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SUPPLEMENT, WHICH MAY BE ADDED OR NOT TO ANY ONE OF THE THREE OR ANY OTHER PROPOSED PETITION. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 5 (Scotch Reform, Real Property, Codification Petitions) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 5.
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CORRUPTION—ITS IMPUTABILITY TO ENGLISH JUDGES.
1.Corruption is generally spoken of as the ne plus ultra of depravity in a judge. By Englishmen, the English are commonly spoken of as forming, in respect of clearness from this stain, an honourable contrast with the judges of other countries. After reference made to what is above, we entreat those whom it may concern, and the Honourable House in more especial manner, to consider—whether, either corruption, or something still worse, is not, beyond dispute, with few or no exceptions, but too justly imputable to English judges. For—if denial and sale of justice, with profit by the amount of the sale, be not corruption, or something still worse, what is?
2. Like other trades,—the trade, which may with propriety be termed the trade of corruption, may be carried on—either in the retail or in the wholesale way: in the retail way, when it is at the charge of individuals only that it is carried on; in the wholesale way, when it is at the charge of hundreds of thousands and millions that it is carried on: by sale of justice at the charge of tens of thousands, with benefit in the shape of pecuniary profit: by denial of justice, at the charge of millions, with benefit in the shape of ease.
3. By the word corruption, only in that which has just been styled the retail mode is the thing itself commonly brought to view. In this case, the conception formed of the magnitude of the evil produced, is naturally much exaggerated. Cause of the exaggeration, this: In so far as carried on in the retail mode, whatsoever intercourse has place on the occasion is of course carried on in secret: by the secresy, suspicion, and that on the most incontestable grounds, is excited; facts, though it were in small number, transpiring by accident,—especially when other persons of note are concerned in them, or affected by them—suffice to produce in the public mind the conception—that the instances in which it has place are much more numerous than in reality they are. Under governments, and in judicatories, in which means of corruption, producing profit by money or money’s worth received in the direct way, have place,—the probable number of these instances is not very great. Why? Because in this case the receiver must put himself in the power of the giver: and because a proposed giver will not, without such a sum in his hands as will (he thinks) suffice to outweigh the fear of the risk in the mind of the judge, incur the risk of being delivered over to punishment by that same judge.
4. In a direct way in the shape of money, small indeed, comparatively speaking, is the probability, that, on the part of an English judge, corruption should have place. Why? Because, so far as concerns reputation,—by a judge, a bribe could not be received in a direct way without his putting himself, as above, in the power of the bribe-giver. But, indirect ways there are, in which no such danger has place:—where, for example, it is not the judge, but a connexion of the judge’s, that receives the benefit in question;—and that from a connexion of the party; especially if it be in the shape—not of money, but, for example, of a lucrative office, or a lucrative bargain.
5. Note here, that on the part of a judge, as on the part of any other man,—where, in this or any other shape, misconduct has place,—the amount of the evil in all shapes taken together being given, it matters not what has been the motive. In the case of a judge,—besides self-regarding interest in respect of money or money’s worth at the hands of individuals,—temptations to the operation of which his probity stands exposed, are—self-regarding interest in respect of desire of the matter of good in that and other shapes, at the hands of government, together with sympathy, and antipathy as towards individuals or classes of any sort,—on whatever account—private or public. Now then—to corruption,—(if corruption is the name to be given to misconduct otherwise than from blameless misconception)—to corruption in the retail mode, from all these sources, the probity of the judge stands more or less exposed,—in all countries, and in all judicatories. Why? Because, by all these efficient causes, misconduct, in any shape, may, on the part of a functionary, in that as in any other situation, be made to have place, without need of intercourse with any other individual; and this, unless circumstantial evidence be received as sufficient, without possibility of its being, for the purpose of censure, proved either in a legal tribunal, or even in the tribunal of public opinion.
