Thoughts & Quotes of

the letter and you will be brought to the beginning of the thoughts beginning with that letter.


¶ "Everything in the world is purchased by labour, and our passions are the only causes of labour." (David Hume)
¶ What makes man unique is his collective experience that there is a pool from which each may contribute and take, through language.
¶ "Words, in fact, are symbols instead of signs. They are artificial constructions, tools for dealing more efficiently with the business of existence; so that language is properly speaking a branch of technology. Words are tools for thinking. Chimpanzees can construct some sort of concepts; but conceptual thoughts only became efficient and productive with the aid of proper tools, in the shape of verbal symbols. Like all tools, words need skill for their use. Human language is thus not merely a collection of words, but an elaborate technique. ...
Verbal language was perhaps the greatest technical invention of living substance. It enables human beings to communicate and share with each other, and in so doing it automatically gives rise to the second major uniqueness of man -- a common pool of experience for a group." (Julian Huxley.)
¶ "Every word is a prejudice." (Nietzsche.)
§ See blupete's essay -- "On Language."
§ See blupete's commentary of -- June 11th, 2000.
¶ "Nothing can confound a wise man more than laughter from a dunce." (Lord Byron)
¶ A cobweb, often entangling the weak, and just as often the sport of the strong.
¶ "As formerly we suffered from crimes, so now we suffer from laws." (Tacitus.)
¶ "Excessive severity in the laws is apt to beget great relaxation in their execution." (David Hume)
¶ "The laws of the country are therefore ineffectual and abortive, because they are made by the rich for the poor, by the wise for the ignorant, by the respectable and exalted in station for the very scum and refuse of the community." (William Hazlitt, "Jeremy Bentham.")
¶ "What are laws but expressions of the opinion of some class which has power over the rest of the community? By what was the world ever governed but by the opinion of some person or persons? By what else can it ever be governed? What are all systems, religious, political, or scientific, but opinions resting on evidence more or less satisfactory? The question is not between human opinion and some higher and more certain mode of arriving at truth, but between opinion and opinion, between the opinions of one man and another, or of one class and another, or of one generation and another." (Macaulay, "Southey's Colloquies.")
¶ To look down on the processes of the law (structure of society) is to look down on a chess board; there are Queens, bishops, knights, rooks, pawns -- the law (life) is a game.
¶ It might be better to law and justice that any issue be decided at once by a cast of the dice (as they were in Rabelais's work) rather than be kept in frivolous and tormenting suspense.
¶ A law court is to be put in a position so that it might be sure of the facts on which it must make its decision, one that may critically effect the lives of the litigants. The sureness of the court in respect to any of its findings to any question raised is to come about as a result of an objective, secure, safe, certain, trustworthy, and reliable fact gathering process. Such a process governed by evidentiary law has come about as a result of centuries of judicial decisions. (See, Common Law.)
¶ "The plea of humanity is lost by going through the process of law; ..." (William Hazlitt, "Mr. Brougham -- Sir F. Burdett.")
¶ "The wavering and pitiful cant of policy; ..." (William Hazlitt, "Mr. Brougham -- Sir F. Burdett.")
¶ "In many ways, the law, which was primarily a law of land, served the purpose and set the tone of the upper classes." This situation, as Harding was to further observe, is not unlike the Marxist view of law as the dominant class. [Harding, A Social History of English Law.]
