Knglifch is to fay." (The Second Nonne's r.iic.)

Ch/\i\ XXXI. Jcinuinjh.^ John JJalhi, a Genoefc monk of the thirteenth century, known as
Johannes de Janua, or Januenfis. ll.illam fays, " W'e may perhaps confider as a vitnefs to fome
degree of progreffive learning in Italy at this time the Catholicon of Balbi. This boo c is chiefly now
heard of, becaule the firlt edition, printed by Gutenberg in 1460, is a book of unconwiK-n rarity and
price. It is, however, delerving of I'ome notice in the annals of liter.iture. It coniills of a Larm
grammar, followed by a Jiction.iry, both perhaps fuperior to what we ihould expeef from the
charafter of the times. They are at leait copious ; tlie Catholicon is a volume of great bulk." Lit. 01
Europe, Part i. i. 90. He hnillied his great woi k (which he calls " libellum hunc"), in 1286 ts
popularity in the fitteenth century is indicated by the fact of its having been one of. the very hrll loo cs
that illuel from the iVIayence prefs, after the Mazarine Bible. Ilallani's Middle Ages, vol. ii. p 50,
9th cd. Sie alio Bayle, and Watt's Bibliotheca.

Chap. XXXVI. SanCius Tfodorus in libra Ethimologiaruin.'] St. Ifidore, Biflrop of Seville in 601,
died 636. Hallam alludes to his Etymologies as one of thofe " very indifterent compilations," ivhi h
marked the rapid decline of learning after the death of Boethius, fuperfeding the ufe of the ancie it
writers. (Literature, Part ii. 3.)

Chap. XXXVI. Nuin ftcut mens humane!, ut tlicit Augujiinui /'''" de Trinitate notitiam gignit, ^^'c]
This is a reference to the ninth (not the hUh) Book of the De Trinitate, and, although the exadt
words do not feem to occur, the lublLuice is there pajjlni. Here is the title of Bouk IX. : " Trinit.i'iem
in homine, qui imago Dei eit, quamdam inefl'e, mentem, fcilicet, et notitiam qu;e fe novit, et amorein
qui fe notitiamque fuam diligit ; atque hsec tria ;equalia inter l"e, et unum ollcnduntur ell'e efl'entia." '

Chap. XXXVII. Saiulus /lugujfuius de Digmtate Coiuhtionis Hur/iana:.] Dr. Ullathorne favours
me with the following : " I have examined lix editions of St. Auguftine, including the two liioll
authoritative ones — that of Luuvain of 1574, and that of the Benedictines, alfo the latelt and moft
complete, that of Migne. I have learched over thcjpwia, as well as the authentica, of thofe editions;
have examined the catalogue of his works drawn up by St. Auguftine's dilciple, PufTidius, who
enumerates 1030 Traits, Letters, and Sermons of this Father; have gone through tie titles and
headings both of the authentic .md Ipunous ^uyiiones, Letters, and Sermons; I have all j gone over
the two quartos dedicated to the criticifni of St. Augufline's works in the great work of 1 'om. Cellicr,
and have examined alfo the catalogue of genuine and not genuine works in the Bibliotheque of Elie Du
Pin, but I have found no trace of fuch a work as this De Dignitate Conditionis Humanre. In the
laborious Inde:-: to the works, the word digniicu occurs but once, the word conditio iiot even once. It