6. Thus it is, that, in respect of corruption, carried on by functionaries in all situations in the retail mode, England is not much otherwise than upon a footing with other countries: while, in respect of the corruption trade, carried on by judges in the wholesale way, as above, she is altogether unrivalled.
7. Without any the smallest fear of punishment,—without even any considerable fear, if any at all, of any such disrepute as he is capable of being influenced by,—an English judge, on a question in which the ruling one or the sub-ruling few are supposed by him to take an interest, may commit injustice to any amount in favour of that side: without danger of any such disrepute, for two reasons:—1. Because, at the hands of all with whom he is in the habit of passing his time, or is in any particular way connected,—instead of disapprobation, approbation is the sentiment he will make sure of experiencing; 2. Because, in the situation of a judge,—partiality in favour of that side is so general, not to say universal, and is the result of influence notoriously so irresistible, that, on the part even of those who suffer by it, slight is the degree of disapprobation which it calls forth: a mere nothing in comparison of that which would have place, if it were by hard money, to the same value, that it was produced.
8. In the case of an alleged libel, for example, against a government functionary, as such,—what man is there that ever expects, that the chief-justice will fail to do his utmost to procure the conviction of the alleged libeller?—or, on the prosecution of a justice of peace, to screen him from punishment? If indictment be the mode, the jury will be directed accordingly; if information, the impunity will, as far as possible, be conferred at an earlier stage:—the rule will be refused: the established maxim about motives—(no conviction without proof of a corrupt motive)—being of itself equivalent to a statute law granting impunity to every abuse of power on the part of every individual placed in that same office. A justice of peace, supposing it possible that punishment be his desire, would not be indulged with it: for, by the example of his punishment, delinquency on the part of others—4000 and more, acting in that same office—might be more or less checked: not to speak of official men, in other offices, whether below him, on a level with him, or even above him. In as far as in that office a man is deterred from abuse of its powers—it is by fear—not of conviction (a disaster to which he does not stand exposed) but of prosecution; to which, whatsoever can be done for him, he cannot but remain exposed, at the hands of any such adequately opulent individuals, in whose breast resentment has so far got the upper hand of prudence.
9. As to incorruptibility and independence,—under Matchless Constitution, every judge is, on every occasion, acted upon by that same matter of corruption, of which the fountain springs from behind the throne: he alone excepted, who for himself has nothing to wish for, nor has relation, friend, or enemy. What then, but either deceiver or deceived, can any be, by whom, in the situation of an English judge, any such quality as independence is said to have place?
Two laws—made, both of them, by these same judges who “never make any law,”—two laws—either of them, much more both of them together (not to speak of the fullest assurance at the hands of legislators, of which presently,) suffice to keep banished from the mind of an English judge, all apprehension of punishment, in any shape, for anything done in the exercise of his power. One is—that which enables a public man, to whom misconduct is imputed, to bring down punishment on the head of the imputer, without exposing himself, on that occasion, to any such unpleasant accident, as that of hearing the truth of the imputation proved, out of the adversary’s, or any other mouth: the other is, that which preserves him from the still more unpleasant accident of hearing it proved out of his own mouth.
Where the procedure is by information, true it is—that, in some instances, the court has refused to grant what is called the rule (namely, the rule by which it is suffered to go on,) without an affidavit denying the truth of the imputation. But, for preserving an oppressed complainant from being punished instead of the oppressor, what would this practice do, were it ever so sure to be adhered to? Just nothing. Whether any judge, whose pleasure it has been to receive a bribe, will have received the bribe-giver, with a third person in his hand, to bear witness of the transaction, may be left to be imagined: and, without such third person, the evidence of the bribe-giver will go for nothing; for, forasmuch as to conviction in case of perjury, two evidences are made necessary, a licence is thereby granted to every person to commit perjury, wherever no evidence, in addition to the testimony of one witness, has had place.