¶ "That which cannot be compassed by reason, wisdom and discretion, can never be attained by force." (Montaigne)
¶ "The most desirable laws are those that are rarest, simplest, and most general; and I even think that it would be better to have none at all than to have them in such numbers as we have." (Montaigne)
¶ "... a science [the law] which does more to quicken and invigorate the understanding, than all the other kinds of learning put together ...." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "The law is wiser than cabal or interest." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "All punishments are for example towards the conservation of the people at large." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "Even a failure in it [law] stands almost as a sort of qualification for other things." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "What of Excise Laws and Custom Laws and Combination Laws and Libel Laws, a human being scarcely knows what he dares do or say." (William Cobbett)
¶ "The laws of the most kingdoms and states have been like buildings of many pieces, and patched up from time to time according to occasion, without frame or model. ... This continual heaping up of laws without digesting them maketh but a chaos and confusion, and turneth the laws many times to become but snares for the people. ... Then look into the state of your laws and justice of your land: purge out multiplicity of laws: clear the incertainty of them: repeal those that are snaring; and press the execution of those that are wholesome and necessary ...." (Francis Bacon)
¶ "A Law is the Command of him, or them that have the Soveraign Power." (Thomas Hobbes)
¶ "The law of England hath been fined and refined by an infinite number of grave and learned men." (Thomas Hobbes)
¶ "Reason is the Soul of the Law." (Thomas Hobbes)
¶ "Law, in its proper Notion, is the Direction of a free and intelligent Agent to his proper Interest." (John Locke)
¶ "Wherever Law ends, Tyranny begins." (John Locke)
¶ "The Legislative cannot transfer the Power of making Laws to any other hands." (John Locke)
¶ "We must, wherever we suppose a Law, suppose also some Reward or Punishment annexed to that Rule." (John Locke)
¶ "The writ of right for the recovery of land, the possessory assizes for the protection of possessions, debt for the recovery of money owed, detinue for the detention of a chattel, covenant for breach of contract, later to be confined to contracts under seal: these formed the staple diet of the practitioner of the early thirteenth century. Any case falling outside the orbit of these forms of action must go to Parliament, in its capacity -- which Professor Mcllwain labels as its primary capacity in the Middle Ages -- of a supreme court of law. But during the first part of Henry III's reign a new planet swam into the ken of the common law, for the action of trespass broke free from the criminal law and started on its meteoric career, whose climax was reached only when it had, through its greater flexibility and other merits, established complete ascendancy over all other writs. Prior to Henry III's reign, crimes were divided into felonies and trespasses, but then the field of tort began to separate itself from that of crime; the more serious trespasses remained criminal, under the name of misdemeanours, and the less serious segregated themselves altogether from the criminal, and attached themselves to the civil sphere." [Hanbury, English Courts of Law.]
¶ "... function of making laws, for which a numerous popular assembly is radically unfit." Thus JSM thought that there should be a Legislative Commission: "consisting of a small number of highly trained political minds, on whom, when Parliament has determined that a law shall be made, the task of making it should be devolved: Parliament retaining the power of passing or rejecting the bill when drawn up, but not of altering it otherwise than by sending proposed amendments to be dealt with by the Commission." (John Stuart Mill, Autobiography.)
¶ "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made." [John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)]
¶ "The church had its own law courts. Cases involving not merely priests but monks, students, crusaders, widows, orphans and the helpless were reserved for the clerical courts, and so were all matters relating to wills, marriages and oaths and all cases of sorcery, heresy and blasphemy. Whenever the layman found himself in conflict with the priest he had to go to a clerical court." (H. G. Wells.)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- November 26th, 2000.
¶ Though the expression has taken on a lot of colour, such that for some its meaning has been reduced down to laws which concern themselves with diet or dress, in its fullest meaning it is that law the object of which is to control expenditure particularly on unnecessary things. (The trick is to sort out the necessary [that which brings universal benefit] from the unnecessary [that which brings benefit only to a special group].) Sumptuary law is that law which each one of us (at least those who are at all financially responsible) have come to know, quite naturally, as we try to limit expenditures, match them, so to speak, to a limited income. In respect to the government's income and government's expenditure: sumptuary law is the kind of law of which this country is in desperate need.
Law, Halifax ...
¶ See Presumption Of Innocence.
Law, Lydford ...
¶ See Presumption Of Innocence.
