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auction.” What a terrible picture of the state of France, of the overgrown luxury of the capital, and the misery of the provinces -apoplexy in the head, paralysis in the extremities—do those words of the great Advocate-General present to us! Two of the most prominent members of Parliament-Blancmenil and Broussel -were soon after arrested and imprisoned by the Court for their resistance to the edicts. But the populace flew to arms and demanded their release; and then was made the first essay in barricades, which have since played so important a part in the numerous revolutions of France. On this occasion, the Court was compelled to yield and release the prisoners; but the struggle at the barricades was the commencement of the strife of the Fronde which distracted France for more than five years. The most remarkable circumstance connected with the Bar that occurred during the Fronde was the exile of Omer Talon by Cardinal Mazarin, and his speedy return, forced upon the reluctant minister by the firmness of the advocates. When that upright and able magistrate gave up his functions, the Bar refused to appear and plead, and nothing could shake their resolution. The Cardinal then issued a decree, and procured its registration, empowering the procureurs to plead, even in appeal cases, instead of the advocates. But Pomponne de Bellièvre, the First President, represented to the King that, as the procureurs were but imperfectly acquainted with questions of law, the cases would be but ill conducted. One advocate only, named Rosé, yielding to the influence of Fouquet, then procureur-général, made his appearance to apply for judgments by default. The first president was obliged to pronounce them, but he forbade the registrar to give extracts of them. It seemed as if the long stoppage in the administration of justice in 1602, previously noticed, were about to be renewed. The populace began to murmur, and affairs wore such a threatening aspect that Mazarin was at last compelled to request Omer Talon to resume his functions. Upon this, the advocates immediately returned to their duties; but the unhappy Rosé was regarded as a cowardly deserter, with whom his brethren could hold no communion, so that he was forced to quit the palace, and soon after died of grief.
One of the most splendid instances of civil courage during the Fronde was that given by Mathieu Molé, first president of parliament, who had incurred great odium in certain quarters for the share he had taken in bringing about the peace of Ruel. At the moment when that peace was about to be signed, those opposed to it stirred up a portion of the populace against the Parliament; and while they were deliberating about the ratification of the treaty, the palace was surrounded by an infuriated crowd, who broke in upon the deliberations, and attempted to intimidate the members by the most terrible threats. The president especially was menaced with death. But he preserved the most perfect calm in voice and manner, and refused to attempt to make his escape. “The Court,” he exclaimed, “ never conceals itself; if I were assured of death, I would not be guilty of that cowardice, which would only add boldness to the seditious; besides, they would easily find me in my house, if they knew that I had feared them here.” Then, after having proclaimed the ratification of the treaty, he descended into the midst of the excited crowd, and proceeded through them with a firm step and fearless look, regardless of their cries and menaces.
One of them clapped a pistol to his head. Molé looked the ruffian in the face and coolly said to him, "When you have killed me, I shall need only six feet of earth.” Cardinal de Retz, in his memoirs, thus speaks of this grand act :-"If it were not a species of blasphemy to affirm that there bad been any one in our time braver than the great Gustavus and the Prince of Condé, I would say that it had been Molé, the first president. He preferred the good of the State to everything, even to that of his family, to which he appeared to be much attached.”
Even after the majority of Louis XIV., the Parliament opposed the royal authority, removing it from Paris to Pontoise, and, in concert with the Duke of Orleans and the Prince of Condé, protested against the orders of the King, though several times repeated; and in this opposition they were, as usual, warmly supported by the Bar. At a later period, Louis took the unwarrantable and unprecedented step of suppressing the registers of Parliament from 1648 to 1652, in order to destroy all trace of opposition to his supreme authority. He certainly encountered no further check during his long reign, for Parliament passed, in a somewhat undignified manner, from extreme independence to extreme servility, till it became a mere passive instrument of the royal will. In 1693, in conformity with an ordinance of Parliament, the first roll of advocates, containing 240 names, was made up and deposited in the register; and ever since that date it has been regularly continued. For a long time the members of the
Bar pleading before the courts had the title of Sieur; but, in 1699, the Court decided that for the future they should be called Maitre, the title which they still bear.
We shall now proceed briefly to notice some of the more distinguished advocates belonging to the French Bar during the course of the seventeenth century. Denis Doujat, the first batonnier whose name has been preserved, enjoyed so high a reputation that he was elected batonnier in 1617, when only thirty-nine years of age. Another advocate of the same name, Jean Doujat, was distinguished as a jurisconsult. He was a member of the French Academy, and author of several works, of which the principal are a history of the canon law and a history of the civil law. He died in 1688. Louis Servin, first simple advocate, and subsequently advocate general, was highly distinguished for his eloquence and for his resolute and independent spirit. When Louis XIII. came to hold a lit de justice in February 1620, in order to compel the registration of certain edicts which Parliament bad declined to register, Servin addressed him in the following plainspoken terms :-" Sire, we hold it very strange that your Majesty proceeds to the verification of our edicts by so extraordinary a method as to come to your court of Parliament, contrary to the ancient forms preserved from time immemorial.
Today, seduced by evil councils, you come into your Court, to deprive us of the means of deliberating with freedom of conscience.