But, suppose an extraordinary case: similar or other evidence, not only in existence but obtainable, on the strength of which it is possible that conviction may take place: how stand the relative situations of the parties? Against conviction of the doubly guilty functionary, guilty of the original oppression or depredation, guilty of the perjury committed for the purpose of transferring all punishment from the injurer to the injured, the chances are several to one: while, to the oppressed or plundered accuser, or other prosecutor, punishment is applied to a certainty: punishment, that is to say, pecuniary punishment, and this to an amount not ascertainable beforehand; but frequently not less than some hundreds of pounds. True it is, that, in this case, not punishment but costs is the name given to it: but whether, by this change of denomination, any abatement be made in the suffering produced by the thing denominated, may be left to be imagined.
True it is again—a mode there is, in which, if a judge, or any other functionary, or any other person by whom oppression, depredation, or any other crime, has been committed, wishes to see it exposed to public view,—he is at liberty to put in for the indulgence: this is the mode by action: for in this case the alleged libeller—the defendant—is left at liberty to prove the truth of the imputation; which, if he does, the criminal, whose guilt has thus been proved, obtains no damages, and perhaps pays costs. But, somehow or other, a desire of this sort is not very commonly entertained.
Not that in all cases the guilt of the prosecutor is thus demonstrated by the mode of prosecution chosen by him. For where, as in the cases of indictment and information, the suit is of that sort in which punishment is applied under the name of punishment, to the author of the injury,—and no compensation given directly and avowedly to the sufferer by the injury,—in this case, the testimony of the sufferer is admitted; and not only so, but as capable of being taken for sufficient, without corroboration from any extraneous evidence. But, in the case in question, extraneous evidence, and that adequate, never can be wanting. It is given by every man, by whom a copy of the alleged libel has been purchased.
Accordingly, if any such criminal act is imputed to a man: to any man, and in particular to a judge,—he will proceed by one sort of suit or another, according as he is guilty or not guilty. If not guilty, he proceeds by action: if guilty, he proceeds by indictment or information; by information—either in the ordinary way, or by information in the ex officio way: in the ex officio way, that is to say, by the mere act, if obtainable, of the attorney-general, without application for leave, made in public, to the court. This being the case,—if it be in any one of these three last-mentioned ways that he proceeds,—to what a degree he exposes his character to suspicion, not to say gives it up, is sufficiently obvious.
OTHER SOURCES OF OPPOSITION TO LAW REFORM.
1.If it be of use, that, in the situation of udge, the opposition of interest to duty under the existing system should be held up to view,—not less so can it be in the case of those, by whom the conduct of all judges is determinable.
2. On this occasion may be seen two conflicting interests, by which the minds or legislators are everywhere operated upon: legislators, and the ruling few in general: to which class belong of course the judges; whose case comes, on this account, a second time under consideration; of these same conflicting interests, the one acting in accordance with the official duty, the other in opposition to it.
3. First, as to duty in respect of the main end of justice: namely, maximization of the execution and effect given to the several existing laws, by whomsoever made. To the legislator for the time being, if to anybody, belongs assuredly this duty, in the character of a moral duty: necessary to the fulfilment of which (as there has so often been occasion to observe) is prevention, not only of misdecision, but of non-decision, where, and in such sort as, decision is necessary to the production of that same effect: so likewise in respect of the collateral ends of justice; namely, minimization of expense, delay, and vexation.
4. Thus much for duty. But, as to interest, unfortunately, in the breast of the legislator, as well as in that of the judge as such,—against that interest which is in accordance with duty, fight other interests which stand in opposition to it. Interests in accordance with duty, those which belong to him, in common with all other members of the community; interests in discordance with and in opposition to duty, all those which, being peculiar to the few, cannot be promoted but at the expense of those of the other members of that same community; in a word, of the subject-many.
5. So much for conflicting interests: now for law. In the aggregate body of the laws, some there will always be, by which the promotion of the interests of both sections—that of the subject-many, and that of the ruling few—will have been endeavoured at, and in a greater or less degree compassed: others again there will be, by which the interests of the ruling few will be promoted, or be endeavoured to be promoted, at the expense of those of the subject-many: others again by which the interests of the subject-many will be promoted, or be endeavoured to be promoted, at the expense of the particular interests, or supposed interests, of the ruling few.