¶ "Every fair-minded person will cast from his mind any impression derived from the vituperation of the defendant. Every litigant detests the solicitors on the other side; not even the most magnanimous can bring himself to believe that they are not at the bottom of the litigation, either advising and putting up the plaintiff to advance an unjust claim or inducing the defendant to resist a claim wholly just!" [Mr. Justice Riddell, "A New View of Bardell v. Pickwick," The Dalhousie Review, Vol. 2 (1922), p. 200.]
¶ "It is the pride of the profession of law that no person, however poor, is ever prevented from pressing an honest claim from want of means. Scores of action have been and scores more will be brought for impecunious clients by solicitors who can have no possible hope of payment, or even for out of pocket disbursements, unless they are successful and to get their costs out of the defendant." (Riddell, "A New View of Bardell v. Pickwick," op. cit., p. 203.)
¶ As Hazlitt was to observe of Mr. Tooke, he had "the mind of a lawyer, a rigid and constant habit of attending to the exact import of every word and clause in a sentence. ... Mr. Tooke, in fact, treated words, as the chemists do substances; he separated those which are compounded of others from those which are not decompoundable. He did not explain the obscure by the more obscure, but the difficult by the plain, the complex by the simple." ("Mr. Horne Tooke.")
¶ "It would not be astonishing if the attorneys "encouraged" the plaintiff. Everyone who has practised law can tell of clients losing heart and hope and requiring encouragement; if that were a crime, few would escape. It is always the person who is trying to keep the plaintiff out of his legal rights who is indignant at the lawyer "encouraging" the plaintiff." (Mr. Justice Riddell, "A New View of Bardell v. Pickwick," The Dalhousie Review, Vol. 2 (1922), p. 203.)
¶ From Haliburton's The Season Ticket, we see where Shegog was commiserating with his friend, Cary, when Cary described what he thought was three great social evils afflicting England -- lawyers, doctors, and partners." But it was on lawyers that Cary wreaked his peevishness: "I hate a lawyer, Sir; I have a natural antipathy to one as my mother had to a cat. If I perceive one in the room I feel faint, gasp for breath, and rush to the door. They are so like cats in their propensities, that I suppose I may call this dislike hereditary ... They purr around you, and rub against you coaxingly when they want you to overcome your prejudice against their feline tribe. They play before they pounce." Cary continues in describing lawyers, "with all their faults, are jolly fellows compared to the doctors. The former fight it out in court, in presence of the judge, jury, and audience, and the public decide for themselves on their respective merits. When the trial is over, they walk off, arm in arm, in great good-humour, dine together, laugh at the jokes of the judge, the stupidity of the jury, and the way the witnesses were bullied and bamboozled."
¶ "If people have sometimes pushed me into the management of other men's affairs, I have promised to take them in hand, not in lungs and liver; to take them on my shoulders, not incorporate them into me; to be concerned over them, yes; to be impassioned over them, never. I look to them, but I do not brood over them. I have enough to do to order and arrange the domestic pressures that oppress my entrails and veins, without giving myself the trouble of adding extraneous pressures to them; I am enough involved in my essential, proper, and natural affairs, without inviting in foreign ones." (Montaigne.)
¶ In writing of William Pitt, Chatterton was to observe: "He had the barrister's faculty in clarifying a case, casting aside the non-essentials and enabling the main facts to stand out by themselves so conspicuously that even the average mind could perceive them." [A Life of William Pitt, (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1930).]
¶ Not all lawyers make a living at practising law. There are quite a few such as the one described by Cobbett in 1818: "A man, who, bred to the bar, had never had a two-guinea fee in his life."
§ See blupete's essay -- "On Lawyers."
§ See blupete's commentary of -- December 31st, 2000.
¶ A leader is one who is possessed of the supreme gift of gathering up and expressing the ideas which thousands of others feel but cannot express. There is no message so effective as to tell people what they know already, to hold a mirror to their face and a sound board to their voice.
