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4. Dedication to Elements of the Common Law. In his dedication to the Queen, and in his preface to the Elements of the Common Law, there are various suggestions to the Queen, and observations upon improvement of the law. They will be found in vol. xiii. of this edition, page 133.

5. Justitia Universalis.

In the year 1605, Lord Bacon expresses his intention, in the advancement of learning, to write upon the laws of laws. The passage is as follows : “ Notwithstanding, for the more public part of government, which is laws, I think good to note only one deficience : which is, that all those which have written of laws, have written either as philosophers, or as lawyers, and none as statesmen. As for the philosophers, they make imaginary laws for imaginary common. wealths, and their discourses are as the stars, which give little light, because they are so high. For the lawyers, they write according to the states where they live, what is received law, and not what ought to be law; for the wisdom of a law-maker is one, and of a lawyer is another. For there are in nature certain fountains of justice, whence all civil laws are derived but as streams: and like as waters do take tinctures and tastes from the soils through which they run, so do civil laws vary according to the regions and governments where they are planted, though they proceed from the same fountains. Again, the wisdom of a law-maker consisteth not only in a platform of justice, but in the application thereof; taking into consideration, by what means laws may be made certain, and what are the causes and remedies of the doubtfulness and incertainty of law; by what means laws may be made apt and easy to be executed, and what are the impediments and remedies in the execution of laws; what influence laws touching private right of meum and tuum have into the public state, and how they may be made apt and agreeable ; how laws are to be penned and delivered, whether in texts or in acts, brief or large, with preambles, or without; how they are to be pruned and reformed from time to time, and what is the best means to keep them from being too vast in volumes, or too full of multiplicity and crossness; how they are to be expounded, when upon causes emergent and judicially discussed, and when upon responses and conferences touching general points or questions ; how they are to be pressed, rigorously or tenderly ; how they are to be mitigated by equity and good conscience, and whether discretion and strict law are to be mingled in the same courts, or kept apart in several courts; again, how the practice, profession, and erudition of law is to be censured and governed; and many other points touching the administration, and, as I may term it, animation of laws. Upon which I insist the less, because I purpose, if God give me leave, (having begun a work of this nature in aphorisms), to propound it hereafter, noting it in the mean time for deficient. Vol. ii. of this edition, page 295.

Observations. The outline contemplated by Lord Bacon of a treatise on Universal Justice is, as it seems, contained in Aphorism 7, in his description of a good law published in 1623, in the Treatise de Augmentis. Vol. ix. p. 82.

Lex bona censeri possit, quæ sit

Intimatione certa;
Præcepto justa;
Executione commoda ;
Cum forma politiæ congrua ; et

Generans virtutem in subditis.
It probably was his intention to have completed this work, and if not, to leave
it as a hint to future ages. The part which he has completed is in the first of his
five divisions.

The Certainty of Laws. It is written in his favourite style of Aphorisms (see de Augmentis, Lib. vi.), in which the Novum Organum is written, in both of which there is the reality without the show of method; the frame is beautiful, although the divisions and muscles are not obtruded.

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1. Fit persons to improve Law.



2. Proem. 1 to 8.



1. In general. Discretionary Law. 9.

ri. Omission inevitable.

1. Analogy. 11 to 30.

2. Precedents.
ri. Cases omitted. 2. Remedies.
1. Intimatione

3. Jurisdictions. $1. Equity.

47 to 52. 12. Censorian.
3. Reflection of Laws. 47 to 52.

1. Modes of making new Statutes. 54.

2. Board of Reformers. 55. 2. Different Un

3. Obsolete Laws. 57. certainties. 9. 1. Accumulation.

[ 1. Omitting obsolete


2. Retaining Anti4. New Digests. 59.

3. Expunging con

comitant laws.
2. Obscurity.52.

2. Ambiguity.
1. Verbosity.

4. Abridging verb64 to 70. 2. Brevity.


3. Variance of preamble and enactments. 2. Precepto justa.

1. Records and Reports. Mode of reporting.

2. Authentic Writers. 77.

3. Manner of 3. Executione commoda.

3. Subsidiary Books. 79. UNFINISHED. expounding.

4. Prelections. 93. 4. Cum forma politiæ congrua.

5. Responses of Wisdom. 89 to 92.

1. Precipitation. -5. Generans Virtutem in subditis.

4. Uncertainty of Judgment. 2. Emulation of Courts. 94.

3. Bad Registry. 4. Facility of Appeal.

Different editions. The first edition was published in the Treatise de Augmentis, 1623. This was translated in the translation of the Treatise de Augmentis, by Watts, in 1640. About the year 1646, a translation of this work was published in Paris. The following is a copy of the title page : Les Aphorismes du Droit, traduits du Latin de Messire François Bacon, grand Chancelier d'Angleterre. Par I. Baudoin. A Paris.