6. So much for legislators at large. Enter now in conjunction such of them as are lawyers, and lawyers at large, official and professional, both in one, and professional at large; looked up to, all of them, by legislators as their advisers. These being the only persons, who can so much as profess to have any general acquaintance with the law as it is,—thence it but too naturally comes to pass—that, as often as any proposal for the melioration of the system is brought forward,—the opinion by them declared is, as of course referred to, as that on which the determination respecting acceptance or rejection shall be grounded. But, it being in the highest degree their interest that it shall be in a state as opposite to the interest of the people, in respect of the above-mentioned ends of justice, as possible,—and, whatever it be, as little known as possible,—of course, so it is, that supposing any such change proposed, as affords a promise of rendering it conformable to the ends of justice, whatever knowledge each man possesses is applied—not to the promotion, but to the prevention of it; prevention of it—by any means and in any way; in an open and direct way, or in a disguised and indirect way; in particular, by the promotion of such narrow improvements, apparent or even real, so they be—either by unadaptability, or by their narrowness and the consequent length of time requisite for their establishment,—obstructive of all adequate as well as beneficial change.
7. Accordingly, when a plan has been brought forward, having for its object the establishment of an all-comprehensive, uniform, and self-consistent rule of action,—conducive, in endeavour at least, in the highest degree possible, to the happiness of the whole community, taken together,—and this at the earliest time possible,—little less than universal have been the anxiety and the conjunct endeavour to frustrate its design. For this purpose, silence, being at once the most commodious, and the most efficacious, has been the means generally resorted to: the most efficacious; forasmuch as by declared opposition, attention would be drawn to the subject, and to the validity of the arguments in favour of the plan; and the futility of the ablest and strongest arguments capable of being brought against it, would be the more extensively perceived.
8. Hence it is—that, under the existing system—while, on the part of judges, not only acts of wilful omission to give execution and effect to the law have place, but acts are committed, by which the authority of the will declared by the legislature is avowedly overruled,—so perfectly undisturbed is the tranquillity manifested by legislators. In cases, in which no particular detriment to the particular interests of the ruling few is perceptible, as plenary as can be wished is the indulgence: in these cases, these hired servants of the law are left to obey it or break it, as is most agreeable to them.
9. Parliament enacts one thing: equity rules, or acts, the opposite thing. The Earl of Mansfield, ablest as well as most zealous absolutist that, since the aristocratical revolution, ever sat upon an English bench,—had for use a word admirably adapted to this purpose. According to him, statutes, singly or in any number, were, on each occasion, to be taken in hand and moulded.
10. Thus, on a common-law bench: and, in equity, the Earl of Eldon, though without the use of the word, was not backward in declaredly following the example.* As for apprehension, no very strong sensation of this sort could reasonably be entertained, by a Lord Eldon, sitting in his court of equity, of the same Lord Eldon sitting in judgment on his own conduct in his House of Lords. Now, for above these four years, has indication of this mode of ruling, by vigour, over the law, been before the eyes of the public. There it is; and who cares? Just as much the Tories out of place as the Tories in place.
11. Connected with this prominent and undeniable interest, may be seen another particular and sinister interest, which, though so much less extensively shared, will, by its latentcy, and the consequent appearance of disinterestedness, naturally operate, in the sinister direction, with still greater force. This is the interest of the ex-lawyer. Interest affected, and feared for, by the lawyer in office or practice, pecuniary interest: interest affected, and feared for, by the ex-lawyer, interest created by regard for reputation, reputation of appropriate wisdom. Well-grounded altogether is this fear, it must be confessed: for, proportioned to the acknowledged beneficialness and extent of any such beneficial change, will be sure to be the real folly which has all along been covered by the veil of apparent and boasted wisdom. Occupied—first in the study of this system, then in the acting under it, and all along in the magnification of it, the labour of a long life,—and now, after all, and all at once, a compound of mischievousness and absurdity is found to be the character of it! What a shock to vanity and pride!