¶ In writing of William Pitt, Chatterton observed: "He [Pitt] possessed ... that wonderful and invaluable power of disciplined concentration which enables a man to lay aside any immediate trouble (however weighty) and keep his mind fixed undisturbed on the main subject. ... The tragic death of an old friend within his presence could not ruffle his composure. It is that same self-composure which during a great war enables admirals and generals to carry on with the main strategy and refuse to be led away by minor tactical defeats." [A Life of William Pitt, (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1930).]
¶ "To use means to ends; to set causes in motion; to wield the machine of society; to subject the wills of others to your own; to manage abler men than yourself by means of that which is stronger in them than their wisdom, viz. their weakness and their folly; to calculate the resistance of ignorance and prejudice to your designs, and by obviating, to turn them to account; to foresee a long, obscure, and complicated train of events, of chances and openings of success; to unwind the web of others' policy and weave your own out of it; to judge of the effects of things, not in the abstract, but with reference to all their bearings, ramifications, and impediments; to understand character thoroughly; to see latent talent or lurking treachery; to know mankind for what they are, and use them as they deserve; to have a purpose steadily in view, and to effect it after removing every obstacle; to master others and be true to yourself, asks power and knowledge, both nerves and brain. ... Such is the sort of talent that may be shown and that has been possessed by the great leaders on the stage of the world." (William Hazlitt, "On Thought and Action.")
John Keegan was to write of George C. Marshall: "Marshall who rarely lost his temper and never raised his voice, was terrifying. Tall, spare, his heavily handsome face expressionless save for a permanent suggestion of disappointment at the world's failure to match his Olympian qualities of mind and comportment, he had deliberately cut himself off from old friendships as he rose to the top of the army and, now that he had reached its pinnacle, appeared to subsist without any companionship whatever." (Six Armies in Normandy.)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- May 17th, 1998.
¶ Classically, "learned" is an an expression applied to a person who has been taught, instructed, and/or educated. Often it is applied where the person has undertaken a study of a particular subject, usually at a university, a study that is undertaken by degrees. However, a learned person is one who constantly seeking to expand his information, from all sources. "... he would always make it his business to talk to the men whom he met on their subjects and not on his own in order that he might never pass an hour that should not inform him about something."
¶ "Parliaments in the eighteenth century and in the French wars [1793-1815] were not in the first instance legislative bodies: they met to ventilate grievances, vote taxes, and control the executive. From about 1820 the age of continual legislation begins, and, as it proceeds, the ascendancy of the business end of Parliament over the debating end, of the Cabinet over the back benches, is more and more strongly affirmed." (G. M. Young, Victorian England: Portrait of an Age (1936) (Oxford University Press, 1966, p. 86).
¶ "It was one of Lord Salisbury's paradoxes that only uncontentious legislation should be brought before Parliament: if it were contentious, then public opinion was not ripe for it." (G. M. Young, Victorian England: Portrait of an Age (1936) (Oxford University Press, 1966, p. 134).
¶ "The manner of our legislation is indeed detestable, and the machinery for settling that manner odious. A committee of the whole House, dealing, or attempting to deal, with the elaborate clauses of a long Bill, is a wretched specimen of severe but misplaced labour. It is sure to wedge some clause into the Act, such as that which the judge said 'seemed to have fallen by itself, perhaps, from heaven, into the mind of the legislature', so little had it to do with anything on either side or around it. At such times government by a public meeting displays its inherent defects, and is little restrained by its necessary checks." (Bagehot.)
¶ "... in matching means to ends and asking whether rights or freedoms are impaired as little as possible, a legislature mediating between the claims of competing groups will be forced to strike a balance without the benefit of absolute certainty concerning how the balance is best struck. Vulnerable groups will claim the need for protection by the government whereas other groups and individuals will assert that the government should not intrude. . . . When striking a balance between the claims of competing groups, the choice of means, like the choice of ends, frequently will require an assessment of conflicting scientific evidence and differing justified demands on scarce resources. Democratic institutions are meant to let us all share in the responsibility for these difficult choices. Thus, as courts review the results of the legislature's deliberations, particularly with respect to the protection of vulnerable groups, they must be mindful of the legislature's representative function." (Supreme Court of Canada, Irwin Toy.)