Dedicated à Monsigneur Segrier, Chancelier de France. At the end of the privilege to print a translation of Bacon's works, is “ Achevé d'imprimer, pour le première fois, le 20 Decembre, 1646."


Pages l-.-36. Des Lois en general.

Ce discours est une offre de Chancelier Bacon à son Roy,

de faire un digest des Loix d'Angleterre. 36---111. Les Aphorismes du Droit. 111---130. De Devoir du Juge.

Ce discours et les suivans sont tiré des ouvres polites de

l'autheur, et ie les ay admistez icy, pour ce qu'il m'ont

semble propres au sujet. 130---139. Des requestes et des supplians. 139---147. De l'Expedition des Affaires. 147---end. Du Conseil. There is a copy of this in the British Museum, which I suppose to have been written about 1646. In the museum is Historia Vitæ et Mortis in French, by J. Baudoin, 4to. Paris, 1647, and in the privilege to print there is the date 1646.

There is a new translation of this tract in 1733, by Shaw, in his edition of Bacon's philosophical works, in 3 vols. 4to. In the year 1806 an edition in 12mo. was published. The following is a copy of the title page : Franc. Baconii Exemplum Tractatus de Justitia Universali sive de Fontibus Juris, extractum ex ejusdem Auctoris opere de dignitate et augmentis scientiarum. Curante Lawry, juris consulto, qui suas notas prefationem que adjecit. Au Depot des Lois Romaines a Metz, chez Behmer, l'an 1806.

In the year 1822 a 12mo. edition was published in Paris, consisting of the Aphorisms in Latin with the notes. The following is a copy of the title page : Legum Leges sive Francisci Baconi Angliæ quondam Cancel. tractatus de fontibus Universi Juris per Aphorismos extractum ex ejusdem auctoris opere de dignitate et augmentis Scientiarum Annotationes quasdam subjecit. A. M.J.J. Dupin in scholis et curiis Parisiensibus Doctor et Advocatus. Dictabimus igitur quasdam Legum Leges, ex quibus informatio peti possit, quid in singulis legibus bene aut perperam positum aut constitutum sit. (Aph. 6.) Parisiis apud Fratres Baudouin Typog. Libr. Via de Vaugirard, No. 36. 1822.

In the year 1823 a translation into English by James Glassford, Advocate, was published at Edinburgh. The following is the title page : Exemplum Tractatus de Fontibus Juris, and other Latin Pieces of Lord Bacon, translated by James Glassford, Esq. Edinburgh, printed for Waugh and Innes, Chalmers and Collings, Glasgow ; and Ogle, Duncan and Co. London. 1823.

Upon this subject Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments concludes thus : Systems of positive law, therefore, though they deserve the greatest authority, as the records of the sentiments of mankind in different ages and nations, yet can never be regarded as accurate systems of the rules of natural justice. It might have been expected that the reasonings of lawyers upon the different imperfections and improvements of the laws of different countries should have given occasion to an inquiry into what were the natural rules of justice, independent of all positive institution. It might have been expected that these reasonings should have led them to aim at establishing a system of what might properly be called natural jurisprudence, or a theory of the general principles that ought to run through, and be the foundation of the laws of all nations. But though the reasonings of lawyers did produce something of this kind, and though no man has treated systematically of the laws of any particular country, without intermixing in his work many observations of this sort, it was very late in the world before any such general system was thought of, or before the philosophy of law was treated of by itself, and without regard to the particular institutions of any one nation. In none of the ancient moralists do we find any attempt towards a particular enumeration of the rules of justice. Cicero in his Offices, and Aristotle in his Ethics, treat of justice in the same general manner in which they treat of all the other virtues. In the laws of Cicero and Plato, where we might naturally have expected some attempt towards an enumeration of those rules of natural equity, which ought to be enforced by the positive laws of every country, there is, however, nothing of this kind. Their laws are laws of policy, not of justice. Grotius seems to have been the first who attempted to give the world any thing like a system of those principles which ought to run through, and be the foundation of the laws of all nations; and his treatise of the laws of War and Peace is, perhaps, at this day, the most complete work that has yet been given upon this subject.

This valuable tract is in the treatise De Augmentis, vol. ix. page 82, of this edition.

6. Usury. He prepared the draught of an Act against Usury, which was published in the third edition of the Resuscitatio in 1671, which is in vol. xiii. of this edition, page 385, and in his Essays, there is an Essay upon Usury, vol. i. of this edition, page 137.

7. Ordinances in Chancery. These ordinances were published in the court the first day of Candlemas term, 1618, and have, from that period, been adopted and acted upon in the court. I do not find them noticed either by Rawley or Tennison. The following is a publication of this tract: Ordinances made by the Right Honourable Sir Francis Bacon, Knight, Lord Verulam, and Viscount of St. Albans, being then Lord Chancellor. For the better and more regular Administration of lustice in the Chancery, to be daily observed saving the Prerogative of this Court. London : Printed for Mathew Walbanke and Lawrence Chapman 1642.