If the presence of your Majesty compels us to pass beyond all these considerations, it shall be under protestation" Six years afterwards, Louis held another lit de justice, to procure the registration of eight edicts, which had in view the creation and revocation of certain offices, and the establishment of taxes upon a number of articles of consumption. Cardinal Richelieu, the author of the edicts, was present; but Servinwho spoke for the procureur-general—was not on that account the less free in his remonstrances.' He had just pronounced the words, “ You will acquire a more desirable glory by gaining the hearts of your subjects, than by subduing our enemies,” when he was seized with an apoplexy, and fell expiring at the feet of the King, and in the presence of the Parliament, on whose behalf he was protesting against the royal edicts. He died on the field of honour, in March 1626.
A parallel to this noble conduct of Servin, may be found in the spirited resistance of the Judges of the Court of Session, to
James the sixth, about twenty years previously. A well known minister—the Rev. Robert Bruce had been deprived of his stipend by the King. He sued the Crown before the Court, and obtained a judgment in his favour. The King appealed, came to the Court in person to press his suit, and commanded the Judges to give a decision in his favour. The President, Sir Alexander Seton, then rose and said—“My liege, it is my part to speak first in this Court, of which your highness has made me the head. You are our King; we your subjects, bound and ready to obey you from the heart; and, with all devotion, to serve you with our lives and substance; but this is a matter of law, in which we are sworn to do justice, according to our conscience, and the statutes of the realm. Your Majesty may, indeed, command us to the contrary ; in which case I, and every honest man on this bench, will either vote according to conscience, or resign and not vote at Another of the Judges—Lord New battle
then rose and observed, “That it had been spoken in the city, to his Majesty's great slander, and their's who were his Judges, that they dared not do justice to all classes, but were compelled to vote as the King commanded; a foul imputation to which the lie should that day be given; for they would now deliver a unanimous opinion against the Crown.” James in vain threatened and remonstrated. The Judges, with only two dissentient voices, pronounced a decision in favour of Mr Bruce, and the baffled monarch had to leave the Court “muttering revenge and raging marvellously.”
In 1618, the greater part of the Palace of Justice was destroyed by a fire ; but the King gave a commission to the celebrated architect, Jacques de Brosse, to repair the damage done by the conflagration, and to him is due the construction of the grand hall, 250 feet in length, and 90 in height—now known as the Salle des pas perdus—which serves as a promenade for the pleaders, and as a place of resort for all the habitués of the Palace. We have already mentioned Charles Bonaventure Fourcroy, born at Noyon in 1625, and admitted to the Bar in 1645, of which he became one of the most distinguished ornaments. It was said of him, by an excellent judge, “ The Bar has perhaps never had, in the same person, and in so high a degree, the science of the jurisconsult, and the talents of the orator.” He died in 1691. Pageau and Erard, two of his contemporaries, occupied a position at the Bar only second to that of Fourcroy. Among
the great Judges of this epoch, who originally belonged to the Bar of
Paris, we may mention Achille du Harlay, admitted to the Bar in 1656, and raised to the dignity of first president of Parliament in 1689; Francois-Michel Letellier, advocate in 1657, and after-wards Minister and Secretary of State ; Michel Chauvillart, who arrived at the same honours ; and Chretien de Lamoignon, admitted to the Bar in 1693, and made president in the ParliaHent of Paris in 1706. Nicolas Boileau-a great name in the field of literature-deserves also to be noticed. He was inscribed on the roll in 1656, but made a very poor appearance as a pleader, and soon afterwards left the Bar.
We have already seen bow important a part was taken by the members of the Bar, during the 16th century, in introducing order and method into the confused mass of consuetudinary law existing in various parts of France. Nor were their labours less conspicuous and useful in the 17th century. In 1665, a Council, specially charged with the reformation of the laws, was formed by Louis XIV., upon the suggestion of Colbert. It was composed of several eminent magistrates and councillors of state, and was directed to take the opinion of certain eminent advocates, of whom the King indicated Barthélemy Auzannet, Jean Marie L' Hoste, Louis-Philémon Ragueneau, Jean de Gomont, Antoine Bilain, and Joseph Foucault. This council, and the chosen advocates, held conferences twice a week, and sat for fifteen months. The result was an ordinance, drawn up by Hotman, master of petitions, and Auzannet, which was submitted to Parliament in January 1667; and, after receiving some modifications, passed into a law in April of the same year. It related principally to the form of procedure, and was rapidly followed up by other ordinances, regulating a variety of important matters in civil and criminal law. But the injustice and severity of the latter, as regulated by the infamous ordinance of Villers-Cotteret, was not in any way mitigated; and the proceedings still continued to be secret, and the accused to be denied the right of defence by counsel. The ordinances on the French marine, and on the Colonies, suggested by the genius of Colbert, were in great part prepared and drawn up by advocates ; so that, in every part of the revised legislation, their aid was regarded as indispensable. But the revision of the laws was not the only benefit conferred on the science of jurisprudence by Louis XIV. In 1679, he established a school of law in Paris, where, though the civil law had been privately taught, there had previously been no recognised