12. Not merely in proportion to the change effected, but as soon as the change is determined upon, will the sad sensation be produced. Ill-gotten wealth and power excepted, all that the great man has been accustomed to be valued upon, or to value himself upon, vanished!
13. In the train of these sinister interests, come interest-begotten prejudice, and authority-begotten prejudice. But of these sources of opposition to whatsoever is at once useful and new,—in one place or another, so continually recurring, has been the need,—and, with the need, the act,—of making mention,—that every further mention of them here may well be spared.
14. Such being the exposure made of the opposing causes: now for its practical uses. Uses of it may be seen two:—One is, showing, that, taking the existing system all together, no proof of its fitness to exist is declarable from its having thus long been in existence.
15. The other use is—showing, that against no one distinguishable article of the hereproposed system, or of any proposed system,—to any declared opinion of any individual belonging to any one of those same classes, so far as it seeks to operate in favour of the existing system, should any weight be attributed—any regard be paid. On the contrary, it should be looked upon as an argument in favour of that system to which the opposition is made: in favour of it, and for this reason. With this subject, as with every other, the better acquainted a man is, and the greater his appropriate ability, the better able will he be to bring forward whatsoever relevant arguments in support of his declared opinions the nature of the case affords: and the stronger the reliance placed by him on the effect looked for from his mere opinion, the stronger the evidence of the consciousness of the depravity of the system, and the weakness of all arguments producible in favour of it.
16. To conclude. In this state of things, if, from the pressure of the enormous and perennial load of misery, from which relief is hereby endeavoured to be obtained, any such relief is to be expected,—it must be at the hands of one or other of three distinguishable descriptions of men in the situation of legislators: one, in which a sense of moral duty has place, and that same sense strong enough to constitute an effective cause of action: another, that to which it appears that its own particular interest is so bound up with the general weal, as to have more to gain than to suffer, from the substitution of the good system to the bad one: the third and last, that in which a salutary fear, in sufficient strength, has place: the fear, lest, wearied by the oppression, and enlightened at length by the information received, as to the causes and the authors of it,—the subject-many should, in sufficient number, concur in doing for themselves what ought to have been done for them, and in so doing cease to exhibit that compliance, by, and in proportion to which, all power is constituted.
Still, before this Supplement is concluded, a few more articles, particularly the fifth and last of them, may, it is hoped, be found not altogether without their use. As to the third and fourth, exhibiting impunity given to murder, and right trampled upon—both without the shadow of a reason—the practice is of such continual occurrence, that these instances of it would not have been inserted, but that, at the moment of sending off the matter to the press, the memorandums made of them happened to present themselves to view.
Applying to Device III.—Written Pleadings worse than useless, necessitated.
From the Examiner for 30th November 1828:—“An action has been brought against the ‘select’ (of St. Giles’s and St. George’s, Bloomsbury) to try their title; £200 were therefore abstracted from the funds raised for the support of the poor, and thus stimulated, his (the solicitor’s) industry was extraordinary, for he put in fifteen special pleas covering the surface of 175 folios! On Tuesday-week, however, the Court of King’s Bench reduced the number more than one half,* and thus the select have incurred personally the needless and vexatious expense to which they resorted for obvious purposes.”
Applying to Device V.—Oaths, for the establishment of the Mendacity System, necessitated.
From the Windsor Express, August 2, 1828:—“At the Manchester quarter-sessions, a woman was arraigned for stealing a shawl from a child in the street. A little boy was brought forward to give evidence of the fact; instead of being suffered to do this, however, the chairman examined the child as to certain theological doctrines. After the child had said he knew it was a bad thing to tell lies, the chairman said, do you know what becomes of those who tell lies? ‘No, I don’t.’ Chairman: ‘Do you ever say your prayers?’ ‘Yes, I said my prayers once.’ Chairman: ‘And what prayer was it you said?’ ‘I said Amen.’ Upon this the chairman refused to receive his evidence, and the woman was set free.”