PART I.] Notes mid Illujlrations. 363*

was nut this Father's ftyle, but more that o\ St. Leo, to talk of man's dignity ; but St. Leo has nothing
ot this kind. It is my itrong impreflion that the book quoted by Sir J. Fortel'cue mull have been one
of thole countlefs works afcribed in the middle ages to St. Augufline, even by their authors, bccaufe their
fubftance was drawn from his produftions. There is no difficulty in pointing to the text hum which
the pafTage you quote is drawn. In fubftance, but not in words, it is amplified in the loth and iith
Books of St. Auguftine's Treatife, I)c Trinitate, whillt it is beautifully fummed up in the 15th Book
ot the fame Treatife. But to comprehend the pallage, it is neceflary to hear in mind llie fenfe
attached by St. Auguftine and the Theologians to tlie word memor'ui. It is not the mere f.iculty of
reminifcence they contemplate, but that primal faculty of the foul, fontal to all the reft, in which are
ftored our prim.iry intuitions and all our acquired ideas, which are tl-.ere latent, until by procefs of
thinking the objeiit or word of our ailive intelligence is generated from it, and the two — memory and
intelleft — confpiring, their united influence prt)duces afFeelion or will, which is alfo the copula of the two.
But thefe three terms in the unity (A one foul are the created reflection of the uncreated Tr'nity ; yet
only when exercifing internal contemplation does this become vifible. Such is the fenfe of St. /iiguftine,
fummed up very briefly in the pallage quoted by your ancellor. I alio examined the catalogue of the
Bodleian Library, to fee it amongll the leparate works ot St. Auguftine prelerved in it, there was any
work bearing this title, but in vain. I mav add that I took a curfory look over the thirty-feven folios of
the Bibliotheca iMaxima Patrum, thinking it might be there under the name ot fome other writer, but
this was alfo fo tar in vain."

Chap. XXXVII. Dionyfms in Libra de Divinis Nominibus.^ Dionyfius Areopagita, once fuppofed to
be the Dionyfius of the Afts, and to have become hrll Bilhop of Athens, and finally a martyr. There exilt
under his name a number of works of a myftico-Chriftian n.iture, which contain ample evidence that
they are the produefions of fume Neo-Platonift, and can I'carcely have been written betore the fitth or
fi.xth century. Whatever their origin, however, they exercifed a very great influence upon the torma-
tion and development of Chriftianity in the middle ages. They were tranflated into Latin by Scotus
Kngena in the ninth century, and gave the firll impulfe to that myftic and fcholaftic theology in Weliern
Europe, which afterwards maintained itfelf for centuries. (Diet, of (Ireek and Roman Biography.)
I am not lure whether the following is the pallage intended in the text ; "In Divina unione leu fLij)er-
fubrtantialitate copulatum quidenr unitatis principi Trinitati {rn hoc^x^y.^ Tj»iaJi), ac commune eft, I
fupereflentialis exiftentia, et fiipra quam Divina Divinitas, fupia quam bona bonitas (tj i-Ttipdioi korr;, r,
iTTspayaSoi ixyadory]^) " Scc. De Div. Nom. c. 11. '

Ch.'xp. XXXVII. Stoinus Jugu/iinus diiit quod in Soli funt fiibjiiintia, kz.] Dr. Ullathurne writes
upon this: "The palTage afcribed to St. Auguftine, ' In fole funt fubftantia ejus, radices, et calor,' 5cc. |
I do not believe to be St. Auguftine's. You will find fomething very like it, and in fubftance the fame,
in St. Thomas's Commentary on the M.iller of the Sentences, lib. 11. dift. xiii., where he quotes
Avicenna to prove that heat is generated from light; but he gives the pallage as his own, and if he |
could have found anything like it in St. Auguftine, hq certainly would have quoted it as decilive
authority, according to his invariable praiSbice. In St. Augiiftine's Soldoi.|uia, there is a paflage in which
the fun is ufed as an illuftration of the Tritiity, ' In fole eft efll- lucere, illuminate,' i.*y:c. It is one ot
his earlieft works ; and when his mind was more theologically matured, as when he wrote the De
Trinitate, he limited his illuftrations within the fphere of nietaphyiics and pl)'chulog) , teeling tlie
inaccuracy of material fimilitudes. Tertullian is the author quoted for the illuftration from the fun.

364* De Nat urn Leer is Naturcc. [part 1.