Vol. 2. 170. Ordinances by the Lord Chancellor for the better and more regular administration of justice in the Chancery, to be duly observed, saving the Prerogative of the Court published in the Court the first day of Candlemas Term, 1618. Harleian MSS. They will be found in vol. vii. of this edition,

page 273.

Scattered observations in different parts of his works.

1. Of Dispatch. 1. Essays. 2. Of Judicature. 3. Of Innovations.

1. Want of Collegiate Education of

Statesmen. 2. Obstacles to Legal Improvement.

{2. Opposition. 2. By Lawyers.

Sl. By Politicians. 1. In general.

ri. In general. 3. Our duty to assist

2. Merit of Legal Imin improvement.

provement. 2. Professions. { In Law. { 3. Politicians best Legal

Improvers. 4. Proper use of Lawyers

in Legal Improvement,

Essays. Of Dispatch. The first Essay containing any observations appertaining to legal improvement, which will be found in vol. i. of this edition, page 83, is in bis Essay of Dispatch : Affected dispatch is one of the most dangerous things to business that can be : it is like that which the physicians call predigestion, or hasty digestion ; which is sure to fill the body full of crudities, and secret seeds of diseases: therefore measure not dispatch by the times of sitting, but by the advancement of the business : and as, in races, it is not the large stride, or high lift, that makes the speed ; so, in business, the keeping close to the matter, and not taking of it too much at once, procureth dispatch. It is the care of some only to come off speedily for the time, or to contrive some false periods of business, because they may seem men of dispatch : but it is one thing to abbreviate by contracting, another by cutting off; and business so handled at several sittings, or meetings, goeth commonly backward and forward in an unsteady manner. I knew a wise man, that had it for a by-word, when he saw men hasten to a conclusion, 'Stay a little, that we may make an end the sooner.'

On the other side, true dispatch is a rich thing; for time is the measure of business, as money is of wares; and business is bought at a dear hand where there is small dispatch.”.

So, too, upon taking his seat as Chancellor, he said, in his address to the bar : “ For the third general head of his Majesty's precepts concerning speedy justice, it rests much upon myself, and much upon others : yet so, as my procuration may give some remedy and order to it. For myself, I am resolved that my decree shall come speedily, if not instantly, after the hearing, and my signed decree speedily upon my decree pronounced. For it hath been a manner much used of late in my last lord's time, of whom I learn much to imitate, and somewhat to avoid ; that upon the solemn and full hearing of a cause nothing is pronounced in court, but breviates are required to be made; which I do not dislike in itself in causes perplexed. For I confess I have somewhat of the cunctative; and I am of opinion, that whosoever is not wiser upon advice than upon the sudden, the same man was no wiser at fifty than he was at thirty. And it was my father's ordinary word, “ You must give me time.' But yet I find when such breviates were taken, the cause was sometimes forgotten a term or two, and then set down for a new hearing, three or four terms after. And in the mean time the subject's pulse beats swift, though the chancery pace be slow. Of which kind of intermission I see no use, and therefore I will promise regularly to pronounce my decree within few days after my hearing ; and to sign my decree at the least in the vacation after the pronouncing. For fresh justice is the sweetest. And to the end that there be no delay of justice, nor any other means-making or labouring, but the labouring of the counsel at the bar.

Again, because justice is a sacred thing, and the end for which I am called to this place, and therefore is my way to heaven ; and if it be shorter, it is never a whit the worse, I shall, by the grace of God, as far as God will give me strength, add the afternoon to the forenoon, and some fourth night of the vacation to the term, for the expediting and clearing of the causes of the court; only the depth of the three long vacations I would reserve in some measure free from business of estate, and for studies, arts and sciences, to which in my own nature I am most inclined.

There is another point of true expedition, which resteth much in myself, and that is in my manner of giving orders. For I have seen an affectation of dispatch turn utterly to delay at length: for the manner of it is to take the tale out of the counsellor at the bar his mouth, and to give a cursory order, nothing tending or conducing to the end of the business. It makes me remember what I heard one say of a judge that sat in chancery; that he would make forty orders in a morning out of the way, and it was out of the way indeed ; for it was nothing to the end of the business : and this is that which makes sixty, eighty, an hundred orders in a cause, to and fro, begetting one another ; and like Penelope's web, doing and undoing. But I mean not to purchase the praise of expeditive in that kind ; but as one that have a feeling of my duty, and of the case of others. My endeavour shall be to hear patiently, and to cast my order into such a mould as may soonest bring the subject to the end of his journey.

As for delays that may concern others, first the great abuse is, that if the plaintiff have got an injunction to stay suits at the common law, then he will spin out his cause at length. But by the grace of God I will make injunctions but an hard pillow to sleep on ; for if I find that he prosecutes not with effect,

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