Applying to Device XI.—Decisions on grounds avowedly foreign to the Merits—Exemplification of the Crime-licensing System.
From the Windsor Express for July 19, 1828:—“At the present Berkshire assizes, a woman was charged with murdering her child by wilfully suffocating it. Before any evidence, counsel submitted that the woman must be acquitted of this murder, because at the coroner’s inquest, the name of one of the jurors was stated to be Thomas Winter Borne, instead of Thomas Winter Burn.
“Mr. Baron Vaughan—‘I cannot hold that Borne and Burn are the same name, and I am clearly of opinion that this objection puts an end to the case.’ The prisoner must be discharged.”
“Another case occurred on Tuesday in the King’s Bench. Fisher v. Clement. It came out during the trial that the defendant, who had been found guilty in the Common Pleas, was allowed a venire de novo by the King’s Bench, because in one of the counts in the declaration, the words ‘of and concerning’ had been omitted.”
Applying to Device XIV.—Groundless Arrest for Debt.
From the Examiner of 11th January 1829, page 28:—“The rules embrace a suburb, immediately adjoining the King’s-Bench prison, of a circumference of about from two to three miles, and containing about six miles of open roads and streets. This advantage to debtors is somewhat similar to that accorded to prisoners of war on their parole d’honneur, with the exception, that, in this instance, the law fixing the marshal for the debt of his prisoner whenever the latter shall be found without the limits of ‘the rules,’ that officer very properly takes care to receive sufficient security. It is by the privilege of granting ‘the rules’ to prisoners, that the marshal realises the greater portion of his income, which is said to amount in the gross, to from £10,000 to £20,000. The charge for the rules is in proportion to the amount of the debt, the rate demanded being £8 for the first, and £5 for every other £100 of the detainers lodged against a prisoner. The bonds are also prepared in the marshal’s office, and leave their profit in his pocket.—King’s-Bench Gazette.”
The patronage of this office, whatever may be the emolument of it, being in the hands of the chief-justice of the King’s Bench, as the patronage of a living is in the hands of the proprietor of the advowson; and it being thus his interest, that oppression and depredation, at the charge of men thus under affliction, should, in proportion as any increase in the amount of the emolument is the result, be screwed up to the highest pitch possible,—these things considered, what regard can be due to the ipse-dixit authority of anything which, by a man in such a situation, is ever said in favour of the existing system, may be left to be imagined.
Applying to Device XIII.—Jurisdiction split and spliced: Abridged Petition, article 262.
Not by any means a matter of indifference is, in this case, the appellation employed. To many a functionary, by whom, as such, the power of a judge is exercised, the appellation of judge is not wont to be applied. Instance, a justice of the peace. Mind now the advantage taken of this circumstance, for the never neglected purpose of excluding, from the practice of judicature, the light of publicity, and thence the only check, to which in various situations—and more especially in that of a judge who is styled judge,—power, otherwise completely arbitrary, stands exposed. Speaking of the judicatory of the sort of judge styled a justice of the peace, in the cases in which he acts, or may act, without any other with him,—so shameless have been judges of the sort styled judges—to such a degree shameless, as to declare—that it is not a court of justice: and that this being so, he who presides is not under the obligation of carrying on the business otherwise than in secret. Is not a court of justice? What then is it? A court of injustice? This it must be, if anything; unless between the one and the other a medium can be found.
Other instances have been afforded by the sort of judge styled a coroner, who presides in the judicatory styled the coroner’s inquest. To what purpose, unless it be that of sharing in the privilege of giving impunity to past, and thereby encouragement to future murder, possessed and exercised, as above, by judges styled judges?
Behold here an example, of the way in which the judge-made law styled common law is made. King, Lords, and Commons, altogether, would they dare do any such thing?