Pftavius in his Dogmata, and Klee in his Hiftory of Dogmas, quotes Tcrtullian Adverfus Praxcaui,
chap, viii., where he gives the illuftration ot the ' Solis lublhiiitia, radius et apex radii.' Then Klee
fliows that St. Auguftine kept to tlie luctaphylical ilKiilration (jf tlie lubfhmce, ni jde, and their eflential
connexion, and to the phyfical illultration of the confcicnce (or niemorv) the iiitelhgence and will. He
then adds that Prudentius, after Tcrtullian, uled the illullration from the lun, the i'ubftance of the lun
as fymbolizing the unity of the Deity, and the adiion, light, and heat, ' lux et calor,' as lymbolizing the
Trinity of Perfons. My impreffion is, that Fortefcue quoted at ferond hand, and from a fpurious fource,
perhaps from the De Dignit. Condit. Human., from fome chapter headed De Trinitate. This is my
conjecture. My reafon for concluding that St. AugulHne did not write the [jaflage is, that, writuig with
the whole Arian controverfy before him, he would not have employed an illultration which feemed to
affign the whole fub/idtitia to the Father. Prudentius avoids this by aillgning the juhjhint'ia to the

Chap. XL. Magi/ier Scntentiarum.'\ Peter Lombard, born near Novara, in Lor.ibardy, iioo,
died 1164. Fortefcue quotes only from his Commentary on St. Paul's Epiftles. I3ut his great work
is that famous courie of theology which, under the name of Si'utentiiirunt L'tbri 11'.^ became the text-
book of the Scholaftic Theologians.

Chap. XLI. Carentla originaln jujiiliu-, cVc] The following is from Dr. Ullathorne : "I referred
the pallage to the two ProfelFors of Theology at Ofcott, and the following is the refult of theii
relearches. The dehnition o( original lin, ' carentia originalis juftiti.e cum debito habendi,' is exa:ll)
equivalent to what was commonly faid by the fcholalHc writers, but they cannot find tlic ipfiflima
St. Anlelm (Liber de Peccato Originah, cap. 23) fays ' Ou<jJ m illis (infaiuibus) non ell juftitia qi am
dtbent habere, hoc non fecit illorum voluntas perfonalis, led ei^efias luitura/is, quam ipfa natura acc'^pil
ab Adam.' And again (in cap. 26), he f.i)S : ' Hoc peccatuni quod originale dico, aliud intelligere
nequeo, in eifdem infantibus ipfam, faiilam per inobedientiam Ada;, jullhia cL'bita iiuditatcin' St.
Thomas gives the fame doflrine on the 3rd part of the Sentences, Di{t. 33, q. i, art. 2, but in word>
lefs nearly identical, though more ample. The Mafter of the Sentences and St. Bon.tventure I avt
been fearched in vain for the pallage. Your tranflation of the definition fcarcely exprefl'es its technical
fenle, which w.mts a word or two to complete it in the l>atin. Hubeudi is uled in the fenfe of tradu-
cendi ab Adamo, or ab homine. Thus St. Anfelm lays (Liber de Conceptione Virginis et peccJto
originali) : ' Homo fi periHtilFet, juftitiam originalem, in qua creatus ell, in filicjs profudiflc't. Scd ficut
fe habet juftus ad juftos, ita et peccator ad peccatores. Frgo etiam quia peccavit, culpam fuam in ali js
generando transfudit.' Heres the words y^ habet have the leiile oi derives from. It comes out more
clearly in St. Thomas, Tn 3'" partem Sententiarum, Dift. xxx. queft. i, art. 2, where he fays, ' Carenri.
alicujus (boni), etiam fi non fit natum Arf/'t-rt", defeftus potell dici ; led non potelt dici malum, nifi fit
defeiltus ejus boni quod natuin ell habere: ui\l\s eareutia v'nx in lapide poteft dici defciitus, (ed non
malum ; homini vero mors elt et defectus et malum. Culpa autem fuper hoc addit rationem voluntarii;
ex hoc enini aliquis culpatur quod deficit in eo quod per fuam voluntatem habere potuit.' " t. 1 homas
then goes on to fhew that the culpa^ or culpability, of original fm was only a culpa pcrjona in Adam,
but in his defcendants was and is a culpa naturee, as our nature is one with that ot Adam, mc not our
perfonality. And he thus concludes: ' Sic ergo dicendum eft, quod defedlus illius originalis juffitia;
quE homini in fu.-i creatioiie collata eft, ex voluntate hominis accidit : et iicut illud natur.i- donum fuit,
et fuiflet in totam naturam propagatum, homine in juftitia perfiftente ; ita etiam et privatio illius boni in