Cardozo, in his work, The Nature of the Judicial Process written in 1921, quoted a fellow jurist, "The fact is that the difficulties of so-called interpretation arise when the legislature has had no meaning at all; when the question which is raised on the statute never occurred to it; when what the judges have to do is, not to determine what the legislature did mean on a point which was present to its mind, but to guess what it would have intended on a point not present to its mind, if the point had been present." (Yale University Press, 1961.)
¶ "The most detailed statutes can only talk in abstract terms about classes of situation." [Harding, A Social History of English Law (Pelican, 1966).]
¶ "... the most common and unavoidable in adequacy of a statute is its failure to foresee all the contingencies for which it seeks to provide." (Harding, A Social History of English Law op. cit.)
Haydon's Case, 1584, laid down the essential rules for statutory interpretation: First, What was the Common Law before the making of the Act; Second, What was the mischief and defect for which the Common Law did not provide; Third, What was Parliament's remedy; and Fourth, what was the "true reason" of the remedy, which would assist the judges to fulfil Parliament's intent?
§ See blupete's essay -- "On Legislation."
¶ "Instead of the function of governing, for which it is radically unfit, the proper office of a representative assembly is to watch and control the government." (Mill)
¶ "What can power give more than food and drink,
To live at ease, and not be bound to think?" (Dryden: Medal.)
¶ "Leisure without study is death." (Seneca.)
¶ "Virtue, the spouse of Liberty!
Brutus's exclamation, 'Oh Virtue, I thought thee a substance, but I find thee a shadow
In liberty's defence, my noble task, ...
This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask, ...'" (Milton.)
¶ "Liberty consists in doing what one desires." (Mill)
¶ "The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number is self-protection." (Mill)
¶ "If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind." (Mill)
¶ "The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people." (Mill)
¶ "Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called." (Mill)
¶ "Liberty without wisdom, and without virtue is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint." (Edmund Burke)
¶ "It seems to me that this is theoretically right, for whatever the question under discussion - whether religious, philosophical, political, or economic; whether it concerns prosperity, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, cooperation, property, labor, trade, capital, wages, taxes, population, finance, or government - at whatever point on the scientific horizon I begin my researches, I invariably reach this one conclusion: The solution to the problems of human relationships is to be found in liberty. ... all hope rests upon the free and voluntary actions of persons within the limits of right; ...." [Bastiat, The Law (1850)]
¶ "A sick or lame man's liberty to go is an impotence, and not a power or a liberty." (Thomas Hobbes)
¶ "It is an easy thing, for men to be deceived, by the specious name of Libertie." (Thomas Hobbes)
§ See blupete's essay -- "On Liberty"
§ See blupete's commentary of -- April 11th, 1999.
¶ "... we are all exiles on an inhospitable shore." (Bertrand Russell.)
¶ "New individuals develop from portions of the living substance of other individuals. The original individual may simply split in two; or it may detach a portion of its substance to serve as a basis for the new individual's development. Even in very large organisms, the detached portions may be only microscopic single cells, as in the spores of plants. In sexual reproduction, two such detached cells, the sperm and the ovum, fuse to form one. But in every case, there is a continuity of living substance, a reproductive stream of life flowing down the generations." (Julian Huxley.)
¶ Take Life as a Spectator -- The Very Involvement in Life is a Distraction from the Business of Understanding It: "For people like you and me, whose main business is necessarily with books, I rather think experience of life should be as far as possible vicarious. If one has instinctive sympathy, one comes to know the true history of a certain number of people and from that one can more or less create one's world. But to plunge into life oneself takes a great deal of time and energy, and is, for most people, incompatible with preserving the attitude of a spectator. One needs, as the key to interpret alien experience, a personal knowledge of great unhappiness; but that is a thing which one need hardly set forth to seek, for it comes unasked. When once one possesses this key, the strange, tragic phantasmagoria of people hoping, suffering, and then dying, begins to suffice without one's desiring to take part, except occasionally to speak a word of encouragement where it is possible." (Bertrand Russell.)