Applying to almost the whole constellation of Devices.
Under the Mosaic code, justice was administered at the city gates. Why at the gates? Even because there was the greatest affluence of passengers: affluence—not of paid, but of gratuitous observers, and thereby inspectors, on the principle above submitted to the Honourable House. Of factitious expense or delay, in no shape, under that system, is any trace visible. Exclusion of parties from judges’ presence—unintelligible-language—useless written instruments—subornation and practice of lying—cessation of judge’s service for six months and twelve months together—blind fixation of times for judicial operations—mechanical, substituted (as hath been seen) to mental judicature—useless transference in bandying: add—transference of suits from judicatory to judicatory—decision on grounds avowedly foreign to the merits—jurisdiction, when it should be entire, split and spliced,—of any one of all these abominations, not a vestige visible.
Whence, now, this difference? Whence, but that the God of Moses was the God of Justice; the God of Judge and Co. the Demon of Chicane.
7. October the 3d, 1829: one more last word: facit indignatio verbum—indignation, called forth by the occurrence of the moment, has produced it. But, the very last word this must be: for, if the like cause were constantly productive of this same effect, never would this publication find its close.
8. Two guineas for one minute occupied in bearing a part in the useless and mischievous ceremony—the swearing ceremony! Fees to this amount extorted by a Master (ordinary) in Chancery, for a business, which, by a solicitor arrayed in the title of Master Extraordinary, is done for half-a-crown! Five guineas to the same extortioner for the bare receiving of a paper styled an answer: besides travelling expenses for a useless journey of from six to twenty miles.
9. Plunderage, to these amounts, extorted, or endeavoured to be extorted, from paupers, whilst in prison!—in prison,—during life. And for what? For no less a crime (it is true) than that of rebellion. But, the proof of it is—what? No other than the inability to pay costs: the costs, all factitious; tares, sown by the demon of chicane; crops, for the sowing and gathering in of which, the courts of iniquity, so miscalled courts of equity, are kept on foot.
10. Of this same eventually intended life imprisonment, in one case seventeen years already passed. Of this case, with six other similar ones, the disclosure produced by a visit to the Fleet prison; namely, the visit, forced from the foremost of the anti-codificationists, and anti-reformists in all shapes, in Honourable House—the new solicitor-general—imported into it, with his minute scraps of reforms and sham reforms, for the special purpose of keeping the door shut against all adequate ones.
11. Behold the letter written by him—written to one of the victims of the oppression: giving him the assurance, that it would be “his own fault” if he continued to be thus oppressed. Behold in this letter a genuine English lawyer’s sermon, on the text—“I was in prison, and ye visited me.”
12. “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered,” Luke xi. 52. Read this, ye anti-codificationists!
13. “Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.” Read this, ye fee-fed delayers deniers, and sellers, of what ye call justice!
14. The power, given to judges by Lord Eldon and Mr. Peel—the power of imposing, on the indigent and already afflicted, taxes without stint, putting the produce into their own pockets—this power has already been over and over again held up to abhorrence; and, on each occasion that seems favourable, will be so again, as long as any blood remains in the hand which gives motion to this pen. Of the purpose and use of the creation and preservation of this power, this case presents an exemplification. And this is called government!—and this is called justice!
15.Rebellion, forsooth? “Durumest,” says a maxim of their own—Oh yes!—durum enough—durum est torquere leges, ad hoc, “ut torqueant homines.”
16. Of these sham convictions of rebellion,—if persevered in, with the practical consequences deduced from them,—what more apposite requital than a real and successful one?*
[* ]Indications respecting Lord Eldon.
[* ]In the reduction thus made, may be seen a sample of the sort of law reform, which, were the matter left to them, would be established by Judge and Co. As to the reduction made in the gibberish,—what was the reduction made by it in the expense, or what the expense of the application made for the reduction? and therein of the saving to the parties from these reductions, what was the net amount?
[* ]Seen, for the history of this business, have been the documents following:—