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I cannot regard our studies as disconnected from moral science. The Civil Law is taught in Cambridge as a branch of Ethics. I feel too that we cannot move one step without the great classical writers. If we, in truth, devote ourselves to the study, we shall find it anything but harsh and rugged. I do not know whether Cicero's Offices forms a part of your College course of studies; I hope it does; but if it does not, I should, on the authority of Locke, recommend it to you; he wishes it to be the first book put into the hands of a young man studying the Civil Law. He mentions some other books which, though valuable, are not in our day of the importance they were when he wrote; but by such studies he thought a man would be best instructed in the natural rights of men, and the origin and foundation of society, and the duties resulting from thence. “This general part of civil law and history”-I quote Locke's words—" are studies which a gentleman should not barely touch at, but constantly dwell upon and never have done with. The Civil Law concerns not the chicane of private cases, but the affairs of civilized nations in general, grounded upon principles of reason.” Locke's was an eminently practical mind, and I should do injustice to his sound good sense if I did not state that he adds :—“ A young man so instructed we may turn loose into the world, with great assurance that he will find employment and esteem everywhere."* From Locke let me transcribe another sentence: “Law, in its true notion, is not so much the limitation as the direction of a free and intelligent agent to his proper interest; and prescribes no further than for the general good of those under that law. Could they be happier without it, the law, as a useless thing, would of itself vanish; and that ill deserves the name of confinement, which hedges us in only from bogs and precipices. So that, however it be mistaken, the end of law is not to
* Tractate of Education.
abolish and restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom; for, in all the states of created beings capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom."*
I have said that, for the purposes of investigation, for the purpose of self-instruction, for the purpose of the instruction of others, we are often compelled to think of law and ethics as if they were in nature distinct, to tear asunder that life of all that is within us and around us, parting into separate faculties the mind, which is one, and into separate sciences, science which is one; but remember, I entreat you to remember, that these divisions, that these partitions, absolutely necessary to be made, are divisions and partitions made by ourselves, and have no existence in things themselves. The old jurists were not wrong when they refused to separate by any essential distinction the notion of conduct and that of law. To regard the distinction as one having any other foundation than that which we have stated, would be to dethrone the principle of justice and to dehumanize man.
Our first thoughts of law, before it becomes a matter of speculation with us, are connected with its restraints, not with the advantages derived from these restraints. As far as the law is from within,—the voice of God echoed in the human heart,-a principle co-existent with man, susceptible of new development with each advance of civilization, it is a language pointing out our own duties, not suggesting to us the rewards which arise from their performance. As far as it is from without,—the imperative language of the legislator, addressing all, regarding all as possible offenders,—its language is necessarily of menace. The sanctions, which it proclaims as guards of its decrees and ordinances, are punishments, not rewards. The imagination is seized and
* Of Civil Government.
pre-occupied by this language. We think of law but in its terrors. We do not remember that by it, and by it alone, can Society, with all its artificial relations, subsist. We forget that it is the protection from the violence of others which renders possible for us the indulgence of the thousand almost capricious enjoyments which each day brings round us in increasing abundance. What hundreds and thousands are there who live happily and peaceably, and yet whose happiness and whose peace would be wholly impossible but for that unseen dominion of law which prevents any interference with their comforts, while they move on within their unambitious circle of domestic duties, quiet enjoy. ments, and inoffensive hopes. They have known and obeyed law under the name and with the feeling of religion. When we think of the wickedness of men, of the inordinate passions everywhere at work, the possibility of society continuing to exist, for the most part progessive too in good,—for such, with occasional and doubtful exceptions, is the history of man,—we think of ourselves and of society as if there was for ever going on around us as there is—the agency of God, which we at times almost see visibly revealed. There is a passage in the Hebrew Scriptures which from my earliest childhood always impressed me as one of singular beauty. Elisha is in a situation that seems of great danger. A hostile army encompasses the city where he is, and he is the object of their leader's vengeance; "and his servant said unto him, · Alas! my master, how shall we do?' And he answered, “Fear not, for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And the Prophet prayed and said, “Lord, I pray Thee to open the eyes of this young man; and he saw, and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
Note A, Page 9. ABRIDGED extract from regulations issued by the Society of the Benchers of King's Inns.
LEGAL EDUCATION.-KING'S INNS. Two Professorships have been established one of the Law of Personal Property, Pleading, Practice, and Evidence.
The other of Constitutional, Criminal, and other Crown Law.
In selecting the above subjects for their Professors, the Benchers had regard to the two Law Professors of Trinity College, Dublin, and to the enlarged course of legal education to be pursued in the University.
Edmund Hayes, Esq., LL.D., has been elected Professor of Constitutional, Criminal, and other Crown Law; and John Hastings Otway, Esq., Professor of Personal Property, Pleading, Practice, and Evidence, for the next three years.
Each Professor is to give an annual course of lectures, divided into three sessions. The first, or Michaelmas session, to consist of at least twelve lectures; the second, or Hilary session, to consist of at least twelve lectures; and the third, Spring session, to consist of at least fourteen lectures. Two lectures by each Professor to be delivered in each week; each Professor devoting to his class two hours—from four to six o'clock, P. M.-occupying a portion of that time in delivering a written lecture, and the residue in examination, explanation, or discussion.
The lectures are to be open to the Public.
of Trinity Term, 1850, if a graduate of the University of Dublin, Oxford, Cambridge, or London, shall, as a condition precedent to his being called to the Bar, produce certificates of his having attended two complete courses, at least, of lectures, viz.One complete course of lectures of any two, at his option, of the four Law Professors, namely, the Law Professors of the University of Dublin and those of the King's Inns, and at least five-sixths of the lectures of each session or University Term.
Every student admitted into the Society after the above date, if not a Graduate of one of the said Universities, shall, as a condition precedent to his being called to the Bar, produce certificates of his having attended four courses of lectures, viz.-One course of the lectures of each of the said four Professors, and at least five-sixths of the lectures of each session or University Term; in such manner, however, that every such student shall be engaged not less than three years in the study of the law in Ireland, exclusive of the two years necessary for keeping terms in England; in every one of which three years, one complete course of lectures, at least, must be kept.
King's Inns, October, 1850.
Note B, Page 19. The Responsa Prudentum stood on wholly different grounds at different periods of the Roman constitution. In the days of the Republic they rested on the individual authority of the jurisconsults. In the early days of the Empire, the privilege of giving opinions was confined by imperial constitutions to persons selected for this duty; and the opinions were made binding on the Judices, who were judges, not of the law, but of the facts of each case. The extracts which Justinian inserted in the “ Digest,” which we must suppose to have been law before, remained law by being so inserted.
The following passage from Hobbes, though, to say the least, inaccurate, contains much worth reflecting on:
• Responsa Prudentum were the sentences and opinions of those