¶ "Everyone who realizes at all what human life is must feel at some time the strange loneliness of every separate soul; loneliness makes a new strange tie ..." (Bertrand Russell.)
¶ "Human existence is girt round with mystery; the narrow region of our experiences is a small island in the midst of a boundless sea." (Mill)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- January 24th, 1999.
§ "Literature, as its tradition has now evolved, must be fired by a personal imagination and offer a personal point of view, a well-defined attitude to people and events described. It must also offer a style developed by the author from a combination of his or her voice and the many other literary, musical, and spoken voices which the author has absorbed, refined, and consciously or subconsciously transformed."(Darcy O'Brien, Reflections on Literature and the Law, 1987.)
§ It is generally scary stuff: CLASSIC CHILDREN'S LITERATURE. For example, let us consider: Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack in the Beanstalk, and Hansel and Gretal. Notice the theme of these works; it is very largely about cruelty. In these example, we have: a wolf devouring the grand-mother, the ugly sisters persecuting Cinderella, a terrible ogre at the top of the beanstalk with his victims, and an old witch and her boiling kettle.
§ Litigation is the action or process of carrying on with a suit at law. It is more than just a trial in a courtroom. There are a number of stages in litigation, the last normally being a courtroom trial. The vast amount of suits (litigation) that are started are concluded by a settlement agreement between the parties without resort to a court or a judge; the threat of an expensive trial generally drives the parties to a settlement of their differences.
LOBBY GROUPS (Special Interests)
¶ In each group, all of which make up the whole of society, there are but "two interests -- its separate interest and its share of the general interest. That which ought to be represented is the latter. What really is represented is the former." (John Stuart Mill.)
¶ Trelawny recollects of Byron: "As to the oft-vexed question of the Poet's separation from his wife ... he treated women as things devoid of soul or sense; he would not eat, pray, walk, nor talk, with them. ... who would have marvelled that a lady tenderly reared and richly endowed, pious, learned, and prudent, deluded into marrying such a man, should have thought him mad or worse, and sought safety by flight? Within certain degrees of affinity marriages are forbidden; so they should be where there is no natural affinity of feelings, habits tastes, or sympathies." [Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron, (1858) (Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 2nd ed., 1859), at p. 70.]
¶ "In general, it may be affirmed that there is no such passion in human minds, as the love of mankind, merely as such, independent of personal qualities, or services, or of relation to ourselves." (David Hume)
¶ "Friendship may, and often does, grow into love, but love never subsides into friendship." (Lord Byron)
¶ "Man's love is of man's life a thing apart,
'Tis woman's whole existence." (Lord Byron)
¶ "Had sighed to many, though he loved but one." (Lord Byron)
¶ "Doomed to die by Love's sad archery." (Lord Byron)
¶ "All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame." (Coleridge)
¶ "The man's desire is for the woman; but the woman's desire is rarely other than for the desire of the man." (Coleridge)
¶ "Love is a great leveller; a perfect Radical." (William Cobbett)
§ See blupete's essay -- "On Love."
¶ The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. (The Book of Ecclesiastes.) Chance is a word devoid of sense; nothing can exist without a cause. (Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary, 1764.)
¶ "It often amuses me to hear men impute all their misfortunes to fate, luck, or destiny, whilst their successes or good fortune they ascribe to their own sagacity, cleverness or penetration." (Coleridge)
¶ "In truth lying is an accursed vice. We are men, and held together, only by our word. If we recognize the horror and the gravity of lying, we would persecute it with fire more justly than other crimes." (Montaigne)
¶ "And, after all, what is a lie? 'Tis but
The truth in masquerade." (Lord Byron)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- April 5th, 1998.



Custom Search


Peter Landry