n ■■ ■ . , ■; ■/


PART I.] Notes cmd Illuftratioiis. 365*

totam vi-\K\iXAm perducitiiy^ quafi privatio et vitium natura; ; ad idem eniin privaciu ct habitus rcfciuntur,
ct ill quo libct lujiiiine ratioiiem culpx' habct ex hoc quod per voluiitatein principii natiir:^, id eft primi
honiiiiis, iiulurtus ell: tabs defcflus.' Here is the complete expulition of your deluuiicii. I have taken
it from the edition of De Rubiis, the one molt eilcemed. Hut in a note upon the iialTai^e 1 think I
have lound the origin, thoii|j_h not the exae't words of the dehnilion. That note favs ; ' Ailditur in
editione Nicoiai (to the words quoted above), homini veto mors eft et defe^flus, et malum, qiita c/l
carentia ejus quod natuni eji luiberi ah homlne.' Thefe are nearly the words of the quotation, which f
believe ought to conclude thus (being abbreviated by your anceftor, as well known) ; ' Cum debito
habendi al hoinbie,' homo meaning Adam, or natura humaiia."

CflAP. XLII. y^iibus concordat Daituifcenus.'] St. John Damalcene, born about a.d. 676 at
Damafcus, died about 754. He was a nioft voluminous writer, and his printed vvoiks are fir from
comprifuig all his writings, many of which are buried in MS. in various European libraries. His chief
work was the De Fide Orthodoxd^ which was tranllated into Latin, and became the great mod- 1 of the
School divines. (Hampden's Bampton Leftures, Biog. Univ.) I add the Greek of the pafTag ; quoted
(apparently at fecond-hand) by Fortefcue : " ■^foiuii ia-xx (3JyX« Otat/, oi'nj ■a-arTiz tj: oWa iya -A^o^popov

Chap. XLIII. Studcntcs leges Regm Jngl'ue, . . . quarum pevlt'uuit vixvighiti annorum Incuhratiomhus
acquhunt . . . tot annos pratereimt incajfuni.^ Fortelcue complains of the narrow courfc of ftudv pur-
fued by the Englifti lawyers : the " lucubrations " of twenty years being devoted to the technicalities
and refinement of our own law, with little or no attempt to mafter the Civil Law, or the laws of other
countries, or thole general principles which are or ought to be the foundation of all laws. He dwells
alio on the expenfc of a legal education. Both thefe complaints were doubtlefs well founded in his
time, and continue to be lb up to the prefent day. To this ftate of things may be mainly afcribed the
unfcientific and unfyftematic character of our jurilprudence — the contliet between law and equity
unknown in any other country, and confequent in this on the blind adherence of the judges to legal
forms in oppofition to fubftantial juftice, — the refinements of fpecial pleading (only recently abolilhed),
whereby caules were difpoled of on confiderations wholly independent o\ their merits, and numerous
other evils. And yet, in Fortefcue's time, education, though not of the belt fort, was more

Online LibraryJohn FortescueThe works of Sir John Fortescue, Knight, Chief Justice of England and Lord Chancellor to King Henry the Sixth (Volume 1) → online text (page 47 of 87)